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How Can 10 Simple Articles Change Your Life?

How can 10 simple articles change your life?

A good friend of mine recently quit his day job and began selling baseball cards on Ebay to pay the bills. He’s done a lot more than just pay the bills, though, as he’s become his own boss and now works about 70% less than he did when he was “employed.” And his income? Oh, maybe quadrupled.

Although he’s only been at it for about four months now, he’s really improved his quality of life substantially — it’s the kind of success that makes you half-jealous but also inspires you to go out and do something similar for yourself.

But despite his initial success, my buddy realizes that he can accomplish more. Problem is, he’s not quite sure how to go about it.

Earlier this week, I was over at his house, and he wanted to know if I thought his baseball card business could benefit in any way from having a Web site. For instance, could he build an online storefront that would help him reach customers outside of Ebay?

In theory, owning a Web site provides a nice platform from which to build an audience and raise the profile of your business.

In practice, however, most Web sites end up becoming useless chunks of digital real estate, barely worth the price tag that accompanied the original domain.

As I was formulating a response to my friend’s question, I began to realize that a majority of people out there simply don’t understand how to approach business on the Web. Of course, this is precisely why so many sites become “useless chunks of real estate.”

It’s not about technology — it’s about equity

So, where do most people go wrong?

Innovation happens so fast on the Web that it’s easy to become blinded by feature-rich technology and software. We are constantly hit with messages of “the next big thing,” and so we naturally assign value to what we perceive to be breakthrough innovations.

As a result, we begin to think that in order to conduct a successful online venture, we must include all this new and excellent functionality that has become available thanks to new technologies.

God help you if someone thinks you’re so 2005, right?

The problem here is that our perception of equity on the Web has been skewed unnaturally.

Yes, it’s true that there is value in new technology. For a company like YouTube, there was unbelievable equity in their product.

But here’s the real mind blower:

The real equity on the Web lies in the content, not in the technology that helps us produce it.

Think for a second here. Do you really care how that Weird Al video was delivered to you on YouTube, or do you just care about the video itself?

The equity lies in what your content is, not how it got there.

So what does this mean for my buddy’s Web site and his baseball card business?

It means that a bunch of fancy-pants technology driving a state-of-the-art, online storefront would be a terrible investment.

Thanks to the incredible rate of innovation, even your everyday Joe can go out and get a remarkably functional online storefront. This fact alone drives the potential equity of a Web-based store into the toilet.

Let’s look at this in real-world terms everyone can understand. If you want to go buy 500 acres out in the boonies, you might expect to see a cost of about $3000 per acre. If, however, you wanted to buy 500 acres within the metropolitan area of a major US city, you might expect to pay $150,000 per acre, if not more!

The bottom line is that there’s not a whole lot of equity in things that:

  • are not scarce
  • are not unique

It’s true that some companies and programmers actually need to focus on technology, because that’s where their equity is.

But your equity lies in your content, because it’s the one thing you can bring to the marketplace that is both scarce and unique.

It all starts with 10 simple articles.

So, how can 10 simple articles change your life?

These articles will serve as the foundation for your Web site — not to mention the future of your business. Savvy marketers certainly know the value of 10 articles on a niche topic, and I truly believe that there is absolutely nothing better you can do for your business.

By writing 10 simple articles on a topic that you love, you’ll effectively:

  1. Create equity in your site.
  2. Add equity to your business.

Let’s say you stick with writing articles on that topic for a year, and by the end of that time, you’ve accrued 100 articles. When all is said and done, you’ll own a Web site that is chock-full of detailed, current, and pertinent articles on your subject, and you’ll likely have a very targeted (and interested) audience who have all opted to come along for the ride.

And if you never believe anything else I say, make damn sure you believe this:

Google loves Web sites like this.

In my buddy’s case, if all he had were an online storefront and a slick AJAX interface, anyone could step into his market and compete against him with their own storefront. In essence, there would be no equity in his site because anyone could replicate what he already had with their own products…

But they’d have one hell of a time trying to compete with his content.

If he had 100 articles and they had none, it would be a joke. The bottom line is that in any topic, whoever controls the information flow around that subject holds all the power.

By writing articles on baseball cards, my buddy could establish himself as the preeminent source of information on that topic. He could build a valuable Web site and a targeted, interested audience at almost no cost. In as little as 9 or 10 months, he could create so many channels through which to make money that it would be utterly ridiculous.

At that point, his only problem would be figuring out how to further capitalize on all the opportunities that he’d created for himself.

And it all would have started with 10 simple articles.

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149 comments… read them below or add one

i-ming October 28, 2006

so well written my friend and great advice at that! this could be the start of a great series. of post..but on it’s own it’s great too!

i’ve been too busy to keep up to date with my google reader. i’m just glad your post was right on top..when i happend to be looking!

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Chris Cree October 28, 2006

Chris, Thanks for the great explanation about the difference in value between blogs and static web sites from a business perspective. Good stuff.

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Anthony October 28, 2006

Very good article.

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Franco October 28, 2006

Well said. The real estate adage of “location location location” doesn’t equate into the digital realm. It’s just as easy to visit any other URL. Nowadays it’s all “content content content”.

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Tony D. Clark October 28, 2006

Great post Chris. Another benefit comes back to the old adage that people prefer to do business with folks they like. By contributing something in the niche (good info articles on baseball cards) he is establishing an audience who begins to feel they know him. His passion for it will come through, and if his intention is to share some valuable insights, people will pick up on that.

Just like in the non-Net world the best way to make friends and build relationships is to offer something of value and that you care about, and to be authentic.

