We all have knowledge. And I can assume if you visit this site, you know a little bit about getting traffic to a web site. Or maybe you know a lot. And your employer or client may have some knowledge. A real estate agent knows about real estate. An auto accessory retailer knows something about cars. A hardware store owner knows something about tools.
By building a site for your client or employer, promoting it or overseeing it, you may get to know a little bit about the business itself. And your client, after seeing your work, may see the value in it more with every day.
But none of this mean you can switch places. But with clients, you can’t be there there every minute of every day and many jobs have a short contract. When you are done, you are walking out the door. And who knows how well the site will do.
As an employee you may have a similar dilemma of knowing enough about the niche you are working in to build a site, find perfect linking opportunities and finding online communities it would pay to create a presence at, but just not enough knowledge to actually create that presence. You may have to enlist the help of your employer who knows much more about the niche itself.
But despite the fact that we live here every day on the Internet breathing in bits and bytes and know the ins and outs of what a trackback is, the difference between a social bookmarking site and a social news site and what a “nofollow” tag means, many people just don’t get it and it will be a long time before they do.
And I have been in both situations. I have had clients that have asked me how to keep the traffic going after my job was done and I am currently an employee with a knowledge employer. My articles never came off quite right. My answers seemed a bit dry. Knowing something about a topic makes you more fluid when explaining it and fluidity is more human, especially on the Internet where all you have is your words.
Teaching a Client or Employer to Fish
I eventually took a middle route, but it did take a while to find it. Learning and doing are two different things. That’s why there is lab and hands-on experience in school. Reading a book on brain surgery is not doing it. And the more unfamiliar a person is with the information, the more afraid they are of making a wrong move. Yes, I think sometimes people think they can break the Internet. And sometimes if may be your job to give a little push.
Take it upon yourself to create profiles at social media sites, sign up at forums that fit your employer or client’s niche, create Google Alerts and build an list of blogs and sites that may be important to their niche. You don’t have find every site. You don’t want to overwhelm then. Just give them a taste to see how much they can handle.
Then write a short explanation of what you think they should do at each site. Explain comments at blogs. Tell him that answering a question at a forum or answer site doesn’t just reach the members currently at the forum but will be available to anyone coming from search engines for the life of the site. Then compare it to the time spent answering questions on the phone each day. Customize what you know about building traffic specifically to their niche.
And then use the online tool they are most likely familiar with, email. Leverage the tools that many communities have built it to send notices directly to your client, employer or fellow employee’s email address. And where that is not available, use Google Alerts and Feedburner email subscriptions where available. Or use a combination, like the feed available through WhosTalkin , along with RSSfwd .
Some may see this as job security loss. Why give away what you could charge for? But in my experience, your client will also be spreading your name around as he promotes his site. And if you are working in house, you probably have more than enough on your plate and anything that can be done by someone with more knowledge, should be. And interacting with potential customers online may best be done by those who have already been doing it, day in and day out.
Stephan Miller has developed, designed and promoted ecommerce sites in various niches. He is also an active affiliate marketer and social media addict. And he blogs about it all at http://www.stephanmiller.com.
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