Web content includes, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations.  More broadly, it’s all the ‘stuff’ in your site, weblog, discussion board, e-commerce site, etc.  Documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal Web pages, archived e-mail messages, and more.
Adding valuable content to your site should encompass more than an hour or so culling information from several different sources and slapping it on your site.  There is an abundance of free content on the Internet for your use, but that’s the problem.  It’s free; and abundant.  Everyone is using it.
You should have a strategy. First figure out what your site’s content will be and your site’s content sources.  If your content is not original, it is your responsibility to ensure that you follow all applicable laws when developing your site content.   If you didn’t create your content and are unsure of its source, find out.  If it’s not clear that you have explicit permission to use it, don’t use it until you know that you legally can.  Check the terms of use and policies of your resources to ensure you use content properly.  Last, but certainly not least, you must determine who is going to maintain your site.  You can do it yourself, which may involve considerable time and effort.  You may choose to pay someone else to do it, which cut down on your time and effort but increase your costs.   Whatever your strategy is, write it down and revise it as necessary.
A significant portion of your web content should be original, and contain value-added content.  For example, a blogger spends a couple of hours writing a blog post on some current topic, and thousands of others do so as well on the same topic.  This blogger, however, did her homework.  She went beyond the incremental knowledge on this subject that many of her peers had, and took the time to create specific, in-depth content.  This in-depth content takes much longer to create, but it will truly set her site apart from a lot of the lesser experts on her topic.  Occasionally, a single unique phrase within a paragraph can increase conversion rates.  Thorough content’s added value can hold your audience’s attention, raise feedback, increase subscriptions and revenue, and increase your sites popularity.
Good website content will not only be interesting to the initial reader, but frequently recommended to other by that reader.  Since you couldn’t possibly know everything about your online audience, try to vary your content.  While your content should certainly be timely, a portion of it should be ‘static’- meaning good content that need not be immediately be updated or changed significantly.  This will save you time and money, yet still provide your audience with substance.  If your content is somewhat controversial, use this to your advantage.  Give your online audience a place on your site to sound off by leaving comments, suggestions, or even hold their own discussions.
If you’re not a great writer or researcher, there are options for you as well.  Free reprint articles, private label articles, and ghostwriters can all help you with your content for a fee.  Ultimately, deciding what content to offer and how to incorporate it should be your decision.
Your great, innovative place on the web is like building a home.  It takes some planning, preparation, and time.  There is no quick, easy way.  Once the content foundation is laid, it is value-added, and reaches its audience it’s not likely to fail.

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