How to Make Your Content a Star

the sun

Think about how many stars exist in the universe.

It’s hard to wrap your head around. Astronomers estimate there are 170 billion galaxies in the parts of the universe we can see, which extends 13.8 billion light-years in every direction.

If you multiply the number of stars in just our own galaxy by 170 billion, you get a septillion stars (that’s a 1 followed by twenty-four zeros). Of course, the true number may actually be infinite, given that the universe is much larger than we can observe and could simply go on forever.

The vast majority of those stars are completely irrelevant to us, because we can’t even see them. On a moonless night, you can spy maybe 9,000 stars with the naked eye, and a good pair of binoculars might get you to 200,000.

That alone is a lot of stars. And they are mostly too far away to have any direct impact on us.

But one star is different.

The potentially infinite number of stars in no way diminishes the value and importance of our own Sun. This particular star is so relevant to this particular audience that we perish without it.

That’s the way to think about content marketing.

It doesn’t matter how much content is out there. Your relevance to your prospective audience is completely independent of how much content exists in the known (or unknown) universe.

There could be infinite amounts of content, and that wouldn’t change. Most content is completely invisible because it’s not worth seeing.

And content that is otherwise worthy is still not the right fit for everyone. That’s why differentiation always works -– the same information presented in strategically different ways is fundamentally not the same to those who want and need it.

That’s how you make your content a star and establish your winning difference: remarkable value with a unique perspective and voice. It’s been that way since the time of Aristotle (who also worried there was too much content –- over 2,300 years ago).

Yes, it takes work to stand out, to be relevant, and to find your audience.

And no, it’s not always easy.

What worth doing is?

Flickr Creative Commons Image by Jessica

About the author

Brian Clark


Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, and uncompromising evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on .

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Comments

  1. It’s interesting that our sun isn’t the biggest star, but it’s the one that captivates us the most.

    In the same way, bigger budgets won’t win the content war. The best differentiation, the most relevant content wins.

  2. Brian,
    I really appreciate this post, first of all for the encouragement it provides all of us.

    We shouldn’t be afraid to add our unique perspective to any topic, because that is what makes the connection with the people we want to attract.

    How we present our content is as much (or more) of a differentiator as the content itself. It’s the experience we give the audience that makes them pay attention and come back for more.

    That experience is also the antidote to “content shock”. There will always be noise. But somehow we always figure out what to pay attention to.

  3. Great way to visualize how content should be!

    The goal should always be to make content as relevant to your audience as our sun is to every living being on Earth. It needs to be a life source for your audience to the point that without your content, their creative flows will come to a simpering halt.

    If you’re able to create a feeling of dependency in your content, then you’ve succeeded in leaps and bounds. But if you’re just throwing content out there for the sake of creating it, it’ll be nothing more than “another star in the sky.”

    Thanks for the analogy!

  4. This is a great way to look at content. It’s all about creating relevant content that is worth consuming for the right audience.

    Trying to stand out rather than just trying to create more useless nonsense.

    This is a good reminder for bloggers to spend more time creating less content that in the end is more valuable than just pushing out content that won’t be noticed.

  5. It’s less mentally exhausting to be your authentic self rather than trying to be all things to all people.

  6. SO true! Finding my point of difference in a crowded marketplace almost stopped me in my tracks just a few short months ago.

    It’s definitely not easy, but from experience I found that if you over think it, you’ll paralyze your progress and procrastinate on all the other tasks that need to be done in your business.

    And guess what? When I was least expecting it I had a brainwave (doesn’t happen often) LOL

    I was focusing too much on the WHAT (what can I do to be different), instead of focusing on my strengths and them as my unique point of difference.

    As soon as I changed my mindset everything else fell into place and I found my star. :)

    • So cool Kerry! I can relate. I find more and more that the way to be successful is to capitalize on my unique strengths.

      It’s funny…there’s the big drive to be “different,” but the truth is, we already are. We really are like snowflakes – each one unique.

      So I supposed if we are true to ourselves and work hard, things can come together in a way that can make a very cool impact…an impact that no else but us could possibly make.

      Here’s to victory!!!
      Melissa

      • Right, I was actually replying to another post on another blog about this same issue. The deal is to be yourself. There are thousands of blogs…hundreds of thousands?…yet there’s only one me! If you look at it as you creating the content that expresses you, then the amount of competition doesn’t matter.

