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Consistent content isn’t king anymore. Focus on quality content or go bust.
“I’m very passionate about the idea that one great piece of content has the potential to change your life.”
~ Gary Vaynerchuk (from: One piece of content can change your life)
Yes, content is still king, but in the past couple of years, the benefits of publishing high-quality content have greatly surpassed publishing consistent OK-ish content.
It used to be more important to publish content on a regular and consistent basis. That meant sticking to a weekly (or several-times-per-week) schedule and cranking out something.
The idea behind it was that your audience will see your consistent efforts and take comfort that you’re a knowledgeable and reliable person. A trustworthy expert.
This has recently flipped on its head (and we’re going to talk about why in a minute). Now, having awesome (even if that means fewer pieces of) content is 100 percent the way to go.
Consistent content has lost its throne to quality content.
“If you are creating 500-word me-too blog posts that get read by no one, you are completely and absolutely wasting your time.”
~ Marketing Profs, 2 million blog posts are written every day
Why quality content over quantity? Two words: Content shock
“The internet came along, and it now allows pretty much anyone and everyone to publish whatever they want whenever they want practically for free. That’s a great thing because it democratizes content and democratizes the flow of information. But as a result of everyone being able to publish whatever and whenever they want, everyone has. So I think it’s fair to say that we live in a world now where we are just bombarded with information all the time.”
~ Nick Mason, Turtl via Content Marketing Institute
Once upon a time the internet was new. You couldn’t find very many answers to your questions because they weren’t there. There may not have been many (any?) websites dedicated to digital marketing, virtual business coaching, or health blogging. Back then there were lots of gaps in the content that people were searching for. The content simply didn’t exist online yet.
The beginning of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet arrived on August 6, 1991, when Berners-Lee published the first-ever website.
~ History, The world’s first website
One of the reasons there wasn’t so much content is because the effort of producing it used to be huge. You had to know how to code and host your own website, and most readers didn’t have the capacity to quickly see images or videos. (Remember that dialup sound every time you had to connect to the internet through your one land line? And how loooong it took to see an image?) Many people didn’t even have home computers, let alone smartphones.
Then the internet exploded. The cost of computers went down, the speed of internet connectivity went up, and the online market opened up.
The term “blog” (from weblog) was coined in 1997. Google started in 1998.(ref)
What does this have to do with quality content in 2020?
Fast forward just a couple of decades. Guess how many blog posts were published in 2019?
The answer is over 2 billion (that’s 2,000 million!).(ref)
Ok, we now have a huge supply of content (NOT a huge supply of quality content, though). This is content shock: a forward-thinking term first coined way back in 2014!
What about the demand?
There are only so many hours in the day people can read, listen to, or watch your content. So the demand can only go up so high.
What is an online professional supposed to do now?
Whatever time and money you were investing in your regular, consistent content—invest that now into fewer amazingly high quality pieces instead. This will make you stand out, attract ideal clients, and build excellence into your brand.
Then distribute/share/promote each piece more to give it more traction and be seen above the noise.
In fact, consistency still is key when it comes to content promotion!
“If you put out average stuff, you’re dead—you may as well have taken that time to put together something else, like go do direct mail, go to a conference, go stand out in front of a supermarket and hand out flyers. Don’t create content that’s average.”
~ Russ Hennebery, Digital Marketer (from: Craft a pillar blog post that sells workshop)
Quality content attracts ideal clients
“One of the biggest blogging trends in 2019 is writing longer articles. Blog posts of about 2,000 words and up get the best results.”
~ Growth Badger, How many blogs are there?
Let me ask you what’s better: Showing up in potential clients’ social media feeds randomly when almost none are interested in what you offer? Or being found exactly when someone is “Googling” the problem you solve?
The first option, rocking your social media and paying for ads helps you get in front of targeted people . . . but they’re cold leads. Sure, you’ve profiled and targeted them based on certain criteria, but let’s be honest: They’ve never heard of you before and may not even have the problem you solve. You need to get in front of hundreds or thousands of these people, have a great opt-in so they can join your email list, and you need a high-converting funnel/email sequence.
My guess is that this kind of artificial targeting is why we NOW need 18 touch points with potential new client before they’ll convert into paying customers.
“SDRs [Sales Development Reps] now have to make more touches per lead and make those touches more relevant and personalized. It takes 18 dials to connect with a buyer.”
