Authority Site Content Marketing: 5 Powerful Strategies for Leveraging Authority Sites To Publish Your Content
If you've found this page, you already understand the critical value of content marketing -- not only from an SEO perspective, but also as a way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche.
As the founder of one of the leading SEO copywriting firms, I see people consistently making two critical mistakes.
Mistake #1: People use authority sites to publish advertorials instead of powerful content marketing pieces.
Mistake #2: People create great content, but then don't publish it in such a way that it really WORKS to achieve their goals of higher visibility and to establish authority.
This Hub addresses how to avoid Mistake #2. I'm going to show you five places to publish your quality content that can:
- Bring you greater visibility for your keywords
- Help to increase the authority value of your own website
- Help you to carve out your niche as an industry expert and a thought leader in your niche
The Content Marketing Process
What Does It Mean To 'Leverage' Authority Sites In Your Content Marketing Strategy
Before we dig into specific sites, I think it's important to answer the question... "What is an Authority Site?" Essentially, an authority site is a site in which the main domain has a great deal of authority in the search engines.
When a site has high authority and ranking value in the 'eyes' of a search engine, new pages that are submitted there also have a higher chance of authority and ranking as opposed to a brand new web property (such as a new website or blog) that hasn't established that authority yet.
Authority sites that also allow for user generated content (i.e. content that you have control of posting) allow you to have control over your content while also enjoying the benefits of the site's authority.
The most important visibility strategy when publishing content on an authority site is to optimize the title with your keywords. While you can and should include a few keyword rich anchor text links in your content that link back to your site, the main value of leveraging authority site is to gain additional search engine visibility with your content. A search engine isn't going to list your website in the top 10 search results for a particular keyword, by it may show your website, a HubPage resource you created, a 'how to' slide show you produced, a press release you published and an article that you wrote...
We Are All Publishers Now - Joe Pulizzi Explains the Critical Importance of Content Marketing in Today's Marketing Strategy
5 User Generated Content Authority Sites That I Recommend To All of My Clients
There are many great authority sites that allow you to publish user generated content. This is by no means a complete list -- this is the list that I recommend to all of my clients because almost anyone can create valuable, informational content for these formats.
It's no surprise - you're reading this on HubPages, and that's because I highly recommend it as an authority site to publish your quality content marketing pieces. But that doesn't mean that you can slap up a hub and have it start working for you immediately. Just like any quality authority site, you've got to adhere to some guidelines if you really want your content marketing piece to work for you.
Hubpages has it's own quality algorithm for scoring (and therefore ranking) pages. The higher your score, the more visibility your hub and profile will receive. Plus, once your profile Hub Score reaches xx, the links within your Hub change from "NoFollow to "DoFollow." Any Do Follow links embedded in your target keywords for a page with a high authority value are going to help your website appear higher in the search engines.
Hubpages isn't going to tell you their precise algorithm, but they clearly tell you in black and white the attributes that they consider make up a high quality HubPage content piece.
A high quality Hubpage includes:
- A minimum of 1500 words, of your own, high-quality purely original writing
- A minimum of 3 relevant video capsules (YouTube or Google)
- A minimum of 5 relevant images
- At least 10 relevant links to other sources, each with your own 30-50 word description
- A news capsule (or highly-relevant RSS feed)
- Excellent thematic and aesthetic organization
In other words, a quality HubPage (just like any quality piece of authority content) should not be a big advertorial promotion fest for your company. Your goal is to create a quality largely informational piece that helps people achieve a particular goal, shows them how to accomplish something, etc.
Like many social media communities, you can improve your visibility by participating in the community the way users are intended to participate. On HubPages this means:
- Providing useful comments on other Hubs
- Following other Hubbers
- Subscribing to Hubber's feeds
- Asking and answering questions
Don't just go through the motions of subscribing and following -- consider this real networking. While online communities are fairly new, the rules of promotion and visibility through good solid networking skills are as old as human history.
- How to Write a Hub on HubPages: Learn the Basics
This hub covers the most basic elements of putting up your first hub. It is intended for very new hubbers who might find a step-by-step (with pictures) guide useful for beginning their HubPages writing adventure.
Like Hubpages, Slideshare.net is also an authority site. While the goal of creating and publishing useful, quality content is the same the presentation of the content is different. SlideShare.net is a forum for uploading your PowerPoint, Keynote (Mac), Word, or PDF presentations to share with the world.
