Lately, I’ve seen a number of studies on blogging. It seems as though all the blogging gurus have to back up their opinion on whether it’s quantity or quality of content that is better at attracting more readership, more customers, and more credibility.
Yet the debate goes on. Should you create higher quality content or more content of a lower quality? As a writer, I want to believe that, in an ideal world, it’s always better to create fewer but higher quality blog posts. But that’s not how blogging works. To grow your blog you need to consistently publish content that your readers enjoy. So we end up with the quality/quantity conundrum.
Last year, we published a blog on frequency that said, “After you’ve decided on posting blogs regularly, you have to decide exactly what is too often to blog, what is not enough, and what is just right for you. There is no right answer that works for everyone.” That’s not only true about frequency, but also about quantity and quality. The answer changes throughout the lifecycle of your blog.
Lots of exposure is great, but…
Exposure will get you readers. As a newbie blogger, you want your name to pop up on every major search engine when someone wants to know more about your field of expertise. But to stay high in SEO rankings, each post has to be original and appealing. The more original content, the more reasons for people to visit and read what you have to say. Early on, you also have to establish your own authority. So quality is important, as well.
The answer at this point is to hit the magic number for updating your blog that will give you the right balance between quality and quantity and keep both search engines and visitors happy and returning to your blog (and hopefully your products and services) again and again.
A study of optimum content strategy
HubSpot recently studied the effectiveness of Low Volume, High Comprehensiveness (LVHC) posts against High Volume, Low Comprehensiveness (HVLC). They looked at the traffic and leads for posts in both categories against their benchmark.
Their takeaway was that there’s only so much content blog readers can consume, and if the frequency goes too high, it’s just too much for them. They also found that there was an increase in traffic for deep tactical posts that investigate a subject in depth. Both strategies work in different ways.
So the answer is to follow their advice and set up your own metric study to see what works best for your situation, (something Solamar can help you set up).
Pros and cons for quantity and quality
When you have fewer, yet high-quality, posts, you’ll get more loyal readers, more subscribers, and more reader satisfaction. Additionally, these high-quality posts that have been carefully researched and written have a better chance of becoming evergreen references, that people keep referring to over time. But when you go with this strategy, there’s also a downside. It’s going to take longer to become popular, you’ll have fewer page views per visitor, and with less content comes less trust and credibility.
On the other hand, when you have a quantity only strategy, you’ll have: more page views from people who can discover something of interest, a large number of posts available and ready to impress the reader, a better chance of a decent Google ranking, and more ideas to post. But with these pros come the cons: people will not want to come back because the quality is low; that means fewer subscribers; no respect; and lower or no sales.
The answer: focus on both
If you work on any one of these, they will have some disadvantages and benefits. But if you carefully use them together, you are probably going to impress readers and make them buy or subscribe to your blog…resulting in ultimate success.
Long-form, in-depth, well-researched posts are proud staples of a blog. Often, these are the big-hitters that show up on search engines and are sourced by other bloggers writing about similar topics. On the other hand, frequent, smaller posts take a shotgun approach to the problem. These put blogs on the map and increase the chances of a person stumbling onto a website, especially when businesses utilize social channels to promote them.
At the end of the day, I believe you have to publish a lot of interesting, informative, well-written stuff. It’s not a question of quantity versus quality, but quantity PLUS quality. I’ve been writing blogs for over 7 years, and I can honestly say that it’s a balancing act between the two.
Quality and quantity posts both have their place in the blogging world, but sometime it does take a little experimenting and finessing to work out what your audience is really looking for.
Author Emile Zola said, “If I cannot overwhelm with my quality, I will overwhelm with my quantity.” If he were a blogger today, perhaps his quote would change to, “I must overwhelm with both quality and quantity.”
Want to know what blogging strategy and content work best for you and your target audience? Give us a shout!