RT Cunningham


Quality Instead of Quantity - Make Your Visitors Happy

quality On a now defunct website, I once wrote an article that included the words “quality versus quantity” in the title. Although I wrote that article with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, some of the concepts still apply outside of the SEO arena.

Quantity, or volume, doesn’t matter if no one’s reading or looking at the content you’re producing. Perhaps it mattered for internal links at one time, but I seriously doubt it matters today.

I’m writing a similar article today. It has nothing (really it doesn’t) to do with SEO. It has everything to do with the value you give your readers.

Quality and Learning from Mistakes

When I ran a bulletin board service (1992-1998), I had a friend who called me almost everyday. His name was Cliff (Clifton) but I rarely called him that. I used his online persona, his handle, most of the time. And he used mine. He was at least 20 years older than me, so he had to be at least 58 when I shut the board down. And he had a degree in mathematics. He could rewrite machine code on the fly.

I would complain about some of the users on the board and he would tell me I should ban them. The value of 100 good users was worth more than 1000 bad ones. Or something like that.

It’s the same thing with the articles I write. In this case, the value of 10 articles that draw hundreds of visitors in a month is worth more than 500 articles that draw maybe one or two visitors over the course of a month. Whether the articles are good or bad doesn’t make much of a difference but quality articles will bring return visitors.

Make More Money and Work Less

The idea behind writing quality articles is to draw the types of visitors who’ll actually read what you write. Even then, many of them will merely read the first paragraph and then move on.

I won’t tell you how to write article titles (“headlines”) or how to capture attention with the first paragraph. I’m way too lazy to do it for myself most of the time.

It makes no sense to write for the sake of writing. You can publish a new article every day and it may not make any difference at all in the number of readers who decide to follow you.

It makes a lot of sense to write about the thing (or things) you enjoy. Why? Because enthusiasm is contagious. Not only that, but you’re probably not the only person who enjoys what you enjoy.

My Plan of Attack

I’m writing more about music these days than anything else. I enjoy listening to it and reading about the people who create it. I don’t really care if no one else shares my enthusiasm.

Every month, I check the metrics for old articles. I’m using Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools. I don’t do it all at once (I’m in no hurry), but I’ll remove articles that don’t get any page views in a month. It doesn’t matter how many times they show up on search pages on Google, Bing or Yahoo. If they’re worth rewriting (with a new title), then so be it. Otherwise, I don’t really care.

I used to make it a point to write at least one article a day (and at one time, it was up to five articles a day). I was six to ten years younger than I am now. Very few of those articles were of any quality at all. Nowadays, if I write an article or two every day, it’s an amazing thing.

I’m writing for my visitors, of course, but I’m also writing for me. It there isn’t a thread of quality in what I write, it’s a mistake.

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By RT Cunningham
November 3, 2016
Web Development