I manage and run several business websites. One of them is a business blog in cloud computing niche. As you might already known, cloud computing is a rising trend, and as more companies adopted it, the more important it will become in the future. In fact, this is the very reason why I started the blog.
Probably you’ve guessed right, but to set the record straight: I’m not a cloud computing expert. I do have an interest in cloud computing and I do use cloud-based services (in fact, my business runs in the cloud.) However, for some reasons, despite low in traffic due to some issues with Google algorithm updates, my business website is having quite a reputation, especially among the business cloud communities.
How do I know? It’s pretty simple really. I was receiving several offers to be one of the media partners of popular cloud expos and events. The latest one is the 5th Annual Cloud World Forum, 26th -27th June 2013, National Hall Olympia, London. Of course, my website is not the only media partner – there are dozens of others, but to get listed as media partner along with some of the well-respected online publication is a great honour for me.
As a media partner, the win-win agreement is like this: In ‘exchange’ for the listing as a media partner, I am ‘required’ to share updates from Cloud World Forum, on the blog, on my site’s Facebook business page and my other social media accounts. It’s a win-win arrangement, and even if I weren’t a media partner, I’d still cover the event due to the sheer importance of the event.
In this blog post I would like to share some ‘tips and tricks’ on how to make my ordinary business blog trusted by one of the most popular industry events. Here they go:
1. Position yourself as an “expert”
Of course, expert status is hard to obtain. However, we can actually position ourselves as “experts-like” in our industry – not by claiming that “I am an expert” but by sharing our relevant, analytical and fact-based insight on a particular topic.
As I am a cloud service user, I know what I like/dislike in an app; I also know what I’d hope for in the next update of the app. I also read a lot about cloud computing, as I am fascinated on how it can be the real game changer for small business, acting as a leveling ground for big and small businesses. I share what I think of a cloud service and what I have learned about the cloud (e.g. cloud computing is not necessarily saving your business money; it should be viewed on case-by-case basis.)
I also publish insightful guest posts from others who often more knowledgeable than me. The guest authors get links and buzz, I get the expertise and credentials. Again, a win-win arrangement for both of us.
2. Review others
I should do this more often; I regularly review cloud services I regularly use, as well as those I have tried but I decided not to use (why I use something I don’t need, just yet?) I try to be as objective as I can, reviewing them by actually trying the services (most of them offer free access – or at least, free trials.)
When your reviews are useful, chances are the companies you reviewed will link back to your review from their website. This is great for exposure, as well as for your site’s SEO. And chances are, industry leaders will spot my reviews in a particular cloud service, linked and mentioned by the cloud company and consequently think that my site is worth considering.
3. Create useful resources
Probably one of the most effective ways in getting your website noticed by your industry leaders is this: List their websites as your top resources. E.g. I publish “cloud computing event to attend in 2013” article, and it seems that the article attracts the cloud event organizers to contact me and thanking me for the mention – and in exchange, they offer to list my site as a resource or media partner on the official cloud event’s website.
4. Mention people’s and company’s names – and link to them
Pretty similar to Number 3 above, in your blog posts you need to regularly mention public figures’ and companies’ name; you can write about them or simply a mention will somehow give you an edge, as big names tend to grab readers’ attention.
When your mentions and links leave traces (e.g. trackbacks,) chances are, people and companies you mentioned will visit your page. When they do, they will learn about your website and kick-start word-of-mouth campaign – a campaign you often don’t intend.
5. Feature related products/services
For your site to be considered as “important”, even “authoritative,” you need to list useful, industry-related resources. On my cloud website, I feature cloud-based services and products throughout the site, and yes, some of them are actually containing my affiliate links.
So, there’s nothing wrong promoting useful products and services on your site. In fact, they can help your readers in their search for quality products and services.
Online, reputation is very important – especially if you are an International, independent website owner. Quite often, the only trust indicator is your work: Your website, your content, your social mentions and so on.
Focusing on your content attractiveness and your effort in getting your content found online is probably the most important job you have as a website owner. And if you want for your job to be easier, you need some love from your industry leaders, including industry events and expos.