Filler content refers to basically all kinds of posts that you write and publish just to fill in a gap, posts that don't provide much practical information and that aren't really worthy of people's shares.
“Content is king” is what many bloggers preach. And although the word “king” might be an exaggeration, you will hardly be getting any traffic if you are low on content.
So looking from that perspective, there comes a question – should you publish filler content just to keep the posting frequency high?
Although answering that question might seem like a no-brainer, in reality the issue goes deeper. If you strictly follow one or some of the big blogs in your niche, you will have probably noticed filler content being published every now and then.
The below paragraphs take a closer look at this filler content issue and more specifically whether or not publishing that kind of lower quality content is actually worth it:
Posting Frequency and Filler Content
I am a firm believer that content frequency is directly related to the amount of traffic that you can get. It's simple really – whenever you publish something new, your RSS subscribers are first to get notified. A new blog post is also a reason to promote on blogging networks, such as Blokube, BizSugar, SocialBuzzClub and Blog Engage. New posts can also be a great source of traffic from JustRetweet or Triberr (a great service for bloggers, allowing them to get more social media exposure).
All in all there are lots of reasons why a frequent posting schedule is good for the health of your blog.
And although some studies have shown that the most well trafficked blogs do publish every day, or even a couple of times a day, when it comes to those, there's an issue.
It's kind of like the egg and the chicken paradox – the question is did posting that often gave them key positions or do they post so frequently, because they are the biggest and have enough writers in their team?
That in turn leads to another question – is posting frequency a good enough excuse for putting up filler content? After all, one such additional post every week should in theory mean more visits, isn't that true?
Quality and its Importance
Lots can be said, and lots is already said on the quality content topic. To be quite honest with you, I am not a huge fan of the content is king theory that I mentioned above.
Obviously content is the backbone to every blog, but then again it's just a backbone. You have to build on top of it in order to make something out of your online presence. You need to do SEO, you need to get on social media, you need to build relationships, you need to do all kinds of other things if you want to get the wheel spinning.
And there's the thing…
Let's look at Mashable. Mashable is a blog that covers lifestyle, business, marketing and social media-related topics. It is one of the most “authoritive” social media/marketing blogs out there and pretty much every post that they publish receives over a thousand retweets and hundreds of shares on other networks.
On Mashable you can come across a good number of well-written, in-depth articles, which are well worth the read. However once you take the time to dig below the surface, you start noticing more and more posts, that aren't as sophisticated. You come across articles that seem to fit the description for filler content very well.
All in all it turns out that the more popular a blog becomes, the less importance quality content seems to hold. I mean you already got the audience, there are more than enough subscribers to buy on your offers. Then why waste time and money producing more quality content than you need?
But then again, you probably wouldn't be reading this post if you had like a hundred thousand readers…
So at least for us (although that should be the case for all blogs), ordinary bloggers, quality matters and here is why exactly:
Building Trust and Authority
When I mentioned Mashable, I used the word “authoritative”. What I mean is there are dozens of blogs out there that with the help of link building and the right SEO strategies in general are able to generate tens of thousands of monthly visitors. And although that is something we all strive to achieve, simply having the traffic is not all that counts.
The problem with some of those blogs is that they lack authority. They are like passage ways – the traffic just moves through them, but it doesn't stick. You check their Facebook page and you see less than 300 likes. You check their Twitter account and there are under a thousand followers. You check their comments and there are a couple at most.
See where I am going?
Having the traffic is great but that is just part of the story. Good content is one of the factors that “motivates” folks like you to go there and engage. That is not how you get people to visit in the first place, but how you get them to come back for more. So if you lack quality content right now that you are starting, you can't expect ever coming close to the success that huge blogs such as Mashable, The Huffington Post or The Forbes are seeing.
And yes, there's really no way to always provide great content and nothing less. Sometimes you will be happy with the result, other times you won't. In the end however you should always keep trying to share useful and practical information that people will appreciate. If you started blogging a couple of months ago and would like to build an audience, you have to produce content that is actually useful. It's a different story when that same blog grows big time, big enough to compete with Mashable, which I've been giving as an example.
So what do we end up with? Is using not-that-good content an idea that's worth taking on? I'd say no. As long as you are not running one of the most popular blogs in the world and as long as traffic is not the only metric you care for. What are your thoughts? Have you happened to publish those kinds of posts on your blog?