A slideshow can be a fantastic way to:
- Present 'how to' information
- Explain a complex process
- Teach tools and techniques
- Add visual appeal to otherwise bland articles, case studies, or whitepapers
When creating your slideshow, be aware of keyword optimization of the text itself. While the slideshow is displayed in a window that allows viewers to scroll through side by side, the entirety of the text is transcribed on the page below. This is a great opportunity for you to optimize your SlideShare page for your keywords.
When you're presenting in front of an audience, it might makes sense to reveal content bullet by bullet. But when creating presentations for SlideShare that people will view online, I find it more appropriate to reveal the content of the slide all at once. Otherwise, the viewer has to click incessantly just to read the content. Additionally, when you reveal content in that way, you end up with duplicate content below the slideshow as can be seen in the following image:
Generating leads through Slideshare
In October of 2009, SlideShare introduced LeadShare, a way for businesses and entrepreneurs to generate leads through their slideshows. If someone is interested in viewing your slideshow, then they are likely a qualified prospect. When LeadShare is implemented, the entire presentation is free for the viewer -- but they can only view the first view pages until they've provided their contact information.
- Death by PowerPoint
Fighting death by PowerPoint... How to make a presentation and not to bore your audience to death.
Online PR Media - Press Release Publishing
Press release distribution sites like Online PR Media that are designed with SEO and visibility in mind help you to accomplish both goals of content marketing. Not only do you often get anchor text within the press release, the press release itself can rank well for keyword terms and become it's own stand alone "sales" page.
Today's press releases aren't boring pieces of paper -- the web allows you to add lots of conversion-focused interactive features. Some features you can add onto the modern online press release include:
- Images (showcase your product, your team, screenshot of your website, logo, or other image that draws attention and helps sell your product)
- Video or slideshow embedded right into the press release
- Downloadable file attachments
- Social sharing buttons - viewers can easily add to Facebook or Tweet the PR without leaving the page
- Social media streams - readers can see your last several Facebook page updates and Tweets
- iFrames that allow readers to navigate your website without leaving the press release
If your goal is to get decent rankings with your press release so that people will click on it, you'll want the page to grab attention and sell your product -- otherwise people are likely to just click "back" and go back to sifting through the search results.
Like other authority site content publishing, optimizing the title with your keywords is one of the most critical ways to optimize your release. On press release distribution sites that are designed for optimization, your title becomes the Title Tag and the URL of your page and the summary becomes the meta description -- these are critical pieces of an optimized page.
Skimmers: Read This To Avoid The #1 Mistake In Writing Press Releases
Running a PR and copywriting firm, I can tell you that the #1 most common mistake people make when writing press releases is that they try to make a press release an ad rather than a news release. This is not to say that a press release can't work to sell and promote you products -- it can! It just does so in a different way.
Writing press releases is easy! There are just a few guidelines to follow to ensure that your press releases pass through editor approval and speak to the audience:
- The press release should be announce something timely such as a new product, new service, new website feature, new hire, award won, new publication (ebook, Hubpage, slideshow, white paper, video, etc).
- The news angle should be clearly stated in the title and/or the summary ("ABC Company Now Offers..." "New Product Solves XYZ Problem..."
- Except for quotes, the press release should be written in third person (do not use "I" or "we" or refer to customers as "you."
- Avoid overtly subjective language ("the best," "amazing," etc. - save this for the quotes).
For more tips on how to write a press release, download the free eBook on Online PR News titled "The 7 Deadly Mistakes of Press Release Writing: And How You Can Avoid Them"
Scribd/Docstoc - Publishing PDFs
Scribd and Docstoc are authority sites that publish PDFs. While you can also publish PDF presentations on Slideshare, you can seem to have a bit more range of publishing options with Scribd and Docstoc. I like to convert otherwise "boring-looking" text articles into graphical PDFs.
I've also published useful, attractively formatted reference items like
- White papers
- Informational pamphlets
- 'How to' articles
- Apartment and home floor plans
- Grant history lists
- Grant application guidelines
- Press releases
When publishing on Scribd or Doctstoc, it is essential that you optimized the title and summary with your keywords! But don't forget the most important person to optimize for -- the human reader. Don't get so caught up in keywords that you forget to write a headline that attracts readers. The entire point of getting visibility in the search engines in the first place is to get readers to engage in your content.
