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  1. #1
    l@rger_th@n_life
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    Good content?
    Hello,

    What happens when your competiton site has amazing content and you cant come up with anything just as good? Do you ask that webmaster to use thier content or still try to write better articles?

    If i want to hire someone to write certain articles, Does anyone know of a good site I can go find freelance help.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    The competition has good articles? GOOD! Let the peoiple who want to read free content go there. Write good ad copy so the people who are looking to buy something come to your site. You don't need or want the people who are looking for free content if your goal is to sell stuff and make money.

    In fact, don't even write "good" ad copy. Just write ad copy good enough and with enough relevant keywords to come up in the SEs and read to the spiders like you are talking about the product. Put the ad copy below the fold in the page or below the products sort of where it doesn't distract from the products you are showing or slow the customer down from clicking through to the merchant site but not 30 lines down if you know what I mean. That's dumb and the SEs know that trick, anyway.

    The main purpose of any text at this point is to get those keywords on the pages in normal sentences so you will come up in searches. It doesn't matter a bit how outstanding your writing is if no one can find you. If it helps sell, so much the better. But, the main thing is to shove the right product in the right customer's face and get them to click to the merchant site when they are searching to buy that product.

    YOU MAKE NO MONEY FROM ANYONE READING CRAP ON YOUR OWN SITE!!!

    Decide what you are trying to do. Are you trying to sell stuff or offering a free public educational service?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  3. #3
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    If you don't like SSanf's advice, (I'm not sure why you wouldn't, its good advice) there are a few freelance sites I can think of that would be good for finding content writers.

    www.rentacoder.com
    www.guru.com
    www.elance.com

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    I think you should follow SSanf's advice. Avoid content at all costs. There is no money in content-heavy sites. Seriously. None. No, really. Honest.

  5. #5
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Tell me something. Have you ever even one time clicked to the sales pages of a content site? I never have. Not even once unless I was seeing whose stuff they were selling looking for prospective merchants to put on my own sites.

    I buy online maybe two or three times a year tops (cigarettes excluded - I get them through my own aff link). Last time, I wanted serviceberries for my garden, an item not sold around here. Guess what I did. I searched for "serviceberries". And, who did I buy from? Why the site that had them for sale and the page with them for sale came up in the searches. That's who. AND, I was pretty darned ticked that I had to go through so many stupid content sites before I came across one that had them for sale!!

    Sure, I found content pages with all kinds of information. That was irrelevant to me. I wanted to buy them, not read how much the indians liked them. I don't care if the indians liked them. I don't intend to feed any indians except this one person of small Native American extraction sitting at this keyboard.

    phillyburbs, I just looked at your content heavy site. Tell you what, I could spend a long time there checking the articles but, I would never click on the ads. Why would I? I would be interested in the content but not in buying anything from you.

    Guess your experience is different. Do you just use the content for getting links and ranking so your sales pages are higher in the SEs?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    Guess what I did. I searched for "serviceberries". And, who did I buy from? Why the site that had them for sale and the page with them for sale came up in the searches. That's who. AND, I was pretty darned ticked that I had to go through so many stupid content sites before I came across one that had them for sale!!
    Understandable. I'd be annoyed too.

    But that seems less of a problem inherent in having content as one of simply bad navigation design. The savvy designer will provide a way to close a sale in one link from any page.

    While a focus on SE bots its of course essential, it appears to be only part of a complete breakfast. Three other factors come to mind:

    1. Incoming links: a good article can be worth linking to, and incoming links play a strong role in ranking.

    2. Uniqueness of word mix: unique content can drive up a keyword count without risking penalty for content duplicated elsewhere.

    3. Conversion: catering to bots will get visitors to the site, but also catering to those visitors will convert them to customers. Of course, "catering" will mean different things to different people, but helpful tips on product usage cn not only be a nice thing to do, but also provides an opportunity for upselling related products.

    So I hear what you're saying, and agree. But reading Jay Conrad Levinson's articles in Revenue suggests to me that content and SEO are not mutually exclusive, so why not do both?

    Content can be useful, especially when the navigation is effective and one follows the ABCs of selling throughout the copy of all content: Always Be Closing.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  7. #7
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf

    YOU MAKE NO MONEY FROM ANYONE READING CRAP ON YOUR OWN SITE!!!
    Ebudae


  8. #8
    l@rger_th@n_life
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    Hey,

    SOrry for hte late response, I do not have a selling site. As suggested by many affilaite marketers, they told me to start by doing a site about a hobby of mine to practice my skills and test marketing strategies.

    It is not a product selling site, maybe in teh fuuture i wanted to be but for the time being it wont.

