What makes great content great?
To find out, we want to learn from the master. And the master is some awesome content, in this case. We already had a go at this in part 1 and today we're back with a second example of an expertly crafted article and lessons we can learn from it.
The article's title is a mouthful: Why UX, UI, CX, IA, IxD, and Other Sorts of Design Are Dumb
This article deals with a niche topic related to design, but even if you don't know the first thing about design,you should stick around. There are gems in here that will help you improve your content marketing, no matter what you write about.
Summary: Lessons We Can Learn
The article is great for many reasons, but what are the lessons we can pull out of it and apply to our own content in a practical way? Here's a summary of the main points from the video:
Lesson 1: Don't Be Afraid to Step on Some Toes
The article opens with a rant against a trend among designers. In fact, even the title is a bit insulting to many people who use labels like UX Designer, CX Designer and so on in earnest.
There are two points that we can apply, here:
- If you have something controversial or provocative to say, say it. No need to sugar coat or tip-toe around the real issue.
- Don't be afraid to speak directly to people in a small niche. The article doesn't make efforts to try and explain all these terms for non-designers. If you aren't an insider to the niche the article is about, you probably can't make much of it.
Lesson 2: Set Up a One-Two Punch to Get Your Point Across
If you're writing content with the goal of getting your point across, of being understood and of changing reader's minds, this article shows a brilliant way of doing so.
The article comes in 2 parts: the first is an entertaining rant about the current state of the industry. The second is the author's advice about what designers ought to do instead. Or in other words: how to solve the problem that he's ranting about.
This is an example of the sum being greater than its parts. By itself, the rant would be entertaining but forgettable. You'd read it, chuckle and then move on. And by itself, the advice in the article would still be good advice, but it would lack context and impact. You might read it, somewhat agree with it and then promptly forget about it again.
The rant makes the advice more impactful. And the advice makes the rant more meaningful.
Ask yourself how you can set up such a one-two punch in your own content as well. One part is advice, the other part is "emotionally appealing" content. This can be a rant, a story or a metaphor.
Want to see another example of content with this one-two punch structure? Check out this post from the Thrive Themes blog, about content recycling.
Lesson 3: Create (or Insist on) Design Consistency
The article uses 2 types of illustrations to great effect. The first is graphs and illustrations all done in a minimal style:
The second is the use of parts of classical paintings, often with text overlayed. The classical paintings are used almost like emoji, cropping out faces to convey a specific emotion:
All of the images used in the article follow one of these 2 design styles. There's excellent consistency in these illustrations. Note that even the format and dimensions of all images is kept consistent.
Now, most of us are not designers, but we can still learn from this. If you create your own images, you should strive for such consistency as well. For example, if you use free photographs from sites like Pexels and Unsplash, you can look for a consistency in mood, content or color palettes in the pictures you choose. And you can crop all your images to the same size.
To learn more about how to create a consistent style for your website (even if you aren't a designer) check out this Thrive University course.
If you don't create your own images and you work with designers instead, you can and should insist on design consistency.
What's Your Takeaway?
What's your favorite lesson from this post? Do you have examples of excellently crafted content that you'd like to see me dissect in a future video?
Let me know by leaving a comment below!