Return of the Content Marketing Know-It-All

Return of the Content Marketing Know-It-All

Reader Comments (39)

  1. When it comes to “going viral” I think it’s important to stress that viral is relative to your usual success. Very few of us will ever crack the top ten YouTube video list. But if your content normally gets 50 readers and one post got 300 I’d consider that a viral success! Usually see 12 Facebook shares and this time there happened to be 45? That’s pretty viral!

    • I agree. Viral is a relative term. I’d give up on it It’s unrealistic to think a tweet or whatever is going to get 100,000 hits if you’ve got a following of hundreds or a few thousand. I didn’t even post my most viral tweet. A journalist I’d picked on in a blog tweeted to a friend of his after he got a ping from my blog. She replied, others joined in and pretty soon my blog traffic soared – temporarily.

      • It can happen, if what you create gets picked up by someone with a big enough audience.

        The thing to remember is, one viral piece won’t transform your business or your life. It’s a nice chunk of traffic, but it’s one event and the traffic spike tends to subside fairly quickly.

    • I think you can only go viral with social media….. Because organic traffic always come slow and steady but social media traffic gives a peak of traffic to your blog which soon dies…..

      But we can never ignore the importance of social media as well… Once you start getting viral… That means you are going to get to a big big hit…:)

  2. What a great post 🙂 Good questions by these people. To help you out let me answer a few.

    The 1st one: Is there a formula for going viral?

    Find one strategy (which ever) and master it then you’ll be able to make anything go viral because you have the formula and you mastered it.

    It’s not worth it to tell you Guest Blogging is the best way because it might work well for me but not for everyone.

    The 3rd one: Email newsletter or blog?

    I would say use both, I don’t see no reason for not using both of them. I get my leads via my blog content, yes I do buy Ads but haven’t done it in a while.

    If I get a subscription from my blog I know it’s highly targeted because no one convinced them to do it. They read the post and go “damn I want more” then I give them more.

    The point is, blogs are powerful & the leads it brings are really interested people who can easily become customers.

    A really great post Sonia, hope the people who asked the questions find it helpful like I did 🙂


  3. Great questions. And great answers Sonia: always pushing things a step further, digging a bit deeper, finding a new angle.

    My question relates to optin lists, and specifically how to think about the most general of lists – the sign up for blog updates list.

    My site has an optin form on every post encouraging people to sign up. But as I cover different subjects on the site (it’s an AgentPress site focused on a particular location, but addresses a wide range of topics), the result is not a particularly targeted list. I don’t have an automatic broadcast set up for this reason and I find my self second guessing what to send to these subscribers, and don’t feel my choices satisfy all of them all of the time.

    Mentally I think I’m more comfortable with having several targeted, smaller lists where I offer and deliver tighter information. So I find myself planning the demise of this general list. Of course every business is different, but I’d love a gut check on this.

  4. For organic traffic purposes your keyword should always be applied to an article headline, if at all possible.

    Blogs are structured in H tags and a post title is H1 in most cases. So, mentioning your keyword there gives the search engines a pretty good idea – along with your page title and URL – what the post is about.


  5. Great post, Sonia! Glad to see you trumpeting email marketing and building your email list early. This is something my team and I DIDN’T do, and it’s now become one of our core focuses, even as much as our first product development. Also – loved the process of “deepening the relationship”: interested > desire for a product > taking action (purchase). I’m going to share this with my team – what a great framework to filter our decisions through. Thanks!

    • For my copywriting business (before I joined Copyblogger) I had an autoresponder with Aweber in place before I finalized my site. It served me in great stead when I got an early link from Seth Godin and got a viral-level traffic spike, because it allowed me to capture all of the traffic that was interested in what I had to say. Many of those folks are still on that list years later.

  6. In your opinion, is there any SEO benefit to including a podcast transcript on the same page your episode is playing on? Or is it just too many extra words for search engines to handle properly?

    • There’s definitely an SEO benefit, but you also have to weigh that against a good reader experience. I’d include a 100-word summary of the podcast with some important key features (maybe in a bulleted list) below your replay, and link to the transcript on a separate page. Good for readers, good for search engines.

  7. This is a new idea to me so let me know if I’m getting it. I have a series of 23 Timeless Gardening Tips which are blog posts. They are published once each week and will be all out by August 9. So once they are all done, I could have a cornerstone page listing all the posts with a link to them?

