Revisiting Success

Simply Google the word "success", and you'll find multiple variations on a theme: what it is, how one can attain it, how those who had it lost it, and much more.

The idea of success is something which I've given much thought and consideration lately - both for myself and for my clients. Therefore, at the risk of adding even more confusion to the already cloudy, Google-query filled waters, here's my own interpretation.

My good friend, Dave Kelly, recently launched a new e-mail newsletter, 5-Minute Tips. The inaugural edition was sent on Monday morning, and it featured a great tip from Hubspot's User Acquisition Lead, Scott Tousley: "Your effort is controllable, but the outcome isn't". As a content creator that helps brands and individuals better tell their stories, this is an interesting paradigm.

Everyone wants their content to achieve specific goals, of course. Whether it's generating leads, creating buzz for your brand or garnering conversions, your content has to say something first. The best place to start is with what is in your heart or what inspired you to start your business in the first place.

No amount of SEO, keyword density or ideal anchor text can substitute for a story well told. While these are important tools, they are essentially add-ons that enhance the quality of content, not the fundamentals on which good content is created. In other words, you can spend time making sure that your content is "optimized", but there's an inherent risk that the core message may not be received.

The bottom line: take the time to understand yourself, your brand and your audience, and work from there. It will be well worth the effort.