SEO Question: Your mention of blogs got me thinking. Do you know of a reliable "paid to post" service that will not spam blogs but will find related/relevant blogs to post notices about the site I'm launching simultaneous with the launch?
SEO Answer: I would not recommend ideas like pay to post. There are a whole slue of reasons, but at the core of the issue is that the people who are going to be blogging and ranking for terms related to your field can probably burn you pretty bad in the search results if they dislike you. The community aspect of the web is probably the single most important marketing mechanism for the average new webmaster and it is one of the easiest things to screw up.
Here are reasons why the webmasters and site owners should work directly with bloggers and other website owners to market their sites.
- People who write often tend to also read often. If the people who write often are friends then they likely will defend you or alert you when others bring up your name or brand in a negative light.
- If you learn the interests of those talking about your topic it is easier for you to appeal to their interests.
- Search engines want to move toward counting naturally earned organic links. Google is heading that way quicker than Yahoo! or MSN, but you can't count for them to be behind the curve forever.
- Traffic from related sites should convert exceptionally well, especially if it is from people who write about you or your products in a positive light.
- It may not be this way right now, but eventually sites that have few or no votes from sites within their topical community are going to struggle to get high enough in the search results to earn self reinforcing links from others outside of their community.
- With how many scams there are on the net I think people tend not to trust new sites until they are repeatedly exposed to them. If the first exposure smells at all like a marketing message they you may have to pay for any further exposure.
All the above information assumes you want to build a long term brand and business. If your goals are more short term and your name is not attached to the site both low cost outsourced labor and automated somewhat sophisticated comment spam bots can market your message, although that is pretty shitty to do and not something you want to do if you are in the business for the long haul.
Here are a few legitimate ways you can get bloggers attention:
- Search for what they are interested in and talking about. Create a story that is more comprehensive than anyone elses or takes a different perspective.
- Create something that is web based that bloggers can integrate into their blogs. Try to make it something social.
- Ask some of the bloggers that you want to cover your stuff if they would have time for an interview. I have seen exceptionally new bloggers get to interview old time web gurus just by asking. Odds are you may get an I was recently interviewed by link which leads to many secondary links. You also can then offer that blogger a free version of your product as a thank you, although there are still some tact issues with how you do that.
- Come up with a controversial blog advertising program. Try to involve some big names in it to where all the blogging ethics crew talk about it.
Some people tend to think that you just need enough money to get seen, but that can backfire if you offend the ego of bloggers. All you need to do is find a way to appease their egos.
Recently a few people contacted me with press releases. The emails were deleted and I sent some of the people the optional are you an idiot? replies.
One person was creating a parallel and competing channel and sent me a press release about it. When I suggested that they could buy ads they said that industry news should not need to buy ads. I told them that since they offered me nothing in return I thought they could go to hell.
You don't get much help by telling others what you expect them to do. Especially if there is no return / reward incentive in the exchange.
Occasionally a smart person comes along and doesn't ask for a link. They ask for feedback or my opinion, and in that they likely get greater value. I am not going to link to something that I think is crap, but if I think their product is no good I will tell them why. If I review it and like it then odds are pretty good I would mention it.
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