Blog Tips for Beginners

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Evergreen Content is Your Greatest SEO Tool

Illustrated by Patrick Yurick

There’s nothing I hate more than wasted content.

And if you’re publishing blog posts once and never refreshing or re-promoting them again, then you’re wasting content. You’re wasting money, too!

We manage several blogs for our clients. Several of those blogs have thousands of blog posts. For our larger clients, like magazine publishers, the majority of content was written before we met. For the startups we work with, most were written by us.

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How to Bring the SEO Swagger Back into Old Articles

Refill the SEO juice on your old articles by using a six-month plan to refresh them on Twitter

Illustrated by David Flanagan

I’ve been working with Mequoda, a marketing, training and web development company for magazine publishers, for over seven years.

One of the things I love about them, and one of the reasons why we’ve gotten to work with the likes of publishers like Men’s Health and Time Inc. is because they are so incredibly research, testing and numbers driven. The number of reports that Mequoda pulls together on a daily and monthly basis would make your head spin. Everything they design, and every piece of content they/we write is so expertly thought out and measured, that it’s no wonder their clients sing them from the rooftops. Mequoda events are filled with the most passionate business leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of surrounding myself with. And those people attend year after year because Mequoda makes publishers rich on a regular basis. Seriously.

One of my favorite reports from Norann Oleson, their Analytics Program Manager, tells the story of every keyword Mequoda gets ranked for, which article is ranking mostly highly for that keyword, and how high it’s ranking.

This report allows me to also see the increase and decrease of those rankings, and Norann always includes a nice little drop out of the firehose that gives a simple overview of which ten articles rose in rank the most that month, and which ones lost the most rank.

Most of the articles that lose rank have been sitting on the first page of Google for a long time, years in some cases. They’ve been sending hundreds, sometimes thousands of page views per month. Because of this, any drop is definitely noticeable and we don’t want to lose that.

And we do have other strategies that we use to refresh those articles in other ways, for example, updating the articles and actually refreshing them. But, over the past few months I’ve been doing something that’s a little quicker, and possibly even more effective.

I’ve been taking the “bottom ten articles” list she sends me and recycling the posts on Twitter in a fairly strategic and systematic way.

My process for recycling these old articles and bringing back their SEO juice is this:

  • Take all of the articles (they were already SEO’d by the way) and write six  new Twitter headlines for each. This doesn’t involve updating the posts, just writing copy for Twitter.
  • Then, I schedule them all out for six months using Hootsuite.
  • I choose to do it on the same day every month, to make it easy.
  • I choose to switch up the time for each effort to tap into different time zones.

For example, 5 Reasons to Recycle Content on Twitter becomes these Tweets:

  • April 25th, 9am: 5 Reasons to Recycle Content on Twitter http://ow.ly/kpMMs
  • May 25th, 11am: One good reason to recycle your content on Twitter: more visibility http://ow.ly/kpMMs
  • June 25th, 1pm: Visibility, SEO, Clicks, Timing & Testing: 5 Reasons to Use Twitter for Recycling: http://ow.ly/kpMMs
  • July 25th, 3pm: You’re wasting good content if you’re not doing this: http://ow.ly/kpMMs
  • August 25th, 5pm: “As long as the content is evergreen, you have every opportunity to stick it in your future feed” says @amaaanda http://ow.ly/kpMMs
  • September 25th, 7pm: Are you recycling old articles on Twitter? Here’s how to do it right: http://ow.ly/kpMMs

By refreshing this content through social media, Google gets a chance to look at it again. In many cases, you’ll get more re-tweets and shares which can only help those articles climb their way back up onto the first page of Google.

Curious about those five reasons to recycle old content on Twitter?

1. More Visibility: If every single person in your target audience took a vacation today, none of them would see your tweet. Essentially, it would be lost in a sea of tweets, and the people who would see it and click your link wouldn’t be those most likely to complete a sale. If you only post your articles once, they may never be seen again.

