It fits the bill, because it is short, it lets people know I’m all about writing, and the .nu domain is the same as the initials of my name...Nick Usborne.
All very cute, but will it make any difference to anything? According to the Mashable post, I should get some branding brownie points by having my own shortening url. We’ll see.
Even if that isn’t the case, the service behind the actual shortening process for my short domain is Bit.ly, so I will at least be reminded to use Bit.ly more often, and benefit from their excellent reporting data.
Seth Godin’s post for today is 79 words long, including the headline.
That’s a pretty short post.
When post-Panda Google finds that post, which they undoubtedly already have, will they consider it to be "thin" and of low value? More to the point, will they then penalize Seth’s entire blog in the search results because of this "thin content"?
This goes to the heart of my biggest problem with the Panda update.
Who gets to determine what quality really means?
As any fan of Seth’s blog will tell you, part of his appeal is that he shares rare nuggets of quality information in just a few words. He doesn’t need to write 500 words to make his point.
But what does the Google algorithm make of his short posts? Can it discern quality within brevity? I bet it can’t.
The idea that brevity should be equated to low value is absurd.
Let’s imagine Seth’s blog does drop in the rankings. So he manages to speak to someone at Google about it, and the Google guy says, "Sorry dude, all I can suggest is that you add more content to your posts."
So Seth then goes back and adds another 500 words to his posts. They would be 500 words of fluff, because he already made his point with 79 words.
Now Google comes back and says, "Ah, 579 words. Now that’s quality!"
But, of course, it’s not. It’s fluff.
There is an underlying hypocrisy here.
Google tells us to write for our readers, not the search engines.
But now, post-Panda, if writing for our readers involves writing short content, we’re screwed. In fact, we are forced to do exactly what Google tells us not to do – which is to write for the search engines by adding 500 words of fluff to our posts or pages.
Am I missing something here? Am I wrong?
If I’m not wrong, then I think Google is making a huge mistake.
On Tuesday April 19th, I’ll be giving a free teleconference call on the opportunities for freelance copywriters who want to work online.
Budgets are shrinking in the world of traditional print and broadcast copywriting. Most of that money is now being spent online – on websites, emails, enewsletters, social media and online advertising.
According to Forrester Research, 60% of companies are increasing their online marketing budgets simply by taking that money out of their offline budgets.
So if you plan on making a living as a freelance copywriter over the years and decades ahead, it makes sense to go where the money is flowing...online.
However, you can’t simply take your offline copywriting skills and then set up shop as an online copywriter.
Copywriting online requires a quite different skill set.
And that’s what Tuesday’s teleconference call is all about.
Here are just some of the questions I’ll be answering.
- In which ways is being an online copywriter different from being an offline copywriter?
- How much are companies now spending on marketing and advertising online?
- What kind of work can freelance online copywriters expect to be given?
- Which are the most profitable types of online copywriting work?
- As a freelance online copywriter, how do you to set about finding clients? What are the best approaches and strategies?
- Do both B2C and B2B companies outsource work to online copywriters?
- What steps should you take to establish yourself as a freelance online copywriter?
If you would like to know the answers to those questions, and more, register for Tuesday’s call. It’s free, but you do need to register.
As you undoubtedly know, the term “long-tail content” describes those pages on your website which are optimized for keywords that don’t get searched for a lot - but for which there is even less competition.
In other words, even though a long-tail content page may not bring in a ton of visitors, it’s relatively easy to get it showing on page one of the Google search results.
The key here is to publish a LOT of pages optimized for long-tail keywords.
Here are some interesting figures from a post I found at the Junta42 blog.
- 18% of search traffic arrives through the fat head
- 11.5% of search traffic arrives through the chunky middle
- 70% of search traffic arrives through the long tail
Put simply, if your website doesn’t have a long tail, you are missing out on that 70%.
On top of that, long tail traffic almost always converts better.
Here are a couple more interesting tidbits from that post:
- The fastest growing type of keyword search is a length of eight words.
