Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
Not every piece of content you create is going to be golden. There are going to be times when you write something that you’re not convinced is a quality piece. Should you trash poor content rather than publish it, even if you’re on a schedule?
A bad blog post or covering a topic that isn’t necessarily relevant to your website can cause a variety of issues down the road. You always want to make sure you put in your best work, especially if it’s for a client.
Keep in mind that you have up to 20 seconds to engage a visitor before he or she leaves. A poorly put-together article will be ultimately fruitless.
How Poor Content Affects Your Site and Career
Not all content is created equal. Some of your posts may drive one-third of your traffic while others will maybe get five visits per month. This doesn’t necessarily mean those low-performing articles are poorly written.
It could simply mean you covered a topic that isn’t overly popular. I come across that all the time.
What I’m referring to with “poor content” are those articles that you don’t necessarily have a firm grasp of the topic, obviously have no interest in writing, or going beyond the niche of your site.
Another form of poorly written material includes that which is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. There’s a reason why most major blogs have editors.
Never push out an article that is of poor quality. It’s better to go without than to publish something for the sake of having content on your site.
Loss of Return Visitors
One of the things that makes a blog successful is return visitation. People who come back to read your content because they like what you create helps boost your numbers and search engine position.
But if you push out something that is poorly created, you could lose those individuals. Never underestimate the fickleness of humans.
Loss of Apparent Professionalism
Your posts should ooze a sense of professionalism. And if you’re creating poor content that doesn’t have a solid base for sharing information or seems more like you’re pulling things out of thin air, you’ll lose a bit of your reputation.
This can easily happen if you try to tackle a subject that you really don’t know. It may come off as forced and stagnant. Or, you could inadvertently leave out pertinent information regarding the topic.
In either case, it could be detrimental to your blog as well as people’s opinion of your professionalism.
It May Not Get Traffic, Anyway
The overall purpose of any piece of content is to drive traffic. You want someone to read the piece, right? Otherwise, why have a public website?
Poor content has a higher chance of never getting seen. It’s one thing to make your site appear as active. But it’s another if you’re just publishing any piece of junk.
May Confuse the Search Engine Algorithm
Search engines crawl your entire site to get an idea of what it’s about. If you stray from its niche, engines like Google have less of an idea regarding what you provide.
This means your content could start to decrease in search page priority by veering from your beaten path.
May Dissuade Potential Sponsors and Collaborations
Sponsors and collaborations can do incredible things for the popularity of your site. But what if one of those opportunities stumbles across a poor piece of content that you published?
It can affect an individual’s opinion of you as a professional, as I noted above, and hinder future opportunities. People want to work with others who know what they’re talking about.
You Could Lose Clients
So, what if you’re not writing the article for yourself? Perhaps you have a client who is paying you for a quality piece of content. Handing in something poorly constructed may lead to finding a new client.
In fact, clients, website owners, book publishers, news organizations, and more axe poor content on a regular basis.
Should You Update Poor Content or Delete It?
I know some experts think you should delete those older pieces of poor content rather than update them. Personally, I’m on the side of revamps and fixes.
As time marches on, and you write more and more content, your skill will undoubtedly advance. You’ll have to go back and rewrite those older articles if you want people to really gain anything from them.
Take this site, for example. I have a lot of cringe-worthy pieces I wrote five years ago that I’m still revamping. However, there is a distinct reason why I prefer rewrites as opposed to deletion.
One of the things I do for my clients is rewriting and monitoring old articles for traffic improvements. Sometimes this means changing the keyphrase focus.
In most instances, we’ve seen more than a 200% increase in visitor traffic and searchability. In one situation, we boosted the traffic to an article by more than 8,000% just by changing the intro, conclusion, and adding a short paragraph.
And I’m talking thousands of visits per month from just a single article.
Of course, we don’t use dates in the URL or on the articles themselves. So, the poor content we rewrite today appears just as fresh as something new.
Plus, we prefer to take advantage of the fact that the posts already have a bit of movement in Google. Deleting the article outright means starting over from absolute scratch.
This means a new article will take anywhere from three to six months to gain traction in Google as opposed to one that already exists and is indexed.
This is what works best for us. Like I said, every expert has a different opinion about what works for them.
5 Quick Questions to Avoid Poor Content
There are a lot of ways you can avoid creating poor content. And I’ll probably go into detail about various practices at a later date.
But for now, ask yourself:
- Does this article fit my site’s niche?
- Is this something my audience can benefit from?
- Is the topic something of which I’m at least vaguely familiar?
- Would I be proud for a potential employer or client to read this piece?
- Is there real informational or entertainment value in the article?
If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you may want to consider scrapping the post.
I Deleted Today’s Scheduled Post to Create This One
I spent several hours creating the post that was going to come out today. However, I felt that it was a poor piece of content and decided to remove it.
The reason is because I didn’t feel the content was high enough quality to publish. I wasn’t really into the subject matter and it appeared like I was forcing the content rather than letting it flow.
As luck would have it, though, I’ve never covered the topic of publishing poor content. And it seems like a perfect time to dive into the subject matter.
And yes, I do have a lot of rewriting to do for past content.
My point is that I would rather publish a higher quality piece a bit later than scheduled than to push out something that detracts from what I’m trying to do with the blog.
In other words, I’m keeping my audience in mind and want to deliver something from which they can benefit.
Don’t publish something for the sake of reaching word goals or publishing schedules. Yes, these both can benefit you in the long run. But putting out poor content can do more damage than simply skipping a day.
Besides, most of your target audience would rather you create something good than to seem just, “blah.”
Your Site is a Representation of Yourself
Your blog is essentially your online persona. If it’s a mess and the content unreadable, people will form a negative opinion about you as a creator.
Make sure everything you publish is quality and centered around what your blog is about. Trash the poor content and start again with something that engages readers as much as yourself.
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