When You Grow - DO NOT Forget Your Visitors
Over the last few years I've noticed a trend with emerging websites that has really disturbed me, it seems many sites that have built a solid readership through awesome content have slowly withered and died.
The quality of content they produce has nosed dived, so much so that all new posts are dull, unhelpful and not worth sharing. Even when you grow to 100 thousand readers, you can't let the quality slide...
I believe that several issues are at play:
1) The focus stops being the reader
For the bigger websites I suspect that the focus from the top comes down to unique visitors, ad revenue and so on. We all know the bottom line is why we're all here but there has to be a balance, you can't keep churning out the same crap content.
Big sites usually expand into a network of other websites which makes sense. However with this expansion, it feels like editors are pushed too far and can't focus on the reader. Once again, the metrics take precedence.
3) Unable to get the talent
Another issue which is very understandable is getting reliable quality content writers. To get the best, you have to pay good money. When large sites are under pressure to post once or several times a day then this becomes a huge issue however the focus should always be on good quality over quantity.
My feeling is that too many sites are forgetting what made their site great. No matter what Google is doing to its algorithm or whatever the latest trend is, it will always be about content. If you invest the time and money into creating it then you'll build a great user base, if you don't then you will suffer.
It's my sincere hope that some of the big blogs/websites realise this, for a few years now I've watched them slowly descend. I hope they will change however I won't hold my breath...