Content Is No Longer King3 min read

Let me tell you a story. A couple of years ago someone plagiarized most of my articles.

First, I felt outrage. It was, after all, my work they had stolen, but as I went through all of these article, I noticed something.

There were no comments on these posts. No likes. Nothing.

The same articles that got hundreds of likes and comments on my blog…

It was as if they didn’t even exist, as if they had been published into the black hole of the internet.

Content is no longer king, I’m afraid. Content is cheap, almost worthless. Even brilliant content. Everything worth writing about was written about by people who were born long before us.

“Content is king” has been a mantra for creatives for so long that there’s so much great content out there, that it doesn’t even matter.

You can write great content and spend the next 5 years struggling to get to 100 followers.

I know a couple brilliant bloggers who are stuck at 50-something followers.

The best bloggers I know, the kind of people who share truly unique content, and amazing ideas, and they write with the kind of skill that requires decades to master, they usually struggle to get to 5,000 readers.

I’m sorry, but content is no longer king.

I hate to break it to you, but the one thing that matters is your online reputation.

What makes my writing stand out is that I am the one who’s writing it. If I share it on my blog, my name, the social proof that comes with publishing a piece of content on a blog followed by over 140,000 people, that’s all that matters.

Content is cheap these days… almost worthless.

Idealism Kills Every Deal…

Keep your eyes on the stars, but your feet on the ground.

If content is no longer king, you need a strategy to get people to see your content.

That’s what you need:

  1. to build a reputation.
  2. to gain as much exposure as possible.

The rules of engagement have changed. You now have to use every tool you have to build an audience.

If this means also having a YouTube channel, fine. If this means starting a podcast, fine.

Social media? Great.

It’s not enough to write brilliant content.

There’s just so much of it that people can be as picky as they want.

Be honest.

Let’s say I were to show you two articles. One is written by someone you never heard of. They have 53 followers. The other, written by someone with well over 200,000 followers, someone you’ve heard of.

Which article do you read?

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the articles are about the same idea.

Which one do you read?

I sincerely wish becoming a successful blogger was as easy as creating quality content…

It used to be that way.

Eight years ago, when I started my first blog, all you had to do was be a decent writer and be as consistent as possible.

Now? You need to take advantage of every opportunity you have to build an online reputation.

That’s what people want to read. They don’t have the time to go through millions of articles, in search of the best content.

They want to read content that others have read and liked. They want to read content by popular bloggers.


Join the conversation

comment 31 comments
  • NLM

    LOVE this TITLE. 💗

  • Mireya

    Honestly I believe you because you have confirmed my thoughts. On the other hand I read what I like regardless of likes. i do it especially because of what I suspect.

  • souwesterly001

    People copying and pasting articles!? Not acceptable.

    What concerns me is “those articles had received thousands of likes”. Will people nick mine as they have your, and my dad’s?

    Content is king, it depends on how you take OWNERSHIP of it.

    RE’ ‘Everything worth writing about has been written about long before us’, yes, people can put their views in, but NOT COPY AND PASTE other people’s work!

    On another note re followers; sod this fucking followers quantity. It’s QUALITY not QUANTITY of followers that matters.

    For commercial purposes, QUANTITY maybe important.

    Concluding; plagiarism is NOT ACCEPTABLE in any way, shape or form.

  • Stuart Danker

    As someone who only has his writing to fall back on, this is really what I’ve been noticing as well. It’s about the social proof, and just working on your writing isn’t going to be enough. Interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kristin_Bea

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and ideas. In just minutes of reading I learned a lot and my time wasn’t wasted at all.

  • Rahul Gaur

    Thanks for sharing this Cristian! So gutted that people are copying anyway. Do you mind sharing the plagiarism tool you were using?

      • Rahul Gaur

        Thanks, will check the premium version out!

  • Vaneka's Book Blog

    That’s so true! Social proof seems to be what matters most nowadays. Great article!

