There has always been one constant piece of advice in the blogging community. New bloggers and content creators are told this over and over. In fact, this saying is told by everyone for EVERYTHING, not just blogging.
“Quality is more important than quantity.” It is better to publish one good blog post a week than publish three average posts.
I agree with this statement. There are many reasons why quality content is important. BUT, I also think that there are times when quantity should be prioritized.
In this post, I’m going to be breaking down every part of this comparison—why it comes up, the pros of both, what I believe, and also how you can decide for yourself. Let’s discuss.
why the discussion on quality vs quantity?
- 1 why the discussion on quality vs quantity?
- 2 why is quality important?
- 3 but why choose quality OVER quantity?
- 4 why I think quantity is important too
- 5 where does consistency fit in?
- 6 good quality content takes time
- 7 final verdict: quality or quantity?
- 8 why do we not talk about quantity?
Before heading straight into it, it’s good to step back and question WHY this comparison arises so often. It comes up for all kinds of creation, not just blogging.
Why do we spend time wondering which one should be prioritized? Why is it a question often asked by new bloggers? Why does it come up as a discussion even between experienced bloggers?
Everyone wants to quantify effort vs result. Most people are not okay with pouring effort into something without knowing whether it will ever produce any result.
Even if you start blogging as a hobby, it quickly becomes something that you want to be good at and show off. Nowadays, it is more likely that people start blogging for a specific reason and not just for fun. No matter why you started, you want your blog to “succeed.”
Before discussing quality vs quantity, we have to consider WHY we’re discussing it in the first place. Most likely, the answer to that is the answer to the discussion itself.
If we break down “quality vs quantity”, we will come up with these questions:
- What should we focus our efforts on so that we get better results?
- Which one is more important—the quality of every post or the number of posts?
- How to choose between the two or balance the two?
why is quality important?
There are several reasons why quality blog posts make a difference.
- You will be proud of each post. Hence, you will be confident to share it and talk about your blog.
- Better posts get shared more. It is a fact. More shares lead to new readers and new followers. They prove that your blog is one to follow.
- Good quality posts are the pillars of your blog. They stand out in readers’ minds and make up your blog brand. They keep your blog standing for a long time.
- You are less likely to burn out if you focus less on quantity and take your time with each post.
- People notice when you put in the effort for every blog post and it makes a difference. Clo elaborates this well in her post on prioritizing quality over quantity.
If you’re into SEO and want your blog to be more than a hobby, here’s why quality posts work better:
- Good quality posts rank higher. As quality posts mean more shares and engagement, and generally more words, they rank well in search engines. After all, search engines try to provide the best results first. If your content is the best, it will be pushed higher.
- Long-term traffic. If you rank well on search engines, you will receive a lot of traffic over years. That will be enough to keep your blog alive. For example, my post on annotating books for fun gets me at least 200 views every day.
- They lead to more opportunities such as collaborations, sponsored posts, and more.
but why choose quality OVER quantity?
The reason one has to choose is that quality and quantity seldom go hand-in-hand.
Increased quantity ruins quality. Good quality posts take time and pushing them out fast is hard. It can lead you to blogging burnout.
It is easier to produce better content when you have enough time to dedicate to a content piece and make it good. If you’re rushing for a strict deadline, it is likely that you will not touch on everything you want to and will publish something that you’re not satisfied with.
Focusing on quality over quantity helps retain and engage followers with every post. If you’re posting too often, most followers will not be able to keep up with your content. Giving them good content at a manageable pace works well.
New readers may decide to check out multiple posts before following you. Having multiple interesting and well-written posts will convince them that your blog is worth their time.
If you carefully consider the advice and explanations generally given that I mentioned above, you will notice that they all revolve around ONE thing.
Quality > quantity advice is based on longevity. Good quality posts work really well in your favour in the long run. They get more shares, create lasting followers, rank higher, and open paths to future opportunities. All of these aspects keep your blog ALIVE for a long time.
Even if you take a break from posting or post less frequently, readers are more likely to remain as followers because your content is worth the wait. If they’re impatient, they can go through your old posts and enjoy them as well.
Everyone wants their blog to grow and be well-known over time. Focusing on quality content is important for that.
