It's important to first understand that quality backlinks are the single most determining factor in how your website is ranked by Google and other search engines. Those that specialize in SEO are savvy to this fact and many tricks are used to try and short cut the process of acquiring quality backlinks. It's fair to say that the value of quality backlinks has been increased because it is the most difficult aspect of good SEO to fake!
Share The Love!
One of the most important features of using content writing, which includes blogging, to develop backlinks to your website, is so simple you probably think I'm being a smart arse when I state it. It's too simple: it's 'sharing'! That's right - just sharing! Social media has closed the door on a particular types of marketing tools. It is no longer that familiar "I'm selling this or that" and 'Buy one get two free" or here's another one, 'buy here now only 3 left'. Most of that one dimensional sale's pitch has been transformed into a social media world of sharing. Instead of hiring expensive marketing companies, ( who can afford that now?!) we learn the art of 'give and take'. It's a case of the 'best way forward is backward'! It's good old fashioned networking- except now it's done in the arena of blogging.
Tip: Guest Blogging /Posting
First step is to find a business that's in your industry or closely related to it, then post on that website as a 'Guest'. If you select a website that has a good page rank, obviously that means it should be a higher page rank than yours. The blog post must be free of errors and should be at least 500 words long. If you are sincere in writing as a guest blogger, actually encouraging traffic to their website aimed at assisting them in selling their products and services then it is highly likely that they will post or comment on your blog and website. Just good old fashioned 'share the love' - help the other guy and it will all come back to you!
Tip: Press Releases:
There is always someone looking for news to write about and your well written 'Press Release' is one sure way to be helpful to someone else and at the same time attract some quality backlinks. Having an eye catching 'Headline' will be helpful to at least get your content read. Be sure to add a link in the body of your press release so that you're sure to get the credit. The better quality writing, the more interesting it is to read, the way it stands out from the rest is a sure win in this approach to acquiring 'quality backlinks'.
Tip: Blog Directories:
There are dozens of these but there are two that have been around for years and are 'trusted' by Google. The reason that the major search engines trust these two in particular is because blogs are manually/handpicked to go into these Blog Directories; That trust works in your favor when you've registered with them because the quality of the the websites/ blogs they choose are always top quality. The two I'm speaking of have been around for a long time, they are: Technorati and DMOZ
Tip: Comment On Other Websites;
Submit articles to Social Media pages and establish relationships with the owners of those sites.Think about how you'd feel if one day you find that someone has posted on your blog a favorable comment or review!
Tip: Participating in Forums:
Pick one or two active forums that are related to your industry and be helpful to someone else.
Subscribe to Newsletters of Blogs that are in your Market Niche:
The other thing to do is to monitor your backlinks and there are several sites that are free to join and they have tools to help you monitor your backlinks; here are a few:
There is also many websites that will auto send you an email when you get a new link - here's one that will help you stay informed: SeoProfiler.com
Writing Entertaining & Informative Blogs
Blogs that get read are blogs that are useful; they are almost always entertaining. When you think about how you've learned anything you'll probably remember who you learned it from. No one can forget a school teacher that made learning fun. Learning something you need to know is particularly fun if the process is made enjoyable.
The Blah Blah Blogs You Skip Over
One of the most discouraging features about reading blogs is that very few of them, on any given subject, differ from the ones you read last week, or last month or worse yet, last year! I call these the 'blah blah blogs'. They run in packs; for example if the subject is search engine optimization, (SEO) all you can typically find to read, is the same rehashed information. Since blogging is intended to attract readers, then it follows that the writing content in the blog has to be aimed at developing an audience. That is a mammoth task. There are millions of bloggers all trying to pull traffic to their area of interest. Those bloggers, who write about their hobby or passion, are not really needing to know much about content writing that is SEO savvy because the content will only have the key words in it that specifies the area of focus.
Blogging For A Small Business
No matter what your business is you can always find something to blog about that will be interesting to almost anyone! We all like to learn that's why those 'Did You Know' corners in advertising newspapers are so popular. Those newspapers are usually distributed freely and commonly found on small cafe's tables, the local 'Seven-Eleven', corner shops, laundromats, gas stations, etc. They've conducted research that proves almost everyone that reads those 'give away' papers first reads the 'Did You Know' corner. That's why you will never pick up one without seeing that space.