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Mike October 28, 2006

But what about that SEO advice I read yesterday that said all I need are links …

And the one I read the day before that said that Google doean’t use LSI (themed content like you refer to here) to rank sites …

Or the one that said that …., oh never mind, I’ll just write the articles and shut up.

Damn fine advice Themedude !

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Brian Clark October 28, 2006

Hmmm… maybe I should have done this.

Oh wait… I did.

Did OK on links too, Mike.

And in Google. :)

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Mike October 29, 2006

Hmmm,

Maybe I should have done ALL of those ….

Oh wait …no, I didn’t …. BUT I’m going to !

Thanks to the Dynamic Duo !

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Chris P. October 29, 2006

Tony: Absolutely spot-on. I think the communication benefit of blogging is pretty well known at this point, but a lot of people still have a hard time believing that a blog can hold real value. Unique, expert content that rests on a fully-indexed domain is hugely valuable. Sound the horns.

Mike: For you, a good blog really is a brick-and-mortar business :)

Brian: I never promised that you could conquer such a competitive keyword in 9-10 months, but with Copywriting 101, it looks as though you’ve done just that.

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Michael Atherton October 30, 2006

It’s probably fair to say that those 10 articles need to be solution-focused, ‘how-to’ type stuff so that they’re returned on search queries for business-related issues.

My own site has over 3000 original pieces of content, but I tend to think is of little commercial value since it’s creative writing (short stories, scripts etc.) rather than business-applicable articles.

Which is annoying really, because one could (if one were mad) argue that we’re a text equivalent of YouTube, but I don’t see anyone queuing up to offer me a billion dollars :)

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Chris P. October 30, 2006

Michael,

Agreed. Creative writing may work if you’re focused on becoming a fiction writer, but for the rest of us, creative pieces probably wouldn’t hold nearly as much value.

Instead, write information-rich, topical articles that people interested in your subject might find helpful.

Within just about any niche, a collection of articles focused on that topic hold some pretty serious value.

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Rich Cook February 12, 2010

So what about articles like you’d read in Outside Magazine or National Geographic? I write travel related articles, about culture, history, exploration, etc. similar to what you’d find in these magazines (I like to think I’m that good…someone has to, right?? haha).

While they’re not specifically “how-to” articles, they do serve a function in that they inspire my readers to book trips to these places themselves, or take other action. Magazines have been surviving on this type content for years. Can it be done on the web, too?

I plan to drive traffic to my blog with this content and sell them on various products, etc.

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Henry October 31, 2006

Hi Chris,

Sorry to be off-topic. I quit by day job a few months ago to start my website and I need a design badly. Will you be accepting new clients soon? I looked at a few of your designs and they look great. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Henry

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Brajeshwar October 31, 2006

I like this article too. Thanks and I’ve subscribe to your RSS feed.

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Tadpole256 October 31, 2006

Excellent article, very well written. I wish I had that level of success on E-bay!

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J Phill October 31, 2006

I enjoyed this article alot, and you definitely have another subscriber!

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Amrit Hallan October 31, 2006

Hi Chris. Quite a valuable advise, and to be frank I hate leaving “Good article” or “good post” comments but even if nothing is coming to my mind right now (could be because it is 3:35 AM) I want to drop in a few words. You said:

I think the communication benefit of blogging is pretty well known at this point, but a lot of people still have a hard time believing that a blog can hold real value. Unique, expert content that rests on a fully-indexed domain is hugely valuable.

Although I’ve been blogging for a long time I agree that people — especially the ones planning to give you work — find content on your business website more convincing compared to that on your blog. This of course is a bias because some people — for instance you — publish pure gems on their blogs, but this is the reality. This perception is going to change gradually; I’m getting a few assignments through my blog.

Content, yes; nothing can beat good, relevant content.

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Chet Ranger November 2, 2006

Awesome. We’re eager to grow our own business in such a fashion — I want to enjoy what I do and show that infectious fanaticism for the products we sell by natural means. We’re fans of reviews and guides, and we’ve been meaning to do more with blogs. Articles seems to be a natural fit for our website. Eager to get cracking!

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raj November 2, 2006

Hmm. Maybe I should have done this. Wait. I did. But I spread it out over a 100 articles :)

Nevertheless, beautiful post, Chris. Quite possibly one of the best bits of info about blogging in a single post.

Though 10 or 100 posts, it doesn’t stop there. I have at least 4 or 5 sites with 100+ posts and they are barely starting to get traffic. Start with the content, keep adding more, and then start promoting.

No one knows you’re there until the links start coming, and the links dont start coming until someone knows you’re there. If you build it, they MIGHT come. Make sure that there is a market for your content. If it’s not there, help create it.

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Soan February 8, 2011

I came to this article through the BlogSchool.in website which aims to teach rules of blogging.
I must say that this article throws good light on how to approach writing blog. I agree that we should focus on creating unique content rather than running after the technology.

But i agree with raj too above. We need to market our work to get noticed.

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roadsofstone November 2, 2006

Chris
My site is still new, and I’ve already learned a lot from yours. Most of all that it takes a process of focused evolution and continuous innovation to improve.

Even within a ready-made solution (I currently use your Pressrow theme in WP.com) there is a lot of scope for Pe(a)rsonalisation. That takes some time, and concentration, too.

There are many ideas here, and not just about web design. I liked your inspirational piece about Pe(a)rsonal skills and qualities best of all.

Marvellous stuff – so many thanks.

