The other day I was introduced to a brilliant piece of self-promotion in the course of my work. A man had a small business that he wanted to promote. I don’t know the exact number, but there are probably at least 100,000 other businesses in the United States that do the same type of technical consulting he did.
He didn’t want to buy Google or any other ads. Instead he created five or six separate websites with different domain names/URLs that had substantive content and all cross-referenced the content that he had on his main site. He had a lot of content on that main site and it all featured the keyword that he wanted to promote.
Essentially, he took advantage of the search algorithms’ propensity to think a site that has a lot of links to it has authoritative content. And it worked – if you searched his keyword term, his primary company site is returned on that first page of results. He beat out all the big firms like IBM and Avanade by playing the search game.
How Does This Apply To Us?
Not that we want to be queen or king of the personal narrative, story-telling, or philosophical essay search space but I thought this story had some take-aways for blogging:
If you want to be discovered, you have to leave a map. The Hansel and Gretal breadcrumbs will get eaten up in this digital and noisy world so you have to provide some substantive and persistent links to the content you want found.
Networking is as important in blogging as in real-life. Not many people, even the big players, will create the type of inter-connected structure that this man did. Most of us will interact with other bloggers who will at times link to our writing and we build out that interconnected structure slowly. And/or we put links in social media posts which work to point to the content.
Consistency matters. Not only in posting but in using the terms by which we want to be found, if any. More than that, it’s likely that most people reading this have a good amount of content already and can do the back-linking strategy to our own content by simply taking the time to reference old posts when we write.
And here are four examples of people who are doing it:
Dr. Vicki Atkinson is an author that is fantastic for her support of other bloggers, authors, and creative types. As an example, here is a post We Are One reviewing Julia Preston’s from the Voices in My Head blog boo Voices: Who’s In Charge of the Committee in My Head
Ally Bean of the Spectacled Bean blog is a master of building community. She does things like blogrolls where she will publish a list of all submitted URL’s that meet her criteria. Or she recently did a really fun “ask me anything” post and then answered the questions and published a link to the blog of the people who ask the questions.
Brian from the WritingfromtheheartwithBrian blog is a professional writer and former newspaper reporter that can do it all – interview others, write fiction and non-fiction and support others who are doing the same. Here’s a recent post Hitting the Books that showcases his big heart.
E.A. Wickham of the Bleuwater Blog is a seasoned PR professional and writer who knows how to showcase content she has written in the past. See this example of the article What I Miss About My Daughter she wrote when her daughter went off to college and recently reposted.
You know what I love about the work story that inspired this post? It’s a little guy beating out the big guys by being able to work the system. It’s kinda the best case scenario of what the Internet can do for us – enable us to reach the world wide audience we want.
I’ve published a companion post on my personal blog about the experience when we come together in Community
I also post on Mondays at the Heart of the Matter blog, a great shared blog of personal storytelling with a podcast that highlights inspirational creatives. My book about my journey to find what fueled my dad’s indelible spark and twinkle can be found on Amazon: Finding My Father’s Faith.
You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @wynneleon
(featured photo from Pexels)