Thursday, June 04, 2009
The idea that 'content is king' in blogging is total bullshit
This is one area of social media and especially blogging that has always irked me. The belief that if you create great content, you are set. That your blog will be inundated with thousands of visitors just dying to get the chance to glimpse your verbal greatness.
Give me a break.
Every day I read hundreds of blog posts. And every day, I see dozens of truly GREAT posts that get no comments. Every day I see dozens of pretty good posts that get dozens of comments and have vibrant conversations.
The difference? Most of the bloggers that write those pretty good posts are also pretty good about leaving their blog and interacting with people on OTHER sites. They comment on their reader's blogs. They tweet their links on Twitter. They are ACTIVELY social with social media.
The ones that write those great posts that get no comments are the ones that I never see on Twitter. I never see them leaving blog comments, in fact if I ever want to see them, I have to go to their blog to find them.
Many bloggers view their blog as their stage. Nothing wrong with that. But it doesn't make sense to walk behind a podium, start talking, and expect the room to fill with an attentive audience. Chris Brogan had a great post on this today (and read @KathySierra's comment), and the point he kept making is that the difference between an audience and a community is the direction that the chairs are facing. Many bloggers act as if they are addressing an audience, when they want an interactive and passionate community. This is a disconnect that the idea of 'content being king' feeds into.
Great content is NOT the king in blogging. Being social is. Remember last week when I talked about how bad many of my first posts were here? Even those posts were getting comments, and a big reason why was because the comments were coming from people that noticed my commenting on their blogs.
I know what you're thinking. 'But Mack, good content is still VERY important, and if you have good content, sooner or later people WILL find out about it'.
I agree, but here's the thing; being active in the blogosphere and on social sites IMPROVES the quality of the content you create on your blog! It gives you a better idea of what your readers are looking for, AND it exposes you to other viewpoints, which helps you solidify and strengthen your own thoughts. And as this is happening, you are also exposing your blog to other people, by interacting with them in their space.
The best way to grow your blog is to leave it. That's how you build a great blog.
Pic via Flickr user JacobEnos