help-settle-this-debate-quality-vs-quantityI read hundreds of blogs a day. They fall into two categories: professional (blogs concerning social media) and recreational (interior design blogs). In the past few weeks I feel as though I’ve read half a dozen posts from various bloggers who are either trying to convince me that I should only blog when I have something truly amazing to say, whether that is once a week or once a month OR I should inundate my readers with content all day long. 5 posts a day! 10 posts a day! Why not 1,000,000 posts a day?

This debate has raged so long and had so many valid points made that I can no longer keep them straight in my head. So I am going to lay things out as I see them. The pros and cons of quality vs quantity. Perhaps seeing them in writing will help me figure out who is right — if anyone is.

Quality PROS:

– All posts will be of value to my readers

– The pressure to produce content every day is gone

Quality CONS:

– I provide my readers with less content

– Sometimes the pressure to write everyday leads to some really great content. With that pressure gone, will a lot of what are my favorite posts have never been written?

– Less content for the search engines to index

– Stats prove that blogs with more content are more popular

Quantity PROS:

– There is lots of content, both for readers and for search engines to index

– I have to be constantly aware of what is going on in the blogosphere in order to be inspired to write

– I write more and you know what they say, practice makes perfect

Quantity CONS:

– The content is not always my absolute best work

– As much as I’d like it to be, blogging is not the only part of my life.  If I didn’t have to put the time in every day to think of a topic and write a post, I’d have more time to put towards promoting my business in other ways.

– Readers can feel like they are being inundated with content

Truthfully, I knew where I stood on this issue before making my list. I just wanted to see if I was able to change my own mind. I wasn’t.

I am all for quantity. I think that providing fresh content day in and day out is a challenge, but one that pushes me to be better than I am. I hope I am providing value to those who read my posts, and if I’m not, then my guess is they’re going to stop following me anyway.

In case you were interested in some of the posts that sparked this post, here are two dueling view points, one from Chris Brogan and one from ProBlogger.

And just a last nugget of thought. Why do they have to be mutually exclusive? Why can’t my aim be to put out quality content every day? Is that such an illusive goal? I don’t think so.

What do you think? Do you have a strong view point on quality vs. quantity? Do you subscribe to either method? Did I miss any pros and cons?



Comments ( 5 )

  1. Greg
    Ryan, my analogy to newspapers and magazines was that they both deliver content, some more specialty oriented than others. Rebecca's blog would be comparable to a content-focused magazine, whereas some blogs are more wider in their content. Take an issue pertinent to me - Weddings. Some blogs will talk about multiple facets of a wedding: photography, floral arrangements, dining, dresses, etc. Some blogs may be all about one or another of these issues. One person may go to a general wedding blog and only care about those posts that address one item or other, whereas some go for the whole kit and kaboodle. Another person may want the full breadth of information on all posts. Remember, newspapers cared (and continue to care) about the quality of all content, but they still have to produce a large quantity of it (to Rebecca's point about wanting quantity that is of excellent quality). The newspaper industry is crumbling because of the wide range of free news sources online, not because of their content. A good newspaper (take the Times or the Journal) have always produced high quality content in significant quantity. Nowadays they produce more through an online medium. But the printed versions are dying because they can't produce and distribute to the extent that the myriad of sources of internet news can.
  2. Ryan
    Greg, Imitating newspapers, probably isn't the smartest idea, given the crumbling of their industry. Newspapers are dinosaurs because they are no longer needed as distributors/filters of current events and opinions. With the type of a few keys and the click of a mouse, anyone can read anything. Because of this fact, blogs should provide quality content because frankly, it takes two seconds to navigate away from your blog (and potentially never return) if the content isn't quality. Rather, I think you are alluding to the key issue that Rebecca highlighted in her post earlier this week...know your customers. Newspapers' goal was to appeal to the widest audience possible (to increase circulation to drive advertising revenue). This required both quantity and breadth in content. That may or may not be the case for a small business, based on who they target. Their balance of quantity vs quality should be influenced by the characteristics of their readers.
    • AuthorRebecca
      Ryan, I think bringing the know your customers point into this debate is key. Great point, and one I will keep in mind while revisiting this debate over and over. -Rebecca
  3. Greg
    One point I would make is that I feel like you have missed one critical point - what is important to one person may not be important to another. Look at the grandfather of the modern blog - the newspaper. Newspapers have multiple sections with multiple stories in each section for a reason - their readership is diverse. If you only read the paper for one section, add a magazine (the blog's great aunt)! If political news is your beef, maybe you supplement the paper with a subscription to the Atlantic. If you love Sports, maybe you read Sports Illustrated. My thinking being that in either case, the more content you have, the more likely someone scanning through will catch their eye on something - hence the wonderful world of Headlines! Eye-grabbing, catchy, and oh-so-useful! :-) So while yes, all of that content should be as high quality as possible, put more and more out there! The stuff I want to read, I will! The stuff I don't (please see Rebecca's bookmarks of Interior Design Blogs), I won't! :-)
    • AuthorRebecca
      Hi Greg, I'm glad you agree with me on the quantity vs. quality. Having as much out there as possible is great, as long as it's high quality enough that people will still learn from it and find value in it. However, most if not all of my content is focused on social media. So I am only appealing to those who want to read about social media. Therefore, I'm not sure your magazine analogy applies as much. If people don't want to read about social media, they won't come to me at all. Thanks for the comment and weighing in on the debate. -Rebecca