    How do people find that cornerstone page? Do you put a tab in the menu bar for cornerstone content and then list those various pages? Or even have a page listing all your conerstone pages that go to cornerstone pages with the links to your original posts?

  8. Hi Sonia,

    Thank you for featuring my comment!

    I’m on the right track because I guest blog, use social media, and dabble in PPC marketing (have to work on headlines and perform another A/B split test) to boost my online presence. I want to provide readers with useful information that has a positive impact on their businesses/personal lives.

    Question for the next Content Marketing Know-It-All

    How does web design relate to great content? Does the design of your website and content) impact whether or not your content is shared and commented on?

    Thank you.

  9. Its a well written post by Sonia Simone and its true saying that never copy and paste the content i.e. duplication of content. Be very genuine in it. Originality pays

  10. Excellent post! I especially like your suggestion to combine blog and newsletter. It’s important to know how to change your writing according to the channel, you use, and also to use a variety of channels to support your communication needs. Blogs are great for getting fans, newsletters are great for turning fans into customers.

  11. I feel I should have something thoughtful or profound to share but really all I have is:

    “Holy Sh*t I just got mentioned on Copyblogger!!!”

  12. I read something somewhere a couple days ago about blogging the news. You always have a fresh set of material that is relevant and interesting to a wide audience.

    I think this is where a lot of bloggers misstep. Too many blog on what interests them instead of what is interesting to the masses at the time. Getting relevant material out when it is being sought after is the key. This is how it goes viral.

  13. A great post overall, but my favorite point was that how you use your cornerstone content, and the goals behind it, can change over time. It’s easy to get caught up in our “future plans” and forget that we need to make our websites work for us today, too. 🙂

  14. What do you think about trading ebooks for email addresses? Personally, I dislike it when a company asks for my phone number or email as “informational” then uses it to market to me later. I’ve promised my readers I’d never ask for their email addresses in exchange for anything disguised as free.

    • That’s a big part of what content marketing is, Dan. Giving something of value in exchange for the ability to contact people over time.

      You should read Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing if you haven’t. Puts things in the proper perspective about how online marketing works.

  15. Sonia, I like your answer about how to market cornerstone content. The idea of getting all your great pages and delivering them to new readers is a super way to re-purpose your best content. And the idea of using it as a landing page to gain extra subscribers is one killer technique.

    I have no questions at the moment Sonia, just ideas. I learnt a lot, Great Post 🙂

  16. This is a great idea! You’ve answered many of the questions I’ve had for a long time!

    I have another question for the next Content Marketing Know-It-All –

    How can you write content that makes a reader want to comment? A closing sentence along the lines of “If you have other ideas about […], please let us know through the comments below” seems lame. Also, would you do this differently on your own site where you have some sort of a rapport with the reader vs. on a guest post where you are introducing yourself to the audience for the first time?

  17. Hi Sonia,

    I really like your response to the human vs seo headline question.

    Its a fine balance that you need to maintain. I usually write headlines in 2 steps. First from a human perspective and then a natural tweaking for SEO requirements. But you need to look natural


  18. I’ve been thinking about content that goes viral a lot too.

    An emotionally charged story….I think that’s important, but even more than that, I think the content needs to have an “unexpected” factor to it…

    There’s something about it that must make us curious…but then a truly viral piece of content with defy your expectations in some way. Examples:

    A shocking unexpected twist to the story…
    A sensational, “WOW! I never thunk or seen that before” angle…
    Scandal! Like the mayor of Toronto seen smoking crack on tape!
    Bizarre! Like the Nyah Nyah cat video…

    These are just a few…

  19. Great article. I think that placing your keyword phrase in the header actually makes it a lot more relevant for users. If some one is looking for a blue widget and the header contains this same thing that he was looking for–he is much more likely to click! So your are both more likely to get found and more likely to get clicks.

  20. Great post. Enjoyed reading it, but I’m still a newbie and trying to figure out how all this works. Don’t know much about computers, so a lot of the material is like a bouncer from Michael Holding: went over my head, but thank you.

  21. The best way to solve “Duplicate Content Issues (internal)” while serving “Cornerstone Content” which resembles few of your previously published blog posts is by –

    Making the Cornerstone Content ‘noindex.’ In this way you are pleasing both your audience as well as the search engines.

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