Content: it’s how we communicate on the web.

And as Sally Hogshead puts it: “Every time you communicate, you’re either adding value—or taking up space.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re attempting to strike up conversation with someone at a dinner party, selling yourself at an interview, or, indeed, publishing something online: connection happens when we communicate in ways that resonate with the shared interests and needs of an another person.

How value is exchanged

Brands are really no different to people—because they are people. A brand is simply the collective interests and needs of the people it’s comprised of. They all wish to be truly seen and heard by others. To connect. To be understood and valued.

How brands exchange value

Online, there are right ways and, well, not so right ways of going about that…

Brand website value exchange

What brand websites mostly do


What we share online—our content—makes or breaks our ability to connect and build relationships with the people who matter to us.

In the digital age, the quality of the connections, conversations, and relationships we build with the people that matter to us, depends largely on what we choose to publish, online.

So here’s the best only way to create content that actually adds value:

  • Obsess over the people we exist to serve. Their interests, wants, and needs are an infinitely more important starting point than our own for writing a blog, launching a website, or posting on social media.
  • Establish where their interests, wants, and needs intersect with our own mission and goals. Define and obsess over those things.
  • Strive to create only content that exists in that intersection of shared interests.

Despite what the internal noise in your organisation is demanding, the only content that actually matters is the stuff that sits within this sweet spot of mutual needs.

Anything outside of that sweet spot is either too irrelevant to your audiences’ needs to matter enough to them, or too detached from your own goals to matter enough to you.

If we’re looking for a word to hang this approach on, a good starting point is: empathy.

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