Creating great content on a content based website
I'm currently creating a website which for the most part will be content based. Im just wondering what are the best ways of getting good original content and lots of it??
If anyone has anything to offer on this subject please drop your 2cents
If you want original content you either need to create it or pay others to create it for you. If you want it to be good, you either need to learn how to create good content or you need to pay enough so that those who can will be willing to create it for you. As someone who's been creating original content every day for the last dozen or so years, I can tell you that it's difficult to create content that is truly original and good and it's not going to be cheap. You can easily find people to create content for you at a low price, but it's highly unlikely any of it will be good and there's a good chance it won't be entirely original either.
Is there a business model for the site? I'm guessing your plan is to place ads around the content. Is that right or do you have something else in mind?
Fair points there vangogh. I was considering paying for the content but im not in the best position atm. I was looking for some cheaper options but as you pointed out theres a higher chance it wont be that good and also it wont be entirely original.
Originally Posted by vangogh
The model for the site is a bit different. Im providing an online service which will be free once its available but it will have paid features and upgrades. On the other half of the site i want to to be content based.. so articles, guides, tutorials and a video library. The content side will be 1st to help me collect target market info and start building a mailing list so maybe i could consider placing ads around the content to generate a bit of rev to develop the site too.
My advice is to listen to that voice that is telling you that you don't have the funds to do this correctly, at the moment. As VG stated it's very hard to continually create original content that's any good. If you want quality you have to either do it yourself ( provided you are any good at it) or pay people who write good content what they're worth.
Add to that the extraordinary amount of competition for views these days. Even established media companies are complaining about the current model of just cranking out articles all day long for page views, and the revenue model.
In this current climate you've chosen one of the hardest, most time consuming, most competitive things you can do online, and realistically don't have the money to pull it off in a way that gives you a fair chance.
Of course my opinion could change if I knew anything about your niche, but I'd still recommend starting small. Not trying to do it all at once before you've figured out how to do any of it well.
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I'll echo Harold with the suggestion to start small. Even with the best content, it will take time before people find it. The quick way is to spend money on advertising and to pay a lot of people to create content, but that will cost a good deal of money. If you don't mind sharing more about the type of service you want to offer, maybe we can come up with some ideas to help start generating traffic.
Ads on the site probably won't bring in much revenue. You need traffic before you'll see any kind of significant revenue from advertising.
Refugee from the .com
Let me start by saying welcome to the SBF. You may also notice that you've found a place with a good number of professional writers...the three of us responding so far are all writers and have many years experience. Because of that experience, I will echo what has already been said.
That's not to discourage you because we're here as a place where you can receive sound advice for pursuing your dream of a small business. When you approach the business model you are trying to put together, the dose of reality you are receiving here will help you when you can plan that reality into your business model.
As already pointed out, ad revenue isn't likely to be very significant. The ad model hasn't shown great results in most cases. Your mention of paid features and upgrades is where you need to focus your income generating efforts. By the sound of what you described, part of what you need to create is more than just content, it's better described as community. Think in terms of how your content creates value and community and you should be able to generate paid subscribers to your revenue generating services. That should already be part of your plan, I'm just pointing this out so you can choose a focal point to not lose track of while hashing out all the other details of your plan.
Web design, graphic design, professional writing, and marketing.
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
" -- Theodore Roosevelt
Also, think about this when talking about paid memberships...even the most niche, tech sites don't do paid memberships anymore because it doesn't work. Generally website owners look at paid memberships from one side, creating fictitious numbers on how much each paid membership will bring them in revenue. But they rarely create anything awesome for the user that's worth paying for, or that can't be found elsewhere for free.
Anytime someone brings up paid membership sites, and I get that call at least once a month, I rack my brain trying to imagine what kind of site I would pay for. I still can't come up with any.
Exclusivity online rarely works anymore. The ones that are making it have an entire team of developers making awesome tools to a niche market that they've cultivated over the years. It's doubtful that you'll be able to do it with just content unless you provide some kind of service that people can't get anywhere else, or provide it better than the competition.
It's easy to sit back and say "I'm going to create exclusive content." It's much harder to answer the question "How?"
I pay for access to the New York Times and Washington Post, but only because they were offering a deal. And they're doing worldwide investigative reporting. I pay $10 mo. for a music service, but it's a music service that gives me access to 50M+ songs.
The revenue streams you're talking about are the default ideas that everyone comes up with when they're seeking ideas to make money online.
But they are also the ones that are done to death, are failing, and that even large companies are struggling to keep going.
If you are intent on doing it that way, this is a wheel that you're going to have to reinvent and you're going to have to be better than everyone else at it. But you can't reinvent the wheel until you have a firm understanding of how wheels are made in the first place. You can't just wing it and expect magic to happen.
I feel I need to add....
A single author with a decent website/blog who is knowledgeable in a subject can make a name for him/herself in their industry. If you know your stuff, clearly identify the audience who is interested in it, and go out and get them by making videos, doing podcasts, public speaking, maybe even writing a book or two, you can make money on content.
You don't need the huge site, trying desperately to create constant content multiple times a day, trying to be everything to everyone. One knowledgeable person with a marketing plan and the dedication to do what it takes can make enough of a splash in an industry to make some real money. But you can't cover up for lack of knowledge with volume.
The Key is to be Consistant and to Post Regularly
I think it is a brave of you to start a web content site. However, similar to what other users have replied, it can be difficult to regularly write good quality content. Of course you can target yourself slowly and gradually as to create more web site reads and interests. However, starting something new with no first structure plan is difficult. You can always try, but my advice to you is to create a writing schedule, target yourself to 2-3 articles per day, for example (this is of course if you want to write by yourself). When you have regular readers going to your website, you can ask one of your friend to help you do one article per week. The key is to be consistent and regularly post.
Here are some tips from a great article that I found. It can be a good source for your new content based website:
Good luck! I hope this helps!
Read books and relevant publications and summarize your reading and document your ideas.
Brainstorm with others. Engage a team of trusted advisors. Being a part of a powerful mastermind group and trusted advisors is a great way to improve your ideas and creativity.
Invest in self-development. A Japanese proverb says: "I will master something, then the creativity will come."