September 17, 2007

"Generate more attention, that is more traffic, more inbound links, more bookmarks, more feed subscriptions, more revenue, and whatnot."

Guest Post This is a guest post by Sebastian of Sebastians Pamphlets.

Michael Martine in his guest post at Pure Blogging wrote:

If you want to be an expert in something, it takes dedication and a lot of work. If you want to be known as an expert in something, you also have to know how present yourself as one. Bloggers who are known experts write in way that enforces that image.
He continues with a very good writeup defining five basic types of posts that experts write:

  1. The Definition Post

  2. The Resource Post

  3. The Tutorial Post

  4. The Story Post

  5. The Opinion Post

  6. I couldn't resist and submitted type #6 in the comments, The Authoritative Joke,

  7. and here at Internet Hunger I'd like to discuss The Debunking Post along with a method to find a myth worth debunking.

The debunking post is more or less a subclass of the resource post coming with an advantage: due to the controversial character of its topic it will generate more attention, that is more traffic, more inbound links, more bookmarks, more feed subscriptions, more revenue, and whatnot.

A good example of a debunking post is Danny Sullivan's recent rant on the keywords meta tag. Actually, that's a perfect example because it demonstrates that the facts you're presenting to debunk the myth don't need to be fresh nor unavailable on the 'net. To write a debunking post you only need to be an expert.

I'm not a rockstar like Danny, and I'm far away from ever reaching his authority on search, not to speak of his awesome verbal skills, but I can write a debunking post on a search related topic what should prove that you can do that too in your area of expertise. The recipe of a debunking post isn't complex: roast a myth or a somewhat controversial discussed uncertainty with a few facts you as an expert probably know or can gather from sources on the Web, then serve the dish with authority.

A good procedure to discover the major ingredient, the myth or common uncertainty, as well as an audience interested in it, is participation in forums etcetera. Look at longer threads with many authors where the topic gets discussed without consent. When you know the answer you've dug out a little gem you can grind. It doesn't hurt when you contribute your take before you write your blog post. Later on when you've published your post leave a link and a very short summary in the mine, er thread, and promote your post at other places too.

Here is an example. The myth was "search engines treat meta refreshs as spam so better don't use them to move content". The truth is "search engines treat an undelayed meta refresh as poor man's 301 redirect and it's completely safe to use it for example when leaving a free host". In Google's official Webmaster forum I stumbled upon a thread discussing whether or not the meta refresh is a bullet-proof method to move URLs on free hosts permanantly. In Webmaster circles the meta refresh still is considered fishy due to its massive abuse, and most folks believe that the engines interpret it as an attempt to spam. In knew that all the major engines treat an undelayed meta refresh like a 301 redirect, hence I posted a recap off the top of my head. My reply had everything a debunking post needs, besides an official statement from Google. A few days later I was in need for content. While I polished up my forum post I asked Google for a confirmation, quoted the answer and posted it on my blog. Meanwhile my post was picked up at a few places and the link got dropped in forums. Unless Google updates their help files I own the URL of a unique resource.

Don't try that with search related topics, because you won't earn a ton of green from Webmasters well trained to keep the mouse pointer far away from ads. Also, in our industry the big guns know what they do and will outrank your blog for nearly everything. Better become an expert blogger in another niche.

Thank you Tanner for the opportunity to spam your nice blog with my guestwhore propaganda.