How To Write Winning Content

Almost every article I write and almost every discussion I have about blogging goes pretty much the same way: If you write a lot of quality content, your blog can’t help but be successful.

Whether your content is self-created, you have staff, or you rely heavily on guest posters, having lots of fresh content is almost a guarantee you will have consistent readership, you will attract new readers who will become loyal readers, and you will open up income streams, some of which you have never thought about or didn’t know exist.

A lot of these criteria are a matter of opinion and perception, but I have tried a few and I am more than willing to share my results.

What Is A Lot Of Quality Content?

I hear from other bloggers all the time that they create “a lot” of content, have “plenty” of guest posters, or they post but when I look at their blogs I often feel this is the area where people are confused and don’t put their best foot forward.

When I first started my blog, about three years ago, I wrote a post a day. As I learned the subject matter and my audience started to build (of course it “grew” but when I had three visitors in my first month it’s tough not to grow), I started to get a better feel as to what type of articles they came for. This revelation of finding something that worked was such a rush almost immediately the ideas and thoughts started running through my head.

Within days of my traffic increasing, I was writing two, three, four or more articles every day. My page views always jumped with the more content I had, which meant I was holding my readers and had them looking over the site for more, but I was also bringing in new readers who were looking for a specific thing and found me through the search engines.

One thing that has evolved over time is I have more contributors on my site, I have more content, and my traffic goes up. Because certain things we cover on my site are seasonal and some things are just more popular than others, my traffic is seasonal as well – with the Fall and Winter being my busier times, and the Spring and Summer being a little slower.  These cycles aren’t because of anything I am doing or not doing, if anything I branch out more in the slower months as I try and add more parts to make a bigger whole.

I personally don’t think my site would be nearly as successful if I didn’t have multiple articles every day. The number one comment I get from my readers is that they love my site and come back often, because they know every time they visit they will find something new. To me, comments and emails like this are a clear message that what we are focusing on trying to do is working and is what the audience wants to see.

As I said in my last post, I use a team of writers now and I pay them based upon income the site takes in. I received mixed comments on that article and I received some emails about it as well, but it works for me and it helps me reach my goals.

While everyone’s goals are different and everyone’s perception of what is a lot of content is different, for me at 800 articles per month we are putting our best foot forward, and if for some reason we ever failed, it wouldn’t be because we were too lazy to generate enough content or because I was misguided by what a lot of content is, and what is worth paying for.

I pay my writers not because they ask for money (they don’t), not just because they work hard and really treat their role like any other job where they have a commitment, obligation, and show up every day, but really the main reason I compensate them is I think it would be some seriously bad karma for me to sit back and make millions of dollars, and for them to receive nothing in return except a back link or a Sports Chat Place T-Shirt.

I know my site would be successful if it was just me, it was successful when it was just me, but really it comes down to the interpretation of success. Would you rather have a million dollars or half of 10 million for slightly more work? The way I think about it is I am working on the site most of the time anyway, it’s the only thing I really do and what my occupation is, so why stand in the way of letting it grow into whatever it can become? I try not to talk about money too much, I leave that to the “make money blogging” people but trust me on this, I make a pretty good living watching sports and writing all day.

How Do I Come Up With Good Topics?

Something I hear all the time is I am lucky to have such a popular niche. While my niche is popular, I also compete with some of the heaviest hitters and biggest budgets anywhere. While people think competing with top bloggers like Yaro, Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and others is tough competition, I lock horns with ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and many others each and every day.

What I have found is that while those sites do a great job covering sports news, it still leaves a lot of ground to cover and plenty of new ways to look at a lot of the same basic fields, and just present it in a way that they don’t. In other words, I don’t go head-to-head trying to cover the news and do recaps of games with these guys, they are way too big and have massive budgets.

My biggest asset is my opinion and the opinion of those who write at the site. It’s something that no matter how big someone’s budget is, they can’t get, and while a lot of the guys on other big sites might be more well-known than I am, I’m not so sure that if they didn’t get the exposure from being on the big news sites if they would be as popular on their own as we are at Sports Chat Place. While I’m not the only site doing what I do, I consider us the best.

What My Readers Want

Finding out what my readers wanted to see from my site took some time to figure out and it took some pride swallowing as well.  My readers don’t care that I went to one of the top schools for Communications and Journalism, they don’t care if every prediction I make comes true, what they do care about is that I deliver what I say I am going to deliver with no strings attached.

While I have a hugely successful Premium Area on my site, I give away more content for free. When I give free content I don’t promise free content and then make my readers triple opt in to a newsletter, submit 37 tweets and Facebook like me, I simply give them the free info right in the article they click on.

While this doesn’t kill six birds with one stone, it does build a loyal following, readership and trust, which I can later use to ask my readers to do all of that other stuff, and many of them, while they are at it, enter their credit card number and join my premium site. I like to believe that it’s because I have delivered and over delivered on what I said I would give them, so they know with the premium section it will be more of the same.

