Website Content Ideas

Great posts and website content ideas.
Your website is only as good as the posts that you write.  Good posts attract visitors and promote discussion which makes your site vibrant.

Several people we have trained through talk about local have said

When I first got started on the site I found lots to write about but after the first few weeks I got stuck and didn’t know what to write about.

So we are trawling the internet for great things to write about on local websites – each link will take you to a description of how you can tackle and issue on your website with further links out to great examples all over the UK.

Local arts and fun

How to support local festivals and fairs through your website

Even the smallest communities have a local arts scene why not review, gigs, plays events… or write about art on display in your area?

Local history is hugely popular on local sites why not start recording some local memories?

Street stuff

Help people communicate by getting a local poster or flyer online – some great suggestions from missing cats to gospel choirs.

Make some interesting Flickr images of your street with these clever photo ‘stickers’

Fly tipping, waste and mess – how you can clean up your neighbourhood with your local site

Dog fouling – it’s a messy issue – but who doesn’t have that problem locally – how you can tackle it online?

Link direct to a map from your story to show people precisely where you mean

Local nature, wildlife and environment

People love local wildlife and the changes the season bring – Nicky pulls together some great examples from local sites. Also feature local parks, allotments and gardens.

Transport

Good local transport information is hard to come by – think about publishing local timetables. the wonderful  Eleven Bus website has a different take on what you can get up to on a bus.

Local transport is the entire subject of many many local sites and an almost inexhaustible topic.

Photography

Pictures really make a website – try publishing local photos on your website. Have a look at the 4AM project . Anyone from anywhere in the world can take part in this, why not get a group of people from your local area to take part next time? You never know you could even win a prize.

The council

The Guardian Society wrote a very accessible article about the relationship between councils and local websites covering Kings Cross Environment – this could give you ideas for what to write.

Planning applications, decisions campaigns – these can be big local issues that will interest local people – how to cover them on your website

Parish councils do loads of fascinating work but not enough people know what’s going on – see what other websites have done with parish news.

In general the council will be a rich vein of issues for you to cover – here’s one way to get started by Mike of Pitsnpots.

Local businesses

It’s very mundane but posting the opening hours of local supermarkets on your site can be hugely helpful and enormously popular.

If there’s a new small business in the area give it a mention on the site.  Many small businesses have poor websites or none at all and local people love to know about new shops and services.  It can be as simple as this.

General writing tips

How to structure your story – helpful tips from Clare

Keep the website running while you are on holiday and spread out a glut of posts with this tip on forward scheduling posts

Remember to keep it clean and legal – see our simple guide to resources on defamation, libel etc and copyright.

Places to look for local issues

Have a look in your local library, they will more than likely have a community notice board and a list of local clubs & goups.

Community centres should be the centre of the community, they will be the venue for many of the clubs and groups in your area, check out their noticeboard to see what is going on.

Local venues for music & events, have a look at what they have coming up, get on their mailing list so you get to see what is coming up.

Larger schools & colleges will have events, like art exhibitions or performing arts shows.

If you want to cover local politics, your local council website will have sections for meetings & agendas where you can check for items that are about your area. A lot of councils will have a subscription option where you can select various options and be mailed when new items are posted that match your selection.

Other resources

Have a look at this great set of ideas for local sites from journalist Dave Higgerson.  Also check out Hold The Front Page Story Ideas page & the Story Ideas Archive. The page is regularly updated with ideas from around the country for reporters. You can take these ideas and adapt them to to your local area and hyperlocal site.