1-2 Punch Marketing Action Plan for Blogs

by Jason Acidre on June 28, 2011 · 43 comments · Search, Social


1 2 Punch MarketingThere are no known universal solutions or formulas to a successful web marketing campaign, knowing that every industry has to adapt to its own given nature. In fact, online marketing strategies that work for other niches not necessarily mean that they will also work for your niche for reasons such as the size of its target audience, the ability of the industry to be of extreme interest and/or its natural marketability/profitability/sustainability.

However, there is one, which I personally believe can work on any industry over time of efficient execution, where the process will only require you two things to focus on – the quality of content and the quality of conversations.

Inception

The planning stage of a marketing plan is as crucial as its execution phase, given that failing to plan is planning to fail – as mostly stressed by marketing experts. I will be segmenting this phase into 4 parts, which will include outreach list building, link data analysis, content analysis and content conceptualization.

Outreach list building

The most common initial phase of any web marketing campaigns is to gather external resources (your competitors or blogs alike) in terms of link and content intelligence, as identifying the right targets where you can market your blog – indirectly – will help you map a sustainable direction.

In this phase, you can first start by searching for related blogs and listing at least 10 – 30 highly reputable blogs in your industry in an excel sheet, which can include metrics and details such as:

  • Pagerank (homepage)
  • Domain Authority (through SEOmoz toolbar)
  • Traffic performance (measurable through Alexa or Compete.com)
  • Contact details such as Twitter account and contact page or email address

Rough Sample

It’s also important to prioritize blogs that have strict/regular schedule in publishing blog posts and have robust following and readership, since you’ll not just aim to acquire links from them, you will want to fully absorb their followers eventually. Here are some ways to distinguish if a blog has a strong community:

  • Amount of social shares on their recent blog posts
  • Number of comments they are receiving on their posts
  • If the owner of the blog is responding to comments

The outcome of this list will be the ones that you’ll be consistently engaging and connecting with in the following stages of this marketing plan.

Link data analysis

The next step after completing your initial list of link/outreach prospects is to study their blogs’ linking activity. It’s vital to know how they are marketing their blogs, since you can use these information in marketing your own.

  • Extract the best linking domains/pages to each blog. You can use tools like Open Site Explorer, where you can download the data in CSV format for easier link research.
  • Examine how they have obtained the link(s) (was the link requested or was it voluntarily given or content-driven?).
  • Observe the relation between the two linking domains (do they have multiple links coming from this certain domain? Are they blogroll links or editorial links?)
  • Study their top pages through Open Site Explorer, and observe these pages’ nature of linking. Segregate the top domains that are linking to each top page, as you can use these in the latter part of your blog’s link building process.
  • What was the most common link building method they are using (are they doing guest blogs, commenting on other blogs, or getting most links naturally through solid content).
  • Note down every detail that can help you out with your blog’s marketing campaign, from future linking targets to methods that you can use.

Content analysis

Evaluating your target prospects’ content is very important as you’ll be getting most of the concepts for your own content production as well as your marketing campaign from how they present themselves as an authoritative brand in your industry.

  • Observe the blogs’ outbound linking history by skimming through their posts and identify the usual type of content that they are mostly linking to (do they link more on opinionated, highly resourceful, extensive, research-focus, case studies or plainly entertaining posts?).
  • Are they providing content that you will want to link out to?
  • Determine the approximate amount of social shares they are getting for each new blog post, and on which social networks are they active and getting lots of shares.
  • Know the style of their content delivery (are they focusing on offering lengthy content or are they more into rich-media posts like videos, podcasts, infographics, etc…)
  • What are the subjects/topics that the blog is still lacking?

These will help you a lot in decoding their behavior when linking out to other websites as well as in developing your own approach for your content – with the slight intent of manipulating them to link to yours naturally.

