Content is king
This is the best piece of advice that I can give anyone who is thinking about starting their own blog or website.
Without content, there would be no bloggers.
Without content, there would be no internet marketing.
So again I say: Content is king.
But what does that actually mean?
I imagine you are saying:
Chris: That’s great, but I’m not quite getting why content is so important. Can you explain?
In order to understand the power of strong content a little bit better, we are going to take a look at the history of blogs, the monetization strategies of blogs, and the future of content based marketing (I know this sounds kind of scary, but I promise that it’s actually quite interesting and easy to understand).
Content marketing (aka – blogging) has been around for the last 20-30 years or so (roughly). It has always worked in the following way:
Create a blog > Get Traffic > Monetize
Sounds easy enough…right?
Well back in the day, it was actually quite easy to “get traffic” without having to “write a ton of content.”
The web is set up like a massive amount of filing cabinets (websites) filled with billions of different papers and files (web pages/content).
In order to quickly find the files we are looking for, some really intelligent people created these things called search engines (like Google and Yahoo). These sites allowed us to type in a word or phrase and it would find all of the files that had that word/phrase on it.
Well that’s all fine and dandy, but real power of a search engine is its ability to show us the best results for our search.
For example: If I search Amazon shopping, I would like to see the shopping site, not the Amazon rainforest.
Up until about 6-8 years ago (roughly), a search engine would determine which websites had the best content for the search based upon the number of times the search terms appeared on the website.
I know that probably sounded a little confusing.
So time for an example:
Webpage #1 – This site is all about the best crock pot recipes in the world. (1 time)
Webpage #2 – Crock pot recipes. Best crock pot recipes. Crock pot recipes for beginners. Crock pot recipes for moms. (4 times)
If I were to search for “crock pot recipes” on Google, they would have literally counted up the number of times it appeared on a page and said that the higher number is the better page to view.
Thus the whole idea of keyword stuffing was born and people would write blog post after blog post and stuff as many keywords as possible into the content.
If they did this, they could generate better search results and in turn generate more traffic to their website. And from our graph above, we can assume that more traffic equals more money.
Now over the past few years, search engines like Google have decided that keywords are not the best way to determine the content on a page.
Google has started to shift all of their search algorithms to focus on the main purpose of a search engine:
To answer a question
From their research, simply having a large quantity of a keyword on a page doesn’t make it a good place to get an answer to a question.
They found out that it’s better to be a website that covers a handful of topics related to a keyword instead of one page jammed packed of them. They also decided that traffic, recency, number of referral sites, etc were also pretty effective measures of a site’s ability to answer a given question.
So that history lesson takes us back to this:
Create a blog > Get Traffic > Monetize
which should actually be:
Write Good content > Get Traffic > Monetize
In today’s internet ecosystem, you have to actually write purposeful and informative content in order to get organic traffic (the kind of traffic you don’t pay for).
For example: This blog posts focuses on the question: Why is strong content important for a blog?
I’m not writing this to just get you to my blog. I’m writing this in hopes that it answers your question and I can provide you value.
That’s the key.
If I don’t provide you value, the why in the hell would you come back to my blog?
You would search for another source and find value outside of my site.
If I provide you value, I start to build trust (it might be a small amount, but it’s a start). If I continue to provide you value, you will continue to visit my blog and down the road you might even purchase something from my website.
It goes back to that old saying:
People do business with who they know and trust.
And that right there is why content is king.
Content is the only way to build trust with your audience. Content allows the reader to see that you know what you are talking about and provide the reader with some value.
The better the content, the higher the value for the reader.
The better the content, the higher the search results on Google for your niche.
The better the content, the higher the traffic rates will be on your blog.
The better the content, the more you can make when you monetize your blog.
See a trend here?
Content is king
You might be wondering where content marketing is heading in the next 10 years.
Here is my take:
Content will still remain as the king, but brevity will be queen.
Long blog posts like this will not have the same impact as a short post that is to the point and quickly answers a question.
Why do I think that?
With the heavy shift to mobile and automation, people aren’t going to sit at a computer and read 1,000+ word blog posts.
They are going to do a search on their mobile phone for an answer while they wait in a doctor’s office.
They are going to ask Alexa a question and expect a sentence or two as an answer.
Content will still be king, but those who learn to shorten it and make it consumable across multiple platforms will be in the driver’s seat in the internet marketing space.