The Internet Exists Only Because of Content
If you want to survive and thrive you have to create content…
Ok… so the title is a little dramatic perhaps, but the fact is that your online presence will pretty much die a slow (or maybe quick) death if you are not providing ongoing good quality content for your readers, including your Social network, and of course ‘Google’.
Google is always looking for good quality, original content and this is what will help propel your site to the top of their search engine… obviously, there are other things too, like having a growing number of interactive readers… who, just so happen to be wanting the same thing as Google (…go figure!)
So this can be one of the obstacles, especially if English isn’t your first language and you happen to be competing primarily in an English speaking marketplace. Then you have to really get a bit creative, but many have done it, so it is possible.
So What is Content exactly?
It’s probably pretty obvious…
There are many forms of ‘content’ that goes into creating and maintaining an online business. Clearly, you have written content; articles, reviews, comments etc. you also have videos and images. These are the main forms of content, and Google likes to see all of them!
And while I say ‘Google’ likes to see all of them, your priority should not be Google, and what it wants, rather it should be about what do your readers want?
Generally speaking if providing interesting and valuable information for your readers is your priority and focus, then it goes without saying that Google will love you, and what’s more, it’s likely you are going to get people talking about your content, and linking back to it, which Google will love even more!
There are Really Only Two Ways to Get Content
You create it or you get someone else to create it!
Regardless of which one you choose, you need to remember that it is ‘you’ that your readers will want to get to know, so if you are having someone else create content for you, then it is always a good idea to go through and add your personal ‘voice’ to it…
Creating your own content is generally considered the best option, however, it can be very time consuming and when you are so busy, and running your own business with so much going on, it is often difficult to find the time to be consistent enough.
Publishing regularly is really important (says she who constantly struggles with this very thing…).
One way to assist a regular posting schedule (and you should be planning your content… note to self!!), is to encourage ‘guest bloggers’… This will fill a gap, and assuming they match your style and purpose to some extent, this will certainly be a way to fill gaps in your publishing plan.
Another way you can help ‘speed up’ the ‘create content’ process, is to outsource, or hire ghost writers… this can be expensive, and unless you are already earning a good income from your online efforts, is likely not going to be your first choice.
A good low budget option, is to purchase good quality PLR (Private Label Rights) content and then rewrite it, yourself, or again, you can outsource that (just don’t forget to add your own personality to it).
There is a lot of ‘low quality’ PLR out there, so it’s good to get to know some trusted sources who you know only sell excellent quality. Here are a few that I use and am very happy to recommend:
Tiffany Lambert – PLR Mini-Mart
Sharyn Sheldon – Content Sparks
Ronnie Nijmeh – PLR.me
[yes… they are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via my link I will get a commission. No extra cost to you of course… thank you in advance 🙂 ]
Some Tips for Writing Your Own Great Content:
- Put together a Content Creation Plan – Schedule your content, so you know what you are going to be writing about for the coming week or even the coming month.
- Keep a watch on current News items for your Niche to see what’s happening, you can even subscribe to certain sites via RSS – this might include news sites, notice boards or forums and would be good if you researched some of the top influencers within your niche; like top 10 bloggers.
- Speed up the process of keeping up with what is being published by using News Aggregators like: Flipboard, Pulse, Zite or Feedly (all good on your mobile devices)
- Research a topic on Google, and take notes as you go through and get ideas – organize your notes and create an outline for your content piece – the first outline can be a rough draft that you can then rearrange the points into a logical progression as needed.
- Search through YouTube and Pinterest on a topic to see what things are out there, that you can add to your post, or use to get ideas to create your own images, infographics or videos.
- Use a voice recorder for when you are out and about to make a note of ideas as they come to you.
- Keep your ‘ideas’ in a folder on your hard drive so you can refer back to it, when you are looking for ideas.
- Ask questions from your readers and subscribers – you can do this at the bottom of a post or you can use a short survey
- Curate content… but do it the right way… where you can leverage great articles and content from other sites by adding your own spin and referencing back to their site (don’t plagiarize of course).
Using PLR for Articles
- Make sure you personalize any PLR content you decide to use
- Integrate a personal story into the content
- Give it a good Title
- Add relevant and good looking images
Some More Tips for Using Your Content
Don’t forget you can always re-purpose your content…
If you have gone to the trouble of creating it then you should consider re-purposing it to make the most out of it… Turning an article into a video, or a video into an article…
Consider turning some of your articles into pdf guides or reports… and then add them to free document sharing sites; just make sure you include links so you can get visitors back to your site (back to a squeeze page offering your free gift would be a good place to sent them)… Places like Scribd or DocStoc
You can also turn some of your content into PowerPoint tutorials and add them to slide sharing sites like SlideShare or AuthorStream.
Another thing you can do is turn your content into audios which you can also give away on sites like YourListen or SoundCloud.
Of course the big reason for giving certain content away is to grow your audience and ideally get more subscribers and eventually customers for what you have to offer.
But… you can also use these places to gather information and learn for yourself and with developing your own business… All good resources to be aware of as a consumer and as a provider of content!
Now for the BIG Question!
What would you like to see more articles about? Perhaps you are having challenges and you would like to know how to tackle them… Just leave a comment below and give me some more ideas on what sort of content you would like to see!
Barbara Dowling says
Talk about content…your article is filled with great content Lynne! You make some really good suggestions. I use Google Alerts on topics I want to keep up with. I will start checking some of the news Aggregators you suggested. The PLR you recommended are some good sources…some of them can be horrible so you have to watch out. I like some of the stuff that the “Real Guys” (Paul, Eric & Jeff) put out. They are good with re-purposing as you discussed. I think a good topic to write on would be now that you have all this great content, how do you get people to read it!
