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TJ71 – Co-Authored Content: 40,000 Words That Established A Personal Brand ~ Aaron Agius

Aaron Agius header

 

Conventional thinking would dictate that you should get full credit for a 40,000 word blog post when you wrote it.

You write, you get the reward.

This was not (entirely) the case for Aaron Agius however when he wrote tens of thousands of words for QuickSprout.com. His name didn’t appear as the author, and he didn’t get paid.

Why then would he waste days of his time to content that sits on someone else’s site published under someone else’s name?

Aaron Agius understands the power within other people’s audiences, when those audiences are bigger and more established than his own. Aaron is adept at identifying co-authored content and guest post opportunities then exploiting them for his own gain.

On this episode, you will discover how Aaron leverages highly trafficked sites to get more ‘eye balls’ and build his brand.

SPECIAL BONUS: Download the co-authored content strategy used by Aaron Agius to leverage other people’s audiences to build his brand.

OUR GUEST:

Aaron Agius is the managing director and co-founder of Louder Online, an inbound marketing agency geared towards creating imaginative marketing strategies for small businesses and global corporates. His business has worked with international brands such as IBM, LG and Ford.

Aside from running an agency Aaron is a prolific content creator. He has produced two in-depth guides for QuickSprout; The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience and The Complete Guide To Building Your Personal Brand. Each guide being of more than 20,000 words.

Aaron Agius also writes for leading business and marketing publications like Entrepreneur, Hub Spot and Search Engine Journal.

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Aaron Agius' co-authored content strategy

A QUICK PREVIEW OF THE PODCAST:

Here are some of the highlights from episode 71 of the Traffic Jam Podcast…

  • Why Aaron Wrote for QuickSprout.
  • Guest Posting.
  • The ROI with Co-Authored Content.
  • Determining Where to Guest Post.
  • Finding the Balance: Content on Site vs. Guest Posting.
  • How to Get Good at Writing.
  • The Right Type of Content.
  • Why Longer Content Works.
  • Social Distribution: How it Works.
  • Aaron’s Facebook Marketing Strategies.

TWEETABLE MOMENTS:

If you enjoy this episode of Traffic Jam, please share it using the social media buttons you see on this page, or click to tweet these Aaron Agius quotes from the show:

You can also get Aaron’s quote as exclusive illustrated artwork along with more special episode bonuses: Click Here To Download.

To see the full transcript of this episode in-page click show/hide transcript:

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What’s up listeners? Welcome to Traffic Jam episode#71. I am your host, James Reynolds, and right now you are probably wondering where I have been. It has been a few weeks now since we last recorded an episode, what more can I say but sorry, when your traffic is really cranking then you tend to get quite busy and we’ve just had a very intense period of onboarding customers from both SEO Sherpa, our SEO agency, and ClickJam, our performance media business.

So we are back I think to normal proceedings and I am really looking forward to putting out a few more episodes in the coming week, starting with today. Super excited to share this interview with you with Aaron Agius and I came about Aaron through a recommendation from Dan Norris, our guest from episode#69.

Aaron is from LouderOnline.com.au, an inbound marketing agency that do a lot of work in search, social and content marketing working with some of the biggest brands in Australia. In this episode you’ll hear about some of the epic co-authored content pieces that Aaron has written with Neil Patel and the huge benefits that he’s got from producing those. We will also learn a little bit about his home base and outpost content strategy and what sort of mix he has between his own website and his contributions to sites like Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, and others. We dive really deep in to a lot of different areas of content, search and social and I am sure you are going to love this interview. So I guess without any further ado, let us welcome to Traffic Jam, Aaron Agius from LouderOnline.com.au.

James: Hey welcome back listeners. You’re tuned in to episode#71 of Traffic Jam and joining me today we’ve got Aaron Agius from Louder Online in Sydney. So, Aaron, how are you doing?

Aaron: I am well. I appreciate you having me here.

James: It is great to have you on the show, not quite sure where we are going to take this one yet, but I am going to start by asking you about the two huge content pieces I have noticed that you’ve done with QuickSprout, The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience and The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand. I’m guessing that these two guides were able to generate a lot of traffic for Neil’s site, but I am curious as to kind of what the return was for you. How much did you get out of doing those two guides?

Aaron: It went really well, from a purely monetized ROI standpoint, people coming to me immediately and looking for working to do for them so it was well the time and effort and from the other side of things, from a branding perspective, it did really well. I wanted to get content out there that showed that we knew what we were doing as a business and I knew what I was doing as well but there isn’t a massive audience on our own blog so the idea is to leverage where the traffic is and where we can get access to a lot of audience and that’s what we did.

