To find out if you have it, ask yourself these 3 questions:
Why are you publishing?
In a low-hassle, tech-enabled world, anyone can broadcast themselves far and wide. But that doesn’t mean they should. We need to keep in mind that zero-cost publishing is prime breeding grounds for modern day scammers and false prophets (example: Craigslist).
It’s wiser to assume the high road, where the power to publish is regarded as a gift, a chance to care, an opportunity to extend our voices far beyond our tiny reach.
So, again: Why are you publishing?
What are you publishing?
Does the content you publish scratch below the glossy layers of sales and marketing? Is it art, commerce, or both? These are not always easy questions to answer, but they must be answered.
If every freely available website, blog, landing page, search engine result—piece of content—were examined, we’d suddenly discover that 80% of it would be nothing more than superfluous babble (aka ‘the cesspool‘).
Possessing editorial awareness will inevitably help you attract the people who grow weary of the cesspool.
Who are your readers?
50% of any piece of art is its audience. This means that with every gift of content you publish, you must be empathetic of its recipients, whether they are readers, customers or both.
Here are a few quotes from content guru Gerry McGovern’s Killer Web Content (the link goes to my review of the book):
Genuinely putting the customer first is a winning formula on the web.
Your reader needs to stand beside you as you write.
Try to reach everybody and you will certainly reach nobody.
As the editor of your site, you need a deep understanding of what your readers really care about and want to read about. You must interact with them on a regular basis, listen for what they say and also for what they don’t say.
How did your answers turn out? Please share in the comments below.