New Lego Mini Figures 12 are out now

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And they look so good, I have my eyes on the Babarian.

You may be thinking, “but what does lego have to do with getting people to go to my website?”

I started writing out the answer and then realised it’s a huge bit of content that I will release in a better form than a blog post.

Sign up for “How Lego can help your Content Marketing”, on the email list.

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The Ben Sherman shirt wearing SEO types need to learn how to apply eye liner more effectively.

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A report from Channel 4 regarding those who create makeup videos for Youtube and who are crushing the big brands.

Yes I am aware that information architecture is important, and when presenting a website with over 100k web pages to the world, you better be in the hands of a well caffeinated, hardcore SEO type.

But most websites don’t need an uber SEO super geek.

Most can get by on a set of rules which can be learned in a day.

Most business don’t need a full on SEO, but they do need a bit of lip gloss.

Lets get binary

SEO = Anaylitical
Social media = Emotional

Broadly this is true, but those social media types who get SEO and those SEO types who get social media will always dominate.

Specialisation in each discipline will always be useful, but that means you become a Cheetah, rather than a Coyote. The Cheetah is a superb killing machine, and has evolved into something that does one thing very, very well and is magnificent. The Coyote on the other hand is a mangy dog, an opportunist willing take whatever it get it’s stinking paws on.

The Cheetah is endangered.

The Coyote thrives.

Becoming an Outlier is not sound strategic thinking

We know a few things are certain in the online space, one of those is change.

  • The mechanism of the platforms and the way people use online platforms such as Google, Facebook etc. will change.
  • The fundamentals of what attracts people and gets them to do stuff will not change.

The emotional trigger is far more likely to get a click through, a retweet, a thumbs up and even a link, than any rational content proposal.

So don’t you think you should learn about the emotional triggers which should define your content production, if you wish to get links?

This is what I will be teaching for this outing of Linkbait Coaching. Whaddya mean shameless plug, I don’t do this as a hobby.

But getting back to these female, make up Youtubers. How can a brand compete with these? It can’t, so it buys them. They will pound any SEO Rockstar into the ground in a rabid fan based cage fight, they command vast armies of high disposable income, “OMG I WUV U”, type people.

Completely irrational, completely emotional. But if you, as the “Ben Sherman SEO type”, can watch the above video and take certain techniques from it to add to your poker/forex/tech websites then you will win.

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You will become a Coyote.
You will have evolved.

If this resonates and you want to go deeper with this stuff, sign up at Linkbait Coaching and lets have some fun.

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How to Compete with Kim Kardashian’s Ass

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The competition for your website content is not only content from other websites in the same niche.

You are also competing with:

  • Buzzfeed.com
  • Netflix
  • Twitter
  • Angry Birds
  • Facebook
  • World of Warcraft
  • Email
  • Lunch
  • Plants Vs Zombies
  • Huffingtonpost.com
  • and last but not least, Kim Kardashian’s Ass

The point is, don’t just think about the very small space that is your target website niche. Any niche is small compared to all the content that people are bombarded daily with and all this content is competing for the attention of your target. More content than a target may be interested in is being produced each day, this is what you are competing with when creating content.

When I was growing up – it was not that different to this Hovis advert – we had three TV channels to choose from, and to buy a newspaper, book or magazine you actually had to go outside and visit the shop, facing the problems of actually having to interact with people.

Effort and energy on the part of the reader had to be expended to be exposed to the content they wanted, this may have meant having to be in front of the TV at a specific time, or walk into town to buy the latest 2000AD.

Content creators back then (were not called “content creators”) had a lot less to compete with. The effort of publishing and actually getting the content in front of your target in the form of a magazine or TV program was usually enough. You didn’t really need to think about marketing that content like you do now, because the barrier to shipping was huge.

Now the barrier to shipping is a few mouse clicks.

To get traffic to a website you simply need to curate a blog post around Kim Kardashian’s Ass. Not that I am recommending that, but I want to highlight how easy it is to create content that people will be interested in and that TV, Tablets, Movies, etc. are also competing for the attention of your target.

90% of your content is useless. I make this claim after years of looking at clients and prospective clients websites and being asked to provide content marketing consultation. Most content is created by dead eyed copywriters, chained to the desk between 9 – 5, who care little about the words flowing from their keyboard and more about hitting the required word count.

Most content is without:

Passion
Usefulness

Most content does not have a chance, even if you only compare it with the daily output within that particular website’s niche, let alone competing with all the other great content attracting your target audience.

Beware those who say, “content is king”. They just don’t understand the space.

That was great in a time where Kings were rare, nowadays the Kings outnumber the peasants.

The solution is to have a Content Marketing Strategy.

It’s a fancy term isn’t it, one that is designed to wow and impress. What it means is that all your content shares one specific aim, which is tied up with your business model, your brand strategy and all sorts of other management speak guff. It’s something that goes down to the bones of what your business is about.

