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"Content is King", right? "Just produce great content and the links will come", right?

We've heard statements like these when discussing SEO, either as quotes from Google's Head of Spam, Matt Cutts or from SEO consultants and agencies, but it's not quite as simple as that. In theory, yes, but in practice, these comments are both idealistic and rather more difficult to execute than one would be led to believe. It takes practice, persistence and a lot of planning and promotion in-between to make your content stick. In this post, I am going to share some tools and tips to help you get more out of your content.

Practice

Regardless of whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, producing great content can be very hit and miss. The more you do it, the more you get to know what works and more importantly, what you're good at. One of the first rules about producing a blog, for example, is to be yourself. Write about things that you're interested in and your enthusiasm will shine through in your writing style.

In time you will start to generate comments and social signals to your content so don't let it worry you that no one is commenting or +1ing your posts. When you look back after a year or so, you may laugh at some of the content you produced so it's probably a good thing anyway!

Planning

Top Tip: Have an editorial calendar so that you know well in advance when your next piece is due. It helps to have an idea in your head what you are going to be writing about and when because the ideas will start to form in your mind and, more importantly, it will help you produce consistently.

If you're stuck for ideas, then try using some of these tools to stimulate your creative side:

Keyword Tool - Also important for relevance to your target audience.

Omgili - Drop in a keyword and find conversations around the topic.

TrendsMap - See what people are talking about in different parts of the world.

Whatthetrend - Find out why terms are trending on Twitter

Promotion

Once your content is live, you need to promote it through whatever means you have at your disposal. This could be anything from sharing it with your friends and followers on Facebook, submitting it to bookmarking sites like Reddit and Digg or even spending a little bit on promoted tweets or sponsored StumbleUpon.

When you're planning a piece of content, try and reach out to others to let them know what you're doing and that you'd value their opinion or perhaps would like a short interview to include in your piece. This opens the door for you to get back in touch with them once your content is live so that you can share the link with them and perhaps ask for a link or tweet etc.

Top Tip: Images, videos, lists are all very effective at engaging users. Try and keep posts short, to the point and very easy to digest.

Persistence

Remember it takes practice and persistence so give yourself time to get it right. You need to be persistent with all your efforts from producing content regularly to promoting every single item you produce.

Producing great content is not easy, it doesn't come naturally, but you will only find out how to do it by going out and doing it or paying someone who already knows how to do it, but that too carries the same risks in that some content works, and some doesn't.

About the author: Ralph Du Plessis started online in 1999 at a start-up in London selling ad space, designing and building animated banner ads, selling SEO and optimizing websites. He has since worked in both agencies and client side, primarily on search marketing (PPC & SEO) with social media now a growing part of that mix.  

link by @boetter

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