Writing - Quality over Quantity and Relevance
Quality versus Quantity Blogging
During the past few weeks I have read a number of confusing, yes confusing to me, blogs about writing and the number of articles that I should publish on my website over a specific period. These blogs also project, really guess, the number of clicks my website might get based on the number of blogs that are available to read on my website.
I agree a certain amount of content is needed on almost any website to begin to develop authority and improve rankings. The exception would be what I call a pure sales website but more about that later.
Establishing authority aside there are two main factors I consider when I think about writing a new blog and how much effective posting I can do in any time period.
- My audience - Why do they click on my website? What does someone hope to find or learn from my website? How can I best meet my visitors' expectations?
- Quality content - Providing quality content that is well-written, has accurate facts, is easy to understand, and tells the reader what to do next (a call to action).
As a consumer, those are the two things that I look for when I am searching to learn about something or solve a problem I have using an Internet search request.
Setting Standards - What's Doable for You?
Many of us are allowing ourselves to be held to a high standard of publishing 12 posts a month or about 3 per week. This may be a great goal and while I can do it once in a while, it would take all of my online time to write three high-quality posts per week. You may be better than I am and I can type pretty quickly.
I see websites that have a number of posts being published each week some of which have little or no factual information. Yup, I'm guilty of that as well. If they follow my development process this kind of post is written by pulling together of a few strands of information found on the web with some personal observations added and then a call to action to go to another post where I can try to sell something.
There is nothing wrong with this formula if it meets your audience expectations, you believe it is high-quality writing, and it works for you.
I have done it and I don't consider it high-quality writing or what my audience is really looking to find. I will rewrite those posts.
Inbound Now recommends the following steps for creating a workable content strategy.
Michael Hyatt, a leadership and personal development coach, conducted a survey in 2012 of his readers and found that 81% wanted him to post less than 3 times per week!
For myself, I am setting writing standards that are achievable and fit into my website development plan. It will not include 12 posts per month but more likely 1 to at most 2 posts a week. My observation is that a website with 300 posts and no visitors or sales in missing the mark by 300 miles.
Relevance and Resonance - Keys to Success
In addition to quality content relevance is important. Relevance, to me, is the content that responds to a need people may have. It should be relevant to a substantial number of people.
For example, when I do my keyword research and look for keywords with a QSR around 100 a monthly traffic projection of 10 or even 30 IF my blog is on the first page of a search result is not what I'm looking for regardless of our training. I look for a monthly traffic projection of 200-300 IF my post is on the first search return page.
I think of it like throwing darts at a dart board. I have a better chance of hitting near or on the bull’s-eye with 200 darts than with 20 darts. It's simple math given that everything else is even. In addition, I think a monthly traffic projection of 20 versus 200 says volumes about a keyword's relevance. A keyword with a monthly projection of possibly 20 visitors is not screaming I'm relevant to me.
Resonance is more complicated. We all see the pictures and posts that go viral and get hundreds and thousands of hits in a short time because they resonate with many people. Call me crazy, and a few have, but I believe one blog that resonates is worth 200 blogs that do not resonate. Resonance is often a result of luck but there must be a way to calculate better odds to improve writing content that resonates better. If anyone knows of one, please send me a Private Message immediately.
Pure Sales Websites
I don't know if this is the right term but there are websites that sell products and have no content. Many of these are brick and mortar store websites and their online presence provides a way for people to see, select, and order their products online. McDonalds for example - there are no 1,200+ word blogs on any McDonald’s website. I know, I checked.
You're probably thinking, I'm not McD's but that is just an example. As the survey below shows, the majority of shoppers (57%) go to Amazon, search engines, and online stores. I guess that leaves people like me in the (9%) Other category as the (12%) website category is a retailer channel.
This only means I (we) need to work harder to get the online shoppers' attention. They way to do that is to be different with a product sales website or with a content blog.
For a sales website we need to provide product reviews and comparisons unless we can find a niche that is unique, not well advertised, and promotable. Jay's football snack helmets website is an example with which we are all familiar.
The majority of us are going to have to write for our online lives and provide that high-quality fact-based content I discussed above. To do that we need to be both strategic and tactical in our website design and promotion approach.
Strategic in that we understand our audience, the questions they are likely to ask, and our ability to answer those questions in a way that builds brand, loyalty, and converts to sales.
Tactical in how we promote our websites and content with a mix of text and graphics, social media and backlinks, and advertising and word-of-mouth.
This is not easy and requires a clear understating of what we are trying to sell and how to engage our audience to create loyal customers. For me it's worth taking the time to make my website structure and content as relevant and resonant as I can even if I only post once a week.
This post is intended to encourage a discussion. Do you think you should hold yourself to writing a specific number of words each day and posting a specific number of posts each week? What do you think? Now for my call to action: Please comment below.