The Content Beast

Like I mentioned in the last content article, many startups think that the glitz and glam of a website is what’s going to draw the crowd. And while it may be what gets people looking, it isn’t what makes people stay.

When a client like this approaches me, the first questions are usually “How long does a website take and how much does it cost?”. This reveals a bizarre perception on the part of the market (in general, YMMV): Websites are all the same and they take the same amount of work. Once it’s up, BAM, you’re set.

I cannot stress how concerning this view is.

Websites are just addresses. It’s up to you to decide what that house looks like and more importantly, how you furnish it. My job is to build it. Your job is to fill it.

And once you do; the moment your first blog is up, you’ve awoken the content beast.

The content beast is a puppy at this stage. It’s new and full of potential. It makes you smile and stressed and dizzy all at the same time. Most important to recognize is that it’s largely useless at this stage. It’s too small and doesn’t know any tricks.

You’ve got to feed it. A blog post here, a social media plug there, and you’ve got to keep that up for, well, as long as your site is up. A puppy’s gotta eat and your site needs the content. Give either less food than it needs and…

...well, we won’t get into the gruesome details of either.

And just like the content beast is a puppy today, it will grow with proper care until you’ve got a catalog that will keep people glued to your site. The puppy becomes a rambunctious dog. Depending on how you fed the content beast, it might be bloated and disorganized like an overweight pug; or sleek and sharp like a greyhound racer.

People begin to recognize the name. Some check in every day. Others less often. But the way your content beast behaves gives them all an impression of you and what your business or startup is all about. Whether or not your content beast is a ‘good boy’ or not is largely up to how you present it.

These analogies can go on forever, but just remember: starting your website is not the middle of your job. You’ve got a product or service, it’s got a name, and now you have a website to host all of it -- you just bought this puppy and it’s going to be a lifetime of work. Understand this lesson and dive into the labor with confident gusto.

Show the world what your content beast is capable of.

One last analogy: just like getting a puppy is an enormous commitment, it’s a smart plan to do some forward preparation for the content beast. We’ll talk about how best to lay the foundation of a good content engine in our next article:[link once posted]

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