In the beginning, it was easy to get eyeballs on the Internet. (Anyone remember Justin at Links.net?) Almost anything you threw up would get a good portion of the Internet traffic. Then the number of websites started to ramp up as the number of surfers started to increase. Then there was the bubble. Then web 2.0. And now, approaching 2k10? Content is still king, BUT you have to do something to differentiate yourself.
Seriously. How many rehashes of rehashes do you see out there? To create sticky content (the best kind – that keeps people coming back for more) you need to have a voice, you need to have style, you need something to seperate yourself from the horde. This is actually easier than you might think. If you look in whatever niche you’re wanting to get into, you’ll see site after site that is just mediocre. There may be one or two leaders (although there are plenty of niches – long tail – that still don’t have decent competition), but if you do your keyword research right, it’s easy to create content that will knock the shit out of 80% of what is on the Internet.
Not every post is going to be a home run, but you never really know which one will be. You might have ones you think will go viral that never get any traffic and another you threw up half-ass that people LOVE. The web is like that. It’s important to look at what people are reading on your site, what is attracting them and go from there.
Someone relatively new told me in an email the other day that they based their blog off the Nicky Cakes style. To me, that comes down to honesty, to having a voice, to not being one of the horde circle jerking the same tired links from the top fifteen sites in any niche. Cakes has good content in my opinion, which is why he’s been able to gather a following so quickly. (Well, that and being connected and going to shows probably helps. Heh.)
But yeah … sticky content. Let’s get into that some more. What is it that makes content sticky? Beyond voice, beyond having a style, you need to have something of value. I think the honesty aspect really lends to this. It’s one of the things I hope to achieve here at Webmaster Chronic, one of many many blogs I’ve started over the years.
A post saying you need value in your content doesn’t really give value, though, so here’s a look at some things to consider (beyond having your own voice) when creating content…
- Collect - Collect list of links, tools or something else that will save time.
- Create - Create something new that people can’t find elsewhere – still has to be interesting, though.
- Collaborate - Stuck on ideas? Reach into your network for a guest blog from someone that might jumpstart some ideas of your own.
As I said, though, you want to do your own thing. You want to be different. You want something none of the others already have. That’s what attracts links. I have many more thoughts on content (and this post is thrown together), but I’ll save them for later. I just wanted to get some of these thoughts down before getting back to “work/work.”