Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Are You Running a Content Site or a Link Farm?

I've done both. And I've decided that not only is running a content site more satisfying, it's also more profitable. How do you know if your site is a content site or an affiliate link farm though? James Martell tells you to build sites with a lot of content pages, but I've seen some of his sites, and honestly, a lot of them are affiliate link farms. Same with a lot of Site Build It! sites.

Here's the difference. The reason for a content site is the content. You might monetize the site by having affiliate links or other paid advertising on the site, but the reason people are there is to read the content. The content is unique. It's useful. It's worth reading, it's worth visiting, and it's worth bookmarking. Search engines will list it highly because users will like it.

An affiliate link farm might have "articles". But a lot of them are just re-hashes of other articles online. Even if you're not using a software like Articlebot, if the only reason your articles exist is to draw traffic to your website so that you can refer your visitor to some affiliate links, then your site is an affiliate link farm, not a content site. Even if you have 300 pages of "articles".

I'm not drawing a moral distinction. I have good friends running affiliate link farms. Some of my own sites are still affiliate link farms. There is room on the internet for advertising, and even sites devoted solely to promoting advertising. Heck, that's why newspapers have classified's sections, and there are newspapers that are made up exclusively of classified's. So there's nothing wrong with having a website made up exclusively of advertising.

Just don't call it a rich content site, because it's not. And if you haven't tried it yet, give a rich content website a try and see if you make any money with it. I think you can, and I think you can make a lot of money with it.


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