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The Basics of Blogging and Web Site Creation - Part One: Content Is King
My fellow writers at the Absolute Writers Forum (known lovingly as the AW Water Cooler or just Cooler) are the reason for these next series of articles so I wish to thank them.
In the next few series of articles, I will try and deal with some of the very basic technical jargon and skills that one needs when facing this daunting world of web-site creation, blogging and getting listed and noticed by the Search Engines. Some of this I take from things I posted at AW and others from my own articles on Web Creation and still others from my own weblog , Cobwebs Of The Mind (see resource for URL).
Let us start with the few important factors that are required today on the web. There are quadrillions of articles on this, most very poorly written, but the message is always the same.
On the web today, "content is king". But that is not all their is to that rule. Let us change it a bit to fit the reality of the web, search engines, and the sophisticated algorithms being deployed by the search engine trinity of: Google, Yahoo & MSN.
"Content is King, but Original Content is the King of Kings."
Okay - that is the first cardinal rule you MUST understand about the web today. Now what does this mean?
There are essentially three factors in this equation:
1. You must have content - words, phrases, information - on your web site.
2. You should have "original" content on your web site. This is content which either you have created or have gotten permission to reproduce on your web site. It should be "original". Copying content from a web site, and putting it in your weblog , where that content has been reproduced in thousands of other web-sites, is not going to help your Google ranking (and you may even be penalized for it.) This does NOT mean that everything, every single phrase and post and article you put up on the web has to be original and not repeated elsewhere. What it does mean though, is that the majority of your web site or weblog should be just that - YOURS.
3. Your content should constantly grow. You should be adding to it on a daily or bi-daily basis. Stagnant blogs and web sites are noticed for being stagnant - dead. They drop so fast in Search Engine (search engine) rankings you have no clue! Web sites demand nurturing and work. They do NOT run on auto mode. (Just look at how much time you spend with your weblog !)
Now as to why and how.
Search Engines look for content. They have developed very sophisticated algorithms to check content. To see if this content is original, or they are coming across the millionth time they have seen the same thing. This is all mathematical btw. And this is NOT the only thing they look that. (We will get to those other things in our next posts). However, Content is critical. Lets give two examples.
1. Ever notice how fast some popular Forums get indexed in the Search Engines. This is due to the fact that they have an incredible amount of page hits, and that they exist for POSTS. Posts on forums are ORIGINAL for the most part. So engines look for the Content, forums have this, they list them, they see original content - the forum moves up the list, and thus more people find the forum in the search, more people hit the forum pages, more "hits" and "eyeballs" are registered back on the Search Engine servers, and the forum keeps on moving up. The more hits - by mathematics - the more posts. The more posts the more original content. The more original content the better the listing. The better the listing - the more people find the forum. Getting the picture? A never-ending circle of success.
2. For those of you in doubt as to whether Search Engines can "read" content just take a look at Adsense and Adwords. When you go to a site with them, adverts are fed out based upon the: 1: Content of the page you are on, and 2) Your IP address to determine which country and language you speak. Since I am in Israel, I am never surprised if I hit a site say that is discussing a topic and has adsense, and though this site is totally in English and geared to people in New York City, some of the adsense adverts are in Hebrew based upon the content of the page I am on. The algorithm finds key words (more on those later) and feeds out the adverts.
So our first lesson on Search Engines and ranking and all that good stuff is about Content. Remember the rule.
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Copyright 2006 Ted W. Gross. All rights reserved. (You may publish this article in its entirety with the following author's information with live links only.) Ted W. Gross's very popular weblog , Cobwebs Of The Mind contains daily updated posts and articles on technology and writing. He also owns Amor Enterprises which maintains Virgin Earth Article Submissions which is designed to accept articles about any country or place in the world. Ted Gross is also a published author and maintains a web site for his works.
Website Content - Is There More to It?
As an operator of a web site you often hear and read about having fresh, quality site content. What exactly is site content and is it really just all about articles and the information contained in articles, or is there more?
It is true that site content is primarily made up of articles and textual information. Look at just about any site on the Internet and you will find that most of the content requires the site visitor to read to understand what is being offered up.
Yet, thought this is true there are some other mediums that should be considered when building content for your web site. Before we get to the other content types we should consider how the different ways people think and learn. Some learn best by reading, others by viewing and others by interaction. Knowing this will help you when deciding which type of content you should include on your site.
Here are three examples of content that can be used to deliver your message.
Textual Content – Content that is great for getting a lot of detailed information out can be descriptive and paint a word picture of the message you want to convey.
Video Content – Very hot content delivery method. Many visitors are comfortable with video having grown up with it. Great for building immediate rapport with the viewer. The message is dependant on the quality and length of the video. One consideration is that if your audience is world wide, not all visitors will have powerful enough computers to display video.
Graphic Content – Content that delivers a message through pictures. This can be art, cartoons or anything with visual appeal. The graphic should be consistent with your sites theme.
As you read this article you will certainly become aware of other content that is available and can be used to enhance the look and feel of your particular web site. The challenge for you is to find the happy medium between having text, video and graphic content. A purely bland web site has only one and might not be inspiring enough for a visitor to hang around.
