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Useit.com Says Specialization is Key to Success in Weblogging

In the latest Alertbox, Jakob Nielsen says that the key to success in operating a small website is to focus on a very specific topic, and to dominate it. He says that this is particularly true for weblogs, and provides a number of statistics to back this up.

This article suggests that the range of information and opinion on the Internet creates many opportunities for web sites that have a unique point-of-view. And, carefully focused sites can attract an audience that becomes a committed user community.

Nielsen also points out that a lot of successful small web sites get a significant percentage of their traffic from search engines. We talked about this same idea in an article that appeared on CTDATA.com in May, when we said:

It's clear from reviewing our referer logs that upwards of 25 percent of our daily traffic comes from casual Internet users using these search tools to locate information... that interests them.

This is where the importance of focus comes into play. Read on to learn why....

How CTDATA Learned The Importance of Focus

For a long time, CTDATA's site was unfocused, meaning that we wrote about anything that interested us. We wrote a lot about 9/11 and the War on Terror, politics, and sports and exercise. Some of this content turned out to be surprisingly popular, but, virtually none of it generates any business for us.

We realized that this was hurting the site's value more than it was helping it, and announced that we were refocusing this web site on our business in an article that was published in March. Now, much more of the content on the site is focused on our company's core competencies: weblogs for business applications, web services, IT consulting, and content management. This has already resulted in more inquiries from potential customers. So, we consider this effort successful.

Search Engine Ads as a Suppliment to Focused Content on the Site

Getting back to Jakob Nielsen's article, toward the end he makes the excellent point that search engine ads such as Google AdWords can be an effective form of advertising for many web sites and can be used as a suppliment to content on a web site.

Well designed web sites with weblog-like content are search engine friendly. However, companies operating these sites may want to raise their profiles on the Internet even more. Under these circumstances, text advertisements on search engine sites can be extremely effective at a reasonable cost.

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CTDATA Venutures (CTDATA) develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non profit organizations. Our services include:

  • Consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based publishing systems (visit our Weblog Improvement website for more information),
  • Financial services business process consulting,
  • Content management system and knowledge management system consulting,
  • Apache web server engineering and hosting,
  • MySQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server architecture and development,
  • SOAP, REST, and XML-RPC system architecture and programming, including Amazon Web Services and
  • Weblog publishing.
For more information, contact Dave Aiello by email at dave [at] daveaiello.com or call him at +1-267-352-4420.
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