Not All Content Will Make You Content

For every post promoting the value of content, and for every purported branding and marketing expert who repeats this refrain about the necessity of creating content, when will someone remove the needle from this broken record or eject this scratched compact disc — or delete this corrupt file of digital noise — and say, “Does it matter that my content reads like the work of a dyslexic illiterate, or should I invest in — my God, should I even entertain thought the idea of paying a professional to write content that combines substance and style?”

To ask the question is to reveal how widespread the problem is because, while content may be king, writers are still the serfs of this corrupt fiefdom.

Put another way, the best content — the material that people remember, recommend and share — is not a matter of meeting a mandatory word count; it is confirmation of a writer’s ability to tell a story, support an assertion, substantiate a belief or take a stand — to compose a tale with the rhythm of a musician, to arrange sentences and phrases with the cadence of a singer, and to express yourself with the eloquence of a preacher.

If you want the prose to soar, then learn from the pros: Hire a writer who knows the difference involving, and would never confuse the distinction between, mediocre content and excellence.

Hire a writer who reveres language and rejoices in the lyricism of words, an artist who will transform your business into a brand because, as I never tire of mentioning, the separation between the two — the success of a business versus the incalculable worth of a brand — is huge.

The former may be profitable, extremely so, but it lacks the emotional connection with consumers that is the result of consistent messaging: It has little to say because the content it does possess — the marketing boilerplate, with the cut and paste verbiage that concludes every press release and announcement — is so generic that it accomplishes nothing.

It is filler, not unlike its cosmetic corollary with its ability to inflate appearances and erase signs of age.

The latter is a work of lasting — sometimes everlasting — beauty and strength, from psalms of praise to prayers of divine assistance to hymns of gratitude for deliverance from personal distress — the songs, books and lamentations are as rapturous as the Torah, as regal as the Old Testament and as redemptive as the New Testament.

One has the handwritten solemnity of a scribe, devout in his duty and faithful to the laws of justice, observance, and charity and forgiveness.

There is poetry within those psalms, and clarity within those admonitions and injunctions.

One contains the color of special ink, while the majority of the copy we see — the pamphlets, postcards and promotions that surround us — bears the darkness of a printer and the ineptitude of a typist.

One has content, while only the other can make us feel content.

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