August 2nd, 2006
Websites need content. It does not depend on the type of the web site: an online store, service, image hosting, any type.
Every webmaster is faced with the problem how to generate content: much of it. And preferably of high quality. I have analyzed our options and here are my conclusions.
1. Duplicate content (RSS feeds displayed on your website, article syndication, public domains, Creative Commons, etc).
This content is of low value for the website promotion in search engines and its visitors in general. But it can be a nice addition to other types of content. Also it is good when it is a new project and we develop other types of content in the meantime.
How to generate much: find the resources that fit for your website and are not copyrighted, copy and paste.
2. ‘Half-duplicate’ or ‘half-unique’ – whatever you like.
Re-written news, blog posts, press releases. Events and news important for your industry. If you re-write them (instead of using the 1st content generation method) you increase your chances to be picked up by search engines. It is a good idea to add some personal attitude.
How to generate much: hire freelance college students, provide them with info sources and control their work quality (general quality and with www.copyscape.com for duplicate issues).
3. User generated content (forums, blog comments, image and video downloads, etc.)
One of Web 2.0 key features. Very valuable content but it is not an easy task to start the process.
How to generate much: find the answer to this question how to motivate my website visitors? I agree with Chris: motivate them with MONEY (can be cash, prizes, points), RECOGNITION (select and feature top community members, reward them), ADVANCEMENT (develop and feature a good ranking system).
4. Unique content, something that other websites do not have (I also think that link baiting fits into this category – it is unique content, but edited in a special way that makes it easy and tempting to link to and refer to).
How to generate much: if it were easy – everyone could do that. But here are some ideas that will definitely help you with this task:
- You need perfect knowledge of the industry. Better: partner with one more expert in this field.
- Explore types of content bookmarked in your industry on del.icio.us and digg.com (I agree with Nick)
- Research industry forums and blogs (Aaron provides a great list of resources)
- Find FAQ (frequently asked questions there) in your niche forums and discussion boards.
- Analyze the results of your ongoing research (see above); produce posts/ articles of various types (interviews, reviews, surveys, case studies, charts, etc); develop online services and tools that are likely to be in demand in your industry, make images, animations and graphics.
Summary: Well, these are the only four types of web content (as I see them) that are available out there. All you need – use this ‘magical formula’ mixing all types of content, generate much, publish it and become rich.
Any ideas and comments are welcome.
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