Excellent that you found some helpful suggestions… I do use google alerts too… but I tend to ignore them… lol 🙂 I agree, the “Real Guys” definitely put out some great stuff. And as for your topic suggestion, that is a good one! Will add that to my list… Thanks so much for the comment and the suggestion. Much appreciated. 🙂
I love it… great content about content! I don’t believe that you struggle with this area!
Have you found an easy way to plan and record your content schedule? I’ve tried a spreadsheet but the boxes are too small, I’ve printed out a squared sheet – then lost it… any suggestions?
I’ve followed up the PLR links you’ve given – no promises to purchase but you never know!
Jennifer, The Golden Entrepreneur
Hey Jennifer, Thanks so much for stopping by… Really glad you liked the post. Generally I can ‘ramble’ on… What I want to do though is provide useful information, not just ramble… As for planning that is definitely one of my weak points! Mostly I just work off the top of my head, so it’s not really good. That being said… I do intend to rectify that. I happened to come across a great little planning tool, and it is free… If you go to Content Sparks at the link in this post, it should take you to her opt in page and if you sign up you can get her excel spreadsheet content planner… You can combine cells in an excel spreadsheet and make the boxes as big as you like… I was quite impressed with Sharyn’s Content Planner.
Ant Carter says
You effectively outline several excellent strategies for content creation here. I think your post also recommends a really effective content production workflow which many people could learn from too.
As the journey to establish a regular growing audience for your content is sometimes a long one, the challenge becomes having a workflow which enables writers to continually add to their blog over time. I absolutely agree that a content plan is key to success here, it can provide inspiration on days when writing is difficult, and provides a long term direction for content generation – kind of like the final picture on the box of a jigsaw puzzle provides a way to see the big picture as you create the jigsaw.
Cheers Ant, really appreciate your kind comments… I find one of my biggest challenges is time management and getting everything done… Things are silly busy around here, and again this is also why having that content creation (and everything else) plan is so necessary! So that is an ongoing challenge for me. One thing I do do, is I have a word document, and occasionally I get an idea for a post, so I’ll jot it down along with a paragraph about what I’m thinking. Then I can go back to that document when I am wondering what I can post about. That was one of the points I mentioned, just didn’t go into it in detail. I really do have to try to catch up on visiting everyone’s sites, so my apologies for being a bit absent. Thanks again for taking the time… I know how important everyone’s time is! 🙂
Art Avington says
Another great article full of rich “content” and goodies. Thanks for the PLR links. I would say that’s probably the cheapest route to go. Of course as you say, be sure to rewrite the content to put your own flare on it, and to ensure you’re not submitting duplicate content (Google or your readers won’t like that). And yes I agree the Internet is suppose to be the information highway and Google is in the business to get their visitors the best it can find.
Keep up the good work,
Hey Art, thanks for the comment.. Glad you liked it… 🙂
I do the same thing! 🙂 I write down every idea or sentence or sometimes I outline the whole paragraphs and let idea come out naturally… I do it the old-fashioned way – I have a “note book and the good old pencil :)) Then I return to it, anytime my time allows me and try to finish it at the “first shot”. I really should work more on my time management but I believe it’ll get better in the course of time. Thank you for excellent ideas on creating content! Have made my notes. I love the headline! It glued me to your article till the very end. Be very well and see you soon! Btw. the story about Millie touched my heart, I am very much a dog person too and used to have 2 dogs! They both are in the dog heaven now, and missed dearly ever since!
Hi Desana, Sounds like we ‘work’ in a similar way, although I don’t tend to use the pen and paper method for my writing… just more for ‘To Do Lists’! And I am constantly working on that time management issue… So glad you found some of the suggestions useful… and I wasn’t sure about the headline, but decided to go with it… my first draft had a more ‘mundane’ type of heading, then that one came to me… 🙂 Being a ‘dog person’ then I’m sure you would understand… Poor old Millie, it’s hard, because if it wasn’t for her back end (hips and back legs) she would probably have longer, although she is nearly blind and nearly deaf, but as it is, the inevitable is drawing closer, so probably not too far off…
I didn’t find only a few suggestions here in this article, but a ton of “golden nuggets” for me throughout your site!!!! 😉 I’m glad you decided to go for the headline! I like headlines that instantly raise ideas in your mind or all the various “wh” questions, like “what?”, “why?” and they make you read the post right away…. I love the controversy, if I may say so. May everything go well for you and especially for Millie, my thoughts are with you!
Lynne Carey says
Thanks Desana… Your comments are very encouraging… I can’t tell you how pleased I that there are people who can get some useful information from things I am posting… That definitely makes it all worthwhile… And I appreciate your thoughts regarding Millie… 🙂
Great post, with a lot of content. I specially took note of your tip about free document sharing sites like Scribd or DocStoc. Can we go here with are free PLR articles or does it have to be our own articles?
Will be visiting your site often to learn more. Keep blogging!
Lynne Carey says
Hey Susette, Thanks for stopping by… and I am very glad you got some useful tips out of it 🙂 As far as I know, you can use PLR for those document sharing sites, but you might still want to re-brand it a little, because if you are putting up something that is exactly the same as someone else, why would someone want to download yours? You will obviously have to edit them to add a link to your website, so why not just spruce it up a bit at the same time, and give it a catchy title…Thanks for the encouragement… I intend to keep on, for sure! And it’s people such as yourself who make me feel that it is worthwhile… 🙂
You do have a nice blog here packed with great content.
The point about turning an article into an audio file sounds interesting.
I will be back to visit again 🙂
Lynne Carey says
Thanks Shane, I have a lot of information I could share… just have to get myself into gear and get it out there!!! Glad you have found something of interest too, that is always encouraging to hear that 🙂 I have about 3 drafts in the works at the moment. Really do appreciate you stopping by 🙂