The Prosperative Blog

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Ready Made Content Sucks?

So does it? Does ready made content suck?

Well to be clear there are some ready made content packages that DO suck. There’s low quality offerings in everything, whether it’s food, cars or content for your online site.

Exact Duplicate

I’m really talking about good quality ready made content.

We’ve discussed duplicate content issues at some length on this blog (see here) – if you buy ready made content that is not unique what can you do with it?

You can, if you wish, post it as is and that’s just fine – as long as the quality is decent (such as we offer in our Hot Niche Packs). Many people do that and it’s quick and easy. But does it give you as much benefit as you’d ideally like?

Probably not.

That’s because when visitors come to your site you need to keep them there. And one of the best ways of doing that is by having a style (a flavor if you will) of your own. You don’t get that just by posting ready made content as is, even if it’s great content.

You develop a style of your own by modifying that content a little bit. There are various ways you can do that and if we have enough people commenting here I’ll create a blog series to teach you how. Don’t think it’s a lot of work though – in many cases it can be as little as 20 minutes to transform ready made content into something really “you”.

Flip it!

As an example, here’s just one way you can do it. Take the central argument of an article and add comments of your own that say why you think it’s wrong – or right if you prefer. Personally I would flip the argument on its head, since I’d have two points of view in one article! Whether your reader agrees with the main point or disagrees, you’ll have content that matches their bias.

In other words they’ll agree with the snippet of content that agrees with them – and they’ll think you’re wise and profound for believing the same as they do!

Concrete example: Lose 10 Pounds In 10 Days

You could add a short paragraph why it’s not possible to lose so much weight so fast, or why it’s not safe to do so, or what the longer term consequences might be. You could talk about the self-esteem issues that might ensue if people believe they have to lose that much weight that fast and so on. You’d have two opposing points of view in one article, based on the original ready made content!

We’ve had decades of experience selling high quality content to our subscribers. We know that the single biggest mistake they make when using the content is not putting some of their own style – their own flavor – into that content.

Yes, you can use the content as is. But why not do a few minutes’ work and make yourself stand out from the crowd? Why not take that ready made content to the next level?

Starting from quality content is always going to be the easiest way to get started – but don’t think that means you have to finish there. You can use such content as a solid base for your blog.

Think of any editing you do as being like icing on the cake, or the cherry on top. It may not be essential, but it adds a little extra something to what is already good.

And don’t your site visitors deserve that? If you want to make money from those site visitors you’d better give them that icing – the sugar rush is what will make them click your affiliate links!

What do you do? Do you buy ready made content – or ready made sites – and make no changes to them? Or do you add the icing and cherry on top and give your readers a little something extra? Let us know in the comments!

The takeaway here is that it’s fine to use good ready made content and sites as is – but it’s even better if you add to the content and sites and make them truly your own. Fortunately, that’s less work than you might think.

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Duplicate Content part 3

Duplicate

In the video on this I explain why duplicate content can be powerful.

The idea of duplicate content seems to scare people, so we thought we’d demystify the what, where and how. The video is only 11 minutes long and well worth a watch.

People Love Duplicate Content

Although most people seem to think the search engines don’t like duplicate content, the truth is that they actually love it.

But only if it fulfils certain criteria. We talk about those criteria in the video.


Please note also that the examples in the second half of the video, crafting/sewing/knitting, are all fundamentally the same type of content – the type itself is duplicated.

The reason that duplicate content works is simple – people love consuming it! If you have any doubt about that, just consider how many times fans will watch their favorite film, or read a favorite book.

Consider how many times people will listen to their favorite song – every time they “consume” that content it’s a duplicate of what’s gone before.

You can play the video full size if you click on the small squarish icon near the bottom right.

As usual, your comments and questions are very welcome!

If you missed the earlier parts of this series, view them here:

Part 1

Part 2

UPDATE: This blog post (click here) is kind of an unofficial part 4!

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Duplicate Content part 2

In this video (9 minutes) I continue the discussion started in “Google Loves Duplicate Content“.

I’ve done this in video format because I think it works better that way, but also because I am having trouble typing due to a kitchen accident!

I hope you find a lot of food for thought and please do submit your comments and questions and yes, there will be a final post follow up to round out this short series on duplicate content!

View Part 3 here

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How A Simple App Can Explode Your Site Traffic

If you’re not heavily courting mobile device users, expect your business to fail in the next five years. 

Hopefully my bold statement and that comScore graphic got your attention. If you’re a content producer, you cannot ignore mobile users. Yes, that means having a great looking, responsive mobile website, but it also means engaging your users in a custom app designed for your site.

Let’s think about that last statement for a moment. Do you really need an app for your website if you already have a great mobile site?

To answer that, ask yourself: How much time do you spend on your phone or tablet each day? Of that time, how much of it is in apps versus your mobile browser?

Mobile Users Spend More Time In Apps

If you’re anything like the typical user, 90% of your time is spent in apps. As a mobile society we’ve grown accustomed to using apps. It’s just quicker to load up an app and flip through it than it is to open up the browser and clumsily tap a site name into the url bar or do a search at Google to find it.

But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the facts in this chart:

Of all the time people spend on their mobile devices, only 10% of that time is in the browser. That means if you limit yourself to a mobile website you’re missing out on a potential explosion of traffic and revenue.

Apps Aren’t Just For Entertainment Anymore

I’d be remiss to ignore the fact that the chart in the previous section shows most of people’s app time being spent in entertainment-focused apps. If your business is entertainment-focused, that’s even more reason for you to create an app. If it’s not, notice that 1 minute out of every 4 that people that spend on their phones outside the browser is not related to entertainment.. That’s still two and a half times more time than people spend in their mobile browser. So unless you want to miss out on 240% more traffic to your site, you need an app.

