As a new blogger and a new face to the crowd of SEO, I’m faced with this big challenge: where are my readers going to come from? I encountered this issue before when I first started blogging back on my personal blog (now defunct … or rather, just hidden) back in the day, but my friends were not the type of people who were actually interested in reading everything — though I will admit that I did have a good following among the closer ones. I will credit Andy Hagans for his excellent guide to getting out of the sandbox so that people will actually know who I am and maybe consider me to be an authority one day.
What is this sandbox that I speak of? I’m new, so allow me to introduce this, even though you’ve seen it hundreds of times before if you’re already in the industry. The sandbox effect is a Google method of basing its rankings (bringing them to the top of the search engines) on a trust mechanism. Furthermore, older sites (and domain names) fare better. Getting your site on authoritative sites is critical. Link bait is a necessity for people like me, and the list by Jim Westergren, while old, still holds true today and is a great starting point. This guide by Andy at TextLinkAds (also known as TLA) is definitely worth serious mention and consideration.
In a sense, I’m kind of doing all right. The domain name existed (and is a pretty good one, I might say), but I just never used it. Still, even great domain names (and old ones) may have lousy content and people might choose never to return. I refer you to yesterday’s document on how to capture the audience.
Regardless of having the resourcefulness, graywolf is very right when he comments:
Building quality content without links is like locking William Shakespeare in a room to write for himself.
Therefore, besides working on making this site something special (which truly does come first), I guess I’ll be busy for quite awhile. Thank you for tiring me out, Andy, but it was worth the read.
Update 10/9: Graywolf has an excellent blog about the sandbox: it’s not about getting out of the sandbox but about getting into the trustbox. Now it’s just about building that audience and gaining that trust.