James: Yeah, and I guess you also benefit from the implied authority of producing a content piece with Neil who is a well-known name within the industry, let’s just clarify, how long were those pieces? They’re pretty long in length, weren’t they?

Aaron: They’re between 30-40 thousand words.

James: Okay. Not your average blog post, let’s put it like that.

Aaron: It was a decent amount of effort and the good thing is that this sort of content just flows and I don’t have to find how this is the right words so there wasn’t a challenge in knowing how to be put together so it was good and I was very happy with the results.

James: Now, by comparison you also write to Entrepreneur.com and Hubspot and perhaps a few others where your post are probably more typical in length, a thousand to fifteen hundred words or so. How does the relative effort to pay off compare between those types of posts and the huge amount of effort I am guessing that was required to produce those twenty to thirty thousand word guides for Neil?

Aaron: Yeah I prefer to do the big ones and be able to get the big exposure and but a lot of effort in one sort of document or word but the only reason I don’t is because we are just restricted to the editorial guidelines of each of these sites and so I contribute what we are allowed to contribute and so I do a lot more than I do on HubSpot and Search Engine Journal, Content Marketing Institute and a range of other ones so the return’s good. We stay on top of mind for these people. I stay on top of mind, people reading their feeds and seeing my name multiple times does have its benefits on that perspective as well.

James: And that is actually something I want to ask you about, not to dwell on the piece you did with Neil but that was his own branded content, right? Despite the fact that I am guessing you put a vast majority of work in to that whereas something that you would do on Entrepreneur or Search Engine Journal carries your name, it carries your personal brand with it. How important is personal branding to you?

Aaron: Personal branding is huge for me. But as you suggested, the association of having Neil and myself doing that in one of these big individual pieces, even if it is branded, it is QuickSprout and his site, that worked really well and it opens up a lot of other doors and it is good to have other pieces directly published as my name on these other sites. There’s plus and minus on both sites.

James: How much traffic do you get out of guest posting activities? Anyone who is out there who has done guest posting before knows that guest traffic is not really in abundance before most traffics of blogs. What sort of traffic directly are you getting on a typical post, let’s say on HubSpot.com?

Aaron: It is absolutely right. I typically get maybe 500 to a thousand visits per post, and that is never the ultimate post for me. My main goal is the branding and getting my knowledge and content out there. Myself personally, I know what just myself knowing that I contribute to the knowledge out there. Help people when we can and hopefully it does bring business in as well so it is worthwhile.

James: How strategic have you been with those content contribution opportunities in terms of selection? They all seem extremely relevant to your business which would make sense but beyond that, how have you decided which third party sites that you do want to contribute too?

Aaron: In terms of the site it has largely come down to wanting to focus on those that have really high traffic within the industry and then we are going to get a grand exposure to a lot of people go out and they are trying to guest post and get links on hundreds of thousands of different sites and they think that that is kind of doing the job and it might help with your search rankings to an extent but my goal with this is not to try and improve search rankings at all but it is personal branding and exposure to where the existing community is.

James: Absolutely! And I think I would vouch exactly for myself. We do these types of things, it’s really for the authority we built and not just being seen in those places but being able to say that we are in those places to prospective customers and I am sure if you are dealing with pretty clued up with business owners or marketing managers they probably have heard of entrepreneur.com or hubspot.com or Search Engine Journal and to say that you are already a contributor to those places already gives you a level of authority that perhaps your competition don’t have, right?

Aaron: Absolutely! You nailed it that is absolutely right.

James: So having looked at your own blogged and having seen the activity on where you are posting to, it seems that you are posting to other people’s audiences than your own, what do you think is the right balance to kind of home-based content?

Aaron: The reason I do that is largely I want exposure to where the audience already are and we are planning on doing a lot more with the blog and we have a lot of content that is sitting there ready to be published but I just want to get the exposure in the right places first and really focus on that. I don’t see much point in creating absolutely brilliant posts that sit in your own blog when there’s very little traffic to it. So the goal initially is to get out there where the audience is, as that is happening really well we’re getting referral traffic coming through then start publishing their own posts where it is going to be seen by enough people.

James: Yeah and I think you would probably agree that your average customer isn’t often going to your blog to check out your content. I mean that’s not the audience that you are focused to. You’re not a teacher type market. You are delivering services to business owners, to marketing managers who want their stuff done for them so they are not really there to be educated. I know that they can trust you to deliver a job I would expect.