Blogging As A Winemaker
I have a client that owns a wine cellar and is a Vintner. I've suggested to him to post blog entries that follow a calendar year. Any business that has a cycle that follows a specific calendar makes for a good blogging guideline. Say for example he speaks of a 'brix point' or 'brix scale' and it never occurred to him that explaining that in a blog would be like one of those 'Did You Know' tid bits that everyone seems to like learning about. After all, they drink his wine and involving them in the process could only increase interest and that is likely to increase sales. It will certainly put the consumer in focus and having the vendor pay attention to you as a consumer is noticeable. Another example: did you know that the grapes used in wine-making are horrible to eat? It's true; the best grapes for making wine are cultivated to survive stress! No kidding. They are only given the tiniest amount of water, through a drip system and this causes them to produce stressed out grapes! It's too funny to think that those who drink the wine are more often than not, trying to de-stress!
Blogging As A Florist & As A Coffee Supplier
Everyone loves flowers! We do - we just do. A florist could find dozens of ways to blog on the most interesting floral facts. For example, how many rose lovers know that the original rose was brought to England by a botanist who found it on its native Himalayan hillside. It only had four simple petals and from that they have created the more commonly known 'American Beauty' long stem roses! Why are those so lovely?! But one thing is certain, during a recent conversation with not just one, but 3, local florists, I learned that the bulk of their flowers are sold to men who are either about to pop the 'magic question', or apologizing for some blunder or other!
How Did Coffee Get From Africa to South America?
I'll bet very few reading this blog will know how coffee left Africa, its native home and arrived in South America? Short end to that story is there's a whole lottah coffee in Brazil! LOL I can't leave you like that - I'll have to tell you the very shortest version of that story. A woman, well, a wife, was having a very heated affair. The paramour was a visitor ( just as well, I might add) and he was brought in from Brazil to settle a dispute about certain territories that were in dispute...territory used to grow coffee on, of course. Anyway, when it was time for him to leave to go home... and since it was illegal to take coffee beans or as they were and still are called 'cherries' out of the country...she decided to send him along with some beans anyway. Now where do you suppose she put those beans... well she hid them deep in the center of flowers in a bouquet she gave him on departure. That gesture of gifting a bouquet was customary; the exporting of coffee beans, however, was not! I wonder if her husband ever knew how that happened? (well,...you could tune in next week to see if I blog about that...couldn't you?)
Blogs that Win Customers do so with Skill not Luck:
Do you like my graphic showcasing that a pen can be used to hit a target too? What I most like about it is that only one of those darts will typically make you money...the other two, however, can be a lot of fun! You could make money throwing darts at a board in some championship game I suppose...but putting your pen to work and understanding the power of the business blog is a sure win where skill, not luck takes home the winning prize.
How do I Write Blogs for the Bots and at the same time Win Prospects?
Its not as difficult as it sounds actually. But its not as easy to explain as I wish it were! Maybe begin with realizing that targeting both the Bots and your prospects are the same thing. Here's my attempt at explaining why that's true. The search engine is composed of Bots; electronic digital devices that read, file, retain content and know were to find it again. The target you need to hit to win your customer is the same one that needs to be hit to lure the Google Bot. When the Bots track your information about your product or service, it is the same information that is fed to that prospect that is looking for what you're selling. Still with me...? After all when you consider that all of us, including your prospects are the initial programmers. If you can spend a few minutes thinking about that you'll know how brilliant the internet actually is when viewed as the gigantic and never ending marketing machine it is. All you have to do is put it to work for yourself.
Writing the Effective Business Blog:
I get asked this question over and over: "What do I write about?" That's a fair question and what I hear loudest in it is the small business owner who feels they haven't the creativity to keep generating original material. That's what web content writers are for! After all, most small to medium business owners now work at least 10 hr days. Since the economic downturn, many of they state that due to not being able to afford staff, they are now working 14hour days. Very easy to understand that to be asked to sit and think about what to blog about is just off the list of options. But the strong and brave survive, so to answer the question about writing effective business blogs, just get a list of what in the 'used to be days' you would have hired traditional advertising space for. Sales & Discounts? News & Updates on product lines? Special events & Hangouts? AND if you have a business that has a natural calendar built into it, like making wine, or cheese, or something that comes into season once a year, then you can have a running calendar blog that feeds fresh, relevant, and useful information to your existing clients and constantly broadcasts for new prospects.
