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Content with your Content?

10/17/2009

Unless you have a giant web site with tons of content that would take even a steroid enhanced Google bot weeks to index, you don’t have enough content. And even then, if it’s just content that sits there, you shouldn’t be content with it. My research, and I’ll admit that I don’t do enough testing, has led me to believe that unless you’re adding water to the river of content out there, you’re just not going to get the same attention from the bots.

Hell, it’s hard enough to get clients to give me new things to say. Most of them run very small businesses, which means they run them, usually dealing with every little detail. It’s time consuming and exhausting, and the last thing they want to hear is me whining about how they haven’t posted lately, or given me something to post. Whether they’re running a gourmet restaurant near Cooperstown NY, or a historic bed and breakfast on Maui, it’s just never enough for me. And those are two of my better clients who post pretty regularly to their blogs (Cooperstown Restaurant and Hawaii B&B). Point is, in today’s social media, blog-driven, twitter obsessed world, you need to keep a constant stream of your own, pouring into the giant internet river of Web 2.0 that just keeps flowing. Don’t be content with your content.

One client who always understood this is Emma Tate, owner/operator of Culinary Delight Catering in Los Angeles. She’s always coming up with ideas for promotions, additions to the site, new menus, special discounts, and the like. She sends a constant stream of testimonials from clients who love her food and catering services. I’ve been her internet marketer for a couple of years now, and her site is getting her more business than ever, although in these hard times her ideas like discount wedding catering in Los Angeles have a lot to do with it.

Of course, the fact that she’s a great caterer (voted top five in MyFox LA’s hotlist the last two years–vote again this year) has a lot to do with it too.

Lately, she’s been giving me so much to post that I get overwhelmed! Where to put it on the site, how to work it in to the existing navigation structure, how not overload the readers… All serious time consuming efforts for someone who, like everyone else these days, wants to keep costs down.

So, I built her an LA Catering Blog. I know, sometimes it seems like I think blogs are the answer to everything. Well, from my perspective they are. When I meet someone who just wants to stay in touch with fans, say, when my son’s music career takes off, then we can have a social media based campaign built around a central web site, using facebook or twitter as the defacto blog. But for the kinds of clients I have now, a blog is the ideal way to go. I can host them on other big sites like Blogger, WordPress, or Typepad and can funnel some PageRank and even some decent traffic (through shared tags and the like) to the web sites through an intricate, deep-linking pattern that develops over time from the various posts. I can build another set of information pages, like “about” or “contact” pages where I can vary the usage of keywords and go after phrases that I didn’t have room for on the main site.

I used Typepad’s paid pro service because it’s easy to do SEO on their blogs. Also, I didn’t have any blogs on Typepad, and you gotta spread the love around to as many different IP addresses as you can.

But mostly, I can keep it all organized. A blog is very natural and automatic way of organizing the tons of content that Emma creates. I can put testimonials up and assign them to the LA Caterer’s Testimonials category, and voila! A new, easily organized testimonials page!

The blog can even encourage new content! I’ve been after Emma to give up some of her recipes, like her red-velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and now, with the ease of posting to a blog, she can send me a roughly worded (she’s a chef, writing is not her strong suit) recipe, I can post it, assign it to the recipe category, and boom, there’s a recipe page. The blog is hungry, I plan to tell her, in an appeal to her instincts to feed. Now, I can get even more content out of one of my most prolific content creators, and it will actually be easier to deal with it! Blog for productivity!

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