Finally, today we’re going to cover our third and final type of site in the Different Types of Website Series. The first type was a mini site. The second was a blog.

What are content sites?

Put simply, a content site is a site filled with … you got it … content. Normally, this content would be in the form of informational articles. But content these days, spans across other forms of media as well. There are content sites filled with entertaining videos (think YouTube), audio interviews, how-to screencasts, image collection (as in Flickr).

Pretty much anything.

Although you can create one website about anything and everything, it’s better practice to specialize in a certain niche. So, you could build a site about beds and have articles about beds, videos on how to choose the right bed, images of different types of beds … If you absolutely need to write about chairs as well, you could easily just start a separate site about chairs.

Why build content sites?

There are many reasons why you would want to build a content site.

Attract and retain an audience
A website filled with useful, valuable, informative, educational or just plain entertaining content is one of the best ways to attract an audience and make them stay longer. And if you can add more content to your site on a regular basis, they will keep coming back over and over again.

Build a reputation
It is much easier to build an online reputation with a content site than any other type of site. When people realize that you are constantly offering great quality content, you will quickly be known as someone who they can trust and whom they would turn to for information in your niche. This reputation will go a long way in attracting even more traffic through word of mouth. And, of course, once you have a good reputation, it is much easier for you to profit from affiliate product recommendations and even your own products.

Entice search engine spiders
A well thought out content site is a powerful magnet for search engines. It is a fact that search engines cannot resist a site filled with great content. It is easier to rank higher in the search engines with a content site than a mini site. You can create unlimited number of content pages that can target a different keyword phrase each. This will give you more opportunities to be “seen”.

Generate incoming links
When you have a good quality content site, people are more likely to want to link to you. And often without you asking them to. More links to your site will push your rankings even further up the search engine results pages which in turn will drive even more traffic to your site.

Monetize with multiple streams of income

Another great thing about a content site is that there are multiple ways you can monetize it. You can earn affiliate income by linking to affiliate products in your content. You can promote your own product. You can sell ad space. Or you can participate in ad programs such as Google Adsense or Yahoo Publisher Network and earn some money each time someone clicks on the ads.

How to build content sites?

Now, the question is how do you go about building content sites? It’s not that hard. First, you need to decide what type of content site you’d like to build. You could have a content site which is just a pumped up version of a mini site or you could have a full fledged interactive and dynamically updated one.

To create the pumped up version of a mini site, all you need is a web design software, such as Dreamweaver. If you’re after something much simpler to use, you could opt for an online service such as Lazy Site Builder.

To create a full fledged content site, you will need to get hold of a content management software (CMS). There are hundreds of CMS out there. Which one you choose depends on what features you’d like. A popular free open source CMS is Joomla.

Having worked with newbies for quite awhile, I noticed that many find Joomla to be the most user friendly software compared to its counterparts. So, you may want to give it a try.

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