Content. This is no doubt the meat and potatoes of your website. Real Estate is about LOCATION LOCATION, LOCATION website content is about RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE. People don’t sit there and stare at your design and your fonts and your color scheme. No one does that. The reason people click a website when they are searching is they believe it is RELEVANT to the info they are looking for.
Think to yourself what types of content do you find yourself most attracted to. What types of posts do you spend the most time reading? This is why Wikipedia dominates Google search results, it’s almost understood when you type certain individuals names that you would likely want to view their Wikipedia page. Amazon does the same thing with products, this is quality RELEVANT information. That’s why people click. It’s important to understand this as you are getting started.
Whatever you do avoid the following types of website content:
- Stolen content that has been copied and pasted from another website.
- Spammy content that is habitually repetitive like trying to force someone into buying NOW, NOW, NOW
- Over linked content. Where ever other word is a link. Have a post with lots of links? consider a sources section at the bottom of your posts.
- Stupid intro movies, music, or animations playing before your site loads. Seriously, stop playing people.
- Too many Ads with flashing and blinking stuff everywhere. It looks cheap. Who clicks these ads anyway?
Even though there are endless possibilities of the content you can create, there is a limit to the types of content that you can upload to your website. They are the following:
TEXT CONTENT. Obviously any text that you type can be posted into your website. This is the most popular type of content and what you should focus on when you are starting out. The important thing to remember here is that search engines like GOOGLE read the text of your website to determine relevance. So if you don’t have any text then how can Google know to return your site if someone searches for your keyword? However if you have written several articles about the keyword and posted them on your site then Google has ever reason to return your site when someones searches. Here are the best ways to use TEXT in your posts:
- Ordered Lists: Use either the bullet or numbered lists to place your content in some order. Rather its chronological or other these lists are easily parsed by search engines and people like to read them. They are easy to scan and just make stuff easier.
- Quoted text: Use the quotes dialog when you need to break up a posting with a quote or a comment to make your point stand out.
- Tables. Use tables whenever you are displaying data. It is a common mistake for people to try and use tables to control page structure don’t do this you won’t like the results. Use tables to show off data in a way that is styled and easy to understand. Premium design themes many times support styled tables making this even more effective and attractive looking.
- Headings: Understand your headings and how they work. The title of your posting will always be given a H1 or Heading #1 designation by WordPress This means it’s the most important description of your post. Its heading. You can then extend this by using H2 or Heading #2 sub titles inside your post to further your point. Depending on your post you can continue with H3,H4, etc as needed. This is an easy way to optimize your posts for search engines. Use relevant HEADERS and sub headers. EXAMPLE: Post title: How to make a pancake. H2 Where to find Ingredients for a great pancake H3 Pancake cooking tips H4 Pancake toppings
- TEXT FORMATS: Paragraph is the default format or font for WordPress text. Pre-formatted is a text only format that strips away any rich formatting features like bold or italic etc. This is best used when you want the text to appear flat and flat best example is pasting code snippets. Other than that preformatted is very rarely used. Address is used if you want to designate certain text on your website as an address. I have never really used this format or found a reason to do so.
IMAGE CONTENT is the Second most important and most popular content on the internet. Instagram’s popularity proves that people really like image content. Web pages and posts with all text and no images are just plain old boring. People won’t read them even if they are directions to a lost treasure somewhere. Use images early and often but make sure you use professional tools to manage your image sizes. Photoshop is the tool to use if you want professional results. It is expensive but cheap when you compare it to paying a graphic designer. One custom header job could pay for the software. The biggest benefit is the ability for Photoshop to save very high resolution images into very small file sizes without loosing image sharpness. This is very important always watch your file sizes. The bigger they are the slower your website will load. Most of my images are less than 100k in size. Photoshop is cool because you can upload VERY large images like 11 by 17 inch posters that are only 700k in file size. That’s still less than one megabyte for a freaking poster. Think about the advantage this gives you over your competition. Here are the Best types of image content:
- Images to compliment your point. This is just a simple image that you add to your header and additional images in your posts or pages to get your point across. If your post is about making pancakes what would fit better than images of the entire process on your post? This is the type of rich media that people search for. Want to hit it out of the park? Take your own pictures and use them, this adds another element of uniqueness and give Google that much more of a reason to return your content for someones search. People are surprised when they realize how much traffic can get from images. If you post a picture on your site and its name is Pancake.jpg think of how many people may be searching for pancake photos at that particular time? If your photo is unique and relevant then Google will likely find it for the person searching. This means more traffic for you.
- Images as content themselves. The infographic thing took off big with pinterest but seemed to calm down some. Although I still see plenty of infographics it seems like there aren’t as many as there were when this site launched. However, an infographic is a cool way to syle up a photo that you took or to tell a story using charts and graphs. They can get very fancy and complicated or they can be simple and comedic. Like just typing some text on the right photo. Just use your creativity or hire a pro if you need help.
- Images for branding. It is important to broadcast a consistent image to the world. Who you are and what your brand is can be portrayed using images. Think about your favorite brand or product and an image of their logo probably pops in your head. This is what you need to create for your website. You should have an image to identify your website. This is where your logo comes in. You can design a simple logo with TEXT characters or pay someone to have it professionally built for you either way having one helps you tremendously. Also, consider using an image of yourself when you post in your resource box. This is a small piece of code with your message and image that you can paste at the end of all your postings. Just another way for people to connect with who you and follow what you’re doing.