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Rich Mueller November 3, 2006

Chris,

..and believe it or not there is tremendous demand for content involving baseball cards & sports memorabilia. I launched a site totally devoted to news from this hobby/industry on July 1 and we’re already selling advertising and had over 60,000 page views in October alone.

Why did I do it? Because there was a need. There is a thirst for information out there and if you can serve it well, and market yourself, people will find you. Please tell your friend about our site, too! Thanks!

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Dorothy November 6, 2006

Oh my goodness, this is the one thing I preach…get your articles and your name out there. Besides adding credibility, your link will show up predominantly in the search engines under your key search words or phrases. I couldn’t stress writing for the web more. Great post….I am adding your link to my promoting blog at http://www.selfpublishedebookpromotion.blogspot.com if that’s okay.

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Chris P. November 6, 2006

Of course it’s ok! I’m always honored to receive a link.

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Jcooke December 14, 2006

Once you’ve created site content, then the next step is to push it. Offer your visitors a once a week newsletter about baseball cards. Get them to sign up and get their e-mails.

Now you have a list of customers and you can promote yourself or monetize the list. It’s the Tech Target model.

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Chris P. December 14, 2006

Jcooke,

Absolutely. You know what they say about leading horses to water, though :)

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Lisa Sparks December 23, 2006

10 content-rich articles are great in theory – but try writing ones that really offer original content. That’s the challenge. And the bottom line is ghostwriters just don’t cut it anymore. The best articles are the ones a site owner writes himself. Sure, get an editor or something to clean up the text, but the meat of the content, the ideas, advice and the overall concept must come from the Web publisher.

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Chris P. December 23, 2006

Lisa,

No one is going to write you a better, more relevant article than you. Someone else’s articles aren’t likely to change your life, but I believe yours certainly can!

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Ottilie January 28, 2007

The article is very informativ. Thanks for the great explanation. Well done.

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Patrick February 3, 2007

Hey – thanks for the great articles across your site and the cutline theme too…just wanted to mention a book (I have nothing to do with it, in any form)…

Call To Action by Brian & Jeffery Eisenberg

It really fits into what you are talking about. Combined with your articles I am moving in a new direction for the first time in a long while.

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Rich Mueller February 3, 2007

An update here..In just 7 months we have become the #1 sports card & memorabilia news site (http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com) because we offer fresh content every day. We also spread the content around with links on message boards, etc. As long as you offer news value and/or interesting content, that’s OK..not spam. And Lisa is right…writing your own content is the best. Adding pictures is even better. Readers like tips, instruction and how-tos as well as research that can help them get ahead of the competition. Not TOO basic, but well researched, crisp and confident content.

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Roland February 8, 2007

very good article. Great points here and very truethful. Chris, i really love your articles.

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rento March 1, 2007

Sorry to ruin the party..
http://www.v7n.com/content-isnt-king.php
http://www.v7n.com/marketing-content.php

Good writing though ;)

Rento

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Chris P. March 1, 2007

Rento — You haven’t ruined anything, but you have brought up a point that deserves another look.

Both of your v7n articles fail to address the fact that they’re considering two incredibly different business models. My primary point of contention here is the fact that not all of us have—or necessarily want to have—a variety of products to sell. This means that if we still want to find a way to monetize the Web, we’ll need to find other ways to drum up business, and that’s what my tips are all about.

The second thing I’d find fault with is the simple fact that there are some of us who operate out here “on the edge,” trying to develop an Internet economy in regions that require far less initial overhead. It’s a different type of challenge, but one that is worthy of respect nonetheless.

This is almost like saying that starting up a premium laptop company like Alienware wouldn’t be worth it because you couldn’t make as much money as Yahoo! or Google. Of course they won’t make as much money—their respective industries (computers and search) have different market caps!

I am a part of the “made from scratch” sector of the Web, and I find it questionable that v7n would fail to mention the legitimacy of small businesses operating on—and profiting from—the long tail of Internet commerce. I feel like they’ve cheap-shotted a market sector that deserves much fairer treatment than has been given here.

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Daniel March 25, 2007

Wow! Love the article. Love your site. Love the message.

I gotta lotta love for you, Chris (and in the most professional way, or course).

I’m going to take your advice and begin my quest to conquer the mighty 100 articles. I think I have 3 on my site so far. Can you write some articles on the next step after you have the content? How do you turn your equity into monetary value?

Awesome work.

- Daniel

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Fredrik Savin March 31, 2007

Great article – very well written as well. I can see that the methodology is working for you. Content is king.

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Eliot Dill April 29, 2007

I agree that a website is only as valuable as its content or service. Thanks for this interesting article.

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JD Lusan June 9, 2007

Great article. I truly believe that having a blog full of relevant content is the way ot go for getting relevant traffic to your site. Great comment to rento’s comments as well. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. :-)

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SeanIM June 12, 2007

Man, love your blog, designs and specifically this blog post.

I also spend a large amount of time talking to clients about. I generally put it this way: You can kind of compete as a ‘business card’ website today, but in 5-10 years you’ll be page 10 as all the real content players will have taken the front rows…where do you want to be? Then I point them to one of my favorite quotes: “Best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Take care man and thanks for putting out some great stuff here.

- Sean

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Flowselling July 11, 2007

Same here, I really love your blog, you set the standard in terms of design and content! Thanks for this awesome post, motivating me to start writing 10 articles right now! :)

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Salik July 13, 2007

liked the use of the metaphor…

i got early what your friend and baseball cards might mean to me…

yes- content is the king!

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Movenpick July 18, 2007

Great tips, especially about equity and now how it got there.