- The type of search that converts at the highest rate is the four-word search.
What’s the takeaway here?
The takeaway is that you need to be creating a lot more long-tail content, to maximize that 70%.
And if you’re not sure where you’re going to find enough ideas for all those new pages...
You guessed right...it’s time to sign up as a member at Web Content Cafe.
At Web Content Cafe I publish a new content idea or insight every day, five days a week.
Whammy #1: The recent Farmer update from Google has devastated thousands of sites across the web, particularly those with thin content, scraped content and low-value content.
Whammy #2: At the same time, Google’s growing interest in social signals means that a lot of perfectly good content is falling in the rankings, simply because it isn’t being shared enough through social media.
For over a decade, the practice of delivering quality content has been pretty stable. Thousands of companies have grown and prospered through the application of consistent and reliable content marketing strategies.
But right now, we are in the throes of huge upheaval.
Those old, reliable strategies are no longer working as well.
Today, you not only need to deliver high-value content, but you also need to enrich it by making it shareable through social media.
In other words, content that gets shared the most has a big advantage.
This is why the focus on the daily content ideas I deliver at Web Content Cafe is focussed on these two essential factors:
- Content with high value
- Content that generates strong social signals
If you are not yet a subscriber at Web Content Cafe, today would be a very good time to make the leap.
The world of web content is changing fast, and if you’re not riding this wave of change, you’ll be left behind, treading water, and going nowhere.
First, there are now 202 web content ideas on the site. That would make for a nice, thick book...packed with quality content ideas that attract new search engine traffic, engage readers and lead to increased revenues.
There seem to be a zillion self-appointed social media gurus out there, half of whom have written a book, ebook, guide or special report of some kind or another.
I thought about this a lot before making the decision to sit down and write a social media program of my own.
The last thing I wanted to do was invest months of writing time, only to serve up something that might repeat what is already out there.
As I was researching the project, here is what I did find:
- Books, courses and programs on how to use Facebook and/or Twitter and/or YouTube.
- Books, courses and programs on marketing with Facebook and/or Twitter and/or YouTube.
- Business books providing a 30,000 feet view of social media marketing.
- And books packed with case studies of successful social media campaigns.
As I worked my way through what had already been published, I began to create a clearer picture of what I could do with my own program, and how to fill the gaps I found in what has already been published.
Here is what I decided.
1. Write a program on social media specifically for freelancers.
I have been a freelancer myself for over 30 years, and have worked with other freelancers for almost as long. This is the audience I know best, and can help the most.
2. Write a program that isn’t focused just on the tools (individual social media sites), but on the practice of social media marketing itself.
Knowing how to use Facebook, for example, is like knowing how to use a hammer. It’s a tool – albeit an amazing one. But whether you are creating a social media strategy, or building a house, choosing the right tools for the job comes last, not first.
This is why my program first looks at how to apply social media strategies and campaigns to achieve specific marketing needs. Only then do I look at which tools are best for each task.
3. Write a program that teaches freelancers how to use social media to help client companies achieve their most pressing goals.
Good luck to you if you approach a prospective client and say, “Social media is the big thing. I can help your company do social media.”
You would be better off saying, “If you have pressing marketing goals you need to achieve, I can show you how to use social media to help achieve those goals.”
Clients say yes when you give them a solution to their most urgent marketing needs.
This is why a whole section of my program focuses on 8 separate business goals that are well suited to social media solutions.
4. Write a program that clearly describes a number of different ways in which freelancers can generate new streams of income with their social media expertise.
It’s all very well reading a book, course or program that tells you all about social media, but it won’t do you much good if it doesn’t also show you how to apply that expertise in ways that will make you money.
That’s why 4 whole sections in my program cover separate ways in which your media expertise can put money in your pocket.
It took about four months to write the program, working five days a week. But I’m pleased with the result.
This program fills the gaps left by all the other books, courses and programs I have come across.
It gives freelancers the social media skills they need to generate multiple streams of income for themselves and their clients.
The course is called How to Make Money as a Social Media Expert.