10x Content

With so much buzz over the past few months, you are probably aware of the term ’10x content’.

The concept originated from Rand Fishkin of Moz.

Rand gave a clear demonstration why unique content needs to die. You heard that right.

Good unique content is the wrong bar. User experience has a big impact on whether your site is a good fit in the SERPs.

Low bounce rates, time on page and user engagement are all metrics you should aim to improve to knock out your competitors and boost site traffic.

The process of creating 10x content requires lots of research and dedication, creating incredible content is a technique that is not learned instantly, but once mastered it will bring huge benefits to yourself and your company.

Here are some expert opinions on the topic which can help you on your journey to 10x content.

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#1 – Eric Siu, CEO of SinglegrainEric Siu

“Whenever you create a piece of content and think it’s ‘good’, go back and around and add more depth to it – meaning another 5 hours+ to make it incredible.

10x content needs to be head and shoulders above the rest in terms of its depth (in my opinion).”

Follow Eric Siu on Twitter

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#2 – Heather Lloyd, founder of Success WorksHeather Lloyd

Your readers don’t want to read yet another “me-too” post that explains the same thing as everyone else. Unique and powerful content is what drives links and boosts shares.

Here are some tips I would suggest for building 10X content:

  1. Run a reader survey. So many companies ignore this step. Although you may think you have a good handle on what your readers want to know more about, running a reader survey helps you find those “hidden content ideas” you may not have considered.
  1. Refine your idea with BuzzSumo. I love BuzzSumo and use it all the time. With just a few clicks, you can see what other sites have published about your topic, along with the posts’ reach, backlinks and the influencers linking to the post.

This data can generate additional ideas, including your exact article slant, experts you may want to approach for their perspective and more.

  1. Do the keyphrase research. Although a good, “themed” article should naturally include keyphrases, knowing the data and using the right keyphrases will give your post additional reach. I use SEMRush for keyphrase research.
  1. Think “authority.” You know the posts you love to share, link to and keep as a reference? That’s what you want to write. Posts like these typically include statistics, links to other articles, expert quotes, in-depth content and visuals.

(Post promotion side note: if you quote an expert, they may share your article with their followers. Some of my top-trafficked blog posts are ones where I asked another expert for his/her perspective.)

  1. Get feedback before you hit “publish.” Once you feel like you’ve exhausted everything you can say about the topic, send it to someone (maybe a trusted reader) for his or her double-check. Their feedback could help you transform your post from “meh” to “marvelous.”

Follow Heather Lloyd-Martin on Twitter

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#3 – Dan Petrovic, director of Dejan MarketingDan Petrovic

If there’s nothing to write about, don’t write.

I never worry about posting frequency or arbitrary content marketing schedules. My 10x content is typically the result of deep engagement with something or someone that fascinates me. It could be a sudden discovery, vision of the future or description or a new technical process.

Working on client projects is a different game and I’m often seeking ways to ignite my creative side. The first step in my process is topical exploration which allows me to go beyond the core topic and gives me more scope to work with.

Two or three iterations is usually sufficient before topical dilution goes too far. Once I narrow my favourite topics I go into the brainstorming mode, sometimes alone, but preferably with a colleague or client.

Thanks to Google Surveys I can get quick insights on just about anything and it only costs between $50 and $100 to get a decent amount of responses. It’s a great way to get data, insights and sentiment and is super quick (it takes only a day or two).

When possible I’ll also look at open-data sources including government and university databases. Once I have the data in place I then work out the right content format (text, video, audio, interactive…etc) and start content production.

At this stage I may engage experts on the subject to criticise, correct or add to my piece. This step is often critical for the success of content produced.

Summary of my process:

  1. Topical Exploration
  2. Topic Selection
  3. Brainstorming
  4. Data Retrieval
  5. Pre-Production Engagement
  6. Production

Follow Dan Petrovic on Google Plus

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#4 – Jimmy Daly, editor at VeroJimmy Daly

“Creating ’10x content’ is definitely 10x NOT harder than creating ‘regular’ content.

In my experience, 10x results mostly come from organic traffic.

I start by looking for keywords that are underserved. In other words, the existing results don’t deliver great information.

Once the target topic area is identified, I invest time in creating non-obvious, highly specific content that will take a reader from A to Z. It’s so important to over-deliver. The tone of the writing and the design are just as important as the information.

Google still tends to rank link-heavy category pages for board keywords. The term ’email marketing best practices’ used to be littered with link roundups and white papers until I wrote a detailed post on sending great emails.

Look for gaps in terms of quality and experience. It’s the lowest-hanging fruit when it comes to SEO.

Here’s a case study on the creation of that post that you might find useful.”

Follow Jimmy Daly on Twitter

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#5 – Ian Rhodes, founder of Rhodes Consultancy

“There’s the good unique content. You know the routine. Isolate the pain point. Address the pain point. Offer the remedy. The content that makes sense to you when you click ‘publish’. Content in context.

Let your competitors deliver the good unique content. Your task is to consider how you create the ‘deluxe edition’ of content for your chosen topic.

The quality over the quantity. Offering the guidance that nobody else can match. The blend of experience (what you do) and aspiration (what you can help achieve).