In fact, it might even be more than 18. Google’s research shows that the number of searches on the customer’s journey can be over 20—even in the hundreds—depending on the purchase!
The other option: being found when people area searching for the solution you offer is totally different. To me, it’s a much more organic way to get clients because you’re pulling them toward you, rather than constantly paying to push your stuff out to them.
The people who find you are not only already warm, they’re hot! They’re literally searching for what you offer when they need it. They’ve already decided that their problem is worth solving (unlike many funnels that try to convince people their problem is worth solving when you are ready to help them).
“This is why effective digital marketing isn’t solely about “being there.” Everyone is competing for visibility and as the competitive landscape gets more and more digitally sophisticated being there becomes less of a competitive advantage. Instead, compelling and unique messaging and creative may be more effective in the long-run.”
Longer, higher quality content gets found
“I firmly believe that everyone is one amazing piece of content away from having that killer, amazing, fantastic campaign. One amazing piece of content away from having that breakthrough idea that does actually get into the marketplace and differentiates you and your business and your brand.”
~ Ryan Deiss, Digital Marketer (from: Craft a pillar blog post that sells workshop)
If you haven’t heard, ranking in Google is difficult and takes time and effort.
But, it’s worth it!
It’s a long-term strategy that will eventually drive traffic to site passively. Even on those stretches of days and weeks you’re not publishing.
There are dozens of criteria Google uses to rank posts. Some technical criteria are if they’re secured with an https (not http), if they’re mobile-friendly, and if they load quickly. Some content criteria are if they’re relevant to the keyword, credible, popular, and high quality.
FYI – My #1 traffic-driving blog post (health and wellness topics) is 2,469 words long. I’ve all but abandoned Facebook for months and happily put that time into other things I’d rather be doing (like researching and creating quality health articles for health and wellness professionals).
Personally, I’d rather put in time and effort now and see long-term sustainable results.
Compounding posts are those “whose traffic grows steadily over time. These posts are far more valuable than ‘decaying’ posts which deliver a surge of traffic and then decay over time.”
It’s more efficient for content marketers to create ‘compounding’ posts that generate accretive traffic. . . Compounding posts may not necessarily be blockbusters when they’re first published, but their structure and substance are so relevant that they continue to deliver value and grow traffic organically and without additional marketing.”
~ HubSpot, Compounding blog posts
Quality content helps you convert qualified leads
“72% of B2C, 78% of B2B say that high quality more efficient content creation contributed to their marketing success.”
~ Growth Badger, How many blogs are there?
Your epic posts, if created with both your ideal client’s needs and your product/service in mind, really “weed out” not-so-ideal clients.
People give you a commitment with their money or time. So if you have a great post that’s perfectly targeted and links your ideal clients to your product/service, you’ll have a great opportunity to build a relationship with them.
The key here is to include a kick-ass call-to-action. Whether it’s an opt-in or low-cost product (tripwire/entry point offer), this is how you get your readers to self-select as qualified leads and become your latest email subscriber or paying customer.
“60% of consumers feel engaged/positive with a brand or company after reading custom content on their blog”
~ Get Codeless (blogging statistic #17)
How to publish quality content?
“Lack of time/bandwidth to create content is the number one content marketing challenge.
Writing content is the most commonly outsourced content marketing activity.”
Now that you know how the online marketing world has changed to favour quality content, how do you make that happen?
There are four main ways to get quality content for your blog. You can use a mix of these to suit you:
“64% of B2B marketers outsource writing.”
~ Top Rank Blog, B2B content marketing statistics
“60% of all marketers believe blog creation to be their top inbound marketing priority.”
~ Get Codeless (blogging statistic #35)
We aren’t all bloggers, but we need our blogs to help our ideal clients get to know us, like us, and trust us. When we put out OK-ish content, it’s a reflection on our brand and in 2020, we need to put quality over quantity. Whatever effort you’re putting into multiple short blog posts, instead put it into quality content.
“Spending all that time writing each [long] post makes it harder to publish as many articles, so bloggers are publishing less frequently now than a few years ago. In 2014, 28% of bloggers published 2-6 times per week. Now only 18% do.”
~ Growth Badger, How many blogs are there?
Over to you
I’d love to know how your quality content has attracted ideal clients! Let me know in the comments below.
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.