If you are looking for a weapon of mass destruction try sourcing other material. While this is not a cure-all for website content, sourcing content from other sites can be a fun way to add content and draw traffic in from other sources through linking.
If you do choose to go this route, here are a few things you need to know:
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket: Sourced content is like ketchup, it’s a condiment, a side. You don’t want to rely only on linked content for nutritional value. To do so would be a rip off to your customers. While using linked content is a great supplement to content you already have it certainly shouldn’t be your main source of material.
Be selective: You should read through links and articles and other content you are sending your customers too. Don’t just choose things that sound interesting. You’ll often find that links aren’t working correctly anymore, the content is irrelevant or the quality of writing is far inferior to what you would write for your customers.
Need to know: Make sure the sourced material you are using is actually relevant to your audience. It’s fine to share an article or news story that isn’t directly related to your business, occasionally. Typically though you want to make sure that the content you share ties into your industry because this is the information people come to your website to find out.
Always site your source: If you are going to link content, be sure to always site who you got the material from. Not only is this professional courtesy, it can also be a legal issue. Typically linking or sharing written content on your website is fine as long as you have identified and given credit to the source. Videos and other media content are often a little more difficult. When in doubt contact the source of the video for permission.
You benefit too: We’ve mentioned several times that you should consider guest writing on other websites. By linking other articles and stories you are opening a line of mutual benefits with another site. For example: If you post a link to an article (in an article of your own) about the best fly fishing rods for newbies, it’s likely that this same blog will link an article of yours at some point. This type of relationship gives both parties the benefit of dipping into an audience that is likely interested in what both people have to say/sell.
Remember there are a lot of ways to come up with content ideas for your website and using other articles in your article not only provides background information and a bit of filler, it also benefits your customers to hear from another voice.
photo by: Chris Pirillo