Is Content King or An Afterthought?

Back when I started blogging (ahem...2009...feels like forever ago!) content was king. It was the only thing that drew people to your blog. Even though blogging was not as popular as it is today, the market was still there and quite saturated with similar voices and similar experiences. So, as is reasonable, your blog content mattered more than anything. 

I know I am speaking for many other bloggers from that time period when I say that we were all spending hours on the WORDS we wrote. We would write and write and write and edit and edit and edit. The work we put out was personal, built community and was often pretty darn good! Personally, I would write for hours before I felt happy with a post. I would pour my heart out on the page and let it just lay out for people to read. It was probably why people commented and shared and felt connected to me even if they had never met me before.

Content was king

It was why, back in 2009, you got any traffic on your blog and why you bothered continuing to blog (especially because there was very little money in blogging at that time). 

To be honest, good blog content was often so good that I used to spend an hour or two a day reading other blogs not because they were my competition and I wanted to keep tabs on them but because the words they wrote were relatable and meaningful for my life.

But things have now changed.  Have you noticed?

I'd say that the biggest blogging worry now is not content (in fact I think content is last on the list of worries). Now, if you're blogging with any hope of procuring an audience you need to be worried about design and what you can give away. Successful bloggers are churning out posts almost daily with very little worthwhile and relatable content. In fact, some of my favourite 2009/10 bloggers have either quit the game or changed into a {much more lucrative} contest, giveaway, or review blog.

What's more, people don't share other blog posts even when the content is amazing, because we're suddenly all in competition. We're competing for advertising, sponsorships, trips and twitter parties. We're not acting like a community of people sharing our stories and true feelings and advice, we're acting like rival businesses set on ruining and stepping on each other to ensure we come out on top.

Bloggers are worrying more about site design, highly stylized photos, hilarious memes, and contests to drive traffic than the thing that blogging was meant for in the first place: really, really great content.

And if you think I'm talking about other bloggers only, I'm not, because I find myself there too, getting caught in sacrificing content for guaranteed hits over and over again. 

Listen, people get into blogging for their own reasons. There are some blogs out there that focus on one thing (honest reviews of baby products, amazing recipes, useful DIYs, to name a few) and do a phenomenal job of it. These niche blogs may require highly stylized photos or sponsored content to help tell their stories. They serve a {much needed and very useful} purpose and I quite enjoy visiting them. But that doesn't mean I don't miss the content-rich blogs of old. Blogs where life stories (funny and sad) and the experiences that make us human were shared. Blogs that made you think and relate and react. Blogs with content that mattered to you, as the reader.

And maybe it is just the cost of the business of blogging. I mean, blogging is a business. I see my own blog as a business and I'm certainly not against people making money for the work that they do, in fact it would be hypocritical of me to say so. If any of us want to make money off our blog then we have to meet certain expectations and benchmarks, but I am concerned with and quite against the new perceived benchmark of a successful blogger: highly designed blog, professional-grade photos, and a whole lot of advertising with no good content to go along with it. 

So bloggers, I say to you: do those sponsored posts, put up your reviews, include your contests (seriously, you deserve to make money for your work) but just make sure there is another reason for people to come back again and again. Give us, the people who love to read blogs as much as we love to write them, something to grasp on to and a reason to visit your site often.

Don't stop providing that content, that community, that interaction that blogging was built on. I beg you, don't let the 'business' of blogging (the numbers, the brands and the race to be on top) dilute what makes blogging amazing. 


  1. Thanks for this post

  2. Gosh I feel this sentiment as a new blogger! Thank you for this great post! Lou at

    1. Focus on that content, Lou! I'm already a fan of the work you're doing:)


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