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2001: A Space Odyssey

One can view the search marketing community as a big icebergonly a small portion of its members are visible but those at the top can be seen from afar. This fortunate subset of people (almost all of which know or at least know of each other) share tremendous rewards of prominence such as high-level networking / access, job / gig opportunities, and the ability to facilitate advantageous situations for themselves and those they associate with.

Few start out in our community with any visibilitymost have to earn their way into getting noticed. The most common way that the anonymous search marketer can pull themselves above the waterline and be seen is by writing search marketing articles / blog posts.

You might make excuses as to why you shouldnt / havent / cant / didnt write anything up until nowhowever, none of them really hold water (notice Im using different water analogies as I develop this piece).

Its trueyour first effort or several efforts will probably suck. My first effort was appallingly bad. When I wrote this, I hadnt written anything more complex than a business letter in at least a dozen years. The idea I expressed in this piece was finebut my stilted writing style felt like I was trying to write my way through quicksand (mostly water BTW).

Fortunately for me, Jennifer Laycock liked my stuff enough to ask me backand I got better at it. See, writing is like s-s-s-s-swimmingrepetition is the key to performance and the more you do it, the better you get and the more enjoyable it becomes. Eventually, I found my style and voice and now, creating blog posts on demand is easy. Im not treading water when I need to fish an idea out of my head to develop (fish come out of waterwell, you know that)

If you look at the top Search Marketing Bloggers, theyve done enough writing to develop a distinctive voice. Lisa Barones voice is very distinct. So is Rebecca Kelleys. And John Andrews. And Michael Gray. Even Barry Schwartz & Matt McGee who are less likely to blog with their heart upon their sleeve still have very unique and distinctive voices.

So, need some ideas? How about:

How To Write A Good Title Tag
The Top Social Networking Sites For Business
How To Set Up A Google AdWords Account

Been done before? Of course. Your first efforts will be excellent fodder for an A-list SEO to write a post about how unoriginal SEO writing has become. But, youre not writing for themyoure writing for you. Youre investing in your future because ultimately, youre going to have a unique, valuable post to share with the community. However, if you havent slogged through the mud (again, mostly water) with the rudiments of article / post writing, you arent going to be able to present your really good ideas in a manner that will do them justice.

Where to post your articles? Plenty of options. Start your own blog. Sure, its likely that it will be invisible for a while but when people are Googling you for whatever reason, it will be found and show you as seriously committed to this discipline. Lots of people will run your guest posts if they are decent (and if you ask nicely). Search Engine Journal ran a couple posts of mine. Huomah (David Harrys blog) ran one recently. Jeff Quipp uses SEO Scoop as a vehicle for community posting and so does Rand Fishkin with YOUmoz. Search Engine Guide is always looking for writers. If someone were to send me something good, Id definitely publish it at the SEMpdx blog. Also, more likely than not, any friend of yours who publishes an active blog will publish your guest post so long as you buy the drinks (not watered down hopefully) the next time you get together.

And sometimes the darndest things happen

One of my earliest blog posts that I did for Search Engine Guide was about how to create Wikipedia pages. It was pretty boring post on a useful topic that sidestepped all the thorny issues and politics that governs Wikipedia page creation. Its publication created nary a ripple in the search community that I was aware of. I did syndicate the article to EzineArticles (something I havent done in a long while) and forgot about it. Yet as time went on, things began to happen

Businesses began to realize the importance of Wikipedia listings and also realized they couldnt / shouldnt do them on their own. Meanwhile, my original blog post & my syndicated article took up residence at the top of the Google SERPS for relevant searches.


And my syndication of that post drew in a heck of a lot of visitors:


And nothing Ive ever done has reeled in (fish out of water) more inquiries for me than this piece.

However, none of this would have happened if I didnt write that first article and stick to my writing even though it took a long time to reap any tangible rewards from the process. Without all the writing I've done, I would be swimming in the same pool with all the rest of the anonymous search marketersnothing to distinguish myself from the other fish in the schoolcertainly, nothing I could show anyone in order to better myself.

Did I mention how a regular course of writing pimps out your Google Profile?