Quality vs. Quantity: What do you Think is Best?

eBrandPersonal Branding

Last week @danschawbel and I caught up over lunch and something we touched on was whether the best strategy moving forward for personal brands was the debate between quantity or quality of content. I love this discussion because it really makes you think about what you want to stand for and the perceptions that others will form about your personal brand.

The minimum threshold of quality:

Let me set the expectation for this discussion. Let’s assume that at minimum the content you will create meets the minimum standards of quality. While that may mean different things to different people let’s just agree that the minimum threshold of quality is not remarkable content but it is not horrible either. It is middle of the road.

In favor or quality:

Pro: Those that argue in the favor of quality content generally agree that a lower posting frequency, with an emphasis on depth/breadth is the best way to grow your personal brand. This type of content is generally longer in length and may draw conclusions from several different sources and varying view points that result in some new sort of insight. Those in the quality camp generally believe that quality rises to the top through content promotion, status updates, sharing, and a sprinkling of SEO. The biggest advantage to focusing on really high quality content is that your personal brand will be seen as thought provoking and you will be seen as a leader in your niche.

Con: This is really, really, hard to do day in and day out. There is a huge time factor involved with staying tuned in to the new trends that affect your industry and then synthesizing those thoughts into your own ideas. The other major disadvantage to relying on super high quality is that your posting frequency will be on the low end, at best, maybe once per week on average. There is a direct correlation between your posting frequency and the quantity and quality of search engine traffic you receive. The less you post, the lower your traffic, and the less visibility you have.

In favor of quantity:

Pro: Those in the favor of quantity generally agree that you can scale best by focusing on shorter posts that go live every couple days. The quantity camp believes that each blog post is like a lottery ticket and the more lottery tickets you have, the better your changes are at winning your lottery. Through sheer volume you will begin to attract more eyeballs in search engines, social networks, and the shareability factor. They argue that not every post is going to be earth shattering news, ground breaking, or identifying a new trend. But, rather, consistent, interesting posts are the best way to scale your personal brand.

Con: It is very easy to fall into the trap of not meeting the minimum threshold of quality discussed at the beginning of this post. If that trap is violated too often, you will alienate your readers, lose readers and begin to be perceived as an amateur or quack. You will be called out by other bloggers and your personal brand attributes will start to become negative brand attributes. You also tread the fine line of posting too frequently for your audience and frustrate them with having to keep up with too much content.

My take: I think you need to have a minimum of one to two high quality post per week that are in depth, bring in other view points and really pushes the thought envelope. Then, you need to supplement that with blog posts that may be shorter, however still interesting and worth sharing. There are all sorts of strategies to make short posts interesting, but maybe that is next week’s post.