In the ‘What the Content Marketing’ series, I’m taking you with me in my journey as a Content Marketer. I share the whys, buts, WTFs and hows of Content Marketing.
In this blog, I’m reviewing the ‘Quantity vs. Quality’- discussion in Content Marketing.
Quantity results in Quality
People often tell you that Quality Is better than Quantity. In the context of Content Marketing, it is better to publish one very good blog per month than writing two mediocre blogs per week. You should rather build a Social Media Content calendar that includes one well-performing weekly post, than posting poor content each day.
Of course, the necessity of how often you should post depends on various factors. But I would argue that it is indeed true that Content Marketers should focus on creating ‘exclusive’ quality content, instead of publishing content high in quantity for the sake of attention.
But how can you distinct content high in quality from mediocre content? Simple. You can read books, follow the minds of like-minded content creators, and examine well-performing social media posts and ads to get to know what good content is.
Great, but how can you create high-quality content? That is something different.
Great website developers didn’t just follow how-to-code courses. Great book authors didn’t just read Hemmingway or Shakespeare. Great award-winning Marketing Agencies didn’t just exist out of nowhere.
Just like with mastering any other skill: Practice is key. Before being able to create content that is distinctively better than other people’s content, you have to put a lot of work and hours into creating content first. That means: Quality is preceded by a high amount of quantity.
The journey towards becoming a Content Marketer started back in 2013, when I’d occasionally Tweet and write some blogs for a sports organization. Back in 2017, I started writing my first blogs and pages on this website (in Dutch), and since then I’ve also designed a lot of Social Media posts using Photoshop.
Jelle, you’re making me embarrassed for your posts.
You know what the fun thing is? As of today, I can tell I’m creating good content. How? Just by looking back at all the posts I’ve shared over the past 5 to 10 years…
…Because every time I look back at these posts, a crippling sense of embarrassment creeps into my head. Did I really create this?
Take one of my earliest Dutch blog posts: Unclear writing, I missed some grammar errors, waaay too long sentences, and I wrote too much just to say very little. Take one of my earliest Photoshop designs: Was I even using Photoshop or was I using Paint?
But at the time when I published that content, I felt quite confident. The things I wrote and created were good to go, and I certainly received many positive responses. How did I became so embarrassed over my previous creations? Were they so bad?
Well, maybe I’m exaggerating too much.
I felt this sense of embarrassment because I was comparing the content I created back in 2017 with the content I am creating right now. Over the last 4 years, I have created tens of website pages and blogs, hundreds of Photoshop files and thousands of social media copy.
And each time I created these pages, blogs, photoshops and social media copy, I practiced. I tried out new things, I learned from my mistakes. And I kept creating. And because I kept creating, practicing and publishing so much content, I started seeing what works and what doesn’t works, and what I can do and what I can’t do.
I’m giving my opinion on things I created 4 years ago. With the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the past 4 years. Of course I’m going to say that the things I create in 2021 are way better than the things I created back in 2017.
Reaching High Quality by Tweeting High Quantity.
After graduating from university, I had more time to focus on more personal projects. In June 2020, I opened a Twitter account, which I could use to practice my writing and test my Marketing knowledge.
Again, when I look back at some of my first Tweets, I feel embarrassed. “No wonder no one interacted with me back then.”
But again, I’m evaluating a Tweet I wrote 12 months ago. Since then, I’ve published 3859 Tweets. That’s more than 300 Tweets a month. Every month, I gave myself the opportunity to write 300 Tweets to test which ones worked, and which one didn’t. And yes, many of my Tweets I wrote during the past months were bad — Really bad.
But if I hadn’t published those bad Tweets, I couldn’t have known which Tweets were bad and why , and I wouldn’t have found ways to improve my Tweets. My entire Twitter portfolio consists of 3859 pieces of me practicing writing, copywriting and visual design.
Now with 12 months and 3859 posts of experience, I slightly start to get a grip on which Tweets work and which Tweet don’t. For instance, I know that I need to keep my Tweets short and simple. I know that my best performing Tweets are my best-formatted tweets: The Tweets that include lots of dots, bullet points and whitespaces. I realize that in order to get engagement, I have to make people engage.
Output quantity before outputting quality
And that’s the thing of posting a lot. By focusing on outputting quantity first, you start to learn how to output quality later. And that’s why you always need to push yourself to just create, publish and share. Even if you think your content isn’t perfect. Even when you think your Tweet is too good to share. Doesn’t matter. Time will tell.