Winning the (right) race

by Hamlet Batista | October 05, 2007 | 15 Comments

In every race there are winners and losers. Sometimes though, winning is about choosing the right race. Recently there was a Youmoz post asking if the A-list was closed. Apparently the author feels that he has written some great content but has not received any mention or “link love” from the big boys. I am sure many of my readers are also bloggers and would love to be on the A-list—I sure would like to. But are you doing what it takes to get there? Are you targeting the right A-list?

It’s a lot like major league baseball. Here in the Dominican Republic we follow MLB very closely. Close to a third of the players in the MLB are Hispanic and many of them are hometown heroes. We love to see the players’ outstanding performance in every game and sometimes we dream about the money and fame they have. But we often forget two important things: how difficult it was for them to get there, and how hard it is for them to remain there.

Consider that the DR is a “third-world” country. Education is limited, English is not our first language, so what chances does a poor shoe shiner from my country have to become a famous multimillionaire CEO or astronaut? Yet every year there is a new Dominican baseball player living the dream. Why? Because he chose to be the best in the place he is most competitive: playing baseball. The battle doesn’t end there. He needs to keep performing each day. People will cheer him on only as long as he performs. As soon as he stops, so will his fame.

If you look at the A-list bloggers you will notice that most of them work really hard to remain on top. They post high quality, entertaining or informative content regularly and consistently. Are you ready to put that much effort into your blogging? I don’t blame A-list bloggers for not linking to smaller blogs. I do often get what I call indirect mentions. Some top bloggers link to a post of another big blogger that is primarily commenting about one of my posts. This doesn’t bother me; it only tells me that I need to push my brand visibility a lot harder.

The topic is the key

Despite SEO being a heavily saturated field with big names already entrenched, I decided to blog about SEO anyway. Why? I am certain that had I chosen a narrower, less contested topic such as “grass photography” I would have done a terrible job. I don’t have a clue about grass photography and it definitely does not peak my interest. I chose SEO because it is something I know well enough to blog on about for years and never run out of ideas. Of course I never thought that would be enough. I know I have to work as hard on creating good content as I have to work on promoting it. Admittedly, I haven’t been promoting hard enough, but that is because my first goal was to have enough pillar content to motivate visitors to come back to my blog for more.

So we get back to the original question: If you are small blogger such as I, how are you going to make your content visible if A-list bloggers don’t want or don’t feel like linking to you? I think the answer lies elsewhere. Thanks to social media sites like StumbleUpon, Sphinn, and Digg, even smaller players have a fair chance of getting noticed. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I’ve found a whole bunch of high quality blogs on Sphinn and I keep coming back for more.

So you still want to be on an A-list? Follow this simple algorithm:

SET Topic = Something you know a lot about AND you can write about for several years

FOR EACH day until you die

IF you have an ORIGINAL idea about your chosen Topic AND you think your audience will greatly appreciate it

DO blog about it

DO promote it on a popular social media site

BTW, I am really honored to be included in the A-list of one of my readers, Tom_C from the great guys at Distilled. Thanks Tom_C for helping me push my brand on SEOmoz!

Hamlet Batista

Chief Executive Officer

Hamlet Batista is CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers. He holds US patents on innovative SEO technologies, started doing SEO as a successful affiliate marketer back in 2002, and believes great SEO results should not take 6 months

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