Content marketingRunning a Virtual Assistant business can be stressful at the best of times. Every day there are new VAs’ opening their virtual doors to clients, and so the competition gets fiercer and fiercer. Whilst many of us have good relationships with other VAs’, we are essentially still competing for business.

As I run a fairly general VA business my biggest problem has always been finding new clients. So I started looking into ways I could help myself without spending loads of money on advertising or SEO.

I’m lucky that my partner is an online marketing expert, so he’s given me a few crash courses in how I can improve my chances of getting ‘noticed’ online. The main one was to start writing valuable content and publishing it online.

So I started my own blog. I also started submitting guest articles to other relevant websites and over the last couple of months I’ve noticed a huge difference. I’m now slightly amazed to say that I rank fairly highly in Google for certain search terms, which has recently seen the phone ringing more often from prospective new clients than it ever did before.

This led me to realise that content marketing really is king.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with founded by Brian Clark? But for tips, techniques and reasons to write, in my opinion it’s the best resource around.

One of their articles I recently read was 2013: The Year of the Online Writer which confirmed my realisation that creating valuable content is what matters in this age of online marketing.

In it Brian Clark says “Content marketing isn’t a buzz phrase, and it isn’t a fad. Rather, people are starting to realize that content is the foundational element of all effective online marketing… From the allure of building a direct relationship with prospective customers and clients, to smarter pay-per-click strategies, to social media sharing, to SEO – content is what works.”

So if you’re not doing it already, it’s time to pick up that pen and get started.

And if you need further convincing, recent changes by Google Panda (Google’s search results ranking algorithm) has meant that now SEO isn’t all about cramming keywords into the homepage of your website.

In fact if anything that can now have disastrous affects.

Today it’s about content and link building from other relevant reliable websites. Personally I think this is great news as it means you don’t need to spend loads of money to improve your search engine ranking, but you do need to spend time.

Here are my 3 tips to help improve your website ranking and attract more business organically:

1. Create good, valuable content.

Quite simply write articles related to your industry, your business, your niche. Do your research first and make sure what you’re writing is of value.

I admit it can be tough coming up with article ideas, if you get to a point where you’re struggling, there are great resources out there to help you come up with new ideas. This article from Social Media Examiner may also help.

2. Create your own blog

Once you’ve written your article, make sure you’ve got a blog on your website that you can post it to. Then distribute via social media platforms.

This starts the organic traffic process.

If  you’ve written something relevant to your industry that potential clients will find of value, the natural keywords within that article will help build your authority and search engines will pick it up, directing traffic back to your website.

3. Write guest blog articles and submit them to relevant websites

In addition to your own blog, write guest articles for other blogs or online publications. This will get links pointing to your website from other relevant and reliable websites.

Write articles for small business websites, or if you specialise in a niche, write articles and submit them to any websites in that niche that accept guest posts.

The more links from websites of authority pointing to your own, will dramatically improve your website ranking in search engines.

Do you have a blog? Do you write and submit guest articles to other websites? Have you found it has attracted new clients? Please share your experience and ideas below.