On the face of it, it seems too good to be true. If you’re too lazy to write quality content, you can basically use other people’s content and Google rewards you with traffic. It seems too easy. It seems too straightforward. It seems too smack of getting something for nothing. But this is the reality of newsjacking. Believe it or not, newsjacking is one of the most credible and effective ways to get more traffic from search engines. It makes a lot of sense because people are interested in news. Regardless of the niche you’re targeting, people are interested n the late breaking happenings of that particular niche. Writing quality content gives you a competitive advantage. Instead of writing new content or spending a lot of money on quality new content, you can basically just hijack news and build traffic. Before you start buying scraper software or RSS scrapers based on what I just said, keep reading. There’s more to this than just simply scraping news and dumping it into your site. At the end of the day, you have to turn this news into your own product. You have to turn it into your own property. Here is some background information on how this works and some key guidelines that will help you succeed with newsjacking.
Google’s Brand Mantra
As a background into building quality newsjacking websites or newsjacking subsections for your existing website, we have to turn back to Google’s fascination with brands. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of the board of Google and former CEO has repeatedly said that Google will be all about branding. He keeps repeating it again and again and again. He sounds like a broken record. The same goes with other key figures in Google. Obviously, they’re trying to send a message. Obviously, they’re trying to set the records straight as to Google’s strategy. Based on the recent changes at Google, it has becoming absolutely clear that Google is serious about online brands. Google is penalizing websites that don’t bother with building an online brand. These websites are all about making a quick money. They target keywords. They pump out crappy content to target those keywords and they collect the money. If Google catches up to them and bans them or penalizes them, they move on and repeat the process. In fact, these spammers don’t just repeat the process, they repeat it thousands of times by building thousands of websites. That’s the kind of battle Google is waging.
Web spam is an epidemic. If left unchecked, these spammers will fill the internet with garbage. This is why Google is very big on brands. Brands take a lot of care to build. Brands often take a lot of money, time and effort to establish. By focusing on brands, Google is basically saying that if people take all this time and effort to build a solid brand, then they would take the time and effort to make sure that the content that they publish online will be quality. On the whole, this makes a lot of sense. You don’t want to take all this time and effort or building something and then just piling crap on top of it and having all that time and effort go down that toilet, right? Google’s brand approach from a strategic perspective makes a lot of sense. This is why you need to look at newsjacking from a branding perspective. You can’t look at it the way spammers look at RSS content scraping which is from a purely traffic perspective.
Authority Flows Towards Quality Content
Another key reminder that you need to focus on before we get into the nitty gritty of newsjacking is that authority flows towards quality content. Authority is now fast becoming the currency of search engine traffic. The more authority your website has, the higher the likelihood that Google will send traffic your way. It really is that simple. Accordingly, it makes sense to ensure that whatever you do online, you build authority. If you are going to build a newsjacking website, you have to do so with authority firmly in mind. Otherwise, if you are not paying attention to authority or you don’t care about authority, it is too easy to just build a scraper dump or you were just scrape content from all over the planet and you just dump it on one page. If you do it that way, you’re a spammer. You are the bad guy and Google is not going to reward you. You might fool Google now, but it won’t be a lasting strategy.
News With Commentary is Quality…If You Play It Right
The essence of you and authority driven newsjacking is commentary. It’s not enough that you get news stories from the internet. You have to make it your own. Adding your commentary is what makes those pieces of news content you get from all over the internet distinctly your own. You have to add enough commentary where the news is really just part of the overall opinion that you are sharing. This is what separates scraped content with actual news commentary. This is how you define quality in newsjacking. You have to play it right. You have to add enough commentary in there to truly make that piece of news your own. If not, you are not building authority. If not, you are just basically republishing content. There’s all sorts of problems with this activity. You might get penalized for duplicate content. You might get penalized due to bounce rate issues. There are many ways you can get penalized. Instead, you have to play it right by focusing on the commentary.
