On one hand, you have the burning desire to create something remarkable, memorable, and of sheer quality. It takes time, love and hard work, and you run the risk that it will go unappreciated, for after all you are pandering to your own notion of what needs to be said and done. After all, to paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, you don’t do art to make money, you do art to make your soul grow.
On the other hand, there’s the real, gut-wrenching need to make money (or any other metric of success – search rankings, pageviews, awards, booty). This is the drive to optimize, to tap into market consciousness, measure what works (and what doesn’t), and to ruthlessly churn out content (or products – define your own output) according to your scientific formula of success (usually translates into PageViews = Money).
We know that quality and success CAN go hand in hand – it’s just that success is easier without if you don’t have to worry about quality and it’s the execution of an idea that makes the real difference, not how good it is.
As a professional blogger and entrepreneur, I face the quality v success challenge every day. There are thousands of blogs in dozens of niches that are doing spectacularly well by following the PageViews = Money formula and are quite successful ventures for their owners, although at their core the product is decidedly third-rate. Reading these blogs angers me because I expect better from the top bloggers, but at the same time there’s an admiration for their unwavering commitment to doing what works and continued amazement at how we overestimate the intelligence of our readers (selfishly, I might add).
So….what’s more important for you – creating quality or creating success?
I would want both Quality and Success, but if i have to pick one i would go for Quality. At the end of the day it is not just about making money. You should be happy with what you produce.
If you want to love blogging you need to create what is in your heart and mind. If you want to make money it’s just a job. And not too many folks love their job.
I’m with you big guy.
I want to enrich my life and hopefully the lives of the five readers who come by on a regular basis. And I actually just posted a long post about it here. Have you guys been reading my mind again?
Apparently the force field needs to be recharged.
Combining quality & success can go hand in hand, but you’re going to need to have a massive amount of knowledge in various fields … Then the time and the work … I believe that many people start out from a quality perspective and then drop a level, and then another, and then another … I’ve seen it happen many times…
I believe that it’s best to find a middle ground … specially with the subject of blogging and making bucks from it …
Then again, it depends on what’s happening around you … if your competitors are all filling their blogs with newsflashes and product reviews, you can stand out by writing quality content…. if your competitors are great writers and your now, you need to differentiate yourself in another way …
http://www.newmediatype.com – internet business blog for web entrepreneurs, small online business, web developers and serious bloggers .
you got the iphone? oh well…
My goal from the get-go was quality. I never tried to be successful. I like to think success has come because of the quality.
as someone with a strong appreciation for the sweet spot between quality and success it makes me smile to be writing this comment on an iPhone;-)
It’s hard for me to work on something long-term that’s not quality. So I need to focus on quality to have long term success. I think my slight OCD and perfectionism has a lot to do with this.
Great question, by the way. It’s something I bet bloggers have to deal with constantly.
I try to find compromise…a happy medium. Obviously, if quality was the only criterion, then something is always better quality without ads then with ads…so the highest quality publisher would also be the poorest.
quality + proper execution = any type of success
quality + poor execution = abysmal failure
perhaps the adherence to quality at the expense of everything else (or to turn that around, the prioritization of quality over other factors) has more to do with self-image (I don’t want to be associated with something that’s not good) than with anything else.
I don’t make much online, but I don’t need to. I’m independently wealthy.
Actually, that’s not true. I’m not wealthy at all.
I’m retired, with a pension subsidized with income from very carefully managed investments (meaning I can’t get at the investments). We’re actually getting by with less income than I had when I was working.
I would like to make more online to augment my retirement and investment income. However, I don’t “need” the income, so I don’t need to create third-rate material. To me, taking the time to create quality material or to post quality new public domain material that can be useful or interesting to others is more important than monetary success.
Quality = Long term success
Long term value is important to me and I am willing to “leave money on the table” to ensure it. I think a lot of the time people are looking at the here and now while damaging their future branding.