User Generated Content (also known as UGC) has proven itself as one of the most efficient and powerful tools for the development of your WordPress website or blog. This type of content is also widely used for search engine optimization purposes because it is natural and permanently updating.
Most beginners in the field of WordPress administration tend to see user generated content as something that comes out of nowhere and can not be influenced. It is a common but rude mistake. User generated content is always a result of your own work with the WordPress project. There would not be any piece of user generated content, if you do not create your own texts, images, videos or other types of content that attract users` attention and motivate them to leave some reply.
In this article we have gathered the most efficient yet simple types of user generated content you might experience within your WordPress project. We will try to observe this types f user generated content and learn how to convert it in some positive metrics for your WordPress website or blog.
What is User Generated Content?
Every WordPress project strives to have as many users as possible. There is however a large difference between a passing-by user and an interested in your content user. The second type of user is often ready to create his or her own content on the basis of yours. Any comment, review, rating or post this user leaves on your website is called user generated content. Simple enough to understand yet not so easy to encourage a user for the content creation in the right way.
Now let us proceed to the main user generated content types and learn how they influence your WordPress website. Note, that there much more opportunities for your users to create their own content but they are mostly efficient for already successful projects that need to push their development even further – that is why we do not touch them in this article.
Comments are the most obvious and simple type of user generated content. Moreover, the beginners` web projects usually start their acquaintance with the overall understanding of user generated content exactly by means of comments. It happens because comments represent the easiest way of a feedback with a website administration for a user. It is also important, that WordPress provides comments section for any blog post by default and any beginner website owner can use it without additional fine-tuning.
Comments are crucial not only for blogging WordPress projects. Online stores, business representative websites, portfolio and other types of WordPress projects also want to have as many user comments as possible. The sad news is that users do not usually have a desire to comment something, unless it really touches their mind or feelings. It means you need to create such content (or provide such goods, services, portfolio etc.) that appeals to users` emotions or thoughts.
More information on how to encourage users to leave comments on your WordPress website or blog can be found in our dedicated article: Basic Tips to Get More Comments on Your WordPress Site
Testimonials serve as a social proof of your WordPress project and the quality of its content. Testimonials usually appeal to an overall opinion of a user about your website, portfolio or business. They are closely connected with modern social networks and often are written exactly there: on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular platforms.
Testimonials play the crucial role for any small business that usually works with every customer personally and gathers feedback from social networks to show on the dedicated website. There are lots of useful free and premium WordPress plugins which provide your users with convenient forms to leave their testimonials and give you an opportunity to showcase these testimonials with a rotating carousel or slider.
This type of user generated content is mostly useful for online stores or business representation websites. However, portfolio websites are often interested in testimonials too. Blogs and community projects gather testimonials as proofs of their popularity and in marketing purposes.
User reviews are similar to testimonials but they provide more specific information about a certain product or service experienced by a user. This type of user generated content is also foremost important for online stores and business representation websites. There is also a special type of web projects which are dedicated specifically on gathering user reviews in different categories. These projects are heavily related on user activity and usually use social networks as an additional source of traffic and content.
User reviews also represent a great opportunity to develop the search engine optimization of your WordPress project. Google likes to show user reviews before any other information about a product or a service. It means you can get better search results if you have user review option within your WordPress website.
WordPress offers great variety of plugins to provide your users with a convenient interface to leave reviews and rate products. There are some free options of these tools but they usually contain advertisement from their developers. If you want to develop your business online seriously, you definitely need a premium tool for user reviews.
Guest blogging is usually actual for a successful WordPress projects but we have decided to cover this type of user generated content as one of the basics. Guest posts are usually written by authors who want backlinks to their projects. This is a good deal for any WordPress website owner because he gets a high-quality piece of content for free.
Guest blogging usually requires the creation of a special guest account for authors with limited editing options. There are also more comprehensive premium WordPress plugins which provide more options and better control on guest authors` accounts. These plugins are the must-have tools for bigger projects with a constant flaw of guest authors.
The last method of encouraging user generated content in our list gathers all opportunities of a WordPress project in this area of activity. Community hub project is a WordPress website totally dedicated to users and the content they generate. Your role as a WordPress administrator in such type of project has 2 main goals: to create a convenient and free platform for users to share their thoughts and to moderate the comments (filtrate spam and other ad types of content).
The success of a community hub project also relies heavily on social networks. To make a community website work you need to invest lots of effort on advertising it within Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social platforms. Even after your project will gather the initial amount of users to live independently, you must not stop the social networking campaigns because only they will keep your project`s engine moving forwards.