Common Content Mistakes

Taking too long to write the article:

Have you ever told yourself you were right the first time or your first instinct is always right? It’s the same with writing. Your article can always be better, but usually the first draft is what you wrote from your heart and passion, no need to dress it up, over clarify, or over edit it, if you have reached the right audience they will care less about the editing work you have done and want to either read your opinion on something or how to solve the problem that had them scouring the internet. The longer you take on one article, the less time you have to produce more content.

Making the article too long:

There are few people talented enough to keep the attention of the bulk of Internet users for more than a minute or so, from the studies I have seen, that’s even a long time. By making your articles too long you really hurt yourself twice. Firstly, you will be creating content that more than likely most of your readers won’t read, and secondly you have wasted an opportunity to create fresh new content for your blog with little to no more time and effort than you have already spent.

If you have an article that is long enough, try breaking it into pieces and if you can, which is even more effective, try and make the pieces their own separate subjects. Try doing at least two but if it’s long enough try three or even more, this is something you’ll get more comfortable with as to what is acceptable over time. This works well on so many levels that you will truly be floored by the results.

Firstly, it gets you indexed multiple times in the search engines for something you would have been indexed only once for the one article. If you title the articles correctly it will also open up new search terms. If you have only been posting one article a day, don’t be afraid to post all of these spate articles the same day, as if you continue to use this method you will have plenty of content every day.

Don’t worry that your readers will miss something, if they are your regulars they won’t and will be appreciative that you are taking your content to a new level. If they are people who came from the search engines, if you have done your meta data and titling correctly, you have probably grabbed some people who would have probably never found you.

Accepting too many guest posts:

If a post doesn’t fit what you are doing at your site, don’t take it. Most guest posters do it for the link, which they will stuff like crazy into the semi-relevant articles they give you. This isn’t worth it in most cases. Be selective and make sure it is original content that isn’t going to other sites.

Google is cracking down on Article Farms and that’s not a list of associations you want to be on these days. If it isn’t original content, you could be turning your readers off as well as they may have seen the same article somewhere else, and then all of the sudden the blog you put so much work into is now categorized as being one of “them”.

Forgetting content really is king:

While everyone says content is king, few people actually practice it. It is content which drives the site and the content which all of those people you spend so much time attracting want to see when they finally get to your site. If you do not have fresh content, people will not come back. I think it’s easier to have people coming to my site once a day or more than to have them check back once a week or so. If you can make visiting your site part of what people do every day, that’s a pretty cool thing.

I have had days where I have had tech issues and people have written to me asking where my new video is as watching it is part of their daily routine, so I can’t help but think I’m doing something right when I read that.

Mitch Wilson

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About Mitch Wilson

In 2008 Mitch typed into Google, "How do I start a Blog?". Within three months he was receiving 3,000 unique visitors a day, within a year he was blogging full time with over 400,000 monthly visitors and 1 million monthly page views. Blogging has given him a life beyond his wildest dreams. Today Mitch is a professional blogger who has turned his hobby passion into a dream job: running his own business at the Sports Chat Place. He now wishes to give back to the blogging community by sharing what he has learned.

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  • Joy

    Thanks Mitch for these excellent tips.

    As a new blogger I am soaking up all the tips and advise that I can.
    Trying to produce not only winning content but the correct amount is an ongoing struggle, but one I am determined to conquer.


    • It will ultimately dictate the success of your blog for reaching the masses

    • Here’s a tip that will ease the pressure: your blog is an ongoing project, so don’t think you’re ever gonna finish it 🙂

      Rather accept it as that, an ongoing project and set your schedule to being consistent with how you feel comfortable while also considering what your audience wants. There is not a determinate amount of content you need to add in a week, as long as you are actually adding content regularly and are not deviating from a schedule you’ve set.

      Consistency is the key to blogging, but so is balance. Just make sure you don’t burn yourself out by trying too hard in the beginning, just keep at it. Kind of like the “Tortoise and the Hare” story, but with blog posts instead!

    • I agree to you………
      Most probably these content problems suffers me too…..
      I was also totally confused about good content as I am a new blogger……………..
      His advice works a lot

  • Awesome Post! Mitch’s blog growth in the beginning is something to be inspired by. I know I am. Since I’m just getting started blogging myself I love hearing how successful bloggers got started. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Getting started can be tough as you feel like your talking to no one and many great posts go for the most part unread, but when you make those first few successes, it’s a great feeling and a great motivator.

  • If you Google people asking questions then you can get your content out to a bigger audience..become a problem solver..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • I can see where that works for a lot of niche’s that don’t have a limited shelf life for their content and even for a some my content that would work. I’m sure you could even just look at some hot forum topics in your niche to find out what the buzz topics are for that time

    • What problems you can solve if you have a sports blog like Mitch’s?

