The Importance Of Content
Practically everyone on the internet trying to explain what makies a good site will say to you, 'Content is King' and 'You neede good content', but I believe that this is still not taken seriously enough by the majority of webmasters. There are still too many sites around which have no real content, nothing original, or are just plain boring. What many people don't realise, though, is that good content does more than just keep your visitors interested and give you a good site. It can also help you to promote your website.
Increasingly search engines are ignoring the traditional method of reading the META tags for keywords and descriptions, as these are often abused by users. Instead, search engines like Google now read the whole web page and use it to generate matches. It stands to reason that, the more pages and words you have, the more chance you have or being returned as a search result.
Similarly, if you have good content, other websites may link to your content and this will bring in even more visitors to your site. Links to your pages will also boost your ranking on Google, which counts links to your site.
The main reason for having good content remains, though, that it will make your website popular with your visitors and will give it a good chance of surviving and doing well. So how can you get good content on your website?
Write It Yourself
By far the cheapest way to generate content is to write it yourself. For a number of reasons, though, this may not be the easiest way to do it. Writing quality content takes a lot of time, and you will need a good knowledge of your subject to be able to write effectively on it. If you have the skills and time to generate content, though, this is really the best route to take. You will be guaranteed to have exclusive content and you will know that you have copyright permission to publish it. When trying to create a lot of content, it is a good idea to set a timetable, for example planning to write one article every week. Although this won't seem like much at first, you will end up with a large amount of content at the end of it. Free Webmaster Help has been developed in this way.
Get Someone Else To Write It
This will save you a bit of time but could be harder to administrate. You can either ask friends/relatives/employees to write some content for you (this works especially well on fan/community sites) or you can hire someone specifically to write content. This does not have to be a dedicated journalist working for you. Many people online have excellent content-writing skills and are more than willing to work for you - for a price. If you need a lot of good quality content quickly, and cost is not too important, this is the right choice for you.
Get Your Visitors To Generate It
It has become common recently for sites to invite their visitors to contribute. This could be in the form of user-submitted news or articles, comments and feedback from readers or even a forum or discussion board. This is cheap to do and will save you time, but you will need quite a few visitors to make this worthwhile. The popular website Sitepoint, has the majority of its content submitted by visitors.
A good source of content is to use syndicated content from other sites. Many news organisations will provide a free 'news feed' where they give you some code to display news headlines on your site, and because the headlines link to their pages, they are willing to do it for free. There are also many authors who write articles etc. which can be used in exchange for a byline (a small paragraph of text and a link at the bottom). This is common in many newsletters, where guest authors write featured articles.
Whichever way you choose to generate your content you must remember that it is the most vital part of your website. However
good your design or however fast your site, people come for content, and that is what you should be giving them.
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