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  1. #1
    Member Nature's Avatar
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    If Content Is King...
    Why didn't someone tell KMart, WalMart, Target and all of the other 'sites that sell, sell, sell?

    The 'Content is King' is a little over-rated.

    IMO, content may be Queen, Prince or Duke of York, but not King.

    I think people look for one or the other. Shop or read.

    (Yes, I get paid to think)

    The 'content' thing came from the need to put those ever-lovin' keywords on a page. The keywords look a little funny in and of themselves, so... let's add some more relevant text around the keywords to form some complete sentences.
    But Wait, I need a few more sentences to make a whole paragraph. But Wait, One paragraph standing alone look a little lonely, I should add one more paragraph to make it look better. But Wait, just two paragraphs on a whole page, maybe if I fill half of the page with 'content' and half with products I can get it just right. But Wait, I still am not getting as many hits (nor sales) as I thought I would, so I will add some more keywords, which lead to more words to make more complete sentences, which will lead to a whole paragraph, which will lead to a 1/2 (or more) page of content...

    Which has lead to "content is King". Which IMO, is just not so.


    Nature
    JAO (just an opinion)

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Congrats! You can join me in sharing the Preacher's Dilemma!

    That dilemma goes like this:

    Those who will listen to the preacher don't need to hear him; they already believe.
    And those who need to hear the message never come near a preacher!

    As for your theory on how that "c*ntent is k*ng" malarkey got started, though, I think you're being too charitable. Personally I think it's more likely that it's been repeated so much that a lot of people never give it any critical examination. Then they start repeating it too, and pretty soon there's a whole bunch of duckspeak going on.

    Off the 'net, the only ones I see repeating that mantra with any conviction are in the entertainment business (ie, they SELL content), or are in charge of TV networks (which are still stuck with the lousy model of charging for ads based on how many people can stand to watch their crap).
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I think content is most important for generating free traffic. The search engines only want content because their searchers want it. They're doing their best to give people what they want and by removing cookie cutter affiliate sites, they're accomplishing this. We need to be smart and offer something of legitimate value. You won't find this in any marketing tools or datafeeds, so you need to think outside the box and come up with something special on your own. Instead of building a page that's half content, half datafeed, why not build a site that's 80% content and community and 20% sales. Find a way to keep your traffic with your content and lead them into your sales pages from time to time. As long as you've got them coming back for your content, you'll have multiple opportunities to bring them over to your sales pages. If nobody clicks over, at least the authority of your content will bring up your listings for your sales pages. It's win-win.

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

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Instead of building a page that's half content, half datafeed, why not build a site that's 80% content and community and 20% sales.

    Because I'm not in the "donate to Rackspace's bandwidth billing department" business!

    The search engines only want content because their searchers want it.

    IMO that should read just a bit differently. "The search engines only want content because they feel that their searchers want it."

    Yahoo's new shopping/researching beta shows that one of them has finally at least gotten ahold of part of a clue train ticket, and realized that not everyone is trying to do a term paper.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nature
    Why didn't someone tell KMart, WalMart, Target and all of the other 'sites that sell, sell, sell?

    The 'Content is King' is a little over-rated.

    IMO, content may be Queen, Prince or Duke of York, but not King.

    I think people look for one or the other. Shop or read.
    I agree as I think every time people go online they are usually in a particular mode, it might be browse, research or sometime buy, or some others.

    If you are trying to make money then you really need to get those people who are in buy mode, and then put the least obstacles in their way.

    Some ongoing research I have going has, as a by-product, been collecting the top 3 sites people like/hate, and although it is early days there seems to be a trend emerging that the sites people are product orientated and the ones they dislike tend to be service orientated. I guess this is because many product type sites have come to the internet via mail-order and have levered their catalog based selling experience into effective selling web pages, whereas service company have a tradition of face to face selling with lots of explanation but that can translate into very cumbersome websites, and remember everybody has a short attention span online.

    Certainly most of my sales over the last 3 years have come from pages that make it easy to buy rather than have reams of content to wade through.