How to Create More Value by Giving Less Content
In this article I want to show you the exact reason why providing less content can prove to be better at building value for your readers than providing more content.
First, let me ask you some rhetorical questions...
Is an ebook that's 308 pages better than an ebook that's 102 pages? Is an audio file that's 327 minutes long better than an audio file that's 125 minutes long? Is a cheesecake that's three layers better than a cheesecake that's two layers?
What do you think?
Of course, higher numbers always sound better don't they? This is especially true when you're looking at purchasing information products. Although you know that more information is not always better, your subconscious mind tells you that it likes to see larger numbers.
So logically, you know that higher numbers don't mean crap. Emotionally, you feel attracted to larger numbers. Since emotions overpower logic when it comes to the sales process, it would make sense that products which reveal higher numbers convert more customers than products which reveal lower numbers.
That's why, if you're creating an an ebook that's 50 pages and under, it's best not to reveal how many pages it is. To your customer, why should it matter? It's not an issue until you make it an issue.
As long as you provide all the information that's mentioned in the sales letter, you shouldn't worry how many pages your ebook is or how long your audio file is.
I often see sales letters where the authors say that their ebook is only 27 pages etc, but that they do not reveal any fluff unlike other ebooks.
There's nothing wrong with a 27 page ebook. It may be a problem if you don't provide good information in those 27 pages. If you provide good solid information in 27 pages then you should not worry about the length of the ebook.
If you end up with only 27 pages of information then launch your product with that many pages. If you find that you're getting a lot of refunds because of the size of your book then you can add more content later.
So what's my point?
If you create an ebook that does have a lot of pages then mention that in your sales letter. If you create a product with what you consider to be a few pages, don't mention it in your sales letter. Same goes for audio products. If your audio is longer, mention it.
If it's shorter, don't mention it. If you don't have enough content but you feel that your content is good, just let it be. Don't add content for the sake of content.
I've been very satisfied with ebooks I've purchased which were under 30 pages. I've also been very dissatisfied with ebooks over 200 pages. It's all a matter of the value of the content.
Another thing I'd like to point out about providing less content is that your content will be seen as more valuable.
When you break down a topic and focus on just one or two aspects of it, your information is more targeted and thus valuable. If your focus is on many different topics, you cannot devote your expertise to one specific topic.
Readers who focus on one specific topic will feel that your information is better because they'll have a better learning experience. The more topics they have to focus on the less likely they'll remember any one topic.
When they feel that their learning experience is better they'll appreciate your content more. So if your ebook or audio file is short, it doesn't matter since the prospect will not focus on the quantity of your product but rather the quality.
Therefore, you can use less but more focused content in any type of communication to give the feeling of value. Use this when writing articles, press releases, solo email promotions, web site ad copy etc.
Remember, less is more...
Legal Issues and Content on Your Website
You just started a business. You contact a web designer. After looking over their design portfolio, you select a company to design your web site. This is the process most of us go through in creating our on-line presence on the web. However, there are some steps to take in making sure that your web site does not open you up to legal liability.
1. First of all do not make statements that are overly broad or could be construed as false. For example do not state that your company has grown by revenues of 100% over the past 10 years if this is not in fact correct. While the SEC governs disclosures of public companies that have to file registration statements, as a private company if you issue shares to accredited investors or issue private placements you are subject to laws that protect these investors in your business. You must be truthful and above-board in regards to the disclosures you make about your company. If you are now private you do not want to be in the position of having to worry about prior disclosures that you made coming back to haunt you if you decide to go public.
2. If you sell products that are generally sold by licensed professionals in a state (such as legal forms), your web site should have disclosures that tell the customer that you are not a licensed professional and all the advice that you are giving is general advice and not to be construed as legal advice. You want to always, always disclose your lack of a license to give advice or information in a licensed profession and refer customers to the experts for further advice. Advise your customers to have the forms or documents you sold to them looked over by licensed professional.
3. For disclaimers and warranties, make sure you have an attorney look over this content because if they are not drafted properly, you will not be protected from law suits.
In short, there are many aspects on your web site that create potential legal liability. You should make sure you lower the risk by having licensed professional guide your way.
Make Money Secrets Of A Content Provider
There are many huge make money advantages enjoyed by content providers who do not have to get involved in the marketing of their own work or in seeking clients. The most obvious is the fact that they can fully concentrate on what they do best, which is writing.
Leading sites online that help content providers make money by marketing all their writing for them usually have two different ways in which they get articles sold. The first is that the writer writes and displays content that they have already written which already targets a particular subject and webmasters and site owners visiting the site can then choose what they want to purchase.
The second method is by receiving specific requests directly from webmasters and clients seeking content. The requests are then posted at the site and content providers decide what particular assignment they would like to handle. Content providers find it much easier to make money in this kind of environment because they are able to stay busy writing while somebody else gets busy selling their work.
But perhaps the biggest advantage is the fact that some of these sites that sell content on behalf of writers is the fact that there is an option for site owners to license an article rather than purchase it outright. This means that a content provider has a good chance to make more money from the same article several times as licenses for use can be provided to many different webmasters at the same time.
Hey, please visit the Internet Marketing web sites:
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