Aaron: We need to do it to show that we know what we’re talking about and that side of that, you are absolutely right. It’s our target audience, we don’t particularly get a lot of leads or a lot of our business through on our blogs on our website. And we do get some coming through the guest posting that we are doing. A lot of our leads comes through referral and the marketing activities that we are doing.

James: Has someone that does create a fair bit of content for others who might struggle to created content with the same sort of velocity as you do Aaron?

Aaron: Yeah there’s a few things. First practice, get a few lines every day. If you are following some kind of authority just get something down and get in the habit of writing, it really builds up over time. The other thing is, really the way that I write content is to be able to identify the sort of questions people having the problems, people having in the industry and simply write content that answers questions and solves problems. There’s lot of ways you can identify that, you can check out quora.com, things like Yahoo answers and there’s ways of being able to see the problems people are having out there and focus on frequently writing and answering those questions and make sure it is tied with the audience in whichever site you are looking to post.

James: And in terms of content structure do you have any guidelines there? You said already that you prepare a longer form content typically but is that your norm or you have some sort of other guides that you could properly share with us?

Aaron: Yeah, I do like longer form and the reason behind that from a search perspective is that longer form content tends to rank and perform better and is more engaging more in depth, a lot more detailed. I prefer to do that. Like I said I can write and talk about this stuff a lot so it just comes out. In terms of structuring, the way I put them together, I usually sit there and I think what are those questions, what I can do in solving this and I put down a few key points on I really need to do to pitch this space. Then I will start on the intro and go ahead and talk to each of those points and to the conclusion, making sure that I’m trying to get people engaged in some point.

James: It is interesting about what you said about longer form content with search and that is certainly true but it is also true, I understand, for socially shared content that longer form content generally get shared more often and that’s just because it implies more value because there’s a longer content piece there whether or not that is another matter but they tend to show it more because they think it’s got more value to their audiences when it’s longer.

Aaron: That’s what we’re seeing as well, it does perform that way and so while it does I am going to continue focusing.

James: Well it seems that a lot of content marketers do spend a fair bit of time on their content for the promotion part, that certainly has been my experience anyway. What is your own process for promoting content once it is published to your site or another site that you might be publishing too?

Aaron: That’s exactly what that document, The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience that I put together, it’s a really in-depth piece that really outlines the work that we do in terms of clients and in terms of content promotion. So to summarize what is in there, we do a lot of social distribution, paid social, we do syndication and amplification services, we do influencer outreach, whatever we can do to start seeking eyeballs on that content and hopefully if that content is being created in a way that it aligns with a predefined strategy that will help clients with then it should take on a life of its own and you’ll start to see the results from there.

James: Yeah definitely. And you’re doing then what in terms of social distribution? Because I know social is also taking a part in what you do as a service there, just literally announcing on social platforms or a little bit more intricate than that?

Aaron: Yeah it is a bit more robust when we – before we put a piece together we identify where the communities are socially, the different fan pages, what hashtags have been used and what sort of volumes are behind this and we make sure that we do the research first and then the piece of content that we do is usually done with a marketing first approach so there is an opportunity to be able to distribute content in these areas to these people and these are problems that they are having and so we have to work back from there and put that piece together that enables that to be distributed well.

James: Yeah. We’ve mentioned your website, LouderOnline.com.au. I know you guys do a lot of inbound marketing of various types, part of that being of course search and more specifically SEO, as someone who has the  cool phase with some major brands trying to work out SEO in 2015, what do you believe businesses should be focused on to get better search results in current times?

Aaron: It depends on the size of the site that we are looking at. If we are looking at enterprise sized sites, they’ve already got the links and the authority that they need.  A lot of it comes down to trying to resolve technical or IA issues, information architecture issues that exist on the site, problems that may have happened in CMS all the time and problems with missing content and that sort of thing, even minor changes can have a really big impact on enterprise sites. If we are shifting back over to small to medium sites, really it comes down to what we have been talking about the whole time, we’d be creating as much content as possible, making sure that even if it is in How To format just thinking what exists in your space and the questions people having and just write how to answers that are as detailed as possible. And really build out that content, do it consistently that builds up the number of index pages that you got, builds up a number of linkable assets that you have on your site and it gives you a much better opportunity to have a lot more of your content shared socially. It comes down having great content, sure, the technical aspects, the meta data, they are going to help but on a small to medium sized site you really need to build up content and do a lot of it.

James: Yeah, absolutely! I couldn’t agree with that more. Well you’re not just an organic marketer, you’ve been getting really good results with PPC and fan pages from what I understand, can you tell me about that strategy and what sort of results you’ve got?

