It’s been several years since I have seen TopRank CEO Lee Odden contribute to the panel ‘SEO Through Blogs & Feeds,’ so I was eager to sit in on this session to close out my first day at this year’s SES San Francisco.
Joining Odden on his panel, moderated by Craig Macdonald, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Covario, was PRESSfeed President Sally Falkow.
As Odden states, creation and promotion of a successful business blog is just as simple and just as complex as planning a friendly dinner party. How, exactly? More on that shortly.
While Odden opened the session, let’s begin with insight from Falkow as her remarks help expand the notion of traditional blogging.
“According to Google,” Falkow states, “a blog is simply a webpage with a feed.”
While someone reading a blog would certainly not see a repurposed, subjective news release with the same viewpoint as an objective, personal blog post – the point is succinct. Content marketing is bigger than blogs.
Content, especially content that carries SEO value, does not have to be a blog. SEO-focused content can be made up of everything from articles to product info. From alerts to recipes.
By expanding our definition beyond blogs, the dinner party analogy Odden offers can be applied across multiple types of content, just as the rules for a perfect dinner party across multiple types of gatherings:
- Who’s coming to dinner?
Your dinner guests are your audience. They are the sole reason for your content to even exist. Respect their wishes by creating the content they hope to see.
- What does your audience like to eat?
In other words, what keywords is your audience consuming? Delight your audience by speaking about topics they want to learn about and speaking in their language. And because nothing is more boring than a dinner party that serves nothing but mesquite short ribs, look for new derivative recipes. Make hickory short ribs your reminder to blog about something new enough to be exciting, but relatable enough to cater to your audience.
- What do you have in the kitchen?
Would you ever serve fried fish without Shore Lunch in the pantry? (If the reference is too Minnesotan, the answer is no. No, you wouldn’t.) Just as what you have in the kitchen will shape what you serve, the knowledge you possess can help shape the content you create. Target your content creation focus by leveraging what you know about yourself and what you know about your audience. And don’t forget to ask your audience what they think about your content. As a blogger, this means looking into your analytics.
- Should we use the good china?
The answer here, is yes. And for a blogger, the good China is a good blog CMS. And the best blog CMS? WordPress. Seriously. Have you ever used Drupal? Have you ever been to gala event that served on paper plates?
- Who can guests invite?
You want your parties to be the most popular, right? Then you have to spend time creating a party that is second to none while making it easier for guests to invite their friends and boast about the time they had. For a blog, this equates to links and social sharing – two key success metrics of a blog. Note that neither of these is likely to be easy. It takes time, practice and a taste of failure to finally throw that one legendary dinner party. It will take time to create the one post, piece of content, or even domain that will skyrocket in popularity. But you can expedite the process by helping readers share your content with parting gifts like social sharing buttons and thank you notes (ie RSS feeds containing your newest posts.)
Because blogging, cooking and entertaining are best when they are collaborative, we welcome you to add to this recipe for success via a comment below.