Quality content… you can see the term stuffed around in pretty much every post that talks about blogging, social media and content marketing. And yeah, it’s a sound advice. Content is indeed the thing that gets people coming back for more. The usefulness of what you write and publish is decisive when it comes to getting people to subscribe to your list, follow your updates or become your fans.
But then again, on a realistic note, sharing exceptional content and nothing less can hardly happen. The advice might sound brilliant on paper, but blogging is far more about trying and testing than about reading.
Seriously, do you believe that each and every piece you have published on your own blog has been extraordinarily awesome?
Nah, you’ve certainly had second thoughts about some of your content and you’ve most probably had those moments when you hesitated whether clicking “Publish” was a good idea…
That’s the truth – you can’t always turn poeple’s heads around. Even big blogs such as Social Media Examiner, KISSmetrics and HubSpot have published articles that aren’t really something to brag about.
But that’s not the point!
What really plays a role if you want to gain recognition in the blogosphere isn’t quality alone…
Consistency Equals Quality in the Long Term
I myself have had those thoughts about quitting. I have them every now and then. And I guess it is justifiable to an extent…
Internet marketing as a whole seems very complicated once you get into it. As time goes by though, you think that it’s far simpler than you actually thought. But then as even more time goes by, you realize that the only thing simple is the concept – although you know what to do and how to do it, it just doesn’t always seem to work.
So looking from that angle, putting up fresh content doesn’t seem hard. You just got to sit on your butt, come up with some ideas and transform them into posts for your hungry audience to devour.
For most, that simply doesn’t work. So, no – gaining recognition is not about quality. It’s about choosing a pattern to follow and sticking to it. Not for a month or two, but for as much as you have to.
The point is that as long as you show your people that you are alive and breathing, there will be those folks who will spread your word. Sometimes you will get lots of exposure, while other times you won’t be quite happy with the results. Nonetheless the one thing I learned for the two years of running this blog is that once you stop publishing, sharing ceases as well. You can of course decide to retweet and reshare your old articles, but that seems more like a desperate gasp for air than a solid strategy.
On the other hand…
Pillar Articles Aren’t About Quantity
But even if you publish regularly, and even if your content is decent, you will still struggle to make an impact…
A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how article length isn’t a factor when it comes to blogging. And even so, I do believe that putting up monster articles from time to time is THE way for us, bloggers, to prove our expertise on a specific topic. The one type of content that grabs links and shares are the so-called pillar articles – a post, where you share the very best of your knowledge.
Namely those kinds of articles are the ones that have the potential to reach hundreds of retweets and to get dozens of backlinks.
And surely not everyone is going to read one such article, but as long as there’s value in it, those who do are almost sure to take action!
So all in all, consistency means “filling the gaps” between the pillar content you (must) publish. But that’s not all there is. On to the next paragraph…
Content and Its Role in Monetization
I’ve read quite some articles, stating that blogging is much more than a way to make money online. And no denying – blogging can indeed be a hobby, passion and a learning curve. The fact however is that lots of bloggers out there are writing, publishing and socializing as a way to monetize their online presence.
And speaking about monetization…
These days there are lots of ways to earn a buck from your blog. You can slap some sponsored banners on the sidebar, you can participate in Goolge’s AdSense or you can maybe take part in Amazon’s Associates program. And although each of those methods might have its potential, over time I discovered that affiliate marketing is by far the best one in terms of the effort you need and the results you get in the end.
As you can see from the above link, my idea for affiliate marketing consists of buying a product, putting it to the test, writing a review article if you believe the product is good enough, optimizing the article and promoting it to the ones who would want to buy it i.e. your audience.
So now aside from those pillar articles we have another type of content – the one that is going to give us a huge helping hand in terms of monetizing our blog.
That’s the monetization machine:
- We have the review posts, which are going to be the actual source of our income.
- Then we have the pillar articles – the ones that will prove our expertise and build trust among our visitors.
- And thirdly we have the consistency factor i.e. articles that aim to provide quality information and that go in between the two. And although the latter might not always achieve the goal (useful and practical content), they are what get us most of our visitors.
To say it briefly – no, building an audience isn’t achieved as much by creating quality content as it is by being consistent. And no, making money blogging isn’t a result from the quality content, but from the monetization technique of your choice and how well you have managed to implement it. Now on to you guys! What are your thoughts – are there blogs that always publish quality content? Which one would you give your bet to – quality or consistency? Do share your two cents!