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There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that there’s no better way to optimise your site and generate wider public interest than getting involved in a little content marketing. That’s all well and good, but without a clear idea of how to go about creating an effective strategy or indeed an understanding of what content marketing actually is, you could be doomed to failure from the start.
It’s not rocket science. But even so, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about marketing your content effectively. Here is a quick guide to getting your strategy spot on.
Source the Best Hosts
Every piece of content you produce needs to be hosted on a site that is befitting of its quality. So if you write something that’s a little generic, maybe even slapdash, you should be looking to fire it off to a top article submission site (Ezinearticles.com, Articlebase.com, GoArticles.com etc.) or even a wiki/hub site (Squidoo, Hubpages, Knol). Work out which one works best for you, providing traffic, strong links and publishing flexibility (look at how easy it is to embed links for example).
If you’ve been asked to write a piece or have done so off of your own back and it’s of a decent standard (the kind you’d be more than happy to host on your own site), then look out for guest blogging opportunities. Again though, it’s not just about getting your article out anywhere, you want it to be hosted on a site that is well respected, popular and has decent domain strength too. This isn’t always achievable, but the more influence you can create yourself, the more opportunities will become available – hopefully.
If you are looking for guest blogging opportunities but don’t know where to start, get on Google. Just search for any relevant industry term add “guest post” or “guest blog” (with quotations) and your reward should be a plethora of potential hosts. You could also look to contact other major blogs within your industry and enquire about the possibilities of providing them with content.
There are plenty of site owners who appreciate the benefits of hosting content, not least time savings, added traffic and the exposure that an external industry expert can bring to their blog. After all, if someone is looking to actively market their content, you can be pretty sure that they’re going to share it with any social bookmarking services they’re part of as well as firing it off to Twitter or Facebook.
Allocate Your Time Effectively
When you just want to get links quickly, articles and hubs provide the best solution. But you don’t want to spend hours agonising over perfect wording and extensive research. An article needs to be accurate, it should be articulate and certainly not have sloppy spelling or grammar – but that’s it. Look to inform and provide answers that come easily.
It’s unlikely that you’ll garner a huge amount of referral traffic through an article, but any that does come in is likely to be highly targeted. So if you write content that was intended to be sent out to Ezinearticles and it actually turns out to be rather good, you might want to redirect it to a host that could provide more benefits.
Build Relationships with Hosts
If you’ve written a blog post for someone, make sure that you keep in contact. You might not be able to produce anything else in the near future, but they could well hold the key to future opportunities. The more people you can connect with in your sector, the more your stock will rise. Whilst it can prove difficult to establish yourself as an expert, once you get there you should certainly look to make the most of it.
Avoid Negative Practices
Just because you’ve heard of a really easy way to get links quickly by sending a snippet of content out into the online abyss, it doesn’t mean that you should. Rubbish content will only ever lead to equally poor links. If you’re going to spin an article so that you can create dozens of “unique” versions, make sure you do it properly.
Auto-generated content is painfully easy to spot and even worse to read. It might save you time and fulfil the very basic conditions of content marketing, but you will only end up damaging your own reputation and see very little benefit. Done properly, it can be a great way to speed things up a little, but when you sloppily swap in synonyms without considering context it’ll only result in utter drivel.
Take Pride in Your Work
Regardless of where it’s going to be published, you have to make sure that you’re happy with the standard of content. After all, if there is a link back to your site – even if your name isn’t actually attached – it is representative of your business. So if someone spies something that you’ve produced and it is decidedly sub-standard, that isn’t going to reflect particularly well on you.
That shouldn’t scare you off entirely, but it should hopefully encourage you to be thorough with your work. So whether you’re sending out a free press release, writing a squidoo lens or have been asked to provide an opinion piece for a national newspaper, you can’t allow anything to be sent without giving it the seal of approval first.
Variety is the Spice of Life
You don’t want to end up producing content that only ever gets published on one site or that links back to a single page, using generic anchor text. This won’t provide you with the optimal benefit that you’re looking for. So mix it up a little. Find new blogs to guest for, vary up your wiki sites (even interlink old content to achieve greater strength) and keep researching fresh sites to submit to.
There is no set rule for what to write, where it should go and what technique works best. But by producing high quality articles and press releases you can soon establish your own effective content marketing strategy. In turn your reward should be an abundance of links, improved rankings, greater visibility and all-important traffic.
When done properly, few techniques can compare with content marketing.
Fountain Pen via BigStock
We’re excited to announce that we’re launching a series of free Breakfast & Learn events for brand-side marketers. Our digital marketing experts will help you to boost your SEO, paid media, paid social and content marketing knowledge over breakfast.