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Great Content And Fish
By Bob McElwain

Most have become convinced the basic ingredient of a great site is practical and useful content that potential visitors are looking for. (Those not yet convinced, will not succeed until they embrace and implement this fundamental.)

But at the word, "content," many roll their eyes upward in despair, for they feel their writing skills are not sufficient. While this may be true, there are ways to improve them. For openers, click Topics in the navigation bar on my site, select Writing Skills, then dig in.

Great Content Versus Great Writing

You do not need to be a Pulitzer-type writer to produce solid site content. Those who disagree, are generally good writers. Thus they tend to believe great site content is great prose. This is stuff and nonsense.

True, the easiest and most straightforward way to build great content is to create quality prose. But it's far from being the only way. For example, a site loaded with "how to" information will do fine, provided enough people want what is offered. And in writing this kind of content, the focus is on clear explanation, not grammar. Here's another example.

An Aside About Fishing

My fishing experience amounts to having been with some fellows upon three occasions who were doing so. All I remember about the ocean trip is being seasick. Another time I walked the perimeter of a small lake twice with a neat fellow more interested in walking than fishing. The only pro I've met was a fellow with a fly rod. He caught his limit in minimal time in a stream rod & reel types claimed was "fished out." This makes me uniquely qualified to define a site of great interest to fisherman. (g) What follows is all made up. Any resemblance to truth about fishing is pure coincidence.

Let's Go Fishing

Bill, who owns FishNow.Com, got a call from Phil, made some notes, and immediately wrote the following, sent it out in his newsletter, and posted it on his site.

"Bill here, with a neat update from Phil Randal who just called. (You probably remember him from our Caught 'Em forum. He knows what he's about.)

Just now he's at Triangle lake. It's great country and even better fishing. It's about 20 miles east of Kramer's Junction on Hwy 145. To get there, take the dirt road that starts behind Kelly's Feedstore. Takes may be 40 minutes, and you don't need four-wheel. (Click here for a map you can print. I've marked the route.)"

An Aside: The map is a GIF copy of an actual map on which Bill has sketched the route. Throughout he's added text like, "Stream here; drive right through it." And below the map is a link.

"If you're short of time, check with the Travel Desk. They'll arrange to pick you up and put you beside Triangle lake in quick time. And the rates are the best I've seen."

"They've got a room at the lodge at Rising Creek come tomorrow if you want. And a cabin this weekend. You can get from there to Triangle on horseback in about four hours. Or Jake can run you up in his Land Rover in about an hour and a half. Fact is, fishings pretty good in Rising Creek just now."

Back To The Message

"Now get this. Phil says he's catching his limit every day in less than two hours. And they aren't minnows, either. He's got one he wants measured. Thinks he's got a record. Whatever, it's got size. Those who know Phil, know he doesn't lie.

But here's the best part. The other guys aren't catching diddle. They're all over him asking what he's doing they aren't. Again, if you know Phil, he's not saying. (g) But here's what he told me.

He's using a BlueLine lure. He tried a FlatFish and did pretty good, but he swears the BlueLine is the trick here. If you've got the time, get on up to Triangle and let me know how you make out. Click here for info on a BlueLine lure. Click here for the FlatFish."

An Aside

Each of the above links is to a page picturing the lure in detail. There's a link below to a page that shows you how to make one. And, of course, another that lets you buy one from Bill.

And There's More.

In a PS, Bill added, "Just now, the week's forecast looks awfully good. Click here for the latest." Take this link, and you have a long term forecast for the weather at Triangle lake.

And More

Triangle is not the only lake Bill follows. And he has this kind of info on all of them. And about the local streams. Further, he'll be happy to sell you a great fishing rod, wading boots, cooking gear, even camping stuff.

About That Fellow In New York

James Bartell faces yet another major business crisis. But reading Bill's newsletter gives him a thought. He calls to his secretary, "Will you get Joe and Pete in here, please?" Grabbing for the phone, he mumbles, "If they can't handle this, I'll find somebody who can." Half way through the sentence, the phone is ringing at Travel Desk.

Bartell Is Not Alone

Many people who bust it day in and day out are quite willing, now and then, to cut loose for a few days. Bill offers one great way to do it. He gets a commission from Travel Desk. And from the local lodges he refers to. If he chooses to do so, he is in a great position to buy a lodge, thus extending his online business offline. If he targets upscale fisherman like Bartell, such a move could be enormously profitable.

End Tale

Okay, so that's just a yarn. And hey, likely someone already has something like it going. But it's bound to be local, else one can't keep up. Find a local area *not* being covered, one easy to get to, and go for it. The task is simpler if you already know something of the area. But if you love fishing, you can have a lot of fun learning whatever you need.

So Where's The Content?

Measured in total words, there is very little content on this hypothetical site. But in the eyes of a devoted fisherman, it's loaded with the stuff. Bill needs some good text content for search engine positioning, but that's another matter.

What's Bill Really Selling?

Will anybody visiting this site see it for what it really is? Have you figured it?

What is readily available is great info that matters to fisherman. Behind this, Bill offers everything you need to get to a great fishing spot, catch your limit, and be comfortable while doing so. His visitors will not see this as a trick or con. They may not even recognize the site is a selling tool. Products offered will be seen simply as an additional service Bill provides.

A Catch

This is not the greatest example, for it's seasonal. You'd have to do very well in order to take the rest of the year off. But it's a possibility. If you owned a lodge, you might pick up some off-season business from skiers and hunters.

But I Don't Like Fishing

Is that what I heard you say? If so, join the club. I don't either. But the idea works in many areas and differing products. Competition is fierce in the travel business. But how about a site featuring weekend adventures for families or seniors or both? House plans might work well with how-tos about remodeling and interior design.

Home gardeners are a committed bunch. And there's lots of potential here for repeat business. Anything people love to do that requires resources you can provide is a possible target.

Each must be checked with care. Competition needs to be examined in depth. And you must find a niche that sets you above or apart from all of it. But given a defined position and a good business plan, you have the basis for a successful online business.

Wrapping Up

There are several errors in Bill's prose. Did you notice them? If so, will they matter to a fellow who wants to catch some fish? Or will he just grab his keys or the phone?

Bob McElwain: Web marketing and consulting since 1993 Site: http://sitetipsandtricks.com  Phone: 209-742-6349

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