The point of content marketing must be RELEVANCE. Your goals are to find:
- potential customers who buy products
- new readers who become subscribers
- and only lastly for link value
So your very first task is to identify who your buyers are and where they hang out. While traditional SEO ignores many sites as being “too small”, they may be hurting their clients because the niche sites where your buyers tend to be are often NOT the high PR sites that SEOs prefer.
There is always a tradeoff between these three goals.
Sometimes you may place your content on a site that has high PageRank that is beneficial for PR, but whose readers are not your target audience. But what you really want to do is choose relevance over PageRank.
What is Relevant Content Marketing?
I am still seeing people wanting guest posts published on sites that are totally irrelevant to what they sell because they’re putting too much emphasis on the link value and not enough on reaching potential buyers.
Consider this a warning to all involved. Do not publish content on your site that your current readers aren’t interested. If you’re a small business, an SEO, or a blogger, stop publishing on sites that are not where your buyers already are.
It is often easiest to understand when you have examples, so I am going to share some tips I gave to Khalid Shaikh on how to do blog outreach wisely. Khalid works for Rediff.com, one of the largest blogs in India.
They have a shopping section at shopping.rediff.com. There is a major Hindu festival called Rahki coming up that is celebrated by their readers, so they have a special section for Rakhi Shopping. Khalid wants to make sure that many know about the Rakhi gifts Rediff.com allows retailers to sell through their site.
Instead of focusing on PageRank or publishing posts wherever they can get them, I recommended that Khalid find sites with a large readership of Hindu’s who would be interested in buying gifts for Rakhi. I wish we had a similar festival; perhaps our sibling relationships would be closer if we did.
“Raksha Bandhan, (the bond of protection) or Rakhi is a Hindu festival primarily observed in India, Mauritius and Nepal, which celebrates the relationship between brothers (shaurya), cousins and sisters (shreya). It is also called Rakhi Purnima in most of India. It is also celebrated in some parts of Pakistan. The festival is observed by Hindus, Jains, and some Sikhs. ” ~ Wikipedia ~
Examples of Relevant Sites for Product Sellers
Here are some examples of the types of sites Khalid could contact to offer content about the upcoming festival and what he should propose writing for each of them:
- Vogue.in is a major Indian fashion site. In years past they published a Rakhi beauty wishlist and a Rahki Gift Guide. Offering them similar content for 2013 is an obvious win for both writer and publisher.
- Tradus.com bills itself as India’s Largest Shopping Portal. They wrote about Rakshabandhan last year, so should be interested in similar content for this year.
- WhiteIndianHousewife.com has an Indian shopping section. Offering a post about shopping for Rahki would be a perfect fit for this blog.
Now that he knows what type of blogs to approach, he needs to understand how best to ask them to collaborate. The key is making it obvious that he knows what is important to that site’s readers and offers them content that benefits them.
Connecting first on social media (Twitter, G+, Facebook, etc.) can make this easier. You can also use their contact form or email, but if you do be sure to provide just enough information for them to want to respond to you.
Be direct. Tell them you are aware they publish content about what is specific to what you need:
- Mention a specific related post they’ve published.
- Explain that you want to provide them a post. Suggest several titles and provide 2-3 examples of your work.
- If your needs are time sensitive, let them know how soon you need to publish. (NOT making it a rush is likely to get a better response as everyone is very busy.)
Not every site will respond, so be prepared to contact far more than you need. And do follow up. I do not see most of the requests I receive because I am so busy and my email is overflowing.
I recently found an exceptional tool for managing every project and especially blog outreach. Watch for an upcoming post about Trello to find out more. In the meantime, be sure to read my interview on Content Marketing Solutions and Best Practices on Search Engine Journal (SEJ) for more content marketing strategies and tools.
If you have a site that would be interested in a post about Rakhi, leave a comment here for Khalid to see. If you are an Indian blogger who wants to collaborate, comment and we will contact you.
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