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Establishing a Formal Web Content Development Strategy

Posted on 10.19.2005

The key to top rankings and increased site traffic is content - and quality content at that. Easier said than done, right?  Since there are only a few ways to actually develop such content or have content developed (until content-creating robots surface) WSM has outlined three strategies below that you can use to establish a formal web content strategy of your own.

Strategy One: Hire a Writer
If you're looking to hire someone to write content - good for you - that is a great decision. Outsourcing your copywriting needs to a knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated writer will save you time and get you closer to your goal of heaps of quality original content for your visitors. The downside is that you may end up paying quite a bit for content that works so if you don't have the budget, move on to strategy two or three. If you do have the budget, research companies such as Guru.com or Elance.com where you can find writers that will work within a specified timeframe and within a specific budget.

Strategy Two: Let Your Community Do The Work
There is simply no more powerful force on the Web than an online community. Established communities generate an enormous amount of traffic and general Web exposure because they can touch on a wide variety of topics. The problem with building a community (whether that is via a forum, CMS (content management systems) or weblogs) is that 1) you need to have experts writing about your niche, and 2) you better be prepared to spend quite a bit of time as an administrator to make sure that you community remains on topic and as valuable as possible to other new visitors. Learn more about content management systems at Wikipedia.org or consider utilizing the collaboration platform that WSM utilizes in Telligent System's CommunityServer.org.  The downside is the constant need for attention. If you have the time - spend it. If not, move on to strategy three.

Strategy Three: Start Writing Yourself
Ultimately, this is the strategy that works best for website owners. When done correctly it takes the least amount of time and is easily the most cost effective solution as long as a few simple guidelines are followed - and here they are:

A long term view:
The mistake most make is to start writing content without an actual plan. Without a formal, long term goal the result is usually burn out. Keep in mind that you want to lay out before hand how many pages you intend on creating. For example, if you work five days a week on creating content (taking into consideration weekends and holidays) you could have well over 250 pages of content in less than one year. If you spend thirty minutes per day creating content (that is no more than 125 hours per year) and determine that your time is worth fifty dollars per hour all you have to be making from your website is $6,250 to cover your cost - a undeniably realistic goal.

Quality over Quantity:
That's right - keep your freewheeling, free thinking self in check and focus on creating value in your content as opposed to content that runs on and on without a point. Beside the fact that no one much reads long copy anymore should reveal that, again, its quality over content. We live in a fast paced world so get to the point. Before you write even one letter, make an outline that includes points to address and just write about those issues. Clear, concise introductions and conclusions are a must. In addition, if you don't have a call to action in your content you might as well not write anything at all. If you need some assistance in developing content ideas or simply need to see some examples of content, visit GoArticles.com and EzineArticles.com.

Organization:
Establish a formal way to present your articles - whether it is based on relevance or the date it was published, search engines love organization just as much as website visitors so create an archive. Content management systems are great for ordering your articles and weblogs are ideal for sharing content with visitors daily and are designed to catalog information based on date.

Embrace the Emperor of the Web Universe
There are over 75 million websites on the 'Net and it's probably a safe bet that a few feature duplicate content and an even greater majority feature nothing but affiliate links. Website owners, marketing departments and webmasters can make their website stand out by creating their own unique, original content. With a formal, long term goal it is much easier than you may think.
 

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