In this post I’d like to show you how easy Alakazam is to use and why blog posts are so important in digital marketing. Whether you’re an SEO, SMM, Affiliate Marketer, SME, B2B, Ecommerce, anyone with an online presence can benefit from having a business blog and use it to make money.
A few years ago I was heavily involved with ecommerce SEO. All my clients had an online shop and wanted their products to get found in Google. I found blog posts a really useful way to gain quick visibility for niche products new to the market.
How it worked is quite simple (and still applies); as soon as the manufacturer or supplier announced the forthcoming release of a new product, I wrote a blog post about it. In some cases the product literature was sent via email and there wasn’t an online version to be found. When this happened it was brilliant because it meant my blog post was published in an uncompetitive environment and therefore appeared at the top of the search results immediately.
We then waited until the official release date of the product to publish it on the website and put a permanent 301 re-direct on the blog post pointing at the product page. What this did was pass the ranking authority of the blog post to the product page, which would take it’s place in the search results.
So, while competitors went live with their product on the same date and fought for 2nd, 3rd, 4th place, my pages sat at the top of the pile, taking the lion’s share of traffic and conversions.
I had a lot of work coming in so I started looking for writers to outsource to. After a short time I had a team of about 30 freelance writers and the only problem I had was managing them. It all got a bit confusing trying to keep record of which writer had been assigned which job and eventually I came up with the idea for Alakazam; a platform to easily order and manage your blog content.
I had 2 things in mind when I built this site:
I wanted to make it as easy as possible to order a blog post
It was really important to retain a high quality of content.
Quality has never been an issue. All my writers are university educated with an excellent grasp of written english. Making it easy has been the challenge, but we’re getting there. We’re the only website of its kind in the UK that delivers a draft blog post directly to WordPress, and the only site of its kind that takes online payment for blog posts. We’re also the only site of its kind in the UK that doesn’t charge per word, because we prioritise quality over word count.
So how does it work?
Using Alakazam couldn’t be easier. If you’re new to the site, the first thing you should do is register as a customer.
Clicking the ‘register’ button in the main navigation will open a lightbox for you to enter your details and create an account.
Once you’re registered and logged in you’ll see your dashboard. The screenshot below shows a new account with no blog posts waiting to be written.
Simply click the ‘order a blog post’ button. This opens a lightbox where you enter the url of your blog. You’re on your way to getting your first post.
When you enter the url of your blog and hit the ‘add’ button, it will appear in the list below. If you manage more than one blog you can add them all here. Hit the ‘use’ button next to the blog you’re ordering for, then hit ‘next’.
The next page is where you enter your WordPress logins. This is where the magic starts to happen. By entering your WordPress logins the completed post will be sent directly to your WordPress site as a draft. This is a huge time saver.
If you don’t use WordPress, it’s not a problem, you can still use order a blog post. Or, if you prefer not to enter your WordPress login details, simply click ‘skip this page’.
The next page is where you enter a brief for your blog post. Be as descriptive as possible. The more information you give the writer, the higher quality your post will be. Having said this, if you’re short on time, you can give us as little as a title and we’ll still produce something top notch.
We’ve added categories to help the writers. This is important because you might ask for a blog post about Time Keeping, for instance, but if it’s about time keeping at work this will probably go under business, whereas if it’s about time keeping at home, it would probably go under lifestyle.
When you’re happy with the brief for your blog post, hit ‘next’. This starts the payment process. At the moment, blog posts are a fixed rate of £15 per post. Minimum word count is 350 with no cap. The writers are instructed to bring your post to a natural conclusion, whether it’s 351 words, or +800. As I mentioned earlier, the emphasis is on quality.
We chose Paypal because it’s familiar and trusted. You probably already recognise the payment page, I’m sure you’ve used it many times before to buy other stuff.
After payment you have the option to return to the site, where your blog post will be displayed on your profile page dashboard. Jobs on the left have been completed, jobs on the right are pending.
If you manage several blogs you can use the drop-down to select which blog you want to view work for.
In the list of pending jobs you’ll see a countdown timer. This is the deadline for the post to be completed. At this time, the deadline on new jobs is 7 days.
When the writer submits your job (which may be less than 7 days) the countdown changes to ‘written’ and this is ready for you to view.
When you click the ‘view’ button your post will open in a lightbox for you to read through. If you’re happy with the post, click the smily face at the bottom to accept.
If you entered your WordPress logins when you ordered the post hitting the ‘accept’ button sends your job directly to your WordPress site where it will be waiting for you as a draft.
If you did not chose this option you can either copy your post from the preview box before accepting, or click view after accepting and you’ll see a html version which you can copy & paste into your blog post editor.
If you are not happy with your post please accept it then email us to let us know what you’re not happy with and we’ll fix the problem.
Why is it important to blog?
I guess this is the question I’d be asking myself if I was you; why even bother having a blog?
Here’s the main reasons:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
Blogging helps your SEO by adding extra pages of content to your website. Google likes fresh content, it encourages the bots to crawl your site more frequently and the more often they index your site the better your search engine ranking will become.
Blogging helps your Content Marketing by providing more information about you, your business, your products & services, your philosophies and ideas. A blog is an exponential resource to add value where your website is otherwise limited. This helps you become a trusted authority.
Blogging helps your social media by providing valuable content to share. People often ask me what they should be saying on social media. People who blog don’t ask me that question, they already know the answer.
It may not be something that comes natural, or that you particulary enjoy, but like it or not blogging is an integral part of digital marketing. If you want to be visible online, then blogging is part of the mix. What Alakazam does is make it as easy and pain-free as possible.