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Brian Clark July 18, 2007

Sorry to ruin the party..

http://www.v7n.com/content-isnt-king.php
http://www.v7n.com/marketing-content.php

Good writing though ;)

Rento

Rento, I agree that having something to sell is key. But the v7n articles miss the point. How do ecommerce sites attract traffic?

No one links to a product. So you need content to attract links for natural search.

PPC? That’s a sucker’s game by design over the long term, and Google knows it and loves it. Watch your margins sink year after year unless you can keep people coming back. How can you do that? Content.

Selling stuff is king, but content is the advertising of the Internet, because as the article points out, banners and other web ads don’t work. Chris’ friend is not selling banner ads, he’s selling baseball cards, and the content is a prospect attraction funnel.

Content is the key attraction strategy of the web. Ignore it at the peril of your bank account.

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Nastrious July 18, 2007

Great read!!! I just started my own Videogame and Tech blog and this truly is going to help jump start it. I now see exactly what makes for a good post/good site. Concentrated, unique content will always win out over a lot of stale content. Thanks again!

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Rawn July 19, 2007

Despite having worked on major web sites for a while, I don’t think I’ve heard this explained in a more concise form ever before.

It’s easier to drive community interest towards a site that has higher equity value. To me I see more sense in trying to become part of something larger (with more equity) if I can still maintain my identity, rather than strike out with entirely independent site.

I’d say there is probably two levels (or more) of equity in any site: the equity of an item of content, the equity of the page/area of the site you place it in, and the equity of the whole site itself.

Think of it similar to the base equity of the structure of your house, the equity value of being on a corner lot, for example, and the equity of being in that particular subdivision/neighborhood or even city. It’s all about adding up the values there…

-rawn

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Jay Hannon August 2, 2007

In regard to the 2 articles posted that are rebutting the article about “10 simple articles” The clickthrough rates for adsense may be unimpressive, but if you have a niche that knows what you offer through banner ads is legitimate, and relevant to what they have come to your site for, they WILL click through

An example is here. I started the site and wrote a ton about poker strategy, the word caught on, and I had 4 sign-ups in the first full month.

If you are writing something people want to read and can learn from, they will take your word for it when you recommend things to them.

Maybe banners alone don’t work, but if you provide write up’s for what you are offering on a consistent basis to get your readers interested, they will sign up.

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canvas oil paintings August 24, 2007

You never fail to inspire us. You’re such a genius when it comes to combining inspiration with work as well as some techie matter with fun. Where do you get your own inspiration? Anyway, keep it up.

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Secret33.com September 19, 2007

I enjoyed your blog entry about “How Can 10 Simple Articles Change Your Life? ” At last I found somebody who has a similar idea like me. You said it right: it is the uniqueness of the content/product/service plus its scarcity that determines the equity and the success of the website.

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Ride it like you stole it September 26, 2007

Great advice that I have been following for a while with great results.

I’ve found so many useful tips here, please keep them coming.

-Dave Dragon
Ride it like you stole it

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LifeInChange.com November 13, 2007

Great article Chris!

I’m currently setting up my first “real” website at http://www.lifeinchange.com

At first, my ambition was a fairly statical page through which I could help change peoples’ lives to the better while making a bit of extra cash. This article gave me some new perspective on how to reach out to more people than I otherwise would, in a way that will make the site much more inclusive.

Keep up the good work!

- Niklas Wallenius
LifeInChange.com

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Prue November 21, 2007

who would have thought 10 simple articles….Hmm?

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Josh Hall December 5, 2007

I find it hard to believe that anyone professionally blogs withough whoring themselves out, or their readers. The only way would be if you’re not really a traditional “blog” but a site that posts content in a blog format, like ask a ninja and such. Any video plog doesn’t really apply either because it’s a different medium.

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Austin January 19, 2008

Hey, I was wondering what the guys site name is. I would like to check it out and maybe reccomend it to my friends who buy baseball cards all the time.

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Nick January 20, 2008

Hell0, can anyone tell me how his friend is making a ton of money just selling baseball cards?

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aren February 11, 2008

great stuff man . nice information

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Tim February 25, 2008

Great advice, BTW do you think that it’s best to specialise in one niche subject or is it ok to be more general (if you have more than one favourite subject) and then find out what your audience is most interested in?

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BillinDetroit March 24, 2008

For some time now I have been gradually waking up to the thought that my articles do not have to be 100%, never before seen by mankind, ground-breaking literature of a revolutionary sort.

They just have to be correct in what they DO say and say it well enough to be understood.

Herman Melville was probably not the first guy to write about whales, but “Moby Dick” seems to have done alright.

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Biceps brachii - Photos April 10, 2008

Well written.
All begins from that 10 simple articles. After that you can be witness of a miracle (on the web).

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Manny J at Ngarag April 17, 2008

I can see this is posted last October 2006. Would this still work today?

I know there are lots of cheap articles on all sorts of topics that are being sold everywhere like Ebay and many people are using this strategy already. They called it PLR articles which people spin around and post on their websites.

Would Google be able to keep up with that? Is this really effective at this point in time?

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Dr. Mac May 20, 2008

Chris,

Nice article! This goes along with what Brian Clark and Tony Clark proclaim through their newly launched Teaching Sells site.

You have to provide value in the content or people will surf right by. I’ve read this over and over but your article drove home the point.

I’ve refocused my new site toward this chief aim and will follow-up with 10 articles of value ASAP.

Again, nice article and I GREATLY appreciate the value you put into each and every post.

Dr. Mac

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Don Watkins June 10, 2008

Great reinforcement that you must add true value to your target market to succeed. It is difficult to fake it. Excellent encouragement to keep on writing!

