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Top 5 Reasons the “C Word” Should Be Your Priority

If You Want Your Online Business to Succeed

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I’m not going to tell you that "content is king." You already know that. There are reasons why your best bet for running a successful online business revolve around your content though.

1. Links

If you provide good, quality content, it is going to attract links period. It is true that this will not always happen without the appropriate attention to site promotion, but once people see your content, they will link to it if it is good. It’s that simple. There are tons of sites dedicated to linking to (what they perceive to be) good content alone. That is their whole purpose.

Look at sites like Drudge Report or Techmeme or even Google News for that matter. While the ways these sites choose what content to display may differ from each other, they are each rooted in what they consider to be valuable content, and everything on these sites links out to other sites. With good content, there is no reason why sites like these (or others depending on your niche) can’t be linking to your content.

When your content generates more links, it is likely to achieve greater visibility right along with them. Whether that be from search engines, blogs, or sites like those mentioned above, more doorways are created for entering your own site. People don’t link to bad content (generally speaking) unless they wish to insult it, or are for some reason misled about what they are linking to.

Sally Falkow of Expansion Plus discusses the importance of top-rated content with Abby Prince in the following video (add to the discussion):


2. Sharing

Links are really just a way that people share content. But there is no question that as an online entity, you have to consider social networks. People love to share content via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. Not to mention the ones that are made specifically for content like Digg and StumbleUpon.

In fact, you might as well give readers an easy way to share your content by offering social links within it. RSS feeds are typically a good idea too. This is just one more doorway for people to get to your content, and an ongoing one at that, should they stay subscribed to you feeds (they will also keep your brand fresh in readers’ minds). Then There’s the fact that feed readers often offer their own sharing features leading to even more opportunities for more people to see your work.

Social Bookmarking Icons

These things are the word-of-mouth of the online world. There’s no reason to rule out word-of-mouth in the physical world either. For example, I might tell my mother-in-law that I read this fascinating article on WebProNews today, and she might say something like, "Hmmm, what is this WebProNews? That sounds like something that I would be interested in. I should check that out. What’s the URL for that?"

But again, if your content sucks, nobody is going to share it unless they intend to insult it. This brings me to the next reason why content should be a priority, and that is…

3. Reputation

If people are out there insulting your content, your brand’s reputation will only be damaged. Remember, word-of-mouth works both ways. This is one reason why reputation management is so important. It’s not just about your own personal reputation, it’s about that of your entire business.

Creating good content establishes credibility. When someone views your content and learns something from it or likes what they see, they will (if even on a small scale) develop some amount of trust toward you (and potentially your brand) as a credible source for information within your niche of expertise.

4. Audience

The more linking and sharing of your content, the more your audience is likely to grow. Isn’t this reason enough to make your content good? When you develop a positive reputation online, that in itself tends to snowball as well. People throw your name around a lot, and you can even become something of a mini-celebrity. Then people will be inclined to check out your content based on name recognition alone. People will see your name referenced frequently, and want to know what you’re all about. If your content is good and appealing to them, they’ll keep reading it and share your content with others.

5. Money

In the end, it is truly money, which we all seek is it not? It’s not all that matters, but in the business world, it’s a pretty good chunk of what matters. That’s why we’re all in it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be businesses. We’d be non-profit organizations.

Make money online.

Well, when you have an established audience and a good reputation, the amount of revenue your business brings in is likely to increase.  If your business plan entails selling ad space, there’s nothing advertisers like better than getting their messages out to large numbers of targeted people (in this case, your audience). And there’s nobody that customers like to buy goods and services from (particularly online) than a business with a good, solid reputation. And both your audience and your reputation can be boosted incredibly by the quality of the content you offer the general public.

I’m not giving away trade secrets here. I’m not selling anything other than common sense. I know this isn’t groundbreaking advice. Yet nearly every day, I see people trying to earn a living online using wretched content, and they’re (possibly even unknowingly) only hurting their chances of doing so.

Content can be the road to riches or the path to poverty. That is why if you’re trying to run an online business, it must be a priority.

Top 5 Reasons the “C Word” Should Be Your Priority
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  • http://www.squidoo.com/chef-keem Chef Keem

    In a way, concise, solid advice such as yours is “ground-breaking” every single day. As you said, too many folks try to build their online presence on a tiny sliver of a dream to “make it rich” overnight, without considering the expertise, commitment and work required to be successful in any area of life, including their online activities. Thanks for this post! -Chef Keem

    • Chris Crum

      Well put, Chef. Thanks. It is true that making it rich overnight is going to be hard to achieve when nobody cares about your content.

  • http://www.govienna.net Gerhard Frank

    Thanks for the good tipps – best regards from vienna
    Geri

  • http://www.rainbowriting.com/ Inexpensive Ghost Writer and Copy Editor

    I have been search engine optimizing my own business website since 2003. After a lot of fits and starts of doing different things, I now have my SEO down to a science. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I change a small portion of the content on my home page (one article on ghost writing). My SERPs standing? I have several #1s and what in effect are #1s on Google, under common ghost writer and copy editor search terms.

