If you’ve been blogging longer than five minutes you’ll be familiar with the phrase ‘Content is King’ and every social media platform ramming it in your face.
Does anybody actually know what it means and if it’s even true?
The phrase actually came from Bill Gates in 1996 and over 20 years ago it was extremely valid. The general message was, anyone can put anything online, if you want people to read it, good quality content is key. Not just adverts or fluffy articles.
Times have changed and although anyone could put anything online 20 years ago, everyone didn’t! Nowadays, everyone is putting everything online. On top of that, everybody accesses the internet every single day! Not just your 20 minutes dial up allowance. It is constant. It’s live. It’s fleeting. So in actual fact, content that is King today won’t be King tomorrow or next week.
I think what bloggers mean when they give this advice is, give content that is timeless and evergreen. Top 10 Blogging Tips doesn’t really have a shelf life whereas, My Thoughts of Child Tax Credits Cuts, will expire. That doesn’t actually matter.
If you bring people to your site with a post that will expire you’re potentially creating fans that will like you or your style of writing and keep coming back. Write for people and people will read. Don’t (always) write for a machine! (By machine I mean appealing to Google!)
Content isn’t what brings people to a blog. It’s personality and style. Obviously if you’re writing a website or a blog that’s purely for monetary gain then ok, content is the driving force to your site. Google isn’t interested in your kids cute haircut. Your fans are.
What defines ‘king’ content is specific to what defines your blog. Don’t think you need these predictable ‘Top Ten’ whatever to build a fan base. Your fans will read fluffy, ‘crap’ content posts because they’re joining you, they’ve accepted the invite into your life not an invite into an online course in social media marketing.
I’ve actually found that my ‘keep it real’ posts that are just me chatting about me or Ollie always get a better response than something that I’d consider my good quality writing. Why? Because it’s called social media not marketing media.
Most people read my blog as a way to socialise with me, my family read for Ollie updates, fellow moms read to share tips and thoughts. The odd person will stumble across my blog where they looking to be sold something. That’s why I have pushchair reviews, the idea is they find me, trust my review and then start reading my blog, potentially becoming a fan. The idea isn’t read this review click and buy so I get commission. My fans aren’t interested in me selling anything to them. They’re interested in my life.
For me, my biggest blog turn off is review after review. We all get offered products but when it’s one after the other, it’s not written for the benefit of the fans. It’s written because they benefited from a freebie.
I’ve found a few bloggers that write ‘fluffy’ posts have massive followings because they’re honest and easy to connect with. I actually follow a few bloggers who aren’t particularly good or griping writers but I like their tone and insight into their life.
Then there are others that blog for a living and constantly talk about content but don’t actually have fans. (Just stalk the comments and you’ll see the fans!) It’s better to have 10 fans than 50 clicks! Fans will come back and tell other people, if 10 people share just one post and 10 people read the share then you’ve got a much better reach than 50 people clicking because Google found you because you optimised your pot for SEO or use click bait titles.
Look after people and the stats look after themselves. Don’t look after stats and overlook the people.