A little case study that I've been looking at the last few weeks has made me come to the realization that content is nothing without advertising, and advertising is nothing without content. That certainly puts us in a quandry now doesn't it? How can you have great traffic without marketing or advertising and how can you create great content without having people to read it an qualify it as great?
The site that I've been watching fairly closely for this case study is the ridiculously funny and off beat humor of the guys over at www.ZeroSharedNickels.com. If you've never heard of them, and you most likely haven't, go check them out at some point. I guarantee that you'll get stuck reading two or three posts at a time.
The level of quality writing that they have is top notch. It comes across on a lot of different levels, both social commentary and humor, as well as insightful and thoughtful at times. Of course it is always sprinkled with a dose of dark, jaded sacasm. On top of good writing, they provide home grown illustrations to bring each post to life, and make you smile.
A quick glance at the site will reveal no advertising, no rss subscribe button (as of 11/29/07 at least) or any of the wordpress era hallmarks of monetized blogs. So marketing and advertising is minimal if not non existent on the page, does this mean that the content sucks? Of course not, but it does mean that the average traffic cycle for this blog is around thirty visitors a day. I asked, thats the number they gave, which is about the normal average for most blogs that are still starting up or have not marketed themselves widely yet.
With a blog that has great content but no readers, is the content still truely great? I would say no. In order to qualify for greatness you need to be judged by something, be it peers, random people, history etc. While history may judge you're blog as great, I doubt we'll be around long enough to find out. This leaves us with your peers and random people, which in order to reach them we need marketing.
One of the first lessons you'll learn in trying to market crap is that you're marketing will be much harder then if you were trying to market something good. That statement leads us right back to that of content is king. If you've got great content you're marketing should be much easier to accomplish. Content and marketing go hand in hand, they are not something you can separate and make manifest on their own.
Bloggers that run their own sites and do everything from blog to market need to understand how to write good content that will be easily marketed. There exists a fine balance between marketing content, and content marketing. Keeping this in mind when writing for your blog or website will help you maintain an easier approach for you're marketing campaigns and social media blitzes.
If we go back to the case study of www.ZeroSharedNickels.com, and look at the depth of content from a single post, we can easily come up with multiple marketing strategies. This type of content appeals to everyone on a different level, which I'll call a Super Niche. Niche marketing has been all the rage the last few years, and still is a very good way of advertising specific targeted products. Super Niches are developed from content that can span multiple niche topics. ZeroSharedNickels.com can jump between a lot of different niche topics in a single post, and still be niche targeted with advertisements and marketing schemes.
Do you have a super niche site? Is your content great? Have you been able to effectively market you're content? If you answered no to any of those questions you need to reavaluate the harmony between you're content and marketing. There is a synergy that needs to be maintained in order to maximize you're potential.