Is Content The Only Thing That Matters

My experience in blogging as part of a blogging network is very limited but based on what I have experienced thus far, there is a very strong focus on creating content because the content drives traffic which in turn, drives advertising revenue. The question I have is this, is content the only thing that matters?

I’ve noticed publishing systems which have seen better days, publishing systems which are way out of date sometimes by over 4 version releases, things that are broken and after notifying the guy up above about the problem, the broken thing is still there after 7 days, front end designs which could really be improved to not only highlight what is going on on the website as a whole, but increase accessibility of the backlog of content these blogs provide. Hell, some of these sites don’t even have a proper archive setup. Does none of this matter?

I realize that most technically savvy people browse sites now a days through their favorite RSS reader, but people still come to the site itself and I don’t understand why more emphasis is placed on the frontend and backend of a particular site along with the content that is published on it.

Are any of the things I mentioned above money makers or potential increases in revenue if the improvements were to be done? I would think with an archive page, it would make it easier for people who actually visit the site to find stuff in the backlog. With a focus on community through a recent comments block, you tell visitors that people hang out here and actually discuss things, with a related posts block as well as an area which highlights 5 or so random posts, you give visitors a chance to see something ELSE that might catch their eye, keeping them on the site longer and perhaps turning them into a subscriber if they weren’t already.

As a blogger, I could just as easily do things on my own. But my own blog doesn’t rake in any money and I have no experience or desire to mess with adwords, adsense, sponsored posts, text ads, direct advertising, and all of those other methods of monetization. So I write for others. As I have found out, it is tough to write for sites which in the back of your mind, know they could be so much more than what they are or have been in the past but because of ownership and the way things work, things just don’t work that way.

I guess the bottom line which I have had to cope with is this. The blogs I write for are not mine. I am hired on to write content for the blog, not much else. I can give suggestions, critique, comments, or whatever else, but I must not make demands and just because I say something, doesn’t mean it will happen. Writing for someone is not like Burger King where you can have things your way. It’s their way or the highway. I respect that, considering it’s not my site, but I wish it wouldn’t boggle my mind how making improvements to a brand or website and trying to take the site to it’s fullest potential would be pushed aside because none of those things make money. Sure, they don’t make money DIRECTLY, but I think I could make a strong argument for changes like what I described above to make money INDIRECTLY.

Has anyone else here ever written for someone else? Either an individual or for a blogging network? I wonder if you have gone through the same situations as I listed above. If so, how did you deal with those?