Eighteen months ago I sat in a job interview and listened to a man tell me he didn’t know why he asked me to come interview because he didn’t think I had the skill set to do the work.
He told me the deciding factor was my cover letter because it had an almost zany quality to it.
I did my best to leverage that moment and explained my goal was to overcome content shock and find a way to make sure someone took more than a quick glance at my resume,
He nodded his head and complimented me on a job well done and I did my best to maintain a poker face and not do a celebratory dance. Not just because it would have been inappropriate but I march to beat of a different drummer and mine lacks rhythm.
Is Content Shock Killing Your Blog?
The blogosphere is in the middle of another summer and we are hearing the usual grumbling about whether the decrease in traffic can be attributed to vacation or if we blame the almighty scourge of blogging, content shock.
If you are not familiar with the term it is supposed to mean that people are overwhelmed by the amount of content that is competing for their eyeballs and consequently they are either not reading or being far more selective.
Heck unless you are like me and you find swimming upstream to be more rewarding you’ll probably see some of these suggestions as being easy, albeit time consuming.
Is Content Shock Real?
Prior to offering thoughts and suggestions to what to do about content shock I’d suggest trying to determine if it is a real problem. Figure out if the people you are trying to reach see it as an issue or if there is a different reason why you have seen traffic drop.
During a recent conversation with a colleague he told me he was surprised to see that even though traffic had dropped they were still generating the same number of leads and conversions as before.
Those are important metrics and some people might argue this is indicative of their having fine tuned the content and product so that only the people who are truly interested are getting it.
If leads and conversions dropped alongside traffic there might be a different situation, but clearly this is not that.
But given how cluttered and chaotic things have become in the blogosphere and how many different social media platforms are vying for our attention it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that it has become another hurdle to overcome.
Ways To Adapt and Adjust
The most obvious and critical solution is to do all you can to provide content that your readers consider to be valuable. Publish content that makes their personal/professional life easier and is practical and your readers will continue to read your posts or open your newsletters.
But I would do more than that and go farther because there are additional resources we can use.
Slideshare. Infographics. Videos.
If you are not using Slideshare you are missing out on a very effective tool. It is a great resource because you can find presentations on almost anything and they are often produced by some of the finest minds around.
I use it to help educate myself on topics where my depth of knowledge isn’t quite as deep as I want it to be. Sometimes I find a presentation that I think the readers here will enjoy so I embed it in the blog and share it with you.
Or sometimes I put together a presentation and upload it to Slideshare so that others can either benefit and or share it on their blogs.
So how does Slideshare help fight content shock?
Embedding a great presentation helps you provide value to your readers. You don’t always have to be the expert. Sometimes you just have to be the person that knows where to find the answers to hard questions.
It also helps mix things up on your blog. It gives a different look and sometimes the change in routine provides people with a different perception.
Infographics do the same thing and serve some of the same purposes as Slideshare and so do videos.
The benefit and advantage of a video is that if you star in it you provide yourself with an opportunity to deepen the relationship between you and your readers.
When they can put a face/voice to the words that magically appear on screen you make yourself more human and easier to relate to.
A word of caution regarding Slideshare and Infographics.
Do yourself a favor and vet them before you embed them upon your blog. The last thing you want to do is find out the infographic or presentation you just put out is inaccurate.
That is the kind of hit on your credibility that you can and should do your best to avoid.
One More Comment
The other tool/resource you have for fighting content shock is engagement with other bloggers.
If you take the time to visit their blogs and leave smart comments you will gain their respect and their interest in what you have to say and or share.
It can be time consuming but there are many benefits beyond fighting content shock. Visiting other blogs is a smart way of helping to build a community on your own blog and once you have one you’ll find blogging becomes more fun and less work.
What do you think?