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Archive of ‘content creation’ category

How To Conduct Interviews That People Want To Listen To

It’s a good thing that blogs and websites have the freedom to publish any information they like because readers has a smorgashboard of content to choose.

At the same time, if your content isn’t tightly planned out or executed (or just plain funny enough), you could find yourself creating a bunch of content that no one wants to read. I experienced this in my early days and it’s certainly not a fun experience.

If you’re planning to interview experts for a podcast, a product like a book or course, or to provide entertainment, here are a couple of tips to help you up your game:

  • Do your homework

Research your subject – their company AND their personal background. Having an insight into what the interviewee used to do and what they’re doing now can give you idea of how to structure the interview.

A good way to start is to google your interviewee’s name and company, or check Google News or Technorati or Techmeme.

Compiling the facts into a spreadsheet or text document and organizing it will help you with the next step:

  • Have a gameplan

While I enjoy the stream-of-consciousness element of some interviews, it can get old especially after a month or two of “more of the same”.

Like any written piece, an interview or discussion should have an introduction, a body where content is developed, and a conclusion.

If you incorporate “takeaways” into your session, or have tips or resources that listeners can immediately check out after the session, you’ll provide value, build content stickiness and form a core of loyal listeners/viewers.

Structuring the discussion by various interview topics will help create a more organized discussion, especially if you can spend time to address questions related to a specific topic before moving on.

  • Go with the flow and go deep

Although you have a gameplan in hand, use it as a rough guide. As interesting points develop, go deep on those topics – talking about case studies, specific examples, clarify definitions – to generate content depth.

As you talk about certain issues, parallel issues might also pop up, giving you an opportunity to “lateralize” your content. Heading in those directions, expands the scope of the discussion and provides an opportunity to create value.

Continually asking ‘what is the consequence of what the person just said, and how can I apply or use this information?” is a good metric to ensure that you remain on-topic.

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For past sessions of the Friday Podcast, check out the podcast archive.

Trent Reznor And NIN Leads Online Content Charge With The Slip

Technically that title is erroneous as NIN fans will know that Trent is NIN, accompanied by Josh Freese, Robun Finck and Alessandro Cortini (according to the sleeve credits from The Slip).

When most think about information products or digital products, they think of the ebooks which used to hog eBay listings – but NIN’s The Slip album (together with the entire inventory of iTunes and other digital music marketplaces) are digital inventory too.

nin the slip

With their latest album, NIN have chosen to “give away” the album via a Creative Commons license (although a bunch of merchandise at their “merch” tab at NIN.com looks pretty tempting too…)

Taking a step away from Radiohead and NIN’s previous effort at selling their music online at a fraction of the printed CD package, or asking for a donation, you’re getting The Slip for free – in essence, content becomes free. (I would not be surprised if Trent’s production costs and time cost upwards of $100,000 or more for this).

Which is what online analysts have been saying about online platforms and applications for years. Eventually, a technology-based platform will become commoditized to the extent of being free and you’d pay only for applications that ride on it.

It’s already being practised with cell phone operators. Most time you either get a free cell phone handset or get it at a vastly discounted price, the operator makes up the difference through your monthly subscriptions via a contract of 1-2 years.

Progressive analysts have even said that eventually cell phone service will be free – you merely pay for the applications and data services you use (like the GPS and maps functions mentioned by Todd Crawford and Sam Harrelson in Geekcast 16.

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But back to NIN for a moment.

They’ve broken new ground in my eyes for a couple of intiatives.

You’ve not only been given the right to play the tracks however you wish, you have NIN’s blessings to:

  • remix it
  • share it with your friends,
  • post it on your blog,
  • play it on your podcast,
  • give it to strangers,
  • etc.

Which will undoubtedly viralize the music.

I can still remember listening to NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine in the early 1990s, especially tracks like Head Like A Hole and Down In It. (A number of the tracks (which are pretty hypnotic) appear on the soundtrack of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers – which features “Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr…)

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How is NIN going to monetize their intellectual property (ie. the music)?

I think NIN fans are pretty hardcore, and the proceeds from merchandise and concert sales, and likely DVDs, interactive media will more than make up for it.

If NIN has bypassed or disintermediated themselves from the music studios, they’ll certainly have more room to access funds and stay in touch with their fans.

The other techie thing that NIN have done is to release it in a variety of audio formats – besides the ubiquitous MP3, you can also download a lossless FLAC version as well as a high quality 24/96 version.

Lastly, they’re distributing a number of these versions through the Bittorrent Peer-to-peer network, typically used to distribute pirated CD albums.

Could this signal a change in the winds for content distribution via the internet?

Stay tuned…

Creating Content For Traffic Generation and Profit

An interesting discussion arose over at PPC Super Affiliate Amit Mehta’s blog: Is it easy to create content, which ultimately drives traffic and generates profits, at an attractive price?

Amit and I are in obvious agreement that niche sites can be very profitable. As Amit notes:

Yes, $1k-$2k/month is fairly typical for the amount of revenue that I generate from my content sites just free traffic. Small compared to what I make from PPC from these site, but it’s a great source of long term revenues & profits, especially if you continue to add content and get backlinks to your site.

That $1k-$2k/month can grow to $1k/day, I know one affiliate who have done this in 6 months by ranking high in Yahoo and MSN.

Certainly, niche sites can provide nice long tail income, especially if you’ve built a critical mass of niche sites.

Amit’s experience of talking to one super affiliate: I had a chance to speak with some other very successful super affiliates. I talked to one guy who was running 500 affiliate offers at one time, making $20-$50/day from each one. WOW!

Is fairly typical of a number of Super Affiliates I’ve worked together with.

But the one limiting factor, especially if you’re not already doing this regularly is:

How do you generate original and more importantly “sticky” content.

Tim notes in the comments to Amit’s post:

Thanks for addressing the issue of content creation. I’m curious to know where you are finding writers who work for $5 a page. Most of the eLance article writers I have seen who actually have a good command of English and write well charge a lot more than $5 a page. Maybe I’m not negotiating enough.

It would be great if you could share your “insider strategies” on quality content control and selecting the right people to outsource to. I’ve found some great people on eLance, but they’re not insanely cheap not do I want to insult them by nickel-and-diming them down to nothing. I think what Amit has said is that if you find someone good, expect to pay them well because they’re in pretty high demand.

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The reality is that you will get what you pay for. Proven quality costs.

A workaround is to (more…)

Build Massive Traffic with Magnetic Content

Hands up if you find it easy to create content for your blog or website.

Not too many hands there.

But if you think about it, having original, quality content is vital critical to building long term sustainable traffic for your blog or website.

If you’re posting stale content on your site, you’ll turn off your readers.

Do it for extended periods of time, and you might as well sound the death knell.

It can however, be alleviated if you adhere to some guidelines.

  • Look for inspiration

Visit Wikipedia, article directories, forums, Yahoo Answers, Google News.

Look at existing content specific to your niche, whether it’s weight loss, scrapbooking, smoking cessation, birdwatching, affiliate marketing and the like.

What’re the topics that people asking and discussing?

What’re their biggest worries/problems/concerns?

  • Find an angle and get answers

Compile questions that if answered, will give some insight, or better yet, a solution to their problems.

Look for high authority sites, contact high authority contacts, get the questions answered.

  • Create value

Sort out and organize your information. Arrange and present the information in a logical manner. If you’ve got differing opinions, sort them into pro and con stances. Present a balanced viewpoint.

  • Presentation

A blog or website gives scope for you to present the information, using lists, bullets to arrange the information in an easy-to-understand manner. Use graphics, photos if available. Better yet, include (more…)