Content – The Key to Success
I have talked about the importance of content on your Website before, but it’s important enough that I’m going to devote another post to it. The Web is competitive; there are more than a billion Websites out there and the only way to distinguish your site from all of the others is what it has to offer visitors in the way of content. If you’re going to make money online, you need to be persuasive and you need to be able to create compelling content that will keep your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to say.
Lots of people who would like to work online from home are intimidated by the idea of creating content for their Website, and that can often be a deterrent to taking action. It’s easy to see that fear of having to actually type something is a big factor in the affiliate marketing niche. How so? Because there are so many products out there that offer to help you avoid creating content. What kind of products?
Content Creation “Cheats”
There are basically three that I see for sale often and their creators do pretty well:
Pre-built Websites – The “done for you” Websites that are ready made, complete with graphics and content. According to the sellers, all you have to do with these kinds of sites is promote them. They’ll even tell you that getting traffic won’t be difficult, because the sites have been engineered and optimized to make sales “right out of the box.”
Content-pulling software – These are usually plugins for WordPress that will find content on the Web related to whatever keywords you provide as “seeds.” These plugins will often scour the Web, find sites with content on the topics you select, and then mix and mash it up so that it seems, at least to the untrained eye, that the content is unique. Sometimes, the software doesn’t even do that; it just pulls articles from article directories, complete with the author byline, and posts it directly to your site.
Private Label Rights Articles – These are packs of pre-written articles on a given topic, sold by someone who grants the buyer permission to reuse the content in any way they see fit, including claiming authorship of it. These kinds of articles, known as PLR, are quite common and surprisingly affordable.
There are problems with all of the above approaches. The problem with pre-built Websites is that they all tend to be identical and search engines thrive on finding unique content. I’ve seen a lot of sites where the sellers claim you get “your very own, ready-to-go Website” and then you see that there are hundreds of them, all identical, and all hosted as pages or subdomains of the product’s main site. If they’re all alike, and they’re all in the same place, the search engines are going to ignore them. It doesn’t matter if they’re any good or not, you’re not going to get any traffic to those kinds of sites unless you pay dearly on a pay-per-click basis and that gets expensive in a hurry.
There are several problems with content generation software. If the content is pulled from article directories, you’ll likely be penalized by the search engines for publishing duplicate, rather than unique content. The search engines will ignore your site because there’s nothing special about it. If your software mixes and mashes pieces of several articles to create something that looks unique, you’re going to have several problems. First of all, that kind of content is likely to be more or less incomprehensible. Pieces of this article combined with pieces of that one don’t usually result in readable content. Plus, software isn’t very good at discerning whether particular content is actually relevant to what your site is about; it’s just looking for keywords. Finally, the search engines are now smart enough to detect this sort of content and they will penalize you heavily for it, perhaps even to the extent of refusing to list your site in their index at all.
If you want to have visitors to your site who will buy whatever it is you’re trying to promote, you need to have unique content, relevant content, and a lot of content. You don’t necessarily have to have hundreds of pages, but a dozen, at a minimum, is probably the place to start. You probably need to have something on the order of 800-1000 words per page, too. There was a time, not all that many years ago, when you could literally have a site that consisted of a single page and make money with it. Those days are gone, and search engines now want to see multiple pages of rich, meaningful content along with the other pages they expect to see, such as contact, privacy and earnings disclaimer pages.
So how do you create a dozen pages of content with 1000 words each? Find a dozen keywords related to whatever your site is about, or even two dozen. Write some kind of article about each of the keywords and write it in a way that relates to whatever it is you’re trying to sell or promote. Don’t know how to type? Don’t know how to create content? Well, practice makes perfect.
Traditionally, the best method is to use a model like this for your articles and learn to get good with it:
- Opening paragraph that describes the topic in general terms
- Middle paragraphs that cover each of 3-5 different related points
- Closing paragraph that summarizes your topic and has a call to action that suggests that the reader do something – sign up for your mailing list, buy your product, etc.
With practice, it gets easier, and the more time you spend working on it, the faster you’ll learn to type, too. If you absolutely cannot write or type, then your only other option is to hire someone to write for you. This is where you absolutely must avoid buying PLR products. You need something new and unique and while PLR articles are cheap, they’re also all over the Web, making them useless. There are hundreds of places on the Web where you can hire someone to write articles for you. Elance is one such site, and Content Infantry is another. 99 Cent Articles sells packs of 3 1000-word articles for less than 40. This is expensive and will add up in a hurry. Plus, when you buy articles, you have no idea if the writer is proficient in English or if they’re actually providing you with unique content.
To learn more about creating content, and how to do it efficiently, you should consider joining Wealthy Affiliate. This comprehensive training program also includes access to useful tools, including some that will help you with content. You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free.
Website Content Summary
In the end, it’s always better to create your own content if you possibly can. Your visitors will know the difference and so will the search engines. Content is what drives people to your site and motivates them to act. It’s the one place where you never want to take shortcuts.