    Ironically I made my first sales way back, in the 20th century, from some pages with hints and tips about the esoteric topic of mainframe assembler programming and one of the big (And expensive) books on the subject had just been reprinted, so lots of chunky 15% direct link amazon sales. Those sales have now disappeared as the book has gone out of print again, and post Y2k the mainframe arena has gone to sleep . One of my rainy day jobs (oops it is raining today here in the UK) is to re-visit those content page and use Amazon AWS to provide a selection of books. Actually the real thing putting me off doing it is that the code samples are down in VDU green, courier font on a black background and I really ought to restyle it using CSS instead.

    Les

    PS It might be raining but it so much better looking out at my damp garden, with a 10 second trip to the kitchen to refresh my coffee, than doing it from an employers office window, assuming one was lucky enough in the first place to get a window desk.

    PPS Why does "Quote" from another post always seem to centre for me, is there some option I need to tweak?

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    PPS Why does "Quote" from another post always seem to centre for me, is there some option I need to tweak?
    There have been some threads about that, but, if memory serves me right, the upshot was that 1) it only looks that way on the post preview, not the live thread, and 2) no, that isn't going to be changed, and tweaking your options won't make the preview-post mode stop doing it.

    Once the post is finalized (ie, you hit "post" and the post appears in the thread) it should be okay--"okay" being left-justified. For instance, the text inside the quote "box" in your post is showing left-justified as I see it now.

    If you're talking about how the quote-box *itself* (rather than the text inside it) is centered, that's just how it goes...when you do a quote, I presume that a CSS goes into effect that changes the layout. Personally I like it but to each his/her own.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
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    This looks like a continuation of our thread yesterday: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=59412

    Sure, we are all in this for the money, can we agree on that? The $$ come - indirectly - from visitors to our sites, I think we can agree on that as well.

    Now, what I think splits the two camps are ways of HOW we get visitors to our sites in the first place:

    One way is to provide content that people may like and find useful. This, in my eyes, provides good customer service AND helps to get found in SEs. It also helps to build trust with the visitor, so he/she will buy more readily, or at least bookmark the site. Or he/she may click and set the cookie for later. Sure this costs bandwidth, but that's soo cheap nowadays.

    Another way is to pay $$ to get traffic. Advertising, ppc etc. will also get people to your site who may or may not buy or set the cookie for you. Sure, this works as well, but it can get expensive.

    I agree that a number of people who actively search to buy a product, click on your ppc ad and land on your page will probably buy thru your site. However, some of your bounty goes to Google (Adwords). The same ppl may also click on my 'natural' listing, come to my site, read a bit and then buy. I give nothing to G and keep all.

    There is probably no right or wrong. From a consumer's point I sometimes have days were I go to the mall, grab my stuff, pay and get out. On other days I tend to browse a bit, look here and there, and buy something in addition to what I came to the mall for.

    Quote Originally Posted by websmith
    Certainly most of my sales over the last 3 years have come from pages that make it easy to buy rather than have reams of content to wade through.
    Ironically my best sales come from text links.

    Cheers, Frank

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Ironically my best sales come from text links.
    Nothing ironic about that. Did you think sales-page people just used banners or prpduct pictures? Text links on a page full of sales spin (not info-content) work well, too.

    If there's any "king," it's text links. They fit on every kind of page.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Coupons are King Saving people money will never go out of style.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Why didn't someone tell KMart, WalMart, Target and all of the other 'sites that sell, sell, sell?


    Because they know the truth, large brand names are king. Easier to add some content to my site than it is to become a large brand name though.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    "Original" Content is king because SE's (especially Google) have a duplicate content penalty. )
    I do think though, that you have differentiate yourself on the web to have a chance at longterm success. Offer content, a better price or better product (hard for affiliates), even an easier to use shopping cart. Something to bring people in. The web is getting more competitive everyday.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Leader - we haven't had this discussion in a while, have we?

    There is no simple answer because it all depends on what you're after. Our CPM business is far too lucrative to not dedicate significant resources to adding more cotent that will expand our traffic. That being said, we're also exerting a fair amount of effort refining our direct sales efforts.

    If it were simple and there were only one answer, a lot more people would be making a lot more money.

  13. #13
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    My most profitable personal site has less content than my shorts...

  14. #14
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    My most profitable personal site has less content than my shorts...
    Ha! Thanks for the laugh!

