We’ve talked about the differences between content and copy. Let’s take a quick look at the similarities.
high-quality Venn diagram:
Both content and copy depend on three simple concepts. To write successful content or copy, you need to immerse yourself in these concepts:
1. You’re a person talking to another person.
2. That other person has a problem.
3. You want to help that person solve the problem.
Don’t Write Without Them
These concepts are so simple. But they’re in everything. They’re foundational. If they’re not in your content and copy, you’re missing essential ingredients.
If you can’t see how these three concepts matter, stop creating content until you do.
If you can’t see how your content or copy could help a real person solve a real problem, stop talking, stop writing, hold everything.
Meditate for a while.
If you don’t know who you’re helping, or how you’re helping, or what you’re helping with,
you’re probably not helping.
You’re confused and you’re confusing. You’re flailing around and muddying the water. You’re adding to the noise. You’re throwing more manure on the pile.
YOU’RE RUINING THE INTERNET. STOP IT.
And think about what you’re trying to do.
Back to Basics
Ask simple questions. Quit trying to be complicated. Quit trying to impress people.
People don’t want to be impressed; they want to be impressive. Help people be impressive by solving the problems that hold them back.
These may be little problems. They may be surface, shallow, first-world problems.
But if you’re helping a real person solve a real problem, you’re getting it.
Figure out who, what, and how, then write about it.
- Who are you helping?
- What are you helping them with?
- How are you helping?
Answer those three questions first. Then, from that information,decide what to write about, how to write it, and with whom you will share it.
You can spend time on social media trends, on SEO, on understanding the latest algorithm change from Google or Facebook, the best content marketing tactics, or most popular platforms.
My advice, which you can take or leave, is to worry not at all about that stuff.
Focus entirely on the three basic questions: who, what, how.
Talk to your Who about the What and the How as thoroughly, respectfully, and clearly as you can.
For content and for copy.
They are different types of writing, yes. They serve different purposes. But to be successful, they both depend, entirely, on Who, What, and How.