  • Zara Walker

    Content is king only if it’s written by a king … This is really great! Thank you…

  • riisingnovels

    I don’t think that’s entirely true though. Because you can’t gain a reputation without content that stands out. Great bloggers can get stuck at 50 followers, but bad and inconsistent bloggers will get less. That said, using several different media to strengthen your name and your other platforms is certainly a good strategy today.
    I can’t speak for others, but I couldn’t care less who’s popular and who’s not. If you create content and I’m interested in it, I’ll look. If I like what I see, I’ll return. Sometimes often, sometimes rarely. If your titles, headlines, and pictures are good, I’ll be more likely to do that first click of course, so that’s important too.
    Once you’re got a reputation, it’ll get easier, that’s how it is and how it has always been. Just an example, everyone, even those who don’t read knows who Stephen King is, few nowadays know who Barbara Hambly is. And she’s not a small author.
    I think people hyper focus too much on one deal. It’s not all about content, it’s not all about click-bait titles, it’s not all about having a reputation, it’s not even all about being consistent, but it’s a mix of all of that.

    • dvillman

      I believe that quality content is the cornerstone of all popular blogs, how you get that content out there and read is the greater, and a different, challenge, says the guy with less than 70 followers.

      Quality content is what separates good writers, and writing, from the bad. Those who read what we write decide which type of writer we are. As it should be.

      • riisingnovels

        Yes, I think so too. I believe you should always try to create good content. Of course, not everyone will agree upon what’s good, but one should still try. Then produce things often and consistently. But after that, it feels like it’s pretty much out of your hands. XD

  • Phanthomias

    Knowing that you are right, the article makes me a bit sad anyways. I know that “advertising” is important, but somehow I don’t always want to ingratiate myself with people… but that’s how it works nowadays, i guess.

  • vijaff

    Well, I do believe content matters because with good content and proper SEO you can rule the search results. Having 200,000 followers is easy; making them stay with thought-provoking, quality content is hard. And this is what they stay for, don’t they? Thought-provoking and quality content. But yes, in today’s blogging, having a good exposure, making friends and interacting is just as important. I believe they both go hand in hand: good marketing and brilliant content.

  • Silk Cords

    I think you came to the correct conclusion. Content IS King actually, but, if it doesn’t have the proper kingdom of publicity / promotion… Well, your kingdom can be Monaco, or Russia in size. It’s all up to the support the king gets.

  • marandarussell

    Kind of discouraging and heartbreaking in some ways. But true.

  • Eric Boll

    I completely agree with everything you said in this piece. Lets say 1% of a subscriber base post about the content on social media. The person with 100,000 subscribers will have 1,000 posts while the person with 100 will have 1 post. it really puts into perspective how difficult gaining a following can be

  • Darazizi

    In the end, life is a game, and a popularity contest.

  • agrowingdocument

    I agree.
    Content was king and marketing is queen.

  • Ms.T.J

    Yes I agree with you. Good content doesn’t get readers. People these days only follow like sheep and prefer those who are liked by others, then only will they like them too. But I don’t care that I don’t have an online reputation. I’ve got followers you can count on one hand. I thank those few people who recognise my good content. If others want to follow the crowd, so be it.

  • Muhammad Shahzaib Patni (aka) Shahjee

    I’d definitely go read both of those contents. Because, their main idea of the blog maybe is the same. But, their won’t be exact the same. (Until if one of them is a copy/paste writer)

    But, yeah! I’d first go read the content of the one guy i know and save the other one’s content to read later.

  • Silk Cords

    It’s funny; when you first posted a similar article months back, I was skeptical about the whole concept. Looking around though, there’s plenty of proof. The Kardashians, the media (all aspects of it), politics, and even a few of the more popular bloggers with nothing meaningful to say.

    I still believe quality content and the other aspects you cover do matter, but it’s becoming clearer by the day that social reputation drives it all. Kind of scary when one considers how easily that can be destroyed by others.

    • Cristian Mihai

      Indeed. To quote Don DeLillo, “the phenomenon of reputation is a delicate thing. A person rises on a word and falls on a sylable.”

      As for meaningful… I believe we all have different definitions for that. For most people, entertainment is what they want most.

      • Silk Cords

        Very true. If it weren’t, politicians, the media and celebrities wouldn’t be able to get awy with so much.

  • singhpiyush6089

    That’s so true….a well written book becomes a disaster if not promoted well….a mediocre one does wonders if promoted well…

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