2.3: What Kind of Content Should I Put Up?
Any kind you want, of course, since we’re talking about the internet. But seriously, you’ll want to give this topic some consideration, since there’s more interest in some topics than others.
You know the people who are your audience, since ideally you’re talking about something you know about. For instance, if you’re talking about Ultimate Frisbee, it’s because you play it. So you know what other Ultimate Frisbee people are like, and what they want to know and what they find entertaining.
Once you know that, you can decide about which types of content will best serve their needs and how to go about finding or creating it. Here are some general categories to get you started with your brainstorming:
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I had to get my hands on this book and read it once already. I plan on reading it again in case I blinked and missed something important because it's filled with so many gold nuggets...
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• Feature articles
• Political opinion
• News stories
• Art galleries
• A conglomeration of the best content
• Reviews of movies, books, music
• Interactive features - polls, feedback, discussion groups, forums, chat
Editorials Editorials are the opinion of someone who’s seen as an expert in the field-- (either you or a guest contributor). This makes good content because people like to respond to it, either by agreeing with or opposing the writer. This can make for an exciting page, and you’ll probably have to moderate it.
Give your people a way to make their views known; put up a bulletin board or guest book on your site. People will come back to read other responses to their comments. And you can use this feedback from your audience by incorporating it into a follow up article in the future.
For instance, is everybody complaining about a new government travel policy? Do an article on it, since clearly that’s something people are talking about so they’ll want to read about it.
Full-length Feature Articles This is the most common and in many people’s opinion one of the best forms of content. Depending on what your site is like, the articles could be long or brief, formal or chatty, technical or entertaining. Here are some tips:
• Keep it short. While there aren't any hard and fast rules, you should keep these articles below 1200 words. If they are longer, make them into multi-part features. People hate to have to scroll down a lot.
• Articles should be relevant to your site.
• Articles ought to educate, entertain or inform. Don’t overwhelm people; stick to one or two ideas.
• Refrain from rehashing an article you've read somewhere else. By publishing something that’s new, you up the value and credibility of your site.
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