In 1996 Bill Gates, said that “Content is King”, twenty years later what was well explained by him is now more relevant than ever. Creating content for a blog is one thing, publishing content on the blog is just one of the key aspect as medium of sharing information to the target audience — which also is just another aspect in the process of content creation. Creating quality content is no longer the only factor for a guarantee of reach to the target audience. The Content Creator should be keen to the needs, requirements, extra attributes and key ingredients of making sure that the content they are creating is easily discoverable. While on Social Media it might be easier to circumvent towards creating discoverable content, for blogs, much more has to be done.
Understanding “WHY Discoverable Content”
No matter how passionate you are as a blogger (part time or full-time); one needs income and revenue to be able to sustain daily life needs. While income and revenue is not necessary appropriate aspects as primary prerequisites to create content or blogging in particular; it goes without saying that it is important to be able to create content on a platform which over time grows in value, well enough to create revenue.
Creating quality content does not guarantee revenue or reach to the target audience. This aspect among so many others, guides us in understanding why Digital Innovation in the future of Digital Journalism is compulsory and why a journalist in current times is required to have key digital skills to go in pace with news and information in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technological changes are happening too fast, Digital Technologies have brought on an influx of created content in media, regardless of the quality made popular by what we call Citizen Journalism.
Understanding “Why discoverable content” helps to identify the right approaches and platforms of content to curate, create and produce by studying and understanding online user-behavior. This further looks into; what Platforms to use and what medium and form of use. This approach helps, to instill-in embracing on solving modern day content challenges as an opportunity of unique content inspiration. For instance Fake News Vs Factual News or Verified news and misinformation. These can all be easily achieved by a blogger if they embrace acquiring digital skills significant to content creation.
Attributes of Discoverable Content
Understanding Context of discoverable content requires us to understand what it is, why we should do it and how it works. Then it is easier for a blogger to create content with the right attributes. Deliberate efforts are applied in “Agenda Setting”, content discovery is part of the bloggers mind and target projection. The selection of keywords, the selection of easily searchable titles, right references and interlinks are some of the observations on keen prepared content. General attributes include more below:-
- It is consistent. Algorithms and search engine respect consistency
- It is user-friendly — Effectively organised platform
- Tells a story — A reader feels like it was meant for them
- Its valuable as it ages
- it is easily accessible and searchable
- It’s form of data as time goes on
- Embraces key digital skills of journalism such as use of original pics, visualisation, linking up to sources, use of prefferable technology etc
How to create “Discoverable Content”
- Content Branding — Observe key necessary attributes, such as linking up, sourcing, use of visuals, copyrights style etc
- Be eager to learn and go with the technological pace in Media Information Literacy (MIL). Thumbnails, titles, etc
- Create a guideline and live by it. How, When and What. It will create consistency and uniformity
- Know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and learn bout it for application and use to your content. This applies with ( User-experience UX) and user interface (UI)
- Be creative and have a niche in content. For instance Politics.
- Use keywords, #hashtags, popular related terms etc
- Be value oriented and not revenue oriented
- Digitisation creates the conditions for inputring very high qualities of data, very fast access to that data and very high rates of change of that data.
Measuring “Content Impact”
- Statistical Analysis of your content. What is the reach and impression of your content? Understand the users before determining reach and impression.
- Referral Traffic — Sourcing of your content, research, studies, other content producers (individual or organisation). Who is talking about your content, who has tagged, who has shared, etc
- Tools for measure, there are some free tools that can be used. Back end of Social Media
- Downloads — Reports, Videos, etc — Mentions across platforms of your content
- Reach versus users, implies on understanding the type of content you create in relation to a group of consumers interested in your content. If you have serious content with a reach of about 200 reads; it is better than a reach 200,000 of reach of an audience who don’t understand nor would not act on your content.
The world wide web incorporates capabilities beyond imaginations. These capabilities are on disposal for any hungry aggressive online producer and consumer. The social network sites, the blog networks, online forums of all kinds, contacts lists in email forms and networks of all sorts and complexities are up for grabs for any interested, avid and focused online user. These are a few of the needed ingredients of creating “discoverable content”. The blogger is only to go beyond the norm, they need recognise that content is not autonomous nor frigid.
This article is inspired from the Africa Blogging 2022 Conference, to which “Creating Discoverable Content” was part of many intense discussions held at the conference. The #AfricaBlogging 2022 conference was conducted from the 13th to 16th of March at the Grand-Bassan, Côte d’Ivoire hosted by KAS Media Africa, brought together professional bloggers and thus convened thirteen African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Germany.