Quality Over Quantity: A Cautionary Tale

Quality Over Quantity: A Cautionary Tale

Favoring quantity over quality is one of the biggest pitfalls that those who are new to content might get caught in. Many first-time marketers think that more is more, but that isn’t always the case. Maintaining quality will be more beneficial to your business than focusing on sheer volume.

Let’s visualize this concept through a hypothetical situation:

You can’t spend anything beyond $100 each month, but you want to get your content marketing campaign rolling.

After scouring the internet, you find two writers. One is a native English speaker from New York City boasting an impressive portfolio. She offers to write one 500-word article for you each month, and will even promote it on social media through your company Facebook page.

The monthly retainer will cost you $100. Spending the month’s marketing budget on a single article is a daunting idea, so you decide to see what the second writer has to offer.

The second writer lives in a developing country, and, unfortunately, isn’t a native English speaker. What catches your eye is the fact that he’s way cheaper. He offers to write you a total of 20 articles every month — each with a length of 500 words — on a $100 retainer.

You would get 20 times the amount of content that the New Yorker was offering. Being the reasonable person that you are, you decided that hiring the second writer would be more cost-effective. You pay your $100 and eagerly await your batch of 20 articles.

A few days later, you receive an email from the writer with a ZIP file attached. After downloading the articles, you click on the first one to review the content.

What started as a cheek-to-cheek smile gradually turns into a frown of shock and regret. The entire piece is riddled with spelling errors, poor flow, and information too phoned in to be understandable.

You decide to check the second piece, clinging to the hope that it might be better. It isn’t. You then check the third, then the fourth, and the fifth, until you make your way through all 20. At that point the reality starts to set in; you’ve spent $100 for 20 articles that you can’t even publish.

Well, technically you could publish it, but not without destroying your company’s reputation and losing a large portion of your customers. There’s only one clear solution: get a refund.

You message the writer and explain that the quality — or lack thereof — he provided is unacceptable. He apologizes but says that the money you paid him has already been spent and he’s thus unable to give you a refund.

You send him a few more messages, but he isn’t responding anymore. Eventually, you get an error message saying that he’s blocked you. It’s at this point that you realize your $100 has gone to waste and you have nothing to show for it.

In true Final Destination fashion, let’s rewind this series of unfortunate events. The $100 bill is back in your hand and you’ve just concluded speaking to both writers. You need to make a choice: do you hire the writer with a strong portfolio or the writer willing to work for peanuts?

This time, recalling the horrid premonition that you just endured, you hire the New Yorker. Within a week, you receive the 500-word article you paid $100 for. You anxiously click on the file, hoping that you haven’t wasted your money.

This fear gradually turns to joy when you find not a single typo in sight, smooth transitions from one topic to the next, and enough valuable information to fill a seminar. You give the writer your approval and she proceeds to promote the article on social media.

Within a week, you see your website traffic and revenue rise up. The article has been passed from one Facebook user to another more times than you can count. This single article brought in $500 in sales and counting. It may have costed more, but with a five-fold return on your investment, who cares how much it costs?

This happy ending concludes our hypothetical scenario. Now it’s your turn to apply this information in the real world. Will you waste money on unusable content or invest in articles that return a healthy profit?

Never sacrifice quality in favor of quantity.