Template Faerie

If Content isn't King, What Is?

Published on Thursday, February 17, 2011
By Sarah Payne
When I was very new to blogging, I read and believed that content was king. I thought as long as I wrote good content, it would be recognized, my blog would get good amounts of traffic, and it would be as popular as I dreamed it could be. This, however, from my own experience, and from research I've done, has been shown to be untrue. If you create a blog, people won't come just because the content is good and that it exists. It doesn't work that way in the blogosphere—at least, not unless you're really lucky, and somebody comes across your blog and advertises it for you. But even then, content isn't king. That's mostly chance, and not much work on your part.

If you haven't heard somebody say it before, I'm sure you'll hear it soon enough. From what I've seen on the internet, people who say "content is king" tend to believe that you should put all your effort (or most of it) into content. It is true that good content gives someone a reason to read your blog, and it keeps them coming back. But how do you expect the reader to find the content in the first place? Good content alone won't do that.

Relationship is king

In an article on Famous Bloggers, Chase Brumfield disproves the popular belief that content is king. He says relationship is king.

If you have created a blog, chances are you want it to be noticed. That's the whole point of a blog. This means you must promote it, but not in the "check-out-my-blog" sort of way that comes to mind. You need to build relationships, a process that takes time—a lot of time! I'm still working on it. Are you?

I like bloggers who publish great content. But what I really love is when they talk to me directly. When I leave a comment, they make a reply. When I send them an @message on Twitter, they send one back to me. When I follow them on Twitter or retweet their tweet, they thank me and follow me back. What's even better is when they remember me or when they initiate a conversation with me. It feels good when a somewhat new blogger like me gets noticed.

Whether you're a new blogger or not, it's extremely important to build relationships with both your readers and other bloggers. Here are some reminders for how you can do this.

Reply to every comment on your blog

Well, almost every comment. If somebody asks a question, answer it and be as informative as you can. When somebody thanks you for sharing some tips on your blog, say "you're welcome". Not only do many readers appreciate this, but it also increases the comment count on your posts, which is always good if you like that.

Be a part of the community on Twitter

By saying this, I don't simply mean you should get an account on Twitter. You should get on Twitter, but what I really mean is that you should stop sitting in the corner (if that's at all possible on the internet) away from everybody else and promoting yourself and yourself only. You need to be a part of the community, and just "being on Twitter" is not the same thing. Twitter, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to interact with other people, and that's exactly what you need to do. Initiating conversations, thanking people for tweeting about you, and retweeting interesting articles are only a few ways to be part of the community.

Most importantly, be a human!

You will never be able to easily build relationships on the internet if you don't act like a human. Regardless of where you're writing—on your blog, in your comments, or on social networks—write how you talk. Be warm, friendly, and informative.

I believe that if you focus on connecting with your readers and other bloggers with similar interests while writing compelling content too, you will be able to improve your traffic and get noticed in the blogosphere. This is actually a new concept for me, but I think it sounds promising, and my traffic has improved in the short time since I began putting it into action.

So what do you think of this? Do you agree with me, or am I crazy? I want to hear your opinions and ideas. Leave your comments below!

About the Author

I'm Sarah Payne, the author of this blog. I'm an amateur writer and template designer, an avid Blogger-user, and a reptile lover. One way or another, I ended up creating TF to show people that blogs don't have to be ugly and to share my unavoidably opinionated rants. You can also find me on Twitter and Google+.