Newsjacking for Your Blog
These days the Internet is filled with people who want to take your money and improve you SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For the most part, these strategies are a rip-off. They essentially consist of tricking the search engines into improving your ranking. But strategies based on tricking the system just can’t be consistently successful.
First, Content is King. More than anything else, your web site or blog needs to provide good, useful information that people want to consume. More than anything else you do, having good content will get you found and keep you visible to the search engines.
The reason most people turn to SEO tricks is that they don’t have much content. Maybe their web site is just a classic 5-page “brochure” web site. Why would anyone seek that out? They wouldn’t. Content can be anything useful. For some, it’s good advice and information. Others have success by creating a resource center. If you compile great info on a topic, your site will become an authority – and that brings traffic.
Your Action Step: Decide what content you can provide that brings true value to visitors. The information should appeal to the people you want to attract, so don’t create a great site about your favorite hobby just to get visitors. If your hobby’s not related to your business, then the people you attract won’t buy what you’re selling.
Second, you need a lot of (legitimate) Inbound Links. Search engines use links as a way to tell what others think of your site. Inbound links are a good way to determine whether you are an authority on a topic. If a lot of web sites point to your blog posts – and those links get decent traffic – then the search engines increase your grade for authority on that topic.
Here’s the real juicy goodness about inbound links: The longer they’re out there, the more they get clicked on; and the more they get clicked on, the higher your status as an authority. A few good posts that get a lot of steady traffic from other sites can really make a difference.
Your Action Step: Be generous in linking to other bloggers. It shows them that your read their stuff. And it makes them feel good, so they are more likely to read your stuff and link to you.
Third, try Newsjacking: Get a good blog post out as fast as you can when a big topic emerges in the area of interest you cover. This is an extension of the two earlier strategies. But it works best if you’ve already built enough reputation that people trust that a link to your blog will be a valuable addition to their site.
While content is king, fast content becomes king must faster. Here’s how it works.
Early in the news cycle, there is no news about the “headline” topic because it just happened. A few bloggers will be the first ones to grab the story and post up information. Ideally, this will be good, solid information with a bit of your own opinion or some controversy. You need a spin or a hook so that people want to read your post.
Great titles are also important. For example, when Microsoft announced the “End of Life” for their Small Business Server product, I posted an article entitled “Microsoft Announced the End of SBS, Surprising Absolutely No One.” Because it came out early, had a strong title, and had a bit of a twist, many people linked to that blog post.
Many other people might have posted better articles (better reporting, more solid facts, less opinion), but if their articles were posted AFTER a bunch of other articles come out, then it’s harder for them to catch up to the number of inbound links I achieved early in the news cycle.
In this example, the article I posted got so much traffic that it became my most popular post of all time (after seven years of blogging). Over time, the number of inbound links grows a tiny bit, but the traffic is still there from the places that linked to me. And the longer my post is out there, the higher it’s ranked. When people follow the link from Google search to my blog post, that increases my authority even more.
Your Action Step: Be prepared for some fast blogging the next time there’s breaking news in your industry. If you get a good article out really fast, it can dramatically improve your search engine performance.