Remember that your clients and prospects are people just like you.
I say that because sometimes when the small business owner decides to begin a business blog, they seem to conjure and put on another persona. The truth is that the more you communicate in the way you want to be communicated to, the better the results will be. You don't have to put on the 'advertising personality'; all you have to do is maintain the same friendliness towards them through the blog, that you show to them when they come into your shop. If you don't have a shop, pretend you do so you can get this salient point I am demonstrating.
Stories Sell - Facts Tell
Tell a story. Everyone loves them and the best marketers in the world tell stories about themselves and their products...they actually do not set out to sell anything to anyone. They tell their story and we buy into it. We all remember our favorite teachers; they entertained us while they educated us. Ministers do this all of the time they actually are just copying the Great Master Storytellers. You must have dozens of stories about how your business was started and why; war stories about how some competitor tried to put you down...but you won and they lost! Maybe you know something about the history of your product...how did it come to be, who invented it, why does it exist...and is this product sold in different parts of the world but somehow looks very different? You get the drift. Tell a story about your product or service and make it interesting.
Everyone that has played chess knows that stinging surprise that a pawn checkmated your seeming well positioned king. The salient point learned is to never give the pawn the opportunity. Today's online marketplace is full of skilled SEO statisticians. They study their opponents - know their typical 'moves'. They know what their strengths are and where their weakness are. These strengths you have can simple be your location, or the relationships you've built up in your local community. Those relationships in a struggling economy function much like the loyalty that happens with your countrymen during wartime. You don't care if you do or don't like him in war, you and he are suddenly <!--more-->-comrades in arms! Just let some snake try to come in and steal your market out from under your nose and those loyal customers will function like a drawbridge. Let the enemy swim the shark infested mote to get to your customers they holler! Well,.. 'scuse me for adding a bit of theater to this spin - after all, it does feel very dramatic when someone, an alien force, moves in on your carefully cultivated clientele.
Bringing down the enemy is a mammoth task until you view the might of the blog. Simple, humble web savvy piece of writing of about 550 words. If this is a chess game, think 'Pawn Power'. If you've never played chess, think 'Achilles Heel'...if you don't know what that is, think thieves running the neighbourhood and no matter how many locks you have put on your doors, they already know how to pick them. Sheesh... do I need another example? I done' mind, I've got dozens ready to fire off in my blogs.
Here's the salient point of this blog entry, you can be a main player even if you sit somewhere in a back room and count beans! The real gift of the internet and the wide open window it throws out onto the world of potential customers is that you can invite those prospects to your front door, so to speak - that front door is your website. In this digital age, that 'net' or 'web' is the way you create a road map to tell your prospects how to find you and why they should.
What Does It Cost To Advertise My Product On The Web?
Time. It will cost you your time. When you think of it, the effect that a simple blog of some 550 words or so, that is only one page or so. It is a typical suggestion to try to say what you've got to say to anyone, be it in business or personal and have it fit on a single page. That is how the Google Bots that read the internet work - they will not usually read a newly submitted blog post unless it is about a page long. Could you spend that much time per week writing something about your business to your existing customers and those 'hope to acquire' prospects?
I don't want to entirely set aside the intelligence of a strategy when it comes to writing blog entries and generally putting up new content, but hey!, the idea is here to just begin.
Begin by Writing a Single Page of Content:
Begin with a single page, say something about what your thinking, what you know that's new about your business and it's products or services. Think 'conversation'; you'll usually discover that you chat to customers and colleagues all the time about your business...you'll share the good news and the bad news, you'll be asking them about there business and how they feel about what's generally going on and sometimes about specific matters that affect your bottom line. There are many more things you can do to help move your products out into cyberspace but you need to start somewhere. Later on, if you are still reading what I'm posting you'll learn how to set into this web content writing, essential key words that will have the 'bots' crawling your website and be set to frequent your content as you set a rhythm the Google algorithms will favour it and send in the Bots!
Entry Blog Posts Only $30
If I can be of service, if even you only want to ask a few questions, then connect with me. I love what I do and I love sharing it with you. I'm available to come and speak with your 'Networking Group' etc.
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