Niche Blog Content Ideas and Experiences

Niche Blog Content Ideas and Experiences

I’ve been kicking around the idea of developing a niche blog content generator program for a while now. I’ve noticed that people are wondering how to create this content.

I’ve written on this topic before so to get more background on my thoughts, you may want to read these articles too if you haven’t read them before:

Now, let’s look at a few content ideas that I’ve had and have been using on my niche blogs.

Long or Short Articles?

Measuring Tape

This is something I’ve been debating over and over again myself and here’s what I’ve observed.

First, the length isn’t that important if you can score significant search hits with your main keyword. A short, 300 word, article seems to attract search traffic just as well as a 1500 word ramble. I’ve had a very short article and a lengthy article both do well in search results.

However, according to what Grizzly has said and from what I’ve observed on my own blogs, if your niche blog is new and/or is in a highly competitive niche, a long ramble allows you to nail more long tail terms. Plus, it will allow you to use the main keyword more times than you could get away with in a short article. This has caused me to lean toward longer articles on my newer niche blogs.

Does article length affect click through? I’m not sure but I think you have to integrate an article length strategy in with your overall blog design. For example, if you place your Adsense ads at the end of an article like they were related posts, this might not convert as well on a long article, where the reader might get bored with the ramble and never get down to them. Likewise, placing a 336×280 large rectangle or 160×600 Skyscraper block at the top of short article may cause it to look awkward or spammy while such a block may fit in more naturally with a wide column on a long article.

Repeating Yourself

Hobby Magazines

From what I’ve observed from comments some people get caught up in thinking that they have to create dozens, if not hundreds, of entirely unique articles on a niche topic. The secret is that you don’t have to do this. While the actual wording has to be somewhat different to avoid the Google duplicate content filter you are otherwise entirely free to say essentially the same thing over and over again.

Remember, the search visitor isn’t going to read boring, almost identical, article after article on your niche blog. You want them to read just enough of one article to cause them to, hopefully, click out on an ad. As Vic puts it, you want a stupid bounce rate. This is very different from what you see on the typical socially oriented or authority blog where the concern is to build a reader base.

For example, on a personal finance niche blog I have about 400 posts on it right now. That sounds like a lot but really it’s the same 25 or so articles rewritten with different titles and slightly different wording many times. The base articles were either PLR articles or articles I generated using Instant Article Wizard. Any time I want to create a new article for this blog, I just mix and match pieces from my template articles and do a quick, minor, rewrite.

I mentioned this in a comment on someone else’s blog. Look at popular hobby magazines, for example, such as those in two of my favorite hobby areas, guitars and martial arts. In guitar magazines you’ll see the same old Jimi Hendrix cover story at least once every 18 months. In martial arts magazines, hardly a year will go by without having Bruce Lee on the cover. Both these guys have been dead a long time but they define a large part of the niche. Thus, it’s always a safe publishing bet for these magazines to do a cover story on them. I recommend finding the constants, the Hendrix or Lee, in your niche and working them as much as possible.

Developing a Content Generation Program

Ancient Programming Rites

As some of you may know, my professional background is in software development. I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing a niche blog article generation and management program for a while and I even have a bare bones program written at this point. Essentially what it does right now is take a base article, such as a PLR, and then adds random filler conversational phrases/sentences and keyword rich section headers at various points.

The end product still needs manual editing, of course, to avoid duplicate filtering. I’ve been kicking around some ways to automate this part as well although some of these techniques, such as synonymization and randomization, produce very poor content.

What I’d like to hear from you are some ideas on what you would like to see in such a program. What would you want in a program that helped you generate articles for your niche blogs? Leave me a comment and let me know what you would like to see.

 


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20 Comments »

2008-03-22 23:46:31

A content creation application would be an interesting project, as it would need to take into account some of the subtleties that lie within the target language.

How do you plan on getting around the rather mechanical grammar and paragraph structures that an automated program would create? Would you put some checks into the application to make sure it doesn’t create spam-like content?

Either way, I think it could be a useful tool for people who need to build targeted “content” for new sites that are sitting in Google’s Sandbox. Not only would it tell search engines that the site is actively creating content, but the number of targeted keywords would continue to grow as time goes on :)

Comment by jfc
2008-03-23 01:08:02

Hi Jason,

A lot of it has to do with applying some text steganography techniques but, since there is no information being encrypted inside of the text, it makes it a lot easier to produce ‘meaningful’ text. The real trick is building the database to sufficient size and getting the selection criteria right.

