Recipe for content disaster

Kill your darlings

A peek inside the daily struggles of a social content producer… it’s a common practice to receive a carefully crafted word document. The author of this sh*tpiece copy, usually the expert on the topic, has created this thesis for you. And you, as a content producer, are not allowed to edit. To make things worse, they don’t provide a visual, and it’s up to you to find something decent in the stock database.

This is the recipe for content disaster.

The mistakes made

  1. Not sticking to one topic per content item
  2. No visual in mind
  3. Written in word on a laptop


Why it matters

If you want your message to come across, keep it short and simple. Period.

Especially for social content, your readers are lazy, in a hurry, and on the iPhone. You have to create your content accordingly, don’t fall for the pitfall of going overboard. Save that for the long reads and whitepapers.


One topic per content item

Out of enthusiasm, we want to tell too much with too many details. Logically, as experts on the topic, we love to share our vision, insights, and thoughts.

However, stick to one topic per content item.

Don’t wander. 

If you have more topics you want to share, create a sequence. If you have a shitload with details, create a long read or whitepaper and link to that from your post.


Think visually

The first thing that gets attention on social is visual. Not only on IG, also on LI. A post without a visual becomes invisible in the timeline. Therefore, it’s essential to have a strong visual to accompany your copy. Don’t rely on your company logo or the boring stock. 

Choose your visual wisely; if necessary, use Pexels or Unsplash. Crop, filter, and edit until it pops.


Review on mobile

Your audience reads your content on mobile. Therefore, review your final content on the mobile. Copy crafted in word on a laptop usually is sh*t to read on the mobile. What looks great on the laptop is awful on the mobile, and vice versa.

I always write my content in word on the laptop, upload it on my www and hit publish. Then I get my mobile next to my laptop, and I start editing and refining it until it looks easy to read on the small screen. Killing my darlings as ‘writing is the art of deleting’.


Rule of thumb

Rule of thumb, sanity check with yourself and be honest: is this a post you would click on yourself? If not, reconsider and work it until it you would.


Some final words

Keep it short and simple. 

Kill your darlings. 


Fleur Willemijn van Beinum

First, write on the laptop and then edit for the mobile. Kill your darlings to keep it short and simple.

Fleur Willemijn van Beinum