This really is a very interesting question because many blogging experts teach the importance of great content and how that one element is paramount above all other factors when it comes to growing a website.
You’ve heard the adage ‘Content is King’ repeated often, right?
Good content is the absolute foundation for most successful blogs. Quality content makes it easier for readers to recommend it to other potential readers. Content makes blog marketing much easier because it naturally supports the processes involved in promoting a website.
Successful bloggers recommend the same thing: Create killer content and learn to market it.
What exactly is great content? And if it’s so important, how do you create it?
It’s my opinion that there are three general elements surrounding content quality.
Content Quality is Subjective
Content quality is subjective because it is tied to the knowledge or experience of both the content creator and reader.
When someone feels an article is good, it is mostly because of their own knowledge and receptiveness to the ideas presented. For a reader who may be more experienced, the same article would appear a bit more amateur.
Content Quality is Comparative
Apart from relativity, the value of an article is comparative. Your article will likely be compared to others on within the same topic. The strength of another article will make yours less attractive. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer something unique.
On the flip sides, the weakness of other articles will make yours more valuable.
Techniques and advice can sometimes be unsuitable for your niche, unless you learn how to utilize them in ways that consider your audience expectations and demands within your industry.
For celebrity gossip and entertainment niches there is more benefit in providing news via short blog posts than trying to write bait posts for Digg type audiences.
Guidelines That Determine Content Quality
Even though content quality is subjective and comparatively determined, you can still create high quality content. One way is to study the popular articles of other bloggers within your same niche. These articles provide a basic measuring tool of possible content popularity.
It’s my opinion, good content contains some of the following characteristics:
- Thought-provoking. Present new ideas or give a new look to old ideas.
- Entertaining. These posts can come in the form of text, images or video – It’s been said many times – you should be educational or entertaining.
- Breaking News. Important for the changes that impact those in the same industry or niche. Be the first to cover news and people will naturally talk about your blog.
- Comprehensive. Set the shining example. Bloggers love referencing comprehensive articles because it gives their readers a good starting point.
- Well Researched. Multiple links to related discussion on this topic are especially valuable you can insert yourself into an ongoing conversation.
- Completely Unique. The less you repeat what others say, the more you’ll stand out.
What are some of the elements by which you measure quality content? Leave your comments below.
My Comment Commitment: If you leave a comment on any of my posts, I will visit your blog and “share it” in some way whether on StumbleUpon, Twitter or Facebook depending on if I can find a nice fit. This is my way of saying thank you!
Tim Bryant says
This article is making me rethink the way that I run my site! I’m really glad I stumbled upon (through google, not stumbleupon) your site!
Great article Gayla, I wouldn’t add anything but would emphasise the importance of being comprehensive. You know when you search wikipedia for something and they’ve only got a stub? That’s how cheated people feel when they visit a blog and get a 100 word article you wrote in ten minutes.
Jen Whitten says
The only thing I would add to the characteristics list is that it is thoroughly proofed. It doesn’t matter how ground-breaking an article is, I won’t share it if it’s ripe with typos, incorrect word usage and overall bad grammar. (Sadly, I still see a lot of that.)
Cory Frye says
I’ll agree with everything said here regarding “good content.” It’s a concept I’ve been wrestling with myself lately, to exasperating proportions, and this helps.
Gayle McLaughlin says
Thank you for a thought provoking article. I think what is classified as good content to one person, may be irrelevant or elementary to another. A blogger seeks to add new information or explain how to do something in his column to help a variety of people and to start a dialogue among many people. I love reading comments on blogs because I learn so much through the discussion.
Many good points in article and comments. I VERY much agree with Jen — a “couple” typos are one thing, many typos and poor grammar are another.
In one sentence: I like well written pieces with unique viewpoints shared in a quietly confident (not know-it-all) and warm tone containing some some humor, or at least levity, when appropriate.
Shaleen Shah says
I have to agree with the points you wrote here about good content as there are plenty of ‘Me too’ articles out there and you have to filter the good from the bad ( and ugly ). I guess, the issue on good content will always be something partially subjective as writing is an art – and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
This is what always bothered me. If I read a book someone described as “great”, I wouldn’t take the word until I personally finished it. My preferences in quality may be different than others.
Same with my writing. Sometimes a client will ask for an overhaul when I feel the article well-suits their audience. In that way, it’s all a learning experience.
Nancy Hyden Woodward says
You wrote “Your article will likely be compared to others on within the same topic.”
What is your reason for following the preposition with the adverb?
In my opinion,that is bad writing.
Jennifer L says
I’m a big fan of content that’s well-researched and well-written. Why invest my time in reading something that the writer hasn’t invested much energy in preparing and writing, you know?
I agree, but find that many, and perhaps most, clients think they should pay less for blog posts than other copy. I always state that you shouldn’t skimp on the quality of the writing or research in your blog posts because that’s where many people have first contact with whatever you do.
Has anyone else found a better way to make blog posts pay better?
Amber Avines says
Good advice, Gayla! I try to concentrate on #1, 2, and 6. I can’t compete on breaking news and don’t have the time for numbers 4 and 5. At the end of the day, I’m just myself. 🙂
Suzannah Kolbeck says
Late to the party here, but this makes me think about having my personal blog as part of my professional website. My posts on my personal blog vary widely, and although I have had good feedback from people that the posts are thought-provoking and useful, I am not sure that’s necessarily the way to go.
Ben Joseph says
It’s great to know your opinion but in my opinion good content is something that is written and based on your own experience. Perfect example of good content is Wikipedia!! you can learn so many things from Wiki: The flow of information, Way of presentation and Choice of words all are very important to generate quality content.