Have you ever sold a client linkbaiting content and when it came time to produce the bait, you’ve thought “oh dear, there’s not much to write about ___” (copper pipe manufacturing, hermit crab pet insurance, massage distance learning, etc)?
Writers block. Brain freeze. Call it what you will – the inspiration behind link bait doesn’t come easy to all. Most of us are SEOs, not trained copy writers, but on occasion writing link bait or guest blog posts for client products land in our laps. I tend to get creative, and think up dramatic story lines to combat the sometimes sterile concepts at hand.
Creative Writing Tips for LinkBait Production
Tone. Toys for kids, project management software for AB’s, electric guitars for musicians – these groups don’t speak the same language. Get the lingo down for any one group – lets focus on guitar musicians in this case.
Google’s Wonder Qheel is great at suggesting industry relevant terms.
After searching for top blogs in any given industry, I use the Cloudlet plugin for Firefox which scrapes SERPs to form a tag cloud of often used keywords on a results page.
Looks like I should also mentions amps, top brands like Fender, and the popular sunburst finishing glaze.
Character Development. SERPs image results, Flickr, and Picassa often give a pretty accurate idea of the types of people using any given product. Results for electric guitar: men, 20 – 60yrs, dark outfits, large boots, long hair, holding electric guitars, sweaty, 1 syllable names. Now I must imagine myself as a man who likes to dress for funerals, goes hiking, doesn’t own scissors, is in need of some Axe, named Spike.
Adversity. This is the opportunity to incorporate the client. What is your character having to overcome? This challenge will ultimately result in utilising your client’s product as an aid or the full on solution. Spike’s adversity: He needs to buy a new guitar because he smashed his old favourite on stage in last weeks gig.
Plot Line. Like any good story line we need a beginning, middle, and end evolving in the face of this adversity.
Beginning: Set the scene and explain the adverse situation. Spike the electric guitarist has just moved to Memphis. His record company has given him an instrument allowance and he needs to decide on a new electric guitar.
Middle: Spike hum’s and ha’s over the types of electric guitars in his price range.
End: Spike decides on the client’s brand of electric guitar because of the great X, Y, and Z features it possesses. Spike can’t wait to play it on stage and share it with his friends.
While an obvious challenge, try to be subtle about how you introduce your product. The entire point of a story line and character is be more organic so that you appear legitimate, and not just another product cheerleader.
I hope you take away a refreshed creative edge when producing client linkbait, be it a blog post or perhaps even using your character to explore (infiltrate?) social media avenues and forums. Please, leave comments below and share your own inspiration for writing linkbait copy for clients – bonus points for especially monotonous industries.
Chelsea Blacker is a London based search consultant currently working at Base One Search With a background in SEO & PPC cultivated at Promediacorp in NYC, Chelsea focuses on engaging B2B brands in social media and online PR. If you want to further procrastinate from getting on with your real work, check out her current Marketing Pilgrim post You Know You Work in Search When… or say hi to her on twitter @ChelseaBlacker