UGC | Guest Bloggers
If you’re like most, you may have some reservations about adding user generated content to your site. The obvious danger is that something inappropriate will sneak through and get published. It’s a valid concern, but that’s why it’s important to have a good system of checks and balances.
And if you’re still sitting on the fence about the issue, review this list of 10 benefits and see whether they outweigh the potential negatives for you and your business.
1. Less work for you
The most appealing draw for publishing user-generated content is that you no longer have to write all of the content yourself. Score! Whether you’re writing for SEO or for an active audience, consistency is important. And we all know how daunting it can be to come up with your own topics and sit down to write every single day.
2. More interaction from the audience
So many site owners struggle with getting to know their target audience, but user generated content by definition is essentially users telling you more about their likes, dislikes and personalities. Just read the content, and you’ll have an intimate knowledge of your audience.
3. New and fresh perspectives
When you’re the only one writing for your blog or website, things can get a little stale. Sure, you’ll have a group of followers who think just like you do, but you’ll be missing out on the rest. User generated content sites appeal to a broader audience because there are always new and fresh perspectives on things.
4. A broad array of topics
You may be “the” expert in one or two things, but let’s face it, you don’t know everything. Why not enlist the help of people who have knowledge on other topics? This way, your readers can always find something to connect with.
5. Increased frequency of publishing
Something amazing happens when you open your site up to accept user-generated content. It is updated regularly! Depending on the popularity of your site, you may have multiple posts published daily. If this is the case, be sure that it is categorized well, or the content may become overwhelming for you and your readers.
6. More social sharing
If you have ever stumbled upon popular user generated content examples, such as Buzzfeed’s community, think about how you landed there. It was probably from a link on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Authors are more likely to share the content they have created with their friends, and if it’s good, their friends are likely to share it from there. A user-generated content marketing plan revolves around the quality and influence of its authors.
7. Creative culture
If you want your site to be a place where people go to share ideas and connect with like-minded folks, then you’ll probably want to have at least a section with UGC (user-generated content). It’s about creating a brand of creative culture where your audience and not just your employees are part of the bigger picture.
8. Mutually-beneficial partnerships
Users generate content for many reasons. Some are just looking for an outlet to express themselves, and they would generate content with or without reward. In order to attract this type of person, your site would need to be active. This person may accept recognition in lieu of reward. Most people prefer a monetary reward of some sort, so be prepared for this. It may be structured as a revenue share deal or a set rate per post or share.
9. Spend less up front
Paying up front for quality content is not a bad way to go, and it’s good if you want to retain a great deal of control over what is published, but it can get expensive. Depending on how your rewards are structured, with user generated content, you may not have to pay authors until their content starts earning. With revenue share deals, you can offer a percentage of the ad revenue you get from each view. Or you can get creative and offer a penny per social share to ensure that the authors are promoting their own content.
10. Easy to implement
If you just want to dip your toes in the water, you don’t have to hire an expensive web developer to perform a complete site redesign. User generated content on WordPress is quite easy, and there are other platforms that you can choose from too. Simply install it on a subdomain and set up the community. Just keep in mind that any user generated content on websites do require some maintenance. You may want to approve posts before they go live to ensure the content is appropriate for your audience, or you may want to designate a moderator to review content on a daily basis.
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