How Hard is it to Relate Your Site to an Important Idea?

Oct 30th

Most sites are easy to relate to popular or important link rich ideas if you are creative. For example, to some people this site relates (or at points in time related) to web browsers, open source software, religion, politics, science, education, human rights, free speech, marketing, market manipulation, entrepreneurship, blogging, search, and many other link rich topics.

Part of why I stray off topic is because I think everything is related. But it also doesn't help that I entered the market so late, and SEO is generally hated when compared with the general linkability and passion with which people talk about innovating search technologies. What can you do to make your site relate to something people care a lot about or are irrationally / emotionally drawn toward? Do you care about the environment? Are you religious? Are you disabled? Are you part of a minority? Do you care about human rights? Do you wish the world was safer? What flaws in Google's business model concern you? How did you overcome your biggest faults and fears? Could you help stop wars?

The things you are not supposed to talk about are the things which link rich people link at. You know your idea has legs when people at different ends of the political spectrum link to your idea and claim it as their own because they identify it as being associated with their ideology.

Typically it helps if most of your content is focused on your core topic, but some of the people who are easiest to talk about are easy to talk about because they can relate their topic to other hot topics. If you are a usability consultant why not talk about blogging and search, for example.

Focus on the reader. Controversy will incite passion. Passion drives links.

You have to balance it though, because packaging matters:

At some level, at a very major level in fact, the way we feel about a transaction is more important than the transaction itself. Some people like a sporting event more if they got the ticket from a scalper, other if they got the ticket for free from their boss. Some people need to feel like they've taken the system (whatever the system is) for everything it's worth. Others need to pay retail (especially on a wedding dress, cemetery plot or flu shot).
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Marketers are working hard to corrupt the way we feel about our friends and the people we respect. I think, in the end, it's not going to work. We're hardwired to respect real authenticity, and at some level, that means trusting the motives of the person we're listening to.

Published: October 30, 2006

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Comments

October 31, 2006 - 12:16am

It’s very important to stick to a given topic but it is also very important to give the blog a human feeling to it. I enjoy reading blogs that have small appealing posts about any random event or topic.

October 31, 2006 - 4:51am

I relate.

When I started my first blog in Jan. 2003, It was all about health care policy, politics and economics. I stuck to that and built a following. Then I dropped out of blogging the first half of this year and came back with a new emphasis on marketing, banking and finance, but I still blog on health care now and then. (Oh, that's what I was going to blog about tonight. Need an item, yah know.)

So I've lost some great health care links and not replaced them with banking or marketing links.

I think part of our problem is that we have so many interests, including marketing and politics, that it's harder to focus. And I think we both like to comment on whatever is going on, which is good for our morale, if not our businesses.

Your advantage is that you are a SEO technician and expert, and people are looking to you for advice and help. I'm just an old pundit.

Enjoy, whatever.

November 1, 2006 - 2:10am

You bring up an important issue.

"typically it helps if most of your content is focused on your core topic . . ." Yet, if you can add some variety to what you do, it makes you and your services more attractive to everyone.

How many people want to deal with a geek that has no interpersonal skills or can't talk about anything other than writing code?

You need to connect on more than one level with business people.

November 6, 2006 - 8:24am

I don't think you necessarily need to stray off topic to relate your site to an important idea. Those kind of things could come through in your writing no matter what the topic of your blog.

Make the occasional comment that is on either political extreme, use examples to illustrate your point that are environmentally friendly. A specific post about the topic can certainly draw the links, but so can filtering in rleigious, political, philosophical, etc thoughts within on topic posts.

ziemek
October 30, 2006 - 8:44pm

So essentially it doesn't matter what products or services we sell, what matters, or matters more is the experience we are creating for our end users during the purchase, or use of our product /service. And so the Experience IS the message. Hence by changing this experience to the experience we want to relate to, it doesn't really matter what the content is about.

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