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A Successful Website Begins with a Content Development Plan.  Here's How You Do It.

You've already workekd to Find a Niche Idea through Brainstorming Ideas.  You've done the appropriate Niche Research.  Now it is time to take the next step.  Pick the best niche idea/website concept based on your goals and research.  Then, begin developing content to fill out the idea!

This is where the rubber meets the road.  If you've made it this far, you probably won't make one of the most common business mistakes: failing to plan.  The old adage, "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail" is very true.  However, if you plan, plan, plan, plan, and then plan some more without ever taking meaningful action, you are never going to make it work either.  Creating your content development plan is a huge step.  Get 'er done!

Content Development Plan: The Content Family Tree     Content Development Plan Tree

The easiest way to manage your content plan is to graphically chart it out like a famliy tree.  You can also do it in a word processing program in the form of an outline.  However, outlines can end up being much more confusion than the family tree method.

So, how do you turn your website concept into a functional/graphical "family tree" of content?  It takes some work, but here is how you do it.  First, visualize a three-generation family tree:

Content Development Plan Gens

Keep this image in your mind moving forward.  Creating content to fit into a tree like this, based on your Niche Research, is very important.  Doing keyword research is essential for building a successful website.  So, it is important to look a little deeper at what is involved when looking for keywords.

Content Development Plan: Keyword Analysis     Content Development Plan Keywords

Most people will likely find your site by typing a keyword into a search engine.  You need to be able to select good keywords for maximum traffic.  Traffic is what tells you you are successfully serving your information clientele, and it is also what will allow you to generate revenue from your website or blog.

At this point, you should have a list of well-researched keywords.  Knowing how much demand there is for each one (how often it is searched on the search engines) and how much competition you will be up against (supply: the number of results the search engine shows when the keyword is searched) will tell you which keywords to target for your website.

Don't just pick any old keyword.  Each keyword you select should be chosen purposefully.  Each one should serve as an asset to your website in some way.  There are four main classes of keywords.  Make sure that you choose keywords that match up well with as many of these classes as possible.

Enthusiasm/Passion: enthusiasm shines through.  If you are enthusiastic about your niche or website theme, people will notice and be drawn to your website or blog.  If you are passionate about the keyword, even if there isn't a lot of demand for it or it is over-supplied, keep it.

Relevance: make sure that all of the pages on your website relate to your main concept/theme (your "1st generation" in the picture above).  They don't all have to be "perfect" (keywords with low supply and high demand) to be included.  But, people don't want to wade through a bunch of unrelated miscellany when they visited your site for information on a specific topic.

The more relevant keywords you develop and uncover, the more content you can create within your topic.  The more relevant content you offer, the moe people your site can serve.  The more people you serve, the more traffic your site will generate.  The more traffic your website or blog generates, the more income you dreive from it.

Knowledge/Expertise: don't pick a keyword you know nothing about just because it is high demand/low supply.  Your ignorance will shine just as much as passion will.  Make sure you either have or can find enough knowledge and expertise to give every information-seeker that visits your site MORE than they were expecting or looking for.

Profitability: absolutely keep all keywords that you can write content around that are high in demand and low in supply.  These are the keywords that will help vault your website to success.  But, it is a good idea to keep a lot of high demand keywords even if they are well-supplied.  You should do this for the future success of your website.

If you develop a website or blog that serves people, you will move up the ranks in the search engine hierarchy.  When you have moved up, these pages can be very profitable.  Keywords that are low-profitability keywords can also add value to your website.  Since you won't be able to compete with the established sites in teh high-demand, high supply market immediately, the low-profitability keywords are going to be the ones that bring the first visitors to your website or blog.  As long as they are relevant, they will get the traffic flow started and add up quickly.

Writing content centered around a keyword that benefits your website as an asset will lay a strong foundation for generating happy traffic.  But, remember, the content must provide value.  It is good content, based on good keywords, that gets your visitors.  Don't let them down by under-delivering once they get to your website.

Content Development Plan: Generation Layout     Content Development Plan Layout

Each "generation" of your content should be planned out on the content tree early on in the development process.  As you draw the tree, each generation should have the keyword/s listed for each page/s in that generation.  Here are a few layout considerations as you plan and develop the appearance of your content around each generation:


1st Generation: the first generation is the main site concept, theme, or niche.  It is your main page or "home page."  Most successful websites clearly communicate the niche idea or site concept on the first generation page.  It is the hub page for the website.  It is usually the index page that is presented when someone types in a URL (for example, links to mine).  The keywords that the first generation page is built around will usually be both the most demanded and supplied keywords of any page on a website.  Think of this as the "parent" generation.  Everything else comes from this niche idea or site concept.  The niche idea is usually displayed at the top of the main page with a graphic logo of some sort.


2nd Generation: these pages can be thought of as the "children" of the parent page.  From a layout perspective, they should usually be listed topically somewhere on the page.  Traditionally, they have been located on the far left side of the page.  Wherever you choose to put them, they should be placed, as links, on your main page where the niche idea or website theme is prominently displayed.  See the example here:


Content Development Plan Example


3rd Generation: These are the "grandchildren" of your main topic.  This is the level where you will utilize most of your keywords and write most of your content.  Normally, you will click a link from one of your second generation pages (which are linked from the first generation page) to get to these content-filled pages.


