What Iâ€™ve found at the top of search results in most industries is someone who decided to share what they knew. A lot of the time they unintentionally became an expert in the process by sharing that information.
I think it is the missing key in most failing online business models.
If you had every competitive research tool in the world at your disposal you still would need to find ways to make people want to link at you in a profitable manner. Some can no doubt be bought, but that only scales up to a certain point in certain industries.
You do not have to compete on scale or in terms of money if you are more willing to give than the competition is. The best kind of marketing is the stuff you get for free, and the best way to get that is to give away a bunch in a variety of formats, early and often.
Many of times giving stuff away will be an absolute loss liter failure, but you still learn from it, and in aggregate, over time, you will stumble upon a few things that work and spread.
The best products, companies, and/or people don't always win, but you can dramatically increase the chances of creating a sustainable business model if you are unafraid to put stuff out there and see how the market reacts.
My first client hired me before I knew I was selling any sort of service. :) He found an unformatted site that was like a personal notes journal about search and liked it. I was so wet behind the ears he is lucky I got his site to rank, but it made him thousands of dollars and made me feel helpful :)
A couple years ago I knew almost nothing about the web or marketing, and a couple days ago I appreciated that I sorta became a bit of an accidental expert when I was talking to a well known book publisher and speaking about SEO at a marketing MBA class.
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