I Only Want What I Can't Have

I recently got feedback from an SEO Book buyer who stated that their site was not accepted by some directories I recommend. If someone does not accept your site realize that due to their editorial stringency a link from that location is probably worth more than a link from the sites that did accept your site.

  • Buy Relevant Ads: If they didn't accept you because you were way off topic then move on.

  • Look Relevant: If they did not accept you because you were not 100% on target with their niche rewrite your description to make it fit their business better. Perception is reality.
  • Be Credible: If they did not accept you because your site was lacking then invest in change and limit the amount of advertising you show on your content that you are activley marketing (at least while you are actively marketing it).

If you can't buy exposure it is going to be hard to compete with competitors who are already established, leveraging viral marketing, and/or getting free exposure.

What people you don't know think of your site is a quick and cheap source of feedback on how to make it better. If something is important to you do not accept no. If you do accept no, learn why they said no and make something that is easier to say yes to. The same goes for requesting being featured on a site, buying reviews, sending out link requests, asking to be published, etc etc etc.

Published: March 7, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


March 8, 2007 - 3:10am

What's becoming more important by the day, is not the idea or the strategy, but the execution. It's VERY easy for me, you or anyone else to say statements like:

build a better website,
look like an authority
use social media / viral marketing
increase your branding
improve conversion ratio

I could list off a 100 of them, but while they're easy to say, they are difficult to execute, especially when faced with limited resources (time, money), having to earn a ROI on the resources you've already invested, and faced with competition attempting to execute the same or similar strategies as you are.

Luckily for new companies the Internet audience is growing so fast and many industries have such worthless competition from an SEO standpoint you can still be successful in many industries with a little hard work and some creativity, but get ready for that to change. The era of DIY (Do it yourself) SEO is already dead, people just don't know it yet (of course most larger companies will bring there online marketing completely in-house, most little companies will just get f**ked (they definitely couldn't afford your fee) and most niche or boutique style SEO companies will move into marketing or technology and the bastardized cross discipline known as SEO will again split into marketing and IT instead of a weird merger of both.

There's my rant for today.

March 8, 2007 - 3:29am

I should add to my prevoius comment, when I said "most little companies will get F**ked" what I meant is most individuals and say two person companies. With DIY SEO dead it's going to get harder and harder for them to compete as the quality of the competition and barriar to entry goes up.

Take an individual real-estate agent. As of today, Most of the top 10 location specific (money searches) real-estate searches , can be successful achieved on an SEO budget that is affordable to an individual agent or office of agents. I've personally ranked over 50 real estate sites, but as more and more sites go online and more and more agencies start producing better content, the barrier to entry for a new agent or office of agents continues to rise. With algorithms continually evolving to not value individual tactics and outright manipulation, eventually to rank for one of the those search you'll have to 1. Be remarkable (which by definition is rare) or 2. Spend years developing your online presence and have lots of money to throw at it to hire IT people and marketers.

IE, there won't be a nice SEO solution for them to purchase that will do them any good. You'll be able to buy web development, and online marketing, but there won't be as many cross-discipline individuals called "SEO consultants" available for average companies. Since most companies / individuals by definition are around the average / good (not extraordinary or remarkable) the life-blood feeding all the tiny SEO outfits will be cut off, and thus DIY SEO will be dead and so will most niche / boutique outfits.

March 9, 2007 - 7:26pm

There's been a lot written here about the death of the little guy, with Aaron pointing out that mega brands like Yahoo and Amazon (and their demographic and IT wealth) have no reason not to squish the niche players within two to three years.

As a one-person band in a niche market, I do pretty well by programming and sometimes, marketing a smidge better than most of my competition. The future? Sounds bleak. Even if I could coax my users to give up the same kinds of demographic info Yahoo! does, I'd never have the kind of IT department that could leverage it, or the branding to create things like original celebrity content.

There are a lot of us very motivated work-at-home types willing to do a lot to scratch out a place in a big-brand consolidated future, though. I'd like to know if someone sees that place existing.

March 10, 2007 - 4:07am

blake, keep up your motivation and have hope. With web 2.0 we saw the mainstream introduction of social media and user generated content, but it's still in it's infancy. Digg for example only has 1 million users.

Web 3.0 will be the 'popular' web which all this user generated and social data will be able to be collected, intelligently sorted, and ranked in a way that will give a give a potentially bright future to the little guy.

Currently being successful online is mostly about brand, trust, and authority. Get those three things and you're in. Which is why it's the focus on most marketing blogs (including this one).

In the future I believe the shift will be more towards popularity and appealing to your visitors emotions/ personality (especially for the little guy). With web 3.0 the power of a viral message or idea will be multiplied by many times what it could ever do now. If people like you, you may be able to compel them to buy / do business with you even if you're out gunned by larger, more efficient competitors. I could go on, but I need to save that rant for my blog.

March 10, 2007 - 7:36pm

I thought "Small is the new big." was the future :) Y-Combinator is busy funding 2-3 person startups and claims that is a new model for venture capital.

I have noticed I need to be careful how I interpret concepts presented here because in some cases they seem to apply to large sites, but not to tiny niche areas where I work.

I think this entire online industry is so large, so diverse, and so in it's infancy that generalizations, while fun to read, should be interpreted with great care.

March 11, 2007 - 2:51pm

Well, I think all of you are right, somehow.
The biggest problem for the next years will be no so much to be able to afford the price of gut consulting, it is already impossible for most small companies today, but much more to have time to generate gut Content continuously.

Small companies have more than enough to do with their every day duties. Accounting, publicity, organization, employees don’t let enough time even for their business, to think that they will find everyday time to generate content is very utopist.

Sorry for my spanglish.

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