Judy Blackmore | Digital Strategist |  Marketing & Communication

Competition or Cooperation?

Most of my customers, in this last months were the Fashion Bloggers. I studied this growing phenomenon, and as I already said each one of my esperiences lead always to something more. Work close quarters to the bloggers made me understand that often there is a lot of confusion between Index and placement, and the operation of the SEO. For this reason I invite my readers to read this post : The Seo explained to the client.

In every  Seo compaign worthy of its name, you may take into consideration two factors: the actions ON Page SEO and the actions OFF Page SEO. I suggest you to read these articles:
Differences between factors: ON and OFF Page.
Explanation On Page SEO.
Explanation Off Page SEO.

Let’s recap. Regarding this article you should remember that: the SEO  – that is the emsemble of the actions that helps to improve the optimization and the index of the website – splits mostly into two parts: ON Page and OFF Page.
In a small guide to the Web that I wrote as Guest in another website, I tried to highlight the thing that for me is the biggest truth of the web: we are not all the same, everyone is different from another.
As a life philosophy applied to my career, this is reflected in trying to adapt my knowledge to each client individually. There are habits in fashion bloggers, who are not always optimal, but that are followed as if they were law.
I tried to dissuade my clients, or those who asked me opinions about it, but I do not always got the result I was hoping for.
Having 50 comments to a post, it may seem appealing and wonderful but is not useful if the comment does not add value to the post … How do you create added value? Saying your own thought about it, certainly not by writing: “WOW great pictures, would you come to see my site?”.
Try to write a comment longer than 5 words. Try to leave the link to your website only after have written comments of at least 50 words. Do it as an exercise.
It’s better to receive comments from the people who are really interested in what you write, instead of somebody who seeks only to receive a visit in return?

Once, after having pointed out this thing to a person interested in the subject, this person made me this observation:

«If you visit the Instagram accounts, or Blond Salad’s blog, you find also 150 comments like that! So it must be right! To me are fine in this way.»

Take like an example every successful Blogger, whether Italian or international, okay, it’s a healthy inspiration, but believing that what happens on those sites is a law to follow: It is a mistake. The road to get to those levels is another, just as this argument is another story, maybe for another post. Anyone in the industry who understand the matter and usually the experts (to which the big brands are support) do, they immediately know the quality of a website and the real impact that bloggers have with their readers, I guarantee that to you. To have 1000 hits per month, it does not mean if you have a Bouncing rate that exceeds 60% (the BR is the percentage of visitors that comes out of your site once they have entered, the higher is the worse).

Another element copied by the 90% of the bloggers who I follow (both because they are my clients and because of my pleasure) Another element copied from the 90% of bloggers that I follow (and not just as customers, or field studies, but also for my personal pleasure) has the same setting as the outfit posts’: a long series of photos (badly formatted. Sometimes when you click a photo to view larger, you leave the site, thus increasing the Bouncing rate and decreasing the time spent on the site itself) and at the bottom of the page, the ‘shopping’ list of what they wear. Nice? Yes. But it’s extremely boring the same posts from all the bloggers. Have you ever thought to put the link at the beginning? To write posts that exceed 50 words, and reach the 350 minimum words recommended by google? Do you know that the articles that exceed the 1000 words are the most favourite one and they profit to the statistics of the site? Did you ever thought that it could be nice to try different things? How some stuff works, and you don’t want to change them, it could be definitely better? That no matter how things will appear to ‘work’ and therefore you do not want to change, they could work better?

Did you know that if someone posts the link to it own site for every post in a comment (within a year will be 100? Maybe 150 links?) you could receive a penalization from Google, and you can climb rankings) Are you sure than that those 50 comments are worth so much?
I think that a lot of bloggers, or people that have a website with a blog, they don’t know that the links that you write or the ones that you receive have a different importance to the Bot che research and analize the web. I try to simplify the content (for that reason I invite you to read this article to deepening): the most important links are the one in the article – or page -. Than you will find: sidebar links, and in the top of the site, and in the bottom of the ranking, are the links left in comments and in the footer.

