by Cesare Rocchi

I Can't Write Content

by Cesare Rocchi

I can’t cook food. I can cook a grilled salmon, a steak. But I can’t cook generic food. Much like I can’t write generic content, and specifically content designed to get more visits. It feels so unauthentic to me.

I can write to explain a tool, an API. I can write about an experience I had. I can write about a struggle I went through. Sitting down to design a post, and handpicking the keywords to maximize the number of visits? That I can’t do. First, I’d put a tremendous expectation on the publication. Second, I think that readers (the smart ones) are gonna spot my intent and walk away.

I fear that a connection with a person initiated on the shallow ground of a bait post is not the best of the beginnings.

There are many companies blogging nowadays. Some are doing a good job. Posts I like include:

  • New version is out and includes a, b, c
  • How we engineered the new feature xyz
  • How we got to the new design of our product

Notice that posts like those above present facts or experiences. It’s hard to not be authentic in such a context. Then there’s another class of posts, which I usually like, reviews.

  • I tried tool x, here’s what I found
  • 5 services that can help you solve problem xyz

Those can be scammy, so the discriminant trait is the execution. In general, if the post is well balanced and honest I enjoy it.

I try to avoid anything else, unless I am very bored and I have time to kill (and it probably happens twice a year for a few hours). Posts like “how to market your app” or “x ways to boost your sales” sound so designed to grab my attention. And they really sound generic. Probably I am sick of them just because I have been stumbling upon them for the last fifteen years.

I admit that a slight change of the title would immediately reconquer my attention. For example I’d read a post titled “How I made x by selling this app to plumbers”, and I am definitely not into plumbing. But, if the content of such a post is faithful to the title, it’s an experience and I like reading about experiences. What I don’t like is regurgitated content inspired to something I have already read twenty times elsewhere using slightly different words.

I feel like the reader side of me is very similar to buyer side of me. At the grocery store I skip the junk food aisle right away.