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Keys to a sticky SEM blog post

Published: February 28, 2012

Author: Joe Stanton


We’ve been sending out daily posts from this blog for five months now. For the first few months, I was a terrible judge of what would get a good volume of reaction (comments, retweets, likes, etc.). But now things are starting to crystallize.
Good SEM/SEO blogs, I’ve found, include at least one of the following:
Anecdotes — preferably with numbers, which SEMs grab like life rafts. These should definitely be culled from techniques or analyses that we all practice regularly. A great example is this post, from Jeremy Mayes, about why you shouldn’t focus on CPL.
A strong (maybe even contrary) stance on a current issue, like David Rodnitzky’s alternative take on SOPA and who really won that battle. Some might call this link-baiting…but I think that term should be used for people who don’t truly believe what they’re writing (since smart folks can see right through that noise).
– A confident, distinct, and authoritative voice (pretty much any post by our Todd Mintz, who does not bind himself to the shackles of straight SEM).
– A useful piece of info, like this Todd Mintz post on spotting fake Google reviews.
Lists: top 10 this, top 3 ways to XYZ, etc. The less actionable of these are truly link-baity, but it’s definitely possible to write good, thoughtful ones.
– And the ol’ tried-and-true: picking apart any Google ambiguity or misstep, as in Mike Nelson’s debunking of Quality Score or Sean Marshall’s well-aimed critique of geo reports. For one, it helps all of us to keep our critical-thinking caps on and not take things on blind faith; for another, it’s (sadly) more rewarding to land good shots on Goliath.
If you’re just starting a blog, or you’re wondering why your posts aren’t getting much reaction, try one of the above — or, better yet, a combination of them. I could also talk about effective ways to post them on Twitter or Google+ to entice folks to click, but smarter people already have that covered.
Happy blogging!
Hillary Read, Marketing Manager

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