Moz reported that on average, there are 92,000 articles posted on the Internet daily.
Now, it would be nice to know the breakdown per niche, otherwise that stat is not terribly useful. However, it still gives you an idea of the sheer amount of content posted on the Internet on a daily basis.
And that doesn’t even include social media posts.
So how in the world are you supposed to stand out and get your content noticed in an era where…
- Search engine optimization is more challenging than ever
- Some social networks are becoming more about big business (i.e. Facebook admitting to limiting your reach so you will buy ads)
- Thousands of new articles are posted daily
Here are some ways to breathe some life into your content to gain more attention.
1. Go Against The Grain
Let’s say you have an Internet marketing blog. How many articles have you seen in this space that recommend the “best WordPress plugins.”
A quick google search will reveal pages and pages of blog posts with recommendations, and each list seems to have the same recommendations with a few variations here and there.
Instead, switch it up.
Write an article like 10 WordPress Plugins That Are An Absolute Waste of Server Space and explain why.
While I’d probably skim over “the best WordPress plugin” post in my RSS feed, I’d be more inclined to read the “worst plugin” piece simply because it’s unique.
Not only is it a refreshing change of pace from what we typically see in the blogosphere about plugins, but this type of article is sure to spark a healthy debate or discussion.
Take a popular topic in your niche and spin it like I did with Are SEO Plugins Overrated in 2013?
I chose that topic because I personally have found less and less value in SEO plugins so I was wondering if others felt the same way.
Whether or not you agree with me, it’s different from all those redundant posts about “the best SEO plugins” — and as you can see, it got people talking!
2. Shock ‘Em!
When I saw Derek Halpern’s post titled, Discounting is For Dummies – Here’s Why show up in my RSS feed, my curiosity was piqued.
Derek is notorious for utilizing shock to get people’s attention in both his articles and videos. Fortunately his content also backs up his great headlines.
The above title instantly conveys that if you discount your products, you’re a dummy. Whether you agree/disagree, think he went too far or not, I bet you’re wondering why he thinks discounting is for dummies.
If you want to see a great example of someone standing out in a niche that some would say is “done to death”, follow Derek.
Not only does he have a very animated, in-your-face way of presenting content in his videos, but instead of just blogging about online marketing, he uses the “psychology of marketing” angle to generate interest.
3. Stop Targeting Everyone!
I have to apologize in advance to my regular readers because I feel like a broken record sometimes.
Nevertheless, I still see too many people trying to be Amazon.com or Yahoo News — meaning they target everyone instead of zeroing in on a specific niche. (I go into detail on this in my niche website video.)
If your approach is unique and your execution is brilliant, then you can still get away with targeting more broad topics in 2014.
I learned the importance of having a very focused niche from creating Napturally Curly in 2010. It’s so much easier to attract a targeted audience when you significantly narrow down your focus.
Your conversions will be better too. For example, my email list open rate is 67% in a world where 30% is considered excellent, and anything over 50% is almost unheard of!
And it make sense. I know exactly WHO my audience is. The more defined your visitor is, the easier it is to target content to them.
And here’s the deal. My list is not huge by any means, but I’d rather have a small, targeted list than a large, not-so-targeted list any day!
It’s easy to get caught up on numbers, but engagement matters more.
Let’s hope I can take advantage of that engagement with my upcoming Kindle book on natural hair.
Knowing what I know now, I would never create a website again that covers so much ground like this one. Going more niche is definitely best.
4. Do You Blog Too Much About Nothing?
This may sound strange, but I started enjoying blogging more when I began publishing less.
I know, I know. Publishing less often goes against what many marketing gurus suggest, but sometimes less is more.
What I mean is a lot of people go for quantity, but quality suffers as a result.
When I first started blogging, I would post 3-4 times per week. But I remember feeling stressed and skimping on quality just because I felt something had to get published.
After all, quantity used to be a big part of the Google algorithm. The more content you published, the more traffic you’d receive. As long as you followed the basic SEO strategies, that was almost a given.
Well, that’s not necessarily the case today. Google has shown us that if we don’t get enough quality signals pointing to our sites, they could care less about how much content we roll out.
And it’s not just about Google. What about humans? You don’t want to alienate your audience by continuously producing half-baked content.
Now, I’m all about creating a schedule for publishing content and setting a rhythm to build up your momentum. But that doesn’t mean you sacrifice quality for quantity.
Less is often more.
5. Use More Visuals
Gone are the days where you need to learn Photoshop or hire a graphic designer to create awesome images for your content.
People love to share infographics and colorful visuals that illustrate a point. Not to mention it’s much easier to read and absorb this kind of content.
In my podcast interview with Cynthia Sanchez, I discussed how I often create tip-o-graphics for my natural hair site to get more shares on Pinterest. Make sure you check it out!
6. Create Resource Posts
Mark Trueman made use of this strategy with his article, 168 Case Studies on Generating Traffic (From 124 Experts).
No doubt it took him a long time to research and organize this post, but based on the number of shares it received, it appears to have been worth it. People loved it!
Not only did he choose a hot topic for his niche (traffic), but the collection of articles was so inclusive and comprehensive, you couldn’t help but spread the word.
Once you’ve launched the post, take the time to notify everyone mentioned to maximize the shares.
7. Be Timely and Relevant
Have you ever noticed that around December of every year, you start seeing articles in your niche about what to expect in the following year?
For example, Ileane of Basic Blog Tips recently published 4 Steps to Improve Your Blog for Google Updates in 2014 by Reginald Chan.
There’s a reason many bloggers and Webmasters write content of this variety. They are timely and it’s human nature to wonder about what’s on the horizon.
What are the trends going to be in your niche for 2014? Now’s the time to share them!
8. Quote Other Bloggers
Let’s face it. We’re all human and have some sort of an ego. We love to get mentions and links from other websites.
C’mon! Who doesn’t love that?
And we also like to let our readers know that we’ve been featured too.
Many bloggers have figured this out and often use this strategy to get more traffic to their posts.
That’s why people in the Internet Marketing space often create posts where they quote other bloggers like Hector did with 15 Content Marketing Tips From the Pros.
You can either dig up quotes from existing posts (the hard way), or you can pick a relevant question and email it to everyone you want to quote.
The key to making the post valuable is to pick a very interesting and relevant question. For example, if I was going to do one for this site, I might ask…
What is the most effective traffic building technique you’ve ever tried outside of SEO?
Mediocrity is Dead!
Because Google has changed the game for everyone, we all are going to have to rely more on social media, video, email and other platforms for traffic and business.
So that means the days of writing humdrum, keyword-focused content for Google are over.
We saw this shift begin to happen in 2010 and 2011 when Google started heavily favoring brands and pushed down smaller business sites. The trend accelerated in 2013, and it’s only going to continue in 2014 and beyond.
Forget Google. Write for humans, not bots. Use emotion, comedy, shock and story-telling to further connect with your readers.
I hope these tips will help you get more eyeballs on your content.
Here’s to a fabulous 2014!