But does it mean ignoring the quantity aspect completely?
why I think quantity is important too
Here’s the main reason I wrote this post: I believe that quantity is important too. We need to discuss it more often.
There are a few basic reasons why:
- It helps you build a content backlog. Having a content backlog helps retain new readers because you’re giving them more content to peruse through.
- Readers will find a variety of content. New readers are more likely to look through multiple posts before following you.
- More immediate traffic. Three posts a week mean three times the traffic from your followers.
But there is one specific reason why quantity is important.
Quantity is a preface to quality. Consistent good quality content does not come until we create a LOT of content.
It helps us learn WHAT good quality content is. “Quality” is a very subjective term. What works for me might not work for you. “Quality content” looks different for every single blog. It is tied to niche, audience, blogging voice, presentation, and more.
You will learn what your “good quality” is only through experimentation. Focusing on quantity helps you experiment and learn from results faster. This is especially important if you just started a blog and are still finding yourself in the blogging space.
“Quality” is a very subjective term. Focusing on quantity helps us learn WHAT good quality content is.
No matter how many guideposts you read or know-it-all articles you take notes from, your content is unique. Your blogging voice and interests are not the same as anyone else’s. Hence, your definition of “good quality content” is unique. You will learn it only when you try many things.
Through experimentation, you will learn:
- What kind of posts work better short term.
- What kind of posts work better in the long run.
- What kind of post layouts or structures work well.
- What posting times are good.
- What kind of posts get more attention—views, comments, and shares.
- What makes your posts appealing—title, images, introduction, readability, etc.
You can quickly try new things and either add them to your list or discard them. There is also less pressure to be perfect when you focus on quantity and hence, you will try all your ideas.
While the above will come even when you focus less on quantity, it will take longer.
There’s another lesser-spoken-about benefit of focusing on quantity and putting yourself on a schedule. Being on a tight schedule makes you try things you wouldn’t consider otherwise.
We all have preconceived notions about what types of content work and what don’t. When your goal is to publish a post in a certain time frame, you are less concerned about your definitions of a good post. You will write something and put it out there.
That is actually beneficial because:
- You will write about topics you might not post about otherwise. They can easily become posts that most people will love and engage with.
- You will edit your sentences lesser and hence your blogging voice will be more natural.
- You will learn to take inspiration from anything and everything. Every small idea in your mind will become a viable idea.
It will push you to be creative and also push your definition of “good quality.”
Trust me, a lot of my knowledge about writing good discussion posts comes from a post that I wrote in one sitting and published without any editing. It turned out to be a popular post that went a little viral. I wouldn’t have published it if I had more time.
Focusing on quantity helps you build experience and learn what comes only through experience.
For example, your blogging voice will develop over time. The more you write or blog, the faster your blogging voice will develop.
I blogged daily for a few months when I started and I attribute the quick development of my blogging voice to those few months. Once my blogging voice was clear to me and I didn’t flounder when writing, I could concentrate on other aspects of my posts.
The more you create content, the easier it will be to create quality content because you will have the basics down and will have more knowledge.
Now, I find it easy to create good content because I have a set blogging voice, a post structure that works, an idea about graphics, and I know how to create a good flow. I can write most posts in one week because I don’t have to wonder about every aspect of my posts.
where does consistency fit in?
No matter what you focus on, consistency is important.
A consistent schedule can be very different for different people. It can be a post a day or a post a month. Big publications and branded blogs post multiple times a day.
While consistency has its own benefits as well, a good consistent schedule is the only way one can balance quality and quantity.
A good schedule:
- Will give you enough time to make every post good and
- Will make you rush just a little bit, hence not giving you time to be a perfectionist.
The frequency of posting will vary depending on what you want to focus on but it will strike some balance between the two.
If you’re focusing on quantity, publish two to three posts a week. If you’re focusing on quality, post once a week or lesser. Switch up the frequency depending on the amount of time you have to blog.
good quality content takes time
It takes time in more than one way.
Generally, the phrase refers to every piece of good content. Every good post takes time to write and polish. This post is delayed by a week because I wanted to take my time and make it good instead of rushing to post it. I don’t do it often but some posts require more time and effort.
