There’s so much emphasis placed on getting the coveted click.

We measure click-thru rates, likes, and upvotes. We worry about how much traffic a post gets — how many visits, how many eyeballs. We flaunt our “most popular” content in sidebar widgets and rely on algorithms to retweet, republish, and rehash our most popular messages.

But is the popularity contest really what we want to win?

Are you after the click or the conversion?

Last year, I got to see Tom Martin, author of The Invisible Sale, speak at Authority Live, and his talk made an impression on me.

In his words, a click is invisible — and it’s hard to sell to invisible.

A click is not a conversion. If you ask most entrepreneurs which they’d rather have — someone click on their post, or someone convert (either to an email list or a sale) — I’ll bet you five shiny Internet dollars that every single one would say they prefer the conversion.

Yet most are writing for the click.

You’ve likely heard the term “clickbait” referring to posts with ridiculously manipulative headlines that dare you not to click and check out their content. And we’ve all fallen for it! We have to click on the post to find out the ONE AMAZING TRICK that person used to lose weight that will BLOW OUR MINDS!

But here’s the thing: As I pointed out in my post on epic content, those marketers likely have a different business model than you or I do. Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Upworthy and the like have a business model based largely in advertising revenue; in other words, eyeballs equal dollars for them. The click is worth money to them.

What is the click worth to you?

You might be writing for the wrong audience.

It’s an important distinction. If you’re writing for the click, you might be writing for the wrong audience — because there’s no guarantee that the click will convert.

I hear many women entrepreneurs talk about wanting to build their audience, to grow their community of likeminded women. And while that’s admirable, I have to wonder if that’s what they really want.

Because when pressed, of course, most of them want to make money from their business — likely more than they want that audience they’re talking about.

So if they’re creating content to “build their audience” they’re writing to the wrong group.

As Tom Martin says, “An audience will make you famous, but prospects will make you rich.”

In other words, for most of my readers, writing to the prospective client or customer is much more important than writing to the masses. It’s more important to write and promote content that converts, not just content that is popular.

Writing for the second click.

What does that mean in practice? It’s something I’m examining deeply in preparation for my new content marketing mastermind program, but this is what I’m thinking so far:

  • It means going deeper. Going beyond the list post and the templated blog post and the “curiosity” headlines.
  • It means going deep where most people only go broad.
  • It means choosing to promote the content that converts the best rather than the content that is most popular. (And it means tracking those things so you know which is which.)
  • It means we stop worrying about the ego of the click.
  • It means we stop squandering our time focusing on the wrong metrics, and start focusing on the ones that really matter.
  • It means writing content that’s incredibly valuable to our potential clients and customers — not necessarily the bubble gum content that will make us “famous” without any substance.

Those blog post templates that purport to get you a bazillion clicks might just do that — with link round ups and quote posts and image posts — but, to me, that’s junk food content. You might get people who come to snack on it, but they’re not going to be high quality visitors — because you’re not providing them with high quality content.

Just like with a healthy diet, your blog can’t survive on junk food alone.

If, on the other hand, you consistently provide thoughtful, useful, meaty content aimed directly at your prospects, you might see slower growth, but the growth you do see will be more targeted, and more valuable to you in the long run.

Then you’ve truly earned that second click.

What do you think? I’d love to continue this discussion with you in the comments. Is it better to write junk food content to get the audience, or meaty second-click content to go after the prospects? Or some combination of the two?