What’s Your Content Worth? Gauging the Value of Web Content Before Launch
Let's See If We Can Come up with a System to Not Only Value Online Content but Also Evaluate the Merits of Individual Sections
Evaluating Content Before Launchs
It is easy to gauge good content after the fact. You can count comments, likes, and look for traffic spikes, but what if you could measure that before the fact?
This isn’t meant to be a scientific approach nor is it meant to compare your writing against that of others. Instead, this is about coming up with a measuring system to quantify the usefulness of your content that makes sense to you and your writing style.
Designing an Evaluation Metric
Let’s design a grading system to evaluate how useful others will find your content. This will allow us to correlate content to traffic and apply that metric to future work.
This is a bit of a novel approach, but if you can find a measuring unit to evaluate the usefulness of your content (and this will vary between topics and writing styles), you should be able to look at all your pieces from a holistic and equal perspective. This metric should be based on how much value you are giving away. Analyzing your writing this way is a great habit as it will encourage you to analyze your content even more closely. It will also allow you to make sure your advice is balanced within a post and not clumped in a single area.
For example, if you count every tip you give or every link you list, you may be able to quantify how much value that post carries. Remember, what you are giving away is, in my opinion, the most important part of online content.
Here is the break down of a post I wrote entitled You Want to Go Viral? Then Say So - Here Are 3 Simple Tips to Increase Your Site’s Traffic with the six value areas highlighted in green. Overall it isn’t bad but I do see a few areas that could offer more value, such as the last third of the piece.
With my data-science blog, I consider external links as valuable advice. I would rather keep the reader on the site so when I mention an external link, it tends to be a high value, non-frivolous tip. I also tend to limit links to one per paragraph and put it at the end as a cap to the point I am making. This means that each paragraph should be worth at least one point. When you weigh your paragraphs, if you find some are too valuable or not enough, you may want to adjust them.
This will vary between writing styles and subject matter but once you start thinking this way, your writing will get much more balanced. Readers like sources they can count on, content that keeps giving, by systematizing this, you will associate your brand as a source of predictable and solid value.
Thanks for reading! And please share this article with a friend or colleague or two :-)