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How Much Content Is Too Much in 2016?

Written by John Maver  ()
on September 6, 2016 ·

How much content is too much? In our previous post on the right amount of content to produce, we looked at data from Moz and HubSpot  and the answer was as much as you can write consistently with quality. But that was all the way back in 2015, so what is the right answer for 2016?

In 2016, More Content is Winning

This new post from BuzzSumo lays out the case for more content. Sites like The Washington Post have seen a massive growth in traffic and shares as a result of their huge volume of content. With around 1,200 posts per day (!), they have passed The New York Times in visitors. Back in 2015, The Washington Post only published 500/day.

OK, maybe 1,200 posts/day is an outlier. The article gives a few more examples:

  • HubSpot at 333+ posts/day
  • Nail Patel at 66+ posts/day
  • Social Media Examiner at 33+ posts/day

Another article (updated recently) on The Atlantic, shows that BuzzFeed published 222 pieces of content per day.

Of course, they do with with a huge editorial staff - 400-1300 people. At 400 people, that would make BuzzFeed's per person output at half a blog post day, which actually seems more reasonable.

 

Quality vs Quantity or Both?

“Content Based Topical Authority Sites” are given more SERP Visibility compared to sites that only cover the topic briefly (even if the site covering the topic briefly has a lot of generic authority). More articles written on the same topic increase the chances for the site to be treated as a "Topical Authority Content Site" on that specific topic.

- cognitiveseo.com

The key to all this content is that it is current, hyper-topical, and easy to consume - the perfect formula for social media shares, which in turn drive traffic.

Today's blog readers aren't the same as the old ones - they aren't even blog readers. They are news feed skimmers on social, where everyone is competing for their attention. Once they decide on an article, they are likely to skim that as well, looking for a quick hit in their busy day. Short form posts - the kind you could write several of in a day - are the perfect format for this.

These posts need to be clearly laid out and well-written, so quality is still required. 

On the other hand, the other "audience" is Google - the search engine that rewards "quality" and "authority" with additional traffic. The people that Google brings also want quick and well written answers to their exact questions, so being hyper-topical makes sense here too. Authority is also influenced by "Topical Authority" - 20 quality posts on a topic can get more visibility than just a few (all other things being equal). 

So, the answer is to write many short, but high-quality, posts on single topics to establish authority for Google AND cater to the skimming needs of social media.

  

Takeaways

So, what should you do to start getting topic authority?

  1. Pick one topic at a time. What is something that you can offer a lot of value/insight into and that you can write a lot about?
  2. Plan the content. Write out a list of 10-20 blog posts titles on the subtopics.
  3. Check the keywords. Verify that there are ranking opportunities for the topic and subtopics and refine the list.
  4. Post a blog a day. Time block 2 hours a day for the first week to create your posts, and then adjust to your actual requirements
  5. Check the results. Measure the effects by looking at both your overall content engagement on social media and your organic traffic volume after a month or 2.

 

We would love to know your results, so please share.

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Topics: Content Marketing

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