A Sort of new Link Building and Branding Idea!

It is a special Sunday as it is my Birthday so here is a weird yet special idea for all SETalk readers. Like every other day, this day also started with a strong caffeine dose (ofcourse the legal way) and my computer in front of me. I was busy with reading different blogs, news, moderating Inbound.org and going through my twitter timeline…You see I do not work on special Sundays!

While doing this and browsing different websites, a wild thought clicked my mind, which I think can be useful for almost all small businesses, IT agencies, and start-ups  in order to increase their brand awareness and links pointing to their main website. I am not sure if this idea is equally practical for large organization with dozens of employees but for small business that comprises upon few people as a total staff like the awesome Outspoken media, The promising rank watch, and few more, this is surly possible.

Note: This is just a theory; I have not tried it yet or any of my clients so I would love to hear your thoughts about this!

The Basic Idea:

Whenever a new employee joins the company, usually you offer them things like visiting card, eye card and more. However, have you ever thought why exactly company invest on visiting card anyways? In my opinion, this is a decent way of passing word about the company in order to get qualified traffic converted by the person working for you.

How about you tweak the same initiative a bit more to morph it into an even valuable inbound marketing tactic!

The idea is; along with the business cards and eye cards that you offer to your employee, I suggest offering them one more thing that is a personal website. Yes you heard that right, a personal website of his own name; for instance a person let say, A is working for your company so the website will be “personA.com”. This website should hold nothing but things that interest them the most. Apparently, every person has a different taste and interests it may be photography, blogging, travelling or perhaps sports. All you have to do is to encourage and motivate them to use these domains for chipping in content related to their interests and hobbies with the world.

A tip: Reward is the best motivation so you can always keep some reward system for healthy competition among the employees as well.

One thing that you want to make sure is that all employees are mentioning about where they work with a link to the company website and letting people know their original designation in the company on their website.

Why?

You may achieve two things through it, in the longer run:

  1. Multiple active websites that are linking back to the main website. The best part is you do not have to invest on content producers to make those websites stay active because the employees working for you will update them timely.
  2. Awareness and branding that your employees will do for you by sharing their stuff with their circle and likeminded people.

 

Costing?

I guess it will cost the same as the cost of 1000 visiting cards or a little more than that depending on the quality of hosting and domains but it will still be less expensive especially with regards to what you are going to get from it.

Obviously I have not tried this idea myself yet so I do not really have stats that how successful or fail this concept can be but it sounds very logical to me and I can imagine some great return on investments through this.

Did you ever try this idea? If yes please share your experience with me and even if not I would love to hear your feedback about the idea.

 

About the author

mmhemani

Moosa Hemani is a SEO bloggers and an Inbound Marketing Governor at SEtalks.com

16 Comments

Leave a comment
    • I see problems when it comes to sub domains… 1) as an employee, he will write about his own interest…that possibly can be something off the topic for business and might hurt the reputation instead of building it… 2) In case of sub-domains, company have to own the content that is available on their website where as if the website is independent, company don’t really have to own the content and still get benefit from it!

      #my2cents!

  • Well Moosa you wrote something new and different from other bloggers and yes this time i proudly say that you are abnormal thinker :)
    BTW great idea man in my opinion it works in both traffic as well as links.

    • Rachel, In that case why not offer then a free hosting and get link back to the main website… or may be ask them to dedicate a page that discuss about this life at the place he work!

  • Nice idea Moosa although you would need to agree on some hard and fast rules with your employees.

    1) Who owns the blog once the employee leaves the company

    2) Legal issues e.g. copyright claims, libel

    3)Incentives – how do you encourage people to blog? Do you give them extra training to write better articles? Because if employees aren’t going to proactively promote their blogs then what’s the difference to this method than just building a bunch of microsites with crap content that link back to the main site?

    • Thanks Chris! Glad that you commented and discuss about your concerns related to the idea.

      I guess part one and part two can come under the company policy… and company can decide as per their flexibilities.

      As far as the engorgement is concern that allow them to blog often can be many… like incentives, bounces, competitions and more… but training them to blog better sounds a good idea to me but not sure if different businesses will be willing to invest in it.

  • Nice ideas Moosa,
    What i’ve seen that businesses get afraid to give authority and freedom to employees as it could lead their employees to maximum exposure and tons of opportunities that can lead them to leave the company and join other competitors.

    Businesses also have to guide them about ethical blogging and how to market it in an ethical way in order to get their blog to a certain level by which company’s main site will get benefitted from those links.

  • We do something similar at Pierce – yet distinct as well. We encourage employees to start a personal blog, if they don’t have one already. And we allow them to blog on corporate time, providing they give the corporate website a shout-out or link on occasion (not all the time, but only if it fits with what they’re blogging about).

    We see the value of blogging in general and personal reputation building, as that reflects well on our company. And yes, once the employee leaves we lose that value (as it’s the employees personal blog and thus their property), but we’re not too worried about that – while it lasts we gain a lot from it, and it also enforces our need to create a great working environment so they don’t want to leave in the first place. And it makes us look good towards potential new employees.

    Also, we get all employees to contribute to our corporate blog as well. Which in turn generates links from their personal blogs as they mention & link to their corporate contributions – and these links tend to stay up permanently, even after they’ve left.

  • interesting. To me people should blog just for the sake of it, and if you do something related to the company you work in, somehow I’m sure it’s gonna lose the interest in reading it.

    I encourage people to start their own blog just because you can learn and experiment a lot, and maybe improve some writing skills.

    But really, let’s keep separated personal blogging and company. If you want to do some corporate blogging, just ask for it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • This is an interesting idea. It will help with link diversity, for sure, as new sites will have a low to non-existent page rank.

    It also encourages employees to engage more with their own hobbies or interests, as well as become players in their industry. I can’t think of any employee I know who wouldn’t appreciate that from their company.

    Of course, there are legal issues, as Chris pointed out, but I like what Barry’s company does–encouraging employees to blog and giving them some time at work to do it.

  • Hey Moosa, I think this is a great idea! As long as the incentive is big enough to motivate. I also agree with Chris regarding training people to produce really great content on their blog articles – some people aren’t great writers, perhaps companies could make it optional rather than mandatory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *