One of the things I frequently mention is that content and advertising are blurring so much that in many cases people selling information would be willing to pay to give that same content away in a few years. It is not that all old information is bad (in many cases older information is more pure than new remakes) but it is hard to keep attention in a competitive marketplace.
It is a fight for eyes and ears day in and day out. And it is even worse if you are starting from scratch. With that in mind I thought I would offer 5 ways to help new publishers rise above the noise and gain mindshare and marketshare in competitive markets.
Use a new format
My wife’s PPC Blog got a lot of exposure when she created a PPC flowchart. It is not that the flowchart had any huge new piece of information in it, but simply structuring content in a different format limited competition and made it different and remarkable.
I made a similar one for SEO, and it was quite popular. I recently surveyed our subscribers and multiple members mentioned that they joined to get more of the member’s only flowcharts. If a medium is easy to understand and few people are using it then it is great for link building and it is great for selling content.
Mix things together
When I created a keyword tool (or bought one off a programmer) it was essentially a clone of the Overture keyword tool that was anything but remarkable. So I played with PHP a little bit and had the results cross reference a variety of keyword tools.
Later we upgraded to pull data from Wordtracker and make CSV data export quick and painless. As new keyword tools (like the Google search-based Keyword Tool) are released, we add them to our results.
Our keyword tool recycles (and would be entirely redundant), but it adds value and became remarkable by cross referencing various other tools.
Target non-commercial keywords
If most of the people in your industry are targeting the same core keywords then you can build momentum talking about non-commercial keywords that are less popular.
These may not be short term money makers, but if they have less competition then ranking will be easier. As you rank for related keywords that builds a traffic stream that has the potential to convert or to link at your website. If they link at your non-commercial pages that still builds your overall site authority and helps other pages on your site rank better.
You don’t have to be a subject matter expert to create expert level content. Learn enough about a topic to become pretty good, and then create a list of questions you want experts to answer. Compile those answers in a useful format and watch the links and traffic roll in.
Contests and awards work just as well. People love to have their identity reinforced and self-esteem boosted.
Use personal experience / information from another field
“What defusing bombs can teach you about link building.” Sounds interesting, and there are probably only a few dozen people in the world who could even think of writing such an article. Analogies make complex topics easier to understand, and some of the best analogies come from tying together your experiences from various disciplines.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.