Maybe it’s just the crazy pills I take every morning, but lately it seems that eBizMBA.com appears on Delicious/Popular or another big social media site at least twice a week. I hadn’t even heard of them a month ago, and now they’ve thoroughly branded themselves in my mind (and they’ve gotten a crapload of traffic and links recently too). Now today I’m seeing 20 Most Popular Sites for Bargain Hunters referenced everywhere, and that’s the last straw, I have to post about their genius now. Here are four lessons you can take from the recent success of eBizMBA:
1. Make your content pretty. Check out any page there: the content is generally in a bulleted list format, with clean thumbnail images next to each bullet point. People like pretty pictures. People like to scan. People vote for, and link to, what they like.
2. People love rankings. The eBizMBA posts I see reaching Delicious/Popular are usually of the Top 30 Social Bookmarking Sites or 25 Largest Web 2.0 Sites variety. The beautiful part about stats and rankings is that you can take a stale-as-hell niche and come out with a baity, useful, and successful hook simply be remixing existing public stats and ranking the recognizable players. (The players that rank at the top will probably even help you spread the meme. )
3. If you’re an industrial strength link baiter, make sure you have a good Web host. Right now the site is loading slowly, and I think I had this problem last time I visited. (Granted, I usually visit them when I see them via the frontpage of a social media site.) Likely the spike of traffic from social media, combined with the fact that they use a lot of image files, contributes to this problem. But it’s pretty self-defeating to be slow or down when the spike happens. If you’re link baiting regularly, spend a little bit more money to get a better hosting solution. (Sorry, guys, I didn’t say all the lessons would be positive!)
4. Once you find a hook, milk it for all it’s worth. When you realize the Top-25-Ranking-with-thumbnails format is a winner, you can a) pat yourself on the back, and try to find some other hooks, or b) take the successful hook and apply it to every other niche–or even sub-niche, if your site is narrow–that you can think of. I believe it was DaveN who said, “SEO is knowing what the search engines want and giving it to themâ€¦ so hard they f*cking bleed.” Well, you can quote me: successful blogging is figuring out what your readers want, and giving it to them so often they *izz their pants!
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