• Anthony D. Nelson

    Stephanie- Your entire #1 section is beautiful. All too often, I come across clients that have given this absolutely no thought. They have little to no brand identity or message.

    These clients often hire me with expectations that I will “do SEO” and are often surprised at how much effort I put into helping them figure their own brand story and message. It can be hard for a client to see that it will allow me to do classic SEO tasks such as link building a bit better, but is something and enjoy and definitely an important step.

  • Stephbeadell

    Thanks, Anthony! You’re right – finding a brand identity and message makes SEO tasks & planning so much easier. It makes our jobs more enjoyable, too, and helps us build stronger relationships with the people we’re reaching out to. Do you find that it’s difficult to have the “but what does your brand mean?” conversation with clients?

  • Chrystina Noel

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for the link to my page – I had a lot of fun learning and writing about these products. I actually think this is a great idea – especially if the product already ties into the person’s blog theme, it definitely feels more natural. I admit, as a blogger, I was a little bit nervous about whether or not I was doing it “right” – but I took a leap of faith that I was actually just supposed to do RPS (love this) with it – and it turned out pretty great. Thanks again for inspiring all of Wine and Cheese week, I had a blast with that.

  • Stephbeadell

    Thanks, Chrystina!! We had a blast, too. I think that if bloggers do stuff that’s great for their readers and brands can support that, everybody wins. (Fun fact: some of my Philly friends and I are throwing our own wine tasting party on Friday and we used your serving guide.)

  • Anthony D. Nelson

    Yes, it s a difficult conversation to have with clients. I find people that people who have run their company without creating a brand simply don’t yet see the value in it. When I bring up these topics, I can tell they sort of think “didn’t I hire you to get more traffic/sales?”

    Something I need to continue to work on, is doing a better job of teaching them how everything ties in together. Big picture stuff is hard to grasp for clients that are always looking for the quick wins.

  • seoboom

    Really awesome posts, this is giving me a lot to think about my link building… I love the term RCS and RPS. Thanks a lot.

  • Ian

    Love it, used it heavily in the past, but I need to ask.

    What’s the level of concern around not having these no-followed?

    From the Google guidelines…

    “The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:

    Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link”

    I know you never say that people should mandate that a review be done or a link be included, so this isn’t an “exchange” – but how can an algo or hand reviewer know what was or wasn’t asked for in an email thread?

    (Granted, I’m personally all for this method. Following the guidelines to a T basically guarantees you never build a link again. But I think it’s a discussion worth having.)

  • Stephbeadell

    Thanks, Ian. I think the key is the phrase “link scheme.” We aren’t participating in a link scheme or stressing about no-follows or striving for volume. We’re marketing in a meaningful way to build relationships and awareness within relevant communities. I think that’s the difference that would, I hope, be evident in a manual review.

    Honestly, when I work on these campaigns, I’m excited to talk to bloggers about what we’re offering. They’re excited to learn about it and share. It doesn’t feel like an exchange or a transaction. It feels like making friends and talking about awesome stuff, and that vibe is echoed in the posts that bloggers write. I’m not trying to game the system, so I don’t worry about “getting caught.” My personal test is this: If it’s something that I’m proud of, something I would gladly tell my mom or my boss about, cool. I’m good.

  • Spook SEO

    Hi Rand! Another amazing Whiteboard Friday post from you. I do believe that link strategy is a very important especially for people who have sites and for people maintaining a site. With this post, people who do SEO works now know some ways of getting fresh links. This can actually help them a lot. I think good quality and
    relevant content will always get links organically. I am looking forward for another nice Whiteboard Friday post!