As an admirer and hard-core fan of FXX’s The League, a comedy sitcom in which characters openly declare Fantasy Football as their religion, it is needless to say that I embraced this year’s Barclays Premier Fantasy Football League with the same sort of gusto as a five-year-old embracing Christmas Day.
There was the studying and taking notes on player performance throughout the bleak-football-free-Summer season, there was the constant refreshing of the website to see if it was time to create my team and finally there was the constant emailing of friends and workmates to get them to join my league so that they could suffer the can of whoop ass that my team and Captain Aguero intended to open on them…
Sadly, in the Curated Media head-to-head league, I currently sit joint bottom, despite immense preparation. But today, as I awoke cursing the International break that meant that Fantasy Football was taking off the menu this weekend, I realised that my job, creating in-depth, quality content for law firms, was quite similar to the creation of my offering to the Fantasy Football Gods that I so worship each year, and here’s why.
When making decent content, it is important to plan ahead. Planning your content is just like planning your fantasy football selection. It’s perhaps not the most important thing to do, but if you don’t, it can cost you.
When planning your Fantasy Football team it is important to take everything into account. Who has the easiest run of fixtures to begin the season? Who played well in pre-season? Whose defence is leakier than that pub in Harry Potter? (The pubs called the Leaky Cauldron for all you Muggles out there)
Planning ahead is vital and can be the difference between a good start and a poor one (in my case, not sticking to my guns last minute cost me dearly). Fantasy seasons can’t be won on the opening few games of the season, but coming from a man who sits 21 points behind the head to head leader (despite the second highest points score) trust me when I say, they can be lost on the opening day.
When creating content the same approach works. Plan ahead and have a clear idea where your content is going and how it will help your business. The last thing you want to do when creating content is form an idea, create half a blog and then run out of steam. Even now, as I write this, I could tell you the next three/four posts that will be going on the Curated Media blog, and that is because we plan ahead. Know your audience and know what content is coming up for them to engage with and appreciate.
There is nothing worse than planning ahead and executing a piece of content, whether online or in print, only to see it fall flat. It’s almost as bad as making Payet your Fantasy Football captain when you have Aguero, only for the guy you are playing to captain Sergio Aguero and for said player to score five goals against Newcastle. Me? Bitter? Of course not…
Predictions can be wrong, that’s why they are called predictions. People are naturally going to be wrong, and guessing without data or insight can cost you. Having Chelsea players at the start of the season seemed like a genius idea. I was supposed to rack up at least 20 points from Chelsea defenders at the start of the season. But if you follow the Barclays Premier League, then you know that’s not the case.
Predictions for the performance of content are the exact same as the Fantasy Football model. In that one week you believe that your content will be picked up by everyone and become a major news story, it doesn’t. Then the next week a story about pranks involving wool (which you think is funny but will not be hugely insightful) gets picked up by Wool Monthly, and suddenly you have a hit. Sadly, sometimes, it is about persistence and a stroke of luck.
Admittedly that was a slight exaggeration, but you get my point. You don’t really know how content will work until you put it out there, just like you don’t know what Liverpool team will show up until their game begins. The important thing is to create, experiment and learn from your successes and failures.
P.S: I don’t know if Wool Monthly is a thing, but I don’t really intend to find out, no offence wool fans.
Allow us to add a cliché to this blog (drumroll, please...) - It ain’t over till the final whistle. Even though it is an overused phrase in the world of football and life in general, it is very much true with Fantasy Football and creating content.
SEO man Douglas was 16 points ahead of me prior to West Ham taking on Newcastle. I thought I was a man with another loss to add to the league table, however, up steps Payet with two wonder goals and… I still lost by a point. But in a series of glorious failures this season, that’s as close as I get to an “it ain’t over” tale. In all seriousness, this just shows that you are always in with a shot when you have players to play, so keep the faith and never stop believing.
When drafting and publishing content, keep plugging away, one day it will click (or at least hopefully your audience will), and your belief in an idea or a piece of content working will finally pay off. When making content, belief is important. Continually push evergreen content and embrace new ideas, and even readdress old ones to see if they do better overtime, to become more engaging to your ever-changing audience.
Trends are a huge thing in all aspects of the world nowadays, whether on Twitter, when buying clothing or even how we live our everyday life (cars, houses, etc.). However, guess what? They can also be applied to creating content and Fantasy Football. Here’s why.
The simple fact of the matter is that players blow hot and cold. Some are on great form for a few weeks then someone else takes over, whilst others just don’t show up for your Fantasy Football team. Last year, Stewart Downing became a fantasy football essential for a period due to his assists and goals. Yes, you read that right. Stewart Downing.
By keeping up to date with who is in great form, who people are picking up and who your opponents have in their squads, you can assess if you should also sign them or take the risk elsewhere. While many avid Fantasy players call keeping up with trends “jumping on the (insert the player name) bandwagon”, keeping up with who’s hot on the transfer market is nothing but shrewd.
Trends are also something that you can utilise to push and promote your content, by essentially riding on the coattails of an event or trend. This means that your content can be altered to become more relevant to modern day events, and older content can be repurposed or reused to draw attention to your site and your content.
Stephen Mcilkenny is the proud owner and manager of Just Banter FC sitting 11th (of 12) in the Curated House Head to Head League (albeit with the second highest points total overall).
If you would like some help to nurture your own content, Curated Media can help. We work with lawyers and law firms to help fulfill their online content needs. Our team of experienced writers, lawyers, online marketers and web developers have the practical knowledge to curate, as well as create.