November 12, 2018

Layup Content: A Manifesto

“Content” is a bad word.

I mean it. It’s true.

The idea of content as some new, mysterious, tech-enabled thing is just wrong.

What’s now called content has been here all along — books, articles, TV shows, radio broadcasts, face-to-face meetings, the list goes on and on. Nothing about this is new.

I made the transition from “writer” to “content person” around 2010, when I first got involved with a startup here in Denver called Associated Content. The idea was to open up the publishing business to anyone and everyone by allowing users to post their musings on our platform and then promote them all over the web.

It was all about scale. And it worked. Yahoo! acquired the company shortly after I arrived and we grew the whole thing from there.

But, as a journalist and author, the very idea of “content” creeped me out.

It implied less value.

It implied less expertise.

It implied something that was light, fluffy and disposable.

And, in many cases, the reality of content as it is practiced today lived up to my expectations. Content farms set the model by cranking out acres of, yes, often less-than-quality content. Marketers adopted content as just another tool to get attention, with little care beyond how many leads it generated. YouTube and similar platforms turned everyone on the planet into a TV star.

Expertise fell by the wayside, along with the gatekeepers.

Content became a commodity.

As Frank Zappa once said (sorta, I’m paraphrasing): Opening up the airwaves to everybody with a few chords and a melody might uncover the next great artist. But more likely it’ll just be hours and hours of unlistenable garbage.

I wasn’t interested in that. I was a journalist. I was a writer. And it bothered me that the profession and skillset that I had spent so many years learning and perfecting was now (apparently) no longer valued.

Yes, clicks matter. Yes, eyeballs matter. Yes, marketing matters.

But in a world where content is everywhere and it all pretty much sucks, there is an opening for quality when it comes to content.

That’s why I started Layup.

I wanted to bring the quality ethos of journalism and true writing to the emerging field of content. I wanted to show B2B marketers that there doesn’t need to be a tradeoff between “effective” and “quality.”

Most of all, though, I wanted to prove to myself that, even at the staggering scale of today’s digital world, that quality still matters. You can SEO, keyword stuff, and optimize your content until the cows come home, but when everyone else in your market is trying the exact same things to gain attention, you’re all on a level playing field again.

Quality messaging wins. Quality execution wins. And a thoughtful, carefully planned out content strategy is the best way that I’ve found for businesses to truly stand out in the marketplace and gain attention.

And I couldn’t be happier about.

Like what you’re reading? Drop me a line a tim@wearelayup.com and we can talk further about what Layup does and how we can help.

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