Aaron: We’re making sure that clients understand that there’s still a lot of key traffic that can come through Facebook. What’s great about it is the amount of target and cost per click that you can get when buying likes to your fan page through the official Facebook platform. It builds up an asset that you can continually mark so for businesses that we work with we’re telling them right away, get the fan page up, make sure that you are buying likes through the fan page in Facebook and really targeting your demographic and your audience to be really specific to those that are really engaging to the content that you are trying to put out there and get rid of everyone who is not engaging. Once that is happening you are building really good engagement across your fan page. Anything that you post that you want to drive traffic where it is getting the right amount of clicks and it going to the right amount of people who want to share it again socially so it is working out really well for us still and something I highly recommend for people.

James: Yeah there’s still a huge amount of opportunity sitting on Facebook despite the fact that people think that the bubble’s burst now and it’s just too difficult to get reach and visibility on the platform. It’s still a great place to be and no doubt that’s where your customers are because everyone is on Facebook as we know.

Aaron: Yeah, that’s what I am saying, if you keep tweaking your focus audience in these paid ads what’s going to happen is that the engagement level on your fan page is boosting really high engagement levels so that these concerns for organic reach and there is a way of sort of countering that because you are really boosting overall engagement that means that it still helps on that end so I am still happy pushing that and what I don’t promote and that’s just because of the way we approach things, I am sure it works for people is paying for traffic straight from Facebook and sending it on Facebook. The issue there is that you’re losing the traffic you’re paying for that one click and if you’ve not convinced them straight away to opt in when they’re now databased something like that then you pay for that one click then you never get to market to them again so that is why I focus on fanpages.

James: A good sort of addition to that is that with Facebook marketing, we’ve got a couple of guests on the show who have gotten almost great success with inorganic loop of Facebook marketing where you drive people off to a piece of content and then you offer to them back on Facebook. I think that can work very well to sort of get over that risk of losing that click and sending them off to an offer straight away. But there is no doubt, whatever way we cut the cookie there is still a huge amount of opportunity there.

Aaron: Yes, absolutely! What you said there is spot on and we are seeing remarketing work really well for people.

James: Awesome! I think we should probably get things wrapped up there, Aaron. I want to mention your website, we have mentioned it earlier in the interview but it is LouderOnline.com.au, and where else should our listeners go online to find out more about you?

Aaron: You can find me on Twitter on /AaronAgius, that’s probably where I am most active. You can find me on LinkedIn as well. I do a lot of LinkedIn marketing and a lot of stuff with groups. I am on LinkedIn and direct marketing and I am always sharing a lot of good stuff. Feel free to find me there.

James: To you the listener, all of those links and all those mentioned my Aaron on today’s show will be listen on TrafficJamCast.com/71. Awesome! Thanks Aaron.

Aaron: Thanks for having me.

Welcome back! That was Aaron Agius from LouderOnline.com.au. Thank you for listening in to episode#71 and now that we are back on track, we should be back with another episode very, very soon, hopefully as soon as next week so stay tuned for that.

To make sure that you don’t miss any future episodes, subscribe via iTunes and Stitcher radio by going to TrafficJamCast.com/iTunes and TrafficJamCast.com/Stitcher.

For a direct link for the bonuses that comes with this episode including downloadable MP3, full transcript of today’s show plus a full mindmap with my very own notes from the session, go to TrafficJamCast.com/71 where you can also join in on the discussion for this episode.

Now we end the show as we do every week with a traffic jam chosen by our guest. Aaron Agius has gone for a little HipHop number, Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Cool, Doggie Fresh and Bismarky so enjoy the track, and I will see you back here real soon!

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THE TRAFFIC JAM:

The Traffic Jam is a musical Jam chosen by our guest, and Aaron Agius has chosen a Hip Hop number titled Let Me Clear My Throat by American Hip Hop artists DJ Kool featuring Doug E. Fresh and Biz Marky.

Let Me Clear My Throat was released in April 1996 as the third and final single from his album of the same name. It was recorded live at the Bahama Bay Club in Philadelphia.

YOUR NEXT STEPS:

Learn how to create in-depth content at velocity.

Aaron Agius has written detailed posts and guides that have ended up on QuickSprout, Hub Spot and Search Engine Journal. He produces content fast and he publishes frequently.

Discover how Aaron writes, publishes and promotes that content in these bonus downloads:-

  1. Mindmap containing my own personal notes from my conversation with Aaron.
  2. Full word-for-word transcript of this episode.
  3. Downloadable MP3 audio you can save to your competitor and listen to again (and again).

To access your exclusive episode bonuses click the download button below.

Download the Co-authored content strategy

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