Smarter not Harder

Occasionally I read a Blog about making money with websites called by Darren Rowse, it’s packed with good advice and cool ideas. Last week a guest blogger named Tony Hung posted an article called “Understanding the Rules of Great Content” in which he shares some wisdom about how to keep the content flowing.

This weblog actually began in 2001, long before the trend hit, which may explain why the URL is /weblog rather than/blog like my others. I have the old archives on this server but have yet to link them in to this new Blog because they’re no longer relevant and not worth the trouble. See in the very beginning I was looking for ways to manage content and started with a Radio (by Userland) weblog and just used it for recording my own web server stats, development notes and links.
Now that Blog systems have become so powerful and not only integrate into my web sites but like in the case of Commodity Trader have become the core component of the site. My success, as marginal as it may be, can be attributed to Blog software, or as some call it “content management systems”.
Still, as a web publisher content is king! You can have all the cool bells and whistles in the world on your website or the best layout and design but without some useful content no-one will ever know, let alone care. Sure many people make money from what’s known as mini-sites or affiliate links just selling products, that’s fine for them and while I agree that e-commerce is a great thing and part of the purpose of web publishing it’s not in itself what motivates me. I enjoy web publishing, website design and Internet application development. Perhaps I’m one of the few to actually love what I do, however I also love positive results and recognition.
The point to working smarter and not harder, as it applies to web publishing, is to leverage the technology, perfect the design, integrate e-commerce applications and other applications, to become the full-meal-deal. By this I mean that your site looks like it’s the leading authority on the topic your covering with plenty of engaging content, features, newsfeeds and links etc… then add relevant products and advertising – now try to keep the content fresh.
If the web development project is done well it should look like a team of professionals is on the job or that a well established company is behind the project, this is not an easy feat and I hardly profess to having accomplished such levels of competence but can tell you that if you stick to it long enough, continually strive to improve your website, seek critiques and take the advice to heart, eventually the day will come when other webmasters begin writing you and asking if they can buy advertising on your site. When you begin to be approached by Madison Avenue advertising firms or the big dot-com media buyers from San Francisco you’ll know your close.
Creating fresh and relevant content is still the key to success because this is what brings the traffic and also what connects your site to the search engines. The Blog systems have re-defined what can be done by a single person because they have great looking styles or themes to choose from, powerful application plug-ins to add applications and excellent resources for the novice to learn how-to build their own site. Still, without clever and engaging content the dust will settle on the Blog of little value. Also, scraped or copy and paste content doesn’t foster return users or engage the reader. The content is king.
Smarter not harder for blog writing is to enrich content that other people or news sources have published but it has to be done in an intelligent way, always avoiding copyright infringement by only using excerpts plus providing attribution and links. Also, there needs to be a common theme through the writing so there is value added to the reader, this is enhanced by a mixture of original content based on the Blog authors thoughts and ideas related to the topic. Once you’ve established your website or blog with a clearly stated theme or purpose you’ll be able to attract contributing writers and/or guest bloggers, then it all starts to get easier.
It’s not easy getting started but the good news is that if you’re reading this and thinking about becoming a web publisher, Blogger or even a Pro Blogger, then you’re on the right path and only a click or a Google search away from finding more information to help you get it done. Go for it! it’s fun, stimulating and rewarding.

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