Yesterday I was in a meeting and was asked about this concept of newsjacking as a ‘new’ way to gain traffic because your piggybacking yourself to hashtags and things that are trending, and building a Tag Cloud geared towards that. Well, I stopped and thought about this for a minute and looked over the paper that I was given, and my answer was this:
I think we have all been newsjacking for a long time if we’ve been writing content for our sites for any extended period of time. When we blog, like I am now, I think about what is in my most recent vision, often I use customer experiences or questions that I receive as my initial framework. I think about what they have asked me and is this something that is relevant to the present day, and most times it is. I’ve told my classes that there is often a treasure trove of blog or content ideas just sitting in our mailboxes.
I find at times my blog posts are a little longer than what I would advise others to do, but at the same time, if the page is relevant, easy to read and informative, I don’t have an issue with length because my post is for the benefit of my reader and not the benefit of SEO credit. And as one that teaches SEO, this is probably one of the hardest things in the world to get across to people. Say what you need to say. Then figure out how you can use it for SEO credit and adjust keywords from there.
So from a newsjacking perspective, I venture to say every article that comes across your desk and you have an opinion on can probably be formulated into a blog post. After all, that’s what your blog should be, your opinion and your experience. When you do that, you inherently capture the trend and can bolt your site to the side of the hashtag.
So in the conversation yesterday with the client, this was the take-away. Be yourself when commenting on news items and don’t do it solely for the SEO value of it. Do it to build great content that has value and that people want to read. Everything else will follow. And really, this is nothing different than what we’ve all already been doing if we’ve been running our sites properly. Its just a fancy name for it.
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