Hallmarks of Value-Packed Content

Skellie has an interesting blog post that’s relevant to our article writing discussion together.

An excerpt of “The Hallmarks of Value-Packed Content:

  • It doesn’t alleviate problems a little — it solves them.
  • It doesn’t make your readership think about doing things differently — it changes the way they act.
  • It’s audacious — it tries to do many things at once.
  • It expresses something your target audience didn’t already know.
  • It answers a question your target audience didn’t know how to ask.
  • It makes your target audience feel better about themselves.
  • It helps them move towards whatever they’ve defined as their *success*.”

Instead of having a primary aim of attracting traffic back to your website, focus on helping your reader to become a better person, improve their skills, or solve a problem. You can still have a CTA (Call To Action) in your Resource Box… meaning, you can have it both ways (delivering value to the reader AND attracting traffic back to your website).

How do you ensure that you deliver value-packed content with each of your articles?


Joseph Riden writes:

I followed the link and read the original blog entry to assure I’m responding to the meat of the thinking and not just knee-jerking in response to the list items.

Though I couldn’t agree more that value is what we need to deliver, I take exception to many of the assertions about what constitutes value. In fact since value tends to be intensely subjective, I suggest a change of focus from value to benefits, which are much more specific, and easier to define and agree on, especially with respect to a given target audience.

It’s better to know how benefits are perceived in your specific audience and provide them, than to attempt to create value in a non-specific sense. What you think is valuable may not map well onto your audience’s mind space.

Know your audience and their values, and provide benefits they will perceive as valuable. Set your ego aside and think as they do.

Solving problems is good, but some problems are insoluable. A little relief for an insoluable problem is a benefit.

Changing the way someone thinks is hugely valuable. That may change the way they behave. Unless you have a lot of direct control over someone, it’s really hard to change how they behave without first changing how they think. When your message is delivered in words or images all you can really do is change how people think. You can’t control people with words. How they behave is up to them.

Doing many things at once is not audacious. It is impossible. At any one time a person or an article can only do one thing. You can do several things serially and if you take that approach in an article be sure to focus on each item and assure it provides a benefit in terms your audience will understand.

Sometimes expressing what your target audience already knows is good. It demonstrates you’re on the same wavelength. You may have a different perspective that illuninates something from a different angle. Just don’t bore your audience or they’ll shut you off.

Answering a question your audience didn’t know how to ask may be good, but only if it’s relevant to them. Providing a beneficial perspective on a question that is highly relevant is valuable if it helps your audience see things in new ways. Sometimes a tiny shift in perspective can totally tip someone’s thinking. Don’t fetter yourself by setting unattainable goals with respect to influencing your audience, just focus on delivering on whatever promises you make.

Sometimes you have to have the courage to challenge your audience, not stroke them. Some challenges may make them feel worse about themselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing if your intent is to right a wrong they engage in and uphold. As always, there are no pat formulas. Be deeply thoughtful about what you write and sensitive to your audience. Let your own values show.

And don’t transparently try to make people feel better about themselves. That’s their job, not yours. They know this. Healthy people hate caretaking, especially if it’s manipulative, if it has a hidden motive. You’ll get caught. It will hurt you.

The last point is great. It honors your audience’s perception of success. As a professional writer that’s the name of my job — to help others succeed.

Two major tips emerge from this discussion —

1. Know thy audience.
2. Write from their perspective.

And I’d add that you need to learn how to challenge your own thinking to achieve deep value in writing. Let the right and left brains play tennis with your ideas. Ask why and so what a lot. Make sure what you say is well reasoned. Don’t believe what you think just because you think it.

Find people who will read what you write and disagree with it before you go public with it in an article. Deal with their objections. Hey, maybe that’s a good reason to blog.

Deliver value packed content by making a promise your audience cares about, and then overdeliver on the promise. Never fail to pay off your titles and promotions in spades.

When you put yourself out there as a writer you are building your brand. You’ll be creating a reputation. Make it good. Have something to say. I see a lot of trite or boring or ridiculous content on the web.

If you’re serious about getting somewhere with articles, care about quality or you’ll do yourself more harm than good.

