I’m adjusting my purpose for writing. I am no longer writing for value!
Starting today, my goal in writing a piece of content is not to deliver value.
Not anymore. Not for me.
I’ve heard people talking about the importance of delivering value in emails and blog posts for almost 12 years. “It’s all about delivering value,” they say, and I’m sure you have heard that too.
But that isn’t my goal. Not anymore.
Value – in this instance – is the dissemination of information.
In 12 years we have gone to a few websites writing content to a plethora of information on the world wide web. Everywhere you look, there is information.
The information you are going to write has likely been written already and, perhaps, written better than you can write the information.
No, value is no longer my goal.
Pull up a chair. Let me tell a story.
The story of “City of New Orleans.”
Arlo Guthrie recorded the song “City of New Orleans.” You may have heard the song, but if you haven’t, no worries, the story still works. (see the video above)
Guthrie was playing a bar in Chicago when a friend came told him there was a guy who wanted to sing him a song.
Guthrie objected, but relented. He told the songwriter that he could buy him a beer and sing the song for as long as the beer lasts.
The man played the song and Guthrie ended up recording the song.
Can you imagine…. if the man said “Let me tell you about a song I wrote”?
I can just see Guthrie shoo him away! Instead, he sang the song to Guthrie, and he liked the song.
Imagine if the songwriter, Steve Goodman, to just tell Guthrie about the song.
It may have never become famous.
I think our idea of value has changed over time. Or, at least, it should have.
It is quite understandable as the modern era of marketing has emerged. We use information about topics to get people into the “top of the funnel,” where we proceed to convert them into customers.
“The goal of top-of-the-funnel content is to educate or inform — not sell. At Leadfeeder, we create a ton of lead magnet marketing and sales content that isn’t solely related to our website identification software.” source
But, what is the purpose of writing?
This creates a problem when it comes to writing and its purpose. I am exploring that right now.
We write for a lot of things: information, value, and mostly SEO.
Unfortunately, the purpose of writing has been reduced to being informational and driven by SEO.
As it ways does, SEO is changing.
Recently, a SEO specialist I’m keeping track of on Twitter revealed that she had clicked on Google Sponsored ads that she had initially mistaken for organic results.
I've definitely accidentally clicked on Google ads thinking they were organic results more than ever in the past few weeks.
— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) May 9, 2023
Facebook has changed. The algorithm doesn’t want organic reach to matter. Social media notifications are out of control!
I get notifications to every social platform I’m on and I feel like they are kind of aggressive. Leave me alone!
LinkedIn suggests people to me all the time that I don’t want to connect with.
Even Twitter is changing. Social media will no longer work like it did 5 years ago for organic marketing.
What we had for the past decade will look drastically different in the next decade.
Our idea of value can no longer be disseminating information. That is a baseline. That is what you have to do, but it is not nearly enough.
All of this is rapidly changing. We have to adjust our meaning of value.
Writing has to bring the reader to a point where they make a decision. It has to bring the reader to the precipice where they ask, “what am I going to do?”
We need to recover the lost art of writing that the proliferation of content creation has caused the past decade.
This is what I’m doing. I am changing that for my business.
I was never good at delivering “value” anyway.
You know the way I do emails. They are always kind of esoteric.
I believe in helping people connect the dots.
If you are like me, you get too many emails. Like wayyyyy too many.
I am suffering from information overload. How about you?
I am just looking to do what I need to do today and often, the emails that come don’t apply to me at this moment.
Taking you to the edge…
I like content that is inspirational and aspirational. Always have.
These are types of content that use storytelling. Of course!
When I write, I want to take my readers to the edge of the Grand Canyon and encourage them to make a choice.
What are they gonna do? What are you going to do?
Will they glide across the canyon on a hang glider like in a Pink Floyd video? Or will they rent a mule and hike to the bottom of the canyon, studying rock formations along the way?
Maybe they are going to board a helicopter so they can ascend and view the various shapes and patterns from a higher vantage point.
Or perhaps they will step back from the edge and take in the depth and the beauty of the entire Grand Canyon.
It’s their choice.
What will they do?
What will you do?
So, what next?
That is up to you.
What do you want to do? What do you need to accomplish?
You, my friend, are standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. What will you do?
How would you like to proceed?
My answer is always the same.
Don’t want to wait ’til tomorrow
Why put it off another day?
One more walk through problems
Built-up and stands in our way, ah
Get started today.