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March 10, 2014 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
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In content marketing, writing is only the beginning. In addition to publishing and promoting the content, you have to organize it in a way that will make sense for veteran readers and new visitors alike. A content resource center can be the perfect solution.
A solid resource center not only makes your best content more easily available (while helping you stay on top of the digital piles of webinars, ebooks, whitepapers and so on), but can also become an invaluable tool that builds backlinks to your site effortlessly. Many people won’t bother to create their own case studies, guides or checklists – so they’ll happily link to yours instead!
Beyond this, if you plan it right, your content resource center can act as a funnel to bring visitors in, give them a taste of what you have to offer, and then encourage them to take the next step. You’ll see how in the next section.
There are several key points to keep in mind when setting up your new resource center. This post assumes you have a content management system (such as WordPress), and you understand how to create categories and tags to combine like-themed information. Beyond that, you’ll want to:
Users won’t mindlessly browse your content – they’re used to searching. Adding a noticeable, easy to use search function to your content resource center will give them the one-click access they’re looking for. By the same token, it enables users to filter their results by popularity and date so they always get the freshest, most relevant, and most-talked-about information.
Most website owners simply categorize by topic for easy organization – but I’d like to take it one step further and suggest that you organize content by expertise and knowledge level as well. For example, you could create:
This not only makes it easy to give users appropriate information for their level, but also helps them segment themselves according to where they feel most comfortable – and comfort is key to your site’s “stickability” – meaning how long visitors tend to stay on your pages.
Oftentimes, when we publish articles, we hit the button and think we’re done – but what do you want the user to do after they’ve read the article? Of course, we’d love it if they’d share it with their friends through some simple, clickable social icons, but don’t forget that they might also like to keep reading. Including links to related articles will keep them moving seamlessly through your content, absorbing and mentally digesting it as they learn.
Here’s the million-dollar-question: How much of your content should you give access to – and how will you do it? Of course, the answer depends on whether or not you want to monetize your content area or recruit members – or both. Below are a few examples of sites that employ content resource centers, but each one has a different method of providing access.
CFO.com is about information first and everything else second. It’s understandable, because CFOs are busy people and don’t have a lot of time to spend waiting for cumbersome pages to load or chasing down content behind paywalls.
CFO makes its money is through ads that load before an article page is delivered (these ads can be skipped) as well as events and paid advertising. This allows them to keep most information free. Special reports and guides are available only to registered members, but the bulk of articles on the site can be read without registering.
Copyblogger has evolved from a blog about copywriting to a fully-stocked membership site with complementary products and services. With this change came the “My Copyblogger” membership – a free service that gives people a treasure trove of content about content marketing.
Of course, the blog itself is still free to read, but the best information – the kind of information the site was made famous for, requires an account. Fortunately, the account is free and gives the folks at Copyblogger valuable prospects in their sales funnel who may be interested in paid products at a future date.
Moz holds a wealth of search engine optimization articles in its resource center. You can learn about all the facets of optimization, links, reputation management, and tons of other factors that influence your ranking – and it costs you nothing.
Free articles can only get you so far in your search for search engine knowledge. The good stuff is available only to Moz Pro subscribers – things like webinars, search engine optimization tools, analytics and much more. The site has gone from being a resource-based blog with a handful of tools to a smart collection of helpful programs and web-based services that search engine pros are all-too-happy to pay for, because they can’t get them anywhere else.
As you can see, the merits of a content resource center far outweigh the time and organization needed to create and maintain it. As you continue to craft memorable, relevant content and must-have tools and resources, your content resource center may eventually grow to become a second source of income from your site. Take the time today to sketch out how you might organize your own content goldmine and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Sujan Patel is a passionate internet marketer and entrepreneur. Sujan has over 10 years of internet marketing experience and started the digital marketing agency Single Grain. Currently Sujan is the CMO at Bridge U.S. a company that makes the complex immigration process easy and affordable.
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