    What would ABW be without the content is king topic every couple of weeks.

    Leader, your preaching the the choir I'm following the Leader

  15. #15
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    There's more than one kingdom, and so there is more than one king.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  16. #16
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    Less content then my shorts? like length? or *cough* length? lol
    Sorry I am one of those people who is always trying to find hidden meanings in what people say.

  17. #17
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    I don't get it. If people make money off of both - why do we need to come to some sort of conclusion as to which is better? There are millions and millions of people using the Internet - we can all have a slice of the pie. For those who are looking for a particular product and are ready to buy, then a sales site meets their needs. For those who are looking for more info or specific info then content sites are going to meet their need. And there are so many more scenarios. If done properly a content site can close the sale.

    Why limit yourself? If content isn't working for you then go to sales. If sales aren't working, go to content. They both work if done properly. If content isn't working for you then maybe there is a better way to do content. JMHO.

    And for those who may not *think* that content is king... I'm grinnin' all the way to the bank.



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

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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    Does anyone have traffic that can't make a sale when someone comes to your site looking for a product?

    The main thing is getting traffic that is looking to buy. If you have a content site and people come for the content it can be hard to make a sale, but you can always make money with adsense.

    If you have content about a product people only come because they are interested in the product. Good chance to make a sale.

    If you just have basic product info and they come looking for the product, good chance to make a sale and you didn't have to do much work.

    Much harder for a new site to get free traffic with just basic product info these days.

    The best way is whatever brings you the most targetted traffic. There is no reason all these ways can't be combined in one site.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    The main thing is getting traffic that is looking to buy. If you have a content site and people come for the content it can be hard to make a sale, but you can always make money with adsense.
    And CPM is not dead, either.

  20. #20
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    How about sites that make more money each year are King? It could be a coupon site, product site, content site, this site, that site, whatever site but comparing specific month 2005 to same specific month 2004 and it made more. Sites that continue to grow year after year. Quality sites that people naturally link to, bookmark, sites that could still stand on their own and make money if all their "free SE traffic" just disappeared. Those sites are King.

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    I think content is most important for generating free traffic. The search engines only want content because their searchers want it. They're doing their best to give people what they want and by removing cookie cutter affiliate sites, they're accomplishing this. We need to be smart and offer something of legitimate value. You won't find this in any marketing tools or datafeeds, so you need to think outside the box and come up with something special on your own. Instead of building a page that's half content, half datafeed, why not build a site that's 80% content and community and 20% sales. Find a way to keep your traffic with your content and lead them into your sales pages from time to time. As long as you've got them coming back for your content, you'll have multiple opportunities to bring them over to your sales pages. If nobody clicks over, at least the authority of your content will bring up your listings for your sales pages. It's win-win.

    - Scott
    Note from the Gallery: At any given moment 98% of all living humans don't give a rat's ass about buying anything ...from Anyone! The majority want content, humor,news, product information ...whatever. They voted for more relative content and are getting it. Now throwing nail studded boards outside your Webshop on the Info Hi-Way is probably legal as the compulsive shopper will asked what's forsale before worrying about paying for tire damages.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  22. #22
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    I'm one of Leader's converts.. though I do backslide to my old content writing ways now and then

  23. #23
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Leader - we haven't had this discussion in a while, have we? ~Karl
    Hey, I was wondering where you'd been lately!

    I've got an idea of some great content for you. You can say how great my newest site is!!

    At any given moment 98% of all living humans don't give a rat's ass about buying anything ...from Anyone! The majority want content, humor,news, product information ...whatever.~Mike
    If they want any of that other junk, I suppose they can have it, after they've shopped at MY site, that is! LOL

    Seriously, though, I think the "98% of all living humans" estimate is only valid if you literally count ALL living humans (babies, children, and people in destitute or strife-torn countries). But I think that in the US and other rich countries, CC-able people are a LOT more interested in shopping than you assume.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  24. #24
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    Yes, we do seem to have this discussion every few weeks.