    Sorry for the late response

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Seven of my successful merchant client sites benifit both in natural SERPS, and in sales conversions, by posting informative articles on their sites. I showed them how articles on things like History of Fathers Day, Christmas Tree care, skateboarding tips & tricks, Competitive Sign cutting machine rating and tips bring in a ton of buyers and clicks to product pages from those content landing pages. Please the info seeker and they will get motivated to browse, buy or bookmark the site. I can see their Host server stats and see those pages I made them rank high as entry pages, and low in exit pages.

    Believing SSanf or Leader have anything more then distain for content, and the work involved to make it, will force you into building out hundreds of template "me too" type affiliate sites praying at the Google alter and missing the boat. They are experts at tricks for clicks and moving cookied referrals by placing a revolving door that quickly exits the visitor before they smell an affiliate middleman.

    Make a few of those type sites, but build a labor of love site thta will survive any SE alogo changes and earns a bookmark by an impressed shopper.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  10. #10
    l@rger_th@n_life
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    How do you tell which is the exit page and entry page? How do you understand the mentality of your visitors?

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I see Ssanf has been singing my tune while I was sleeping


    Please the info seeker and they will get motivated to browse, buy or bookmark the site.~Mike
    And once they are motivated to buy, they'll go to a SALES site! And preferably one that's MINE!

    Make a few of those type sites,~Mike
    Hey, looks like he smelled some of the Folger's!!

    I think you should follow SSanf's advice. Avoid content at all costs. There is no money in content-heavy sites. Seriously. None. No, really. Honest.~Karl
    No, there's not enough SALES in a c*ntent-heavy site. If you like showing a zillion banners to make what 1 decent sale will get you, go right ahead
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    I am very pleased with the money my content site is making. And it is not making money from banner ads.



    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    The big shots are only the little shots who keep shooting.
    -Christopher Morley

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    Tell me something. Have you ever even one time clicked to the sales pages of a content site? I never have.
    Beware personal reference. You are not a typical Internet user.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    phillyburbs, I just looked at your content heavy site. Tell you what, I could spend a long time there checking the articles but, I would never click on the ads. Why would I? I would be interested in the content but not in buying anything from you.
    Again, you are not a typical Internet user. I probably wouldn't click on the ads, either. But I'm not a typical Internet user, either.

    We need a certain volume of ad inventory to satisfy our orders, so more page views are valuable. Advertisers and sponsors get a certain number of ROS banners based on the package they buy. By and large, they have been satisfied and our churn percentage has been excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    Guess your experience is different.
    In addition to our ad revenue skyrocketing, I'm pleased to report that our affiliate revenue is 300% over 2004, YTD and more than 120% over budgeted projections.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    Do you just use the content for getting links and ranking so your sales pages are higher in the SEs?
    Nope, not at all. We don't put a lot of effort into SE rankings. As stated earlier, we bundle ROS impressions into sponsorship and advertising packages. As the number of sponsorships and advertisers increase, so does the need for impressions, hence our need to increase page views. We're also seeing good elasticity in pricing and are currently working on models to project the impact of rate increase in particular product lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    No, there's not enough SALES in a c*ntent-heavy site. If you like showing a zillion banners to make what 1 decent sale will get you, go right ahead.
    Have you seen our CPMs?
    As for our sales, see above. We're getting to the point where it will be more than feasible to hire an additional editor simply to handle all of our AM. And I wouldn't do that if it didn't include a big positive financial benefit for the company.


  14. #14
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Ahhhhh, nothing like the good ole' content/sales argument to get everyone riled up. I have lots of what I would describe as niche sales sites that are product heavy that do quite well. I attach articles to those sites as a way to pull in additional traffic, and yeah, it helps.

    As for content sites, I have several of those as well, that I initially created for my hobbies and to help with page rank - it's easier to get them listed in some of the directories than a sales site - but I am quite happy with the traffic and sales my content sites generate.

    Personally, I don't believe there is a wrong answer to this question. What matters most of all is structure of your site, how the content is included.

    Karl - I am really pleased to see how well you have done, you have a terrific site, and it is great to see it grow like it has.

  15. #15
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Meant to add, I have used www.freelancewriting.com to pull in writers, some of which are exceptional. Offer to pay some bucks for a good article, you'll get 40-60 responses.

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, I guess, if you make the money from selling ad space on your site you do make money from people reading crap on your content site. But, that is not the same as affiliate marketing as we usually refer to it. We are normally talking about when people click through a link on your site to the merchant site and the affiliate gets a cut of the action. At least, that is what affiliate marketing means to me. What you are doing is another topic, all together. It is a different way of monitizing your site than affiliate marketing and could be worth a seperate discussion.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  17. #17
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    The problem I had with serviceberries is that I had to wade through to the third page of results to even find a site that sells them.

    The danged content is taking over so much that it is hard to even find a site to buy what you want, sometimes. It has gone too far in the other direction. Most of us are well past the days when we are using search to write stupid term papers!

