Blogging Tips that Really Work
As part of our Bloggers Ideas interview series, today we have Amanda Disilvestro who is content marketing queen and currently working for highervisibility.com She had also recently guest post on my blog. Check out her guest post: blogging myths. She will be discussing various techniques about SEO, Social Media & content Marketing. So lets start with the interview.
Please introduce yourself to our readers. Can you tell us something about your blogging journey. How and when did you enter into blogging?
Well I am a content writer for SEO firm Higher Visibility, so my primary roles are creating content on-site as well as off-site. I work to establish relationships with authoritative SEO websites across the web and bring visibility to our company (from links as well as recognition) as well as educate small business owners about SEO and how it all works.
Therefore, I research and try different SEO methods all day long in order to create a great article, so I feel I have quite a bit of knowledge regarding SEO and not only content-related topics.
My blogging journey was actually very unconventional. I graduated from Illinois State University in May 2011 with a degree in Secondary English Education. Thinking back to my student teaching days seems like forever ago!
Writing was always my passion, so I applied for teaching as well as content-type positions when I graduated. I got a job in California with Business.com to do guest blogging, and the rest is history. I wasn’t sure what I was doing and had never blogged before, but I learned quickly and grew to love the job.
And who are your blogging role models?
As an SEO writer, I have always looked up to Kristi Hines from Kikolani. I started seeing her face everywhere when I first got started and I’ve always thought her articles were great and easy to understand, which is what I try to do with my articles.
She is also a freelance writer, which is also something I admire (it must be hard to get to a point where freelance gets you on so many major SEO websites!). Interestingly enough, she’s one of the few out there who I have never worked with!
Nonetheless, I hope that someday my articles and social networking will lead me down a similar path.
I also look up to Ann Smarty because she has accomplished so much as a blogger and has an excellent reputation in the industry. She is someone I have worked with in the past on several different projects, and each time she is so wonderful and nice to me.
I really value that in an editor (I’ve dealt with many, many editors that completely ignore me), so I definitely strive to be like her as I continue in this industry.
Why Content Marketing is playing keen role in SEO 2014. Do you think that only content marketing is king, other seo techniques are dead?
I don’t think that ONLY content marketing is king, but I do think that it’s incredibly important (obviously). We see a lot of websites, however, that have no content on them at all and do very well. Take any kind of currency exchange website, for example.
The websites you want to see have no content on the page at all, just a simple place to convert currency if you’re going to visit another country. These are the pages that convert.
I’m obviously a huge supporter of quality content (that’s my job after all), but we can’t ignore the fact that content isn’t always necessary. It can be overdone.
How to increase your twitter engagement ? How did you use your twitter account, how much tweets you do in a day ?
I don’t have a set number of tweets per day. I tweet whenever I have an article go live that I wrote, and I also tweet whenever I’m reading something online that I want my Twitter community to know about, and this isn’t always SEO related.
I assume that those in the SEO industry might also be interested in other interesting topics, but I do try to stick to SEO most of the time.
I actually think that Twitter is sort of tiring at times. I have found that retweeting and actually mentioning others in Twitter is a great way to foster engagement, but it is time consuming.
Sometimes it’s easy, but I haven’t mastered the art of crafting great tweets as I tweet yet. In other words, I still go through Twitter and take time out of my day to see what others are posting and decide what I really want to retweet and who I really want to talk with. Of course when it comes naturally it’s much better!
Twitter chats are something I want to start getting involved with in 2014 along with using Buffer more frequently. I love Buffer, but I don’t have a strategy down just yet. I want to figure out the best times to tweet, and I think that will help.
Do you use Pinterest for marketing, what kind of tools you have used?
I do not use Pinterest for marketing. I’ve read some great articles about how to do it and why it matters, but for me this isn’t a priority at the moment.
What are ghost networks in SEO ? Did you think these networks can survive?
My understanding is that ghost networks are sort of black hat and go against everything Google is trying to do with the search engine. I don’t think they can survive in the future, and I would not recommend using them.
People says Google doesnt pay much attention to small business website for ranking in SERP. Do you think it is true ?
I have head people say that Google only cares about big brands, and no I don’t really think this is true. I think with authorship and integrating Google+ as well as a few other initiatives from Google, it’s clear they are doing their best to give everyone a chance in some market.
Sure it’s going to be tough to rank for keyword phrases like “what is SEO,” but I’ve found that it is very possible to rank well if you really understand SEO.
What are your thoughts on Google Hummingbird. Do you think google results will be optimized in 2014. Will spamming in SERP’s stop ?
Spamming in SERPs will not stop, no (I’m not sure that will ever happen). However I do think Hummingbird was an overall good thing. What really stuck with me was something that Search Engine Land wrote about it being like replacing an old engine with updated parts. People often search in a conversational tone—not by keywords.
The idea that Google is making efforts to bring more related, yet relevant, results to the top of searches is exciting to me. I don’t think it’s going to solve everything by any means, but I see it as a step in the right direction.
What are the best things to include in Email ? How to increase CTR of Email ?
I can mainly speak for emails talking about partnerships and contributing content as opposed to email marketing emails (I’m not in charge of the email marketing at my company). If you’re interested in how I get my emails opened, I always put the subject line “Higher Visibility Inquiry” and then start my email off by saying some of the authoritative sites I’ve worked with.
This is the best way that I know to get editors to open an email. I find that if the subject says anything about a “guest post” some editors might completely ignore it because they have too many of those from spammy websites (they really ruin it for the rest of us).
Have you ever use bing webmaster ? Do you think bing can beat Google in future ?
I have used Bing Webmaster Tools and I really do love them. Google was behind the game in a lot of ways (disavow links tool is the first thing that comes to mind) so sometimes I feel bad for Bing!
Nonetheless, I’m a hypocrite just like the majority of others—I’d like to see Bing beat Google and of course there is always a chance, but I can’t think far enough ahead to when it might happen.
What is your SEO superpower in 2014 ? What tactics you would be using for your company you currently working ?
I think reviews are going to be huge. We saw Google make a few updates to include reviews (such as review extensions for AdWords) this past year, and I’m expecting this to only increase.
Many companies already prompt users to leave a review, but if Google took this idea and was in control, I think reviews would be a big deal. I’m not sure what Google will do in the future, but I’m hoping to focus on reviews in 2014 regardless.
I hope you enjoy this amazing interview with Amanda ! She had shared her best strategies . For me she is definitely content marketing queen. Thanx a lot Amanda.