How to Build Your Site with Other Peoples Content -- Part 1
Building a new website can be extremely exciting. Seeing your words in "print"--maybe for the first time... what a thrill! At least that's how I feel...
But then, I'm a writer. I've always loved to write. Yes, I was one of those crazy kids who truly loved doing term papers. I make my living by writing. For me, it's rarely a chore... it's unadulterated fun.
But believe me; I am well aware that this opinion is not shared by a huge number of people. I've seen firsthand how my family and friends struggle with the smallest writing assignment--even writing emails. If that applies to you, then you know what I'm talking about, and you're probably struggling right now to complete the first draft of your website. If it doesn't apply to you, if you're one of the lucky ones like me to whom writing comes naturally, good for you! (But I still think you might enjoy reading this article.)
This article will tell you how to leverage other people's content on your site, an extremely powerful concept.
Now, it's important to recognize the value of building many of your own highly visible pages, along with your home page. After all, building your site is all about forging relationships with your site visitors so that monetizing your site will come easy.
Your visitors need to get to know you, to hear your voice throughout the site. So, you'll need to surmount that hurdle first off. One of the most important points I can make is that you don't have to write a scholarly work. Your English teacher is no longer looking over your shoulder. Just write your pages as though you were talking to your visitors face to face. You'll see? the writing will start to flow.
HOW TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR OWN WRITING
OK, so here's the real focus of this article (at last). A content-rich site needs to have at least 20 pages if it's going place well in the search engines. 50 pages or more is even better, because every page you build increases your chances of being discovered at the search engines.
A great way to supplement the content on your site is to use free articles you can find in dozens of places on the Web. The people who write these articles have given permission for you (or almost anyone else) to publish them on your own website--provided you give credit to the author and provide a live link to the URL of their choosing.
Yes, you might lose a few visitors this way, when they click the link and go to the author's site. But if you make the link open in a new window, your site will remain on their desktop, even after they close the new window. Also, there may be the possibility of joining the author's affiliate program and substituting the affiliate link for the link back to their website.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. First, you have to find the articles.
FINDING QUALITY ARTICLES
The easiest way to find free articles you can publish on your website is to go to an article bank or directory, such as www.ezinearticles.com. Just visit any of these directory sites and you'll find hundreds of articles in a variety of categories. Just browse through until you find a few that will fit with (and complement) the content you've already written for your site.
A great way to use free articles from other authors is in an article library on your site. That way, you can show your visitors that you're not trying to pass off someone else's content as your own; you're just giving them more options for learning.
BUILD YOUR OWN LIBRARY MINI-SITE
If you're not too technically challenged, you might want to check out 1st-in-articles.com at this URL: http://www.1st-in-articles.com/build/builder.cfm. They'll allow you to build several pages on your site using a number of themed articles from their database.
LOCATING YOUR OWN ARTICLES
In your research for link partners or affiliate programs, you may also have come across sites that have information you'd like to use on your site. You mustn't ever do so without permission, but there's no harm in contacting the webmaster of the site and asking for permission. You'd be surprised how many will be flattered and will say yes, provided you give them credit for authorship.
OTHER KINDS OF CONTENT
But articles aren't the only kind of content you can find for free on the Web. One of my favorite sites to find supplemental content is Free Sticky, which you'll find at http://www.freesticky.com/stickyweb/. At their site, you'll find tons of free stuff, from articles to news feeds to jokes of the day to cartoons to survey tools and more. Much too much to list here. Just go and check it out. If you can cut and paste, you can probably grab some of this content for your site.
AFFILIATE PROGRAM CONTENT LINKS
Many affiliate programs will provide articles, reviews, ads, and more that you can use on your site. In most cases, I'd recommend that you customize the content for your site, but it gives you a great jumping off point.
RSS NEWS FEEDS
RSS is all the rage these days. There are many sources for these feeds all over the Web. Just do a search and you're sure to find quite a few.
The headlines and articles aren't always real relevant but some are and hey, most change at least daily with absolutely no effort from you!
Whatever type of content you add to your site from other sources, I'd recommend that you add in some of your own comments--perhaps as an introduction?--to help optimize the site for the search engines. Remember--your goal is to get every page on your site indexed by the search engines if possible. Don't underestimate the importance of this intro. One of my highest ranked pages is another author's article that I optimized using an introduction.
Now go out and start having fun creating content!
Kathi MacNaughton is a web entrepreneur and freelance writer, as well as a mentor for the Nitro Incubator program. To learn more, visit http://www.powerful-sample-resume-formats.com/how-this-site-came-to-be.html
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