The Ugly Truth About Content Saturation (And What To Do About It)

by Aleks Vizulis on September 22, 2016

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All right, we know about saturation in paint mixes (too dark) and superhero movies (too many), but what does saturation mean when it comes to blogging? It's not pretty: content saturation refers to a point where there are so many blogs out there that your own blog impact becomes diluted, lost, or impossible to measure – and that saturation point has some marketers worried.

For example, did you know that studies have shown that up to 17 new blog posts are being published every second? Add that to research that shows the second greatest inbound marketing concern is still "blog content creation", and we're looking at a future deluged with new blogs. How long until the concept of a blog starts to lose meaning? It's a good question to ponder, but don't throw your hands up quite yet: When you hear about blog saturation in the next few years, here are four points you should remember.

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1. Don't Panic Yet

Take a phrase like "UV windows." Assume you run a search on that phrase and come up with, oh, 44 million results.

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That's not great for your blog prospects: Adding another site to that many results feels like a drop in the ocean, and Google probably agrees. However, change the phrase to "UV windows in Sioux Falls" and suddenly you have far fewer results.

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That's just one example of how the power of local SEO can help address the blog saturation issue. Niche and local markets have a built-in immunity to saturation, so there's no reason to panic for the foreseeable future, especially if your SEO is up to date. Additionally, keep in mind that saturation is far more of a problem in the consumer market, where most blogs are created – B2B markets have more leeway here. The sky is certainly not falling.

2. Look at the Past to Understand the Future

Content has gone through saturation points before – and while things changed, content certainly survived. If you want to go way back, the explosion of literacy and cheap printing in the late 1800s revolutionized the publishing industry and quickly saturated the market to the brim with new novels and other books. The industry responded by recategorizing – forming strict genres, developing quality tests, writing up "Bestseller Lists" to help consumers, and so on. It's likely that responses to blog saturation will be similar, and we're already seeing some efforts in this direction.

3. Remember that Content is a Race

Yes, publishing content is a race between you and your competitors. When news hits, you want to be the one to talk about it first. When everyone's discussing something, you want to be the first to create a thought leadership piece about it. When the industry changes, you want to be the first one to respond. No matter how you blog, the race is still on – and that's not going to change. No matter how saturated the market becomes, the first movers still tend to have the advantage. "Better, faster, stronger," is a solid blog mantra to get through difficult times.  

4. Watch What Customers Want

This is Blogging 101, right? But it's also a useful trick for watching long-term trends. If the B2B blog market does become dangerously saturated, your readers will show the first signs. Pay attention to the type of content that gets the most traffic and engagement, and take some time to ask why. Are people pulling away or ignoring a certain type of content that used to interest them? Are your competitors seeing similar results? Are there signs that certain content just isn't having the same impact anymore? Keep up with what customers are attracted to, and you won't need to worry about saturation.

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Aleks Vizulis

As operations manager at 21 Handshake, I bring an analytical perspective to the discussion table. My vision is to take projects from 'just strong' to superb. Often you will find me capturing behind the scenes photos in the 21 Handshake office or at a clients location. I play a fierce round of 18 during warm weather and catch me on the slopes during the other months of the year!

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