    Yeah, there are a bunch of site-types:
    Pure-sales / catalog drone sites (Sales). These can make lots of money, and can be easy to maintain from data feeds. But you can also get really penalized by search engine changes. Face it, all these sites are really doing is copying the main merchant's catalog (maybe in a different order). The buyer may as well go straight to the merchant as far as the Search Engines are concerned -if it weren't for the fact that the original merchant has been forced down the search engine listings by all his own affiliates who do SEO better. And who is the buyer going to bookmark for return sales? The original merchant of course. So you are totally at the mercy of the search engines for sales. Referrals and return buyers are a very small proportion of your sales. The barrier to entry is low, and the competition is fierce, there are lots of people trying to out-SEO each other. In the short run, with good SEO, you can draw in a lot of people already prepared to buy - and that can lead to some great commission levels. But I still think that in the long run, this kind of site is a losing battle.

    Pure-content / impulse buy sites (Content). These aren't focused on sales at all, but on some hobby / special interest, and they just so happen to have a couple links to places where you can buy related items, but there's no real sales message. These kinds of sites are what really started the affiliate concept, with Amazon leading the way back in the day. The example of the compiler info and related book is a perfect example. Write once and forget it. Unfortunately, this better be a labor of love for the author, 'cuz they're not likley to get rich with this model.

    Product Showcase sites (Content focused sales) These sites usually take a single product or product line from a single merchant and go whole hog with unique text telling the user why they should buy it. These sites are also often of the write it and forget it maintenance model. Their purpose is to turn nibbles on the line into solid hooks. Unfortunately, sometimes they only wet a buyer's appetite with interest in the product, but the visitor then goes out and does a search and finds the same or a similar product elsewhere. These sites are of great value to the merchant, and can make some good money if the niche has enough potential buyers and the site owner can write convincing enough copy to make the sale on the first bite.

    Final Decision Sites (Sales focused content): These are all the multi-merchant sites, sometimes focused on product price comparison, sometimes suplemented with user-opinion areas, sometimes hand-written product reviews, sometimes fed with multiple data feeds. Often they are small, focused on a specific niche, with lots of extra hand-written decision making information. The goal of these sites is to satisfy the potential buyer's questions (like a salesman at the TV store) and direct them toward the product that best meets their needs (and has a good commission) so they can quit their himming and hawing and make a purchase NOW. Their extended decision making information is seen as valuable to users and therefore by the search engines, so they don't need constant SEO tweaking. They do need to be updated as new products come on the market though. These sites turn shoppers into buyers with good pre-sales messages. I personally think these are the kinds of sites that hold the most potential, and it's where I focus most of my efforts (go find your own niches!).

    Half-a-solution sites (Content focused sales): These sites address the Internet Users' desire for immediate solutions and are ideal for selling online products. These kinds of sites address a specific niche (virus identification and removal) and give the user a bunch of information about how to solve their problem 50% of the time. So 50% of your visitors won't buy anything, they'll just go away happy - but they will mention your site on discussion boards and blogs and build organic traffic as well as naturally build page rank for you.
    The 50% with more difficult problems are candidates for the message:
    "If this didn't fix the problem, check out <affiliate product1> or <affiliate product2>. Their online detection tools seem to root out and solve just about all the problems that can't be done through the simple methods we've outlined above".
    These kinds of sites take work and research to set up, and also need occasional freshening as the marketplace changes. But they're of great value to the merchant and the user, and the search engines recognize their value with good rankings. I'll tell you, sales to 25% of 50% of 50,000 visitors a month can add up quite a bit. I really like Half-a-solution sites. I've also implemented this kind of site as a sister to the final-decision-site, for a kind of hybrid solution.

    So Content is King? Yeah, I think so, but we need to agree on what "content" is first. If you accept my relatively wide definition, then I think you'd agree content is critical too.
    Tom C.
    [URL=http://www.cafepress.com/simplesignshop]Simple Sign Shop[/URL]

    Every day leave someone or something better than you found it.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Great description there Look4,

    I'm not sure which category this would fall under, but what about community websites? These are great vehicles for generating word of mouth and organic traffic. You can take this a step further and create a sales portion to a community site. Allow your community to posts reviews and comments on the products in your niche and you can combine a couple techniques. Don't be confined to any particular type of site or style. It's the people who think outside the box and do something totally different that really draw some attention.

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

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