    Search needs to be more balanced IMHO. I'll bet there are a lot more shoppers than students. And, even the students and currious are shoppers. Don't cha think?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Another content vs cookie cutter discussion, whee! I believe content in a general sense is great because it gets people to focus on you and your brand. It also generates links and helps you get better established in the search engines. Google is making it so you need content to survive, so I'm just following suit. If it were still possible to make money without content, I may still give it a try. I think that's the bottom line.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    OK, I guess, if you make the money from selling ad space on your site you do make money from people reading crap on your content site.
    Well, that's part of it, though, as I said, we are certainly doing OK with affiliate revenue. And we prefer not to consider our content "crap".

    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    But, that is not the same as affiliate marketing as we usually refer to it. We are normally talking about when people click through a link on your site to the merchant site and the affiliate gets a cut of the action. At least, that is what affiliate marketing means to me.
    Agreed. But our affiliate marketing revenue is certainly on the upswing. As I said, it's up 300% year-to-date and way ahead of projections. And we have several new ideas that I think will increase all of that incrementally in the weeks & months to come.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    What you are doing is another topic, all together. It is a different way of monitizing your site than affiliate marketing and could be worth a seperate discussion.
    Again, agreed. It is different, but I chime in on threads like these because I do not believe it is an "either, or" discussion. In our model, there's room for straight CPM sales, branding sponsorships, affiliate marketing and more.

  20. #20
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    OK, edit "crap" to read "stuff" and all will be well.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  21. #21
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    Agree with Karl.

    And am curious about the original poster. He wants to start a content site as a hobby, and his first thought for his hobby is to buy someone else's content? Isn't that like making model planes by buying completely built planes?

    Chet

  22. #22
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Chet-

    For example, I have a civil war related travel site I am developing. I can write some articles and such, sure, but I would gladly pay for some folks that live in the east to write about some civil war battlefields and send me some pics..... For a minimal amount of bucks, I can increase the size of my site 10 fold and provide a terrific service for my visitors... I would imagine just about any site could be enhanced with experts in your hobby's field....

  23. #23
    Member infoscott's Avatar
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    phillyburbs, I look forward to the day when my sites have enough eyeballs that I can support a brand awareness campaign and collect in CPM comparable to plain vanilla affiliate conversions.
    [LEFT]Scott :tartanber [URL=http://www.scotthamilton.net]My Vanity Page[/URL][/LEFT]

  24. #24
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    As I said, it's up 300% year-to-date and way ahead of projections.~Karl
    LOL When I make many sales off of a site with non-sales content on it, mine's also ahead of "projections!" But those projections are a lot lower than my projections for a sales site. If a sales site's figures are matching my projections for a content site, the sales site needs help...

    Have you seen our CPMs?~Karl
    No, but, question is, can they compare to the effective-CPMs of a dedicated sales site? Or is it good "for a content site"?

    That's not to say I don't see any potential in content. I just don't see a big amount of *sales* potential in it! And it seems that you have to get a lot more viewers to a content site in order for it to pay off.

    It is kind of fun to write on my new blog though, people come just to read my commentary, I can't say it's not cool!

    Another content vs cookie cutter discussion, whee! ~Snib
    Talk about biased A non-content site doesn't have to be cookie-cuttered!
    Although there's no good reason to screw with a format that sells. Being found is only good if the traffic converts. New Coke got a lot of attention, sure, but it wasn't the kind that helped the Coke Company any

    Google is making it so you need content to survive, so I'm just following suit.
    Thankfully, G's not the only big engine around anymore...

    IMO a requirement for content on a real sales site, is like if your zoning commission only would give permits for driveways if the drives have "severe tire damage" spikes installed. The way I see it, the only way to have a serviceable driveway under those permit conditions is to either ignore the zoning commission and just build it (properly, without spikes) anyway, or put fake rubber spikes in and hope it passes. "Requirement" be damned--putting actual working spikes there would wreck the whole point of having a driveway!

    There are places that spikes would be good, but the driveway sure isn't one of them!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  25. #25
    l@rger_th@n_life
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    Agree with Karl.

    And am curious about the original poster. He wants to start a content site as a hobby, and his first thought for his hobby is to buy someone else's content? Isn't that like making model planes by buying completely built planes?

    Chet
    I as just asking about the content on my site. I wanted to start by making site about my hobby and on that site I wanted to practice marketing skills that I am learning here. I just dont want to leap into something I have no idea off.

    This has started alot of discussion. What does a complete "sale" based site look like? Does any body have any examples?

    How does someone make money of simple sale sites, why not make content about hte niche and direct them to that site once visitors flow to your content site.

    I apologize if these questions are stupid but bear with me, Affiliate marketing is still a new concept to me.

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