I am really excited about this part of your training because you are going to discover a technique that will give you a massive advantage over your competitors. This technique is called Content Marketing. There are numerous reasons why Content Marketing is really important as we shall see, but one really important point that you need to consider is this: The vast majority of your competitors won’t do this.
Don’t ask me why, but they won’t. If they do, they’ll make a half hearted attempt at it & then give up. If you don’t believe me, just go to several of their websites & have a look at their blogs. You will soon see that they either don’t have one, or if they do that they are not updated regularly. This spells a huge opportunity for you. Let’s look at the reasons for this.
Google – The Good Old Days
As we saw in the previous training session, the good old days of link building are long gone. Before, there were all sorts of ways of creating low grade content which would be endlessly re-spun and auto-submitted to Article Directories, in return for a link back to your website. The problem with this approach (which did work for a number of years, incidentally) was that Google and the other search engines are looking for good content to present in its search results. If Google’s top search results were dominated by low quality, re-spun articles, then the result is not very satisfactory from a user’s perspective.
What Google Doesn’t Want
To address this, in 2012, Google introduced two major upgrades to their search algorithm (i.e. the program that its system uses to determine their search results). These were called the Penguin and Panda updates. The result was that almost overnight, their rankings changed and pages that were previously dominating the top results in Google either dropped out completely or were significantly reduced. What Google had effectively done was to penalise websites and pages that were using what they considered to be manipulative means to achieve a high ranking. Whereas before, website owners were aiming to gain as many links as possible from wherever they could, in Google’s new world, they placed a far greater emphasis on the quality and variety of “who” was linking to you. This is where Content Marketing comes in.
What Google Wants
As we have seen, Google is looking for good quality content. If you update your website regularly with high quality information that is keyword rich then you are just basically saying to Google: “Hey, I am here. I do this and I am an expert. I have even included the keywords to help you understand what I do, so that you can present this to people in your search results!” The trick is to try to become the ‘goto’ person in your field. And When you get this right, that will be you!
Content Marketing Is The Future
This is why Content Marketing is the future & this is what I mean when I say that your competitors won’t do this. People are hesitant about raising their head over the parapet. People are often shy about this. But even if you are a small player or up against bigger competitors this is their achilles heel. This is your under the radar strategy for claiming authority status & therefore claiming the lion’s share of traffic. Don’t believe me still? Well what is your natural reaction when I tell you that you need to claim authority status? If you are like most people then you are not sure if it is for you. But that is EXACTLY how your competitors are feeling so you just need to take a deep breath, cross your heart & make that commitment to be a better content producer than they are. What is really strange though is that the more you do it, the better you get at it, the more enjoyable it gets & the more business you get. It is like a wheel of fortune that you are in control of. Still not convinced? OK, consider this then…
Content Marketing – The Results
it is estimated that even a small business website with a blog can get up over 50% more traffic than their (non-blog) competitors. What is really incredible though is that this TRAFFIC INCREASES EXPONENTIALLY if that blog adds new content each week. So setting up & caring for a blog is a very wise investment for your business.
Your Blog – The Home Of Your Point Of View
In order to obtain this expert status you need to start with your blog. Over time, as you use social media, you will start to see that your blog is at the centre of your social media universe. The reason for this is that your blog is the “Home of your Point of View” & you will use this to draw people from a wide variety of sources to an asset that you own & control, i.e. your blog. These sources will be natural search such as Google, but also other social media sources such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & even iTunes. You don’t “own” or control any of these, but you definitely do own & control your blog & what happens there when people visit you.
WordPress – Recommended Blogging Tool
In terms of setting up a blog you can not go wrong with WordPress, for a number of important reasons.
The Advantages of WordPress
The main advantages are shown here: Google Friendly Can Use As Website (not just blog) Easy Install Free Gentle Learning Curve Well Supported Not ‘Exotic’ – Designers Use It LOADS of Extra Features (Plugins) Low Cost Templates Available Etc..
WordPress – Easy to Auto-Install
As I mentioned, it is free & it is very straightforward to install. If you host with Pickaweb then it is just a couple of clicks using the Softaculous feature in your hosting cPanel. If you have any issues our support team can help you out, no problem.
Prepare Your Blog’s First Month’s Content
Prepare a List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) FAQs are a great starting point for creating content. If you have them on your website already then that is a great start. Generally FAQs on a website tend to be fairly short. For your blog you will be preparing 300-400 word posts, so you need to consider this when creating your list of topics based on your FAQs. If necessary you can consolidate 2 or 3 questions together to get the right amount of words. One very important point is you need to include your keywords in the title of your blog post as closely as possible. Don’t focus too much on getting the keyword EXACTLY right but do try to make it read as naturally as possible. Check The Competition and Niche Blogs (feedly.com – RSS reader) Likewise, with niche or industry related blogs, you can get plenty of ideas and inspiration for your own blog posts. To help you organize these, you can use an RSS reader. An RSS feed is a way that you can subscribe to blogs and when they post new content it automatically updates your feed, rather than you having to go and check for new content. I recommend using a tool like feedly.com – it is free & easy to us. 2 good reasons to use it in my book. Check Your Email Outbox or Your Helpdesk Often you can find great ideas for content just by going through your outbox or your helpdesk. Your customers may have requested some information or asked a question that you have not addressed on your website. These are really great ways to find extra content ideas. Repurposing stuff on your Hard Drive Remember that sales presentation or that piece of research you did ages ago that is just lying there on your hard drive? Bring it back to life by creating one or several blog posts around it. Phone a Friend Imagine you are speaking to someone who has little in depth understanding of what it is that you do. It could be a friend or a relative. Either sit down with them face to face or just run through an imaginary conversation. Think of the questions that they would ask you and the answers that you would give them. You should aim to give them a complete understanding of what it is that you do. Keep a note of the questions and answers, no matter how trivial as these are the questions that potential customers will have.
Now the process for publishing your material is very important too. If you cast your mind back to when we looked at keywords, Metatags, URLs, anchor text links, H1, H2 headings & all of that stuff, well it still applies on your blog. This is a really important point. Don’t just publish your text & leave it. You need to optimize it & in the accompanying workbook below we show you step by step exactly how to do this. Now I am not suggesting for a minute that you need to become an expert WordPress user, but it is important that you know how you want your blog post to be created for maximum effect in the search results. Shortly we will look at how you can get someone else to do all of this for you for a low cost, but you need to be familiar with the basic mechanics of a well optimised blog post. We have also included a blog post check list for you which you will also find in the workbook to keep you focused.
Next Up…The Truth About Social Media (You Might Not Like This…)
OK, we have covered a lot of ground so far, but now we are coming up to an area where there is still a lot of confusion & here we are going to give you some clarity around social media.