Why Content Really Isn’t King and What Actually Is…

Ross Simmonds

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Ever come across a great blog post or slideshare and be surprised that it only has a handful of retweets or shares? Maybe you’ve created great content before and found similar results.

Don’t be discouraged. It’s not because the content sucks. You may have created one of the best resources in your industry and still not make a dent. It’s not that your content wasn’t well written. It’s not even that your content is going after the wrong topic. It’s more likely that it’s something else holding your content back, and I’m going to tell you all about it.

Now, before I actually dive into the real reason some content thrives and others barely survives, let me show you what led to this epiphany.

Over the last two years, I’ve written more than 500,000 words for a combination of ebooks, blog posts, ultimate guides and infographics. Some blog posts were shared 400 times on social, some blog posts were shared 2.5K times on social. Some guides were shared more than 30,000 times on social, some guides were shared less than 5,000 times.

As you can see, the results were very hit or miss from one piece of content to the next. Yet, I started to noticed a pattern that differentiated the content that generated the most traction vs. the content that went unnoticed.

So, I dove deeper and went all in to leverage this pattern and drive success. The first idea I had to challenge was one that is making waves across the industry…

C.R.E.A.M: Content Rules Everything Around Me.

Everyone is screaming that content is king. Everyone wants in on the content marketing space and brands from every industry are publishing content day in and day out.

How much content is created every single day? A lot.

How much content is created in your industry every single week? A lot.

In the marketing space, there are thousands of blog posts published every day on topics very similar to me. This surge in the amount of content being created is found in every industry. In a nutshell, content is everywhere we look and is resulting in people screaming that content is king.

The idea of content being king, is being promoted so frequently that the quality of content being created is suffering. Brands, organizations and businesses are pushing out hundreds of blog posts a week just because they want to be a part of this latest trend and frenzy.

This brings me to the problem. The problem is that some of this content is great but it’s not able to get the attention it deserves because it’s being lost in a sea of noise.

Your Best Content Is Getting Lost… 

Yes, you read that right. Your best content is getting lost in the sea of noise. It’s happened to me many times but I’ve taken the steps to go against the sea by recognizing that content isn’t actually king…

Distribution is.

D.R.E.A.M: Distribution Rules Everything Around Me.

I built up my distribution channels through a combination of hustle and building relationships.

That’s right.

No tricks, no hacks, no quick and easy wins. Hustling to get guest blog posts, tweets from influencers and focusing on giving value to my audience allowed me to establish a reliable and quality distribution network.

How Can You Build A Quality Distribution Network?

It’s actually not that difficult to do. I know some people feel awkward about doing outreach and kick starting blind relationships but it’s relationships that are the backbone of business.

The one thing you don’t want to do if you’re just starting out is shoot for the stars. It’s unrealistic to think that in the matter of minutes you’ll be able to build a relationship with someone like Gary Vaynerchuk or Chris Brogan.

Instead, focus on people who have slightly larger followings and networks than you do and build those relationships. Sure, it’s not going to land you that 100,000 subscribers next week but it’s a good start.

From there, start looking for channels you can publish your content on that will give you credibility. Look for channels that will syndicate your content out to larger audiences and look for guest blogging opportunities.

Finally, you’re going to have to hustle. You’re going to have to submit your own links to channels like Inbound.org, HackerNews and Reddit. You’re going to have to ask your friends to upvote your posts so they generate more buzz. You’re going to have to hustle and promote your content as if it was a business.

Because it is.

At the end of the day, content is important but distribution is what will drive real results. It’s your distribution channels that will help your content reach a larger and more relevant audience. It’s your distribution channels that will help you reach the audience of your dreams.

Wrapped Up

When you publish your next great piece of content, spend double the amount of time you took writing it, to promote it and get it in front of the right people. Steal some of the ideas I’ve used to drive distribution and let me know how it works!

PS: I’d love for you to share this post with your followers & friends. It would mean a lot! 🙂

(Photo by pasa47)

About Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.

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Five Content Marketing Ideas for Enterprise and B2B StartupsHow To Write B2B Content That Your Audience Really WantsWhy Content Distribution Is More Important Than Ever Before | Foundation IncFour Actionable Blogging Tips For Increasing Your Traffic & ReachThe Power Of Content Distribution: Why You Should Share More | Crate Recent comment authors
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Branko Kral
Guest

Very hands-on and sincere!

Ross Simmonds
Guest

Thanks for the comment Branko!