Thanks,

Don

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George June 13, 2008

Nice way of explaining the correlation between the power of building equity in a website and that of achieving success. Though I think your point is going to be lost on those who see it as too simple a notion.

Regards
George

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G. June 18, 2008

Nice Chris

I can only agree to your comments.

But what I highly recommend to add for the folks which are reading this post and like to maximize their website earnings is…

Drum roll…

EMAIL MARKETING

That’s the real killer in Internet Marketing. Fetch your visitors over a opt in and then market to them on a personal level (as you are in their inbox). You can build trust and a relationship, what’s in each way your #1 task to accomplish.

So while you create traffic over Content, you create wealth over email marketing.

Just check out some more information on a page I made.

Create your success

G.

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Kishalaya July 26, 2008

Ahhhh, i have become an admirer of your writing skill by reading your first post only, I wish i could develop this type of writing capability.

U simply rock.

Thanks,
Kishalaya

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George Grubar July 26, 2008

I keep digging this article Chris. Something about the left-field story (basebell cards!?!) communicating a fundamental law of making money on the Internet. Well, in its purest sense, a message about creating good websites in general, of offerring something of substance for something in return.

Thanks Chris and keep it up.

George G.

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AcmePhoto - A. Nollmeyer August 11, 2008

Chris,

Good stuff, I found my way here thru another blog that linked to your “pricing web design” and have been poking around and am RSSing your site.

I used to sell on eBay full time before (and while) merging to photography full time. If you know what you’re doing you can make decent $ on eBay. Too bad many of the sellers sell themself short due to bad marketing.

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Alda August 26, 2008

I love this article. I recently started doing something similar to what you suggest – writing posts more targeted to my blog’s theme than I had previously been doing – and the response has been phenomenal. In fact, I plan to take it and run with it. It’s great to read this and realize my hunch was correct and I’m on the track to something valuable. Thanks Chris!

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mrp September 5, 2008

Hi Chris

Greetings from Korea. I am a global traveler – from NZ – these past 20 years wandering across over 100 countries and today I remain on the road, since 1988 … Respect to you: I’ve been using your CutLine theme w/ WP.com for some time now but have recently purchased Thesis/Cosmos and will be hosting that linked to my photo & video sites – mega content still to be uploaded … HOME: thecandytrail.com (present blog: thecandytrail.wordpress.com)

Anyway, I know you must be a busy man but any advice on approaches to get this material more global, more read, as I will get 2/3 sister sites linked and offer a mad barrage of content on travel in the developing world that is very real and more intense than the mainstream guides … (Discovery, Lonely Planet, etc) yet it’s not about guides but simply, experiences.

Regards – MRP

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Dave Dragon September 16, 2008

This thread has taken on a life of it’s own and I’m still reaping the benefits of this great advice!

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Nathan September 18, 2008

Don’t know why I hadn’t heard of you before, but you’ve got a great style and your content is rather unique. Consider me a fan.

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Lynn Jordan--Author's Tools September 19, 2008

This may have been written awhile ago, but the information is still valid.

Writing articles is a great way to build your online presence and build up your reputation as an authority in the subject matter.

Ten articles is a great start!

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Mike Lamb September 28, 2008

Hi, I’m one of those low key marketers. Besides running a web media and marketing company, I also host a radio show. I very much enjoy your writings and musings. Equally impressed about your Thesis theme. Considering the developers edition for our multiple blogs.

Would you consider being a guest to talk about Thesis and blogs in general? I would love to have you as part of our line-up for the next batch of programs and (now as an affiliate) we could heavily promote Thesis for you. The program is recorded and available at no cost to our members, listeners, clients, readers, viewers, competitors, and customers.

You can reach me at 316-771-7423. I’m Central time and we can do the recording by phone at any time convenient for you.

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xing October 2, 2008

Great read!!! I just started my own Videogame and Tech blog and this truly is going to help jump start it. I now see exactly what makes for a good post/good site. Concentrated, unique content will always win out over a lot of stale content.

Thanks again!
Xing

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SEO Granted October 17, 2008

Great article Chris,

Your post has given me more insight on equity and running a business.
Thanks.

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marco October 22, 2008

you say “At that point, his only problem would be figuring out how to further capitalize on all the opportunities that he’d created for himself.”

that’s the big problem, how to build value on the web (yes there are millions of pages about this..) having reached a niche and having a rich archive???

Unfortunately many web-start-up s end in selling their soul to cheap CPM campaigns…sold by big adv companies…

That’s the terrible fact…

But there is a thing to go further : THE POWER of archives!

make a book, make anything , but use your archives!!

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John Haydon October 25, 2008

Chris,

Just getting email updates on this post…

John

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melina October 28, 2008

You are absolutely right on the ball about this. Google loves sites that have quality content. And, the more unique the niche, the better!

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Donna | The Healthy Eating Site October 30, 2008

Wow Chris, thank you! This article is awesome. Yeah I know all the content is king stuff, I’ve read all that kind of stuff a million times over, but the way you’ve written it here is just outstanding. I’ve really clicked with this in a way I had never done before, it’s like I understand it on a much deeper level now. Thank you, really, you ROCK!

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Giorgos A. October 31, 2008

Thanks for the helping hand..I thing its time for article writting. I check the validity of your information by checking my competitors tactics and actually found out that they have succeded in google ranks by writting articles. You are 100% correct.

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lisa angelettie November 25, 2008

I can’t say how much this article totally “personifies” my business. Articles — well written and useful articles — can make or break a site. Most anyone can check out the competition in their niche, and they will find that they have written articles and are being ranked for them. Well done!