Due to my clients, I focused my attention to fix the websites’ contents and to increase the aspects within the site. Thanks to this article I want to start a consideration to show that the competition, that is sometimes essential (it allows you to ameliorate and innovate) usually damages our actions. The 80% of my bloggers comes from Catania. This happens thanks to the through word of mouth: an essential promotional technique. I’m really very happy when someone see some online work of mine and he look for me because he liked it, or when someone talks about me in a positively way and they persuade someone else to ask for my services. This post is born just after a long consideration that involves me, myself and I, from a few weeks.

«These bloggers don’t cooperate, they have the chance of a life and they don’t use it. They could put up a united front and do something innovative and positive: and they are losing this chance

Not only because everyone came from the same town and in their own region they could really make the difference… With a simple series of online artiche and a good editorial planning they could facilitate their sites in a considerable way.
An example of collaboration between bloggers has been the publication of two posts to comment on the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2014 held in London last winter. Francesca and Valentina they decided to choose two favorite outfits each and comment on them. This example is very close to what I want to communicate with this article.
It is not quite perfect, they could have handled things differently to make an optimal thing: to publish the article only on one of the two sites, decide together which one, and make a promise to write in a month, another article in the blog they left out. This would allow visibility to both, but in a more cohesive way. Alternatively publish the same day at the same time. A nice idea would be that every blogger in their face book page could promote the article of his/her colleague instead of his/her own.
Many of my customers have participated to the same events (being all of the same town does not surprise me), and each of them wrote the report on its website, citing some of their colleagues’ sites, others not. And so it is also for those who I did not have as a customer.
I always wondered why they don’t do something more compact … The answer is almost always the same: they see each other as enemies, in competing even when maybe it does not exist.
In the long run this thing will ruin them. What results they could achieved if  they bury the hatchet and if they understand that while remaining faithful to their own style and personality they could really make a difference together?

For example: Each blogger have his own strong point. whether is Instagram or the writing style, or taking some amazing pictures, the promotion on facebook, the managing of some events… Each one of them have his own strong point, whom Each of them has a strong point that if it’s joined to the other it could lead their work and their passion to the ‘Next Level’.  If they participate to an event, whether it is, and they decide to make a common communicative strategy, they could manage to have extraordinary results. They can decide to write a series of articles pre and post event, maybe one of them take the pictures, another one thing about the text. the other one can handle facebook and another one can make a live-tweeting of the event. I think that cooperate as far as it can be difficult, is the winning solution.
Another point that is usually ignored, is to advise the inspirations, not only the one of the vip that you follow, but also the one of your ‘friends’ or ‘collegues’ bloggers. If you see an outfit that you like, and you want to propose again, but with your style to make it unique, point it out in the post that you are going to publish. Have someone published something that inspire you a consideration (for or against) and you don’t want to leave a too long comment, so let’s use your blog, then link the article to the inspirator, and … who knows what will happen? Please, spiteful people refrain!

Do you know the number of articles (technical and otherwise) that I have listed in this article? Here it is, it’s a classic example of Link-Building, no one told me to do it, I could easily write them by myself, similar articles on the subject … but what for filling up the web with copies of the copies of the copies of articles taken from manuals or sites that everybody know? I think that they are well written and up with the times; and I can focus on other topics that I like.

Have you ever tried to do something like that No? Here you are another exercise!

Usually above all in the overworked fields as the Fashion Blog, Grafic blogs (Web Design, and other); the topics that you debate are almost the same. The real added value that you can produce is your own personal experience, and your own point of view. To really strike the reader, you have always to seek to high quality contents. What the point, fill the web with 100 posts regarding the same topic? It happens to me with this article, to write a post updated and complete on the problematic situation of the sharing posts on facebook, and I did it just after searching far and wide updated and complete posts, and I haven’t found anything.

So, before posting an article, try to do a search on google, see if there are other similar articles, and try to give always a little bit more to your reader.

As a little good competition is always good (It allows us not to rest on our laurels), I think that the cooperation is more stimulating. I have a good friend (without naming Alessia, from Starrify Design) with who our long chatting, usually become post for both our sites. Both of us, have different strong points and in case of clients (it is already happened!), who ask to us specific things that belong more to the other one, we communicate with just a click, with a message or a phone call. From this point of view, the cooperation is essential, above all with a person that you trust.

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