Content Creators: Quality or Clicks?

by Team Caffeine · 3 comments

What matters more to you as a content marketer:

  • Creating high quality content;


  • Getting the most possible clicks to your site?

Before we go anywhere, watch this video of Marina Shifrin quitting her job in style. It’s 1:45 of your life you can afford to waste, we promise.

Shifrin quit her job working for a news company because she felt pressured to create content at high speed to attract clicks. In her view, this was the wrong approach. She wanted to take her time creating high quality content. When posting the video to YouTube, Shifrin wrote:

“I work for an awesome company that makes news videos. I have put my life into this job, but my boss says quantity, speed and views are what is most important.

“I believe it’s more important to focus on the quality of the content. When you learn to improve this, the views will come.”

The video has already attracted nearly 15,000,000 views (and counting!), so Shifrin’s uneasiness with creating content for the sake of clicks clearly resonates.

But on the other hand, is it really true that if you make quality content, you’ll automatically attract an audience?

These are crucial questions for content creators, and they highlight a tension that’s always been there for anyone who wants to attract attention and build an audience.

Do you focus on:

  • Staying true to your values? There’s plenty of stuff you can do if all you want is clicks. It’s your pesky values that get in the way.
  • Chasing the crowd? Which means paying attention to what they want, rather than what matters to you.

It’s a formula that’s impossible to crack, and it’s the reason many blogs fail.

On the one hand, make it you core purpose to chase an audience, and you’ll quickly burn out, because you’re not living from what really matters to you. Producing content is hard work, especially when you don’t even care about what you’re creating.

On the other hand, do only what you love, and you’ll struggle to attract an audience. To draw a crowd, you must do a minimal amount of marketing. And if it turns out no one’s reading your stuff, then it’s easy to wonder: why bother? And what if the thing you love only has a tiny potential audience?

What’s Your Solution?

How do you solve the tension between quality and clicks? Can you really do what you love and the money will come? Or is that just a pipe dream? Share your ideas in the comments.

Lori R Taylor is the founder and executive editor of Social Caffeine. In 2009 she started her own direct response focused social media agency, REV Media Marketing LLC, coining the phrase given by her young son, “You bring the rain, we’ll make it pour.” Follow Lori on Twitter.

David is our acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joel Pinto October 14, 2013 at 1:44 am

¡Wonderful post, Lory! I do believe there is a point right on the middle: We all have to focus on creating valuable content and at the same time building our audience, which doesn’t mean we have to “chase” our audience to build it up.

It’s rather hard and demands a lot of patience, but it’s doable. Sharing your post. It’s really worth it 😀


David Masters October 16, 2013 at 8:43 am

Thanks Joel! I agree, it’s about finding the right balance.


Joel Pinto October 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

And sorry, David, for thanking Lory for the post instead of you. I got confused between the two of you…. my apologies!


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