Should I have my own content before opening content-repository website?


So I want to open my brand new dictionary site (for example, of course there is wiktionary), where words should be added by users. Should I fill my database a little before going public, even if it is a long hand-making work?

And how content-repository structured sites are becoming popular in general? If they doesn't have content at first — without content they won't be attractive, you know. Isn't it a bit Catch-22?

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asked Oct 1 '10 at 17:52
Daniel Excinsky
148 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


You can go to places like Digital Point, and pay people to add content. I always see people in there paying for forum posters (yours is basically the same thing). You can also run contests to get people to add content. Top contributer gets $50, or something like that.

answered Oct 2 '10 at 02:22
1,340 points


It is typical example of "blank state" problem. Yes, you should definitely populate you site with content. You can use some payed users to use you site during you initial advertising period.

answered Oct 2 '10 at 02:11
2,288 points
  • +1 - I learnt it the hard way (5 years ago). – Simpatico 13 years ago


There's nothing wrong pre-populating a site with content. I'd be careful about blowing a lot of money paying people to generate content. That's not sustainable, and those users may behave differently than your real users (in a bad way).

If the amount of content needed is small, do it yourself. You get consistant quality, and will likely learn a few valuable lessons. Specifically: If you expect people to create content for your site, it's great to walk in their shoes and develop a good understanding of what that's like.

If the amount of content you need is not small, you can:

  • Auto-populate. Don't just rip off other sites, this will burn you two ways: it's frowned upon and Google will notice. Google hates duplicated content, and if you look like a spammy site Google may blacklist you.
  • Recruit Free Community Help. Presumably your website depends on users contributing content at some point. Why not find those users now, and see if you can find a few excited to help. There are a lot of no-cost benefits you could offer them, e.g. a special user badge or an SEO link to their website. Some people simply enjoy being a part of a new thing. It's a good exercise in general to learn about your various user profiles, and discovering what motivates them and how to find a few is valuable.
answered Oct 2 '10 at 02:53
Greg Belote
798 points


The only way to break the cycle of " if there is no content,people wont come and if there are no people,content wont be generated" is to seed the site with content as its much easier and plausible to seed than trying to get people on to the site :-) , unless you have an awesome feature not available anywhere.

Best of luck :-)

answered Oct 2 '10 at 02:06
Ravi Vyas
236 points

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