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3 Signs Your Content is Too Sexy to Be Taken Seriously

When you’re deciding what content to create for your business, the lure of sexy is tempting.

A new “Top 10″ post goes viral. Or maybe a controversial blog post gets featured on a top site and catapults you (and your business) into the spotlight.

A sudden influx of views, shares, and attention is appealing …

But sometimes showing peacock feathers can have a fleeting appeal if you want your reader to take you seriously in the long term.

So, to avoid the lose of long-term, in tomorrow's post +Amy Harrison will show you three signs that your content might be too sexy for its own good.

Stay tuned. 

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9 comments
 
Great post, Amy! 

I know you mentioned that spewing controversial opinions onto the page might not be a good idea in the long-run if you're just doing it with PR in mind, but from a reader's point of view I think 9/10 it makes a better read than the ubiquitous 'how to' posts we see everywhere. 

Don't get me wrong, I think these kind of 'consistent' posts are extremely valuable, and definitely encourage long-term readership, but just look at Signal V Noise as an example...

I check their blog every day to see if anything new has come out -- but they're definitely not consistent publishers, and they don't fit the normal blog post mould by any standards ... but that's why I find them so interesting!
 
Ben, it's important to remember that "interesting" and "controversial" are not synonyms for "trustworthy" and "useful." The first two will get you clicks, the latter two will get you customers. And while a single post can be described by all four adjectives, too often on the web we see content that focuses more on first two than the latter two. I think +Amy Harrison's point is to focus on the latter two.
 
Jerod, agreed that some people try to be controversial just to get some eyeballs. Useful and trustworthy definitely translate to sales -- no arguments here. My point was that blogs like Signal V Noise are extremely useful sales tools, but they definitely don't fit the mould of consistent publishing and non-controversial posts. Despite that, they've managed to drum up a helluva lot of business from that blog. 

Overall though I agree it's best to focus on the latter two, but being interesting and controversial can certainly be a useful tool for building up a fan base if done well. 
 
Still ... great post :) 
 
Hey Ben, thanks for reading! Controversial posts can work well, but they also throw people off a long term publishing plan because of the short-term gain. It's easy to feel like if you chase controversy in every post, you're going to keep getting attention and that attention has to be worth something. 

Without the value of posts that provide tutorials, help, advice and insight you're more likely to attract gawkers with popcorn who just want a free show ;-)

And I confess, I have a few favourite blogs that are rarely updated, but it's because they're by people who usually have a  legacy of producing value in some form: books, videos, music etc. They've already got my trust and I know when they do show up, it's going to be good. :-) 

Thanks again! 
 
Great reminder and points to clarify from sexy to informative.  I feel more informative is the way to go but it can be tempting to push the limits and see what kind of reaction you get.
 
Amy, I agree that used all the time controversial posts won't do you much good ... and will attract the gawkers in droves. 

I suppose in the case of Signal V Noise they've also published useful books, gazillions of interviews etc., so the trust is already well established. 
 
I think this very much depends on what site you have and what your audience is like. For instance The Chive is an exceptional curator of content, mostly images. It's easily consumable and they are giving their readers exactly what they want. So much so that their readership has started contributing to the images that appear on The Chive.

On my site for instance I have very image heavy content, and two of the weekly post are extremely sexy. But I mix it up every now and then with a column, opinion, comedic writing piece, because that is how I first got mentioned on sites like Rolling Stone SA. Controversial pieces obviously help a lot, but once again it's about maintaining a balance. Your readership will tell you what is working and what not.
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