Perception IS Reality

April 13th, 2007 by Chris

In this blog post I kinda touched on this topic, but I have a better example for you now.

My gardening blog (recognize the design) isn’t large, isn’t popular, and isn’t anything special. Around 16 months old I’ve got less than 40 posts in total. Although, I am starting to post more. I’ve been gathering pictures & materials in that time and had it redesigned, expanded with a forum, etc. Now though, its all ready and all I need to do is write.

Anyways, a combination of my wicked SEO skills, or maybe the SEO fundamentals of a good keyword rich domain, using your site keywords in your title, and getting incoming links to use those same keywords in the anchor text, have resulted in me having the #1 position on Google for “gardening blog” and a host of other related “blog” keywords.

Other than webmasters of other blogs looking for places to exchange links with, who would ever search on those keywords? Well, apparently a whole lot of marketers & PR (Public Relations, not PageRank) types. More and more people are recognizing the marketing arena that is the blogosphere and they are trying to get word of their products or services out there by reaching out to bloggers for links & mentions.

So, I’m getting a decent amount of traffic on that keyword and a good deal of emails from people asking to interview me, or mention their product. The one today was someone from Martha Stewart Omnimedia, so they’re not just small companies.

These people do not know how small my blog really is, all they know is that I’m ranked #1 when they search for “gardening blogs” to market to and so they think my blog is the most influential.

So, a lesson to be learned from this is that preception is reality. On the Internet know one knows you’re sitting in your home office in your pajamas. Act bigger than you are, and people will believe the perception. Obviously #1 search engine rankings help, but also having a well made professional and modern design. Including corporate standbys like privacy policies or terms of use. Then of course, having tasteful advertising. Sites without ads are more often seen as small hobby sites, and sites with annoying ads are more often seen as shady little companies. You should also brag about your content as much as possible.

Now I just need the free samples to start rolling in.

2 Responses to “Perception IS Reality”

  1. Andrew Johnson  Says:

    Thats an interesting point how its the PR and marketing people who are searching “gardening blog.”

    I never planned on using organic SE traffic to bring in my targeted readers. Instead they come from forum links and other blogs. Also, my RSS subscriptions saw their largest jump right after I was on the panel at Affiliate Summit.

    Anyways, I think the point is don’t rely on the search engines to do everything for you… but at the same time, those rankings do result in very valuable connections.

  2. Ken Barbalace  Says:

    I’m really taking this advice to heart. Now when I meet people or when I am trying to give a little background to a prospective writer, I tell them how many daily page views and visitors my site gets on average and I tell them some of the government agencies that have linked to my site (it is an impressive list).

    When I first meet someone and initially tell them I run an environmental website, their like, ya, ya, that’s nice, but once I tell them how much traffic I get and the types of sites that link to me, they sit up and take notice. All of a sudden they realize it is a very serious operation, not just a hobby.

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