    I don’t know much about linking, but have several organic natural one way links to my site, and by changing my content on a steady basis I seem to be keeping my place on Google. I also have good meta tags, and my website is both web bot and user friendly. I don’t stuff keywords, and there are plenty of keywords on my home page, plus h1 tags. I do what I can, and it does seem to be working.

    • Chris Crum

      Interesting to not know much about linking and still have SEO down to a science.

  • http://www.lizmicik.com Liz Micik

    There are two expressions that apply here. The first is “put your money where your mouth is.” You start out by saying “everyone knows content is king” but my experience as a freelance content creator, especially over the last half of 2008, is that “everyone gives lip service to the idea that content is king.”

    The second expression comes from my side of the street. Experienced content producers say back to potential customers “you may want fast turnarounds on excellent quality work for peanuts, but you can only have two out of the three.”

    Guess which two people are actually paying out nickels and dimes to use on their sites. Thanks for fighting the good fight. We need to defend good work everywhere we can, every way we can.

    Liz Micik

    • http://SpectreWriter.com JT

      Liz,

      Thanks for your post. I find the same thing. Clients want fast turn-around on quality posts for peanuts. Unfortunately, all too often they make the mistake of choosing fast and cheap. I see the results spewed all over sites, when the owners have chosen the wrong pair. Some of the authors are nearly illiterate, and all of them are pathetically uninspired. Fast and Cheap gets you a compilation of random Google thefts that demonstrates how little the author understands the subject.

      Some think that will do the trick, but it only serves to aggravate and alienate the visitor. Chances are better than average that he won’t willingly visit your site again if you short-change him with that sort of “content.”

      The true professionals amongst Content Providers will take the time to do the research, to have a working understanding of the subjects, and to represent their clients well. That isn’t fast or cheap, but it is the quality content that the public is after. When clients have chosen wisely, their sites grow, and the bill they pay to us is a drop in the bucket. One quality page is easily worth 3-5 times as many pages of junk. Now to get the site owners to realize that.

      Keep up the good fight!

      JT
      SpectreWriter.com

    • http://blog.junta42.com Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Liz…I feel for you, but change is in the air. Marketers are really starting to get that relevant and compelling content is the key to a successful marketing program of the present and future. We just conducted this survey of marketers that you’ll find interesting and supports this. Keep the faith. The content marketing revolution is here (finally).

      http://www.junta42.com/resources/Content_Marketing_Spending_Points_Up/

  • http://SpectreWriter.com JT

    Thanks for putting that out there. My company, SpectreWriter, provides original content for websites. The SEO team I work with is constantly coaching clients to provide content, and I’m constantly encouraging them towards quality within that content.

    The days are long gone when one could just put a bunch of computer-generated garble up and call it Content. But beyond that, the reader is discriminating these days. If you’re just putting up cut & paste from other sites you found on Google, that’s going to show. Why should they visit your site when they could just go to Google for exactly what they want? They will only do so if you’re discriminating. If your articles and content are intelligent, provide wise and concise information, your site will grow.

    Many site owners are experts in their field, but are not professional writers. Even those who write well don’t often have the time to write the sort of articles that will provide a service to the world and promote their site. That’s where companies like mine come in. It’s a smart move to hire a wordsmith, a native writer of U.S. English, to write those articles and blog entries for you, and see to it that your site has fresh, quality content on a regular basis.

    There’s more to SEO and building a popular, profitable site than Content alone, but without quality content, your site has no chance at all.

    Thanks, again, for writing on this important aspect. You’ve led by example; Your quality content is what brought me here in the first place!

    All the best,

    JT
    SpectreWriter.com

    • Chris Crum

      Thanks for the compliments. It can be hard to find good writers.

  • http://www.brane.com.br Peter IMC

    Another one of those #%$@!

    • Chris Crum

      I knew how cliche “content is king” has become when I started the article, but it’s still obvious when you surf the Internet that many people are not offering “quality” content.

      To define quality content, I think it means content that it is useful to its audience. It provides something the reader/viewer can take with them. Obviously depending on your niche, just what this includes will differ.

  • http://www.longbeachrealestatehome.com Laurie Manny

    So many real estate bloggers ask me what they can do to get to the top of the engines. I keep telling them to write relevant content, and to write to the consumers in their market. I’ve explained what relevant content is, and that it varies from site to site, but they don’t have the discipline to keep the site content relevant. It is more fun to play and build backlinks. I like the top of the engines and plan on having a long stay there. I keep my content relevant and flowing.

    Good article, but I have to agree with the above comment, perhaps you should actually explain what relevant content is. Ummmm, maybe not, lets keep it a secret…………….

