A recent study analysed the quality and quantity matter with parents and children (source). It found that it doesn't matter how much time parents spend with their children. What's more important is how they spend their time with them. So if you spend five hours with a child when you're stressed or tired, this could affect their development. But if you spend two hours with a child when you're happy and in a positive environment, the better off the child will be. What does that tell us? Simply, that quality is more important than quantity. But is this debate that straight forward?
As beginner bloggers, we can be made to think that we have to publish content every day. There are plenty of people who do this, because they have big dreams for their blog and want to interact with their community on a regular basis. You can see why it’s an attractive thing to do. But I don't know if that necessarily means it's the right thing to do. So today I wanted to go through the pros and cons between quality and quantity, to see which one really is the best to aim for.
Pros of Quality
It’s easy for us to write a blog post – when we’re not focusing on creating the best piece of content that’s ever been written.
Quality content is recognisable. It separates those who are doing this seriously, to those who don’t have a true purpose.
Quality content creates loyal readers. It goes into detail, is helpful, resourceful, and provides people with the information that a reader needs or wants to know. I truly believe that the loyal readers you have mean more than your whole community. Is there any satisfaction in having 5000 followers when you only interact with a handful of them? Loyal readers come back to your site again and again, because they want to see what you have to say. They want your advice and they want to read your content.
Your online space becomes more recognisable when you create quality content. So much so, that you might find freelance opportunities coming your way. As your loyal readership grows, so will the quality of your content. That is the best way to open yourself up to more opportunities.
The more quality content you create also means the more likely it is to be shared. Last month, I wrote a post called “Five Tips For Content Originality.”
To date, it is my most shared, most viewed and most commented on post. This is because I went into a lot of detail, provided resources and created an intentional quality piece of content. If your posts are of a consistently high quality, chances are that more of your readers will share it. That then attracts new readers and what happens? You get free, effortless traffic.
Cons of Quality
Writing high quality content takes a long time, right? You want to provide the best possible reading experience for your readers. So not only do you do a mountain of research, you also create graphics, include resources, screenshots – everything you can possibly think of. This means that your time becomes limited. We all know that blogging doesn’t just come down to writing blog posts. Self-promotion is a huge part of the job description. The problem arises when 90% of your time becomes dedicated to writing blog posts. What can you do enough of in the other 10%?
Choosing to publish posts less frequently may mean a decrease in traffic. Not necessarily because your content isn’t of a good standard – chances are it will be. But you may see that on the days you don’t post content, you’re receiving fewer page views.
Pros of Quantity
It’s common knowledge that the more frequently you post, the more page views you receive. Something every blogger reads when they’re first starting out is “post as many times as you can.” So with more content available for your readers, the more they can hunt around for other articles to read and stay on your site for a while.
People still like seeing that a blog posts frequently. It’s never a nice feeling when we see a blog that hasn’t posted in months. When we become loyal readers of blogs, we become familiar with their posting schedule. A favourite blogger of mine who posts Monday to Friday didn’t publish a post on a Monday once. I was waiting for it but it never arrived. It didn’t stop me trusting her and didn’t stop me reading her blog. But I was sad that a post hadn’t been published. Trust is something very big in this industry.
Cons of Quantity
People know quality when they see it. If a website doesn't have quality, what are the chances you'd go back to it? Websites that focus on quantity over quality are only after one thing, whether that be followers, subscribers or a sell. If there are no returning visitors, there is no one there to share your content.
Focusing on quantity doesn't necessarily mean you'll get more of everything as some people think. A lack of quality means fewer people will subscribe to your website or newsletter if they know they're not being offered anything. This also translates into there being a huge lack of respect.
There’s something that has to be said for quality over quantity, it's true.
Digital marketing used to be a case of publishing 500 word blog posts on a daily basis. But that doesn't cut it anymore. Digital marketing has turned into a quality industry. It's the quality content that is going to be recognised. Say there are two pieces of content that Google is analysing and they're both about sweet peas - when to plant them, how to plant them, how to look after them and so on. One post is 500 words long and has one picture. The other is 1500 words long - a detailed guide with pictures, tutorials and resources. Which do you think Google ranks higher? At one point, I would've said the 500 word one. But it would be wrong. Long form, high quality content is what is needed today. So in terms of quality and quantity, we need them both.
Instead of being concerned about the quantity of readers to your blog, why not focus on the quality? Who is returning on a daily basis to read what you have to say? Creating relationships with people in this industry is so much more valuable than the average 'follow for follow'.
But to get the best results, both are needed. A strong mixture of the two is what makes content and websites really really great. Write a 1500 word blog post, as long as it's filled with helpful information and you're not just telling the life story of your cat.
Quantity combined with quality impresses readers and keeps them coming back. Which is what we want most of all.
What do you think is more important - quality, quantity or a mixture of both?
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