Content is King

Having a well laid out site is paramount of course. However, if the content of the site is a carbon copy of everybody else's site on the same subject, you have a problem.

Your site is your letter to the world, not an essay for your college Prof.. While you can site sources if you want, content is all about giving your views and your insight on the issues you present. Give facts if you want, but be sure to give your reader something new too.

Why do we do this ?

We are all taught to write in school, and in school we are expected to back up anything we say with referrals to other writers on the same subject. Now, this is fine for school work as we are learning the subjects at hand, but it does tend to make all such pages sound the same. Which is great, in the class room. This is what can happen to web pages however. This applies to business sites, as well as informational sites.

Check any dozen sites, on any subject you care to name of well known subjects and you will find the same things being stated over and over. To where, if you read one, you have read them all. If all they deal with are the " known" facts of a matter. You don't have to do this, in fact you should not do this. Your site should be a place of NEW insight into the issues you cover, a different viewpoint, YOUR viewpoint.

Toss out the rule book

It's the one place you can toss the rules out the window with regard to referencing authority, you are the authority. Site the facts and be sure they are accurate, if they are relevant, but give the reader the benefit of your knowledge and understanding too. No one is going to grade it :) You know things from a perspective no one else shares.

Organize it

Think in terms of leading your reader for a walk through your mind. Organize the site in a way that helps the reader see what you see, to get an idea how you think, to get a peek into your intellectual process. Make it very plain to see :

Example: A page on Meditation, leads to a page on how to Meditate, which in turn leads to the various forms of Meditation, which leads to a page on Philosophy etc. etc. etc. A nice logical progression of events to where each page on the site leads into the next, in a reasonable progression of thought. Your content becomes not only valuable, as it's new, but a pleasure to experience, as you make it easy for the reader to understand where you are coming from.

Plan it

I used to write pages that had no relationship to each other, as we all tend to do when we start out. But now since there are some over 400 of them, writing them is more a matter of extending what I already have, into more detail, more insight, a different perspective. Each page becomes part of a series much like a book writer tells a tale with plans for the next book. Or decide on a whole new series of pages. Number one becomes the start of a whole new chain of thought.

Pick something new

My grandfather once told me " If you want a sure thing for a job, pick something no one else is doing" and his sage wisdom holds for web design as well. Pick something no one else is covering that YOU happen to be good at and share it with the world. The Net world will beat a path to your door to read it. The same is true for what kind of business you offer, do something different and your content is assured.

Be Bold

Do put your best foot forward and don't be afraid to shine a little. The best design in the world is valueless, if the content is boring. Make it personal, make it real. Don't think you can ? Of course you can, if you can talk, you can produce pages, as that's all a page is, a one sided conversation. 

Imagine, you get to talk all you want and no one will interrupt you, even once :)

May your letter to the world be a shining example of your insight and wisdom.

More soon

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