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The Secret to Shifting From a Good to a Great Content Developer

There are many tactics I’ve taught over the years that can really help marketers, business developers, and seller-doers create quality content. I’ve outlined how to be client focused and solution based, but I’ve never talked about the softer skills that turn a good content developer into a great one.

The shift from good to great is rarely about skill. It’s about a deeper connection to human nature and to self. That may sound weird to some, but really, it’s not. Let me explain how the following four traits of a great content developer require a deep connection to the world around us.

In order to be a great content developer, you must possess:

1. Empathy for others

2. Passion about the topic(s)

3. Acceptance of human nature

4. Mindfulness (the ability to be fully present in a single moment)

Let’s dive into each of these four listed traits.

Empathy for Others

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. To truly be able to connect and have an understanding of your audience, you must first attempt to put yourself in their shoes. Your audience can sense crap when they see, hear, or read it. Create a storyline that aligns with their reality and you can gain your audience’s attention.

Passion about the Topic

There’s something about passion that people can just feel. As a speaker who presents passionately about content marketing, I recognize that people let you in more when you are vulnerable and open about what you are passionate about. This often results in your audience being vulnerable back with you as they share what they are passionate about (i.e. efficiency, a new facility, new process and changing of leadership). When you let down your walls, most people will find themselves doing the same.

Acceptance of Human Nature

You must accept that people have their own lives and your company’s content is really not the most important thing to them. What you have to say or what you sell is not what your audience thinks about at the end of their day. They are thinking about their pain points and dreams. Create content that speaks to those client-focused topics, instead of content that is solely firm centric.

Keep in mind human nature aspects like:

  • Attention span

  • Scanning

  • Work/life balance

  • Emotional states

  • Motivations

  • Demographics


Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

When I was asked what makes me so good at creating content on the spot, I couldn’t really provide insight, until one of my clients provided some. He said, “Danielle, you’re good at what you do because you are so present. You are listening intensely and living so much in that moment that you see content clearly.”

I found that insight to be so helpful for myself and other content developers to understand. Content developers must learn mindfulness outside of the times they are creating content, so they can do it more naturally during development. When you are truly present, you can see so much more. Practice looking up at the trees and see how much you notice that you usually don’t when you aren’t looking intensely. That is precisely how I look at the audience when developing content ideas.

Along with the X’s and O’s of content writing and development, don’t forget about having empathy for your audience, revealing your passions, accepting human nature and maintaining mindfulness. These can transform you from a good to a great content developer.

“Listen and solve, not tell and sell.” – Danielle ‘The Content Whisperer’ Gray


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