Seriously, though, how many visitors and potential new loyal customers or readers can you get using an app that’s purely informational? Do people really install those kinds of apps? Indeed, and they do so in droves. Here are a couple of examples:

100 thousand downloads

500,000 downloads

1 million downloads

I found all three of these apps at the top of Google Play’s search results for “weight loss tips”. All three are basic apps. There’s nothing fancy or impressive about any of them, and yet collectively they’ve been installed by more than 1.6 million people — and that’s just from Google Play. Add the numbers from Apple and Amazon (whose app store is very popular for the many millions of Kindle users), and we’re talking double or triple those figures just for the top 3 apps.

Keep in mind that these example apps are purely informational in nature. They’re not games, they’re not productivity apps — they’re not really any different than a mobile website in any way except that they’re an app.

Not sure how that might apply to your site? Well think about it – people want information on all kinds of topics. The information isn’t suddenly worthless because it is delivered on a mobile device. Let’s look at just a few examples:

Woodworking: When you publish posts every week (or day) with a new pattern, or technique, review or tool advice, you help people interested in woodworking get better at it. You think they want to take a laptop out to their workshop? Some may, but imagine the convenience of having the information on a phone. It could be right in front them them while they work.

Knitting: This is almost the same as for woodworking. You can publish instructional videos and techniques that your viewers can watch anywhere. The knitters and crafters I know like to do their stuff when they’re sitting in queues, or otherwise just killing time. Patterns and ideas on their phone can be taken anywhere.

Weight loss: You’ve already seen the types of application shown above. Weight loss tips are invaluable if you’re eating out – who wants to pull out a laptop?

Exercise routines: Guess what? I don’t take my laptop to the gym. How many do you see in the gym? Even the basic information is only valuable if you can access it. Since almost everyone has a smart device these days, it tends to stay with them.

Language learning:  Publish one post a day with the meaning of a word in German, Spanish, Italian or whatever. Give examples of use. Your application users can improve their language skills while they’re waiting the queue for a coffee, sitting on the bus, or doing anything else (like exercising at the gym…!)

Are you starting to see why you need to get an app created for your mobile users?

Apps Don’t Have To Be Expensive To Create

Maybe you agree that you need an app for your mobile users, but think that they’re very expensive to have created. That used to be true, but it’s not anymore. Basically all you really need is a great mobile website that’s “wrapped” into an app that turns your website into an app. While it’s not quite that simple, that’s the basic concept.

Honestly, the hard part isn’t so much the creation of the app, it’s getting everything right with the app so it will be accepted into Google Play, Amazon’s App Store and the Apple App Store (especially the Apple App Store — sheesh). The potential benefits however, are huge.

Build It And They Will Come (WRONG!)

Let me be clear here: having an app for your mobile users does offer massive potential, but just having an app created and submitted to all the aforementioned repositories isn’t going to immediately result in a huge number of downloads and installs. Just like your website, you need to promote your app.

One great way to do that is from your mobile responsive website. All of the app stores base the ranking of your app in large part on the number of users and the ratings that those users give your app. High installs and good ratings combined with good title, keyword and tag use pushes your app higher in the search rankings of the app stores.

So if you can get your current mobile visitors using your app, not only does that increase retention by making your site easier for them to access when they want to, it also helps promote your app in the stores, which can result in an explosion of new users beyond what you’re already getting to your mobile site.

Mobile Site + Mobile App = Success

Just to be clear: I’m not advocating you ditch promotion of your mobile responsive site in favor of an app.  Recent studies show that more people make purchases from a mobile browser when on the go than from an app, but that apps build loyalty, brand awareness and user engagement. As a content provider, having ads in your app is a great way to increase revenue as well. To maximize the presence and profitability of your online business, you want to take advantage of both avenues.

Mobile is where it’s at. We all know that. So make sure you’re doing all you can to grow the mobile side of your business so you don’t get left behind.

Ask your questions, share your thoughts and your own personal experience in a comment below!

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Build a Brand Rather than an Income and You’ll End up with Both!

Imagine having a dream that one day you would be famous. Your goal is to be famous, so that is what you focus on. You brainstorm ideas on how to be famous. You buy books that provide ideas on how to become famous. You try everything you can think of that might make you famous, hoping that you’ll eventually come across the golden idea that will launch you into stardom! Then one day, after so many years and so much time and money spent trying to be famous, something happens that puts you in the headlines! You are seen by millions. People are talking about you. You are famous! You’d done it!!

success onlineThat is, until the next day when the next big headline has come and you are forgotten about.

Now, let’s consider some of the most famous people of all time. How did they get their fame? Was their goal to be famous? Is that how they became famous? No, of course not (at least not in most cases). Thomas Edison was a passionate inventor. Though he was also a businessman, his focus was not on making money, it was on invention! in the process, he became very rich (and famous). Michael Jordan’s primary passion was for the game of basketball. In the process he became a Billionaire. Michael Jackson’s passion was for music. The list goes on and on.

My passion lies in software development and helping others succeed. I love coding and I love helping others succeed. Both of those things truly satisfy me. As a result, I’ve made millions of dollars. Though it is true there are some exceptions, most people who are successful, get there with one or two specific passions that they focus their time and money on.

Today I want to ask you a question. What is your focus? Is it just on making money? If so, you may be building a house of cards as they say. You may be just like the proverbial fame seeker I mentioned above who finally got what he wanted, only to see it vanish the next day.

If you do not feel like you’re going in the right direction with your online business, do this: Forget about making money and resolve today that you will focus on building a brand!

What are you passionate about? What really motivates you? What can you really provide value in? Go with that and work to build yourself up in that niche, whether you make money or not. Do this and you’ll be building your business on solid ground. That money may not come quickly, but it will come!

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