Is your content a portrait or a mosaic?

Recently I was asked by a client to write a series of articles on a particular topic. As with many clients, they requested that each article contain certain things and they gave me a point-by-point list of “must-haves” in each article. Unfortunately, for the subject matter they were covering and for the size of articles they wanted, they couldn’t possibly fit all of the preferred details into a single article.

Your content – that single article or that single tweet or that single press release – is important but can’t paint a sweeping landscape with a single article or tweet. Each piece of content is just a single glimpse into the much broader landscape of content produced by your business. It’s like a mosaic floor or a stained glass window: Individual pieces may look nice on their own but don’t make up the whole picture.

While in the UK I saw this ancient Roman floor which has been carefully preserved.

So that single tweet? It doesn’t matter. That single article? It may be barely recognized as important. That one press release? No big deal.

Each point on their own provides a faint illumination and could provide some small amount of traffic to your website. But it’s all of your content working together that makes the biggest difference.

Expect to cover your topic in 5, 10, 25, 100, 1000 articles. Expect to tweet about something a dozen times or a dozen times a day. Expect to write 2, 3, 5, 8, 80 press releases on something. Expect to write 50 blogs on your topic. Or 500. These multiple pieces of content shouldn’t be verbatim repetition of the one that came before and they shouldn’t be “spun” articles or tweets or whatever. This should be you, as the expert, looking at your topic in different ways, covering some of the subject matter in some pieces of content and some of the subject matter in other pieces of content.

Taking this approach necessitates a decision that my earlier-mentioned client didn’t like: Covering a big topic across several points of content requires that some of the content be left to another day. My client pointed out that this mosaic approach might leave big gaps in someone’s understanding and they wanted to have give people a complete picture in every article.

In some extremely narrow subjects that might be possible. But in many (most?) subjects that’s impossible. There will always be gaps and developing good content that works hard for you demands that you make those tough decisions.

Remember: Every individual piece of content acts as a small piece of a much larger picture. It’s okay to cover one corner of your topic in your blog or in an article. Just make sure that the entire body of your work – spread through years of effort – expertly covers everything.

Published by Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and other books.

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