Why Creating Great Content Should be a Blogger’s Top Priority

    creating great content

    I’m often asked, “What’s the most important thing I should be spending my time on as a blogger?”

    And my answer is always: Creating great content.

    While there are lots of things that can contribute to building a successful blog — social media, good design, effective monetizing, marketing, etc. — none of them are nearly as important as content. In fact,  creating great content is the best way to do all of the above and more.

    Why? The reason goes to the heart of what we’re doing as bloggers, and is very simple: we’re trying to connect with readers, to attract readers, to share with readers, to help readers. Remember the common word there: “readers”.

    So the reader comes for content — what makes the reader stick around and subscribe? More great content, and the reasonable expectation (based on the content you already have) that there will be more to come on a regular basis in the future.

    Consider a few other elements:

    • Design: The most attractive design in the world is useless without great content. Readers don’t come because of a pretty design. A design is best when it features the content and little else, when it helps the reader find the content he’s looking for. A design that gets in the way of content is bad design.
    • Links from other blogs: Why would another blogger link to you? Because you have a great post that her readers might find useful or interesting. Not because you have nice design or optimized keywords or cool social widgets. Great content builds links.If we remember that the reader is the most important person, the answer to what’s most important to a blogger is easy — create something that the reader wants. And that’s amazing content. The reader comes to your blog because you have content that’s useful, interesting, entertaining. Because you’re solving some problem of hers. Not because you have a great design, or you’re great at SEO, or have optimized your keywords. Sometimes optimizing keywords will bring in more search traffic, but it won’t stick if you don’t have great content.
    • SEO: Search engines might care a little about optimized keywords and other SEO junk, but what they care most about is incoming links (links to your posts from other blogs). That’s the plain truth. And you won’t get a bunch of links unless you have great content.
    • Social media – Digg, Delicious, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Twitter … these kinds of sites can help your traffic tremendously. And sure, it helps to have friends and be active on these sites. But all of that doesn’t matter a lick if you don’t write a knock-out post.
    • Monetizing – All the ads in the world won’t get you a dime unless you get traffic, and that traffic won’t come until you start creating a destination site, with amazing content that attracts the readers and keeps them reading. Actually, the best way in the world to monetize your blog, from my experience, is by selling more of your great content — if readers like your free content, they’ll trust you and be willing to pay for more of what you write.

    Which leaves us with the question: What’s the answer to creating great content?

    Let me know in the comments below?

    About the author

      Leo Babauta

      Leo Babauta is the blogger behind the superblog, Zen Habits, which is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of life.

    • ochman says:

      Am really impress with this. thank you for your helpful advise and more grease to your elbow.

    • Nina Yau says:

      Thank you for the always helpful advice, Leo. You practice what you preach by delivering great content, time and time again. That is why I’ve been reading your blog Zen Habits for the past 3 years and mnmlist ever since you created it. As a reader and a blogger, we must understand what it means to be both, to think like both. When one focuses solely on one aspect, they lose sight of the other, and content may end up suffering.

      Thanks again, Leo, keep up the fantastic work you’re doing. 🙂

    • Donna Hole says:

      This was quite helpful Leo. Thank you for taking the time compile it.

      I always try to have interesting content. Things my fellow bloggers want to know about. So much info out there already in the writers community its hard to come up with something new and exciting. But the socialization is worth the effort.

      My posts utilize the links advice frequently. I shout out people who have attracted my own interest, and link to the posts. Mostly they are about writing techniques, contests, publishing opportunities; but sometimes, its just something funny. We all need a stress break sometimes 🙂

      Good post. I’ll have to come back on a regular basis.


    • Madhan says:

      Hi Leo, This is more of a generic article, nothing inspiring to become A-List blogger. Other elements are more to do with Traffic Strategy and monitization. Regards, Madhan.

    • Aileen says:

      Leo, it’s great to have a recommendation on what to focus on. Your recommendation of focusing more on content than the other elements helps put it all in perspective. Since there are only so many hours in a day to build our blogs we can’t give equal time into the content, the marketing, the design, the seo etc..

      I also see that great content is the thing that will keep them comming back, as you say – while we work on the other aspects like design & marketing little by little.

      great advice!

      I look forward to the A-List Blogging BootCamp “How to Write Like an A-List Blogger.”

    • Steve says:

      How do I be a B List Blogger. Or even C?

    • Leo, I want to sign up but am working with an editor and need to focus on the final revisions on my memoir and getting my query letter and book proposal done. Is there another course in the new year? I sometimes spread myself too thin and feel like I wouldn’t give sufficient time to the Boot Camp. I also signed up to volunteer with Chris Guillebeau’s book tour in LA on December 10th and noticed that you’ll be a speaker at his World Domination event in June 2011. It sounds like a spectacular event, and I wish you well. Please let me know when your next Boot Camp is in 2011, so I can participate. I really want to learn as much as I can as I love connecting with the world. Thank you once again.

    • Santel says:

      That’s the cycle of blogging schema! I was trying to spend a lot of time in design my blog, and I totally agree that people shared and tweet my post only when it is a good post,

      Contents is the key success for blogger, believe it or not, you would find the answer one day.

    • Angelo says:

      This article had no information on writing like an A-list blogger. Lame.

      • Nico says:


        Instead design is bashed again and again. But if people can’t find your content because of poor design, that’s not really going to help matters, is it?

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