How many black hat SEOs does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Black hat SEOs don't change the light bulb. They just redirect people to a different room where there is no light.
Thanks to Hubspot.com for the joke.
We spend a ton of time, effort and maybe money in marketing on the Internet. But, when it comes to search engines, it's all about the content. And, whether we like it or not, we're not Realtors® trying to generate leads, we're content marketers. Our content is supposed to attract visitors, engage them, and then offer them an inducement to give us their contact information.
I just found a Web article titled "How Content Marketers Can Reach a Larger Audience by Redefining the eBook." The idea is that savvy real estate agents, or anyone else marketing on the Web for that matter, are producing special reports and eBooks and offering them as PDF files free on their websites. And, we should keep doing this.
However, out of the entire world of people using the Internet, how many are visiting your website? Not even a miniscule portion of users is the answer. So, your great special report about the difference between a survey and an improvement location report isn't going to get seen by billions of people. Your eBook about the YourTown real estate market isn't going to be seen by them either.
The article points out that we should also be marketing the same eBook on the channels people are using, and we can price and sell it. Two things jump right out: 1) We might make a few bucks, and 2) more importantly, it creates a value for the free copy we offer on our site. We simply tell them that this eBook is for sale at iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Sony eBook sites, but they can get it free here.
You see, PDF books don't provide a good user experience on the hardware that more than 70% of us are using these days on the Web. We're using cell phones, iPads, Nooks, Kindles and other eReaders. It can be as cheap as free up to around $39 to publish your eBook with an online resource site that will send it to Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Sony. I have tried FastPencil.com and BookBrewer.com. I'm currently using BookBrewer, but you can check them both out.
Basically, you lay out your eBook on their site, and you can copy/paste in MS Word content, and add images. Once it's ready, you can have a review copy downloaded and then have it published when you're satisfied. You get an ISBN number too. The service formats the book for the different sites where it will be marketed, as Amazon uses one format and iBooks uses another. Suddenly you're a published writer!
An example would be placing that survey/ILR eBook offer on the same page as your article on the topic on your site. If a site visitor arrives at that page from a search seeking information about surveys and location reports, they're highly likely to respond to an offer to get a $6.99 eBook you sell at Amazon for free at your site.
So here it is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3:
1. Create compelling and informative content.
2. Merge it and expand on it and create an eBook.
3. Market the eBook for a cost at the major eBook sites and give it away for free at your site.
You're a content marketer, so market it.