As most of you know, I not only write for the Red Rocket Blog, but I also contribute entrepreneurial blog posts to Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Founder Institute, Alley Watch and others. And, writing a quality blog post can be a very time consuming exercise, which means you really want to prioritize your efforts here.
One of the things I have debated over the years, is whether or not it is better to solely write for the Red Rocket Blog, and hence get 100% of the search traffic from Google around those posts. Or, whether it is better to put those same articles up on the higher trafficked sites--at the benefit of near term reads and exposure, and the potential detriment of long term search traffic directly to my own Red Rocket website.
Several things have happened in the recent months, which has made this debate come out clearly in favor of contributing to the big sites, over my own blog. Here is why:
1. The Red Rocket Blog just can't compete with the huge audiences of the bigger sites. The Red Rocket posts get traffic in the hundreds, and the big third party posts, get traffic in the thousands. Think 10x the readership on the same amount of work.
2. My social media following in the thousands, is a small fraction of the social media following of the big third party sites, in the millions. So, the virality and free exposure of those articles are materially higher than what I could do on my own.
3. The benefit for my personal brand and the Red Rocket brand, of partnering with big brand names like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Wall Street Journal, adds a level of credibility to our offering, which helps drive leads and conversion rates from new users visiting our site.
4. With the launch of Google Authorship, it is clear Google wants to help their users find the best content from the best authors. Since, Google allows an author to identify which sites they contribute content, they help the best authors get found regardless of which site they are posting to. So, my name and face is tied to all my third party posts within the Google search results, allowing me to get my desired promotion, while at the same time, piggy-back on the higher Google rank positions of my third party partners.
5. All of my contributed author posts to third party sites, include clear author biography sections, with my photo, Twitter handle and links to my website. So, if someone likes what I have to say, they can easily contact or follow me with one click from that third party website, just as they could from my own website.
6. The more content I post on large-trafficked, well-ranked websites, the more important Google thinks Red Rocket and I are, helping us to grow our organic search traffic over time.
It used to bother me, that the Red Rocket content pages where getting outranked in Google by my big third party website posts on similar topics. But, given all of the above, if you holistically consider all the advantages the big third party sites are bringing me, it is well worth it.
So, the key lesson here: which big third party websites are you going to start contributing blog posts to, to cement your position as a thought leader in your space? As it is most likely going to result in materially more traffic and exposure for you and your brand, than you could drive on your own. This is truly a good case study on the power of inbound content marketing.
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