Quantity versus quality

By Leon Tranter | Blogging

Nov 18
quantity versus quality

So you’ve decided to take my advice and go down the content marketing road. That’s great! But how should you go about it? Should you focus on quantity or quality? This article will explain what strategy I recommend.

The importance of content marketing

I’ve talked about it before, but a quick recap. Content marketing is I think the most consistent, trusted and powerful marketing strategy in the world today. People do it everywhere because it works.

You create a lot of powerful content, which generates traffic (through organic search, backlink traffic and social shares). People read your content and come to trust and believe you. You can then generate earnings through affiliate product sales, your own product sales, or email marketing.

That’s great – but how do you do it?

Well, you need two things – a content strategy (first) and a content plan and planning system (second). I wrote an article about how important a content strategy is, and a detailed guide on how to plan your blog content. If you want to go into more detail.

Part of deciding your content strategy is deciding whether to publish frequently or infrequently. Whether to focus on quantity (quickly produce lots of content), or quality (produce a handful of really good quality pieces of content).

I’ll explain what I think you should do and why.

Quantity versus quality

The surprising answer, is you need to do both. That might sound like a cop-out answer, but it isn’t, hear me out.

You want to start with quantity

You should start out by focusing on quantity. Whether it’s blog posts, Youtube videos, podcasts, photos. Whatever your content is, start out by producing a lot of it.

For example, the first thing I did with this blog was to do a 90-day content challenge. I challenged myself to produce 90 pieces of content (blog articles) in 90 days.

This article is one I wrote on day 77 of that challenge. So at the time of initially writing this article, I am  77 days into that challenge and have done one article every day for 77 days.

This challenge is an enormously powerful (and difficult!) way of forcing you to produce a big burst of content.

You should focus on quantity first for three reasons.

First, you want to get stuff out there and get found. You’re initally just trying to get in front of people. You’re trying to shout loud enough so that you can be heard over all the other noise. You’re trying to create a presence, create a platform, and to find your voice.

You’re not really trying to profoundly influence and convert people. That can come later.

Secondly, having lots of articles can make it easy to start generating organic traffic. Every article you write can be optimized around a keyword. It will probably end up ranking for quite a few, but it will rank high (hopefully page 1 if not near the top of page 1) for one keyword.

So if you write 10 articles, you can hopefully rank well for up to 10 keywords. If you write 100 articles, you can hopefully rank well for up to 100 keywords! Especially if they are long-tail keywords with low competition.

This is the essence of the long-tail keyword strategy taught by Doug Cunnington (auther of the famous Keyword Golden Ratio) and others.

The third reason is that you want to get practice! You need to practice producing content. You need to do it over and over and over again. If you start off focusing on quality and try to get one piece of content done right, you’ll struggle because you don’t have enough experience doing it.

There is a great story I heard about a pottery teacher who ran an experiment with a class of pottery students. He divided the class into two equally-sized groups.

He told the first group “you have to focus on quantity. Just make as many pots as you can. I don’t care what they are like. I don’t care if they are complete rubbish. Just make as many as you can. I will judge you at the end of the semester purely on how many pots you have made”.

He told the second group “you have to focus on quality. I want you to make one pot, that’s it. You have all semester to work on it. Put everything you have into it. I’ll judge you at the end of the semester on how good that one pot is”.

So guess you made the best pots? It sounds crazy, but the people who focused purely on quantity. They practiced so many times that they became master potters! The poor people just doing one pot didn’t know what they were doing, argued and stressed over it, and made something terrible.

That’s a very powerful lesson.

Then you want to move to quality

You want to move to quality, however. Once you’ve got 100 or so pieces of content, you want to cut down on the amount of content produced, and focus more on building up the level of quality.

100 pieces of content are enough to get noticed. It’s enough to generate traction. It’s enough to rank pretty well for a bunch of low-competition keywords.

But now you have to take it to the next level. You have to start building serious credibility and influence. You have to not just get people’s attention, but convince them that you have the answers to their problems.

So go back over your existing content, and make it better! Smart SEO people know that it’s much easier to improve the ranking of an existing page than to create a new page from scratch and try and rank it.

So go back, tune, tweak, and improve. Add some Latent Semantic Indexing keywords. Put in some more images, videos, and graphics. Or edit your videos, fix up the sound, add some effects.

Work on your emails. Improve your website’s performance. Get a better logo. Do all the little things that create an overall sense of polish and professionalism.

The first phase is about traffic – getting people to notice you. This next phase is about conversion – getting people to like, trust and believe you.

And improving the quality of your content is an extremely effective way of doing that.

Summary

So that’s my strategy – start with quantity, then focus on quality. If you’re doing a blog or website, I would recommend 100 articles, then slow down and improve your existing ones.

Maybe write a new one every week or two. Or maybe not! Brian Dean has one of the best and widely read SEO blogs in the world, and at the time of writing, I think he has published a total of about 40 articles on it (true story). That’s a pretty extreme example, but you can see what I mean.

Anyway, I hope you liked this article on quantity versus quality. Do you agree, or disagree? Have you found one approach to be more or less effective than the other? Please let me know in the comments!