I love content marketing. I ‘practice’ it everyday. I’ve used it to grow a handful of businesses. Rather than create long form blog posts on each little trick I keep up my sleeve, which isn’t practical because of time, I figure I’ll post a ‘never ending list’ with a short explanation as I come up with, develop, and start using new tricks. Here they are. Enjoy!
[10/18/2020] Look To Your Existing Content For Opportunities To Improve Your Rankings
Stop wasting time doing “keyword research”. Looking to your existent content that gets a little exposure to find content pieces that could be further optimized. I cover how in this video:
[11/19/2018] The New Method: Capture leads, Deliver Content.
There once was a time when all you had to do was publish it, and they would read it. Forget about that now.
User behavior has changed!
No one reads. Reading has been replaced with swipes on a page.
It’s a unfortunate, as I prefer writing. But that is the way it is.
Focus on capturing leads, and then deliver the content by email or fb messenger.
Here’s 2 great pieces on how user behavior has changed.
[11/19/2018] Video wins. Here’s my favorite video creators.
Short videos with text overlay are doing great. Particularly on Facebook. All you need to do is write a few short sentences. Match them to come pics or clips and you have an effective vid. Editing can be a pain though. I hate video editing. Here are my 3 favorite programs that can make tese vids quickly and easily!
[6/20/2018] Have a Purpose For Each Piece of Content.
Producing consistent content of any form is good… consistency is a huge part of success, but if you want to accelerate the results you get from content marketing you need to have a purpose.
Obectives —> content type
Capture search traffic –> Long form blog posts.
Get New Followers on your list (usually through paid traffic sources) —> Lead magnets.
Connect With Your Audience —> Video / Podcast
Checkout the full blog post on content, purposes, the reasoning behind it, and how I will be changing my content marketing strategy.
[5/19/2018] Use Actual Traffic to Assess Value Of A Link (when link building).
As part of the process for content marketing, you’ll need to build links. In order to get the best return on your link building time (or investment if you’re doing paid ads), you’ll need to figure out which sites are the most valuable.
In other words which websites are the best ones to get a link from.
There’s no shortage of metrics out there when it comes assessing website value for a link. There’s Moz score, Mozrank, Trustsource, Trustflow, Domain Authority, Page Authority, SEOjuice, Majesticlink, and oh there once was Pagerank. I actually don’t know if those are all real. It’s been a while since I’ve looked into them.
If you ever spent any time looking into those metrics you know they’re worthless. You’ll find garbage sites with great metrics, and good sites with low metrics.
So wtf metric matters to me… how much organic Google traffic the website gets!
If Google has a sustained pattern of sending traffic there, it’s a good website. I use SEMrush to check it out.
The keyword here is sustained. Occasionally you’ll find websites that have sudden spikes in traffic. Avoid those. It doesn’t happen much anymore as Google at avoiding the black hat websites.
[5/19/2018] To Get A Response: Reply To A Mailing List Email.
Part of content marketing is outreach, but cold outreach is tricky as most of the ‘influencers’ you want to reach out to get countless emails of attempted outreach. This one is a little sly but my response rate is high.
Sign up to their mailing list. Then reply to one of their emails.
Usually their mailing list replies get quick attention, because either a) they recognize their own email b) List emails rarely get replies, c) they mailing list usually has some sale tactic so they are concerned with problems or rejections. Either way, I’ve found a much better response rate with these then basic outreach.
BUT you have to be strategic about it. You can’t just sign up to a mailing list and reply to the first email you get. I suggesting signing up well in advance of your potential ask (i.e. before you have an ask) and then possibly just reply with some feedback to a message, or new content they published. THEN once you have a connection you can do the ask.
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[5/19/2018] Give Your Content Branded Names.
I picked this one up from Brian Dean of Backlinko. At some point fairly recently he published a link building technique. It isn’t a revolutionary link building technique and I’m sure other SEO’s have been using the basic method for some time — in other words, I doubt he was the first. He could’ve called it something generic like ‘One of My Best Link building techniques’ or ‘A 5 Step Method To More Links’, but instead he called it The Skyscraper Technique.
