Welcome to Digital Homesteading.
This collection of resources from 9 Clouds helps you build your business and community.
There is a “snackification” happening all around us.
The information we share online is shortened into snack-sized bites as attention spans shrink. Increasingly, we are encouraged to write quick thoughts in 140 characters, quick status updates or the oh-so-popular: three.word.slogan.
There’s another way.
Fight snackification by creating information with depth that shares how and why. Your ideas will live longer, be shared more, and most importantly, stand out as a healthy, full-course meal in a world of snacks.
Digital communication shortens and condenses our messages. We are told that the audience increasingly skims, often reading just the links or headlines of our messages.
We can alter our communication accordingly, to continue to shorten and value brevity over depth. Or, we can take the opposite approach. We can choose to provide more depth, more insight and more content than others.
This quality-based approach has a distinct benefit: it stands out.
In fact, despite what we are told, in-depth content in the range of 3,000 to 10,000 words gets the most shares (Moz).
Why? Three reasons.
1. Content with depth stands the test of time better than short, quick posts. If you create a piece of information that is useful and informative, it will continue gathering links and social shares long after it is published. It may be quicker and easier to send a large number of short updates, but like the tortoise, long content wins in the end.
The “authority” of your article grows over time, and it will continue to show up on Google for years to come when people search for information you are sharing.
2. Relevance is no longer the key factor in visibility on Google. In the not-so-distant past, you could write an article about a specific topic and would immediately show up on the search results. Now, however, there is so much information online that only the information that is 10 times better than the average information has a chance to be seen (Moz).
Call it the 10x rule. If your content isn’t 10x better than everything you see right now on Google, you won’t show up. If you don’t know enough or are not passionate enough about a topic to create something 10x better than everything else on the page, don’t spend your time writing about it.
3. Writing detailed information requires knowledge and care. Passion shows through content you care about, and people want to read passionate insights.
From What to How and Why
If in-depth content works in a world of snackification, how do you do it?
Move from the what to the how and why.
Most content online shares facts. “x things you should know about x,” or “Man does a thing that is weird and strange” or “Here’s a big news update from my company.”
Information like this is news. It tells us what happened. It keeps us informed and up-to-date on the latest data, stats, information and happenings in the world.
News, however, has a short shelf life. Data changes, new events occur and today’s headlines are tomorrow’s wrapping paper.
Share how to do something.
Answering the question of “how,” moves the content from news to education. The techniques and secrets you have as a business leader or community member is insight unique to you. It is your perspective and brings out the passion and experience that you alone have.
It is also what people are looking for online. How do I do the thing I am looking for?
Share why to create action.
Telling someone why they should care, adds another layer of depth to your content. When the reader knows how to do something and why they should do something, they take action.
Provide context and a view of the world that they might not share. Take a stand and share your beliefs on how the world/your industry/your community should be. This content attracts attention and enables you to create the world you want to see.
Attention is useless if it is not followed by action. Use how and why to add depth to your content.
Create Meals, Not Snacks
Don’t let the pressure of communication technology squash the depth and meaning of your work. Dare to say something in as many words as it takes.
The world needs your unique insight and won’t get it in 140 characters. As others create snacks for their readers, create meals for all to enjoy for years to come.
In the end, the snackers will share your content and action will be taken based on your passion and insight.