Articles or Blog Posts? It’s Quality that Counts

Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen recently shared some of his pearls of wisdom on the role of blogs as marketing tools, and promptly upset a number of business blog experts in the process.

Although I don’t agree with his rather narrow pigeon holing of blogging as being for websites that sell cheap products where customers are easily converted – or completely understand how he formulated his graphs – I do appreciate his point on the need to be providing high quality content.

Nielsen makes the valid point that to differentiate yourself from the competition you simply have to be providing better insight and value:

“To demonstrate world-class expertise, avoid quickly written, shallow postings. Instead, invest your time in thorough, value added content that attracts paying customers.”

Whether your content is in the form of a white paper or a blog, for your words to be an effective marketing tool they have to be concise, engaging and offer value to the reader.

The beauty of blogs is that if the reader is interested in what you have to say then they can subscribe to your feed, enabling you to develop trust and confidence over time. A point I think Nielsen missed.

Blogs are, in essence, content management systems, and it’s up to you how you use them. If it’s for business purposes then you should be writing to showcase your expertise and educate the reader about your company.

With consumers now averse to advertising and marketing messages, it has never been more important to start selling through information and education. Exactly what well written copy, whether it’s in the format of a blog or not, should be aiming for.

This follows on from a post I wrote, this week, for Empowerwomennow.com, in which I discussed how investing time in one thorough post a week can be more effective than three quick ones. It’s all about quality rather than quantity, particularly if you’re a SME with limited time.

There’s plenty of value to be found in commentary, links to useful resources and the latest news; however, I think thought leadership should be the cornerstone of any business focused content strategy, and this can be best achieved with insightful and well researched posts.

The issue of the quality of web writing seems to be a popular theme at the moment as Walter Burek, author of Inklings blog, discussed it this week with the release of a new book, The Cult of the Amateur. The author, Andrew Keen, assess the negative impact of blogs by revisiting T.H.Huxley’s notion of infinite monkeys on typewriters:

“spewing an endless stream of amateur journalism, uninformed commentary, and wretched poetry, fiction, reviews and essays ? infinite monkeys providing infinite information for infinite readers, perpetuating the cycle of misinformation and ignorance.”

It’s the duty of professional writers everywhere to educate businesses on the value of well written and thought through content.

So, write engagingly with value and purpose, and differentiate yourself from the competition, whatever format your writing is in.

6 Comments. Leave new

Hi Matt!

In all honesty, I was wondering “hmm, what would Matt’s weekly pillar post/article would be to follow-up on his high-impact guest post yesterday”?

And, here you have it: a detailed, well-researched, follow-up article giving us more reason to always value “” over “quantity”!

Without sounding ‘condensing’; Great Job Matt!
Thanks

[…] Ambrose makes the point that content quality is key not whether you call it a blog post or article. Of course he’s […]

Great new layout Matt!
Engaging, tells us what you do, where, how…leading us in the right direction and much more! Hmm…maybe you should consult on my new layout in addition to its content too 😉

[…] informative and helpful posts on a weekly basis. His philosophy is summed up in his recent article, Articles or Blog Posts? It’s Quality that Counts. In the article Matt argues in favor of providing well written and thought through content. In […]

Thanks Ponn. I’m actually using the same template as on your blog = Vertigo by Brian Gardner. I think it looks more professional than cutline and allows me to get more info across quickly to both business and blog visitors. Lets hope they agree!

[…] discussion has started again, though with a somewhat different slant, as Ben Yoskovitz, Tony Hung, Matt Ambrose, and others respond to Jakob Nielson’s call for his clients to write articles, not blog […]

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