The Skyscraper Technique. Every SEO knows about it and and that branded name is associated with him, yet he didn’t have to re-invent the wheel.
Bottom link if you’re publishing some type of step-by-step actionable advice: NAME IT.
[5/16/2018] If You Link Out, Reach Out.
Naturally, blogging and content marketing lends itself to linking to other peoples content. So as you publish each new post, look up the contact info of those you link out to and let them know. This is the simplest, and quite possibly the most powerful form of outreach. At this point, your contact should make no solicitation, just make a connection. It often will result in a share, or link but more importantly, later, when you have an ask, you’ll have an open line of communication!
John, just a heads up I referenced one of your pieces in a blog post I just dropped. Check it out!
[2/27/2018 ] To Create Engaging Videos
Dramatic intro, CTA grabbing in Video, Outro
[2/27/2018] Use The Skyscaraper Technique For Linkbuilding
Look For Guest Post Opps On Sites With Real Traffic.
When it comes to guest posting to get links, particularly when hiring an outreach service or outright buying links, only consider websites that have REAL ORGANIC TRAFFIC. Most people look to some artificial metric like Trustflow or Domanin Authority (DA). But those numbers can be spoofed / faked / manipulated through a variety of metrics. I have seen sites that have a high DA and other metrics but get NO traffic from Google. We can only wonder WHY?
The best way to determine the value that Google is giving a website is by taking a look at how much traffic Google is sending to it or looking for natural engagement on social media. If you can’t get that info from the site owner, take a look at the traffic estimate SEM Rush.
I would rather have a link from a site with a DA of 10, that SEM Rush estimates to have 100 monthly visitors from organic search (in my experience actual traffic if usually much higher), than from a site with a DA of 50 but 0 visitors estimated from SEM Rush.
Use Feedly To Stay On Top Of All Your Other Blogs.
Part of content marketing is engaging with other content creators, and sharing others high quality content with your audience. This isn’t easy with hundreds of sites and resources you may need to follow. I use Feedly to follow all the blogs in one place. This ensures I never miss a post, and that they are all condensed in one easy place. It also allows me to mark what has already been read, so I don’t get consumed in the same shit twice. You can read my full process that I use to manage scheduling and sharing social media content.
Annotate Images For More Engagement.
Annotating images with captions, arrows, highlights, etc makes the images of a blog post more engaging. It also helps bring the content to live, and explanations better. It’s also really easy to use. I use a Chrome browser called Nimbus.
To Hire Good Writers.
Finding good ‘gem’ of a writer is tricky. You need to burn through a few of them. When I need to hire recruit a writer, I will post an ad on a freelancing site like Upwork, for the length and target price. Once I get a few qualified applicants, I will assign the topic ‘New To ______: Here’s Everything You Need To Know’ to a few (usually 4-5) writers. The quality of this piece, relative to the other writers, lets me know who has the best ability to educate themselves on the subject and write about it. Also some people flake off. For every 5 you hire, you’ll find 1 or 2 writers. That is it.
Skip Keyword Research. Publish Content… Then Go Back To Search Console.
I hate keyword research. And now it is useless. Google search can pick up larger concepts and ideas that keywords stuff on the page. I also create content for users. So I skip the keyword research. At least in the beginning.
First I will publish the content. Then publish more content. Then look back at search console to see what words google is showing the content for. I’ll pick a keyword I want to optimize for, and then I’ll search ‘the keyword site:mywebsite.com’. The first result will be the page big G has determined is most relevant so I will optimize for that page.
Use Answer The Public To Find Good Topics.
When you have something you want (or need) to right about, type the broad topic into Answer The Public and you’ll see a list of all the ‘questions’ people are asking about it. Take the example call tracking software. I’m knowledgeable on that subject and would like to publish some content. Answer the Public has 22 questions that people are searching for on that subject. Now i can gear my content towards ‘answering’ the questions. This makes writing a breeze and provides relevant valuable content for the internet browsers of the world… and the search engines they use.