Here at Big Leap, we spend a lot of time preaching the value of high-quality content. No other marketing strategy or trick can make up for poor content, and building a loyal audience base will be nearly impossible without it.
But what if your site doesn’t have a huge backlog of awesome content yet? Creating good content takes a lot of time and effort, and for small business owners who do not have the resources to hire a full-time content marketer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to give up on your website altogether.
So, if you don’t have the time or resources to build a robust content library from scratch, are there still ways to use your website to your advantage?
Fortunately, yes, and today we’re going to let you in on a five of those ways, as well as suggestions how you can get started right away.
How to Leverage a Site without a Giant Content Library
While the phrase “content is king” is largely true – it is much easier to build a brand and a loyal content base with a library of content resources, it’s not the only way. In fact, there are many seven-figure brands out there that only publish content every few months or so. What are they doing differently than the sites pushing out five articles a day?
Here are just a few of the tricks they’re employing…
Strategy 1: Build Your Backlinks
According to a recent survey by Moz, one of the biggest factors when it comes to search engine rankings is the number and quality of your backlinks, or, in other words, the external sites that are linking to your pages. In many cases, it’s a better use of your energy to focus on building links to content you’ve already created, rather than trying to create new content that will take a long time to mature. By doing this, you’re bringing more visitors to your site and have more potential revenue, without constantly having to think of new content ideas and then spending hours writing and posting each new piece.
One effective way to build high-quality backlinks is to find other sites that are relevant to your content and asking them to link to one of your pages. However, chances are that if you just send an email out of the blue asking them to link to you, you’re not likely to get a link or even a reply. Begin to build friendships with other brands within your niche so that your relationship becomes a symbiotic one – you don’t want to be asking for favors all the time with nothing to give in return.
Another strategy you can employ is to look through your desired backlink’s site for broken links and then notify them about the issue, and kindly suggest replacing that broken link with a link to your relevant content piece. This way, you’re getting a high-quality backlink and fixing an issue for them – a win-win.
Another way to build links to your site is by promoting yourself in the comments section of articles related to your niche. By adding relevant and insightful thoughts to the conversation, you’ll be positioning yourself as a thought leader, and when you link back to your site, it won’t appear spammy or self-aggrandizing.
Improving the quality of your backlinks can do wonders for your search engine results positioning and for your organic traffic, but a word of warning before we move on – do not, under any circumstances, fall prey to shady link building tactics like paying for links or accepting links from seedy sites as a way to earn traffic. Black Hat SEO techniques may work in the short-term, but they put you at risk of being penalized by the search engine or even removed from Google altogether. Not worth the risk.
Strategy 2: Building Your Thought Leadership
Similar to commenting on relevant articles with useful information, another effective way to leverage your website without a lot of previously created content is to get involved in industry conversations on sites like LinkedIn, Quora, and Medium. As a business owner in your industry, you have a lot of insider knowledge that many people both in your niche and outside would value.
Start by joining groups in your industry on LinkedIn, and watch the conversation for a few days to get the hang of how people are interacting and the kinds of questions they’re asking. Then, jump in. If you have advice or expertise that could help one of your fellow group members, add to the conversation. Be sure your company name and branding is up-to-date on your LinkedIn page and that you’re commenting from your personal account, not your company account. In this case, you’re building your personal thought leadership and by extension, your company’s.
Screengrab of a conversation in the Content Marketing Institute group on LinkedIn
Another way to get involved in industry conversations is by replying to questions on sites like Quora. Quora is a question-and-answer site where anyone can ask a question about nearly anything and get a response from a qualified expert. The main difference between Quora and sites like Yahoo Answers is that on Quora, you must be an expert on the topic you’re answering questions for. The more detailed and informative responses you give, the more you’ll build your thought leadership and the reputation of your company. You can get more ideas for how to do this well by reading our guide to using third-party sites to build your online reputation.
Strategy 3: Update Your Old Content
Google’s algorithms favor “fresh” content that is updated regularly and meets the needs of its end-users. So, even if you’re not creating new content, you can boost your search engine rankings by updating existing content to ensure that it’s as fresh as possible.
To do this, go through your content log, as short as it may be, and look for posts that could benefit from updated information. Perhaps you wrote a post about a software system that’s recently had an update or you’ve recently learned new information about the topic that you could add to the post to give more value to your readers.
When you update old content, consider adding a header that lets readers know this post has updated information, such as