Ten years ago, if you wanted to achieve success in online business, you had to learn some technical stuff: HTML editing, scripting, FTP, numerous software tools. For SEO, you had to learn all the tags, fine-tune them manually, analyze on-page factors like keyword density.
Now, with WordPress and other excellent free tools, creating and managing websites is trivial, and the main things you need for SEO are good content and quality links. If you are a good writer, you can produce both with great success.
Good content: do what you enjoy and write about it
The best way to succeed here is to choose a niche that appeals to your heart. If you are genuinely interested in your subject, the writing will flow naturally, and you will never run out of new article ideas. And you will need a lot of articles – for your site, blog, emails and for off-site promotion as well.
If you are planning to start your own business, bear this in your mind. Do not fall for the temptation to choose some market or industry only because it looks promising in terms of profit. If you have nothing to say about it, or don’t really like it, then you’ll have problems trying to promote your business.
For example, I did not launch Web Tracking Guide because I thought Internet marketing was an easy field. It’s arguably not, especially for a beginner. It is overcrowded and very demanding. But I truly enjoy what I do, I already have a lot of experience here, and I feel excited to discover new ideas for online business optimization and share them with others.
Acquiring quality links in the social web era
When you have your great content ready, you want someone to come and see it. For that purpose, you need to get inbound links to your website. You need them both for direct traffic and improved search engine rankings.
Probably all of you received emails like this:
Notice how this Web Marketing Consultant failed to even paste my domain name in email body, leaving the previous one
there. This type of letters usually go straight to trash bin these days.
Today, search engines are getting smarter and distinguish different kinds of links and their relative value. So the low hanging fruit like link exchange or second-tier directories will not help you much in terms of ranking. You need high-quality links from relevant pages. And here, you need your writing skills again. The best link building methods are all about writing.
- Guest blogging. Write a guest post for one of the popular blogs in your industry. If they accept it, you can negotiate a link back to your website. It will be placed on a highly targeted, permanent page, and have your desired anchor text. It is in the blog owner’s best interest to optimize and promote every post on their blog, so your investment is safe there, unlike some obscure “resources” section with hundreds of loosely related listings. You can see an example of a guest post in front of you right now, providing a top-quality link and excellent publicity for me.
- Social networking. Promote your site and your new articles on social services like Facebook and Twitter. Add your pages to social bookmarking sites like Digg. Again, you need to write compelling headlines and summaries for each of these, otherwise no-one will pay attention.
- Article marketing. This is an older technique, but it is still one of the most effective ones. Submit some of your articles to article directories in exchange for backlinks. Again, your writing pays back in high-quality targeted links.
As you can see, writing is the most important skill today in online promotion and SEO. So practice if you are not used to it. You may find it difficult at first, but start small and you will see steady improvements. Start with forum and blog comments, which are shorter and easier to write. Then, submit a few articles to directories, where there is some formal separation between you, the editor and your readers. And when you feel more confident, try guest blogging. In addition to SEO and traffic benefits, you will build some good relationships with fellow blog owners and commenters.