Blog Success:
What Few Content Marketing Advisors Will Tell You

March 14, 2014 4:39 pm | Published by

Blog SuccessFor a few years now, “content marketing” – a sharp buzzword with a fuzzy definition – has enjoyed a reputation as the best thing since sliced bread. And if you take just a couple minutes to look up some content marketing strategies, you’ll quickly notice one approach that’s always at the practice’s very core: blogging.

But it ain’t easy. Sure, the “experts” will tell you this.

They’ll say that blogging is hard.

It requires commitment.

It can get discouraging.

But as a new, bright-eyed blogger, it’s natural to let their attempts at dissuasion roll right off your back. You convince yourself that you’ll be better, faster, smarter, and more committed than others.

If that sounds like you, then I admire your pluck. But I have to bring up one key factor that deserves every blogger’s consideration before making the plunge. It’s called the “content saturation index.”

A Must-Know Principle: The Content Saturation Index

Marcus Sheridan, one of the most successful online/digital marketing bloggers, has a term that every would-be business blogger should know about: the content saturation index (CSI). Sheridan describes CSI, writing, “The more content an industry/niche has written about it, the harder it is for a blog to make headway and find success in that field.”

Over the years at BuzzPlant, we’ve worked for clients in a variety of industries, from the non-profit sector to Hollywood and everywhere in between. Before we begin work with a new client, it’s absolutely necessary for us to determine the “CSI” for that client’s industry. (This applies whether we’re blogging or using some other content marketing strategy.)

Why CSI Matters: Volume & Quality

A couple months ago, Mark Schaefer (a marketing consultant we enjoy reading) published a post that expounded upon Sheridan’s CSI concept. Schaefer describes how his time and efforts in 2009 (when digital content wasn’t nearly as common as it is today) produced more and better results. But today, if he were still posting the same volume and quality of content, he’d hardly make an impression on his audience.


It goes back to Sheridan’s Content Saturation Index. Schaefer’s industry/niche is digital and online marketing – a niche that you’ve no doubt noticed has quite a lot of content available. As the supply increases, Schaefer, like all of us, has had to put out more and better content in order to stay afloat.

This challenge of keeping up volume and quantity doesn’t just apply to blogging. Even content marketing platforms like Facebook, which used to be “free,” have started charging businesses in order to self-regulate the content market. (Though they don’t admit to such in so many words.)

Keeping above the saturation point requires creating more content and/or better content than your industry’s average.

How to Make Your Blog Successful

So, what can you do in the face of CSI? Inbound Trainer has these four blogging tips for overcoming CSI:

  • Take a strong stance that will draw readers to you. In short: Be original.
  • Be consistent with blogging.
  • Use smart SEO strategies.
  • Network, network, network!

Remember, blogging for business is hard work, and the more saturated your industry/niche is, the harder your job will be. But success can be had. Before you start blogging, honestly evaluate your industry’s CSI, and look for opportunities to provide original, high quality content. And if you need some help ­– just ask!

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