How many times have we heard people say “create good content” for your website or blog and you’ll be successful? All the time.
How many websites and blogs are out there that have good content, but low to no visibility and therefore very little traffic? A lot.
While creating good content is definitely solid advice, one that has stood the test of time, it will single handedly not get you to where you need to be.
In order to be successful online, you need hoards of traffic. And in order for you to build the hoards, you need to be able to effectively distribute quality content.
Because of the ultra competitive environment that we operate in today, good content is a given, an expectation and a necessary ingredient for baking our success, but is definitely not enough.
Gone are the days of making a living online by creating mediocre content. Because good quality content is a given today, I won’t dwell on it much. Let me just say that quality is relative to who perceives it.
In order to create high quality content, you must know who your audience is. If you are able to deliver value to your audience, no matter how much, your content will be perceived as “quality”.
Just think about your own web browsing patterns. Which websites and blogs do you frequent? Why?
Distributing content is what separates the men from boys in my opinion, at least in today’s internet. The last I heard, there are 3 blogs created every 2 seconds, which is almost 16 million blogs in a year! Is my math right? Yes, gone indeed are the days of making easy money online from your website or blog.
What I mean by distributing content is to get it in the hands, ears and eyes of your audience. The internet is not like a brick and mortar business where if you build they will come.
If you build and count sheep, you can have no one come to you even years after building if you don’t make an effort to distribute your good content. Without distribution, you simply do not exist online.
Here are some means of distribution to consider:
Search Optimization or SEO – this is the single biggest step you can take to distribute your website or blog in my opinion. A well optimized website can be identified, picked up and ranked by search engines, therefore making you visible to web surfers.
SEO includes detailed keyword research, building your website’s blueprint, webpage interlinking using appropriate anchor texts, webpage keyword density, headings, subheadings and meta tags such as keywords, title and description.
Search Engine Submissions – this involves knocking on the search engines’ door and telling them that you exist. This is most typically done through sitemap submissions.
Though I hear most say that an XML sitemap should suffice and therefore you shouldn’t bother with an HTML sitemap, my experience tells me that both should be pursued. It takes an extra 5 minutes to create and implement the other so why not?
Off-Page Internet Marketing – this is essentially anything and everything else that you do to promote your website or blog on the internet. Some examples include article marketing, press release marketing, blog and forum marketing, social bookmark and network marketing.
RSS – Real Simple Syndication. This is an absolute must and comes built in today with most blogging platforms such as WordPress. RSS technology benefits your blog because it pings several engines each time you update or release a new post.
Pinging is simply a fancy way to say that it automatically distributes your content all over the internet. Websites usually don’t have this technology and therefore have an inherent disadvantage. However, one of the biggest reasons I use the SBI platform for my niche content websites is that SBI HAS an RSS/ping capability enabled for its websites, which separates it from any other platform and gives you an inherent advantage.
I haven’t found another tool out there that is able to do this.
Email Subscription Via Feed – This is an alternative for your readers to receive your material as email rather than as an RSS feed to their readers. Some people prefer getting email, and many have email clients like Microsoft Outlook that allow them to read email even when not connected to the internet.
Giving your audience this option increases likelihood of their subscription, not to mention that many more are familiar with email rather than reading RSS feeds on an RSS reader or aggregator.
Email Subscription Via Newsletter Service – If you are going to have email available as an option to distribute your material, then I suggest you go with a paid newsletter service such as Aweber rather than implementing the RSS via Email feature that free services such as Feedburner provide.
There are many reasons for this. One example is the accuracy of feedburner. The program is flawed in that it will always give you a different number of subscribers each time you look at it. Moreover, it does not track and provide specific user data analytics.
Another example of a flaw is that the tool is essentially useless for marketing purposes. Programs like Aweber tell you more than you will ever need or want to know about your audience as well as allow you to target test, split test and perform a variety of other tasks that free services don’t allow you to do. If you are serious about your career online, I highly recommend you use this service.
Facebook – You must have heard that if Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd largest behind China and India (yes bigger than the USA). Since everyone and their dog are on Facebook, you can’t afford not to be on it today.
It is an effective way to distribute your content to a targeted audience who follows your Fan page. Facebook also allows your audience to subscribe to your RSS feed, and therefore are notified of any new content you publish or link to from your account. Also, each time your audience acts on your content (example: “liking” it), their friends see that and thus expands your exposure some more.
Twitter – Getting on Twitter is just as important as Facebook. It is yet another option to tap into a new segment of audience, and allows the audience yet another option to follow you. There are tools that link your blog, Facebook and Twitter all together so that each time you publish a blog post, a notification is sent to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. This saves a lot of time, and allows you to tap into audience on all three platforms all at once.
Social Bookmark Icons – I am sure you have seen these artsy looking emblems on pretty much every website or blog you visit today. These are the Diggs, StumbleUpons and RedIts of the world. Social bookmarking allows your audience to easily tag your content and distribute it to their own network. Not incorporating this easy option can mean loss of significant potential exposure, particularly to a new audience who you are not already in touch with.
YouTube – This is the second largest search engine in the world and one that is heavily favored by Google in its search results. I am sure you have seen videos pop up on search rankings when you search on Google? Those are all YouTube videos that are optimized for the keywords you search for.
Yes, the good news is that YouTube videos can be search optimized, yet another reason you should look into it as an extension of your website or blog from a content distribution perspective. YouTube also allows you to link back to your website or blog, giving you a high quality back-link. YouTube also has an RSS feature for your audience’s convenience.
PodCasting – Similar to YouTube, Podcasting allows you the opportunity to get a bit more personal with your audience. Many prefer this method of content consumption because it allows them to fill time gaps usefully. For example, one can listen to your podcast as they clean, cook, workout or drive, therefore turning dead time into productive time.
Podcasting also allows you to submit your podcasts for inclusion in exclusive podcast directories such as Itunes which have its own audience, often in the millions. If you can capitalize on this opportunity, you can really take your website traffic to the next level.
External sources like ClickBank, Amazon – Last but certainly NOT least at all are external platforms such as ClickBank and Amazon that allow you to host your material for sale. You can only take advantage of these platforms if you have a product such as an ebook.
These platforms already have millions of users / followers. Think about Amazon. By having your product on these platforms, you are making it available instantly to the millions who search on these websites. Having an ebook on Amazon also gives you the credibility of an Author who’s book sells on Amazon!
Both ClickBank and Amazon also have an affiliate program, which allows you the opportunity to build your own sales army at no cost. Affiliate marketers can sign up to market your products, and they only get paid when they make a sale. You don’t have to track or account for anything as Clickbank and Amazon do that for you. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.
Having said all of the above, if you are not going to do absolutely anything, then I suggest focusing on just creating good content. Sooner or later you will be found by someone, let’s hope at least.
I personally think this approach is foolish and leaves most of your success online to pure luck and chance. Not to mention that this route will only get tougher as the web becomes more saturated by the 16 million or so new blogs every year.
For example, if your blog or website is not properly optimized, and you do not submit it to search engines, months might go by without the engines ever finding out about you, if even at all. The least you can do is apply fundamental SEO and submit your website to search engines.
It’s alright if some of the terms I listed out above sound Greek right now. They are not too difficult to execute at all. Thanks to advancements in technology and the tools we have today, anyone can execute on each one of these easily. I plan on discussing each concept in detail in future posts.
But for now, do you agree or disagree with me? More importantly, why? What does your own experience tell about the age-old advice of creating good content and then rolling the dice?
Read more on my opinion on why creating good content is important here.Previous: Make Money Participating in Focus Groups