Struggling for quality content?
These days a lot of people have websites. If you don’t, it’s likely that at least one of your family members, or one of your close friends does. People use websites for many different reasons, but fundamentally, they are there to communicate with others. Whether you’re a travel blogger, a gaming site, a novelty site, a technical forum, a marketing affiliate or any number of different types of site, it’s very probable that you only bother with it in the hope of reaching out to others.
Most websites rely on new content to keep people visiting. Even websites which are primarily used for reference need to keep their information updated. An effective way of continually providing more content is to focus on user-driven content. This allows participants (usually members) to keep content fresh and updated without you having to do much real work, apart from management and moderation. The problem with this is that it’s difficult to guarantee the quality, accuracy and integrity of the information provided. You also lose control of your website to a great degree – this may be exactly what you want, however, if your goal is simply to cash in on advertising. Such a strategy risks working well for a short time however – the popularity of online forums waxes and wanes rapidly. If you’re not providing quality content, people will catch on quickly and simply stop visiting your site.
Some people get around this by hiring content writers. This will cost you money, however and requires management on your part – if you settle for cheaper hires, you may have to deal with plagiarism, poor writing skills and a lack of research. If you’re passionate and protective of your content, you’re probably going to have to create a good deal of it yourself.
Yet this throws up more problems. What if you’ve written about everything you know already? What if you just don’t have time to do the necessary reading, research and writing to provide real quality content?
This is actually a conundrum faced by the providers of the highest quality internet content. Unlike the twenty-something, backpacking and blogging ‘life coaches’, who are purposefully vague in their writing (to mask the shallowness of their understanding of any topic), experts in their field are often too busy to sit down at a laptop and start blogging.
As a provider of quality content, these people are your goldmine. Interviewing genuinely smart, interesting people provides you with high-quality information for minimal effort. You may want to write up their interviews into a traditional-style web article, but you might just have more success by simply tidying up the video or audio and making it directly available to stream or download on your website. Most people love the chance to get away from the screen and still learn – that way we can get the washing up done, clean the room and iron our clothes while enjoying the quality content you provide.
An important point to note is this – the first consideration which will determine your success or failure in this endeavor is sound quality. That’s right, even if you hire a fancy video editing team to produce a flash, polished-looking product, it will fall flat on its face if people can’t hear what is being said – after all that is where the value is. To this end, it’s worth investing in one piece of equipment – the right microphone. For one-on-one interviews, a shotgun mic is usually ideal for capturing what people say and eliminating background noise. For other situations, there are numerous other options which may be more appropriate (check out http://microphonegeeks.com/ for a fuller overview).
As far as finding the right people goes, we’re lucky to live in an era in which people are more connected to each other than ever. Whether you want to hear from Mike Tyson, Aung Sang Suu Kyi or whoever else, there are numerous ways to contact them, from Twitter to hand-writing a letter. Of course, not everyone is going to reply to you and, even if they do, that is no guarantee of an interview. If, however, you make your proposal and exciting and different as possible, highlighting a number of benefits to themselves or the greater good, it is possible to land an interview with pretty much anyone.