If someone hadn’t known Nadya Khoja was one of the speakers at CMC 2017, they may have thought she was someone really cool who wondered into the conference room or was representing a hot new startup.

Dressed in dark-wash jeans and a flowing tee with “HUSTLE” in all caps across the front, she seems very much like someone you’d enjoy sitting down with for a cup of coffee.

An infographic expert with a theater degree, Nadya brought a unique perspective to content creation.

Though her talk, “12 Principles of Really Great Content,” felt a bit like an expository writing lecture on the surface, it brimmed with real-life examples, practical applications, and inspiration that left us wanting to grab a latte and hit the keyboard.

Nadya’s principles were chock full of rules every content creator needs to revisit regularly and we’re excited to share them with you: 


Solve a Problem With Your Content

Present information in a valuable, relatable way. For ideas, Nadya suggested spending some time on social media, especially Reddit’s Ask Me Anything threads.

Identify the information you have access to and give it to your audience. This was a common theme throughout CMC.

Ann Handley perhaps said it most succinctly: “Training is marketing.” If you become the go-to resource in your field, you’ll build an audience that will keep coming back.

Find Hacks to Solve Common Struggles

Nadya argued that the great KonMarie method of housekeeping took off because of one simple hack/question, “Does it spark joy?”

This reframe of a universal problem—clutter—gets far more traction than the unremarkable “if you don’t use it once in three months, throw it out” advice.

Find your simple hack, and your content will take off.


Challenge the Status Quo

Nadya referenced the article Superbowl Ads Aren’t Expensive Enough to back up this point.

“It costs $9,000,000 a minute to get an ad on during the Super Bowl. That’s up $1,000,000 from last year and I still think it’s a steal. Yep. Super Bowl ads are underpriced.”

How easy would it be to turn this situation on its head and create an interesting, vibrant piece of copy that explores just who it is that spends that much on a commercial (and even more so, how successful were their efforts?)


Find Niches & Subcultures to Target

Some first-person writerly perspective here: If you’ve parented a very young child or baby in the last several years, you’ve probably heard of baby-wearing.

Strapping your child to your body has exploded in recent years as the alternative to listening to your colicky baby cry while you wash the dishes.

Avid baby-wearers will eagerly attempt to sell you their favorite brand and promote it on social media.

Consider Baby Tula brand, which started out as WAHM-made baby carriers and is now a huge international brand and cult with used limited-edition carriers selling for four or five times their retail price.

Finding the right subculture to target or, even better, building one yourself, is a golden marketing technique that yields dividends.
Like a pep talk from a world-class coach or a back-to-basics classic book on a topic you love, CMC in general and Nadya’s session in particular left some of our writers newly inspired to write brilliant, interesting, outside-the-box stuff for their clients.

And we all need a little bit of that in our life.