20 content
We know that not everyone has complete and utter faith in every little piece of advice we give—it’s just most people. With that in mind we decided to scour the web and track down 20 pieces of advice from a slew of content writing heavy hitters to make sure there’s at least one thing new for you to learn about content creation today.

We asked our own Karl Smallwood to track down advice from some of the top content producers, then had him ask some of his writing friends for their advice. It’s advice you can’t find anywhere else but here. Because we’re nice like that.

 1. On lists: “A list article is a format. A mock-guide book is a format. An interview is a format. There are only so many, and they’ve all been done a million times over. Think of an article format as an empty glass you’re going to pour your ideas into.” – Jay Pinkerton. former Cracked.com editor

 2. On mixing serious and silly content: “The same person is interested in light fare and in serious fare, I think people who grow up Facebook and Twitter are used to having all of those things mashed together.”- Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed CEO

3. On writing unique lists:  “This is what separates a Cracked list from the lists you see in Entertainment Weekly or Cosmo. Everything has that little twist that makes it different from what you would see elsewhere.” – David Wong, Cracked.com editor

4. On being unique: “Content that can’t be found on the Internet is a must.  To be at the forefront of Internet publishing it is essential to always be sharing new information. This obscurity of information makes something very enticing—it attracts readers.” – Jamie Frater, owner/editor of Listverse

 5. On the use of facts:  “Facts are not just details—they are interesting pieces of rare information.”  – Jamie Frater, owner/editor of Listverse

 6. On sponsored content:   “First off, it’s cool. That’s not debatable. Second, I don’t find it in any way insulting to my intelligence. In fact, it makes me feel smarter.” – The Onion’s “man on the street”

7. On what type of content work best on Facebook: “Emotional, heartfelt stories; provocative, passionate debates; simple, everyday stories that affect everyone (ex. weather, traffic); important sports wins or other milestones/successes.” – Brendan McGinley, editor of Man Cave Daily

8. On the content you create:   “Aim to become an online expert in your field of business. If you run a carpet fitting business write content about the benefits of your services or products, but use your own unique words, do not just cut and paste the product brochure.” – Malcolm Oakley, SEOSME.co.uk

9. On AdSense“Don’t fall into the trap of making websites solely for Adsense, the end result will usually be a keyword stuffed site with little or no real value.” – Malcolm Oakley, SEOSME.co.uk

 10. On the need for editing: “This is my background.” -  Adam Wears, freelance writer, featured on Cracked.com, Listverse, Zoo

 hemmingway copy

11. On competition:  “There are millions of websites and blogs and something called vlogs and app developers and game developers, all busy churning out work and putting it on the Internet. And having enjoyed the benefits of a marketplace with no barriers to entry, they’re now enjoying the side effects of a marketplace with no barriers to entry: millions of competitors.”Chris Bucholz, internet columnist

 12. On wardrobe choices: Shirts are only a hindrance to the creative process”David Christopher Bell, writer, Cracked.com, Film School Rejects

13. On which days are the most profitable: Publish daily and if possible at least 3 times a day. If you can’t publish every day skip Friday and Saturday as these are the least trafficked days on the Internet.” – Shell Harris, owner of TopTenz.net

 14. On user comments: “Allow comments on your site at your own peril. Grow a thick skin if you do. Most commenters are nice and logical but there are many who are mean, small-minded, rude and in some cases purely evil people.” - Shell Harris, owner of TopTenz.net

15. On how to get into the writing mood: “I look at my bank account.”layout editor at Cracked.com

16. On the public’s opinions of content creators: “When I went out and bought this Rush album I didn’t buy it because I cared about Mr. Rush, or wanted to buy Mr. Rush a new boat. I wanted the music. From my point of view, I gave my money to the music store, and they gave me a record. I wasn’t rewarding the content creation. I was rewarding the content delivery.”Chris Bucholz, internet columnist

 17. On mixing up your writing topics: IWorking for multiple markets keeps you limber – all the different voices and formats keep you flexible and teach you your own strengths and weaknesses in different areas.” – Elijah Torp, video workshop moderator, Cracked.com

 18. On job stress: “In those moments I recommend Googling pictures of cubicles. Imagine yourself sitting in one of those cubicles after a long commute. Do this until you break out in a cold sweat. Then get back to writing, which will now seem like the easiest, most fun thing in the world.” – Kathy Benjamin, freelance writer, author of Funerals to Die For

19. On the hopes for the future of content: “I welcome the day when producing high-quality original content becomes more profitable for online content creators than recycling viral videos and meme photos.” – Philip Van Der Vossen, owner of Gunaxin.com

 20. On new experiences: “Never turn down an opportunity to do something new because it “doesn’t sound like the kind of thing you’d be into” or it’s “not really your scene” or something. A diverse range of experiences will make what you write better.”Josh Sargent, freelance writer, editor at Listverse