Content creators: We didn’t ask to be popular

There’s a bug in my ear and sand in my swimmers over this whole “content ain’t the new black” flim-flam. Yes, I have a vested interest in putting forward a case for content being all that and a bag of chips- it’s what I do after all!

But here is two reasons why I am so very tired of the whole snicker, sneer and carry on associated with content being popular.

Content was here first

Long before everyone marched onto the SEO train, starting doing the happy dance about social or even considered the commercial viability of the web with advertising, there was content on the internet. People have been making web pages, writing blogs, pinning notes to boards and animating the heck out of things since the 90’s.

Some schmick dude in a suit (circa 2012/2013) did not invent content. Content was and is instrumental in the creation of the internet as we know it. content creators have been quietly going about their business for quite a long time, building up reputation and volumes of work happily using it as an organic form of gaining traffic as well as reaching out and building relationships with potential and existing customers. They’ve done it as a way of sharing their story, educating customers, testing ideas, tracking their own success and as a form of revenue for quite some time. Some didn’t start out making content for profit, others did. Some still don’t profit from it and do it for the love.

You just didn’t have someone pointing to what people produced and crying “Yo dude, that be content!” until recently.

So it has a sexy new name- so what? It’s still the same thing I and a lot of people like me have been doing since 1995.

The hype isn’t contents fault

Someone somewhere cottoned on to the amount of influence content has over consumers and how much trust it garners. So in their infinite wisdom, they’ve started crowing about businesses needing to produce more of it to keep up.

In the giant game of Chinese whispers that is the online marketing world, people have misread this, misheard it, left bits out of the story and decided key elements of content aren’t important.

These Muppets are ruining it for the rest of us.

If you think about it, it’s no different to keyword stuffers fudging SEO. Or someone who writes a terrible TV ad as opposed to a clever one. But like SEO or TV ads, there’s a huge world of difference between someone who is doing it because everyone else is, and someone who is doing it well.

But stop blaming the medium because ill-prepared people have added it to their bag of tricks. The hi-jacking of the concept doesn’t make the concept in itself invalid. All it means is popularity has made the concept of content suffer from unwanted attention.

What does this mean? 

Those of us who do it for the right reasons will keep plugging away until the new kids on the block march off to annoy something else.

Please let it be soon.


Looking for more reasons why you should stop being mean to content creators? Check out why SEO copywriters should stop laying the boot in and watch me bust myths about how easy content is.

4 Comments. Leave new

  • […] on from pointing out the popularity of content doesn’t mean it is useless, I thought I’d tackle the problem of resentment towards content creators by SEO […]

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  • Umm, isn’t content … or at least good content … just writing? And haven’t humans being doing that forever? I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the current argument you talk about – but from what I’ve been reading, it seems to be that people have just worked out that great writing really is important to communicate. Kinda like it always has been.

    • Hey Kimberley,

      Content can be anything from memes through to podcasts and video and so on. And there has been a resurgence in the popularity of blogging and other forms of written content such as articles, newsjacking and a whole bunch of other stuff. This is especially important as the whole “nobody reads on the internet” idea has been proven to be false.

      The difference is and always will be quality. Like any marketing, there is marketing for the sake of it, and then there’s doing it well. The problem is, those who don’t want to make the effort to make great content are pouring water on the idea. Which is the crux of the argument.




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