And just like many of the other authority sites mentioned here, both Scribd and Docstoc have built in 'communities' that you can engage in. You can subscribe to other's content, promote your and other's content via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz, embed the docs into your web pages or blogs, etc.
Rule of networking: Don't just promote yourself -- promote others as well. Promoting non-competing content published by others (i.e. referring people to others) is a smart way to get on the radar of people who could become great business connections.
Article marketing is still a good solution for creating user generated content designed to build backlinks and sometimes visibility. Some of my favorite general article marketing sites are:
This is not a comprehensive list - just some of my favorites! Hubber 'FreelanceAuthor' has published a great list of article marketing sites that I definitely suggest checking out before you start publishing articles.
It's also a smart idea to look for online resources within your niche that publish articles. You can do this by doing a Google search for:
[replace with your niche] "submit article" (example)
[replace with your niche] "add article" (example)
There is some bad advice floating around out there about article marketing. If you're new to article marketing or haven't gotten the results you want from article marketing, I suggest reading Martin Shuttlworth's Hub titled: Internet Article Marketing Strategy – Unleashing the True Power of Article Directories -- this is advice worth taking.
Promoting Your Content on Social Networks
Now that you've created all of this great content, it's time to let people know about it -- and sites that are created for or encourage social networking are the perfect way to do that. Some great ways to promote content are:
- Facebook status updates
- Linked In status updates
- Blog commenting
- Forum posting
- Linked In Answers
- Yahoo Answers
- Commenting, friending, and active participation on the network while logged into your profile (HubPages, Slideshare, Docstoc, Scribd, Squidoo).
- Social Bookmarking sites such as Digg, Propeller, Newsvine, Reddit, Fark, Mixx
- StumbleUpon (best if someone other than yourself suggests your content)
Before you start, instead of asking yourself "Where can I promote my link?" ask yourself "How can I help as many people as possible solve the problem this content solves?" This will help you to determine which conversations you should be looking for on Twitter and Facebook. It will help you to craft your content lead in sentences for Facebook and Linked In status updates.
For example, instead of telling your network "Just published a new guide to backyard gardening... check it out!" You could say, "This new guide shows you how to grow juicy 4-inch tomatoes right in your backyard!" The first is promotion for promotion's sake. The second is timeless, keyword rich, and solutions driving. Remember, everything you "say" on your social networks leaves a digital footprint. What you say now can be found by others in the future who are looking to solve similar issues.
How NOT to be Social....
Time Honored Social Networking Resources
- Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections
Networking expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ivan Misner along with David Alexander, and Brian Hilliard reveal key networking techniques to help you grow your business.
- Networking Now: Growing Your Business Through The Power of Relationships
Ivan Misner of the Enterpreneur.com Blog Network shares tips and strategies for gaining referrals and leads through powerful relationship networking
- Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need
Bestselling author Harvey Mackay reveals his techniques for the most essential tool in business--networking, the indispensable art of building contacts.
Social Networking in Plain English
The "Secret" of Effective Content Marketing
The "secret" of content marketing is not really a secret at all -- it's common sense. Yet so many people don't do it, that it may as well be a secret. But that's great news for you, because if you take this secret and run with it, you'll be far ahead of most of your competitors.
The secret is... to produce quality content. As user generated content sites become more interactive, readers are given tools can rate, vote up, vote down, and comment on your content. It just makes sense to spend a little time creating content that is actually useful and valuable to people so that your content continues to be promoted long after you submit it. Getting one link from an article site is great -- but it's only step one. Anyone can submit a piece of content. Those who really succeed in content marketing are those who create useful resources that people want to share with others (i.e. link to) -- and that is where you can really start building backlinks organically.
- Free Podcasts from Internet Marketing Experts
Short, insightful, conversational (and free!) podcasts from internet marketing experts -- including strategies for creating and publishing various types of online content.
- A Six-Step Content Marketing Check-Up For B2B Marketers
Before you get started with developing more content marketing assets, take a step back to assess your efforts to date. This article offers six steps to help you.
- 49 Creative Ways You Can Profit From Content Marketing
Sonia Simone gets the wheels turning with 49 content marketing ideas.