Creating Content that Clicks: Q&A with Andy Crestodina

by | Oct 11, 2016 | Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Andy Crestodina is a content marketing speaker and the co-founder of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. We were able to connect with Andy and probe further about his keynote presentation at Content Marketing World, “Content’s Fortune and Glory: How to Make Friends, Rank High and Get Famous Online.” Here’s what he has to say about content, collaboration and increased traffic:

You mentioned that 70% of content gets zero links, and 50% of content gets two or fewer. What do you think it is about the best content that makes people share it?

Yes, here’s the study I mentioned. Yes, 75% of content gets zero links and 50% of content gets two or fewer Facebook interactions. Half of all articles get eight or fewer shares overall, across all networks. That’s low.[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”15″][image_with_animation image_url=”6479″ animation=”Fade In” img_link_target=”_self”][vc_column_text](photo:

There’s another way to look at this: a small percentage of articles do well. These pieces get lots of links and shares. So you asked the right question: what’s the difference?

Really, there are two separate questions. Why do people link to articles? Why do people share?

So of course, there are two answers. Each answer aligns with a type of content.

  • People link to original research
    This makes sense, since as we cite articles that support our content, we link to them. It’s simply a matter of proper citation and editorials. I did it already once in this article.
  • People share strong opinion
    Point of view is personal and often emotional. These are exactly what trigger response. Online, those responses are often social media activities: likes, comments and shares.

With that in mind, you create something that is designed specifically to get traction. In my personal experience, creating original research takes time, but it’s the easier approach in the long run. It’s hard for me to imagine a content strategy based on strong opinion.

How do you go about creating content that serves as “the best answer on the internet”?

The answer is partly subjective, but it can be based on repeatable, scalable tactics. Here are some clues:

  • Long and detailed, covering the topic from all angles or every step in a process
  • Supported with evidence
  • Include collaborators and experts
  • Feature multiple formats and media

If you’d like to turn this into editorial standards, make sure that every article you publish is 1000+ words, cites primary research and other sources, features at least one contribution from an influential expert, contains multiple images, diagrams, charts and/or video.

Tell us why you think original research is so important?

Want to contribute something to your field? Conduct research.
Want to create something original? Conduct research.
Want to discover something new? Conduct research.
Want other sites link to you? Conduct research.

Here’s a post with five types of research and examples that might help. Anyone can do it!

How about “strong opinions”?

This is harder to scale. But it’s a key piece of “thought leadership.” If you want to be a leader, you have to stand for something. That means you have to stand against something. You have to take a stand. Here are a few questions that might trigger some content ideas based on strong belief.

  • What do you think will happen that most people think is unlikely?
  • What do you believe that most people would disagree with?
  • What questions are people in your industry afraid to answer?

When you write these answers, make your case in detail on your site, and then pitch your ideas to the biggest blogs and media sites you can find. You’re on a mission. This is a campaign.

Next, take out all of the softening language, the qualifiers. You’re here to write short, direct sentences making strong statements. Make your case! Stick your neck out! Plant your flag! Tell the world what you believe.

Can you elaborate on the statement, “don’t take shortcuts, they take too long?”

Yes, this is a quote from someone I’ve admired for years, Sonia Simone. Her point is simple and profound. Stop looking for ways to do things faster. Quit trying to find an easy way. Focus only on quality.

The goal isn’t to be quick. The goal is to be on the right end of the hockey stick chart at the top of this post. When it comes to content, great is soooo much better than good. So make something great, at any cost. That’s the key to success with content.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” class=”author-box”][vc_column width=”1/6″][vc_column_text]andycrestondina

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Andy Crestodina is a content marketing speaker and the co-founder of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago.