The Internet has a content problem. Every day more and more content is being pushed out into the nether regions (ok, that’s inappropriate) of the Internet and most of it is terrible. And worse than that, the good content that is published on the Internet is few and far between and hard to find.

My goal with this blog is to help people get their content found. Because of this I’ve written posts like:
11 Ways To Drive Gobs Of Traffic To Your Site
A Blog Is Not A Content Strategy
Linkbait Is Not A Content Strategy
The Future of Cross Platform Publishing

We’re being inundated with a lot of crap content as well these days. Every post I see on Inbound.org (so basically all content produced by “marketers”) is “How To…”, “X Reasons That…”, “The Ultimate Guide To…” Continue Reading…

On January 15th I had the great pleasure to get to do a video hangout with Leo Widrich, one of the main guys behind the well-loved social media tool Buffer. I reached out to Leo because I’ve been following him for a while on social media and reading his blog. I’ve been seeing Buffer’s awesome growth over the past year (I even became a paying member recently), so I was interested to get Leo’s take on marketing, especially content marketing.

Leo is a smart young marketer, and I was quite intrigued to hear that Buffer’s content strategy was heavily influenced last year by Rand Fishkin’s Content Marketing Manifesto talk from last year’s SearchChurch meetup in Philadelphia. Leo said that since they took Rand’s advice to heart, their traffic to their content has quadrupled and they have seen a lot of success. I was also intrigued at the end of the video how Leo talked about their strategy going forward in regards to content, but you’ll just have to listen to the whole thing to find that out :-)

Also, if you like this sort of format, my company is running Fireside Chats with Marketers in NYC as meetups this year. Sign up if you’re interested.

Continue Reading…

SEO is getting harder. When I started in the industry a few years ago, it was possible to throw a bunch of exact match anchor text at a page and it would rank fairly quickly. You could spin content all day, or just replace keywords in templated content, and still rank fairly well fairly quickly.

Now things have changed, and SEOs are trying to deal with the ramifications. We’re dealing with (not provided), personalized search, location-specific search, Penguins, Pandas, and more.
Continue Reading…

Becoming A Better Writer

John Doherty —  January 10, 2013

A lot of talk has happened about content, content marketing, and blogging in 2012. We can thank Google, Tom Critchlow, and people like CopyBlogger for this, and I truly do. I love content and writing, and content writing and content marketing. I love it so much that I told people to stop blogging if they’re not going to put the time and effort into it.

I often have people tell me that I’m a good writer. That’s not a humblebrag, it’s a statement of fact. The truth is that I have always been a writer and loved writing, but honestly I used to suck at it. I’ve been writing on the Internet, on blogs of various kinds, for a decade now. And honestly, a lot of my stuff used to suck. And honestly, a lot of content I wrote on this site when I started it almost 2 years ago now….sucked.

I think I’m a decent writer and blogger now. So how have I done it?

The answer is plain and simple – I’ve written, practiced, and analyzed the results, and then written some more, practiced new lessons, and analyzed the results, then I write… You get the idea. Continue Reading…

I recently read a post about cross-platform publishing that absolutely blew my mind and changed my paradigm about how I am thinking about content and publishing moving forward. It’s called Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content, written by Karen McGrane who has led content strategy and information architecture engagements for sites like The Atlantic and Fast Company. The time is now, I believe, for thinking about content as a separate entity unto itself, not beholden to one platform but rather extendable across platforms. Continue Reading…

How’s The Ebook Coming?

John Doherty —  January 4, 2013

TL;dr – As many of you know, I announced a few months ago that I am working on an ebook about blog marketing. If you didn’t know, you should sign up to hear about when it launches after you’ve finished reading this post.

I’m also looking for 10 people to provide me feedback on what I’ve written so far. If interested, sign up now (and for more details about what’s involved, read the bottom of the post) – Continue Reading…

Find Balance

John Doherty —  December 21, 2012

Before you read this post (which is publishing as I am on the plane to Costa Rica), let me suggest that you read two other posts:

Rand’s post – http://moz.com/rand/there-is-no-worklife-balance/
Jerry Colonna’s post (language not mom-friendly) – http://www.themonsterinyourhead.com/2011/05/05/work-life-balance-is-bullshit/

These words especially resonate:

“I’m scared,” I’d told my Buddhist teacher on Monday. “I find myself doing more and more…the calls and inquires for coaching are so much more than I can handle.” He smiled in that way that says, “I’m not going to say anything. You have to keep going.”
“I’m afraid I’ll lose myself…again. I’ll find myself overweight, sickly, disconnected from my body, my family, and back at the point where the subway tracks seem like the right answer.”
“It is different now,” he said. I waited for more and then realized I wasn’t getting any more.

It’s different now, said my teacher, because right livelihood. What I’m working towards now is less about my own ego aggrandizement (although that temptation is always there) and more about helping.

Both of those posts express well the thoughts that come when you are overworking and stressed out.

Continue Reading…

Start With The First Link

John Doherty —  December 19, 2012

I work on a lot of large websites in my job at Distilled – ecommerce, publishers, other revenue-oriented websites. Often, I am working with sites who have hundreds of thousands if not millions of links pointing to them, but they’re often top-heavy (ie a lot of links to the homepage).

Continue Reading…

Do The Work, or Quit Blogging

John Doherty —  December 11, 2012

You just read a click-bait title. I apologize for that.

Before you run away, dear valued reader (see what I did there?), here’s my thesis:

A person should not blog or publish on the Internet (not all publishers are bloggers) if they are blogging to fulfill a perceived “need”. If they are doing it for reputation, links, or anything else, blogging is a wasted effort. Blogging or publishing works when you do it because you cannot help but write and publish.

Barry Adams recently wrote a post on State of Search entitled Can The SEO Industry Embrace Longform Content? Continue Reading…

Do The Work

John Doherty —  December 4, 2012

SEO is not about quick wins. I get asked all the time to “give us something that we can do now that will have a noticeable effect”. People, everyone, wants to get the most bang for their buck, and this especially happens in business where there is direct pressure to produce ROI. After all, no one brings in a consultant until they are unable to solve their own problems. At this point, your problems become mine.

If you’ve been seeking quick wins and they’re not working, what the heck makes you think that me giving you quick wins is going to fix your problems? Quick wins have not been solving your issues until now, so why do you think anything is going to be different with my quick wins? Continue Reading…