|Copyright 2005 Richard Keir
When you take a look at the most visited sites on the internet, what hits you in the face? Change, growth, new content. In a sense, a search engine is the perfect web site. By it's very nature, it grows and changes continuously and moment by moment adds new content. But, most of us are never going to build a Yahoo or a Google. The competition at that level is horrific.
But the lesson is there to be read. You could build a great site with terrific content never seen before and do very well - for a while. But the imperatives that control our success or failure revolve around growth, change and new content. An obvious solution is to continually provide new content for your sites. Basically this means writing or constructing new pages, preferably with unique content.
There are, certainly, several easy ways to get content for your site. The first is to use other people's articles. Nearly all of us who do write and publish articles want people to pick them up and use them - with live links to our sites, naturally. Despite a lot of mindless babble about a duplicate content penalty, article syndication is alive and working as well as ever. Just don't scrape a site and replicate it.
Like all easy solutions, there are a couple of drawbacks. Other people's articles may not be focused as well as you'd like to your site content and goals. And they don't help your site's link popularity. Along with growth, change and content, incoming links are a critical success factor.
Using RSS feeds or other search-based content can raise copyright issues, irritate some feed or site owners, and may be even more poorly focused to your site's content than articles. If you use RSS feeds, almost inevitably you'll see content on your site that is absolutely irrelevant.
Public domain materials are extremely useful as content sources - if you can find matches to your site content. Assuming that you can, then you will need to convert the material into pages or into a form useable on your web pages. This can be time-consuming, but it may be easier than writing your own content.
Ghost writers are yet another alternative. Here you trade time for money. But this can be a tricky process. Some are not really fluent in English and you may need to do some rewriting. Also, you may need to double-check and make sure that the articles provided are actually original and not nearly identical to existing copyrighted material. Some ghost writers seem to work by finding a site with a related theme and then pretty much copy material from that site with minimal changes. Not a good idea for you to post that as your own.
Another source would be sites offering private label products. Many of those products can be mined for excellent targeted site content. Some products sold with Master resale rights also allow you to use the materials as site content. In this last case, you need to be certain exactly what you can and can't do under the specific rights package. Sometimes you can alter the materials, sometimes you can't.
Private label products with you having full rights, including the right to alter them and put your own name on them as author can be one of the easiest ways to meet all of the imperatives. With rights to an informative, new and interesting book on a niche topic, you can rework it a little, maybe add some nice graphics, generate a PDF and sell it.
Or you could generate that PDF and also generate pages for your site from the book. Give the PDF away in exchange for signing up to your list. Extract tips and ideas from the book and put together 2 or 5 or more articles based on the book. Publish and distribute the articles to generate links to your site and help brand yourself as an expert.
From one private label product you can generate a lot of new real estate for your site, add a viral product that you can use to build your lists, and through articles generate incoming links and do some useful branding.
It really doesn't get any easier than that. It takes some time and effort, but nothing like the effort of writing 5 or 10 articles from scratch, building 30 or 50 or 150 web pages, and writing your own viral book for list-building.
What about the other people who belong to the same private label site? Isn't everybody going to have duplicate content? In the real world, 90 percent of the people with access to a product will do nothing at all or the absolute minimum. Very few will mine the product, produce articles, produce web pages, or produce a nicely modified PDF. And of those that do, each will follow their own unique path. The chance of near identical content is pretty low. The PDFs produced may be more similar, but consider how many people make serious money with resale rights selling identical material.
There's a lot of room out there. Even within the most competitive niches, a thoughtful, patient marketer who pays attention to the imperatives and works smart, can make a living few would complain about. But there are also less competitive niches where the same marketer could become the dominant force. The materials are out there to get you going. Use them and work smart.
None of this is rocket science. The first, and ultimate, imperative is take action. Too many will fail, because they never even really began. Start today.
About the author:
Richard writes, teaches, trains and consults on business and professional presentations and eCommerce related matters. For more information on eCommerce sites and eCommerce site building - http://www.building-ecommerce-websites.com- and http://www.building-ecommerce-websites.com/articlesfor more eCommerce articles.
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