Content conceptualization

Develop your content strategy by basing your campaign’s factors on your targets’ history and standards. Build a content inventory wherein you can list all your blog post ideas in an excel sheet and track if there are any available sources on the web (through Google Search) and include the URLs of those similar posts in your list as reference (as you can also use this information for your content’s competitive analysis).

  • Offer content that your targets haven’t offered or explored yet.
  • Plan on making posts that will make your targets “want” to share or link to it (preferably well-thought and well-written posts that will include a link to their blog/post – for starters).

Content

In crafting your content, as an emerging blogger in your field, it’s imperative to offer the best content there is about the subject that you will be writing to truly stand out not only to your possible readers but to search engines as well. And that’s why competitive analysis is very important before even starting to create a blog post.

Note: The only ethical way to target and organically rank for keywords is through your content and not through your artificially built links. So if you are going to target (new) keywords for your campaign, build a page/post that will strictly aim to attain rankings for that certain search term – you’ll get natural links (with targeted keywords as anchors) anyway if your content is worth linking to.

In building your content

  • Before writing your blog post, you should first analyze your possible SERP competitors by searching your post’s targeted keyword(s) through Google (ex: “how to create a blog post”).
  • Examine the best pages retrieved through the top page of search results and identify each competing post’s weaknesses, as this simple process can give you an idea on how you can win over your competitors’ content (are they lacking any information, can you beat the length of their content, can you provide a more comprehensive content than them?).
  • List all the details missing from your top competitors and be sure to include them to yours.
  • Use a keyword-rich headline, as people who will get to read your post will more likely use the post’s title as anchors when linking back to it or when they share your content on social networks.
  • Make an editorial analysis before or after publishing the content (is it link worthy? Will you share it? Does it suck?).
  • Be straight with your call to actions. If you want your readers to share it on social networks, subscribe to your feed or buy your products, then make it easier for them by providing the link(s) at the end of your post.

Once you have some solid content on your blog that you’ll be really proud and confident to show off, then getting links and marketing your blog will almost be an effortless task.

Conversation

Using conversations as a marketing tactic can be an efficient tool in blogging, on any niche, since constant interactions do build relationships that can and will translate to high value links.

The main objective of this phase is to build a strong and authority brand presence on the reputable blogs that you have listed and steal draw their followers and linkers’ attention to develop your own blog’s readership, given that their followers are the ones that are making their blogs an authority.

Build quality conversations that can attract not only your list of prospects to visit your blog but also their followers/readers as well, and let your blog’s content be the second punch that will strike them to staying and probably linking to/sharing it.

Below are some ways where you can start interacting with your list of link/outreach prospects:

Blog comments

Follow your list of blogs regularly and contribute to their community by leaving intelligent comments that will be useful to the discussion. By doing this, you are – in some ways – bringing the discussion back to your own blog, as the blog owner and the other readers may notice your consistent presence and useful feedbacks on that blog.

Suggested mindset – blog comments aren’t made for you to get a link, but rather to attract people to see what your blog is offering. Build conversations, not links.

Social networking

Following them on social networks (Twitter most likely) and sharing their content can help initiate a good conversation. Sharing their posts that have your comments on is also a good way for search engines to index your comments’ links faster, which I think is very advantageous – you get your link indexed and you get to start a conversation.

Cite them as a resource

Using your targets’ posts or researches as a resource, or quoting their statements within your own blog posts can attract them to sharing your content, since this method obviously increases the chances of having your content shared by them (especially if the content hosting the link to their blog is exceptionally crafted). It’s also a good way to start a conversation.

Make a counter-post

As you go further in following their blogs, creating a post that may be on the contrary to their beliefs (but constructive and not offensive content), can get their attention especially if you’ll provide a well-thought blog post. This can as well result to a positive outcome, particularly in displaying yourself as a thought-leader in your industry, as you are able to express your own views and perspectives about the subject.