VIDEO CONTENT is growing at as fast a rate it seems as mobile and as they say mobile is going to be huge. Just know that video has its place and shouldn’t be the only place you focus on because everyone doesn’t have a fast enough connection to really enjoy video properly. Unless you are launching a video blog. I would recommend adding video as a cherry on the top or a featured exclusive here and there to really impress your readers. Too much video will just get ignored. Also remember that people have an extremely short attention span so consider shortening your videos as much as possible. Especially your promotional videos. The Youtube limit is 15 minutes but actually you want to stay at a few minutes or less if you can help it. This depends on your blog and topic obviously but just use common sense on this one. Here are the most popular types of video content:
- WEBCAM. This is just you and the camera talking about whatever it is that is important. I see this all the time and I understand why people do it. I just ask that you spend some time making sure you and your ROOM look presentable before you record. It makes no sense having a messy trashy room sitting behind you as you discuss important stuff on your webcam posting. Keep it sharp get a good web camera like the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording Very high quality for less than $100.
- CELL PHONE CAM REPORTING. This is a new trend that I’m noticing where people are shooting video then editing it and posing it. I have seen people record footage of themselves driving in cars and speaking to the camera. I have seen people walk around and interview random strangers. This is where your creativity comes in just do your thing and keep it consistent and as high quality as you can. Make sure you have a decent cell phone. I recommend the Android platform for value basically any of the newest models have really good cameras.
- SCREENCASTING. This is where the video is a recording of your computer screen where you are explaining to people as you control what they are watching. For professional results the most popular software is Camtasia Studio. I recommend this for flexibility and advanced features that really impress. If you have zero to no budget then I recommend CamStudio it can be quirky if you don’t know how to use it but hey, it’s free.
- STUDIO SET UP VIDEO. This is where people take things to the next level by using microphones, and lighting, green screens, special effects and PRO software. You can get really fancy if you want to. Just know you don’t have to do all of this to make a good online video. Just focus on staying consistent and sharp until you grow to this step. Once you get there dropping a couple grand for the Adobe Master Suite will seem like a good idea.
AUDIO CONTENT is typically called PODCASTS or PODCASTING for blogs and self published websites. This is when people record themselves reading their postings or just freely speaking and then they publish them to their blog. Now here’s a couple things to remember before you do this. 1. Always post text transcripts of your podcasts. If you don’t then Google cannot read the content of your audio file and you won’t get search engine traffic from your posts. 2. Use a quality microphone to record. For less than $30 I recommend the Plantronics 478 USB headset. It works great and its cheap. Once you get going then you can upgrade to a nicer microphone like the Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone. I also recommend AUDACITY to edit your audio files. The .mp3 files you create will need some secondary editing or processing and audacity handles this with no problem. The good thing about it is it is free and it works like a $300 piece of software. Here are the best types of Audio content:
- PODCASTS. Great for announcement style blogs or religious readings or speeches. Also educational coarse work and study group readings, etc.
- MUSIC and SONGS. Some people make music most people listen. If you make music then you should find a way to incorporate it into your blog. An easy way to do this is with an intro/outtro jingle announcing your website in your podcasts and videos. Think about how radio stations do this.
DOCUMENTS & OTHER CONTENT can also be popular downloads for your website. Case studies, White papers, reports, classroom materials, lesson plans, etc. All these types of documents can be uploaded to your website and downloaded. I recommend PDF files for large documents. OTHER CONTENT could be a custom report from a database like the latest homes available for sale in a given zip code. This type of custom content is where you can tweak your website if needed to offer additional value to your visitors.
Now that the don’ts and the what’s have been covered its time to discuss HOW to build great content that gets noticed and shared. Here are the things that you want to do:
- Answer a question. Do this with your site with your pages and with every single post. Always consider what question am I answering? EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Provide a solution to a problem. People are all the same we just want to solve our problems help people out by thinking like this before you post. Think: What problem will this solve? EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Present a brand new or unique idea. Have an idea that is useful to lots of people? Post what it is, how it works, and why it will help you. This is a popular way to explain a new concept. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Challenge or disagree with a popular idea or concept. Respond to a popular widely known idea or concept with your own relevant counter points and the specific reasoning behind your rebuttal. Ex: Why Lebron James is better than Michael Jordan. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Present Live Case Studies. This is where you document in real time something very interesting that is happening as you are doing it. Example rebuilding a truck, Getting debt free, loosing weight, organizing a wedding, documenting a protest, etc. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Interactivity and Interviews. Reach out to people and ask for their input or opinion for your blog. Provide an opportunity for them to tell their story and share their experiences. You can also conduct interviews. Video and audio if possible but text if that’s the only option. Try to interview someone as popular as possible if not find someone unknown and ask them about popular topics and share their relevant stories. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Recurring Series. Post recurring series in categories like “Most embarrassing moments” or “Day in the Life” or “Driving while make-up-ing” or whatever matches your niche. If you sell security products you may post a series about “dumb criminals” where you post stories about the headlines that stupid criminals make. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- What POPULAR TERM can teach you about XYZ. This can be an effective post idea if timed when the terms used are still relevant. Use this when something just happened that you know people will be searching about. EXAMPLE: What an Obama victory would mean for the Air Condition industry, etc. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Risks and Dangers. This is always a popular post idea when you identify to people why they should avoid something and why they should use something else instead. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
- Hypothetical scenarios Be creative but relevant to the point you are making and stay in context so people understand your point. Use this incorrectly and people are just confused. Use correctly and conversations are created as people can’t resist the urge to throw in their two cents. Example: If I could do it all over again. If Barry Bonds played in Babe Ruth’s era. If gas was the price it was in 2001. If women earned equal pay to men. , etc. EXAMPLE ARTICLE >>>
BONUS VIDEO – How to Create a custom Resource Box:
How to set up a custom resource box and embed at the bottom of each of your posts.
- Use Embed plugin
- Create custom code from example our you can start off with what I use just update the path to your images and the text. Enjoy!