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Karen November 25, 2008

Chris,

I have been using your Thesis Theme and was wondering if you had a recommendation for a good ecommerce/software solution that would support the inclusion of articles like you discuss here related to the baseball card business.

I am receiving lots of activity on my blog and now want to sell a line of products to these customers.

Your feedback is appreciated.

Karen

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Mitch November 25, 2008

@Karen,

I recommend you drop by the Thesis forums at http://diythemes.com/forums and ask there.

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Phil November 26, 2008

That is a great article that got me thinking, hey do you think you can email and help me think of some new product I could try and sell, I have a few ideas, but this would require a big investment which i can’t make at the moment.

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filipe December 6, 2008

hi, im Filipe from BRazil. Fabolous post and i understand finally the power of content.

Ma dad recently open a blog and will show this for him. Sure now he have a good site/blog.

thanks!

[sorry if my english is poor]

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inertz December 29, 2008

Nice quality articles on your blog.

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Ken December 31, 2008

Thanks for pouring a bucket of knowledge and inspiration over my overheated head, really appreciated this article and the simple, yet powerful message it delivered, about content. It also inspired me in more ways, than you would want to know.

Thanks!

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Saqib Ansari January 7, 2009

Really nice suggestion you gave in this article. I’ll do this.

Thanks buddy

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Olga January 13, 2009

Once my boss asked me to search for a man willing to write articles for our website dedicated to the translation agency. I find a girl who agreed to write 10 articles in 5 days about translation and interpreting. I was surprised when she sent me an article about sign language translation!

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ibrahim nawaz February 5, 2009

you articles are quite impressive.

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Claire Jarrett February 22, 2009

Do you believe the articles should always be hosted on the website then? I’ve always been told articles should be used as back links?

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TadpoleNet March 1, 2009

Your article was very well written, lucid and complete. It’s too bad more people cannot see such success on E-bay.

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dani March 2, 2009

your equity is working fine for long term blogging. no matters seo and tricky things. equity just works.

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art gifts March 30, 2009

I have been pondering, for quite a while now, to start a niche blog. I will make sure to keep in mind your suggestion: “It all starts with 10 simple articles”. It makes starting a niche blog sound easy.

Thank you for this great article!

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Houseshare April 19, 2009

Chris,

Great article, I now gonna write 10 articles and see what ic an do!

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baloot April 23, 2009

you were my men chris…
thanks for this 10 simple tips that can change my life!

avast!

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Neil May 24, 2009

Another great article.

And to Rento,

I have to disagree with the a lot of the statements made in those articles you linked. For example, “In the real world, the last place people are looking to buy is on the Internet.” Maybe it’s just me, but over the past few years I’ve been buying from the Internet more and more.

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JeD Chan June 12, 2009

Thanks very much. This has indeed changed my life.

You know, I’m always struggling with my blog because I always think that I should fix something on my blog. I want to be more user friendly, you know, adding a search engine, adding bookmarking buttons, etc. etc.

Little do I know that I already am neglecting/forgetting to write new contents on my blog, which is the bread and butter of a blog.

Thanks you for reminding me, from now on I’ll focus 80% on contents and 20% on revamping.

God Bless!!

JeD Chan

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Ruth E H July 26, 2009

Dear Chris, I took a class on purposeful blogging but your article beats it hands down. BTW after the class I came home and created a blog utilizing your clean theme (thank you) and when you get a chance you can see the start.
rutheh.wordpress.com
I am going to read more of your ideas and appreciate the one I just read.

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Andreea August 17, 2009

Hi Chris, Thanks for this informative article! That’s something I need to get started on for my site as well. Do you recommend writing your own articles or hiring someone else to write them for you?

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Chris Pearson August 18, 2009

Andreea — There are two reason why I would never recommend having somebody else write your articles for you:

  1. If you want your site to be successful, then you’re going to need to cultivate the process every step of the way (especially in the beginning!). Good writers cost a lot of money, and unless you’re flush with cash, this probably isn’t a viable option.
  2. By writing the cornerstone articles for your site, you’ll learn a ton about your topic, the writing process, and yourself! This will yield benefits for you both now and in the future, and in my opinion, it’s impossible to put a price tag on this kind of thing.

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Kaitlin M August 27, 2009

It’s amazing how many times you can get the same message over and over again before it finally sinks it.
It has sunk in.
Content is King, thanks for the article.
Now it just has to be put into pratice, that could be interesting.

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Crazyhorse September 17, 2009

I would like to share about my real life story. Just a short story.

7 years ago, I had joined as an associate with a networking company. I lost thousand of bucks and never recovered my investment. But the good things are the articles, and some inspirational seminars that I have got from it. My mind had been driven to get into business and I did not consider my unsuccessful business before as failure and yet by reading lots of books and articles about entrepreneurship I would say I am totally different compared to few years back. If I have not known about entrepreneurship probably I am still working 8×5 office job and for the rest of my life and not enjoying the real life by becoming a boss of your own business!

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TomCayman October 23, 2009

I smiled when I read this today… as that is just how I decided to start myself out to build my reach beyond my existing network… mccallumsolutions.com is a series of (I hope) carefully though out blogs that are each designed to have “thought value” for business….not a sexy website (and if I’d known about your WP theme, would have used it.. but hey, it’s about content, right ? will change in due course)… not much traffic yet, but hopefully people will like the content.

BTW, LOVE the video blogs.. excellent

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Pete Accini November 4, 2009

Wow that nailed it, NAILED IT!

