Content is NOT King

This is part 2 of the Performancing Blog Reboot.

I could, of course, toe the established ‘bloggers’ line’ and say that content IS king.

But it’s not. Seriously.

Content is just one part of the puzzle that is successful blogging. The world’s best advice on blogging is meaningless if no one’s there to read it.

Quite often when we shout from the rooftops – ‘Content is KING!’ – we forget that content is NOT everything – heck, it’s not even the main thing.

So what is ‘the main thing’?

You. The blogger himself.

It’s the effort the blogger puts in: from writing quality content to networking within his blogging community to meeting people at conferences to marketing his blog to building a community around his blog with his readers to putting in the extra hours managing the blog in the background.

It takes a helluva lot of work, and that’s just to be ‘acceptably good’.

If you want to be the best, I’d suggest you read the following articles and then decide if being top gun is the right choice for you:

5 Things You Should Know About ProBlogger
Michael Arrington’s profile in Wired
Turning blogging from hobby to career

If you’ve already read them, then you have an idea of what I’m talking about.

Of course, you may decide that being numero uno is not the thing for you. That cuts back on the work, yes, but blogging is a full-time gig and takes as much effort as any other business (probably more so as you have so many hats on) to make successful.

So, to reiterate, the blogger is King. If he’s a kickass king with a knack for picking up on future trends and networking, then his blog has a good chance of success.

But if he’s a lame king, or if, relative to his competition, he can’t beat them for effort, strategy or knowledge, then his blog isn’t going anywhere.

So what does this have to do with the Performancing Reboot?

It tells us that you can’t take your eyes off the ball – that while content is important you need to view it in direct relation with everything else that a blogger must do. – Helping Bloggers Succeed

I strongly believe that your readers come first in any ‘planning’ that you do about what your site offers. Think about your own expertise later – figure out what your target market wants and get busy providing it.

In Part 1 I said that with Performancing’s history and the resources available to us we could target the spectrum of bloggers by segmenting different topics and establishing our expertise in those areas.

The danger with doing that is that you could be shown up in a particular area by a dedicated blogger who is talking ‘only’ about design or ‘only’ about monetization. Fair enough. I don’t believe in running away from competition – it makes us stronger and pushes us to improve, so the more the merrier.

In fact I’d go so far as to say that you need competition in order to a) maintain your quality standards and b) push you towards continuously improving yourself and your blog.

Let’s take a look at what topics Performancing can possibly talk about in the future:

What to talk about

If this were a proper reboot I’d not only list the topics that a blog could talk about but I’d also go into detail, list sub-topics, show sample blogs / sites that cover those topics and establish a minimum level of quality and knowledge that would be expected from that blog.

  • Blogging
  • Monetization
  • Promotion
  • Management (hosting, legal issues)
  • Design (including WP themes and plugins)
  • Blog Networks
  • Blogging Jobs (and hiring)
  • Blog Buying & Selling (including blog valuations)

Beyond this I’ll just say that yes, that’s a LOT of ground to cover and yes, it’s an ambitious plan. It’s easier if you tie in the fact that a lot of this is ‘already written’ and that we’re going to enlist the help of Perf members, it becomes a bit more manageable.

Bottom line – whatever you write has to be of a certain quality and whatever services and tools you provide must meet certain expectations. With Performancing that level of quality must be the initial levels set by Nick and Chris and the expectations to be met should be the same as those that were in place when ScribeFire, pMetrics and the Perf Ad Network all originally launched.

Tools & Services

Some of these you’ve already seen in one shape or the other. There’s our blog stats package, pMetrics. There are wordpress themes, which have done quite well. The Blogger Jobs and Blog Sales forums have done well, although they’ve been limited in reach.

In the future we’ll be bringing out more tools and services, and will continue to improve what we already have.

In fact, by next week you should have at least one new service on the table.

Blogging Rhythm

While Performancing will give more attention than before to blogging tools and services, the content will still be a core part of the offering.

In the coming days and weeks I’ll be looking to upping the tempo here on Performancing – part of that means lots of writing from my end but luckily for you guys that also means that we’ll be bringing in more columnists, each experts in their own areas.

On the other hand, since we are rebuilding it also means that you’re focusing more on packaging old content / archives, reactivating relationships, reviving the userbase and providing tools and services instead of just talking about blogging, so there also needs to be a tradeoff.

For your own blogs, heavy blogging may NOT be the ticket out of all problems.

A few months back when David Krug was running Perf I argued with him a lot about the need for regular blogging ‘like the old days’. He was polite about it but effectively his answer was that ‘blogging’ wasn’t the priority, reviving old services was. It pissed me off, but now I know that David was right.

Write as much as you can without compromising quality.

Now I’m not the best writer on the planet, I know, so I’ll make sure I get other people to contribute. Ok?

What’s Next

I had to leave a lot out of this part of the reboot, mainly because it’s stuff that we’re planning to do at Performancing in the next couple of months and while I don’t want to ‘tell-all’ I also don’t want to talk about something that might later be scrapped.

In part 3 though, I’ll be a lot more open as we’re talking about design issues – and Liz, I need your help on that 🙂 .

2 thoughts on “Content is NOT King

  1. Refering to the title, a Real king has

    1. A Kingdom ( a Domain or realm that he own owns )
    2. Subjects (not refering to a topic, I mean visitors, readers or audience )

    Without #2 your content can’t be king

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