"Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet."
Bill Gates wrote this in his infamous article Content is King in 1996.
Do you remember the internet in 1996?
We used slow-as-molasses dial-up modems to access the internet.
Content was text-based because there wasn't enough bandwidth to display images.
Viewing video on the internet was a distant dream.
The first content I created for my website was SEO-focused content.
SEO-focused content at the time was also called keyword stuffing.
Repeat your target keyword phrases over and over and over.
The search engine algorithms were so rudimentary you could rank #1 for popular search terms by repeating the same keywords more times than your competitors.
You could get fancy and post the same keywords in H1 or H2 format which helps you rank even higher.
Use those keywords in the article title and you could outrank even huge corporate sites.
I invested in article spinning software which would take your article and spit out 100 variations of the same article by rearranging the words.
The articles made no sense, but you ranked on the first page of Google for popular search terms.
These tricks rarely brought me new clients, but it did drive a lot of traffic to the articles (this is how we made money with Google AdSense until my account was banned for life).
What's the best content for today's internet?
I like to create content that matches where they are in the buying cycle (remember meet them where they are?).
When I worked for a software company, we created content to match three stages of the buying cycle.
Stage 1: They searched Google for "I need a new website".
They knew they needed a new website but didn't their options.
I wrote an article comparing the different website platforms like HTML, PHP, WordPress, .NET CMS and other platforms that developers were familiar with.
The article was very technical because we were targeting the developers at this stage of the buying cycle.
Stage 2: What is the best Content Management System (CMS)?
We wanted to attract people looking for a content management system, so I wrote an article comparing the different content management systems i.e., Sitecore (our company), Adobe and other enterprise-level content management systems.
Stage 3: At this stage they knew which CMS would meet their needs and they had to convince the C-level executives that the multimillion-dollar investment was worth it.
We offered the Gartner Magic Quadrant report for content management systems. This is a third-party assessment of the best content management systems that executives trusted.
I ran different sets of Google ads targeting each stage of the buying cycle.
Having three variations of information let us move companies through the buying cycle faster.
Do you create content focused on the buying cycle?
If not, you may want to explore Eugene Schwartz's Stages of Awareness.
My friend Csaba Borzasi has been studying Eugene Schwartz and Neuroplastic Belief-Shifting for years and explains it in plain English (even though he lives in Budapest).