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Eric November 5, 2009

I also spent a good amount of time writing articles for ezine, and made expert author status after 21 articles about fear of flying. I notice in about one year I went from 0 to page 3.

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Dhirendra November 26, 2009

Nice Post !!

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Gregory Burrus December 9, 2009

Hey

I absolutely love the idea of developing great content versus being just tech focused. Going for the 100 articles is focused. To me it also means if you write with a true, planned outline, then by the end of your writing session , you can package it all and you have a nice ebook to offer for a fee. There are so many people on the internet, and if you write valuable content, others will gladly pay to see it all in one place.

Greg

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Rob McCance December 19, 2009

It’s just like a photo.

You can take a simple photo with a $20k DSLR – superbly focused and exposed – which is so uninteresting nobody cares.

You can take a poorly focused, motion blurred, quasi exposed photo of a kick ass event or item and it will win awards and can even become “famous.”

It’s ALL content.

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Daan van der meulen January 10, 2010

That’s what it’s all about. Stand out form other people. If you can tell others why they should come to you instead of someone else then your have a good change to stick out from the competition.

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Josh F. January 16, 2010

Indeed, content is king! Yet how often do we overlook this fact. I think another problem associated with this is the ‘lack of focus.’ We spend so much time tweaking our site here and there, changing the color, adding applications to make our site look high tech, etc. If only I had focused on content years ago, my sites would have a lot more equity by now.

Very good article, Chris!

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Todd Broyles March 10, 2010

You’ve completely found the key = content.

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drt April 3, 2010

I love the comparison with real-estate. Now I know that I must focus on my content. Thanks.

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Zeb April 15, 2010

Excellent article.. I hope what i write will change my life ;)

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Diane May 21, 2010

I started a site in 2000 to offer free help. I wrote articles and for every article I wrote I accepted or took from Ezine an article that fitted in. Due to doing mad thinks like leaving the country and starting a new life it got left. Today it has 4000 members and is still free. I think that there have only been about 10 months since 2002 when it has not given me $100 a month in Adsense and once it gave me that in a day because someone else was interviewed on our subject but my page was No 1 and 2 in Google. I have done nothing to it being unwell but have about 20 articles that I have written. Long ones for the site and shorter precis for the article directories. They will be submitted and go up but I have another tooth abcess to contend with and so I live under the covers.

Where is the site today – about 3 and 4 on page 1 in Google (UK) for a subject that has nothing to do with the URL. I have a helpdesk and also recently being an OAP I sent out the dreaded sales letters and explained that we were all in deep water but I wanted to keep the site going and as my health improved so would the site. I just could not afford the large hosting fee (big site) and domain name renewal. They came up trumps. Enough to keep me going this year. I am hoping my problems will be sorted this year and I can go and earn enough to pay the dental bills that are going to accrue. But regardless the site will go on.

Subject – working from home. NOT IM but teleworking as we used to call it.

I have been rich and had it ‘stolen’ by those in the pension industry, I always wanted two things in my life – to own the roof over my head and I do, and to have good health, which I don’t. Time to ditch the duvet and post the articles. I may even do an information site about the facts that I have learned during my 7 years of hell with dentists.

Di – and if you write to the extent I do to others you may find that going through your out box will provide half of the information you need for unique articles.

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Lindsay Burck July 29, 2010

This is the best damn blog.

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David August 10, 2010

Hey Chris, thanks for this awesome post. For some reason, I’ve found that my best articles are those that I write when I just sit down and start writing about some subject that I’m really passionate about at that specific moment. I don’t do brainstorming, I don’t do research. I just write. Sometimes a few glasses of wine can help too :)

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Rudi September 1, 2010

That head the nail on the head. I could not have formulated it better myself. I truly believe that content is king! Search engine robots love quality content for sure, relevant, quality information writen with zest will take your website places!

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Rhonda September 1, 2010

Inspirational chris. Makes me want to put pen to paper and write a book. Well put and formulated train of thought. Do us all a favour and keep writing!!

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Brooks September 23, 2010

This just made me to decide to keep on going! I’ll just plan to write articles 3-4 at a time in order to batch my time—as long as it’s possible and I can stay relevant.

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Linda Cervo November 12, 2010

Most of us are just trying to make it “fast and easy, and oh, automated”, forgetting that we really need to put a bit of effort, and we can get rewarding results for doing what is really meant to be done. A bit of effort in putting up quality articles, and the equity will pile up in time.

This is a great info. Thanks for this.

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Matthijs November 19, 2010

Wow, this is a really nice article. I always wondered how people pull this off. :)

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Red Bayron November 25, 2010

Thank you Chris for your article I think is one of the best around and if someone check the comments also can understand that you helped lot of people, including me, out there.
I think that this article is well written and self explained. Hoping for some more to come!
Keep up the good work!

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Christa December 7, 2010

There is so much too it to get a high page range and a high PR. One of those factors is the age of the domain and then the value of backlinks + activity. Content is important, but the automation can only get a few factors from an article, not the full value of the content. You are right that the number of pages with some content counts, just looking at some specific domains that are often on the first page of google (wikipedia, ezines, amazon).

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Dan January 27, 2011

Will echo what as been said before. Great article.Also content is King, baby!

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Tina February 19, 2011

I just saw this article now although it was written already in 2006. The article is a masterpiece of internet marketing advice, and I am very impressed with the strategy shared. Yes, everything can start with 10 articles, and if your articles are worth reading, you will get that audience and followers as you predict. Really, starting to work on your business rather than complaining how unfair the world is, is the best way. Big Thank You from me for sharing this!

