Define Crappy Content

Yes, there is such a thing as crappy content. I know there are inbound marketers everywhere who will tell you that having some content is better than none but I disagree. Content can make you look worse, not convince people you’re trying.

How do I know? I’ve experienced this in both marketing and recruiting roles, for one thing. Ten years in the workforce has taught me something. Also, I read a lot. Between editing blog posts, researching white papers and reading just for fun (yes, I do that too) – I’m the ultimate consumer of content. With that has come a certain expectation and today, a more clear distinction of what makes crappy content and I think it very simply boils down to this:

You have to say something and show something.

While I may disagree with your philosophy entirely, if you have one – you’re already doing better than most. That’s why I start most of my posts and presentations with a real life story most people can relate to. That gives perspective, brings a concept to a real level and gives the person a chance to connect before they digest some heavy theory or action items.  It shows my context, not just my philosophy. It makes a theory something that prompts a response and that’s a lot more powerful.

Next up – you have to show them how someone did this successfully.

Why do writers expect everyone to buy into their bull shit when they can’t prove it actually works? It’s simple really. Stats that have citations. Case studies with links. You have to show up or ship out in my book. Remember, it’s not a best practice if no one is actually practicing it.

You’re doing everyone a disservice by citing data that doesn’t actually mean anything to convince them to do something you haven’t done. HR Tech vendors frequently commit this faux pas. The big media companies do, too. They fill their queue with people who have never done a job and expect them to help readers “propel to success.”

I cringed a little typing that. I think you get it. We have to give a little to get something from content.

I’ll step off my soap box now.

rant over


Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster,, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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