2. More SEO Benefit: If you title your posts with brilliant SEO keywords, Google is taking notice. In fact, Google associates the words in your tweets with the URL you are tweeting about, so the more you post it, or people re-tweet it, the better you’ll rank on your targeted keyword.

3. More Opportunity for Clicks: Obviously the more times you post a tweet, the more traffic it’s going to bring in. However, if it’s a holiday, or even holiday season, you probably aren’t going to see the results you’re looking for. Or, if you posted at the wrong times of day, or a natural disaster occurred, you’re obviously going to see a drop. Instead of calling it a loss, you have the next two reasons to consider.

4. Diversity of Timing: Recycling posts means that you can schedule them at different times in the upcoming days and months. Perhaps today you schedule your tweet for 10am and 3pm, and next month you schedule it at 9am and 5pm, and six months from now you might post it at 2am and 11pm for international readers. Then you look back regularly to see which times brought in the most traffic and begin to work on a more calculated schedule.

5. Experimenting with Headlines: Writing Twitter headlines takes practice because what works on a blog and what works as an email subject line doesn’t always work on Twitter. Folks on Twitter appreciate hashtags and call-outs to signify a more “human” feel. The more you post an article, the more opportunities you have to work with these types of elements to see which headlines pull better. Does a question work better? A statement? The title of the post? The email subject line you used? These are all different formulas to try.

Comments? Questions? Demands? Let’s chat down below!

Or, let us do it for you.

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5 Signs of an Unconfident Blogger

 5 Signs of an Unconfident Blogger

 

Illustration by Nick Palazzo

If you’re a self-loathing blogger, then you probably don’t want anyone to read your work. It’s awful, terrible, the worst thing anyone has ever read! Because of this, you don’t SEO your blog posts (nobody’s looking for them anyway!) and if anyone does in fact find your blog posts, you want to send them away as soon as possible.

If your goal in blogging is not to make money, not to get shared, not to drive web traffic, and to drive web visitors away, then a great way to stay out of the spotlight is to send visitors in the opposite direction from your blog as soon as possible. We’ve seen lots of bloggers do this, usually not on purpose, and we’ve also been misguided to do this by clients too.

 5 Signs of an Unconfident BloggerIf you really want to send traffic away from your blog instead of keeping it on your site, here are five great ways to do it:

- Link to someone else in your first paragraph. Don’t give readers a chance to digest your point of view, just send them away quickly! Shoo!

- Constantly refer and link to “the experts”. You wouldn’t want anyone to consider YOU an expert, right? So much pressure!

- Don’t define your jargon. Talk like a suit so they need to leave and Google all your fancy words. Swot analysis. Go!

- Don’t tell links to open in a new window. Pretend your blog post never happened, like a regretful one-night stand. Send them away and don’t give them your phone number!

- Don’t interlink any of your other articles. Cause when they’re done, they’re done right? GET OFF MY LAWN!

Congratulations, you’ve just completed the first course in sending traffic away from your blog!

How to turn that frown upside down

 5 Signs of an Unconfident Blogger

Now if you’ve ever made any of these mistakes on accident, here are five more ways to keep people on your blog instead of sending them away:

- Build your case before linking away. Your first couple of paragraphs should build a relationship with the reader, not send them away. Sending them away too quickly tells the reader that the real source of information is most certainly, not you.

- Establish yourself as the expert. Link to other sources only when they have data you can’t provide, not to “qualify” information you already know and are teaching.

- Create a glossary. If your business requires the use of jargon, create a glossary so that you’re not sending readers away when they need a definition.

- Tell external links to open in a new window. That way when they click away, your post is still there for them to continue reading.

- Interlink blog posts. When you reference a topic that you’ve already written about, link to that blog post. That way you’re sending them on a journey, keeping them on your site longer, and building loyalty with the reader.

Seems simple enough, right? If you’re confident enough to write blog posts, do your best to portray that confidence by being the resource they’re looking for, not just a gateway drug to the “real” source.

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