  • Thanks for the excellent teaching Mitch. Especially appreciate the clarity and the emphasis on adding valuable content

    • I don’t think there is anything Earth shattering here, I just try and stick with the basics

  • I wonder how much a degree has contributed to Mitch’s success? Can the average skilled person be successful writing? I enjoyed the article and will go check out Sports Chat Palace!

    • I would say not much. I think having a successful site has a lot to do with treating it like a business and effort. So while some of the basics help, there’s nothing I do that a good editor couldn’t take care of on the creative side.

  • Hi thanks for N good advice, I wil follow you closer in the future
    Regards Per Andersen

  • I agree, the more content on your website the better! Unique content to be specific. Great site are very informative such as your own.

  • Good post Mitch. Writing Contently content often is the way to go. This is a secret of mine to raise RSS subscribers. If you write good content like almost daily, you can expect your RSS subscribers to grow by a quick rate

    • I have never really concentrated on RSS, I have a feed available but I don’t think there is much money to be made there, at least not anything significant that I have had time to spend on it..

  • Wow, working upt to 800 articles per month. Yeah one would have to get a team of writers because that’s “a lot” of content… It’s possible, and thanks for the informative article, and inspiration.

  • Mitch,
    I couldn’t imagine writing four posts a day at this point. How did you get 3000 visitors a day after only three months of blogging?

    For a about a month I was focusing on writing longer articles but now I am working on writing what comes to me without worrying too much about how long the post is.

    • Hi,
      I studied the stats and saw what types of articles were working and more specifically, what people were typing into the search engines that got them to my site. I just wrote more articles focusing on those types of topics.
      If you have trouble creating content you the guest poster route isn’t a bad alternative at firstor do articles that are series so the content flows more..

      • I was going to jump in and say that writing content is guaranteed to bring traffic, but you proved you were doing a lot more then that in this reply!

        Figuring out why people are searching for you site in the first place is a great way to know what type of articles to write in the future. Too many people try to become all things to all people, when the idea is to become something (hopefully important) to a certain group of people first.

        When I figured this out my blogs jumped in traffic. I became the goto site for a certain demograpic and when i had that down I was able to move on to other areas.

        From one guest poster on this blog to another guest poster on this blog – respect to your success.

        • You totally hit the nail on the head, I just wish more people would take six months and really give it a try without expecting immediate results or income. I have never seen a blogger fail who gave it a real effort.

  • Hi Mitch!
    What can I say? I’m lucky!
    Thanks for refreshing our minds.Bloggers need some realistic and inspirational guidelines.

  • Hi mitch, great post. As most say content is the king, it is definitely is. People go back to your site because you have unique content and they love it. I agreed the articles should be straight forward, you should not make an article long because people tends to get boring when reading a long articles. Powerful headlines works too.

  • Whoooah… 800 posts a month means a lot of hard work and a lot of thinking. I’m guessing you are thinking about your next topic even in your dreams. 🙂 Great post Mitch. I love your tips.

    • I don’t need to think up my topics, they are pretty much created for me, I think I did an earlier article on this..

  • 800 posts a month is a ton of work but if you have a good writing format it can be fairly easy. That’s only 26 posts a day. If you can crank out 5-6 an hour, your golden.

  • My main problem is how can write every day at least 5 articles and all of them are fresh. Thanks for your tips. I’ll try it.

    • If you are passionate about something you should be able to do at least a few each day..

  • Thanks for your wonderful article. I tried to post a lot on my blog. I could do a few months. I was really exhausted. I took a break for awhile. After I read your post I have new energy to continue.

  • To write a winning content is to write good, creative, to write correctly and about things that many people will like and be intersted in.

  • I have some sports blogs that I follow daily, but I prefer only to read 1 article a day, or maximum 2…I prefer to read 1 very good article than 3 good articles.

  • It doesn’t take too much content on a site to make it successful.. I think it is more about balancing your content writing and marketing strategies that really helps. Your goal is really to know your audience the best, and there is no way people will read 800 posts a month! I believe that’s spreading yourself too thin, when really you should not be racing with yourself to get your blog having content.

    I think it’s more important understanding what your readers want to learn and providing that knowledge on a steady and consistent basis WHILE effectively marketing the HIGH QUALITY content you write…. It’s hard to focus your efforts marketing so many posts, but much easier to focus on marketing the gems you will produce.

    So basically, my thoughts are this:

    1. Write quality posts for your readers, what they want to read.
    2. Keep the posts coming on a consistent basis using “pacing methods” to outline what’s coming in the future.
    3. Analyze your traffic trends and sources to find the best ways of getting your content in front of new readers. If that’s by SEO, use SEO, if it’s by guest posting do that as well.

    If you follow these steps, your content will deliver, your readers will subscribe for future posts (expecting them on a certain basis), and you will always be able to gain fresh eyes to your blog.

