Saturday, December 22, 2007

5-step process to beating Wikipedia

1) Improve your writing style

You must improve your writing. If your writing is similar to the boring (although concise) Wikipedia text, you're doomed. Inject your personality and develop your own style of writing. My style of writing is very plain, direct and personal. Some people choose to write in a more poetic / scholarly way. Some people inject humor or use harsh words. No matter what, improving your writing style will set you apart and attract loyal readers to your blog.

2) Become more opinionated

People sitting on the fence sooner or later fall over. You either like something or hate it. If you're neutral, you're Wikipedia. Don't try to become another encyclopedia; become the most dramatic blogger or writer.

Express your feelings for a certain product or service you've tried, even if it means you may lose some affiliate commissions from your honesty. It's ok if some people hate the way you completely flamed a product or service. In the long run people will still prefer to read what you have to say then read a neutral page on Wikipedia.

3) Stay current and relevant

Read up on your industry, and put yourself in a position where you understand not only the past, but also the present and future of certain topics in your market. Wikipedia can't beat you if you can (based on your established position of an expert in a focused market) foretell the future and influence others to accept your views.

No one cares about history. They only care about the present and the future. If you are ahead of the market, or at least up-to-date with the latest developments, write about it and let people know.

4) Perfect your personal brand

Make everything you write, everything you sell, your sites and your design smell, taste and feel like YOU. It must be consistent enough so that people don't even need to read a site to know that it belongs to you. Don't brand yourself as a know-it-all; brand yourself as a true expert inn a niche market, and everyone will love you for it.

Wikipedia goes a mile wide and an inch deep. You on the other hand should go just an inch wide, but a mile deep.

You are a brand. Market that brand, and your online business will take a turn for the better. Unique branding, as history has proven, adds incredible power to any business.

5) Don't put all your eggs in SEO

Search engine optimization is great and all, but it only takes another 9 more Wikipedia type of sites to completely dominate the first page of Google. There's absolutely no way you're going to beat sites like that in terms of pure SEO.

Focus more on social networking, making friends, finding new business partners, and creating more non-SEO-dependent sites. There are other ways to get traffic to your blogs than just search engines, so get creative. If you're stuck with the idea of "Write great content and the traffic will come", you're in for a big surprise.

The bottom line is that you can't beat Wikipedia at their own game. Thousands have tried and failed miserably. But if you change your game, as far as your online business is concerned, you'll always win.

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