March 8, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Think about how you use search engines. You might know the basic information of a topic, but you search to find out more or something different. But when you scroll through the first page of results, all you see is the same content over and over. Then, you find it: the one article that recaps what you know but also provides more context, better examples, and exceptional links in a user-friendly format. This is a piece of 10x content. In this article, we’re sharing information like:
The term 10x content came from Rand Fishkin during his time at Moz. In a Whiteboard Friday video called “Why Good Unique Content Needs To Die,” he defined it as “content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.” In other words, it’s content that’s 10 times more valuable than the number one result for a keyword on a search engine results page (SERP).
You’re not limited to the written word, either, when creating 10x pieces for your content strategy. It can be anything that comes up in search results online. Examples of some pieces of content that could fall under the 10x heading include:
In the original Whiteboard Friday video, Fishkin listed the criteria that make a piece of 10x content better than the competition. They include:
You may wonder if creating 10x content is actually worth it because even though there are criteria, creating something that’s “better” or “more valuable” can be subjective. But did you know 82% of marketers reported actively using content marketing in 2021? That means there are lots of pieces out on the internet and you want people to click on yours. Writing 10x content can increase the chances of that happening.
Creating 10x pieces may not be worth it for every single keyword for which you’re trying to rank. That’s not realistic. But it can be worth it for areas where quality content is missing. Maybe it’s a keyword with vague resources. It could be a topic where there are only a handful of pieces available. These are places where creating 10x content is most worth your time. If you want to learn more about how to enhance your keyword strategy, request your free content analysis from CopyPress. With it, you can dig into your performance data and identify where to make improvements when planning and writing content for your business.
Use these tips to help create your own pieces of 10x content:
When we talk about competition in content marketing, we’re referring to your direct competitors or those other businesses that work to captivate your target audience. They are one factor in the competitive landscape, but they’re not the only things that take up your audience’s attention online. Running a competitive analysis in search and on other social networks can help you see exactly what’s captivating your audience.
Some things may be what you expect, such as a competitor’s articles. Other things may include viral videos or influencer content both inside and outside your niche. To do an analysis, start by looking through the top SERPs for your topic and keywords. When reviewing the results, ask yourself questions about each piece, such as:
Author Mark Gilroy has a quote that says, “As a rule, if you want to be a great writer you have to be a great reader.” This saying applies to writing 10x content too. Unless you’re reading the top-performing content, watching trending videos, or paying attention to what searchers think is the best content, you can’t make something better. More than just doing a competitive analysis, plan time each day to search for your topics and keywords, and look for changes in the SERPs. Read, watch, or view any new appearances on the first page.
Take notes about why things work or why you think particular content may rank so high, then see how you can do more. Setting up Google Alerts for your topics and keywords can help you discover what content is most popular in your niche. The alerts come to your inbox so you can view them without even searching.
Sometimes it’s not the content itself that makes a piece 10x, but how it’s presented to the audience. This may mean including more visuals, like videos or infographics, with your content. It may be creating more opportunities for feedback and engagement, such as interspersing poll questions or asking for comments on particular sections rather than on the whole article.
The key is to look for what can not only make your piece unique but also do so in a way that’s more exciting and engaging for the audience. Once you’ve identified the way to do that, you can start compiling the marketing tools to make it happen.
Over 6 billion people in the world use smartphones. With the ability to search on the go, it’s not a surprise that a lot of web traffic comes from mobile devices. If you’re trying to make your content 10x better than what’s out there, make sure it’s optimized for all viewing, especially mobile viewing. It’s also helpful to make sure your content can integrate with social media platforms, apps, and other channels. This makes it easier to view on any device, in any way your audience chooses, and share it with others.
Trying too hard to make your content go viral is one of the easiest ways to make sure it doesn’t. That’s because the focus is on the result rather than putting time and effort into making sure the content itself is engaging and valuable. Making something that’s authentic, in context, and appeals to your audience is a better way to get engagement and even increase your chances of going viral. This is the type of content people want to read and share.
Image via Cool Infographics
This amusing Venn Diagram focuses on graphic design, but it can also apply to 10x content. It asks the viewer to pick two factors for content output: fast, cheap, great, or free. It’s meant to be funny, but it also illustrates a good point. If you want your content to be great, you’re likely not going to get it fast or cheap, and especially not free.
The quality of your content should be top of mind because that’s how you make it 10x better than the competition. If you’re struggling to figure out how to get out those quality pieces on your own, contact CopyPress. Our article-writing services can help you build credibility and establish thought leadership in your niche.
If you’re trying to make your content better than the rest, it’s unlikely you’re able to do that in 500 words or fewer. Since you’re trying to provide value, you want to cover as many facets of the topic as possible. By nature, this just takes more words. Long-form content also gives you more room to create a connection with the audience.
When using long-form content, consider if everything you’re sharing has value. You can ramble on for 18 pages, front and back, but that’s only worth it and important if all the content has a purpose. Don’t just add extra words to make something longer.
Statistical analysis is a scientific principle of collecting, exploring, and presenting large quantities of data to uncover trends and patterns. Some marketers are big on this kind of research. They love math and science and they love collecting and crunching data. If you’re one of these people, congratulations. You’re probably going to enjoy planning and creating 10x content.
If you prefer the writing and creative sides of marketing, now would be the time to get comfortable conducting statistical analysis. Simply, this process is taking what could be a subjective topic—like what makes something “better”—and presenting numerical facts to back it up. Luckily, if you’re new to or still learning about statistical analysis, there are plenty of software programs and technology out there to help you do it right.
Related: How AI Can Improve User Engagement
Even with all the research and resources available, nothing takes the place of good old practice and trial and error. You may not create the best piece of 10x content on your first, or even your fifth, shot. What you can do is create something you think is 10x content and then see how it performs. Does it bomb? Does it do okay but doesn’t outperform the top result?
Each piece you create and study can tell you something, even if it fails. Learn from everything you do. Eventually, the more you create and practice, the more you can see what actually works and create methods and strategies for creating new pieces.
We’ve compiled examples from the last six years to help you visualize and understand what’s considered 10x content and how the definition of 10x can change as content creators continue to outdo one another. Some pieces include:
The climate of content marketing and search has changed since their creation. Audience expectations have also changed with that climate. They want to view your content and learn what they need to know in a way that’s appealing and that they can understand. Creating 10x content is a way to make this happen.
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