We’ve been hearing the word “content” more frequently over the last several years. This is most likely a result of the continued growth of the Internet. But what exactly is content?

Simply put, content is information. The way content is presented can take many forms, including text, photos, videos, music, animation, illustrations and more.

I’ve always looked at creating content like constructing a building — you must begin with a solid foundation. In almost all cases, this foundation is the idea. By building your content around a single, strong idea, you significantly increase the likelihood that the message you deliver will be successful. This even holds true if the production isn’t executed well.

It doesn’t take long to run across poor content. Again, I believe that’s due to the Internet. Over the last few decades we’ve experienced an explosion of web content including videos, music, photographs, podcasts, blogs and more.

The web is a content-hungry beast that continues to grow at an amazing rate. Lev Grossman broke down the numbers recently in Time Magazine:

For every minute that passes in real time, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. You can turn that number over in your mind as much as you want; at no point will it stop being incredible. Sixty hours every minute. That’s five months of video every hour. That’s 10 years of video every day. More video is uploaded to YouTube every month than has been broadcast by the three big TV networks in the past 60 years. And the pace is accelerating: last year the rate was only 48 hours per minute.

Unfortunately, many content producers have developed a “quantity over quality” mentality. It’s interesting to note how a video can become exceedingly popular or go viral, even though it has poor lighting or audio. In most cases, what makes it stand out is its original idea or concept.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you create quality content.

  • Begin with a solid idea.

  • Ask others for candid feedback on your idea.

  • Edit ruthlessly. Remember quality over quantity.

  • Use humor sparingly, since others may not share your sense of humor.

  • Illustrate your idea with photos, videos and other visuals.

  • Make sure that your photos and videos are well-lighted.

  • Use good audio recording techniques.

How do you define “quality” content?