The Only Thing More Important Than Quality Content

If you clicked through on this blog post hoping to find some sort of magic bullet, some magic formula for near instant riches where you can get rich quick and retire on some tropical island, I’m sorry to say you’re going to be disappointed. It doesn’t exactly work that way.

You might see the fast cars and fancy mansions of the Internet’s rich and famous, clamoring over that kind of dot com lifestyle. Some of these folks might look like they just popped out of nowhere, but the truth of the matter is that they were indeed an overnight success, years and years in the making. And yes, this very much applies to bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters too.

When it comes to online content creation, regardless of the actual format, you’ll frequently be met with a couple pieces of rather common advice. First, you’ll be told that you need to stop waiting for all your ducks to get in a row. You need to stop telling yourself that you can’t launch your YouTube channel yet, because you need to wait until you have the right camera. Just get started. That’s the first and most important step. If you don’t get started, you’ll never know where you might go.

Second, you’ll be told that content is king. More specifically, you’ll be told that quality content is king. If your stuff is no good, nothing else you do is going to matter anyway. It won’t matter if you’ve mastered the art of long-tail keywords and latent semantic indexing for search engine optimization. If people find you through Google and discover that your blog is a heaping pile of trash, they won’t come back, you won’t grow your audience, and you won’t make a dime. That’s the simple, hard truth.

Above all else, quality content is of paramount importance. It’s also not enough on its own. In fact, it’s not even the most important thing, really. It’s the second most important thing. Maybe.

Consider this scenario. An upstart blogger has a wildly infectious personality, clever manner of writing, and remarkably effective research skills. He’s insightful and is able to boil down some rather complex and confusing concepts into simple language that almost anyone can understand. He writes a blog post that explores and illustrates truly novel ideas in totally unique ways. This is great content if you’ve ever seen it.

And he’s lucky enough to have it catch some attention on social media, so the blog post gets shared around and he enjoys his 15 minutes of fame. But then the blog goes dormant for a couple days. Then a week. Then a couple weeks. Before you know it, he’s only put up two new blog posts in the last four months. Then, he unleashes a flurry of five blog posts in two days and the cycle renews.

The problem here is that none of that initial success is sustainable, because this blogger lacks consistency. Consistency is arguably even more important than quality content, because it’s consistency that will fuel your long-term and sustainable growth. There are arguments for all sorts of different publishing schedules, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to stick with it. If you’re going to commit to blogging four times a week, then make sure you blog exactly four times a week, every week.

Making use of an editorial calendar can help a lot with that. Over on my own blog, Beyond the Rhetoric, readers can expect to get a poignant or thought-provoking quote every Sunday with my Sunday Snippet series. They can expect to see a “speedlink” on the last Wednesday of every month with What’s Up Wednesdays. And they know that they’ll have a new vlog to watch every Monday too. The schedule is predictable and it’s consistent.

The only way that you have any shot at achieving any semblance of success with your online content is to stick to a routine and to provide a consistent experience for your audience. This is no different than when you want to lose weight or when you train for an upcoming event. If you decide that you’re going for a run every morning, then you need to go for that run every morning. Skipping one day can lead to a rather unfortunate snowball effect. You need to show up every day and commit to your regimen.

Do it well, do it better, and do it consistently. That’s “get rich quick” magic bullet to becoming an overnight success. It just might take some time to get there.

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