Using Good Journalism to Build Your Email Marketing List

With balanced content, audience members will be more apt to sign up for updates through email newsletters

Google’s Penguin update, which rolled out in late April, brings a major question to mind: how balanced should my content creation be?

As we’ve seen, Google is hitting some websites hard, making them lose significant amounts of search traffic in the process. And in some of these instances, it doesn’t appear that black hat SEO is present. It does seem however, that Google is forcing content creators and digital publishers to go out and do a better job as a journalist.

For instance, one of the activities being penalized by Google is unnatural linking. This may include an excessive amount of affiliate links, exact match anchor text links, and cross-linking from your other sites.

These linking endeavors don’t really scream black hat SEO, but at the same time, they aren’t journalistically sound. Good journalists find multiple sources in their marketplace and they provide strong commentary on the breaking news that others share. They aren’t myopic.

Publishers cannot just write about the companies they own, and link primarily within their own sites. Doing so makes their content coverage unbalanced. It is necessary to link to external sources, including competitors, because doing so allows for more significant breadth and depth of content. It shows you are reputable and confident in the content you provide. A more open exchange makes content more valuable.

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Only writing about yourself can come back to haunt you

We’ve seen websites fall victim to unbalanced linking strategies. A natural approach to linking, which focuses on a breadth of content, can help you provide better content while persuading visitors to register for email updates.

Here are a few tips for linking to other content sources, that will help you build your email marketing list.

-Add insight to any link you provide. The additional commentary will show your knowledge on a topic presented at another website.

-Use a large variety of sources throughout the year. This will show your audience that you stay informed about your entire marketplace.

-Promote your content through social media and tell the sources you cited them in your articles. This may lead to more sharing of your content.

Search engine dominance

Google is the grand purveyor of traffic. If you want Google to find your content, rank it, and send traffic to your website, you need to play by their rules. This means that you will need to send traffic to other websites, and not just crosslink through your website.

Do you have thoughts on linking strategies, or on Google’s power in the search world? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

And if you fear penalties from Google’s algorithmic updates, join us on June 28th for our Playing Nice with Google Penguin webinar. This 90-minute program will focus on strategies used to avoid the current punishments being handed out to websites with spam, poor engagement or unnatural linking practices.

    Erika C.

    I think this is great advice, and I’m pretty certain (though I can’t be objective) that we follow these rules when we share on Twitter. Working on expanding in our regular blog. I hear this preached everywhere, though…at Chamber networking meetings, on twitter, in blogs…yet when it comes to real life experience, it seems that the majority of communicators are communicating about only one thing: themselves.

    When will the communicators practice what they preach?
    Do you have helpful, polite ways to let communicators know when they are breaking the rules of contemporary communication?

      Chris S.

      HI Erika,

      I think there are a lot of communicators effectively sharing information with their audiences. Is there a specific audience you are referring to?

    peggy h.

    This is a very informative article was happy to share across social media. great job!

      Chris S.

      Thanks Peggy! Very happy you enjoyed the information. And thanks for passing it along.


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