Why do I always shudder when I hear the words 'killer content'?
Killer content. Is there such a thing?
I would argue ‘no’.
Back in November, when I was doing a turn at hosting #ContentclubUK on Twitter, I must have had this on my mind, because it was the first question I asked.
I think that, around that time, these two words were being used a lot as ‘a thing’, and I was feeling a bit irked by it. I’m not 100% sure why. Perhaps I resented the sensationalist undertones of the phrase - it sounded a little bit click-baity.
You only have to type ‘killer content’ into Google to see the reams and reams of articles on ‘how to create it’.
And to that end, I think I’d noticed some sites were just throwing it around; as though including it in a title suddenly meant their blog/article was automatically validated as a ‘brilliant’ piece of content.
Not so, I say.
When I put the question to the floor in #ContentclubUK, I got a mixture of views back. The overriding feeling was that the phrase was a bit meaningless. I thought Jackie Barrie in particular summed it up well:
I noticed that people seemed to change their minds about where it’s a thing or not, too. Take Neil Patel. On the one hand, he’s got an article here about it, oh, and another one here… BUT on the other, he’s including it in a list of 89 things you shouldn’t use in your writing.
Which is it, Neil?
If that doesn’t confirm that this buzzphrase it’s totally ‘throwaway’, I don’t know what does.
One website agency I was dealing with last year sold my then-employer a package which included them creating a quarterly bout of ‘killer content’. I just found it a bit meh. The truth is, you never know how the content you’ve created and published is going to go down until it’s actually out there. Stamping something that doesn’t exist with ‘killer content’ does not guarantee any success with that piece of content in the real world. Fact.
Don’t get me wrong - a great many of these ‘killer content’ articles on the web are good articles, but there are a lot of turkeys out there too. The latter scratch the surface with very high level, meaningless statements like “killer content is something that’s definitely here to stay” - what?
Many of these articles are accompanied by the obligatory use of the old ‘content is king’ crap which everyone is a bit tired of at this point (don’t even get me started on ‘content is king’ or ‘what is queen, if content is king’).
The good articles are just that, because they talk about common sense things and offer insightful tips relating to how to write genuinely good content. And that’s what we should be remembering here I think.
It’s not killer content.
It’s useful content.
It’s good content.
It’s interesting, well-woven-together content.
It’s content that holds value for the reader.
There’s nothing killer about it.
I’ll leave you with this…