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With Blog Content, Sometimes Less is More. (And Why)
By David Risley on September 23rd, 2013
First, Let’s Pop The Google Bubble
I know that everybody who is struggling for traffic automatically defaults to trying to decipher what Google wants. After all, Google is one of the biggest sources of traffic for pretty much every website on the Internet. (Did you hear about the Google outage? Lasted 1-5 minutes and caused a 40% global traffic decrease. Holy crap! See this news story for more. But, moving on…) Thing is, nobody really knows what Google wants. And on top of that, Google keeps changing things. And it leaves all the SEO people out there rubbing their chins trying to figure it out. For me, I put SEO into the 80/20 rule category. For me, it does NOT come into the category of “80% of my results”. If I were to actually stress over all the various rules of SEO I’ve seen out there, I would never get anything done. So, instead of trying to dissect all the SEO stuff already out there, I’m simply going to tell you what I have observed: 1. Google used to like high content volume, but not so much anymore. 2. Quality is far more important than quantity. 3. Google takes many common sense indicators of quality into play, including length, images, etc. But, it also looks at external indicators, such as comments, social shares, likes, backlinks, etc. Back in the day, I used to have almost a daily schedule on this blog. Today, I lean more toward once (maybe twice) per week and I’ve seen NO decrease in traffic. In fact, it has gone up. Less work for me, same if not better results. On my tech blog, we used to publish sometimes 2 posts per day. Now, it is about 4 per week. That volume is still a bit hard to keep up with. And, despite all that, the site has seen a pretty drastic decrease in traffic over the last couple years. In quick inspection, you may think quantity DOES matter here. But, no, it doesn’t. We’re still pretty high volume. The problem on that site is that we don’t have the same indicators of perceived quality. So, with the Panda and Penguin updates, Google re-
Ever heard the one about the need to post to your blog every day? It goes like this… Google is the big kahuna. And, you have to continually make sacrifices to the Google God so that it will like you and send you more traffic. So, you kinda have to try to post as often as you can – some even recommend daily. And, then all is right with the world. Your blog will stand out, Google will love you, yada yada yada… . It would be a big-ass joke if it weren’t for the fact that so many bloggers really believe it. Even many people who don’t necessarily want to call themselves a “blogger”, but simply want to be able to use a blog for promotional purposes for their business… even THEY fall for it sometimes. And, so, what happens? You start out with a bang, just posting your ass off (just calling it like it is, ya know?). Until, you start feeling burnt out. Or you start feeling as if you’ve literally written every idea you have, and you’re just empty now. You got nothing left. Then, here comes good ol’ David Risley, talking about the notion of planning out your content for an entire QUARTER at a time? What the hell? If you posted every day one post, we’re talking about 90 freakin’ posts! How can you possibly plan all that?
adjusted that site – and to our detriment. Whether I posted 5 posts in a week, or 1 post in a week – the traffic doesn’t really change. So, we know that what Google wants isn’t necessarily high volume. What it wants is to put the most helpful and relevant content in front of the person searching. And, the indicators they use for that are pretty close to the same indicators YOU would use personally to determine the same. Writing a piece which will truly help, inspire and motivate is going to do you better than just trying to post something for the sake of posting something today.
For most of us, we need to lean more toward quality. Forget about the high volume and instead focus on really making sure each post really brings something awesome to the table.
News-Style Versus Strategic
Another way of approaching this is to contrast the demands of a news-style site with what I teach people to do around here. See, when you’re doing content marketing the way I think is best, then you are releasing content strategically as a marketing vehicle for a product or service your business delivers. Your content is done with a purpose, and it doesn’t have to be in high volume. A news-style site is constantly on the hunt for traffic by trying to ride every trend they can find. Mashable does this all the time. Whatever is the hot trending topic of the day, they’ll try to find a way to integrate it into a post on Mashable. Its almost funny to watch sometimes. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but I believe that trying to run a news-style site is, for most of us, just a recipe for burn-out. And because you’re always on this rat wheel of current trends, it is impossible to work out and use a real editorial calendar. You’re almost FORCED to be reactive.
Quality And/Or Quantity
Notice I’m not saying that quantity doesn’t matter. It is just that quality is far more important. Can you do both? Well, I don’t know, can you? If you look at some of the big sites who still do extremely high volume, what do they have in common, usually? They have full editorial TEAMS. There are a lot of people involved in content on the site, and it is run more as a journalistic operation. These larger sites – with much bigger budgets – can obviously do well because they can do quality AND quantity. And, even if some of their posts aren’t actually that good, they’ve still got the social proof around it which helps.
