I’ve repeatedly made the same SEO mistake that’s cost me dearly over the years.
I want to explain what that mistake has been.
It pertains to SEO and ranking content.
Here’s what I did for years: I published way too much content, failing to properly promote and build links to existing content. I was addicted to clicking “publish”.
The end result is I have a lot of content that gets very little traffic as well as content that does well, but had I promoted it all properly, would do much better.
I should specify that this mistake pertains to content that targets more competitive keywords.
I don’t think it was a mistake publishing a lot of long tail keyword that pulls in bits of traffic quickly and consistently.
While I love targeting long tail keywords, I do also go after more competitive keywords but haven’t benefitted as much as I should have for failing to promote it.
How should you promote content?
It really depends on the content.
If it’s the type of content that will realistically attract links because it has some great facts, data, graphics or is just plain awesome, contact other site owners and let them know about it. Or, be lazy like me and just let the links materialize (yes, some content will attract links without doing anything… I’ve attracted thousands of these links over the years).
However, let’s be real; most content you produce won’t attract links naturally initially via outreach, especially content that blatantly promotes affiliate products. Your friendly neighborhood blogger ain’t gonna link to your super duper awesome widget review no matter how good it is (with one exception… which I discuss in a future email).
That leaves you with building links. One way to build links is to publish guest posts on other sites. You can outsource this for big bucks or do it yourself.
Another way is to build a private blog network. I’m not terribly knowledgeable about that so I’ll leave that alone. That said, I believe other SEOs who use PBNs and claim they work when done right. If you go this route, be sure to study it carefully to avoid any problems.
Here’s what I now do to promote content targeting more competitive keywords:
Find a great keyword you want to rank number one for in Google. It should have some great search volume (high search volume varies niche-to-niche), potentially earn a lot of money from affiliate promotions and not be ridiculously difficult to rank.
You then publish a really, really good piece of content targeting that keyword.
Finally, instead of publishing 10 more articles, invest your time into doing quality guest posts that will link to your awesome article. Keep at it until you think you’ve built enough to get you to number 1.
Then publish more content. Seriously consider publishing a series of closely related content to the one you just promoted. The new content should target longer tail keywords. This way you create a “silo” or “section” that’s very related. This can help (I daresay this is a very powerful technique).
Here’s the thing I didn’t realize until I got lots of long tail keywords to #1 in Google:
Once you have an article ranked #1 in Google (or #2 or #3), it will attract links automatically.
It’s getting the article to number #1 that’s hard unless you go for the low hanging fruit (i.e. long tail keywords).
I’ve had this happen for dozens of pages. They rank #1 and now get loads of links automatically from other sites. I cringe to think how much better I would have done had I published less and promoted more.
On the flip side, now that I have some success and plenty of failed content, it’s easier to see what I should focus on and what to avoid.
I guess the adage “you learn from your mistakes” is true.
Why do other sites link to articles ranked #1 (or 2 or 3)?
Because other sites want to link out to other quality resources without wasting lots of time. I do the same.
What do other publishers do when they look for linkable content for new articles they’re publishing?
They go to Google, type in the relevant search phrase and then link to the first ranked piece of content. They link to the first ranked article because if Google ranks it number one, it must be link worthy.
This phenomenon is another strong argument for targeting long tail keywords, especially in the beginning – once you get a few ranking #1, you’ll start attracting links on auto-pilot which will boost your site’s overall authority. It’s just that the long tail content will never pull in boatloads of traffic or attract tons of links.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad; it just means succeeding with niche sites is a balancing act of long tail and ranking some higher volume keywords.
How I accidentally attracted loads of high DA links naturally from top-tier sites (a few times)
Fortunately, despite blunders and mistakes along the way, I’ve built up some successful sites.
And during the process, I managed to publish content that has attracted some very powerful links without doing any outreach, guest blogging or anything… they are truly natural links.
I’m talking from sites like:
- Huffington Post,
to name a few of the biggies.
Click here to read about what types of content attracts powerhouse links.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.