As we near the end of 2013, let’s take a look at the top online content performers of the year, and see how they are setting themselves apart from the competition.
News sites are the first to pop in to my head when I think about online content, and when it comes to the content creators you’ll find many news sites at the top of the list. While The Washington Post and The New York Times may still have print locked down; Time, The Huffington Post, and The Guardian are showing everyone what it takes to be at the top in the online market.
So, what’s their edge?
Let’s take The Huffington Post as an example, launching in 2005 as a political publication, it has now moved beyond politics covering all subjects through blogs, videos and traditional articles. It could certainly be argued that starting from an online space gave them an advantage. Newspapers have so much history engrained in them; it can undoubtedly be difficult to let go of what is known to work in print. Like The Huffington Post, Time and The Guardian have been quick to adopt the latest in technology trends; the use of video is a prominent example.
Social sharing has played a big role with content sites in the last few years. These days you can hardly go three posts on your Facebook news feed without seeing a BuzzFeed list or the moving and often poignant videos from Upworthy. It’s not hard to see how they’ve become popular, just try and keep from scanning the list of 27 Painfully Awkward Things That Never Stop Being Awkward, or 17 Animals That Are So Cute it Hurts, or better yet, from watching a 12-year-old put a Senator in his place. Go on, I dare you.
Rounding off the top we have the mass producers, the blogging platforms. WordPress has consistently been the leader in the blogging world, allowing people and professionals from all ages and backgrounds to express themselves and share their thoughts or expertise. Then enter Tumblr, known for its trendy looks and social component, it has moved up the ranks, with 50% of its posts being just photos. Suddenly you’ve found yourself following the blog, “Dog Shaming” and re-posting an entry from, “Tom Hanks is a Bunch of Animals.” Not that I’m speaking from personal experience…
To sum it up, it takes innovation, mass production, and a viral component to be a top online content producer today. Do you have what it takes?