March 26, 2017

Niche Marketing for the Subject Matter Expert

I have been trying to figure out how to market on the Internet since Google’s Penguin update. My website had ranked well until early 2012. Then it lost it’s ranking across the board.

My approach to SEO was the same as everyone else. I wrote some articles and obtained enough back links to cause my website to rank. It worked for 5 years. I had a steady flow of visitors and more business leads than I could handle. It was great while it lasted.

I shared this strategy with several of my good friends. Both were successful doing what I had done. Well times have changed. As a result in early 2012 my website lost it’s ranking on Google and the business leads I was getting slowed to a trickle.

The solution was elusive. I was afraid to do any linking because of the shakeout going on at Google. Who knows at this point what is considered a good inbound link. I think it will take a couple years before we really understand the new Penguin update. It might be 2015 until we really understand. At this point my advice is leave your links alone and if you are going to do any linking do so carefully. I’ll write more on obtaining inbound links in the future.

Before today I told my two friends to write one top shelf article a day. I told them to write articles that were at least one and half word doc pages, at 12 point, each day or every other day. I suggested a minimum of 2 new articles a week. I told them to ignore their inbound links. Just write about what they know. They are the subject matter experts.

Today I had a revelation. Goodle is trying to ensure their visitors have the best possible experience. In doing so they have turned the Internet upside down. Today content seems to play an even bigger role than it did before 2012. In the old days (prior to 2012) we used to say “content is king”. That was true however inbound links ruled. Today I think inbound links are important however I think building an authority website is even more important.

If you look at what websites are ranking, they are ranking because they are authority sites. This brings to the forefront the question “What is an authority website?”. The answer is it is relevant. In your niche it might be a website that contains 50 pages. In another niche it might be a 1000 page website. It really depends on your niche. You will need to do some research.

Back to my revelation. If you are a subject matter expert and want to market your products or services on the Internet then I would recommend you take the following approach.

To compete today I would suggest the subject matter expert build a news website based on your subject matter. I recommend you write two types of articles. The first type of article is about your experience and subject matter expertise. You may want to share tips and tricks with your peers. By all means write in the first person about your experiences. For example I could write an article about how important it is to be a good communicator as a PHP programing consultant and my personal experiences in this area. The audience would be my peers. Potential clients might read some or all of this article and it could be an opportunity to build trust and rapport. I think giving back is good for all of us. And I think our customers would think so too. You may also what to write about your products and services giving your opinion along the way. For example if you are an insurance agent you might want to write an article about how one’s credit score effects their insurance rates. The second type of article would be more of a news type story. Mostly in the third person, adding your opinion to enhance the article. Remember you are the subject matter expert. What you think is important. Do not be afraid to share your opinion.

Keep in mind the vast majority of your articles are not about marketing your products or services. You are a subject matter expert and you are providing a service by writing these articles. The leads or sales you drive should not be the subject of your articles. Do not write as a marketer. Write as a subject matter expert. It is very important that you write the best possible articles and provide good quality information. If you do otherwise you will greatly diminish the effectiveness of your website.

In January 2013 I suggest subject matter niche marketing. Use your knowledge and expertise to write top quality content. Write both about your experience and about current events. Do not be afraid to share your opinion. After all you are the expert and we are interested in hearing what you have to say.

As I peel back the layers of how to market on the Internet post Penguin, I will share my findings, failures, and successes. For now publishing good quality content is the key.