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[…] Is content king? I don't think so. In fact, here's why I don't think content is truly king in content marketing.Ever come across a great blog post or slideshare and be surprised that it only has a handful of retweets or shares? Maybe you’ve created great content before and found similar results.Don’t be discouraged. It’s not because the content sucks. You may have created one of the best resources in your industry and still not make a dent. It’s not that your content wasn’t well written. It’s not even that your content is going after the wrong topic. It’s… Read more »

trackback

[…] Is content king? I don't think so. In fact, here's why I don't think content is truly king in content marketing. Ever come across a great blog post or slideshare and be surprised that it only has a handful of retweets or shares? Maybe you’ve created great content before and found similar results. Don’t be discouraged. It’s not because the content sucks. You may have created one of the best resources in your industry and still not make a dent. It’s not that your content wasn’t well written. It’s not even that your content is going after the wrong… Read more »

Jon D Hawkins
Guest

Wow!! this post really sums it up in simple terms. It’s all about outreach.

Ross Simmonds
Guest

Thanks for the comment Jon. You’re right. It’s all about making the right relationships and getting your content in front of the right people.

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[…] Is content king? I don't think so. In fact, here's why I don't think content is truly king in content marketing.  […]

Alicia Williams
Guest
Alicia Williams

This is very vital information. Something I knew all along as content writing is not my strong point! Network, Network and Network some more. Once you have established those networks USE your networks. Something most people do not do. People are busy adding people to their networks that they don’f follow up with these people to form the relationships they need to move them forward in their success! Thanks for the confirmation Ross!

Ross Simmonds
Guest

Glad you enjoyed it Alicia – Thanks for the comment!

scott westerlaken
Guest
scott westerlaken

Nice summation Ross! Reminds me you still owe me a guest blog article from 2010! 😉

Commentrix
Guest
Commentrix

What you have written is so right! Network is King! It really is. Spread the word is the best way to promote your content!

Ross Simmonds
Guest

Spot on! Thanks for the comment.

trackback

[…] Is content king? I don't think so. In fact, here's why I don't think content is truly king in content marketing.Over the last two years, I’ve written more than 500,000 words for a combination of ebooks, blog posts, ultimate guides and infographics. Some blog posts were shared 400 times on social, some blog posts were shared 2.5K times on social. Some guides were shared more than 30,000 times on social, some guides were shared less than 5,000 times.As you can see, the results were very hit or miss from one piece of content to the next. Yet, I started… Read more »

trackback

[…] Is content king? I don't think so. In fact, here's why I don't think content is truly king in content marketing. Over the last two years, I’ve written more than 500,000 words for a combination of ebooks, blog posts, ultimate guides and infographics. Some blog posts were shared 400 times on social, some blog posts were shared 2.5K times on social. Some guides were shared more than 30,000 times on social, some guides were shared less than 5,000 times. As you can see, the results were very hit or miss from one piece of content to the next. Yet,… Read more »

Joy Ezeka
Guest

Wow! I enjoyed reading this! I had joined the bandwagon to sing “Content is King”. I’m going to add a few lyrics to that song- Content is important but distribution is what will drive real results!

Ross Simmonds
Guest

We’ve all jumped on that bandwagon – Thanks for commenting Joy!

Jolynn Oblak
Guest
Jolynn Oblak

Ross- You shared some great insights here.I tell people all the time that while you need good engaging content, you need to also build a network and as a beginner spend about 80% of your time promoting your content. A great way to get your blog post shared is to reach out to influencers who you have mentioned in your blog, or whose course you reviewed or whose work you mentioned and ask them to share it in their network.

Ross Simmonds
Guest

Thanks Jolynn – Great to hear I’m not the only one fighting the good fight! Distribution = King.

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[…] failing your own content by not putting enough elbow grease into creating distribution channels. Content is no longer king! Distribution […]

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[…] D.R.E.A.M – Distribution Rules Everything Around Me. [Check this out] […]

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[…] of the discussions I have with clients over and over again is the importance of distribution. To them, it’s one thing to hire me and my team to create some content; it’s another to invest […]

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[…] doing everything we can to ensure that these pieces of content soar. We’ve got to get back to the hustle of content distribution. It’s the only shot we have to break through the […]

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[…] enough to simply create the content and overlook the fact that it’s important to invest in content distribution. Content that isn’t distributed to a large sample size will taint the results of using […]

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[…] you follow me, you know I actually preach that distribution is king. And while I still claim that to be true, there is nothing to distribute if you don’t create the […]

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