With These Content Metrics, Less Can Be More

In content marketing writing, we’re always wanting more, more, more. More content. More clicks. More engagement. More subscribers.

But trying to max out on every content metric can hurt your business.

Self magazine cut the amount of content it publishes on its website in half, starting with eliminating “social news writing aimed solely at generating clicks.”

The digital brand’s traffic decreased at first, and then rebounded—with higher-quality visitors. Even better, Self‘s revenues increased 108% in 2018. “Focusing on quality and differentiation over quantity and empty clicks has increased our engagement,” said EIC Carolyn Kylstra. “People spend longer on the site, and our audience has grown tremendously.”

This reminded me of a guest post I wrote for the Content Marketing Institute blog on how my business partner and I deleted unengaged subscribers from the Renegade Writer Press mailing list, dropping our subscriber numbers from over 7,000 to about 1,200. The results? We tripled the open and click-through rates on our emails, garnered more engagement from our loyal readers, and cut the hassle factor of managing a list way down.

In the post I offer some reasons for valuing quality over quantity when it comes to subscribers:

  • More accurate analyses. Having a load of subscribers who aren’t really interested in your content and offerings skews your analyses. When you survey your subscribers, for example, the responses are not necessarily from people interested in ever buying from you.
  • More targeted content. Creating content for a diverse and numerous audience weakens your success because you’re creating content for a lot of people who just aren’t that into you.
  • Lower content marketing costs. Paying for inactive subscribers is an unnecessary cost. When we reduced our list to 1,200 dedicated readers, we reduced our list management expenses by $75 per month.

I also include five ways to encourage your less-enthused subscribers to leave—like creating content only for your ideal subscriber, making unsubbing easy (plus tips on how to do this), and slowing down the flow of subscriber incentives.


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