Good content is a cycle

Knowledge is an advantage. And the Internet makes it possible to know all about your industry so there’s no excuse to say, “I don’t know.”

Unfortunately, most online content is crap. It’s superficial, redundant and leaves you wanting more.

How do you make time to sift through the web to find good content, let alone consume and apply it?

How to Find and Use Useful Content

At Optimal, we spend 10-20% of our time honing our skills by reading articles, watching how-to videos, summarizing our findings and sharing them internally. Here’s how we do it:

  1. We subscribe to authoritative blogs with Feedly. Recent articles are instantly added to our reading queue. Some of our favorites are Moz, Copyblogger, SearchEngineWatch, and A List Apart.
  2. We let social media work for us. We find and follow authorities on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. They find and curate useful articles for us.
  3. When we find useful articles online, we save them for later reading in the Pocket app. Then we open the app on our tablets or phones when we have more time and read through them.
  4. We save useful PDF guides to a shared Dropbox folder.
  5. If an article is useful, we save it in a shared notebook in Evernote so we can all read our latest finds.
  6. And if we find a great video on YouTube, we add it to our Plex (like Pocket for video) account to watch later and share with each other.

Nothing Teaches Like Teaching

But to truly develop yourself, you have to do more than just consume content. You have to create it. Nothing helps you learn like teaching others.

Instead of writing a lot of superficial articles, write a few authoritative ones on topics you want to be known for.

People are getting skilled at recognizing and ignoring fluffy articles. Content marketing is only effective if you have something truly useful to say.

Done right, content enriches readers, establishes your expertise and leads to new business.

For example, one my blog posts led to thousands of dollars in new business. And one of Brandon’s how-to videos on YouTube has over 13,000 views.

To help you create useful content, ask yourself two questions: “Does it solve a real issue?” and “Would I read it and reference it?”

If so, then go for it. If not, then try a different idea.

The best places to share your expertise is on your company’s blog, through your social media, on YouTube and in webinars.

If you think you don’t have anything to teach others, think again. You probably have experiences and expertise that would help others.

Now let’s learn, teach, and repeat.

 

Some of our other favorite resources include: