I first started blogging semi-regularly back in 2006. At that time there was less content to consume as blogging had not gone mainstream.
There were less blogs about blogging and less blogs about making money, technology, world events etc. Social media was still in its infancy and YouTube was only one year old.
The story is very different today. Internet users are now overwhelmed with content every single day; whether it be text, images, audio, or video. The growth of social media also means that people are sharing more articles every day. As a result of this, people have more choice and a shorter attention span.
One year ago Mark Schaefer wrote about this phenomenon in an excellent article entitled “Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy“
Mark noted that when you offer your content for free, you are essentially paying your readers to read your content as it costs money to produce it (since your time costs money). With more and more content being published online, you need to produce bigger and better articles in order to stand out. These premium articles take longer to write, therefore the cost to you has to increase in order to get the same return.
Mark followed up his article with another entitled “Six Arguments Against Content Shock“. His second article looked at content shock in a different perspective and looked at how website owners can fight against the issue and gain a readership. I highly recommend reading both of his articles :)
Fighting Content Shock
There is no doubt that content shock is a real problem for many bloggers today. However, I do not believe content overload tells the whole story.
Yes, there is much more content being published online; however, there are also many more ways for you to connect with your audience.
You can connect to readers traditional blogging methods such as:
- Blog posts
- Email marketing
You can also connect to readers using:
- Videos (YouTube/Vimeo etc)
- Social Media
Without doubt, the game has changed, however the goal of growing a following remains the same. So while you may have to fight harder to get the attention of people, there are more tools available to you to help you reach people.
Great content remains key to your success, whether it be high quality blog posts or interesting YouTube videos.
I believe that great content stems from passion. It comes from a passion for the subject, a passion for blogging, and a passion to write great content for your readers.
Most blogs fail because the blog owner loses interest in blogging. Over time, their articles get worse, they reduce their posting frequency, and finally, they give up.
If you want to be successful in 2015, you have to love what you do.
How are you planning on tackling content shock in 2015. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment area below :)