User Initiated Content – What Is It?

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There are many different forms of content. You generate your own, you can have others generate content for you (ghost writing and guest writing); there is user generated content (comments left on blog posts); and user initiated content.

For many business blogs, the last of those could be your most important. User initiated content is content that you produce (or use ghost or guest writers) based on the requests made by your visitors.

FAQ pages are often updated based on the frequency of questions asked by users. This is a good example of user initiated content. For those who write blogs, the danger often is either to ignore comments, or simply answer a comment from within the comments section.

Sometimes a better tactic is to either create a static page or a new blog post that deals with the question, then respond to the question with a link to the new content created.

There are several advantages to looking for user initiated content. First and foremost, you are gaining more content. Since it is responding to questions, it will most likely be popular content. A second advantage is a hidden one and comes in the form of PR. Those who have asked the question now feel worthy in themselves. They have asked a question and you thought the question was important enough to respond to in a bigger way than just answering within the comments. Refer to the user(s) in the post and you’re onto a real winner.

If you look at some of the bigger named bloggers, they are doing this on a regular basis and ranking quite highly. There are other benefits, particularly for blogs. If you frequently respond to posts by writing fresh content, and link to it in the blog comments, you will find more visitors subscribing to your comments (if you have it available) as well as your content.

It is a win-win situation. Your readers are getting the content they want and you are gaining a reputation for being interactive and responsive. In the longer term, the reputation is going to result in higher rankings within the search engines.

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