There are two methods of designing content for your Web business. The first (and preferred) method is to use Web business engineering to analyze how your site's theme gets done offline, and then use the results of your analysis to determine what you put online. For example, if the theme of your site is "movie reviews," you would use Web business engineering to analyze how movie reviews are done offline, and then use what you find to help choose what content to put on your site. I'll cover this technique in a future article; if you can't wait until then, you can see an example of how to do this in Chapter 12 of my book Web Business Engineering.
The second method of determining contentwhich isn't as thorough as the first method, but usually gives good enough resultsis the "list, categorize, and rank" heuristic, which consists of the following steps:
1. List all your ideas for content. For this first step, don't worry about how crazy or farfetched your ideas are. Write them all down. In the next couple of steps, you'll put these ideas into certain categories, to help you trim down the list to just the essentials.
2. Categorize these ideas according to perceived user value. Remember, this is value from your user's perspective, not your own. How you perceive the value of a piece of content may be very different from how your users see it. You can assign a numerical ranking to this category (such as 15), or just categorize the ideas as "low," "medium," or "high" value.
4. Rank your ideas according to value and who generates the content. Then implement those ideas that have medium-high value and whose content is either automatically generated or contributed by your users.
Remembering, you're developing a personal Web business based on the autonomous business model. Thus, you want high-value content on your site that requires very little work on your part in terms of updating or maintenance. I'm not saying that you should never implement those ideas for which you have to generate the content. However, you should limit such content to only those items for which you have to generate the information once (as in the FAQ for your site, for example), or where you only have to update the information periodically (for example, movie reviews updated once a month). Any content ideas that require you doing updates more than once a week should be avoided, if possible.