Business people, I see you out there, checking your personal emails, looking at your sister-in-law’s vacation pictures on Facebook, and trying to figure out Instagram for your Android.  Basically, you have some time, spare time.  No, I don’t want to hear the excuses, as if I was your personal trainer. But I am going to tell you to work!

How serious are you about online exposure?  Is online marketing a fad you heard of, one you would like to ‘try,’ one you would like to wear around your key ring like a scarcely used gym membership?  SEO is not a fad.  Social media optimization is not a trend.  Cultivating online reputation and authority does not ‘sound interesting’; it’s an absolute need.  Are you ready to get to work?  If not, there’s the door (points away from computer).  I don’t think you’re strong enough to survive in here.  If so, here are two exercises to consider:

Community Squats
I know you’ve probably heard an SEO practitioner or two say something about engagement.  Does your vertical have an online presence?  It’s likely.  How would you rate your participation?  Could you put in more effort?  Think about a healthy dose of regular participation.  Do you read and comment on other blogs?  Doing so is the trademark of a community contributor.  The process (like being healthy) has intrinsic value; it’s good for you, expanding your knowledge; but, some people need extrinsic rewards and motivation.  I read Bill Slawski’s review of the Google comment patent.  It’s thorough and deserves a read; but, in short, participation and ‘who’ one is online may become more important, influencing search results.

You want your community to feel your presence.

“Under an Agent Rank/Author Rank approach, the reputation scores for authors could influence search rankings in social search and Web search. It’s also possible that the reputations of commentors could influence those rankings as well.”

What is further interesting is the notion that the authority of other authors (commenting on ‘your’ blog) may influence the rankings of that Web page:

“In addition, the reputations of particular authors may be used to adjust the reputations of other authors. For example, if Stephen King (who presumably knows his stuff, as the author of On Writing) gives 5 stars or a similar high ranking to another author, the reputation of that other author will increase more than it would if an unknown with a small reputation did the same.”

Content Curls
I also read another great post earlier by Gianluca Fiorelli on content curation.  I love reading and gathering content.  You should too.  It’s good for you.  I suggest going through the post because it links to a lot of tools, necessary for identifying, gathering, and producing content.

There are a lot of benefits to exercising with content.  For one, you’re learning in the process.  You’re learning of authoritative personalities, hot topics, evergreen topics, and best practices in your respective vertical.  Additionally, you’re indirectly creating a good reputation for yourself in the process, a keeper of great content.

As Gianluca analogizes, think of the Web as an enormously vast warehouse; consumers enter the warehouse with particular needs in mind.  Wouldn’t you like to be known as someone who curates content in your vertical, possibly branding yourself as a ‘source,’ where people go to first rather than look for the resources you already discovered and maintain?  I would.

 

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How many articles have you seen cruise past your Twitter stream?  I see hundreds of suggestions per day.  Where does all that digital content go?  Surely, the lifeline of posts is not long; there’s an incipient flood coming by the hour.  However, from a curation perspective, there’s no reason for content to rest in peace.

Video
Jacob Klein wrote a post yesterday on building links with video content.  I thought the suggestions were great; it got me thinking of bounce rates and conversions.  In the comments, I inquired about such.  Jacob ensured me he had experienced longer on-page times due to inserting video into posts.  It makes sense; people skim through written copy, but usually watch video from beginning to end.

In many cases, video galvanizes otherwise ‘boring’ or ‘dry’ content.  Think about some product or service-related suggestions.  Would you rather read about the proper way to paint your home’s interior, ‘seeing’ professionals at work, or read inanimate words on a page?  What better serves the consumer, the readers’ needs?

Do you have older content?  Has it experienced any visitors or grievers lately?  Why not do some video experimentation, Dr. Frankenstein?  Raise the old sentiments from the dead, recharging and reinventing insight with video implementation.

Survey
You’ve written a post.  Now we know what you think.  What about the opinions of others?  Have you ever considered beseeching a running tally of opinions?  Passionate professionals love sharing and expressing opinions.  In many cases, more views make for a better piece of content.  Two minds are better than one; what about a community of minds?  Have you done any fiddling with Survey Monkey?  The service is free and you can insert a customized survey at the bottom of your post.

Did you write a successful post?  Did you write a not-so-successful post?  Would you like to reintroduce the conversation?  Pin a survey at the end and send it out to the community, asking for input.  If you get enough responses, your brand can orchestrate a modern-day part II.

I want you to take my survey!

Graphic Design/Comic Strip
I wrote a guest post for Michael King a little while ago on sweet tweeting.  When I sent him the rough copy, Mike told me to take a look at this post by Cyrus Shephard.  Take a look.  Cyrus makes some good points, yes?  Have you released prior copy void of eye stimuli?  Perhaps it’s time to loop back around and implement some pictures, infographs, or even comic strips.  Take a look at Mike King’s comics; he’s known for them because he does a good job of illustrating points using visual stimulants.  Could you pull rank, rising interest in old copy by emulating his artistic sympathies?  I think so.

Cartoons done by Michael King

 

What other suggestions do you suggest, readers?  Surely there are other ways to raise awareness about old content.  Have you taken notice of our free white paper?  Do you have more questions about SEO or online marketing?  Direct your attention to the WebiMax contact page.

I wonder if Picasso threw paintings away after one day.  That’s what happens to a lot of writers’ online works.  Content is not physically “trashed”; yet, if it’s not evergreen (and even in those cases at times) the content kind of rests there, eternally at peace.  It’s a sin we let content pass on in such a way.  Shouldn’t we facilitate a longer existence?  After all, copywriting professionals put in time and energy; we’d like to see our creations curated, raging against the dying of the light.

So digital curation is a wise thought, Anthony?  Sure.  I’ve been reading about it for some time now.  Joanna Lord discussed it in her recent post on inbound marketing.  Joanna references a Rand Fishkin post from 2009; if you read the post, you’ll get a broader perspective of how much of an asset inbound marketing has become since then.

Understand Your Audience
One of the key points provided in Joanna’ post is ‘understanding your target audience.’  Brands need to stop and think about how content is going to engage markets.  In fact, Michael King largely bases his new SEO process on users.

Writing for Writing’ Sake
Over the weekend, I caught site of John Doherty’s Three Tenets of Content Marketing.  He advises producing better, less, and planned content.  Each brand must approach content generation from its own perspective, which may involve more or less production.  However, John’s piece reminds us that producing numbers doesn’t guarantee results.

Traffic or Conversions?
I like John’s sentiment because it’s likely to be supported by your brand’s statistics.  Dr. Pete did a post last week on 2 SEO metrics related to traffic and conversions.  A robust, content-generative sentiment may attain SE exposure.  Awesome!  Then, a consumer clicks on a link ostensibly addressing their need.  They get to a page hosting half-baked content; now what?  As you would expect, the bounce rate gets high while conversions on such pages is low to nothing.

Short/Long Game
Each NFL team needs a long/short offensive game.  I suggest the same for your brand regarding content.  I understand time is a factor.  Exceedingly great content, which could be labeled as ‘evergreen’ and perfect for curation, (see this excellent example of a curated link building piece organized by Jon Cooper – that’s how you develop an ‘evergreen’ piece) takes time; yet, such content attracts attention.  While your brand produces ongoing content, ensure a strategy for content curation is implemented.  Great content is a terrible thing to waste.

Thanks for reading.  Don’t be shy about commenting.