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Content is Queen

| January 13, 2013 | 3 Comments

Content is QueenWelcome to the antithesis.

Recently I jumped on a webinar hosted by Maneesh Sethi and Derek Halpern, both highly respected and innovative entrepreneurs.

During the presentation, they made a crucial point about where most bloggers “go wrong” in their attempts to grow a following and ultimately monetize their content.

The problem?

“We spend 80% of our time creating content, and only 20% of our time promoting it” says Derek. “We should do the opposite — 80% promotion, 20% creation.”

Since that webinar, I’ve started two blogs (including this one), and as I monitor my Google Analytics dashboard I’ve realized Derek couldn’t have been more right.

You see, it doesn’t matter if I cure cancer. What matters is distributing that cure to the right people so the healing process can begin.

Another angle.

Robert Kiyosaki is an ultra-famous personal finance guru whose book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” shook the world. His simple advice changed how millions of people feel about money, and more importantly how to make it.

In one section of Rich Dad, he talks about an interview he had with a journalist in Singapore. She is intelligent, beautiful, and articulate. She writes for a local publication to pay the bills, but dreams of becoming an author. She’s even been writing a novel.

She asks Robert his advice for becoming famous and successful like him. As the story goes, he pulls out a copy of his book and notes the “best-selling author” credential on the bottom of the front cover. She looks back at him, puzzled. He then reminds her that he is a best selling author, not the bestwriting. Confused and upset, she ends the interview.

Personal experience.

I’m a Redditor. In case you don’t already know, is a huge social platform that allows visitors to post content either from around the web or in a personal statement with a blog-like blurb. That content then gets voted ‘up’ or ‘down’ based on the relevance and discussion it compels from other users. There are thousands of discussions and categories, ranging from/entrepreneur (my favorite) to /pettyrevenge and /talesfromthepizzaguy.


Sometimes, after I blog, I post the permalink on Reddit. As a result I’ve received thousands of extra unique visitors, garnered hundreds of comment discussions, and even seen a boost in my book sales. Heck, I even sold a business on Reddit thanks to the viral exposure its user base provides.

But guess what? It wasn’t just my content that reeled in all those visitors. If anything, my content was the least important aspect of the traffic and sales success. Ranking higher on the list were promotional tactics such as what time of day I posted each link, the wittiness of the headline (IE: Stop Calling Yourself a CEO), and my Reddit account’s built-in influence which is based on both internal algorithms and also user familiarity with my user handle. Seems complicated, right? Wrong.

We are all salesmen in some way. We all promote relentlessly for our own reasons.  We sell ourselves at interviews, sell our children to day cares, and sell our sweaters to best friends. The new book by Dan PinkTo Sell is Human, actually details this sentiment in-depth.

But we are not all content curators. Curating great content will forever be a specialized skill shared by the few and the proud. Even still, those same curators have to relentlessly innovate new ways to provide content visibility. 

So no, content isn’t king. Promotion is.

Build it, and they might* come.

Ryan Kulp is a twentysomething entrepreneur living in NYC who does marketing for ShuttleCloud, a TechStars startup. Ryan recently published his first book, Professionalism in Flip Flops

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  • Leon Davis

    “Content may be king, but context is queen, and that bitch runs the castle.” Gary Vaynerchuk

  • Salim Awad

    Great Article and very true fact, promotion plays a great role not only with blogging or sites well everything. I normally use Hacker News and Reddit for such promotion along with twitter, Facebook and other social media sites and a lot of traffic and interaction happens. Any other recommendations on where to share and when?

  • A1exander

    i think it depends much on what goals you have for your blog or page. content is king when it comes to seo… and that´s what brings you automation on the long run!
    for short effects content is queen, clearly. Nobody knows you, nobody sees you… oh you have a page…. nice.

    i think you have to find a good mix of both.