How to Blog Without Creating Content Yourself?
In the Internet marketing industry most pundits declare that you have to create quality content all the time. It’s often an overwhelming task. You have to reinvent the wheel all the time. In most other niches that’s almost impossible.
What can we learn from
- architecture blogs
- web design blogs
- fashion blogs
about using third party content?
How to build a house
Imagine a headline like this one: “how to build a house”. That would be the equivalent of an architecture blog publishing like we do in the search marketing sphere.
- An article has to offer actionable advice.
- It has to empower people to “do it yourself”.
- It has to offer first hand unique insights.
Of course architecture blogs don’t work like that. To be honest this doesn’t even work in SEO either. Most people do not have the time to implement your advice or even digest your in-depth study full of data.
Architecture blogs cover the work of architects by taking their images and descriptions and publishing them.
Some of them will offer their own description but that’s it for like 80 to 90% of blog posts dealing with architecture.
Writing for experts only
An article trying to explain how to build a house would limit the audience to very few people who actually would have the means to attempt to implement the advice. SEO publishers seem to assume that everybody reading their blogs is an Internet-savvy individual who is willing and knowledgeable enough to actually try it.
In reality most people do not even know what SEO is so at the end of the day you just write for a tiny elite who can understand you.
No wonder SEO blogs get dozens or hundreds of visitors per post and not thousands like other publications dealing with topics the general public can understand.
Most Internet users aren’t even interested in search engine optimization. While everybody needs a home most people are not aware that they have to undertake special steps to get rankings on Google.
Searchers just assume that Google is a God-like entity that knows best what’s right and that’s on top of search results.
One way to overcome this issue is to speak the language of the common people. You can say “findability” or “online visibility” instead of cryptic acronyms like SEO but that won’t suffice because you have to convince people that they need to care first.
Web design inspiration
You might argue that the architecture blog example is not similar enough to the topics I cover like blogging, social media and search. Why not take a look at another niche that is indeed pretty big and is a direct neighbour to my area of expertise? Yes, web design blogs are very popular. They have been for years.
Do web design blogs explain how to design websites all the time? No, they don’t.
Even the web design blogs for experts don’t do that all the time. Popular web design blogs share inspiration from around the Web. They offer lists of resources and focus on freebies. They introduce and review tools too. How to articles, guides and tutorials are rather the exception.
The web design inspiration posts are rather the rule.
Collections of website screen-shots that display the same techniques like “clean typography” or “large background images” are common. Often these lists cover “minimalistic web designs” or simply the latest inspiring websites that went online recently.
The latest fashion trends
Of course both architecture and web design are both still not that mainstream that average people visit the blogs. It’s still mostly specialists or at least hobbyists actively interested in those topics. Let’s take a look at fashion then. Fashion blogs are viewed by consumers mostly. Women wanting to get the latest inside scoop on the latest trends and looks.
There are blogs that show how to tailor this or that. Heck, even magazines do that. It’s not easy to create such type of content though. It takes effort. It’s not just about writing but also about making sure the patterns work in real life too. So what’s the most common type of content displayed on fashion blogs? It’s mostly third party images of clothing worn by models.
Content reuse vs content theft
Take not that none of these examples entail content theft. Architects are glad when their building get publicity on blogs. Web designers feel delighted to get featured in a web design inspiration list. They’re also glad that their free icons or latest CSS framework gets additional exposure.
Fashion labels of course are also keen on getting blogs to show their images.
As long as both parties involved, the content creator and the publishers get what they want everybody is happy. Linking back and proper credits suffice in most cases.
What does it mean?
Why am I telling you this? What actually can you learn from it? First of all I planned already for years to mimic architecture and web design blogs in my blogging practice. I want to show off your work whenever possible.
Tell me about your cases studies, freebies and successfully optimized sites.
Don’t send me random press releases every week but contact me whenever you have something of value to show or give away. You can learn to use third party content as well. It’s not just about republishing infographics. It’s not just about content curation or guest blogging. You can actually publish content others provide and it’s a win to win situation.