Quantity Overwhelms People, Too
When you try to go high quantity, it also de-values the content you release. I mean, let’s face it…. the Internet is a firehose of information and we’re all locking lips with it every damn day. When you try to get in there and bat a home-run every day, you’re going to fall flat because… You take a site like Gizmodo, Mashable, or Lifehacker…. these sites operate on a high-volume schedule. Some of their posts are high quality – others are short-form glorified re-posting from other sites. They operate like news sites. News-style sites can work well if they also do high-quality content, and if they’ve got the audience to bump them up. Most of us don’t run news-style sites. Most of us do not have the budget to run a full journalistic operation of that caliber. For us, that kind of quantity would be a lost cause, something akin to hopping in the car and driving it into a wall at 70 MPH. 1. You’ll probably be too burned out to actually create a really good piece of content that often. 2. Your audience will be so bashed down by the volume that they won’t pay much attention. You will literally be training your audience to NOT consume your content. They’ll be trained to be skimmers. Or, they’ll file it away for later reading (which they’ll likely forget, anyway). Content marketing doesn’t work unless your audience is consuming what you wrote. And, you can’t expect your readers to care all that much when you are peppering them with it.
Look at it as an example of supply and demand (basic economics). Too much supply and inadequate demand means a very low perceived value. Well, do you want your readers having a low perceived value on your content? Probably not.
How (And Why) To Use An Editorial Calendar On Your Blog [PODCAST]
By David Risley on September 18th, 2013
So, Let’s Make This Easier, Shall We?
Unless you run a news-style site (which isn’t something I generally recommend), then chances are you can easily get away with a low amount of content. Post less often, but make the posts you DO put out rock their world. Make it longer, more in-depth. Make it “wow” them. Make them look forward to the release of your next piece. Build anticipation for it. All the things you can do with proper planning (hence the editorial calendar), you can do them because you’re not running full speed on the rat wheel trying to pump out content every day of the week. It doesn’t mean you’re not doing anything between posts, BTW. No, you spend the time in between fostering relationships with readers, interacting on social media, building products, providing value to your email list. More time building up a real business and less time feeding the content monster. Content should be predictable and regular. I recommend once per week, for most people. But, be consistent. And, knock it out of the park. . Answer me this… How often do you post? And, is it because somebody recommended it, or is it a strategic decision on your part? Reply by comment below. And… One of the biggest things which differentiate a successful content marketer from the usual (broke) blogger is that he/she strategically plans their content in advance. When you plan your content in advance – even for as much as a quarter ahead of time – it allows you to ensure that your content serves a real purpose and isn’t simply there to meet a quota self-imposed. In the last few posts, I have been talking about planning your blog content in advance. But, today, I wanted to “recap” it in a brand new episode of The Blog Program. In this episode, I talk about editorial calendars, and why you may want to consider pre-planning your blog content for as much as 3 months in advance. In this show, we talk about multiple reasons why strategic planning of your content is far better than “flying by the seat of your pants” (which is what most bloggers do.). We also go over a 6-step process to brainstorm and develop your editorial calendar.
Take The Pledge
I firmly believe that a HUGE portion of bloggers who try really hard to post often to their blogs could easily slow the heck down and instead focus on quality. In fact, it would be a good move for you. So, if you agree with this, then here’s what I want you to do. Take the pledge. Do so by declaring on your social media account(s) that… I hereby decide to post to my blog LESS and focus on really making each blog post I do knock it out of the park! Below, you will see a tweet button as well as a Facebook post where you can do this. And, yes, I included a back-link to this post in there. Tweet to @davidrisley Post by Blog Marketing Academy w/ David Risley. The post With Blog Content, Sometimes Less is More. (And Why) appeared first on Blog Marketing Academy.
Blog posts mentioned in this episode: • An In-Depth Guide To Developing And Planning Your Quarterly Editorial Calendar For Your Blog • A Quarterly Editorial Calendar Template (And How To Use It)
Transcript Download: Click Here To Download The PDF Transcript Lastly, I’d truly appreciate it if you take a moment to subscribe to the show in iTunes and rate/review it inside of iTunes. It’d really help me out. Here’s how you can do it: • Open up iTunes. • Search for “the blog program” podcast. • Subscribe. • When you’re ready, give the show a star rating and write a short review. Thanks for listening! To get automatic updates of this show to your mobile device, you can subscribe here: • Click here to Subscribe via iTunes • Click here to Subscribe via RSS (direct feed) The post How (And Why) To Use An Editorial Calendar On Your Blog [PODCAST] appeared first on Blog Marketing Academy.
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