    • Chris Crum

      As I just responded to that comment, I think it is really just useful material that readers/viewers can take something away from. If the audience gets something out of it, it is quality to at least some extent. Sure there are plenty of variables that go into this…niche, accuracy, timeliness, etc. It’s hard to pinpoint one definition, because it will not always be the same. I think the audience itself has a lot to do with it. Are you producing content that is relevant to your target audience?

  • http://www.epressreleases.org Press Release Optimization

    Yes, the content is main thing to promote site. But if you just start your online site or sharing information then how to generate traffice of people to your site.

    You should use SEO Press Release to create BUZZ around people and you can also use PR for solving people problem and by this manner you can also generate awarenesss and online publicity.

  • http://www.honestgamers.com/ Jason McWebmaster

    My site has been generating quality content related to video games for years now. Though we’re growing, there are other sites that start up and within a few months have eclipsed our reach by hosting a bunch of content that readers generally would agree is no better than ours.

    Clearly, they’re doing something outside of just generating quality content, and it’s working for them. My theory is that they’re generating not only quality content, but the RIGHT quality content. There’s a distinction there and I don’t think that many of the “content is king” articles really do enough to address that.

    From a financial perspective, generating quality content is a losing game unless you’re one of the first sites (or one of the largest) to cover something. Given that content is key, how do you find out what content people are looking for?

    • Chris Crum

      See my responses to previous comments. I didn’t mean to imply that quality content is the ONLY thing that matters. Obviously marketing and promotion are going to play factors in your success. Although truly good content will sometimes market itself.
      Competition (especially in a huge niche like gaming) is certainly a big factor.

  • http://www.dtechweb-blog.com Rollins

    Great job Chris. Hit the nail right on the head (as usual).

    The concept of relevance as far as content is concerned is relative. What is relevant to one person may not necessarily be relevant to another. In the same vein, what “appears” relevant to a search robot may not necessarily be relevant to a human visitor (where a particular website is concerned)

    If you plan to acheive 3 and 4 above, it makes sense that you concentrate on providing quality useful material which not only appeals to your niche, but is also interesting and informative. In the end, it’s what keeps your readers coming back for more.

    Then again, I guess that isn’t “Ground Breaking” advice, but it’s definitely what brings me back to this site.

    Once again, good job Chris. I’m an avid reader of your articles and find them really educational. I have made references to them on countless occasions- I think that further buttresses the point in 2 above.

    • Chris Crum

      Thank you Rollins, I appreciate your references. You are right when you say, “What is relevant to one person may not necessarily be relevant to another.”

  • http://www.firmalatter.dk Ejvind

    Time and again, I hear that content is king, and that people will find you if your site is important for them, or interesting enough. Well, with the amount of “clutter” in the form of millions of similar sites, it is becoming more a question of who can “shout” the loudest, or spend more money to spread the message that THEY have in fact the best information for you.

    As with all marketing, it isn’t always the best product that wins, but always the one that has the biggest success in marketing.

    Of course I also use marketing, and it helps me to stay ahead of my competitiors – but simply increasing the money spent on ads each time someone enters the market is a problem.

    Eventually one of us will cave in and stop doing business. You may say that it is survival of the fittest – but I believe it to be the biggest problem of capitalism. We always have to be better, bigger, faster, smarter than the competition – or we die.

    So I believe that content is important, but how you sell it, and who knows about it is even more important.

  • http://OutThere4U.com Deborah Powell

    I agree that content is King, in cases where the website requires the “content”…but what if, like my site, (which is a community directory) relies on content being added by others?

    In this type of scenario it is more the navigation element, which we have worked very hard to make “user friendly”. Also, another factor is creating the right type of information accessible to others visiting the site.

    I had a vision to create an all inclusive directory to bring together communities online – wherever in the world people live and play. http://www.OutThere4U.com is a recreational & event directory where people can list and view a vast amount of activities in their community (or others around the world) for FREE.

    We had to overcome hurdles to develop something that would appeal to everyone. In doing this, there is also a need to set out parameters and guidelines, and thankfully everyone using the site has followed them, because they appreciate having a FREE platform to “get the word out”.

    It is about “content”.. but this is just one of the many, many elements that need to be taken into consideration. First you have to look at what you are offering – what you want from it, and how it will appeal to your potential customers.

    Bringing all these together create the overall end result.

  • http://www.buy1-give1free.com David Anttony

    This is just great – I am always looking at new tips — I enjoyed reading and also enjoyed the reminder about Social Bookmarks — not used them a lot on our site so will now review how we use them.

    Thanks heaps for this

  • http://philippinesnursingboardexamsanswerkey.blogspot.com/ Rose Ann

    Thanks for your post. I’ve learned a lot, now I’ll do better about the content of my post.. God Bless!!

  • http://www.tmondo.com Play Online Games

    This is simply great.I always love new tips… :)

  • http://www.notjustthekitchen.com Rita

    I’ve been adding new content every week for several years. Google seems to appreciate it but I still wish for more visitors to my site which is geared to Baby-Boomer Women.

  • http://www.myhinode.com Luciano

    Thanks for the info. Nice to know how things work…

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