 
 
Comment by Jay
2008-03-26 17:38:43

I know you mentioned that you would have to manually go in to change things to avoid duplicate content, but wouldn’t this get the user in trouble for whatever reason?

Jay

Comment by jfc
2008-03-26 21:32:20

Hi Jay,

A PLR (Private Label Rights) article gives you the right to use it “as is” or modify it as you wish. Since these articles are sold on the open market using one unmodified is an almost sure way to get dupe filtered. Adding content to it reduces the risk while a rewrite that passes Copyscape virtually insures that there won’t be a problem with the post so far as Google is concerned.

Comment by Dinheiro
2008-03-27 16:58:53

jfc, if we use good backlinks for that rewrited article, couldn’t that pass the duplicate content penalty?

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Comment by jfc
2008-03-27 23:01:14

Hi Dinheiro,

I think it really depends on several factors. I’ve heard that the ratio of new material to old matters so if you had a 1000 word article with a 300 word PLR blended into it you may be OK. If you link build like crazy where Google sees you as an authority site, like they do many news sites, you may be OK too.

But, to be sure, you rewrite to pass Copyscape which is very demanding. Doing this avoids the whole issue of duplicate filtering. In the end, it comes down to what you feel the most comfortable with.

 
Comment by Dinheiro
2008-03-28 11:53:43

I see. One case that i see where that it’s impossible it’s like recipes. 1000 persons will tell the same recipe with very similiar text, i wonder if google will see that as duplicate content.

 
Comment by jfc
2008-03-28 12:03:21

The same goes for music lyrics sites and other similar sites. In that case, it comes down to establishing a site as an authority site through link building and domain age.

One thing I’ve seen some of these sites do if they’re newer is to insert extra content like artist bio information, product feeds or certain other random elements. While they won’t usually be at the top of the list, they will at least show up in SERPs.

Also, from what I’ve observed, Google discounts some material as being duplicate. For example, if you include a popular movie quote in a post you probably won’t get a penalty although it would probably show up as a duplicate in Copyscape. It’s kind of a trial and error process as to what works in these areas.

 
 
 
 
Comment by April
2008-03-28 13:44:10

My only suggestion is that a lot of people get certain words mixed up such as there, their and they’re plus your and you’re.

Comment by jfc
2008-03-28 13:51:37

Hi April,

So far I have a database of about 500 commonly misspelled or misused words that I’m plugging into the engine. Vic’s posts were a great resource for this. :)

 
 
Comment by April
2008-03-31 06:58:30

Here’s an idea for you… I remember years ago there was a radio show where they would take the title of a song, put it through an online translator to translate it into another language, then translate it back into english. The result was a bit giberish and they asked for people to text in with what they thought was they thought the corret title was.

So I decided to try the same with some PLR. I translated it into Portugese and then back into English, ran it through DupeFree Pro and found that there was 64% dupe content.

I then translated this new version into German and back and ended up with 35% dupe conent. I took this version and translated it into French and back and got 25% dupe content.

The more languages you translate it into the less dupe content you get but the more gibberish it becomes. It really is spam but here is one paragraph to give you an idea of what it looks like:-

“Those who are interested in health, fitness, strong demand will abs - cabinet, wrinkled and well qualified, with a trim waist. All those who are economically, but beware, all myths about flat belly and degradation on the ground around the waist.”

Comment by Dinheiro
2008-03-31 08:28:04

April, that’s a funny paragraph :)
I think the 64% dupe it’s enought for the article get passed at the eyes of the big G

 
Comment by jfc
2008-03-31 09:30:41

Hi April,

That’s an interesting idea.

Here’s what my program does, so far, with this PLR article paragraph:

“Fast weight loss composes of a multi-faceted technique that consists mindset, exercise, and in other cases, diet supplements. Begin by learning a diet food plan that can easily be accustomed with. Incorporate an exercise plan that allows even at least fifteen minutes a day like brisk walking, running, swimming, and dancing.”

And output:

“Bear this in mind: Diet Food is a dismal failure. That would be incredible if it freaked you out because it actually worked. Fast loss weight copmoses of multi-faceted a that technique mindset, consists and exercise, in other cases, diet supplements. Why do you desire to comment on that gives you a lacking explanation about Diet Supplements. It is expected for Diet Food to be commonplace. Some of us really need Diet Supplements and witness the results. Incorproate an plan exercise that allows even at fifteen least minutes a like day walking, brisk swimming, running, dancing. Begin learning by diet a food plan can that be easily with accustomed. It is too early to tell but I shall indeed request myself to pay better attention to what my rivals can be talking about Weight Loss Foods. Who am I to comment always on something that provides so much information about Diet Supplements. First, find a largely forgotten Diet Supplements that provides less Weight Loss. Perhaps now is a good to begin using Weight Loss to provide you with pleasure. It would be honest of me to tell you to get into Diet Supplements and I’ll bet a lot of you will be dying to find out more. You know I must not do something new about this, at least partially. You know, I might be wrong, but I’m really surprised by this idea.”