Valuable Commentary Is Distinctive And Unafraid
A real commentary is not repeating what other people are saying. A real commentary is not acting like a parrot. If you’re going to offer the same opinions and the same claims as all other opinions sites and newsjacking sites in your niche, you are not going to be making much progress. Why? Very simple. Why should people go to your website when they can find exact same information and commentary somewhere else? Maybe they should just go straight to those websites and leaves yours out entirely. People don’t have all the time in the world. If given a chance, they would go to a more established website instead of yours if you are just offering the same type of content. This is why you need to focus on commentary that is distinct. In other words, you have to offer stuff that is different than the stuff being published elsewhere. You have to look at the news and offer a distinctive point of view. You have to present the news in such a way that it gets your readers to look at the news in a way that is different from other websites. Next, you have to be unafraid. One of the funniest things about human beings is that we are conformist. We actually like to be just like everybody else. We like to dress the same way. We like to eat the same things. We like to do the same things. Worst of all, we feel uneasy if we think that we step out of the crowd or we’re not in step with how everybody else is doing. This conformity is actually a key strategic advantage. Why? Most of your competition are basically copying each other. Most of your competition are parrots. If you present news in a distinct way or you have an interesting angle that you found in the news, you actually get a competitive advantage. Why? You look different from others. You standout from the crowd. Since as mentioned above, people don’t really have all the time to look through all the news sites in your niche. Chances are high that they would go to you because you offer something new. See how this works out?
Don’t Be Afraid Of Not Being Liked If People Disagree With You
Another challenge you need to overcome is that when you offer commentary on news related to your niche from a distinct perspective, a lot of people will not like you. Let’s face it, when you step out of the crowd and you step out of line with conventional wisdom, many people will not like it. First, they will laugh at you. Second, they will attack you. Third, they will ridicule you. But at the end of the process, if you stick to your guns and most importantly, you make sense by appealing to facts and making reasonable arguments, people will respect you. Real respect is when somebody sticks to their guns and keeps at it. You don’t get respect when you fall over and give in at the first instance of resistance. People will resist you. People will even laugh at you and insult you. But at the end of the day, if you stick to your guns and you just keep cranking out quality content that is backed up by facts, people will be forced to respect you. Why? You have goals. They don’t. As I mentioned earlier, people are conformists. People become uncomfortable when they feel that other people think that they’re different. By celebrating your distinctiveness and your difference, you gain respect. You actually become quite attractive to some members of your target audience. If you keep this up for a long enough time, you become an authority. You become an expert and you become a force to be reckoned with in your niche.
Establish A Distinct Personality and You Establish A Distinct Brand
Another key challenge that many would-be newsjackers face and fail at, is establishing a personality. It’s not enough for you to offer a distinct spin on the news. It’s not enough to step out of line with conventional wisdom. If you offer a rebel point of view, that alone is not going to be a slam dunk in terms of authority building. Why? Merely being different is not enough. You have to be different in the right way. You have to establish a distinct personality. This is the difference between disagreeing and still being agreeable and disagreeing and being disagreeable. You don’t want to disagree just to be disagreeable. Do you see this? If you are doing this, you are basically being a troll. You’re basically just trying to get arise out of people and emotionally shock people. You’re basically are being a clown. While clowns do tend to attract an audience, that audience is going to be much smaller than if you were credible. Instead, you should focus on your personality. Put the distinct personality on your opinions. Brand your personality. You become agreeable. You become acceptable by focusing on that distinct personality. You keep this up enough, you become a distinct brand. This is the big difference between just disagreeing because you want to disagree and disagreeing without being disagreeable. Disagreeing without being nasty. Disagreeing without becoming a cartoon. Let’s face it, people don’t follow cartoons. People follow opinion leaders. Know the difference.
Newsjacking is one of the most respected and most effective ways to use the content of others and make it your own. It is also one of the most powerful ways to become a distinctive and authoritative voice in your niche. Unfortunately, most people who try newsjacking fail miserably at it. Either they become outright spammers or they become trolls or they become clowns. There are definitely many pitfalls that you should avoid when trying to do newsjacking. You have to do it the right way. By keeping the tips above in mind, you can form a very distinct brand online without having to spend an arm and a leg on original quality content.