We all have something to say. That incessant urge to speak our mind is what leads many to write on blogs & make an effort to get their thoughts out there for others to read. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – we all want to be heard, just as much as we want to speak – but sometimes what we do say gets bogged down in the rest of the content that’s out there.
For that reason, the name of the game is content. On the web, content (or what is on your website) is how you get your ideas, opinions, and thoughts out there. You put that content onto your webpage and – BAM – with any luck, you’ll have readers who are interested in what you bring to the table. You see, the beauty of the web is that there are tons of people just searching for what others have to say on infinite numbers of topics. Without content, there would be no websites. See why it’s so important? But it’s more complex than that.
Content is not only used to get one’s thoughts and ideas heard via an electronic medium, content is also what makes money. For those who wish to monetize their websites in one way or another, content must be strong, original, and appealing to a variety of audiences. We will cover monetization of sites in a future post, but for now let’s just focus on content. Ask most any blogger what the most important part of blog is and my guess is that they would respond “content.” Think about it – your content can be pictures, text, videos, music, etc, but if you have a blank site then no one is going to visit it and it is definitely not going to make money. Of course, when I say blank I don’t necessarily mean just void of anything, but I also mean content that doesn’t add anything or doesn’t bring anything valuable to the table. Writing about irrelevant things or rambling on without any sort of point is just as bad as having a literally empty site.
Best Habit: Be sure to fill your website both literally and figuratively with valuable content.
Unfortunately, with the availability of endless content on the web, it is becoming increasingly easy for others to steal content. There are two things you can do about this – 1. You can take it as a compliment that they liked your work enough to steal it and claim it as their own; or 2. You can find out how to contact them and ask them to remove the content considering that it is yours. Again, this is another topic that we will discuss (the stealing of content & what to do about it) in later posts. If you are noticing that I did not include suing the person, then you’re right. It won’t get you far. There are lazy, unthoughtful people out there who choose to capitalize (& they do if they are monetizing their site!) on other peoples’ work. Create your own content so that you are never put in the position of being the bad guy. If you do want to mention someone else’s content or ideas, just link to their content. Not only will they appreciate your readership & respect, but they will also appreciate the link to their site as it aids in their credibility.
Best Habit: Other people may steal your content, but you should always give credit where credit is due.
If you want to write for others and not just for yourself, you’re going to want to build an audience. Building an audience is difficult, especially at first, but it’s hardest when you have uninteresting content. In order to gain and audience and keep them reading, you have to always provide the best quality content that you can. I know, we all have off days – but even on those days you MUST make sure that you bring something to the table. It’s difficult to build up an audience but it is easy to lose them.
Best Habit: Give your readers something to come back for in terms of content.
Lastly, your content is what will ultimately drive traffic to your website. With that being said, it is implied that your content is actually what will either make your website or blog successful, or it will be what makes you come off as unreliable or not of interest. You can have a completely un-aesthetically pleasing site, but if you provide great content, that doesn’t matter quite as much. Content is, above all other things, the most important part of any website. Of course, you can’t just write a whole bunch of stuff down and expect people to come. Writing quality content makes it more likely that search engines will look at your website, evaluate what you are an expert in, and then send those people your way when they search for your topic. Be patient though, this takes time (often, a very LONG time). Stick with it and the readers will come.
Best Habit: Put your content first. If you are creating great content, the readers will come.
It doesn’t matter what you are bring to the table, just make sure that you are valuing your readers’ time with whatever you offer. You wouldn’t want someone to waste your time with nonsense, so make sure that you don’t waste their time by bringing them only the best you have to offer.