Comment by jfc
2008-03-31 09:53:02

Here are two other samples generated at the same time from the same input. Let me know what you think.

Sample #1:

“Weight Loss is a bad way to increase the power of Diet Supplements. Fast weight loss composes a of multi-faceted technique that consists mindset, and exercise, in other diet cases, supplements. Begin learning by a diet plan food that easily can be with accustomed. Granted you shouldn’t suggest that you should to tow the line with what your opposite numbers are forgetting about Weight Loss. It is so awesome that you shouldn’t simply stop using it. I know I could have added more details, but I’m really surprised by this idea. Try this idea on for size: Weight Loss is simply amazing. Overcoming the desire to say what I mean when that writes Diet Supplements so poorly. Exercise Plan is a way to increase the power of Weight Loss. Inocrporate exercise an plan allows that at even least minutes fifteen a day like walking, running, and swimming, brisk dancing.”

Sample #2:

“Here is my thoughts about Diet Supplements. Fast weight loss composes a of multi-faceted technique that mindset, consists exercise cases in and other diet supplements. Diet Supplements would not be right for you if it got lost along the way. It is easy to explain all about this that provides so much information about Weight Loss. I had wished that I could not know so much about Weight Loss. I know this is too much for you, but listen closely. Diet Supplements is a good way to get Weight Loss. If you are using Diet Supplements to become quite valuable. I would like to tell you that I really don’t enjoy Weight Loss and who has been paying attention. Ignore this at your own peril: Nothing else compares to Diet Supplements. That would be greatly satisfying if there was a way to create more Diet Supplements effectively. Who are you to allow that provides so little information about Weight Loss. You must prevent others from discovering a realistic Weight Loss that gives you some ideas about Weight Loss Foods. There is a note of concern about Exercise Plan and I also will work my butt off to continue to build Weight Loss Foods. An incorporate plan exercise allows that even at least fifteen minutes a like day walking, brisk swimming, running, dancing. To gain full understanding of Weight Loss you must read these unexpected statements Weight Loss. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you should pay attention to this. You know that you can expect Exercise Plan to be more rare. I do insist that I should like to find so much to say about Exercise Plan.”

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Comment by April
2008-03-31 10:22:57

I certainly would want to click the hell out of that junk! I’m still a bit scared of the whole writng bad gramar sort of thing. I’ve only just started writing articles as if I had only been learning english of 3 weeks. I don’t feel particularly comfortable with it but I’ll give anything a go!

 
Comment by jfc
2008-03-31 12:37:11

It’s difficult for me as well. I’m used to writing to deliver a lot of information clearly so it’s a big shift for me.

 
 
 
 
Comment by Houseboat Rentals
2008-04-26 11:28:28

We have to change our concept of proper grammar. Most articles, newspaper stories, magazines are written for the standard 5th grade reading level.

Quality means more on topic versus correct grammar. Vic is a great example of that. :-) Love you Vic!

We are not writing document for professionals, we are creating content for the masses and Google.

Denise

 
2008-08-07 13:16:45

Frank, did you ever go any further with this idea? I’d definitely be interested in knowing more about it, if it’s going to be available.

Comment by jfc
2008-08-07 13:49:15

Hi Control Products,

I haven’t released the program yet because of three major factors.

First, I’m not 100% satisfied with the size of the source data and some of the generation algorithms. I feel that I need at least 4 times the data I have now to make this program as effective as it should be. That takes times.

Second, I’m not 100% satisfied with the ease of use of the interface for most, non-technical, users. I need to improve the UI considerably before releasing it.

Lastly, I’ve got to figure out my marketing approach to it. Listing it on Clickbank is an option but that also means investing in creating a fancy landing page and charging a lot for the program to pay affiliates and other costs. Self-selling it means a lower investment but a lot lower return.

 
 
2008-08-08 00:53:18

So we are down to a Fifth Grade level now? When I was in college we learned that newspapers and magazines were written at the Eighth grade level. How sad. And here is a scary thought. A few years ago the English language received the dubious honor of reaching the point where English is now being spoken by more non-native speakers than native speakers.

 
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