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You’ve probably heard the discussions before about quantity vs. quality in content. They are opposites of the spectrum. But is it one against the other, or are they more interrelated? Of course, who doesn’t want to create quality content? I know I do. But does the amount of content I make play a role? I think so, and best-selling author James Clear in “Atomic Habits” actually shares a study that proves the point.
Two groups tried to take photos, but:
- One group was told to shoot as many photos as possible.
- The other one was asked to just come back with one, but that it should be perfect.
James said that the group that shot more pictures actually ended up with a photo that was way closer to perfect than what the second group came up with. He reported that the people who took more pictures also experimented more. And that led to better output and quality – not necessarily because that’s what they were going for, but since they tried more things, they ended up there.
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In this article, I discuss the following:
- Why is there a debate over quantity vs. quality
- What’s the right quantity?
- How do you still evaluate quality content?
Why debate quantity vs. quality?
I think this debate comes back to looking for clear-cut answers. It’s easy to think that every question should have one answer – especially when the apparent answers could be seen as opposites.
And it does make sense that people want to discuss quantity vs. quality and not “what quantity of content do I need to produce to quality content?”
What’s the right quantity?
OK, so let’s say the amount of content created matters in the quantity vs. quality debate. But what is the correct quantity? How much content do we need to create to get good quality?
The answer depends on the team, the goals, and what channels need to be included in the overarching content strategy.
Let’s say there’s one content creator who can create livestreams and turn them into a podcast and an article. In addition, the creator also updates existing content as time permits. A schedule might look like this:
Monday: Book podcast guests, do keyword research for content that needs to be created and for content that needs to be updated, and do editorial planning.
Tuesday: Livestream production, podcast editing as necessary, and other related tasks.
Friday: Publishing of different content types, distribution, and related tasks.
This is just a rough draft; some tasks may take more or less time than outlined here. For example, an article might be done quicker or take longer depending on the available source materials, topic and channels.
The key here is to make it a habit to create content. The more we do it, the better we get at it and the more likely we are to create quality content.
Read next: VIDEO: How helpful marketing teams can find ways to publish stakeholder content
How do you evaluate quality content?
Some of the pieces that make quality content certainly include proper grammar and usage of words. But we also need to evaluate the following:
- How does this fit into our strategy?
- Is it of interest to the people we are trying to reach?
- Do we have a unique story to share?
- Are we targeting the right keywords – aka, are we using the language of our audiences?
Have somebody proofread the content.
There certainly is a foundation of quality content: Any editor should be able to see when a piece of content doesn’t make sense or has apparent mistakes. But, at the end of the day, outside factors decide whether something is quality content or not, and that can come back to:
- Are people even seeing the content – is it optimized for algorithms? For example, I’ve had some success lately with YouTube Shorts because the videos I create align with what they are supposed to be.
- Do people look at the content when they see it or do they just quickly scroll by it?
- Can they find it?
- Once they have found it, are they engaging with it?
All these are signs of quality content. Findability, consumption, and engagement all matter and can decide whether something is of high quality to the audience or not.
Remember that high-quality content served to the wrong audience might be classified as low-quality content, but the audience targeting was just wrong. That can happen too.
Read next: Why a content creation strategy must include getting on a blogging schedule
At the end of the day, it’s not about quantity vs. quality when it comes to creating quality content. It’s about finding a good rhythm of creation, experimentation, and creativity to see what works and what doesn’t.