Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quality Content vs Relevant Content

Almost from the moment we become aware of the idea of being a "blogger", we are told that Content is King.

The problem is, most of us have no idea exactly what that really means.

Way too many of us set out into the world with a goal of becoming a "professional" writer. We strive to write quality content so that our readers will come back again and again ... and more importantly, recommend our brilliant writing to others.

Most of us fall flat on our face in this endeavor.

The biggest problem isn't that quality content isn't worth striving for, or that it's necessarily hard to write. No, the thing that leads many of us down the road to mediocrity is that the pursuit of "quality" is a perfect recipe for writer's block.

We all have many many great ideas in our heads; but most never see the light of day, because they never make it out of our heads ... What if my article isn't "good enough"? What if nobody reads it? Or even worse, what if they read it and laugh?

photo by monkeyleader

So what kind of blog content should we be trying to write?

I guess ultimately, it depends on what type of blog you're writing for ... and what your goals are.

If we're talking about a social, and/or "flagship" type blog, such as tmtips.com, then obviously quality should be a goal ... I want you to come back to read more of my writing ... and I want you to recommend me to your friends (hint, hint).

Where I (and I'm sure others) run into problems is when I try to take the same writing approach with my niche blogs ... you know, the ones that help pay the bills. Whereas here on tmtips.com my goal is happy readers. On a niche blog, my goals should be different ...

The ultimate goal of a niche blog is to have people arrive via search engine; after enter one of a specific set of terms, then leave via a click on either adsense, an affiliate link, or signing up for an email list. Whether or not they like (or heck, even read) the articles is means absolutely nothing.

Knowing this, that I only have to write relevant content, why is it that I still find myself getting "writer's block" and sometimes going days or even weeks without adding new content to some of my niche sites?

Does anybody else have this problem?

... and if so, what are some things that you've done to make writing easier?

Til next time,
Todd


photo credit: monkeyleader

7 comments:

  1. Hi Todd,

    I have a bad habit of saying "quality content", when what I really mean is relevant content. The majority of traffic to my site comes from search engines, with people doing a wide variety of searches for topics I write about. Darn it if I don't keep saying quality content instead of relevant content. Must.Stop.Doing.That

    Writer's block has never really been a problem for me, as I have tons of yet-to-be written articles stuck in my head, along with several scribble notes/outlines I have on paper. One of the BEST places I've found ideas for articles/posts is actually from the Woopra analytic software used on my site, paying close attention to the keywords used from search engine traffic and what article they were brought to.

    For example, tomorrow's post idea came from a search engine visitor doing a keyword search for "I regret getting married". Hmmm. Looking at what article they arrived at...the one about questions to ask before getting married, it occurred to me that some people actually do regret getting married for a variety of reasons. Hence a new post comes from it.

    Where else to get ideas for posts? My RSS feed reader; magazines; books; newspapers; family situations (ie. toxic family members); Twitter discussions....I could go on and on. Time is my biggest problem; having the time needed to write and develop posts while still holding down a full time job and caring for household responsibilities. Know of a good maid who works for free? ;)

    Lin Burress @Telling It Like It Is’s last blog post..Family Watch Dog: Find Sex Offenders in Your Area at Family Watch Dog

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  2. lol ... yes Lin I can't imagine that you ever get writer's block. And actually, on your blog, I'd say that quality content is exactly what you should be shooting for. What I was really talking about is a couple of domains I have that are pretty just for adsense. I don't promote them, and I don't really interact with anybody on them. Yet, for some reason, I still sometimes have a hard time making myself write new posts ... because I want them to be "good".

    I do appreciate your tips though ... sounds like I could definitely use a few of them on this site.

    Thanks,
    Todd

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  3. I got to feeling the way you do about your other blogs not too long ago with my now-defunct dental blog. I completely lost interest in blogging about dental this or that. There aren't many dental blogs at all, and I'm sure there's a lot that can be done with one, but since my 9-5 is all about Dental care for patients, there's no flipping way I want to come home and write more about dental crap. Yawn..........

    I have considered creating a new niche blog as a second blog, but I have yet to narrow down precisely the niche I want to delve into. With the wide variety of topics available to me on Telling It Like It Is, I'm a bit hard-pressed to decide what would interest me most, something I'd be passionate to write about long-term. Then there's the issue of a really good, keyword targeted domain name. Sigh...

    Lin Burress @Telling It Like It Is’s last blog post..Family Watch Dog: Find Sex Offenders in Your Area at Family Watch Dog

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  4. WOW, maybe that is what I am doing wrong. I have heard a lot about how content is King and how only quality posts will elicit people to leave comments. The thing is if I was to worry about whether or not my posts are good enough I would never ever hit that submit button. I think all any blogger can do is to offer up the best posts that they are capable of. This means proof reading it for errors, whether it being grammatical or spelling its essential that your post does not contain them. Failure to do this shows other that you really don;t care about your posts and if you don't care enough then why should the reader.

    Sorry, but I can't answer the question in regards to niche sites as I don;t have any, and that very problem is probably the reason why I don;t bother with them.

    Sire’s last blog post..Sire’s ‘Ice Breaker’ Pick Up Line

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  5. Whenever I have a problem finding a topic to write, I do some blog hopping just to read what other bloggers are writing there. If you look for their favorite posts you may find something that interests you or don't agree with. Perhaps write in your own perspective and it could well be your next post. Thanks for visting my blog Todd.

    Peter Lee

    passive income ideas’s last blog post..The Easiest Natural Link Building To Search Engine Success

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  6. I have read so much great advise about writing posts over the past few months most of them inspiring to get writing. But then what you say is true you start researching the topic start writing and you are never happy with the post so it never goes live then you move on to the next one and its forgotten about.

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  7. That's a great point.

    Here's how I think of it. Most people are online to solve a problem; they have a purpose. Maybe they want to find a cheap flight, meet an interesting person, find out the next day's weather, etc. So what I ask myself when I start a blog post is "What problem that another person might have can I solve with this post?" For me, starting with that usually doesn't end with writer's block.

    spot’s last blog post..The Watch That Doesn’t Seem Like It Shows The Time

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