    Blogging is a balancing act, and if you don’t manage that balance you will quickly burn yourself out.

    • I think you are sadly mistaken. The stats say many people read a good portion or all of the posts on the site, hence the 1,000,000+ page views consistently every month, many months much more than that.
      I am interested in how much a month you make from 1 blog using those strategies and what your comscore stats look like?

      • I understand for your particular blog’s topic that frequently updating as much as that is acceptable. Sports coverage is something that’s constantly ongoing and ever changing… but as advice to new bloggers that is overwhelming and not practical. For example (to answer your question) my blog was created at the end of last month. I spent the best part of my internet career ghost writing articles, so I am a person that can easily pump out 3 to 4 blog posts a day. But, I can assure you my blog will grow much more rapidly from the plan I am following now rather than using all of my writing effort for such a reason. If I wrote 3 to 4 blog posts a day with my new blog, guess what it would be 6 months from now? Exactly where it is now.

        The point is, you can’t expect a new blog to miraculously expand just from an over abundance of content. A new blogger has to also be a marketer of their content, and writing 3 to 4 posts a day does not include efficient marketing within the plan. Come back to my blog in 6 months, and I assure you it will have seen major explosive growth, because that’s where I am taking it to go.

        I’m not saying all of this in a way that disproves you, because clearly this method is working for your blog and your business. By all means that’s great. But, for the particular audience that the post is being read by, it isn’t practical for them to apply. They will not see rapid success by constantly writing blog posts if they can not take the time to apply marketing to their writing.

        • we’ll agree to disagree here and there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat. the point is, if people find your site whether it’s new or mature, if there isn’t a lot of content there it won’t keep them there and if there isn’t fresh content they won’t be coming back. At least that’s my experience..
          I am rooting for you as you seem to have a solid plan. I just think marketing is way down the list, especially at first.

  • Great post Mitch! As of everyones says “content is the king”. I agree. The articles should be straight forward because people tends to get boring. Thanks for the share. Loved the read.

  • Nice article but to me it would be a nightmare to manage 800 articles per month, how you are able to manage all that content. Anyway even thought I will never be able to reach these numbers ( I hardly manage maximum 10 articles per month) thanks for motivating me to try harder.

    • I use a good content management system and treat it like a full time job.

  • I enjoyed reading this article, although it was a bit long!…JK! Yaro did talk about over posting. I think one article per day is enough. I am new to blogging, but not new to business and customer service.

    I think there is an important aspect that people rarely mention, and I think it will become more popular as the years go on.

    There’s a lot of confusion to why a particular system will work for one person and not another. Some people have to apply a lot of effort, while others don’t, and yet both are successful in the same field. Or sometimes a person will do all the right things according to the system and fail.

    I think if more focus was applied to “how much you really believe in yourself” rather then the technique itself, we would have more successful people. Everything starts with “you” first, your thinking and what you believe is true and possible.


  • Your Message

    Just quality content is an important part of the blog, to stay alive, something I did not know is that there must be a lot, and it seems fine to acknowledge and compensate the work of writers, because insurance has contributed in part to its success.
    But, do you need a lot of content?
    Or not necessarily? and is it necessary to change every day as you say?.
    thanks, nice theme and important.

  • Yaro had a guest speaker on one of his podcast, his name escapes me right now. He creates and sells ebooks from his blogs. He currently has 93 blogs and there’s no way he can update all of them everyday. He mentioned one of his first blogs he started 3 years ago, it was a blog about Beta fish. That’s right, just Beta fish, he hasn’t updated this site in 3 years and he makes over $500.00 per day.

    You see there are different systems that work, and some may work better then others. I know this for sure, “more work doesn’t produce more results.”

    I hate to say this but anyone who post high expectations (800 post a month) is doing a disservice to new bloggers. They will try to meet those unrealistic goals and fail.Instead write about persevering, staying organized, stay balanced and have passion about what you are writing about.

    Anything is possible if you believe it, take it one step at a time and push yourself beyond your comfort zone just a little bit, but not too much where you think it’s impossible and quite.


  • Your article is proof that anyone can make it online… it just takes producing great content, and a lot of it. I didn’t start doing well with any of my websites until made daily milestones for content production. Now I aim to add one article per site per day, and things are going great.

  • Just read through this article – some great tips here that I’ll certainly be of use for us… keep up the good work!

  • 😉 Excellent article. Great Work!

  • Thanks Mitch, I have to say I find it very hard to constantly write new and unique articles for my blog, especially for the engineering sector! Will print this and stick it up on my desk for future reference!

  • Great content Mitch…keep up the good work.

  • Another epic post from Mitch. I don’t update my blog regularly but i do spend time in creating quality content because i strongly believe that content is king and yes it is and i can see the evidence as my audience is growing.

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