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The Art of War Style, Introduction

Content Marketing

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Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is a classic made before the collapse of the Chinese dynasty. It is well-known for its definitive work on military strategy and tactics. Considered as an “extraordinary influence” on the history of warfare, it truly hampered the boundaries dividing the West and East with its ideals in military thinking, legal strategy, and business tactics.

Taking Sun Tzu’s ideas, why not apply it to guest posting? Guest posting is one of the famous techniques in blogger outreach and content marketing, establishing itself as a staple technique in search engine optimization and branding expert practices.

This post will be quoting from The Art of War and input some guest posting tips and techniques every now and then. Let’s start!

Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. Guest posting is indeed of vital importance to any inbound marketing plan. Gaining links is important to search engine optimization, but gaining links embedded in an article that radiates quality, builds trust and authority for the website you’re linking back to.

The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. Sun Tzu did state his own facts on laying out the plans; we’ll take a different road here. There are five factors you should keep in mind before you even start brainstorming for your article:

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a. Relevance. Is it relevant to the product, service, or brand you are linking back to? Targeting different niches is a good tactic to boost your probability to score a guest post. Aiming for a vertical (direct) niche is better; if you’re out of luck, change your view and refer to the horizontal (indirect) niche. Your website is assumed to be a great reference to your article; connecting the dots is what you want to establish, not just random doodles. Google’s algorithm changes in order to bring the best results to every Internet user. Think like Google.

b. Content. Right, now you have a relevant idea and niche up your sleeve; what’s next? Create that jaw-dropping article right away. Recently, people in the inbound marketing sphere have gone gaga on evergreen content. Apparently, creating evergreen content guarantees continuous influx of traffic visitors and subscribers.

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Infographic excerpt courtesy of Voltier Digital’s Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

c. Metrics. It’s not all about quality; quantity has its own limelight in guest posting too. Check the Google Page Rank of the website you’re aiming to post at. Additional metrics for guest posting are also called for; you need to assess the quality of the site you’re going to link to. Let metrics be your standard criteria for searching sites to offer guest posts. It will help you filter the good ones from the bad. If you want to be trusted in your field, then establish yourself in trusted sites.

d. Reach. Who cares if you have a lot of guest posts on different sites? You posted that awesome content, you got a fairly-ranking PR site, but how about its reach? Does it have its own subscribers? Do not forget this factor: social media. Social media reach is an essential factor in widening your audience base. No one will read that awesome post you spent hours on thinking and researching if you’re going to throw it to an unknown space in the Internet.

On the other hand, it’s not entirely the website’s reach you’re going to focus on. Increase your readership by befriending and socializing with other professionals in your field. Who knows who you can stumble upon? You might find more guest posting opportunities through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even in Linkedin.

Quoting branding keynote speaker Martin Lindstrom, “Create strategic alliances with matching products or brands. If you happen to sell jewelry, then team up with the local flower store. Let the flower store promote your jewelry and ensure you’re promoting their flowers whenever a couple comes to you to buy an engagement ring, for example. The result? You double your reach and marketing budget – for next to nothing.”

Building relationships and interacting with the other professionals in your field helps you refine your aim. It’s obvious that you’re after their web space, but it pays to have a continuing relationship instead of trying to ask from a new website again.

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e. Persona. Unless you’d really like to increase your web visibility, it’s time to adopt a persona. This is your façade online. Tip: it’s easier to build a woman persona rather than a man, unless the niche calls for. There is a case study that proves that women persona profiles are more likely to be entertained rather than male persona profiles.

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Well, this is me. I use myself since I’m a writer to start with. Yeah, I’m real. 

Watch out for The Art of War Style, Part II. We’ll deal with the ‘Military Maneuvers’ and ‘Attacking with Fire’ that you can apply on your guest posting campaign.

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