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Content Isn’t King… Here’s What Is!

Over the years I’ve heard many debates in the blogosphere about what is ‘king’.

‘Blogging is King’ was something many argued almost 10 years ago as it began to rise in popularity.

‘Content is King’ was the catch cry for many years… then it became ‘Community is King’ for a while as community management became the big thing.

‘Twitter is King’ was something I heard a number of bloggers crying (as they gave up their blogs to get onto Twitter), ‘Facebook is King’ was the cry a few years later when setting up pages there was the cool thing to do. YouTube was king for a while, and more recently some have argued for Instagram, Pinterest and other social networks being King.

Lately there’s a new ‘king’ every day. Infographics, podcasting, hangouts, webinars, apps… you name it!

The arguments for all of these things being ‘king’ are good… but they all kind of miss the point in my opinion. You see I think something else is king…

Usefulness
Yep – in my books ‘Usefulness is King’.

Creating content is just one way of being useful.

Building community is another.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and G+ are just ways of delivering usefulness.

Infographics, videos, podcasts and even blogging… all just different mediums for being useful.

Over the last decade that I’ve been doing business online a multitude of trends have come and many have gone but those who remain and have build valuable enterprises are those who understand that they’re in the business of being useful.

I’m often asked if I’ll be blogging in 10 years time… if the medium will still exist?

I don’t know the answer to that – blogging may well fall by the wayside at some point (although I don’t see it disappearing any time soon).

What I do know is that usefulness will never die as a strategy for building a business (online or offline).

How to be useful?

So how should we be useful as bloggers and online entrepreneurs?

Ultimately for me it comes down to understanding people’s needs and creating content, community and experiences based upon meeting those needs and solving their problems.

There are many ways to do this.

Here’s a slide from a recent talk I gave to business bloggers which begins to unpack a few ways blogs can be useful (and it scrapes the surface).

How to be useful
My blogs tend to focus most upon ‘education’ and ‘advice’ (with a sprinkle of inspiration and community) but other blogs are equally as useful by taking different approaches.

How Is Your Blog Useful?

So my question today is – ‘is your blog being useful’?

This is something I ask myself semi-regularly as I review what I do. If the answer is no – it’s time to refocus!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. owesome post sir, i have read every where that content is king, but you have well defined it, thanks for sharing this important topic……. :D

  2. Pranav says:

    It is clear from your post, create useful blogs help others and be Happy

  3. Great post, Darren! I am with you one this one and I have blogged about it myself. Content is king, content is king, we have all heard that and then people focus on content but just content, writing content doesn’t mean you are doing what you should be doing. Writing AWESOME content that is USEFUL is what is meant by this.

  4. Zaini says:

    No point reader read blog article without gain any benefits on it. I totally agree useful content is the main factor everybody read certain blog.

  5. Brian Davis says:

    Very good points in this post. I would think that ideally you could have a site be a mix of a few of the things you mentioned and they would probably get a lot of attention. Obviously you can’t be all things to all people, but at least be everything to a small niche of them, right?

  6. Adnan Hameed says:

    I’m totally agree with you. Usefulness is key to success and for sure it’s KING.

  7. I agree with you. If you blog does not provide any quality information, then why would people want to take a look at it?

  8. Mac says:

    While I do agree usefulness is key, I think it is a little simplistic to say it is the more important thing above all others. Obviously a balance of a bunch of different things leads to success, and it is misleading to suggest it is possible to drive it all into one major factor.

  9. Nice post, uselessness is really going to be a good stuff for those who are not enjoying their blogging life.

  10. Benjamin R says:

    Yup! Useful content all the way.