Why Bigger is Not Always Better in Content Marketing

June 30, 2014 , 22 Comments

If you do content marketing, I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the importance of writing “epic” content and delivering massive value in your blog posts, videos, podcasts and more. In pursuit of ever more awesome content, I ended up making a critical mistake – and you might be making it too.

Check out this short video to see what the mistake is and how to fix it:

The Value Problem

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About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Good tip. Thank you Shane. As an author, I too find myself in this trap sometimes. Glad to know I’m not unique.


    • Thanks for your comment, John! One of the things I find challenging with writing is finding that balance between wanting to provide information that’s as complete as possible on the one hand and finding a way to reduce what you write to the essentials and make it accessible on the other hand.


  • Hello Shane,

    as someone who receives over 200 mails a day you can appreciate when I tell you that I enjoyed following your link and the video today. I first “met” you based on a search and your Theme review post, and have since subscribed to your list.

    While I am so very busy, like so many of us, it may help you (and other entrepreneurs) to realize that I am on your list because you made me sign up to leave a comment. I cared about that post, and the work you did, and some things I had to contribute… so I took the effort to sign up.

    Since then I have received value. I have not reviewed everything you’ve put across but I haven’t opted-out either, and I just would have never found you and signed up looking for the content you have to offer. It’s too similar to what I do.

    The bottom line is that the way we “met” and our business relationship is just as valid as someone else who may hear about you, go to your front page, sign up and begin following you. The value you provide has spoken for itself, and each time I interact with your content and site I warm up a little bit. Just today I learned you or your company produces WP themes- something I didn’t realize. So here I go to check those out… perhaps my clients will find one useful??? Either way this is how business happens. One step at a time- and you’re right, there were little steps beyond your epic posts that has made this possible.

    Thanks again for a great post.


    • Thank you very much, Max!

      You make a really excellent point about how small pieces of content can have a cumulative “getting to know you” effect over time. This is a great illustration of why it’s better to have a blog that’s active with small pieces in between the epic post, than to have a blog that’s dormant most of the time.


  • Great post, Shane.

    I agree with you, and knowing your previous epic posts I would have nightmares trying to top them! :)

    People want great information and to have a sense of who you are. How those 2 things come together can take many forms and be of any length.

    You’re on the right track with this video, and knowing that a dude like you is good with focusing on impact over length further validates the path I’ve taken with my own content hub.



  • Good value from this – it helped reiterate the point with me that simpler can be better. The first thing I do these days is look to see how long a video is and if it’s 10 or more minutes, I tend to move on. I like quick-hit information like this video, and I tend to come back for more because the author understands.


    • You’re definitely not alone in that. Looking at video analytics, you can see that it’s quite difficult to keep people’s attention for more than a few minutes, especially for informational (rather than entertaining) content.


  • This is my first time to your site and wow am I glad I found it! I truly enjoyed reading your post and it really helps put things in perspective. I am just starting out and keeping in mind that bigger is not always better will really help me when I’m creating my course and my content for my blog. Thanks for this fresh perspective and I look forward to becoming a regular reader on your site. Also, what sort of lighting do you use to shoot your videos? I’m on a shoestring budget and I’m looking for creative ways to film my videos. Thanks!


    • Hello Nikki. Thank you for leaving a comment!

      You’ll love the budget for the lighting in this video: $0
      This is just me facing towards a window and getting (indirect) sunlight. Sunlight is a safe bet for lighting, if you can get indirect sunlight (direct is too strong). Even cheap and rubbish cameras are calibrated to produce good results with sunlight, while getting a good result with artificial light and a cheap camera can be very difficult.


  • Two things I will probably never get:

    1.) How that whole podcast thing got any traction…
    2.) How that whole twitter thing got any traction…

    Who has time for that?
    Guess I have to wait to be reborn…


    • Hi Rudolf,

      I think the reason the podcast thing works is because long podcast episodes are often listened to while doing something else (e.g. while driving). As for twitter: I join you in bafflement on that one. :)


  • Thanks Shane,
    This is very true. Time to value ratio is very important in any content.
    Great tips and also great blog. I’m a fan!


  • Hey Shane,

    I know your busy. I value your content short or long! You are a sincere, trustworthy and hardworking guy, three traits that I admire in a person. I usually stop what I’m doing, take the time to hear you out, because I know I will benefit somehow. Keep the value coming, I for one appreciate it.


    • That’s awesome, thank you very much, Fred! I’m always very concerned about making sure that my content is worth your time. I just have to make sure that I don’t get too nervous about it. :)


  • Thanks for this informative post Shane. I get value out of all of your videos. When I started my blogs back in 2005, I thought I needed to go into much detail about the content on my posts and pages.

    I was wondering why my email list is not experiencing growth so will start to focus on short thoughts, videos and updates to see if I attract more subscribers.


    • Hello Danielle,

      I think having a good mix of both is probably a winning strategy for most blogs. If you can prove that you can deliver value to people in a short post, they will be more willing to sit down and read a longer post as well.


  • Thanks, great video, yes simple but when it gets to much and to complicated I tend to not remember and get anything out of an article or video. Because there is so much content being delivered online, the smallest and the simpliest the better.
    And sometimes it is not the moment for a piece of content to be used, and then we forget about it. So having it coming back and in front again is great, because now it is the time or becasue a reminder anyway can be useful!
    And for people that are new followers how can they now…
    I feel more in piece now that I wont have to deliver everythime something new! I just started my blog but was already stressing out… great piece of awareness with this article!


    • Thanks for your comment! I’m glad this helped give you some peace of mind about blogging. :)


  • Shane
    Great post! I have a couple of comments/questions.
    1. what type of video hosting do you use? I am in the process of making a video mini course and don’t want to have to use youtube to host the videos. I am speaking with someone at JW player tomorrow about this because Amazon S3 is a bit daunting for my limited tech knowledge.
    2. I also wanted to let you know that hybrid connect has been a PRICELESS addition to our website alowing us to constantly add emails to our lists. Thanks!


    • Hello John,

      I’m using Wistia for all my video needs. It’s a great platform to use, especially if you use video a lot, in your business.

      Very happy to hear that you’re getting good use out of the Hybrid Connect plugin! :)


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