There is no specific way that you must design or layout your website or blog.  However, the traditional method is traditional for a reason: it works.  It is usually best to have links to your second generation, content hub pages in a navigation menu on the left of a website.  Other functionality links like privacy statements, terms of use, a link to the blog for a website, etc., are usually best placed in the website's header or footer (top or bottom row of links).


Next, how big should you make your website?  There is no right answer here either.  Usually, it depends on the scope of your niche and how many keywords you can incorporate.  You only need to draw into the content tree the quantity of pages you realistically think you will be able to create before you hit your self-imposed deadline for publishing.  Usually, you can think about a time frame of 6 to 12 months, maybe less, depending on which of the Entrepreneur Methods you choose.


A few examples:


If you organize your website into one 1st generation page, five 2nd generation pages, and five 3rd generation pages for each of the 2nd generation pages, you'll end up creating twenty-five 3rd generation pages, five 2nd generation pages, and a 1st generation page.  In total, you'll create 31 pages.


If you have ten 2nd generation and ten 3rd generation for each 2nd generation, you'll end up creating 111 total pages, including the 1st generation page.


With fifteen 2nd generation and fifteen 3rd for each 2nd, plus the 1st generation page, you would end up creating 241 total pages.


Remember, the more value-laden content you have, the more people are going to find you and benefit from your website.  And, since most people are going to find you through search engines, all of your pages, 1st through 3rd generation, should be centered on a keyword.  Search engines love content pages like this, and so do people.  Give them what they want.


If you start with a good keyword (topic) for your niche idea and then build your quality content from there, you should do well.

Content Development Plan: Generation Guidelines     Content Development Plan Guide

It is important to understand that the overall structure of your website is probably the most important design concern you should have.  3rd Generation content should flow naturally from the 2nd Generation hubs which are logical and natural divisions of the overall theme and website concept/niche idea.  The search engines may not care about this, but your website's visitors surely will.  If your overall website design doesn't logically follow this pattern, your real human visitors will likely be turned off, never to return again.  Don't confuse your site visitors!


To further help you get this critical design tactic down, here are additional guidelines for each of the page generations.


Guidelines for 1st Generation Pages:

Your main website page is what you select when you set out to Choose Your Domain Name.  It is the page that should be centered around a specific keyword that has the highest demand.  It will also, most likely, be the keyword that has the highest supply.  Your goal is to have this page get the most traffic, eventually.  But, it almost certainly won't get the most traffic initially.  And, it won't rank high in the search engines initially either, and possibly for quite a while.


Usually, the 1st Generation page of your website will be the last to make its way up the search engine ranks.  It is very important to realize that website traffic for a new site does NOT grow from the top down.  It grows from the bottom up.


If you create a website that has lots of quality content centered around hundreds of specific keywords, the traffic will come.  And, most likely, it will come very quickly as people search for specific keywords you have created content around on your 3rd Generation pages.  Again, creating content around good specific keywords is the key.

Guidelines for 2nd Generation Pages:

Think of 2nd Generation pages as hub pages that have a portal (link) to them on the main 1st Generation page.  Pick keywords for these pages that are easily divided into sub-topics or sub-keywords.


For example, if "Life As an Adult" was your site concept, "Leisure," "Work," and "Parenting" could be your 2nd Generation hub pages.  Then, from the 2nd Generation "Parenting" page, you could write content pages centered around keywords such as "Discipline for Children," "Teaching Kids Effectively," and "What Size Family Is Best."  Admittedly, these are probably too broad, but you should get the idea.


The hub pages should also cross-link logically with other 2nd Generation pages.  It may be difficult to do, but finding keywords for 2nd Generation pages that have high demand, moderate supply, and good monetization options is a huge bonus.  Finding keywords for pages like this can speed up the process of traffic growth and profitability significantly.


As the success of your website will likely hinge on your 3rd Generation content, the MOST important consideration for 2nd Generation pages is the ability to naturally subdivide them.  As your website becomes trafficked, the 2nd Generation pages will move up the search engine ranks also.  So, be sure to have a monetization plan in place for these pages also.

Guidelines for 3rd Generation Pages:

3rd Generation pages are the mass of your website.  If you were to think of your site as a battleship, your 1st Generation page would be the big cannon, the 2nd Generation pages would be the deck, and the 3rd Generation pages would be the entire hull and cargo space that keeps the rest of the ship afloat.


Without good 3rd Generation pages, your ship will sink and your cannon will be essentially useless.  The 3rd Generation pages are going to be where most visitors are served AND where much of your success begins.

Content Development Plan: Conclusion     Content Development Plan Conclusion

You should be ready to implement your niche idea/website concept now.  Design your content tree using the keywords you have chosen from your research.  Once you have accomplished that, the fun begins!  Click the link to understand How to Write Your Content.



Copyright © 2009-2010, Issachar Knowledge, LLC: Content Development Plan


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