Yesterday’s post on how Seth approaches blogging drew a big response from y’all. I got comments, emails, even phone calls about the post. Some people agreed with me, others disagreed, but a nice and robust conversation resulted, which is all I could hope for.
Part of the reason why I wanted to write that post was to address a long-held belief in the blogging community that ‘Content is King’, and that if you create good content, blogging fame, numbers and riches will eventually come your way. Just write good stuff, put it out there, and the blogging world is yours.
In my experience, this thinking is total bullshit.
Granted, creating valuable content is critical to your blogging strategy’s success. But creating great content alone is NOT enough. We have too many sources vying for our attention. If you want to get your blog noticed, you have to first create content that I find value in, but second you have to make sure I notice it.
This is the main reason why I say that community is more important than content when it comes to being a successful blogger. Simply writing amazing content isn’t enough for 99% of us. We still need to engage with others in order to not only help that content get noticed, but engaging with others also improves that quality of the content we DO create.
When I first started blogging in 2005, I literally had no idea what I was doing. So I started blogging, just writing posts every day. And honestly, I think some of those posts were my best work.
But the problem was, no one was noticing them. For weeks I wrote every day, and no one visited the blog. No traffic, no comments, nothing. I was beginning to think I wasn’t cut out for blogging.
At this same time, I was reading all the ‘top’ blogs. I wanted to see what the ‘best’ bloggers were doing, in the hope that I could learn from their success, and apply it to my own efforts. I didn’t really crack the blogging code, but along the way, I found a lot of interesting blogs, and began to comment on them every day.
So I kept blogging along, every day, creating (what I thought were) great blog posts, that got zero response. Then suddenly after a few weeks, I started getting comments. First a couple, then after a few days, every new post I would write would get comments! At the same time, traffic went up, and incoming links started pouring in! I loved the fact that I was suddenly getting comments and traffic, but had no idea where they were coming from.
Then one day a reader left a comment on a post and mentioned that they were commenting on my blog because they found my comment on their blog. I went back and checked, and almost all of the comments I was getting, as well as the links, were coming from bloggers and blogs that I had visited first, and commented on.
I learned a very valuable blogging lesson that day: All the great content in the world is meaningless if no one sees it.
By reading and participating on other blogs, I was giving those bloggers and their readers an incentive to come check out my content on my blog. And in doing so, I was getting comments on my content, as well as links.
And if you still want to say that you believe that Content IS King, that’s fine. Because while Content may be King, Community is the Queen and SHE runs the castle 😉