Yep. It sure is a piece of cake. If only crafting good, portable, consumable content were as easy. But at the very least, thinking of your online content as cake is a fairly straightforward (and delicious) exercise.
Today is my friend’s birthday. I walked down to Brulee Bakery here in Calgary to buy her a piece of birthday cake that I then planned to deliver (I also bought myself one. What’s the fun in buying someone cake if you don’t get any yourself?). I went to the bakery, I picked out the best looking piece there, they boxed it up for me, put it in a bag and off I went, carrying their delicious content that I wanted to share with my friend. Good, portable, consumable content.
If you think of your content in terms of cake, there are a variety of different kinds, but it’s all something people want to consume, and generally ears perk up when someone is talking about cake. I’ll stick with just three broad categories here, but feel free to add some more in the comments.
Flat bed cakes – these are great for large parties or crowds where we will give away the cake. Flat bed cake as web content may not be quite as fancy, it’s made in bulk, but people still want to eat it, and generally come back for seconds and tell other people where to find the free cake. There’s plenty for all, people appreciate the free cake and it’s still great to give away once the primary audience has been fed.
Specialty cakes – specialty cakes are meant for a specific event or person. You may customize your ice cream cake, have a cake made for your wedding, or a birthday party. Specialty cakes are generally not meant to be consumed beyond the event they were made for. If your website is a specialty cake, people come by, consume it once and leave. If it’s really good, customers and guests may refer you to a friend, but your reach isn’t quite as great.
Cake by the slice – This cake is best for one stop easy consumption or for sharing with friends. Web content that is most like cake by the slice is most likely to be shared. There’s more variety available because I don’t need to buy the whole cake and I can buy a slice for any occasion. It takes a bit more effort to produce, but it looks good, tastes good, and it’s easy to give away (this can also be done with flat bed cakes. Slice it up and give it away. The difference in the cake by the slice is that you can charge for it too depending on the quality of the cake. Either way, it’s not people coming to the cake, it’s the cake going with the people once they’ve consumed it).
The take away: Make your web content good enough to eat and easy for people will want to share with their friends and you’ll keep them coming back for more.