Quality also develops over time and experience. There is a lot of difference between content written by someone who has been blogging for six months and someone who has been blogging for six years.
Writing is a skill that compounds the more you practice it and the longer you practice it. Experience plays a huge part. Every blog post I write builds on the knowledge that I’ve learned over the years.
Now, this blog post is taking me two weeks to write. It would have taken me longer when I had two years of experience. And I couldn’t have written it at all when I began blogging because I didn’t know enough about this topic to write about.
You can’t rush quality. You can’t choose quality over quantity when you don’t know enough about what quality content looks like. You can’t choose it when you don’t know enough to publish content matching the standards in your mind.
You can’t choose quality over quantity when you don’t know enough about what quality content looks like and don’t know enough to publish content matching the standards in your mind.
final verdict: quality or quantity?
Most articles say that both are important and that you have to balance the two—a balance only you can find. I agree with that. But I’m here to say something else too.
it depends on where you are in your blogging journey
If you’re new and haven’t figured out the flow of your content, blogging voice, or niche yet, I suggest going with quantity. You will learn yourself better and develop skill sets like writing well faster.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and have many readers or followers, focus on quality. Quality is also more important if you’re already ranking in search engines and getting the traffic. It will help you retain the readers.
If you started a new blog or are at a precipice of change, focusing on quantity just for a little while can help a lot.
And no matter what, I think all of us will benefit from being on a tight schedule from time to time. Creating for the creating and not for others or to post “worthy content.” It frees us from the creative shackles that we put on ourselves.
it depends on your goal
If your goal is to have fun, do whatever you want! Post more often, even if it is “sub-par”. You’re having fun so have fun as much as you can.
If your goal is to “succeed” (in the narrow meaning of success like SEO traffic and sponsorships), prioritize quality. Make each post cornerstone content.
If you want to learn faster or try new things, prioritize quantity. Let’s say you’re venturing into a new niche. Create a bunch of posts quickly to find your place in the niche, to see if you’re passionate enough to keep writing about it, and to see what is received well.
why do we not talk about quantity?
Earlier, when someone asked me if they should prioritize quality or quantity, I used to say “quality, of course!” Now, I ask them questions like “what is your goal?” and “did you just start?” The answer changes depending on the answers to those questions.
Many of us say “it depends” during some discussions but we don’t specifically say WHAT it depends on and HOW. Elaborating makes all the difference for new bloggers or people seeking help.
Back when I was a new blogger looking for an answer to this question, I found articles with a lot of knowledge but not enough direction. I didn’t KNOW what good quality content was and I find such articles frustrating even today. There were some basic tips like “posts should be readable” and “it should be useful” but getting there takes time too.
A lot of advice posts and articles are written by experienced bloggers and we often forget that new bloggers know almost nothing. We can’t say “quality content” without explaining what is good quality or how to get there.
I think that we generally recommend focusing on quality because we’re experienced enough to know what quality is. We forget that it took a big quantity of content to get where we are.
There are several people who attribute their successes to creating content often and fast. Even if it isn’t “quality” content, it rapidly teaches the person about creation.
We forget about quantity because WE are past the point where focusing on quantity will make a huge difference. But that is not completely true either.
A few months back, when I was in a blogging slump, I decided to write and publish every day on a random anon site in order to get back to blogging. It did get me back but it also taught me a lot.
For the first time, I noticed how I begin blog posts and what kind of vibe that creates. I noticed the general flow of my posts when they are unedited. I noticed how my brain starts at one topic, and explores a bunch of related topics, only to come back to the main one with a slightly different view.
I also noticed how my unedited words on that anon site were very similar to my edited blog posts on The Wordy Habitat. The vibe, the blogging voice, and even the flow. It showed me that I don’t need to edit my words as much when I’m writing. The post will be good anyway.
I also tried a few topics there before writing them for this blog or my newsletter. It was my playing ground in many ways. And it truly helped, enough that I kept going for a while after I started blogging here again.
If you do this exercise, you might learn something else. When I did it, I focused on only writing and not editing, graphics, or presentation. If I did, I might have learnt much more.
While quality is important, I believe that quantity is the only way to get to quality. Most of us know this but we don’t talk about it. We should.