Easy Ezine and Other Fatal Advice

megaphone (12105594_blog)Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not perfect. I put up blog posts with typos in them. But darn it if they aren’t pretty hard to find for me, let alone the average reader.

So, when you post an article on the value of content marketing, it shouldn’t be riddled with typos and sentences that are hard to follow.

And it certainly shouldn’t provide questionable advice.

While the debate about whether or not you need a blog on your website isn’t exactly timely (I feel that question has long since been answered with a resounding YES! reverberating off every computer speaker on the planet), I’m willing to revisit it. If nothing else, to make sure the information you have is sound.

Writing a blog is not all butterflies and rainbows (or, for the manly reader, tree stands and monster trucks). You can’t just slap any ol’ thing on WordPress and call it a day. Yes, exploreB2B is correct in conveying that article writing is important — far be it from me, the CEO of a content marketing company, to really say otherwise — but it is NOT the end all approach to marketing your company online.

Because, in order to be successful online, you have to have something worth sharing. And an article that ezine picks up is not the kind of content that is going to keep the Google algorithm spiders happy.

Ezine Articles is Not the Goal
For starters, the articles available on ezines are those submitted by business owners looking to get their name out in the cyber world. This practice is all well and good, but many of them fail to meet quality standards in their writing skills and, while they may be an expert in their particular field, that expertise isn’t adequately conveyed. Articles submitted to ezine do not go through a rigorous process of review. Yes, each article is reviewed twice over, but they are more concerned about it not contain self-promoting content than the quality of the voice. Sure, they check for grammar and punctuation, but there is far more to writing a concise and informative article than spelling everything correctly and using commas in the right places.

In other words, you need to go beyond submitting to ezine to establish yourself as an expert in your field and start getting more hits to your website.

What to Do
Now that I’m off my soapbox for a bit, I have some other recommendations for you:

  • All in One Place — Start a blog, available directly through your website (while a WordPress blog separate from your website is one route, it’s not recommended — you want as many hits directly to your website as possible).
  • Maintain Brand Voice — Make sure that someone proficient at writing pens the words that convey your brand message and the voice of your company. Again, it’s not just about spelling and punctuation; the reader needs to connect with your company through those words so he can begin to trust you.
  • Social Media — Plaster your work on social media sites and ask your staff, family and friends to do the same. Honestly, this is one of the most reliable ways to get the word out in the internet world.
  • Newsletters — Send email newsletters to your contacts (make sure they sign up to receive them) and include links and summaries of the most recent posts to your site.
  • Guest Blogging — It’s been said time and time again: find a successful blog (not a competitor but one that is relevant to your industry) and try and get an opportunity to have your writers do an original guest blog post. It’s a lot of work to make that happen, but it’s far more credible than ezine, I assure you.

But you know all of this already. You’ve read it a thousand times in a myriad of different places. Time to put it into practice.

Inaccurate Advice
According to the aforementioned article that this entire post sprang from, “Traditional advertisements offered no real value to anybody else except the advertiser; When was the last time you spent 3 minutes watching an ad on TV or Youtube? Whereas articles provide real value to the reader.”

Say what?

Content marketing has its place, and let me assure you that it’s certainly a huge portion of your marketing strategy. But don’t you dare, for one second, believe that you just have to write a few blog posts and some stellar website content and be done with it all. That you can just sit back and wait for the clicks to roll in. Because they won’t.

Video marketing is not irrelevant. Not in the least. Video marketing is its own niche. While I agree with the above article that consumers want to know the story behind something, not just the product details, this is old news. It’s called editorializing… or “aditorials”… and can come in many forms.

You know as well as anyone by simply reading this post that I’m all for content marketing. Make it a large focus of your marketing efforts, but not the only focus. And, for the love of Pete, do it right. I’m begging you.

(originally posted on Ink’d Content)

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