If you don’t know Joel Johnson by name, you probably know the checkpoints of the content trail he’s been blazing.
Not only is Johnson the former Editor in Chief of Gizmodo and the former Editorial Director of Gawker, his journalistic endeavors have made the pages of Wired, Jalopnik, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Playboy, and many others.
Johnson spent the day with Big yesterday, where he kicked things off by giving us some advice on content creation and shedding light on lots of great practices. Here are five takeaways from his visit.
1. Make sure you and the client are on the same page
Yes, it seems obvious, but stay with us here. Typically, content marketing falls under two umbrellas: creating something brand new, and creating something in response to current events or popular topics. Clients typically ask for the former, but 99% of the time they actually want the latter. Your content doesn’t have to fit neatly into specific buckets, but and because of that fluidity, one of your biggest challenges is going to be what the kind of “lifestyle” content clients ask for typically entails. And remember: whatever crazy, extensive content ideas you have, if you don’t have the confidence that you can execute on your end, you’re never going to be able to sell the client on it.
2. A lot of your brilliant content ideas won’t get used
Bottom line, you’re going to have to create a lot more content that gets thrown away than you’re comfortable with. The solution? Flood your clients with ideas for content. You’re not going to know what really works for sure until you’re 100 days or 1000 tweets in. You have to make a number of attempts to see what sticks, and they can’t all go through a 72-hour approval process.