Ryann Kahn

3 Lessons Your College Professor Secretly Taught You About Creating Content

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Recently, I’ve stumbled on some fresh conversations about the amount of content and the length of content that marketers should strive to create.  Questions of content quantity (say that 10x fast) are an ongoing debate.

  • Is more always better or is less sometimes more?
  • Are people more likely to read short, digestible content or long, valuable content?
  • Where is the industry trending?
  • Just tell me – how much content should I be creating???

To quote many a college professor: “as much as you need to create”.

I know, I know.

I also hated that answer.  I mean, I just wanted to know if my essay had to be 2-3 pages or 10-12.  And it always seemed to me that the answer “as much as you need to write” was really a passive way of requiring a long essay.

But as I have grown as a writer, I’ve come to understand that my professors weren’t just trying to guilt me into a 20-page essay, they were trying to teach me important lessons about content creation.

1. Don’t start with “how much?”.

I’ve read short content that I wished was longer. I’ve given up on long content that I wished was shorter. I’ve been overwhelmed and confused by too much content. And I’ve been disappointed by not having enough content.

Word count, page count, number of posts, or other methods of measuring content have a place in the content creation process – but it’s not the first step.

2. Start with “why?”.

Who are you talking to? How are you helping them? What story are you trying to tell? What business goal are you trying to meet?

Write a thesis or document a mission statement. But whatever you do, always start by figuring out your purpose.

3. End with “did it work?”.

Did you convert/inspire/grow/teach/build/prove whatever it was you were trying to do?

If the answer is yes, stop right there; you’ve created just the right amount of content.  Because the truth is, creating content is not about quantity, it’s about quality.

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