Without content a blog is just an empty webpage. So like it or not, you will need to find something to fill up your new website! This post forms part of our series looking at 29 debates bloggers have about blogging and in this article we are going to discuss why your site will thrive with original content.
Content for Content’s Sake
All too often bloggers fall into the trap of churning out post after post after post because they have read a dozen blogging websites that repeat the tired phrase “content is king” over and over again. Sure, all sites need content, this is clear, but the content needs to meet certain criteria:
- Your site’s content needs to be relevant. People come to sites looking for something in particular and your blog needs to deliver what is expected.
- The content needs to be interesting and engaging. You web browsers have short attention spans and will flip on over to the next site before ey even get to the good bit at the end.
- There are millions of sites out there all saying the same thing, if you want to build up a long term readership – try something completely different. Original material is a quick way to get attention whether that’s a new spin on an existing idea or a brand new piece of research.
Lead – Don’t Follow
If you are constantly relying on other people’s content to drive your blogging then you are always going to be one step behind. There are some great sites out that specialise in aggregating the best of the web with all the links neatly categorised and rated and to compete with these successfully is going to be a massive challenge.
Instead why not set your own path, talk about the things you are passionate about, your own ideas and personal points of view. Let other blogs link to you, let them follow your content and help spread your brand across the Internet.
I wanted to make this point very clear, although I encourage you to build your own content, this shouldn’t stop you from linking out to other sites where it is appropriate to do so.
Linking to Other Respected Sites Enhances your own Site
There is an unfortunate belief that the inclusion of external links in your own sites content is somehow going to send all your visitors away. If you spend the time creating a good and useful resource then people will remember it. Part of having a useful website is stuffing it full of great links that your visitors will keep coming back to.
But make sure you only link to high quality sites:
- Search engines such as Google take a very close interest in the sites that you link out to. If you associate your site with other well respected blogs that are related to your own then this will be looked at favourably. The worst thing you can do is link out to lots of dodgy sites with a reputation for spamming – this will put you in a “bad neighbourhood“.
- Your readers will hold you in high regard if you appear to know all the best sites to look at. Your own site is seen in a better light. When it comes to providing the best user experience linking out to great resources is the way to go.
- Generous linking can work both ways – other bloggers will start to notice your out going links and will investigate your site further and who knows, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship!
But all this means nothing if there is no meat on your site. If your site is genuinely weak then you are probably getting few visitors and they are unlikely to be staying long either.
A Final Tip
What Would You Want to Read?
Ask yourself the above question. Now look over your site and think if you would want to read your own site. Be honest!
- Is your site stuffed with weak reviews that dont really help buyers make that decision?
- Are your articles inspired by an established blogger who has already covered the point and done so more succesfully?
- Is your content out of date and never really covered the topic fully anyway?
If you are recognising your blog then it is time to invest more effort into your posts. Personally I would rather publish one great post than 10 poor ones.