Guest blogging

Guest blog posting, as always, is the best way to generate referred and specifically targeted traffic from high-traffic blogs, seeing as you get to showcase your expertise in front of their audience. The key to a successful guest blog post is to be as responsive as you can to all the comments that your guest post will receive. And as you build conversations with their readers is the more that you’ll be able to attract them to following you.

Crowdsourcing

As you grow your presence on the blogs you have listed in your outreach list, you can then send a request to them in answering an industry-related question or survey and publish their answers as a blog post, given that the result of this content is very useful to all their followers/readers. Most of them will be certain to share this type of content through the social networks that they are active in and may also allow your marketing processes to extend its reach.

Aftermath

As soon as you have proven your value or have discovered your own place/identity in your community through constant production of high quality blog posts and establishing relationships through conversations over time, you will have to use these connections wisely, unobtrusively and constructively to all parties. You can use these connections through:

  • Twitter-outreach
  • Link bait campaigns
  • Blogroll links
  • Lead referrals

Expand your list to continuously grow your blog’s traffic and readership. Thrive to put your blog on the same level as the ones on your outreach list in terms of quality of content in order to obtain the kind of links/citations they are getting.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed or follow me on Twitter.

Image Credit: KalleVictor

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

TrafficColeman June 28, 2011 at 7:08 am

I say stick to your plan and good things will happen, because everything I do is plan of a attack.
“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

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Kristi Hines@Blog Marketing June 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

I feel like there were a few extra punches in here. :) Great plan for new and even existing blogs that haven’t quite found their footing yet.

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Kaiserthesage June 28, 2011 at 11:53 pm

These are mostly what I’ve done in semi-marketing my own blog, never thought that I could actually make it as a blog post, since I’m not really an “expert” or a go-to-guy when it comes to blogging, though I’m really glad that I tried and invested my time on developing this blog, I learned a lot from it, especially in aligning other modes of marketing with SEO :) Thanks for the comment Kristi!

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Mario@andrea zapatos June 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

The internet world is not so different form the real world. It all about making connections to promote your product or service. Relate to other sites similar to yours and give valuable content.

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Heatmap Theme Review June 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Kaiser you are so right in this post. Great information. By taking the time to analyze who you are competing with for a keyword you are able to get a plan of attack built. Many people new to blogging or article writing fail to do this and never see any results. I like your suggestions for ways to get your competition to work with you. Bookmarking your blog , shot you a +1 for this, keep up the great writing.

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Kaiserthesage June 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Thanks for the +1! :)

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Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing June 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Definitely worth a look, $15 per for doing nothing? Yowza! LOL

The issue I have though is giving access. Guest posts I get now are emailed to me. There are currently two and only two people with access, my designer and SEO outsources.

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Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing June 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Oh damn, please delete the above comment, it is the wrong blog. lol

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Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing June 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Sweet list of prospects kaiser, the counter-post is one of my favorites.

Many a time, I start to comment, then realize it’s worthy of its own post with the backlink; everyone is happy. ;-)

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Kaiserthesage June 28, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Agree, I haven’t tried doing a counter-post here, though I realized that most of the recognized thought-leaders in this Industry are brave enough to make mistakes and put their names at risk just to express their own perspectives (but hey, that’s why we are blogging in the first place).

Couldn’t stop laughing when I read your first 2 comments hahaha (I’m still thinking if I will delete those lol).

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Kaiserthesage June 28, 2011 at 11:59 pm

That sample was just a draft specifically made for this post, you should see my entire master list :D

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Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing July 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I’d love to if you’re up for sharing. ;-)

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Mark@TheBitBot Organic SEO & SEM Blog June 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

Wow. There is a whole lot of reverse engineering going on here. Actually, that is the great thing about SEO…the fact that it can be reverse engineered, period.

Interesting point about the counter blog post. I have personally been surprised a couple of times by having very influential bloggers stop by my modest little blog and comment using a variation of this strategy.

Excellent information on this post.

I would like to submit a request that I feel is within your talent and skill level.

