The more hours I pour into publishing web pages and programming the more it becomes evident to me that content is King. You can create the best looking website in the world, load it with the coolest utilities to make it look like a division of Netscape but without interesting content that people are interested to read about it’ll atrophy and die. Sure all the cool utilities will get used but not by anyone you would care to associate with, as you’ll find links and posts for sex and drugs by people with no-real name or email address.
Having spent over 10 years now trying to make a decent living from the Internet I’ve realized that it’s all about writing, writing well and about topics that people are interested in. The search engines provide clues to what people want to know about. For example the photo of Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine brought more visitors to my website than it’s had in years. Amazing how many people have been searching for old Alfie. So it’s all about writing smart articles about topics that are popular.
Amongst the most popular Blogs there’s one almost always in the top 10 that’s about “How to make money from Blogging” this must indicate a hot topic. Also there’s plenty of other Blogs related to “How to become successful” (at one thing or another) and near the top of that list are categories related to search engines, keyword programs, affiliate programs and other topics for improving your chances of breaking through online and actually making some money.
When I started this Silicon Palms Weblog in 2002 the term “blog” hadn’t been widely used yet, which is why I still have a weblog, anyway, I created the online journal as an experiment and way to keep content for myself, not as a means to attract website visitors and/or make money. Well nowadays it would seem that the trend is more than that, it now a mainstay. The line between Blogs and websites has been blurred, as many sites incorporate CMS (content management systems) in the software to provide RSS and make the home page into a Blog.
Back in the early and mid-nineties when we first developed websites there was no idea of the need for dynamic content. We’d make a cool looking site, launch it into the web by submitting it to Yahoo and a few other places, then sit back and watch the visitors come. It was amazing how many people would visit, no matter if the site was an interesting product or service, the novelty was just looking at sites, probably where the expression “web surfing” was born.
Now it’s about content. Yes, style matters but substance takes rank. Get your writing hat on, make a list of topics. Check your topic list against the most popular keywords and then let your fingers do the work.