How to create link-attracting content from blog posts you ‘phoned in’

Okay, let’s be honest for a moment here — Not every post on your blog is a nominee for an Academy Award.

Yes, there were great posts that you feel are so good they could spawn their own religion. There were good posts that you’d be proud to bring home to meet mom. But if we were sitting in a Bloggers Anonymous group, you’d reluctantly admit that there were also blog posts that you phoned in. There were times when you settled for “meh” when you should have pushed yourself a bit to get “woohoo”.

I’ve phoned in blogs, too. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. We all have posts that are on the leeward side of mediocre. Sure, it’s not as if those phoned-in posts were scraped off of the bottom of your shoe — they’re not THAT bad — but those posts lack the sparkle that most of your blog posts have. They’re not the link-magnets that some of your other content is.

What should you do about those duds?

I don’t think you should delete them or even overwrite them. Blogs (even business blogs) are richer and more textured with their flaws. And that content can still be put to good use even if a particular post wasn’t your brightest moment.

Here’s what I suggest instead:

KNOW WHY YOU BLOG

First, make sure you know what role your blog plays in your sales funnel and in your business. (Here’s a related blog post you might find useful: A simple tool to solve your blog’s identity crisis). You can spice up your phoned-in blog posts but you first need to know what your blog’s purpose is.

FIND THE BLOGS YOU PHONED IN

Next, identify the posts that you phoned in. Yeah, suck it up and look. Maybe start with your top 3 or top 5 or top 10 or top 5% of most-phoned-in blog posts. (Chances are, you already know what some of them are).

However, if the list seems overwhelmingly large and you’re reluctant to tackle such a big project, maybe just pick a few of the worst — the ones that were phoned in long-distance on a rotary dial phone in a thunderstorm. Fix up your worst few first. Make them your best posts. Then go on to the next worst.

USE THESE IDEAS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHONED-IN BLOG POSTS

Now it’s time to take a look at those blog posts. Use one or more of the ideas listed below, write a totally awesome, bring-a-tear-to-your-eye blog post — the kind of blog post that your grandmother tells her friends at the quilting club. Here are some ideas to inspire you to build great content on a foundation of your so-so content:

  1. What would you have written if you had shown up for work that day?
  2. What could you have said that would have made this a piece of cornerstone content instead of the lukewarm leftovers that it seems to be?
  3. What additional questions might this content raise if someone took the time to read this post?
  4. How does this content align with your blog’s focus and, more important to this exercise, what was left unstated that really should have been mentioned?
  5. If a potential new client called you up and said that they were intrigued by this post and want to know more, what would you tell them?
  6. If two or three industry experts stumbled upon your blog and it started a discussion or debate between then, what would the conversation be about?
  7. If your mentor asked you to list for him or her the 5 ways that this wishy-washy post connects with your very best blog post, what would you say?
  8. If this blog post was the start of just one chapter in a $397 ebook, what would the ebook be about? And what would the rest of the chapter say?
  9. What questions would your target market need to ask in order for you to answer with the following: “Those are great questions. To get a comprehensive answer, you should first read this blog post [link to phoned-in blog post] and when you’re finished, here’s the rest of the answer…”

UPGRADE YOUR POSTS

Now that you’ve got great content based around a phoned-in blog post, it’s time to post it. Open your phoned-in blog post and add a section at the end of the post with something to this effect:

* * * * * Note: I’ve revisited this topic and decided that there was more to say * * * * *

Then say whatever you want to say.

  • Make it compelling
  • Focus on quality
  • Try to write a “bridge” between that mediocre content and some of your better content
  • Add tons of extra value — a great, free idea with some step-by-step how-to’s
  • Add a link or two to get people clicking elsewhere in your blog
  • Update the categories, tags, labels, or whatever you use

Want to see an example? Of course you do. Here’s a post of mine (written back in May 2009) that feels a bit like the runt of the litter. I didn’t exactly “bring it” that day: Virtual business meets real business. Note the mediocre blog post and then a lengthier (and, in my opinion, far superior) blog post below that connects the content of the phoned-in blog to where my blog’s focus is today.

USE THE NEW AND IMPROVED POST

The goal here is to turn your mediocre blog posts into works of art. So be sure to use it. Refer to it. Link to it. If the content isn’t good enough to refer to and link to then go back rewrite your edited part! Make it sing. Turn it into valuable content.

Write related content in more current blog posts and link back to that blog post. Tell your readers (or don’t tell them) that they should be sure to read the initial post and the note you added later. If you want other ways to get people to link to your blog, try some of these blog post defibrillator techniques.

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