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Thread: Advice: FreeArticles

  1. #1
    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Advice: FreeArticles

    I'm negotiating with an investor who's interested in FreeArticles.co.za. It's very exciting for me because it means I'll get to work for 6 months straight on something I'm passionate about AND something that could make us both a LOT of bucks.

    What I want to do is attract SA authors to contribute their articles to the site. Right now, the site is very American and I believe that's costing me loyal SA readers. Of course, there are other things costing me readers (like a less-than intuitive design which makes it harder to find the article(s) you're after.)

    So, what I'm looking for is some advice on what I could change on the site that would make YOU submit your articles and read other SA authors' articles on the site.

    Ready? Steady? Shoot!
    Norio De Sousa - Done4U.co.za (Web Design & Copywriting)
    Maxiware CC Reg no. 2000/048244/23 (Maxiware CC)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    American in design or American in content?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Hi Norri,

    This is actually the first time I've heard of the site. I just had to go and take a look, and it seems like it is thriving, no wonder somebody is interested in investing in it, so good job!

    However, I agree the content does seem to skew towards American info, I just had a look around the education and music sections, and I noticed a lot of info on PSAT, and prices quoted in dollars etc.

    I would think one way to get a few more South Africans to write articles would be to add a section for South Africans only. Maybe where we can write about day to day life, a funny experience, you know, something that other South Africans will definitely appreciate, and maybe also some people around the world who is interested in hearing what goes on in our lovely little country. Just a suggestion of course, like I say I've only spent a couple of minutes browsing the site, so don't know if there is perhaps such a section and I am just a bit blind

    Anyway, again congrats on a very intersting and thriving site... Going back now to read up some more on the Piano playing tips..

  4. #4
    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    @Dave: American content. The design will be redone to be more user-friendly but I believe the reason we don't attract returning SA visitors is the lack of SA-focused content.

    @Snipsa: Thank you I hear you; essentially I need to place more focus on South African articles and South African authors. I'm making notes, thank you

    Enjoy the piano articles!
    Norio De Sousa - Done4U.co.za (Web Design & Copywriting)
    Maxiware CC Reg no. 2000/048244/23 (Maxiware CC)

  5. #5
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Part of that must be the disproportionate number of North American users on the internet. Keeping a UGC website local can be tricky.

    Is SA adoption of the free article concept a problem?
    Basically, are the articles being used by South Africans?

    Perhaps a bigger issue if you're getting serious about generating income, do you even want to keep it local?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Part of that must be the disproportionate number of North American users on the internet. Keeping a UGC website local can be tricky.
    Initially I used (and still use, actually) a US source for my articles. There's a company that authors pay to distribute their articles and directories like mine then publish them.

    That's the main reason we have so many US articles. If it wasn't for that, the majority of our articles would be from SA and India but we wouldn't have so many and they wouldn't be of particularly good quality (talking from experience) because the US company takes care of approving only the good stuff for us.

    Is SA adoption of the free article concept a problem?
    Basically, are the articles being used by South Africans?
    Our articles are being used in SA but not much and I think it's partly due to dollars, US states, etc being quoted in articles. It can quickly make a good article almost completely useless to a South African reader :/

    Perhaps a bigger issue if you're getting serious about generating income, do you even want to keep it local?
    Right now, yes. There's plenty of traffic and online users in SA for us to earn BIG from whereas, in the US the competition is HUGE.

    However, later on, I want to take on the likes of ArticlesBase.com and EzineArticles.com head-on! (Once we have the funds)
    Last edited by Dave A; 21-Oct-08 at 01:07 PM. Reason: formatting
    Norio De Sousa - Done4U.co.za (Web Design & Copywriting)
    Maxiware CC Reg no. 2000/048244/23 (Maxiware CC)

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    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    I've made some (mainly aesthetic) changes to the site, please have a look and let me know what you think:

    www.freearticles.co.za
    Norio De Sousa - Done4U.co.za (Web Design & Copywriting)
    Maxiware CC Reg no. 2000/048244/23 (Maxiware CC)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think one of the things that really needs to be adressed is navigation - particularly on pages where you are reading an article. About the only way "out" to another page on the site is the logo to take you back to the home page. And not everyone knows the logo-to-homepage is a fairly common navigation practice.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave, I'm going to look into how I can do that. Up until now, it's been part of my strategy not to put much at all on the article pages because it lowers my CTR (significantly) on ads but I'll work something out as it's becoming important for me to keep people coming back.

    Thank you!
    Norio De Sousa - Done4U.co.za (Web Design & Copywriting)
    Maxiware CC Reg no. 2000/048244/23 (Maxiware CC)

  10. #10
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norri View Post
    Up until now, it's been part of my strategy not to put much at all on the article pages because it lowers my CTR (significantly) on ads
    Well, if navigation to another page is not obvious, out of each view you're either getting a click or an exit - so no surprise that bad navigation results in a higher CTR

    I think CTR needs to be balanced against your bounce rate and average pages per visit if you want to measure the overall success of your site.

    I know Google doesn't show this, but I reckon the stat that really counts in how well supported the advertising is on a website is the number of click-throughs per 1000 unique visits as opposed to CTR based on pageviews. It's like the accountants came up with the performance report system rather than marketing gurus. Delivery costs are proportional to pageviews (which I guess makes eCPM the number that really counts in their eyes ).
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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