Firstly, you’re writing for people. We love to go behind-the-scenes. Give opinion. Share why you’ve created what you’ve created. Maybe your view isn’t for everyone? It doesn’t matter. This is the insider stuff where you share your knowledge over just information.

Secondly, offer validity and go deeper. Show the counter-argument. If you’re in the business of challenging your audience to re-think then explain the reason why you believe what you believe and why that matters.

Deliver what you believe your audience want to receive. Then add your own ingredients to create the ‘deluxe edition’. Make what you make matter.”

Follow Ian Rhodes on Twitter

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#6 – Ryan Phelan, VP Marketing Insights for AdestraRyan Phelan

“My goals in creating content of value is truly immersed in four things.

First, the recognition of my audience because without this recognition, my words are empty.

Second, the channel in which I’m speaking.  I talk about the channel because that’s what drives the type of consumption beyond content.  Writing for a new release is completely different that a blog.

Next, it’s about knowing what I’m speaking of so that I project authority and accuracy balanced with your belief.  So, research is key.

Lastly, is prompting to action.  Deliver content that is actionable so that people can apply what I’ve taught.”

Follow Ryan Phelan on Twitter

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#7 – Loz James, founder of Content ChampionLoz James

Use Brian Dean’s ‘Skyscraper Technique’.

That’s it, seriously. It’s become the cornerstone of everything I try to do with my content – and that of my clients.


Because if as a prerequisite your content isn’t better than the next best competitor – you’re putting yourself on the back foot when it comes to the promotion stage.

Get both in line and the results can be incredible.”

Follow Loz James on Twitter

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#8 – David Meerman Scott, marketing & sales strategistDavid Meerman Scott

“Educate and inform instead of interrupt and sell”

To be successful, you have to inform and educate your audience. This takes both passion and dedication to share with others. If you are too sales heavy, you will lose brand loyalty and engagement.

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#9 – Adria Saracino, content strategistAdria Saracino

“I saw Marcus Sheridan (@TheSalesLion) speak once and he was talking about how if your customers ask something, you should tell them the answer. That stuck with me, so now when I’m creating content I encourage my clients to understand what their customers are actually asking, not what they think they’re asking.

One technique, especially if a client doesn’t have a huge client base yet, is to use sites like Quora, Yahoo! answers, or LinkedIn discussions to identify themes in topics. With a bit of technical wizardry, you can automate this analysis. Then perform keyword research and/or use Rand’s recommendation to Google these queries and prioritize topics that you think are under-served in the SERPs.”

Follow Adria Saracino on Twitter

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#10 – Mark Traphagen, Director of Stone Temple

“My 10x content tip I call “finding the hole that begs to be filled.”

When I find an excellent piece of content that is relevant to my audience, I look for a “hole” in it; something it’s left out, covered incompletely, or even got wrong (in my opinion).

Then I test the interest level by going into the comments (on the post or elsewhere in shares) and bringing up the hole.

If a number of people respond to my hole, I’m on to something.

I then create an in-depth content piece that fills that hole.

Follow Mark Traphagen on Twitter

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#11 – Joanna Wiebe, Cofounder of Copy HackersJoanna Wiebe

“We try to publish only well-formed, well-supported thought leadership – the stuff you’d pay for or highlight in a book.

With that end in mind, I outline avidly, adding small pieces to a draft bit by bit over weeks, months and even years with the help of apps and plugins, like the Notes app and Airstory.

It’s the same for ebooks and blog posts alike: we chip away at an outline made of data, anecdotes, examples and ideas, and then we draft over that outline.”

Follow Joanna Wiebe on Twitter

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#12 – Nirav Dave, CTO & Co-Founder of Capsicum Mediaworks

“When creating 10x content, apart from adding new content to the existing list, one also needs to curate and remove redundant tips and techniques from the content in order to make an impact.

My approach towards a well-optimised 10x content is always quality over quantity and for this, a comprehensive research on any given topic is extremely crucial. By doing this, I am able to provide my audience with a splendid piece of content that is truly beneficial and helpful.

The secret behind creating a 10x content is simple – pick a relevant topic and provide a research-based solution to your audience that’ll help them solve a problem or answer their queries effectively and the rest will follow automatically, be it ranking in the top 10 search result for a given keyword or garnering the required targeted traffic to your website.”

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Don’t be fooled into creating content for the sake of it, an average quality 2000 word article isn’t going to help you, neither are 2000 poor quality articles.

It’s all about quality.

You should do your research before you write about anything, understand the facts and figures involved and use data to back up your theories.

Brian Dean’s list of 200 ranking factors didn’t get published overnight. In fact, he spent lots of time doing the research, drank mountains of coffee and put lots of dedication into creating this complete list.

But the results? Incredible.

Let’s face it. You need the willpower to create 10x content, most people lose focus and give up during the process.

You should never give up. If you’re struggling to write engaging content, here’s a handy guide to follow for the best content writing practices (with great SEO results).

And if content is king, then promotion is queen. A good rule of thumb is to spend 30% of your time with content creation and 70% with promotional activities, such as guest posting.

Bonus: here is a list of 700+ guest posting sites in 2017 .

Furthermore, with the constant updates to Google’s algorithm and best practices, understanding how to build backlinks the right way is very important to your rankings and boosting traffic to your website.

What’s your experience with 10x content? Are there any tips you would like to share? I’d like to hear you voice your opinions in the comments below.

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