The Dangers of Content For Content’s Sake

The Anxious Type by JD Hancock

The Anxious Type by JD Hancock

Content is king!  The web is all about content!  You must have fresh content if you want to be seen on the new, ever-changing, social web.  A lot of advice regarding social media strategies and blogging suggest creating new content every day, setting a schedule to post within, and not deviating from this. This approach does have its advantages – for example, the idea that people will check back every day, or on certain days, out of habit, whether they have seen a social media update informing them of a new post or not.  Bloggers and businesses alike  promise themselves that they’ll add content to their site as frequently as possible, to keep up the momentum of FRESH!  NEW!  CONTENT! 

However, some content creators, particularly for business, find themselves in danger of creating content without intent – content solely for content’s sake.  Sometimes, there isn’t any news. Sometimes, there isn’t anything in the media which even vaguely relates to your field of expertise. Sometimes, there just isn’t anything to say. So, what happens then?

Content for content’s sake is just noise.  Content without intent is irrelevant.  Content for content’s sake is content that contains very little actual value to readers, and is only there to make your site seem “fresh”, and to beef up your backlinks, or keywords, for SEO purposes. This kind of post seems valuable – fresh content attracts search engines, but it can be off-putting for your audience. Repeat readers will be expecting a post of the usual high quality with relevant, actionable or inspirational information.  To come across a boilerplate piece that’s only posted as a means of sticking to your posting schedule and boosting search engine rankings may make them reconsider your value (and where they spend their time on the ‘net).

Frank Reed of Biznology says:

“Businesses that produce too much information start to appear spammy and scattered. This does not instill confidence in customers and prospects. In fact, it is more likely to confuse them and push them away. Content for content’s sake does not help a business that is trying to be a true influencer in their industry. In fact, it makes you look like the little boy who cried wolf, because when you actually have something important to say, no one will be able to see it through all the other drivel you have produced.”

And it’s true.  Everyone re-Pins.  Everyone re-posts.  Everyone re-Tweets.  Google any one phrase and you’ll see a host of websites with that same message.  What stands out from the masses of repurposed content?  Content that’s relevant, that makes sense, that’s written for humans by humans as a means of conveying facts, knowledge, opinion, and interesting information.  And if you don’t have that?  Don’t post just because you have to keep your site fresh.

A good way of avoiding this type of content is to read over each piece and ask if you would send it to a stranger as a good representation of your website overall. If the answer is no, then don’t publish it! Readers would rather a blogger miss a few days worth of posts than read through half-baked content.  Post when you have something to say – it doesn’t have to be life-altering, but it should be valuable to your reader.

Have you ever skipped a few days of publishing content until you found something worth writing about? How did it affect your website?

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