Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Content Wars: A New Hope for Newspapers

It may be possible that newspapers are finally starting to recognize the huge goldmine they're sitting on. In an article titled Old idea, new media, Toronto Star columnist David Olive points to several positive trends that just might take newspapers back from bust to boom.

I'm not going to get into the details of the article here. You have the link if you want it. The crux of his argument, though, is that newspapers have tons of great content. As newspapers make more and more of their articles available online (and even start to throw in web-only features, etc.), they attract ever larger amounts of visitors. Of course, you and I know where this is going: Money.

As non-newspaper-owning webmasters, we can learn something from this. Fresh stories, insightful commentary, useful information, quick tips, local issues - any and all of these things will attract visitors to your site. Visitors who will come back for more, which lowers your marketing costs and increases each visitor's potential value. The longer they stay and the more involved they get, the more time you have to advertise to them. The big web properties (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc.) all know this. That's why they offer so many varied services; To keep you around.

What can you offer that will keep your visitors around? The newspapers know, and that should get you thinking.


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