What is Content?

Last Update: April 25, 2021

I was walking back from the supermarket today (my car isn't running right) and started thinking. This may sound like a stupid question, but am going to ask it anyway: what exactly is content? I've run across many websites (and the WA training) saying you need to produce copious amounts of good content.

But what is this content supposed to be about? I've tried to weave good keywords into my blogs without sounding too obvious about it but sometimes I find this rather difficult.

The training suggests you find a keyword to write about. But I've been writing blogs that sometimes are loosely related to my niche, which is kitchen knives. I've got blogs talking about making steel and blogs telling the history of the knife. I try to come up with different ideas and not re hash stuff I've already written about (I've seen this done on some websites and boy is it boring). I've also got a bunch of reviews of different knives. But they are actually collections of useful information I've found on the web. I try to put everything I've found about a single knife into one article, including things like knife specifications. My hope is that potential customers will find what they want at my site instead of having to look all over the web, which is my job.

I do a ton of research on each knife before I do a write up/review. Does this count as content? I would say yes, even though articles like these don't really follow any sort of typical blog structure. They usually don't hit the 1000 word guideline unless it is warranted (it can be painful reading a blog where the author has obviously added lots of stuff and flowery sentences to hit 1,000 words. This is kind of like traffic school, where they take two hours of info and stretch it out to 8 hours or so. I've always thought this was part of the punishment for getting a traffic ticket).

I also try to inject some humor here and there. When I was a kid, sometimes we'd get half a grapefruit with sugar on
top for breakfast. We had this thing called a "grapefruit knife". It was like a regular knife with its blade bent into a half circle. The idea was to work the knife into the side of the grapefruit, then twist it around the inside of the fruit and release the segments from the grapefruit's core. It never worked quite right. Sometimes you had to turn the knife around several times to loosen the segments, which got rather torn up in the process.

Nowadays I peel grapefruit just Iike I would an orange. Then you can easily separate the segments without turning the fruit into a big mess.

In the course of my research, I've run across a bunch of other goofy knifes. I thought it would be fun to mix things up a bit and write a tongue in cheek blog about these knives.

Now, does this count as good blog content? I really don't know. Again, I haven't run across any useful information about what is good content and what is not so good content (except of course keywords).

So what is your take on this? What do you consider to be content, both good and bad?

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richardgb Premium
Hi Terry
I think you will know most of what I say here but I hope it is useful, if not to you, then to others

I often hear people quoting the phrase ‘content is king’. This is a reasonable assessment of the value of content to the algorithms of a search engine but...

in my opinion, the king of the search is more important. By the king of the search I mean the person using the search engine to find what they want on the internet.

Only the searcher can tell us what they are really looking for and sometimes they express themselves with precision (using long-tail keywords) and sometimes relatively inaccurately (with a broad keyword).

Our challenge then is to figure out what the searcher is looking for and to provide quality content that delivers what the searcher wants, presented in such a way that the search engine algorithm presents our content as high up as possible in the results.

For example, let’s say someone searches for ‘bowie knife’. They could mean to be asking for the answer to any number of questions such as:
What is the history of the bowie knife?
Who makes the best bowie knives?
What materials are used in a bowie knife?
What is a bowie knife used for?
How much does a bowie knife cost?
Where can I buy a bowie knife?
Are bowie knives legal?

Keyword research would be needed to identify which questions are being asked most often.

Great content would answer all these questions and any others identified,

You could write one post to cover all these questions but... that would mean stuffing many keywords into one post. It may be better to write posts answering 1 to 3 related questions at a time, each linking relevantly to the others.

For example, in the above list of quesions I might group them as follows:
- History and uses;
- Best makers and materials used;
- Where to buy, prices and any legal constraints.

That way, each post is more relevant to a specific searcher and if they are interested in other related information, they can be led via the links.

So, it is worth developing a strategy for each broad keyword that consists of writing a series of posts, each covering 1 to 3 related long tail keywords. The main keyword for each post would be included in the title of that post and included as a link from each of the other posts.
GeoffreyC1 Premium
Content is you tell your readers what they want to know.
ericcantu Premium Plus
Don't overthink your content, Terry. Content is simply the information you're putting on your website. That's it. No need to stuff keywords into spots where they don't really fit either.

As long as your keyword is in your title, in your first paragraph, etc. just like the training shows, that's all you need. The rest of your article should just be you writing normally.

As an example, look how easily you created this blog post. It's actually lengthy, and I bet you didn't really have to think twice about what you were writing. You're just communicating, and that's what we do when we write content.

It's definitely important to have your personality come across in your content. That's what will get your audience coming back for more.

With your reviews, over time you'll find that following a basic template can make it even easier to fill space. You'll have a basic introduction, description of why the product is important, basic uses, pros and cons, and maybe similar products and why this one is better or worse, followed by a conclusion.

I believe Nathaniell has some training classes on how he uses templates for his reviews. That might help get you over the hump.

Keep your head up. The more you write the better you get at it.
countrylife Premium
That's really good, lots of information right here.
tdbabineaux Premium

tdbabineaux Premium
You are right. My blog went together relatively easily. While walking home from the supermarket, lots of ideas kept popping into my head. Your advice about not overthinking content is quite sound and well taken.

Forgive me if you see this info in another comment. My keypad does some weird stuff. The cursor sometimes jumps to the end of what I have written. Then it moves back quickly, deleting text very fast, as if someone was continually pressing the backspace key. It sometimes obliterates all the text I have written. I have been meaning to report this to tech support.

AbieAJ Premium Plus
Content is king and bulk of our sites.

You are needing original high impact rich content with good choice of keywords to ultimately rank in the search engines addressing issues to the relevant niches of our sites.
countrylife Premium
Great and I agree.