I have to admit to feeling a little knocked over on reading Steve Rayson's excellent post. It postulates that those adopting high volume content strategies are largely winning the content battle, gaining the traffic, shares and reads that we all covet.
But surely, this goes against received wisdom - flying in the face of how important it is to maintain a content strategy that focuses on the quality of the writing, the research and the strength of argument. Well maybe, but according to Rayson's analysis for the Buzzsumo blog it's an increase in quantity that appears to be proving more successful when you look at the evidence.
He highlights, by way of example, The Washington Post’s Jeff Bezoz' approach focused on significantly growing published content (now around 1200 articles a day!) in order to drive up the Post’s audience. And it's reaping rewards with web readers having increased by 28% in the past year and now surpassing those of the New York Times.
It would seem too that this leaning towards high-volume production becomes all the more powerful when combined with significant effort given over to writing content in long-tail niche areas.
As Rayson underlines: "Of course we all want the big content article that garners millions of views but traffic for thousands of niche articles can collectively add up to a lot more traffic overall."
And the strategy would appear to be working for other sectors too: HubSpot's prolific work, for instance, in our B2B marketing field has gained them both a significant audience and traction across social networks; so too, individual bloggers like Seth Godin - who has long extolled the "drip, drip" approach to his short-form blogging - and the verbose Neil Patel who, as Rayson cites, impressively achieves more blog shares than the mighty HubSpot.
And, of course, an uplift in content production can encompass not only long form blogging but video, podcasts, short form (Passle-style) content, eBooks, images, infographics et al - all used by the content producers mentioned above. In other words, increasing your content creation to high-volume doesn't mean you need an army of writers at your behest.
So, for those who already feel that they are drowning in a content deluge, the evidence points to there being more not less for us to swim against in the future. But if that content is more targeted to answer your particular questions, more relevant to your very specific needs, it may well be that wading through the inundation becomes easier.
(And, p.s. @steverayson, I did read all the way to end of your post...)
I know if you are in content marketing, there is a lot of advice about quality over quantity. Provide something of value, research it well, make it helpful. It is a strategy I have followed at BuzzSumo. I spend a lot of time researching posts, as I did with this one, aiming to produce authoritative, long form content that provides insights which, hopefully, are helpful to marketers. This takes time and I produce around one to two posts a month. I am now thinking I may have got this all wrong... My previous reservations have centered on how difficult and costly it is to produce quality content on a regular and consistent basis. But it might be that I have been guilty of old school thinking when it comes to content volume and long tail content.