I know this kind of stuff is hard for a lot of website owners and business people to get their head around, I go through this each time I consult with clients on this matter.

It’s all about the Strategic Plan and using a combined forces mentality to build a machine that will compete with the posterior of any reality TV show star.

In a future post I will detail what a strategic content plan should look like.

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9 Keys to Effective Content Marketing

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1. Content has to have passion

2. Content should have a compounding interest effect

3. Content should be seen as a long term asset

4. Content should inform the reader of how to feel about your brand

5. Content creation should involve building a network of fans

6. Content should deliver a measurable and effective ROI

7. Content should be unique

8. Content should resonate with the targeted reader

9. All content should be part of a strategic content plan

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Create Linkbait like you are Channeling Elmore Leonard, adding Hookers and Xbox along the way

This week one of my favourite writers, Elmore Leonard died.

His work makes for a great read. His stories flowed like an electric eel going down the Alton Towers log flume. Along with James Ellroy and other American writers he really helped me nail my writing and ultimately my linkbait.

What these guys do is reach down deep into the brain and bring it to the open and do it with wit and intelligence.

I wrote a story back in 2008, some of you will remember it, some of you may not have heard about it.

It got a lot of attention.

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Some people did not like what I did and even went to the extreme of saying I should go to prison for it.
Matt Cutts even made me the subject of a Keynote talk about such marketing tactics.
All for few hundred words of pure fiction.

What I learned from that time is the power of the written (OK typed, but written sounds better) word and how it can be used to get people to react.

I don’t know if it was the biggest linkbait ever, it got 10K links and mentions in every mainstream media I can think of. But it’s certainly one that people don’t forget.

One of the puritanical nutters who at the time were saying that such work is the spawn of Satan just reminded me of it.

The story is quite simple.I had a short story knocking around my head that I had not used when I was in my creative writing, poverty induced period. I had a client that wanted some linkbait so I wrote it as spoof news and posted it. With zero indication that it wasn’t actual news, it was blatant and beautiful hoax.

As the piece was written in a ” too good to be true, this is nuts mode”, I expected people to quickly figure out it was not proper news and just a bit of fun. This did not happen, you see the article what designed to engage with the primal brain, it was littered with psychological hooks that would keep people reading and keep people thinking long after.

And it worked.

Back in the day, getting a front page digg was all you needed to do to launch a bit of linkbait, nowadays it’s a bit more fractured, but still doable.

A mainstream journalist picked it up and of course did not check the story, rewrote it and put it in their newspaper. With of course no accreditation to where it came from.

And then it kind of went mental.

It was picked up by as many people as I could even think of and I had people contacting me from places like Greece, saying they heard it on the radio.

The results were huge.

And then, just as that was dying down, Matt Cutts hinted that Google was not going to allow websites to benefit from stories that are not true. And of course things went mental again, with a good write up about this from Lisa Barone.

Which was bigger news than the original story.

The debate over if this kind of marketing was ethical or not raged for weeks, with a number of people foaming at the mouth doing their “burn the witch” routine.

Planting an untrue story in the media is, I agree unethical. But when it’s crafted as a funny story that hurts no one, does not sell a product and includes Texan’s of restricted growth trying to get laid, Hookers and pizza delivery, less so. It’s completely missing the point to start thinking along the ethical/unethical argument.

What is far more interesting is how the human brain craves a good story and how newspapers create not-exactly-true stories. And Google loves this, it gives these newspapers huge authority, to the point where SEO agencies have to buy links in the online version of the newspaper, planting a story that promotes their client.

Here is Fox news doing a piece on the story.

And Simon Mayo did a bit on Radio 1


I don’t talk about this stuff publicly anymore, not because I am ashamed and think it unethical, I am extremely proud of the work, and as for it being unethical, well that’s just silly.

I don’t talk about this because it’s a technique that most cannot do well. Some can and a lot of people have contacted me privately to tell me of how they created a completely faked story that got traction in the news media.

Something like this is extremely sophisticated and hard to pull off, although it happens more than you realise it and yes, I have done a few of these since.

Now I mostly consult with companies how to utilise content marketing for their websites and create content that gets publicity. You note I did not say links, because its people you need to target, not links. The links come after you attract the people, not the other way round.

I do sometimes talk about this marketing event on Linkbaitcoaching.com as I am able to teach the technique in a more detailed way. A number of people I have coached have gone on to create thousands of links using it.

In conclusion, if you are going to create linkbait. You may as well write it about a 13 year old boy coming back from a World of Warcraft tournament who wants to score chicks and play Xbox.

And if you want to know more about this, Google it, go read all about it, good and bad and then join linkbaitcoaching.com to learn how to implement such techniques into your content.