Marketing, like many things in life, offers two different strategy routes. You can be a black hat, which offers good money and views, but in a sneaky way that might not build clientele, and only until the next round of search engine algorithm changes dash your view rates. White hats have no shortcuts or sneaky tricks designed to game the search engine. Instead, the strategy is to consider what a human who is asking a question might actually want to read as an answer. What is the best method to share information about your topic? Infographics? Video? Text? Cartoon? A mixed-media extravaganza? White hat is ultimately about quality content that stands on its own and is worth showing the world, and not about how to take advantage of the millions to billions of search engine questions being asked every day. It takes a lot more work for a slower reward. However, there are some good reasons to consider why it still might be a better strategy for your website:
Connections: If you are a white hat, you are most likely putting out a quality product. Your website or blog is informational and offers a real service. If this is the case, then it’s worthwhile to offer your expertise to other competing sites as a way to bolster their own traffic. Expand on points they make in the comments, with a link to an article from your own site as an example, offer to pen a guest blog with a link to your own site at the bottom or create a weekly dialogue on a topic that can be cross-posted. The more you do this with your competition, the more you will find them tweeting and linking to your posts as a loyal reader.
Long Tail Marketing: White hat articles are safe from being downgraded in future internet searches. This means that you not only get readers from the buzz that you manually generate, but that your evergreen content won’t lose relevance in search engine ratings. This can mean a long future of ad revenue for regularly visited pages.
Reputation: White hat work is not sneaky, and you are likely to get more respect from competition as well as from readers. The people who visit your site are there because they want to be there. This means that they are more likely to return and are more likely to be loyal subscribers.
White Hat Marketing Methods Which Work
If you are a white hat blogger or website marketer, you can still take advantage of a number of above the board tricks to bring viewers.
- Build backlinks by looking for competitor links that get redirected to error sites.
- Try to get local media coverage for webinars of interest or your unique business model.
- It creates a valuable product to trade when you market others’ work and let them know you are doing so. This can add referrals of your work quickly and bring in loyal customers.
Why White Hat Works
There are a few things to remember about online work that make it a very different business model than retail shops of fixed items:
1. You can share with the competition easily. What you are looking for is attention and reader loyalty. Someone who buys an item probably won’t go to the next store and buy something almost the same. Someone who reads an article about something is very likely to link to something else similar and interesting.
2. Much of your high-volume views will come from free items (and if you’re white hat, you’re not going to charge someone premium content prices for something they can get elsewhere for free).
3. Sometimes you can recycle content into another form (e-book, online course, youtube video) and get new viewers for the exact same information.
If you haven’t tried a lot of white hat work before, keep in mind that it can be slower to profit, but the end product is quality. For some, if this turns something done for profit into something done for love of the subject, it may be more than enough reason.