How To Harness the Undeniable Power Of Authority Content & 5 Reasons Why You Need It
April 17, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park
Over the past 6 months that I’ve been blogging here at Winning the Web, I’ve always focused on pumping out quality content on a daily basis. Admittedly, there are days when I’m unable to meet this quota, but it’s been more or less a guideline for myself.
I’ve seen pretty good success with this strategy and the blog now has over 800 subscribers and loyal visitors that regularly come back to peruse the articles. However, I’m now wondering if there could be more in terms of traffic, links, and exposure. This isn’t out of greed or anything like that but I’m realizing more and more the value of quality content – especially in a crowded and saturated niche like Internet marketing.
In a Search Engine Land column entitled Time to Refocus On Your Content, social media expert Cameron Oltheius states that “the fun, hooky type of content needs to go. Instead, you should be focusing on creating valuable resources that will attract links and bookmarks and spread virally on its own from there. People should want to link to you because there is value for them. They want to give their readers links to resources that provide value to them too.”
I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Many times we try to game the social media sites with link bait type articles that offer no value to readers whatsoever. “6 Ways Internet Marketing is like X”… Sound familiar? What is a reader supposed to get out of something like that? Sorry to be blunt, but there’s no value other than maybe a few cheap laughs. It’s all fluff, a desperate and undeserving plea for attention. In the end, you’ll only be left with an overloaded server – and that’s only if you’re lucky.
Truly valuable content improves the lives of its readers. A unique approach at an idea or a comprehensive guide to a complicated process is much more likely to be appreciated by users and linked to by authority sites in your industry. Are you providing value to your readers or are you publishing content for the sake of publishing content?
I can’t say that I’ve been following this rule 100% and I’ve actually been reassessing my content strategy here at Winning the Web. Is my content truly exceptional? Do I offer something of high value that can’t be found anywhere else? If I’m truly honest with myself, the answer is probably “no”.
Much of the success of this blog has been tied to the creative marketing promotions and the crazy contests that I’ve run in the past – the John Chow review contest, the competition against Tyler Cruz, and the most recent $14,000 Craziest Internet Marketing Contest You’ve Ever Seen. These have all been great and I’ve learned a ton by marketing the site in this manner. However, at the end of the day I have nothing substantial to offer visitors other than a quickly fading memory of a successful viral promotion (and people forget fast). The core service of any authority blog should be its personality and content – components that I’ve often neglected in favor of marketing.
If I had spent at least half of the time and effort I’ve spent brainstorming and coordinating contests on writing remarkable quality content, it’s scary to think where this blog might be. Yes, marketing is important. So is social media, advertising, contests, and link bait. But if the content foundation is not set, all of these promotional activities are in vain.
So I want to ask you a question. What are you doing differently? Why should a reader visit your site over all of the other blogs covering your topic? If you can’t answer these questions with some level of confidence, then you seriously need to rethink your strategy. Simply plopping regurgitated content on your blog hoping to make thousands of dollars a day just won’t cut it anymore. If you want to be noticed, you have to give people a reason why. And you need to figure this out for yourself first.
I want to challenge all of you independent webmasters, publishers, and bloggers out there. The road to success online is long and hard. Why not make it easier on yourselves by working hard and focusing on what really counts – content. If all you had was your content, would you still survive? Hm…
Starting today with this very post, I’ll mostly be publishing detailed resource articles that go into the nuts and bolts of Internet marketing strategies. Rather than short news posts and pointless ramblings, I’ll be creating how to guides and resource lists that have much higher potential of growing the readership. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed.
5 reasons why authority content is best
1. Resources are higher quality & give you the opportunity to show off your expertise
A blog or content site lives and dies by the knowledge and personality of the owner. Detailed posts that offer value are much better instruments for sending the right signals and giving off positive impressions of authority. If you don’t actually know anything about your topic, then you either have to learn it fast or find a better fit. Passion makes all the difference.
2. More link building potential
What would you be more likely to link to: a post complaining about a Google penalty or a post outlining methods to reverse a Google penalty? I think the answer is obvious. The difference is that one article is actionable and therefore valuable and the other is not. Create useful content and the links will naturally pour in.
3. More comments
Unless you’re a well known celebrity with fans willing to follow you into the bathroom, posts about yourself probably won’t get too much attention. People are generally self absorbed and you need to tailor your content to cater to their wants and desires. What’s in it for them? Good content that follows this rule will gain more attention, more buzz, and more comments. This social proof will then lead to a snowball effect with increased exposure.
4. Social media success
Sure, fluff posts have their place in social media, but in the end authority articles always offer more long term value. A long detailed resource post can still be optimized to do exceptionally well on sites like Digg and StumbleUpon.
5. Better for time management
Higher quality articles mean you can post less without sacrificing traffic to the site. These pieces will fare much better in search engine rankings and since they take longer to read through, less updating is necessary. Dosh Dosh and Skelliewag are great examples.
Get the point? Marketing is only as effective as the content you are promoting.
For the next 3 months, I will be focusing on content development here on Winning the Web. I won’t run any crazy contests for a while, I won’t buy any more blog reviews, and Ill lay low on the link bait type articles. We’ll see where that takes us.
So who’s in? Who wants to be a dominant blogger in their respective niche? If you want to turn things around with me and focus on quality content for the next 3 months, leave a comment on this post with your blog’s URL and the number of current subscribers you have. In 3 months, we’ll compare stats to track progress. It’ll be the best decision we ever made.
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