Breaking the Rules

As an Internet marketer you probably follow a number of other successful Internet marketers so you can get tips and interact on their blogs, perhaps offering information and advice to others that need it. Most successful Internet marketers who run blogs are quite happy to give information away for free. The internet is vast, and the numbers of products you can promote runs into the millions so there is very little chance that anyone is going to try and copy what you do exactly, the techniques yes, but the products probably not.

One of my favorite Internet marketers runs a very successful site and he’s not shy about letting people know how many backlinks he has – to date it’s nearly 8000, most of which he did not have to get himself. He’s a very helpful guy and I’ve had a number of thoughtful and useful responses from him when I’ve asked questions on his blog.

One thing I noticed was how natural his articles are. When I decided to analyze a few of them I realized that he doesn’t always follow the hard-and-fast rules of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). His first and last sentences did not contain specific keywords – and in fact, when I asked him about it, he admits that most of the time he doesn’t bother optimizing his articles at all.

New Internet marketers who follow the rules to the T can sometimes be doing themselves more harm than good. When you’re starting out and your PR0 (Page Rank) website is unknown, you have to be aware of the rules of SEO but once you have gained a good number of backlinks and readers you may find your site does better by forgetting some of those rules altogether. Articles that are written with correct keyword density, with the key words in the first and last sentence can often sound unnatural, and are therefore not particularly interesting or easy to read.

One of the most difficult things when writing for an affiliate marketing site is actually finding something interesting to say about a product, especially when you’ve already written 20 articles about it. You did your keyword research and now you’re fresh out of any bright ideas. If you write an interesting article and don’t follow the rules of SEO, it’s not going to hurt you, in fact it becomes a lot more interesting for the reader if you occasionally throw an article in to the mix that’s not exactly on target. People like to see that you’re human and you do have opinions and different ideas from everyone else.

Sometimes as internet marketers we have to think outside the box, and that means forgetting the rules occasionally. It certainly makes writing a lot more enjoyable. There’s nothing wrong with telling other people about a bad experience you had for example, especially if you can come up with a positive conclusion.

Internet marketing is about relating to other people and helping them. If you get a question on your blog that can be expanded into an article then go ahead and do it – especially if lots of people are asking the same question. Use comments left on your blog as a source for writing good articles, it’s a good way to build relationships and you can start conversations between other members – your site effectively becomes more of a forum where people can exchange ideas. A lively blog community will always encourage more readers, more sign-ups, increase traffic and help to move your blog up in the rankings.

So experiment with a few un-SEO’d articles and keep an eye on how they do – you may be surprised by the results.

Do you always stick to the rules when you write articles? Have you said “oh to hell with it” on occasion and found that the response to an article that you haven’t optimized has been positive?

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4 Responses to Breaking the Rules

  1. Rules are good as a map to follow but not to a T. You need to make what you write flow and be interesting to the reader. That is who we are trying to have a relationship with after all isn’t it?

  2. Great article on when and when not to stick to the rules in blogging or article writing. I am actually still learning about SEO or page rank and while I do try to do it, and it is a lot of work, My main focus is not on SEO but rather on getting a good, well written article that will keep the attention of my readers. Oh and by well written I don’t mean proper English, I am referring to attraction for the reader.

    Great Article!

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