Have you ever tried creating 10x content? It's not easy, is it? Knowing how and where to start can often be the biggest obstacle you face. In this oldie-but-goodie episode from Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin talks about how to develop your own 10x content to make your brand stand out.

How to create a whiteboard with 10x content

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Video transcription

Howdy Moz fans and welcome to another issue of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're talking about how 10x content is created.

For those of you who may need a brush up or haven't seen previous Whiteboard Fridays when we talked about 10x content, the idea is that due to the saturation of the content, the overload of the content, the idea is that there is just so much in our streams, it's so difficult to stand out from others. We can't just say, "Hey, I want to be as good as the top 10 in search results for that particular keyword or phrase." We have to say, "How can I do something? 10 times better than what these people are doing right now? "That's how we stand out.

What is 10x content?

10x content is content that is ten times better than the highest ranked result for a given keyword. Here are 119 examples of 10x content.

Criteria for 10x content:

  • It needs to have great UI and UX on every device.
  • This content is generally a combination of high quality, trustworthy, useful, interesting, and noteworthy. It doesn't have to be all, but a combination of them.
  • It must differ significantly in scope and detail from other works that serve the same visitor or user intention.
  • It has to evoke an emotional response. I want to feel awe. I want to be surprised. I want to feel joy, anticipation, or admiration for this content so that it will be considered 10x.
  • It needs to solve a problem or answer a question by providing rich, accurate, extraordinary information or resources.
  • It has to deliver content in a unique, remarkable, usually unexpectedly enjoyable style or medium.

If you hit all of these things, you probably have 10 times the content yourself. It's just very hard to do. That's what we're talking about today. What is one process that we can use to check all these boxes off?

Step 1 – Gain Deep Insights.

So let's start here. When you have a problem, let's first assume you have some piece of content that you know you want to create, a topic that you know you will be bringing up that topic. We can talk about how to get to this topic on a future Whiteboard Friday and we have certainly had some issues in the past with keyword research and topic selection and the like. But once I know the subject, I first need to get a deep, deep look at the core of why people are interested in this subject.

For example, let's do something simple, something we're all familiar with.

"I wonder what the highest rated new films out there are." Essentially, this is, "Okay, how do we get into that person's brain and try to answer the crux of their question?" You are essentially asking, "Okay, how do I find out … help me decide what to see."

That could have a number of angles. It could be user reviews or it could be awards. Maybe it's about popularity. What are the most popular movies out there? It could be meta-ratings. Maybe that person wants to see an aggregated list of all the data out there. It can be editorial or critical reviews. There are a number of angles.

Step 2 – We need to become unique.

We know that it's really important to be unique, not extraordinary like everyone else, but different from everyone else out there.

So if we were to think of different ways we could approach the core of this user's problem, we could say, "All right, movie reviews, could we do a round-up?"

Well, that already exists in places like Metacritic. They put it all together and then put it all together and tell us what critics and audiences are thinking on many, many different websites. So that's already done.

Awards versus Popularity Again, this has already been done in a number of places where comparisons have been made between those who made the top box office and those who won certain types of awards. Okay, so this isn't particularly unique.

What about critics versus audience? In principle, this also happens on every other website. Everyone shows me user ratings versus critic ratings.

What about the availability? Well, there are actually a number of websites out there that are actually doing this now, showing you this is on Netflix, this is on Hulu, this is on Amazon, this you can see this on Comcast, or on request, this you do on YouTube can see. Well, that's not unique either.

What about what reviews can I trust? Wait a tick. That might not exist yet. This is a great, unique look into this problem because one of the challenges I face when trying to say, "What should I see" is who to trust and who to believe. Can I go to Fandango or Amazon or Metacritic or Netflix? Whose reviews are actually trustworthy?

Well, now we have something unique, and now we have this core insight, this unique point of view.

Step 3 – Discover Powerful Methods to Provide an Answer.

Now we want to uncover a powerful, difficult to replicate, and high quality way to get an answer to this question.

In this case it could be, "You know what? We can do some statistical analysis." We get a sample set big enough, enough movies, maybe 150 movies or so from last year. We take a look at the ratings each service has and see if we can find patterns, patterns like: who is high and who is low? Do some have different genre preferences? Which one is trustworthy? Do you correlate with awards and critics? Which are outliers? All of this actually tries to get to the question "who can I trust".

I think we can answer that by doing this statistical analysis. It's a pain in the butt.

We have to go to all of these pages. We have to collect all the data. We have to put it in a statistical model. We then have to execute our model. We need to make sure we have a sufficiently large sample set. We have to see what our correlations are. We have to look for outliers and distributions and all of those things. But once we do that and show our methodology, all we have to do is …

Step 4 – Find a unique, powerful, and extraordinary way to showcase this content.

In fact, FiveThirtyEight.com did just that.

They took this statistical analysis. You've looked at all of these different sites, Fandango and IMDB users versus critics versus Metacritic versus Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Then they had this one graph that essentially shows the star rating averages across 146 different films. This was the sample set that they found to be accurate enough.

Now they have created this 10-fold piece of content and answered this unique question, "Which review service can I trust?" The answer is basically "Don't trust Fandango". But you can see more there. Metacritic is pretty good. A couple of the others are decent.

Step 5 – Expect to do this 5 to 10 times before getting a hit.

The only way to get good at it, the only way to get good at it, is to experiment and practice. You do this over and over and develop a sixth sense of how to uncover this unique element, how to present it in a unique way, and how to make it sing on the web.

All right everyone, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on 10x content. If you have any examples you'd like to share with us, feel free to do so in the comments. No problem with linking. That's a good thing. See you next week for another issue of Whiteboard Friday. Watch out.

Video transcription from Speechpad.com

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