It’s time to bust a myth that’s been running around the Interwebs lately.
There are some folks who feel that certain subject matter makes it impossible to naturally attract links with content. Others know that with a bit of imagination, just about any topic can support the successful development of remarkable content that results in links.
Scoring attention with the geeks at Digg is easier with certain subject matter, and that’s true of any specialized audience, big or small. When it comes to our own profession, hobby, or circumstances, we’re all geeks. We want to know the latest specialized details that matter to us, and we love it when that information is presented in an interesting or even entertaining manner.
Don’t believe me? Just watch the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, or any of the scores of other niche cable channels and programs that cater to enthusiasts. It’s not really surprising that these shows appeal to people with a passion for or interest in the subject matter. What’s amazing is how they’ve drawn in new viewers due to the way the information is presented.
Not enough linkers in your niche? Find a way to make the topic appeal to the linkerati.
Rand Fishkin is doing a series of posts on creating content that appeals to a link-savvy audience. I happen to know for a fact that members of the SEOmoz crew are big Discovery Channel fans, and Rand’s content ideas for otherwise boring subjects proves it:
• A list of the worst stains possible with information on how to clean each of them, photos and a sexy chart displaying degree of difficulty (i.e. red wine is twice as bad as balsamic vinegar). Scientific explanations (ala Alton Brown) would go a long way, too. Boing Boing would probably love this one, as would tons of stay-at-home parents and OCD neat-freaks
• Demographic trends of book ownership – what income groups, geographies, racial, gender and age brackets are most likely to own particular books in the US (actually, I’d love to read this article right now; I bet it would go straight to the top of Reddit, too).
• A list of rare but effective techniques to help with potty training, learning to read, putting kids to sleep, getting them to enjoy vegetables, etc. (there are a lot of parenting blogs out there who’d eat this stuff up).
Paper & Packaging Products:
• How the packaging guys used their expertise to design devices that would protect an egg from a 100MPH impact – forget those science classes off the first story roof! You could pick up some serious link love from every high school physics teacher in the country with a website.
Rand then offers a litmus test for determining if you’re on the right track with your link attraction idea:
1. Find someone in your industry who won’t steal your idea (a colleague, a coworker, a boss or even a web-unsavvy competitor)
2. Tell them that you read or saw the article somewhere and describe it, including the reasons it’s so interesting
3. If they ask you to email them the link (independent of you offering), you’ve got a winner on your hands
Don’t let people convince you that your topic can’t be made to appeal to the social media crowd. A bit of imagination mixed with a little inspirational cable television may be your ticket to a load of links. And that ain’t no myth.