The basic idea that I had when starting out was to research all the sites that are currently in my niche and take detailed notes about what I liked and didn’t like about their sites. I didn’t critique content, per se, just the format, layout & structure of their sites. If their menu only had 3 items in it and I couldn’t find my way around easily then I made a note of that. If they had a ton of flashy ads in the right sidebar, and I found it distracting, then I took note of that as well. The general rule here is that I was building a site that I would want to visit – and one I would be proud to say I created… so I know what I like and I just used other sites to help me articulate what that is.
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In the case of Luxury Brand advertisers, it’s not hard to see why many advertisers would assume their customers would be turning towards content sites over other publisher models. Not only do content publishers have a controlled, targeted message, they also have the presentation and “culture” that advertisers in Luxury Brands strive to capture. Meanwhile, other publishing models such as loyalty and reward sites might be less desirable due to a lack of creative control both on presentation and content, as well as their expansive product offerings.
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If you noticed the first table in my summary it showed that one of my sites was active with over 3000 posts before I started this case study. I used to run it as a business and I had 11 paid freelancers all writing content for me for a couple of years. It didn't work out - the business model was flawed as well as a lot of other factors - but the content was already paid for so I left it up there. Other than the content that was in the first table, I wrote everything myself this past month. I'm pretty good at structuring articles and pumping out content. I get that from college - my B.S. skills are pretty good! Thanks for the question!