This is a series that I hope will get you thinking a little deeper about your website, marketing plan and goals for the coming year. You might be familiar with “The Five Ws“, this would of course be the second of them. You can read the whole series here.
Ok, so part of the reason you want a website is so that you can voice an opinion, right? As a subset of that, in doing so, you also hope to show that you know your stuff. And then there’s the SEO reason too. Blogging adds SEO. Simple rule: You can’t rank for something that you don’t write about.
That said, I like to ask my new clients while I’m building their site what type of content they plan on producing. Sometimes I get that awkward look, other times they know exactly what they are going to make.
Let me start by saying it’s not just blogging. I say that you produce the media that floats your boat. If it’s writing the spoken word, so be it. However, if the act of production isn’t fun for you, I know your not going to keep it up, right? So, commit to do what makes you happiest.
There’s a lot of options, let’s break down some of the options and look at the +/- of each.
THE WRITTEN WORD (BLOGGING)
Obviously, this is where most people start. Write down your words. Write a bunch of them (see How Many Words), add a few paragraph breaks and hit the publish button. Simple Simon.
Of course there’s going to be a little more to it than just that.
I suggest you start with an editorial calendar of sorts, define the keywords you want to be found for, define the “Who” that you are writing for and learn to craft the “Perfect Blog Post“. Write in your own voice as well. If you don’t know what that means, write as if you were talking to me face to face.
Writing blog posts with your keywords will give you great Google Juice. Regular bloggers will tell you that writing clears the mind, organizes your thoughts and helps you be better able at getting your point across. Writing blog posts also allows people to get to know you better – way before the even think about reaching out to contact you.
THE SPOKEN WORD (VIDEO)
It shouldn’t be the spoken word. In the case of video it should be spoken and seen.
Video is powerful. Unlike the written word, video allows the ‘reader’ to better grasp your inflections. It’s easier to find those connection points when we’re watching a video.
Some people worry about how they look, how they sound. Get over it already. How you look and sound on video is exactly how you look and sound face to face. And isn’t getting face to face your goal?
If you are going to do video, keep an open mind about all the different styles of video you could be doing. There’s the “talking head”, the “screen share”, the “studio”, the “GoPro”, the “Facebook Live” and so so many more. In most, keep your video short. Under 3 minutes is great. If you have a bumper – work that into the workflow as well.
PRO TIP: Although you could, don’t upload your video to your website. Instead, upload it to YouTube and embed it into your blog post from there. When I do this I also always include a link to the website in the YouTube description area.
THE SPOKEN WORD (AUDIO)
Audio is way easier for you to produce than video. Is it more effective? I’d bet not. That said, audio works a lot like video in delivering your message while conveying your passion. Just fire up the mic, record, edit where you need and upload it.
Audio could be a podcast, or audio could just simply be an uploaded media.
Speaking of which – I’m going to start a very different style of podcast next week. I was talking to my friend Jeremy the other day and I’m totally stealing the idea from him. Working on the intro right now (listen to the podcast for a sample).
NOTE: This audio was recorded using Audacity, on my Yeti Mic and simply uploaded as a media file to my site.
That’s the big three I see as far as content creation. However, there a few others I want to touch on.
THE IMAGE MAKER
Actually not image maker as much as image sharer. Complex images such as infographics aren’t usually made by the blogger themselves. They are usually created by a media company and then distributed. The links always go back to the image maker.
If you are sharing infographics be aware that the script they give you usually has no SEO value for you or your site. Additionally, if you click on their links, make sure that those links open up a new tab in the viewers browser so you don’t lose your viewer (target=”blank”).
I had a client that I built a site for that is now subscribed to a blog writing service. I could name the site (keeping current matters) but they all work the same. Someone somewhere writes generic content and puts it up on a site. That site has an RSS feed as an output and the subscribers site pulls it in and publishes the content on their site as if it’s their own. My client wanted to know how he could start ranking for specific keywords in his area.
Here’s the PRO: Your site will have content (generic but at least it will have content). Your readers probably won’t realize it isn’t written by you.
Here’s the CON: Google values new content. Google also doesn’t value duplicate content. They used to penalize sites for duplicate content but haven’t done so in years. What Google does now is they list the very first instance of any content that they find and ignore the rest. It’s called Canonical Listing and it happens on every single blog.
So, in our subscriber content scenario above… the first and by that I mean the very very first site that has that post, that’s the site that google will happen to index and NOBODY else. See how that works?
Visually there’s nothing wrong with it to your visitor. I would make sure the links open in new tabs. There’s no SEO value in these posts and since they are all generically written, there’s certainly none of your “Voice” in these posts either.
For the record: My answer to him was to start writing his own content, including good local keywords and a long tail keyword strategy, and using the tools I built into his site.
Next time we’ll be taking on the 3rd W – as in WHERE