I propose: The Kaiser The Sage Reverse Engineering Workshop

I would definitely be interested in reading it…;)

Mark

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Kaiserthesage June 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

Haha thanks for the suggestion Mark! Will do try that one (just listed it on my content inventory!).

I wouldn’t wonder why people are constantly visiting your blog. You are offering some complex stuff there man! Really liked the identity of your blog (visited it a few times already). Keep it up!

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Andrew Walker June 29, 2011 at 8:18 am

Wow hey..thanks for sharing this. It’s very detailed.

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Kaiserthesage June 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

Glad you liked it Andrew!

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Zarko June 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Hey Jason, I have to say, even if it sounds lame, but this is a wonderful post, well written so anyone can understand. I know the process very well as I use it all the time, for people that want to be serious with their SEO, I can guarantee that this method works and can get your great results. Just take every word Jason says here seriously, no slacking off, even if it sounds like a lot, if you want to succeed nothing should be skipped.

hehe, sorry for hijacking your post Jason with my lame advice, I just wanted to stress out how beneficial it would be for anyone once more :)

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Kaiserthesage June 30, 2011 at 12:17 am

Haha thanks for the insightful advise/comment man! Couldn’t think of any good title for this post, it just popped out my head while writing.

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Jayson@SEOTeky Network Philippines June 29, 2011 at 11:30 pm

“blog comments aren’t made for you to get a link, but rather to attract people to see what your blog is offering. Build conversations, not links.” – I love this part, like what I always say on my students in SEO – “Comment to build conversation and reputation”. Forget links (though you should not forget it), Write first a blog comment that would interest people see who you are.

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Kaiserthesage June 30, 2011 at 12:18 am

Agree, comment marketing is an awesome branding tool, if used appropriately. And with regards to links, it can translate to higher value links if you have invested well on it :D

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alex@b2b marketing June 30, 2011 at 6:49 am

Great post! Thanks for telling a lot about how to spy on the competitors. One of my friends was spying his competitors and reached even higher results! This is really important I believe. It is also important to look for some black methods your competitors use, and in case you find any you may tell google about them and get rid of your competitors ;)

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maxine July 1, 2011 at 3:08 am

Thanks to have this kind of guidelines. There is so much to learn from web marketing

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Martin July 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

thanks,well written and detailed post, very tight thematic structure also works for some blogs aimed at organic search and you don’t need to be that popular either, must put you on my list of seo blogs to read…

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Steve@Internet Lifestyle July 3, 2011 at 7:57 am

KTS,

Some great plans to get a new (or even intermediate) blog noticed. This is th way to get it done! Bravo!

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Kaiserthesage July 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Glad that you liked it Steve! :)

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ibyang@Online Games July 22, 2011 at 5:04 am

Hello,
Interesting contents will always prevail as the leading strategy for online marketing. Just like what this site did, which posted an essential topic for any online business. This kind of content can stimulate wonderful insights from others that will help to attract more visitors and traffic.
Regards,
Ibyang

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Axel@Väggdekor July 25, 2011 at 5:51 am

You always lern something. I have looked a bit at linkbuilding but not this deep. Thank you for your sharing of skills ;)

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Noel Addison@Web Design Ventura August 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I agree that planning stage in a marketing plan is very important but it should be followed by execution of the plans.

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Matt from CuisinartCoffeeMaker August 26, 2011 at 4:03 am

Hi Kaiserthesage,
Great post! I found it very informative believing that if is followed it can do good thing in online marketing. I agree with you concept because it has a lot of potentials what needs to do in order to make it effective is actualization. Thanks for this one.!

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Tom March 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

I’m a little late on this one but love the comprehensive nature of it – and the ambition! Completely absorb their followers. Wow. That’s the spirit! Proof that the greater the ambition and the innovation, the better the results in inbound marketing.

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Damien @ Melbourne Copywriter April 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

Jason, it’s disheartening to know I haven’t been doing half the stuff I could have to promote various blogs, but thankfully now I found your post :)

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