October 20th, 2017

Unpopular Opinion: If You Want Links Stop Writing Vanilla Content

Author: Laura Lynch
Laura Lynch
Director of Marketing

stop writing vanilla content

Link building, the art, the science, the cornerstone of SEO. A lot of time and energy are put in by SEMs to build backlinks to their clients and their own websites. Of course, we’d all like to have links built naturally to our work. It’d cut down on the time and money devoted to link building, and give our websites that much beloved domain authority. So how do you do that? How do you get natural links to the content you produce? The answer is pretty simple. Stop writing crappy vanilla content.

Know Your Subject

The easiest way to produce content on the Internet is to procure and reproduce the content that others have already created. What that gives you, however, is content that is devoid of all personality. Simon Sinek said, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” But if your content is only telling people what you do, why the hell should they buy from you?

Knowing your subject gives you an advantage over other content creators. It allows you to create an informed opinion on why YOU are better than your competitor. If you’re hiring an agency to do this, that’s fine, and is encouraged. But give them the time and as many resources to learn who you are. Otherwise they’re just going to be doing that thing that everyone hates: creating SEO fodder.

Take a Stand

If you don’t like something, like, say, crappy vanilla content, say something about it.

In the above blog we said, you know what, we hate RFP’s. They are soulless and you don’t get to know if you’re a good fit for a company when they’re the only thing you have to go with. We took a stand that says, if you’re just going to issue a faceless RFP, we’re going to toss it out.

“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?” “Aaron Burr, Sir” – Hamilton

When your content doesn’t take a stand, especially when it comes to how your business conducts business one of two things is going to happen. One, you’ll get no attention because you never get found in that sea talked about above. Or two, you’ll get unwanted attention from prospects that aren’t a good fit. Both suck and both waste time.

But, But, But…

It can be a scary proposition to make opinionated content. You may not want to offend or upset a potential client. They might go with your competitor because of something you said in a blog or on your website. But, was that really a good customer to begin with? If someone is turned off by you stating your business facts was the relationship going to be a fruitful one?

Going back to link building that “RFP WTF” blog is linked all across the Internet. I won’t link back to them because I’m smarter than that. Many of them disagree with our sentiment. They think RFP’s are a good thing as long as you get a budget or some other criteria.

That’s fine, disagree, who cares? But if we didn’t write a blog saying that RFP’s are a waste of everyone’s time, do you think we’d be getting those links? Hell no! We get them because we don’t write vanilla content – most of the time. So yes, if you want to be just another content creator in an ocean of content creators, by all means keep up the mediocre work.

But if you want links, if you want to speak to YOUR target audience, the customers YOU want, get a voice. Get an opinion on why you are better at what you do than everyone else and sell those folks that.

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