  7. Yes, I think it can be discouraging when you start to think that there’s nothing new to talk about. And that’s a growth killer.

    But context is important (as is of course great content) – a different audience and a different context can be the key to differentiation.

  8. Hi Brian, I read your post with great interest – because you are famously successful and because your headline shows why :-]

    Glad I did, because the star-sun image is simple, effective and – even if I forget what I just read – easy to remember. “To be so relevant to your (particular) audience that without you they’d perish” … certainly sets the standard high – in itself a good thing.

    That said, it doesn’t describe only content marketers, but also my grocery store, dentist and God. So I’d say it’s good to remember, the stars are there even in full sun. So long as you know which one is yours …

    PS. Coincidentally (really?), just earlier today I had stumbled upon a dead blog (discontinued in ’06) which in my mind nicely illustrates your point. That content marketer’s last post reads, and I’m NOT making this up: “I think every song has been sung, every sentence spoken, every thought even thought. More and more bloggers glossing a finite amount of stuff. That’s why we rarely do stuff here any more.” [To top it off, the blog is subtitled "More famous than Susan Boyle!"] The proof’s in the pudding – without you (you being Copyblogger) people DO perish.

  9. Nice one Brian! I agree it is important (for your content) to stand out indeed. Not for the sake of doing so, but rather finding your own way. It’s always good to compare since we are surrounded by inspiration and ideas everywhere. However, in the end there most be a certain uniqueness and it needs to be authentic as well. Considering the cast amount of content out there it can be quite a long path, but in the long run worth walking…

  10. This is a great way to look at content. Thank you for share :)

  11. It’s kind of like seeing the glass half full or half empty. We all see things differently, have our own opinions and our own ways of expressing them. If we can just get those differences out in our content, we can create an audience that will see us as that one bright star that they can relate to, that they can’t live without.

    I have to admit, even now at times I catch myself thinking “everything has been written about. How can I offer anything that hasn’t already been covered a thousand times?”

    But then I remember – there’s only one me and I have my own way of writing, of explaining things, of sharing experiences. And there is an audience out there that would like to listen to what I have to say.

    I just have to find them.

    Thanks, Brian, for the inspiration and analogy.

  12. But the’re so many beautiful stars to look at? :)

    Some bigger, some smaller. Bigger ones that look duller, while smaller stars shining bright as the sun, if you’re closer to it.

    There exists so much content out there and rightfully so. We all have freedom to post whatever we please.

    But the content with a plan is the star that shines brightly!

    Thanks for the post Brian.

    - Sam

  13. Great post in a much needed time!

    I especially like the point on relevance to a particular audience. Because just as the Sun literally means life or death to us, it wouldn’t mean squatch to another batch of some-thlings in a far away solar system in a far away galaxy with its own life-giving star.

    And if the Sun were trying to be important to those far away some-thlings, well then, wouldn’t that be a waste of perfectly good energy? (Guilty!)

    I guess we have to be the best Sun we can be in our own solar system and hope that the planets revolve!

    Really love this analogy…I could go on and on. : )

    Thanks and cheers,
    Melissa

  14. Best post about content ever written.

  15. Thanks for sharing this article Brian. Every writer should take time reading your post.

  16. Hi Brian,

    I’m getting nervous, thinking of an impending danger to ‘content’. There are literally thousands of contents out there, and its just difficult finding the one that fits your quest.

    As a blogger, thinking out of the box, being different is what I’ve been craving for.

    Thanks for the encouragement, I will strive to make my content have a winning difference.

    James

  17. Excellent post.. It will lot of help me for upcoming posts..

  18. Hey Bryan,

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much content gets produced on a daily basis. It’s a LOT. Every day on my iPhone, my FB feed is stuff full of marketing messages. The vast majority of them are of zero interest because they have too much hype, or too little value.

    With that said, I completely agree with you that, no matter how much is already there, there is always room for more IF it’s really good.

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve shared this post with my tribe.

  19. What I’m wondering: what specifically did Aristotle say about content??

  20. Being who you are and staying true to oneself is all one can do and hope for. Once you are authentic and natural it is easy to repeat that performance as that is who you truly are.

    With time, quality like cream will always rise to the top.

  21. Best example i have ever seen. Good way to teach and inspire the people how we can shine among the people by providing the right content to right people.