Talking Link Magnets with Aaron Kahlow

October 11, 2010
By Lisa Barone in Branding

Heya, kids! As you may know, SES Chicago is right around the corner, hitting the Windy City October 18-22. Outspoken won’t be making the event this time around, but that doesn’t mean we can’t partake in the fun. Over the new couple of days we’ll be featuring interviews with some of the great minds slated to speak during the show. Up first is Aaron Kahlow from Online Marketing Connect who will be part of How To Become A Link Magnet session (among others). He was kind enough to chat with me about what defines a link magnet, how your brand can become one and who’s currently doing it the best.

Without further ado, please say hello to Aaron

Heya, Aaron. Can you give us a brief background on who you are for our readers who may not be familiar with you or your company?

Sure, so I am the CEO of Online Marketing Connect, which is an education-based media company. We’re mainly known for our two educational properties, the Online Marketing Summit, which is happening in February back in San Diego and the Online Marketing Institute which offers trainings and certification programs in all areas of Online Marketing like Social Media, Analytics, Email, SEO, PPC, Demand Generation, and more… sorry that sounds a little long winded, so in short we educate marketers and Internet professionals on best practices .

Ha, great. So, we used to talk about link magnets in terms of a piece of content. Now it seems like we’ve evolved into people becoming full-fledged link magnets. Would you agree? What is a link magnet to you?

Not really. I think its both. So the content is and always will be great link magnet. And now yes, a personality can be good for driving links but not alone. That person must also create good content. The ultimate scenario really becomes a good Social Media persona with great content. If you have those two, the links will be a comin’!

What’s your take on the death of remarkable content?

Let me take a broader approach to that question and talk about the content evolution we find our self in: Basically, we have too much. It’s the old fire hose analogy. And now that we have so much and we are reading on a device (computer or mobile) that is not conducive to reading, but scanning, our behavior has changed on how we absorb and engage with content. Reading daily news full length is rare, scanning daily news is norm and then the GREAT content promoted by the good Link Magnet personality gets read in full. So, yes, publishers and bloggers alike are in the assembly line of content, cranking it out to meet our never-ending news cycles and Internet needs so the quality has diminished. The final phase upon us really is the filters to give us relative, quality content from any source. When that happens, you’ll really be back to great content for you.

I could dive into the whole shift in the economics of content, but for your readers that are SCANNING this… will stick to brevity. Ha!

If you’re a business owner, what 3-5 things should you be doing to help turn your brand into a link magnet? What are the ingredients, if you will?

  1. Read.
  2. Find your passion and greatest area of expertise and stick to it.
  3. Take what you read and have passion on and write an abstract on it. Post it on your own blog (i.e. stop tweeting everyone else’s stuff, tweet your own)
  4. Tweet it, post on Facebook, and comment on other blogs that talk about it.
  5. Retweet other influencer’s stuff so they share the love and do the same for yours.

And of course optimize for search in both the content tagging, keyword density and linking

Couldn’t agree more with you on point number three!  That’s actually a good lead in to my next question – How important is it to set yourself up as a link magnet? What are the rewards?

Depends on the business. Consultant very important; manufacturer of tires (and yes there’s a good movie about that one), not so much.

What sites are doing it “right” in terms of setting themselves up as link magnets? Who should people be watching?

My friend Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz; our blog network; TopRank and Chris Brogran seem to have it figured out.

[Thanks to much for chatting, Aaron. Remember, if you’re attending SES Chicago, make sure you check out Aaron’s How To Be A Link Magnet panel taking place on Day 2 with co-speaker Jim Boykin. The duo will be sharing some excellent tips on how to dominate the search engines with link-friendly content.]


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