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Leaked! AOL’s content strategy

AOL’s masterplan to become the king of web content is now a hot piece of shareable content itself.

Titled The AOL Way: Content, Product, Media Engineering, and Revenue Management, the leaked strategy sets out exactly how AOL will generate content and make calculated decisions on which stories will draw the most clicks at any given moment.

A slide from AOL's strategy - how AOL will decide what to write about

How AOL will decide what to write about (click to enlarge)


‘Content strategy’ is a booming area in digital business these days, even if some high-profile commentators have¬†mocked the term.

AOL’s strategy breaks down the aims of their content factory into hard-line nuggets, such as “Each article should be profitable and generate at least 7,000 page views per story”.

It describes the tools they will use to create content and measure performance.

It explains how they will use the web’s biggest ‘influencers’ to ensure AOL’s content spreads like wildfire through social media.

On the technical side, it states that each new product must be specified in terms of how it will “beat the internet”.

The strategy sets out that ‘organic’ traffic (from search engines, social sharing, bookmarking and partner sites) must be greater than any of AOL’s competitors, and then paid-for traffic (from PPC search marketing and advertising) will take AOL up to 60% higher traffic levels than its competitors.

This is editorial policy in the commercial internet age: Show me the clicks, baby!

A slide from AOL's strategy - how a web page is constructed

How an AOL web page is constructed (click to enlarge)


A slide from AOL's strategy - where AOL will source its traffic

Where AOL will source its traffic (click to enlarge)

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  1. adamcranfield 03/02/2011 at 3:39 pm #

    And this is a fascinating insight into the AOL content farm. They paid bloggers £5 per post, and this guy is now co-editor of ReadWriteWeb: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/i_worked_on_the_aol_content_farm_it_changed_my_lif.php

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