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Enough is not Enough

Whenever I can, I encourage my clients to blog on their websites.  Blogging is a great way to educate your clients on your products and services, catch the attention of search engines and even close some sales.  However, one of the greatest benefits of blogging is that it establishes you as the expert.  I've mentioned this several times before, but clearly it bares repeating.  Your clients and potential clients have questions.  They are often unwilling or unable to ask those questions.  When you answer those questions (before they are even asked) while everyone else is just sitting there posting their store hours, you become the expert!

However, it's not enough to put "enough" content to get by.  It's not enough to write a few lines and think, nobody's going to read this much anyway.  Enough is simply not enough, and here's why ...

Experts Know More than Most Care to Read

My wife gave birth to our 3rd boy last week.  Believe you me, I could go on and on and on about him.  Really, I could go on and on about my whole family because they are seriously the most awesome people you will ever meet.  But, you don't care to read all of that, do you?  Let's say that your threshold of how much you can stand to read about my family is 10 paragraphs.  (It's probably not, but for the sake of round numbers and all ...)

If I were to write 10 paragraphs about my family, you could read all 10 paragraphs and be fairly educated on my family.  You would finish the post thinking highly, I'm sure, of my family and thinking fairly highly of your knowledge of them as well.

That's great and all, but what if I wrote 100 paragraphs about my family.  There is no way you would read that much; it is way over your threshold.  You would still only read 10 paragraphs and be no more educated.  So, why bother writing the other 90 paragraphs?  Because, when you reach your threshold and see that my depth of knowledge about my family extends ten times that of your own, your impressions start to change.  Instead of walking away thinking you know a lot about my family, you would walk away thinking, "Man, that guy loves his family!"  I would have, at that point, become the expert on my family.

Most Don't Read to the End

Our above scenario is fairly idealistic: a person has a 10 paragraph threshold, the person is given a 10 paragraph post, the person reads all 10 paragraphs.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for the average reader.  Most people are self-actualized enough (albeit subconsciously) to know that they have a threshold.  They will have no clue what it is, but they know good and well they're not going to read this whole thing.  So, they stop short regardless of how long the post actually is.

In other words, if I write at the threshold of my readers, it is unlikely they will read to their threshold.  If I write 10 paragraphs about my family, most of my audience may only read 3 or 4 paragraphs about my family.  No one likes to reach their breaking point.  So, instead of educating my readers to their full potential, I would have done them a disservice and kept them somewhat ignorant to many of the wonderful things about my family.

Those Who do Read to the End Appreciate It

If you are actually reading this paragraph as opposed to just skimming the headings, it is likely that you are among the people who read to the end.  You probably read to the end of most of the things that you read, and that's probably a good bit.  So, it takes a little more convincing for someone to establish themselves as the expert in your mind.  Maybe that never happens.  Afterall, you are a bit of an autodidact and possess rhetorical knowledge of most subjects of interest.  You may very well read all 100 paragraphs about my family.  In so doing you may feel that you now know all there is to know about my family, and that I am now no more of an expert than you.  So, why bother?  I can't impress you anyway, right?

Fair question, but I suggest this: you enjoy it.  You like learning all there is to know, and you like being challenged to learn more.  Perhaps my 100 paragraphs about my family will never convert you to a client of any kind.  BUT ... they will probably make you a fan of my family, maybe even a "evangelist" for my family.  You may very well go home and bore your spouse to tears about all the details you've learned about my family, and without even knowing it, you've established me as the expert in her mind!  Mu ha, ha, ha!

In closing, if you've got immense knowledge on a subject, prove it.  I may not care to read it, but you sure will look smart doing it.