Be Real: How to Craft Authentic & Engaging Content

Digital marketer, are you guilty of publishing for the sake of it?

I sometimes am. It doesn’t feel good.

We try to balance consistent publishing, business strategy and sharing worthy insights.

Occasionally, I hit ‘Publish’ without feeling proud about it… How unfortunate…

This is especially relevant today. Social media is super spammy.

Your Facebook feed can get too noisy that you have to unfollow folks. It’s hard to browse Twitter without finding automated posts that lack thoughtfulness.

Tired and ashamed, I’m looking to be more real.

One thing I like about our weekly 3 Stories videos (like this one) is they’re based on challenges that we’re facing. Basically, we’re publishing what we’re trying to learn.

Having said that, the process is not perfect. I can still be far more personal with you.

Now, I invite you to watch this video on crafting engaging content through authenticity!

Watch the video now:

Read the transcript:

Sometimes, I fail to be real with you.

See, we try to publish this weekly video series.

Having that target occasionally made me focus on crafting whatever content I can publish… so we can hit the target date.

At some point, we changed the topic selection here.

Instead of being strategic with keyword research and such, we designed these videos to address what we’re up to.

These topics are inspired by:

What we’re building

Challenges we’re facing

What our clients need from us

Having said that, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m not as authentic as I want to be.

It felt like a tug of war between:

What we think the market wants from us

What we talked about

Fortunately, the numbers support authenticity.

For example, I saw a pattern with Quora.

Whenever I answer questions based on what I feel strongly about, I get higher chances of getting super high engagement.

Whenever our content is inauthentic, it just doesn’t feel right.

Ultimately, the market would not reward that.


Time for us to proceed with our 3 stories and tips

Stay alert! You will get 3 actionable tips in the end.

Hello! I’m @AllanCaeg of

Let’s discuss 3 of the web’s most popular resources on this topic!

Story #1: The Most Important Lesson I Can Teach You About Writing Right Now

Story #2: Power Is Not Granted, It Is Assumed! (How to Have People Pay Attention?)

Story #3:Everybody’s winging it

Story #1:The Most Important Lesson I Can Teach You About Writing Right Now

“We’re asked: What’s your content strategy? Answer: Not calling it content. Not thinking of it as content. We write when we have something to share.” – Jason Fried

Being in the content business, when I saw that post by Jason Fried, it stunned me for a moment.

Later, I found this great discussion on Inbound

I remember reading about the same discussion in another Facebook Group.

Needless to say, this is a hot discussion for publishers whose job is to constantly produce content.

I very much appreciate Kaleigh Moore’s insights here.

She suggests story-based posts.

“Writing isn’t just a marketing tactic. Most interesting writing has soul. It has a person behind it. It connects with the reader on a deeper level.”

To achieve that, Kaleigh suggests:

Telling a personal story.

Being candid about both the good and bad we all deal with in our daily work.

Sharing experiences and offering up lessons learned in an authentic, genuine way.

Spot on.

Your 5-Minute Tip: Look for the most authentic post in your archive.

I invite you to check out your history (blog, Twitter, newsletter, etc)

Do you remember that moment when you shared something with soul?

If you’re struggling to look for an example, I invite you to write more stories based on your personal experience.

If there’s an old blog post or video where you poured your heart out, go check that out.

What makes that piece stand out?

How can you produce more of that?

Story #2: Power Is Not Granted, It Is Assumed! (How to Have People Pay Attention?)

This one is unusual.

I’ve been following Alex Berman’s videos for a while now.

Check out his video style (add this image as background )

I very much admire the authenticity and humility.

In his recent video, Power Is Not Granted, It Is Assumed!, he started off by sharing very personal experiences.

He talked about getting pitched for religions.

Later, he discussed authenticity in terms of keeping your mannerisms and the way you talk.

It’s about taking charge (i.e. acting like a CEO, if you are), regardless of how you dress up.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Alex is authentic in terms of his videos and his content.

This is why I stay tuned to his YouTube channel, despite other highly-produced videos.

Your 5-Minute Tip: Identify what you’ve changed to look better.

Are you holding back details about your profession?

Do you try to make your business look bigger than it is?

By identifying bits that you could be holding back, let’s look at opportunities to produce more powerful content.

Story #3:Everybody’s winging it

Kaleigh Moore endorsed this as an example of an authentic story.

I also happened to have come across this piece already.

This is by Josh Pigford of Baremetrics.

Here, he talked about:

Selling a house

A date with his wife

Subscriber cancellations

You know, this kind of authenticity is so… refreshing.

We rarely hear real stories from businesses that we follow

Whether it’s about their personal lives or challenges that their businesses are facing.

Why? People want to look good!

Now, this is exactly the topic of Josh’s piece…

No matter how successful you are, everybody’s winging it.

Everyone’s struggling.

No one got their stuff fully sorted out. At least, not all the time.

Your 5-Minute Tip: Identify challenges that you’re facing.

We can limit this to troubles in your business.

First, you want to acknowledge and recognize issues. That’s the prerequisite to being able to do something about it.

Later, check out what you can share.

For many, you may share these challenges with your business friends.

For some, you may turn this into a post that your customers and prospects will find.

By expressing that authentic voice, folks will see you differently.

They’ll see the humans behind the logo.

It’s easier to trust.

It’s also easier to have a conversation on what can be improved.

Alright! There you have it!

Let’s do a recap of the 5-minute tips!

Look for the most authentic post in your archive.

Identify what you’ve changed to look better.

Identify challenges that you’re facing.

Choose 1 that you will practice today!

Pledge your commitment! Tweet it to me: @AllanCaeg

To encourage this type of content, give this video a thumbs up.

See you again here next week!