Imagine you could create an online business out of thin air! That’s what I did. I’ve no need of rented office space. There are no expensive overheads. My work station is a computer and desk, in a bedroom in my house, which I converted to an office – all paid for by my Internet profits.
For years and years I worked tirelessly and diligently for newspaper bosses in the UK and Ireland. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every second of it. Working in the beating heart of the newspaper – as a reporter or Editor as I spend last 20 years – is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.
But that was past. This is now. Now I don’t have to concern myself with circulation figures. Or try to keep shareholders happy. Or deal with criminals suing because your reporter made a small error in their court report.
I am my own boss. My time is my own. I am my own master. Before I begin work, I regularly pop off to the local swimming pool and do a mile or mile and a half swim. It energizes and de-stresses me for the day.
You may think from what you’re read so far, that I’m not your average guy, and I stand out from the crowd. You’re half right, but also half wrong. I am a regular guy – just like you. Yes I do stand out from the crowd. But so can you – if you follow what I’m trying to teach you.
Be Individual, Independent, Don’t Follow the Herd
I’ve always been an individual. I never followed the herd. I’ve always tried to figure it out for myself. Independent thinking has been my driver all my life. Sometimes it has conspired to hold me back – especially if I happened to linger with the wrong answer.
But sometimes, at very critical times, it has been my lifesaver, my joy, my success. It has delivered for me abundantly. Nowhere has this been more manifest than with web publishing.
I’ve already written about how on the Web, Content is King. Now I want to help you a stage further, I’m going to let you in on one of MY SECRETS that I use to create a world-ranking website.
With millions of pages on the Web, only a small percentage really makes a difference. So what do you need to make that difference?
You need killer content. You need to differentiate yourself from the rest of the sites out there doing whatever you do. You’ve got to separate yourself from the herd. You have to be original.
Cut-Throat Competition – 47m New Sites in One Year
To give you an idea of the cut-throat competition facing a new webmaster – there were 234 million websites in existence as of December 2009. During that year 47 million new websites were added to the Web. (source: http://www.pingdom.com/)
Don’t let that stop you. Remember, there’s a lot of rubbish out there. There are so many bad sites that don’t cut it, or won’t survive very long. If you choose the right niche, know your subject, and provide good quality content, then you’re ten steps ahead of a lot of them.
The Web is still young – it only came into being in 1990. It is seeing phenomenal growth at the moment. More and more people are taking the leap online to blog, communicate, sell and market goods and services.
A bloody battle is being fought out between Internet media and traditional media (newspapers, TV, radio, etc). Online media are winning that race hands down. They are powering ahead of the traditional media.
Early Birds Have the Advantage
As with every new technological development, it’s the early birds who have the advantage. They are the most likely to stay the course and succeed, provided they stay and play smart.
I would urge anybody who is thinking about it, to jump on the online economy early – while it’s hot and growing. Just make sure you give visitors the quality they want, not second-rate rubbish you think they’ll settle for.
The Web is full of boring, badly written, filler content. It is full of plagiarized and copied material that you will find on a dozen, or a hundred, other websites. If you go down that road, it’s the road to oblivion for your website.
You need to make a difference. Only a small percentage of content on the Web makes that difference. A lot of what you read fails to hook the visitor and makes them hungry enough to come back for more.
So if you want to use your website to:
- Build your brand,
- Drive your sales,
- Deliver your service…
…Then concentrate on content, and writing posts and pages on your site that are really going to stand out.
Quality, Relevant, Valuable Content Reigns Supreme
In the early days of the Web, the concentration was on the technical. Then came a period when the focus was on visual design. For a time, lots of flash graphics and visual gimmicks were in.
Now it’s back to basics. And quality, relevant, valuable content reigns supreme. It always did, actually. It’s just that some ignored that golden rule for a long time and are only now beginning to realize its importance.
But I’ll confess that in my early site building days I never worried too much about the technical. Being a writer and journalist and non-technical guy, I luckily focused on the content and on the writing. And that gave me traction and position on Google and with Web readers.
And I still believe that good content is what matters most!
Copy-Cat Content Providers Disappear on Google
So unlike a lot of other people who were dipping their toes into website creation, I didn’t plagiarize. I didn’t copy what my competitors had. I didn’t rip off their content wholesale. A lot of lazy, let-get-rich-quick people do this.
Copying other people’s web pages and content is cheating and unethical. But it’s also dumb. Duplicating other people’s web pages, articles and content is one way to dive-bomb and disappear on Google, I believe.
There is heated debate about whether search engines penalize sites for duplicate content copied or scraped from other sites. From my experience, I am convinced that original content makes it to the top quicker – and is more likely to stay there.
Your website is your statement to the world – the World Wide Web. So make it inspiring.
Write your own. Compose it yourself. Your visitors will recognize quality and value, and will be more likely to return and also share your link, giving you valuable backlinks.
Niches Within Niches – Go After the Sub-Niches
My Tip For Today: Building my world-ranking quotes site, I visited other quotes site. But I did my own research, got quotes from books, CDs, newspapers. I always made my own quotes selection to publish on my site.
What other top general quotes sites neglected, I provided. Neither Brainyquote.com nor Thinkexist.com has quotes from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, or ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. But I do.
I also gave added value – in my quotes from The Alchemist, I say which character spoke each quote. And in Harper Lee’s famous novel, one of the most widely studied in American schools, I provide character and chapter citations.
Expanding into quotes for holidays and special occasions, naturally July 4th American Independence Day was top priority. But what about Indian Independence Day, which falls on August 15?
India has 1.1 billion people. After Hindi, English is the most commonly spoken language in India and probably the most read and written language there.
So I put up a page of Indian Independence Day Quotes. I included the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. During the week of India’s birthday this year, that page alone brought me 75,000 visitors!
Be smart. Don’t neglect the sub-niches, go after them!
Niches within niches can produce great results and provide valuable income for any Web publisher and entrepreneur.
That’s just another part of the story of making a living while you sleep…