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The power of content resides not in its direct ability to sell, although it can. Truly great content — the kind that drives leads into and through your funnel — galvanizes an audience through a consistent story … well told. One with people, not products, at its core.

Every piece of content has to answer two questions:

(1) What hell does it save its audience from?

(2) What heaven does it deliver unto?

That might sound a bit theological, but it’s the most visceral way to make your content about your audience instead of you. Why? Because …

Self-centeredness is a plague — branded content that screams branded.

At the opposite extreme is content for the sake of content. Feeding the beast for no greater purpose than, “We’re supposed to make content, right?”

Business results come from content that above all rescues its audience from their fears, struggles, and pains. Moreover, it must do so prior to and independent of a purchase.

Together, let’s save your business, your audience, and the world … from bad content.


Aaron Orendorff is the VP of Marketing at Common Thread Collective, an ecommerce growth agency. Previously the Editor in Chief of Shopify Plus as well as the Global Deputy Editor at Intuit QuickBooks. As the founder of iconiContent and a member of the Forbes Communication Council, his work has appeared on The New York Times, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Inc., Success Magazine, Content Marketing Institute, and more.

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