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June 22, 2011


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Tea Silvestre

These are great ideas! As a writer/consultant myself, I often work with clients who can't even write me an email to explain that they need my help. Some folks' brains just don't work that way. In those cases, I usually depend on recording interviews with them in order to pull the content out. What I've found interesting, is that most people who aren't good at writing, also have trouble speaking in an organized, linear fashion. Their conversations tend to jump around too. If you happen to be one of those people, your strengths are probably more visually-oriented. So leverage that with video! with photos or other images (that you've likely created yourself). There are lots of ways to communicate. BUT, remember you will still need someone on your team who can write and organize the message for you. Find a good one! They are worth their weight in gold!

Al Pittampalli

Transcribing is a great idea. Some people are amazing speakers, but horrible writers, and just this simple technique can provide amazing content. And infographics are all the rage right now, a medium that designers, who may not feel like they ordinarily contribute great informational content, can really get involved.

David Meerman Scott

Tea and Al -- thanks for jumping in with your experiences. You are both right - so many people are not writers but still have important things to share with the world.

Lisa @ PRIME for MBA

Interesting and very practical ideas here. The interviewing technique to identify key points is part of our process of helping high-potential young professionals with their applications for MBA programs. Many of these kids can't write. If they can't put together a compelling admissions essay for business school, how are they going to succeed in business? I'm talking the American-born kids here; they sometimes write worse than their non-native speaking counterparts. Of course, more MBA programs are innovating with video essays and the like. Clearly all of us will need to be more fluent in more mediums as business changes around us. This post has great ideas for leveraging strengths of a team - also so important these days!



I am terrible at writing and I have been able to get help from other individuals to strengthen the areas where I know I need to improve on.

I will pass this along especially the advice of creating awesome video to people that are more comfortable with that medium. I agree there are many economical routes to take to create unique and attractive content.

David Meerman Scott

Lisa -- so true on the MBA applications!
Raul -- Glad that you are using some of these ideas!

Stan Dubin

"Content Rules" is loaded with bright ideas on creating content. Definitely recommended.

If you're uncertain about what to write about: step back and look at the blogs, articles, web sites that you visit and read, especially those in your niche. You could grab a little content from places you find compelling and then comment on these pieces of content on YOUR site/blog. (Of course, give it proper attribution.)

Many blogs do this. It's not the fast track to expert status, but it gets you interacting with what's out there and it will most likely give you some ideas for fresh content of your own.

David Meerman Scott

Excellent technique Stan. And if you do it in real-time (soon after the post or article is written) it is even more powerful. Thanks.

Alan Belniak

Great stuff. As you probably recall, I wrote about this in the past - it's about looking at multiple forms of content. Your readers can see it here, if they are interested >> http://www.subjectivelyspeaking.net/2010/11/10/dinner-time-with-content-marketing-a-meal-analogy/ And with mobile phones having voice recorders in them, or even using one of Robert Scoble's favorite apps, Cinch, it's easy to get an audio interview.

Chris Shepherd

I am an applications engineer with a specialist semiconductor company. I have been trying to improve our web based customer interactions (an uphill struggle) and have found both this blog and Content Rules a source of great wisdom and inspiration. When you are trying to make something happen it helps a lot to speak some of the 'lingo' and know what is going on.

Anne Sorensen

Thanks David! You were ahead of your time. Will track down a copy of 'Cashing in with Content' - will be great to see the evolution.

Am just writing a marketing plan for a client now and content and real time marketing approaches feature within. It's exciting how our tools have changed.

Thanks always for the inspiration.

David Meerman Scott

Alan -- Thanks again for sparking this idea. I always enjoy kicking these concepts around with you. I recall that post from when you published it. Great one.

Chris -- Thanks so much. Glad that my ideas (and those of the comments) are helpful to you. Good luck implementing.

Anne -- CIWC was ahead of its time in 2005. So much so that people didn't even know what to make of it. However, now it would seem quaint. When you get a success with your client, please share it.

Jolly @ SEO Virtual Assistant

Content writing involves a lot of skills. It doesn't only requires you to be a good writer, instead, it requires your smart knowledge which includes how you take advantage of your article. Content writing should integrate with content marketing.

Folkert Ringnalda

Thank you David for your ideas and advice! Just one comment; search engines do not recognize great content, only popular content (and that's something different).

Ian Brodie

As a reader, I'm very forgiving of great content with less-than-stellar writing. Vice Versa: less so.

As a fledgeling writer, I've found that if you just keep writing - blogging is the perfect way - and if you keep reading good writing; pretty soon your writing will improve significantly.


Adrian Knoll

After reading your book "the new rules.." I decided it's time to write my own blog.
What I find greater is that I get constantly tips and information through your blog, which makes it much easier.


The National Benefit Authority

Great ideas !!this blog and Content Rules a source of great wisdom and inspiration and I decided it's time to write my own blog.thanks for sharing such a great ideas...


Reading this post today is a cool coincidence after reading a different one yesterday where the blogger said Youtube is a non-content site. In questioning that theory, he said what he meant to say was not text-based.

However, another commenter agreed that Youtube is not a content site as posts don't rank in search along with a couple of other reasons. I thought that was the really interesting comment. Even though as you said, the terms content and content marketing are now becoming understood, there is clearly plenty of misunderstanding still out there.

Thanks as always for the great info.

David Meerman Scott

Folkert - good point. You are, of course, correct.

Ian - yes. Avid readers tend to be able to compose a good story.

Adrian & The National Benefit Authority - good for you both!! Good luck with your blogs. Share it with us when you're ready.

Cheryl - Google owns YouTube. There are tons of search terms where a YouTube video is the top listing. Try searching on "self cleaning toilet" for an example.

Gary Chow

It's not only the writing that some people struggle with but finding the topic to write about, and of course the time. What's more, many businesses under-appreciate the demand for information from their customers. They think people don't want or need it. Worst still, they are reluctant to share information because they feel it may diminish their effectiveness at the point of sale.

David Meerman Scott

Gary - understanding what to write about comes easy for those people who get out of their nice comfortable offices and actually interact with the marketplace. As for the other issues you raise, it is fear. My guess is those people are scared of the dark too.


This is a great post, I love how the idea that content is, as you mentioned, finally coming into the spotlight. Working at an online marketing firm, we find it essential to explain to our customers the importance of not only having a great websites, but great content to go with it. People these days are spending more time online, the more thorough the information is on a website and the more clear it is projected, the more time someone will spend on that site. We have a great radio show on this topic titled "The power of professional copywriting for your website" found at http://www.snaptech.com/radio-show-archives.asp

Ted Kolovos


Love the interview idea! Audio interviews are a great way to add variety to a blog and create flagship content using alternate mediums. I remember quotes and tidbits from audio better text sometimes. This is a great topic for future posts.

I've seen infographics used effectively in the SEO space and folks like to share graphics via Twitter and Facebook.

David Meerman Scott

Stephen and Ted - yes, audio is good. But studies show that more people watch video than listen to audio, so don't forget about the power of video to tell a story.

Bas Helderman

Hi David,

Concerning hiring journalists - there are loads of web editors and copywriters around that are no less than terrible writers. As a particularly excellent writer, this frustrates me quite a bit ;)

How can we help ordinary (small) businesses to identify them?

All and all, a great post!

David Meerman Scott

Bas - good question. If you are a writer, you need to show people you can write -- in the form of a bog, or ebook, or some other way.

Jakob @ Virtual Assistant Services

Content Rules - Great book on content marketing, glad you posted that up!


If anyone needs a bit of help in making language sing, give me a shout: kevbarring@gmail.com

Here are a few samples



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