A couple of days ago, I said that the best way to keep traffic flowing to your website was to create solid usable and / or enjoyable content. Whether you’re selling a product, service or yourself, a static page of information won’t bring customers back over and over again. Content does that. Articles, short posts, videos, how-tos, tip sheets, photos, user submissions, games, stories, interviews — these are things customers come back for and search engine spiders, literally, eat them up.
The Huffington Post knows this, so they’re expanding their content reach by reaching out to brands who want to become publishers.
According to AdAge, Huffington Post is currently working with a major consumer goods advertisers to create an online lifestyle publication. The site will include articles curated from HuffPo’s extensive archive as well as new works created specifically to support the brand. And since HuffPo is an extension of AOL, it’s likely that these new sites will carry ads from their platform so it’s a big win for everyone involved.
It’s also a win for consumers because good information is good information, it doesn’t matter if it’s back by a specific brand, newspaper, or a lone opinionated person.
How do you get in on this? Easy. Create your own content site. It probably won’t be as big, fancy and well connected as a HuffPo / AOL / Brand collaboration, but it doesn’t have to be. Look at Craigslist.org if you don’t think simple sells.
3 Steps to Creating Your Own Content Site
1. Hire help and pay them. Writers, video makers, graphic artist, find them on Craigslist and pay them something. Seriously. People who are good at what they do get paid to do it. None of this, labor of love or work for credit nonsense.
2. Brainstorm ideas that relate to your brand but aren’t brand specific. For example, a bike store could put together a directory of bike trails, a shoe company can write about celebrity style. Your content must be generic enough to have mass appeal.
3. Post new content regularly. That means at least once a week. Posting new content once every other month or so is a waste of time. To build up readers and to connect with search engines you need to post on a schedule. Once or twice a week is plenty for a branded website. Believe me, unless you have a dedicated content person, even that will be hard to keep up.
Creating content is easy at the start. You have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. But creating a content-rich site is a long term project. What you post a year from now has to be as fresh and intriguing as what you post next week. So don’t burn yourself out with a big push at the start. Try a few things and let the audience response be your guide.
What are your thoughts on content creation? Fun? Easy? Or last on your list of things to do?