Joseph Riden

Comment provided January 28, 2008 at 1:44 PM



“Value is as value is perceived by your readership”

Comment provided January 28, 2008 at 1:51 PM


Susan Scharfman writes:

Hello Joseph: Thank you for your candid and thoughtful analysis. I like Skellie’s positive approach. I am a great admirer of Dr. Wayne Dyer. So permit me to quote Dyer here. I simply cannot come up with anything

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

It is not easy to do but I keep trying. The more I think it, the more I do it. The more I do it, the better life gets. It has become part of my spiritual development.

Once you have read his book, “There’s A Spiritual Solution
to Every Problem” you might change your mind about “insoluble” problems. Cheers!

Comment provided January 28, 2008 at 5:05 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

After giving this a little thought … I think it comes down to persuasion.

If you can change someone’s mind, move them over to your way of thinking just a little, you’ve achieved much.

That’s kind of what I try and do in my articles. I have a firmly help opinion of something. If they agree with me, that in itself, is very significant!

Comment provided January 28, 2008 at 6:41 PM



Hi Chris –

In answer to your question

“How do you ensure that you deliver value-packed content with each of your articles?”

For me it comes down to 2 simple things:

1. Quoting you from your comment to a post on this blog in December ’07

“There is also always at least one nugget from Jeff’s articles that the reader can walk away with!and without struggling to figure out what the nugget is. That’s important.”


2. I keep it short.

And that’s it…


Comment provided January 28, 2008 at 8:16 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

That is a very decent list of criteria to make you think, it is a good idea to take your articles and put them up against that list, I like it. Lance

Comment provided January 28, 2008 at 10:12 PM



Hi Chris and Everyone in this discussion!

I agree completely with Skellie, especially when she says: ‚¬“Think of each article you write as a gift to your target audience. The principle of concentrating value works like gift giving. A highly valuable gift will always make a bigger impact on the receiver than a gift with little value‚¬.

Our purpose when writing an article is to make our readers care for our work and visit our site. If we provide them very good content we have more chances to be followed.

Comment provided January 29, 2008 at 11:02 AM


Joseph Riden writes:

Christina, et al,

Thanks for your comments. But let’s not make this talk personal to anyone. I’m discussing the ideas in the checklist Chris quoted. Who wrote them is not terribly relevant.

The items seem right on emotionally and I agree with that part. But the blog post lacks a well-reasoned background and proofs to add logical weight to the emotional part. I’m not trying to make someone wrong, just pointing out how what’s there can be made stronger.

It’s not required to take sides. This is about examing different points of view and doing some independent thinking about what value in content really is.

Your readers will care for your work a lot more if it has both emotional and logical components that add value.

Make sure your writing is relevant, credible, and valuable, and you won’t go wrong. Adding the logic to support the emotional components is part of credibility. Without all 3 things working for you, the message will be far weaker than it could be.



Comment provided January 29, 2008 at 3:19 PM



Hi Joseph!

I read a little bit of what was written in the blog and I liked that part. I didn’t read too much, but since Chris chose it as an example in his blog I believe there is value in what the author presents, independently on anything else. I liked very much that part and I would say that, even if I would not like the rest, because what is good has to be admired when we find it in a document.

Let’s focus on what is good and helpful for all the authors that are reading what we are discussing here and trying to learn something with us.

Thank you for your advices!
I liked especially what you said in the end: ‚¬“Adding the logic to support the emotional components is part of credibility. Without all 3 things working for you, the message will be far weaker than it could be‚¬.

The word ‚¬“logic‚¬ is quite familiar for me.
Please, read my free report ‚¬“Craziness and Logic‚¬ if you want to learn which my opinion about logic is.
Here is the link; it is only a very big article at EzineArticles:

Comment provided January 29, 2008 at 5:17 PM


Naela writes:

I’m starting this as well and will be the third or foturh time that I’ve attempted the challenge lol. I got 40 live articles with 870 article views. Click rate of around 8-9%. I like writing articles but a lot of people are talking of video marketing now. People are really impatient nowadays and will just rather watch lol. Would love to connect with you.Rob

Comment provided January 8, 2013 at 3:56 AM


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