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stella March 18, 2011

The article was written in 2006 but is now more topical than ever! Websites have come into our lives and our business. now there is fierce competition between them and everyone is trying to make just seo… Dont forget… CONTENT IS THE KING

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Rob March 19, 2011

I agree that this article could have been written yesterday. It is very timely. The problem is that people believe that you can get rich overnight. So, rather than building great content, they will buy a product promising the world. They try it for a short period of time…don’t get rich, and then quit.
Live it LOUD!
Rob

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Tina March 19, 2011

Stella, yes you are totally right about it should be. If your articles go viral, you will attract the right links and get your position in Search Engines. However, there are many top ranked e-commerce web-sites out there, that have almost no content, but 200.000 links to their page by automatic blog commenting and forum spaming. So, content is king – yes, but a lot of battles on the internet are worn with spammy techniques these days…

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jon May 11, 2011

excellent article! Im only posting this comment so that I can be added to the mailing list. I advise a “Share” option for email and facebook not just Twitter.

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Samuel June 10, 2011

i agree here with Tina and Chris, Content is the king especially after all the recent updates. Now is the right time for unique and genuine selected content to rul

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Rawn June 14, 2011

Despite having worked on major web sites for a while, I don’t think I’ve heard this explained in a more concise form ever before.

It’s easier to drive community interest towards a site that has higher equity value. To me I see more sense in trying to become part of something larger (with more equity) if I can still maintain my identity, rather than strike out with entirely independent site.

I’d say there is probably two levels (or more) of equity in any site: the equity of an item of content, the equity of the page/area of the site you place it in, and the equity of the whole site itself.

Think of it similar to the base equity of the structure of your house, the equity value of being on a corner lot, for example, and the equity of being in that particular subdivision/neighborhood or even city.

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aris June 17, 2011

Very well explained articles i think that everybody can understand the importance of articles in our sites and the content is still the king after lot of years…

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Aaron June 26, 2011

Chris, you are a genius and an inspiration. I recently launched a new website with your advice in mind. Within two days of submitting my site to Google, it was already on the front page for some decent keywords. I owe that ranking to you!

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Chris Pearson June 26, 2011

Thanks for sharing, Aaron—I love to hear success stories that are grounded in the fundamentals :D

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Josh Hall June 28, 2011

Hi Chris,
Sorry to be off-topic. I quit my day job a few months ago to start my website and I need a design badly. Will you be accepting new clients soon? I looked at a few of your designs and they look great.

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Chris Pearson June 28, 2011

Josh, I no longer do freelance design work for clients, but my company, DIYthemes, is in contact with a bunch of top-notch Thesis designers and developers.

Also, I highly recommend following the #thesiswp hashtag on Twitter. Tons of design-oriented folks post on that hashtag every day, and it’s a great way to hook up with designers, developers, and other people who can help you out.

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karma tashi July 15, 2011

Eager to learn more about life and I think it help me to know more about what general life……… Thanks a lot………

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arogi September 20, 2011

My opinion is that every article can change our life if we take the good stuff and reject all that we dont believe or disagree.

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Sanjin Kunovac October 20, 2011

I love this site! I been working on my own company and this really justifies that I have been working hard for.

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Jeffery October 22, 2011

I really enjoyed reading this article this morning. Maybe it’s partially due to me being a coffee lover as well.

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Andy Brown November 19, 2011

Do you have any views on whether articles on other sites (eg ArticleAlley) have any worth?

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Rob November 29, 2011

Chris – I own a real estate company in Jupiter, FL. I’ve often thought the Realtors killed the blog. Many real estate agents have a blog and post ‘fluffy’ content on it just for the sake of having content. Our market is so flooded with the same information said in different ways on thousands of blogs.

That being said, we have bloggers here that do the same thing. We’re trying to break the mold, but how do you make a real estate blog interesting and useful?

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Kon January 7, 2012

A single line in a text can change our life. I remember that i was reading Chinese philosophy, the Bruce Lee theory: The defeat is a state of mind. Nobody loses if they do not accept the defeat as a reality. That is what i call awesome and simple articles!

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φωτοβολταικα February 7, 2012

excellent article, totally inspiring!

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Roger Faus June 5, 2012

Hello Chris. Another benefit comes back to the old adage that people prefer to do business with folks they like. By contributing something in the niche (good info articles on baseball cards) he is establishing an audience who begins to feel they know him. His passion for it will come through, and if his intention is to share some valuable insights, people will pick up on that. Just like in the non-Net world the best way to make friends and build relationships is to offer something of value and that you care about, and to be authentic.

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Linda Cervo June 15, 2012

Despite the fact that millions log on to the internet every day and that almost as many are out there trying to use it in some productive way, we often forget that it is still a relatively new technology.

As a result, it is still a little-understood technology in many ways. Some of those are cultural – what, for instance is it doing to us as a society, for good and ill?

We are shifting so fast we sometimes don’t stop to notice. But perhaps more important, once things have completely shifted, where will we be, and what will be the best means of capitalizing on that shift?

Capital investment and overhead, for instance, aren’t what they used to be. Artistic design and an ability to change quickly are suddenly much more important than they ever were.

And, as your article points out, information is suddenly the most important product you can offer – more valuable than gold. There are other uses of information, but you offer an outstanding example.

We need more prophets like you out there in cyberspace.

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Ashish January 27, 2013

great article. content is king

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Sahith May 27, 2013

Great post…Inspired a lot from you…..

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Renee September 13, 2013

Great post! But it’s not just content, it’s also how you syndicate the content around the internet!

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Hoot and/or Holler

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