I won the Riff-On contest!

Blogriffer best post award

I spent all morning polishing my new badge ;-)

It seems I actually won the Riff-On contest I mentioned earlier, with my participating blog riff on Seth Godin’s article on what customers want. In all honesty though, I think the somewhat light participation in the contest had a little something to do with it…

Anyway, I have signed up for Antone’s course on high impact blog riffing, so I hope to get better with this method in the future. It is certainly something that I will start experimenting with on the niche blogs I run.

What the heck is blog riffing?

The concept of blog riffing is very simple: You find a blog post on a topic you are interested in, quote selected parts of it on your blog (linking to the original post of course) and then write your own commentary that hopefully adds something of value to the topic at hand.

The potential benefits of this are more complex than they first may seem. Because doing this you get:

Interesting and relevant content. This is what most niche bloggers, particularly those who are in it for the money, seem to struggle with. And quite frankly some of them stoop to some pretty questionable tactics like various methods of automatic content scraping.

Yes, you have to do a little bit of writing yourself. But simply riffing on what others have said is a lot quicker than starting with blank piece of paper. A no one says you have to write an 800 word commentary each and every time. With a bit of practise I have a feeling these posts can be cranked out fairly quickly.

Blog riffing draws on the natural collaboration between bloggersBacklinks and community. When you link to another blog, you may get a valuable backlink  by pinging the blog you are linking to. Particularly if you have made a valuable comment, there is a good chance that the blog owner will accept your pingback. This will provide a keyword anchor text link back to your blog.

Of course, you mileage may vary, depending on what you are doing with your blog otherwise. For example, I have a feeling that a blog designed for adsense clicks might get fewer pingbacks approved. If your content is actually decent this isn’t exactly fair, but nonetheless something to take into consideration.

This is just the beginning however. Applied skillfully, blog riffing can be used as a way to build relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Possibly leading to opportunities of guest posting, being mentioned on various social media platforms and so on.

You can never be entirely sure what google really wants. But I would like to think that this kind of interaction can only benefit your site in the eyes of the search engine giant. It should certainly be more well received by google than buying 100 blog comments or Facebook likes on Fiverr.

Get more traffic to your blog. At the end of the day the thing we all want is of course more, well targeted traffic to our blogs and websites.

And according to Antone Roundy, once he started blogging five times per week rather than twice a month, the traffic to his blog increased 2.4 times over. Part of his reasoning for creating was to try and take this strategy to even higher levels, using natural interaction between bloggers. Or as he puts it himself:

“It’s what blogging was like before SEO had even been invented.”

Is blog riffing really unique content?

Mention “unique content” among a group of online marketers and SEO-people, and you will get many interpretations of what this means. What they all tend to agree on however, is that unique content has a strong tendency to do better in the search engine rankings.

But is a blog riff truly unique content? After all, you are copying and pasting sections right out of another blog. Won’t that trigger the dreaded duplicate content filters?

As I haven’t tested this extensively yet, I don’t propose to have a definite answer to that. However, by mixing in your own unique comments with the quotes the resulting content should definitely be unique enough. Particularly if you put the copied parts in a slightly new context, the result should definitely be something “google wants”.

Riffing or plagiarism?

I think you should perhaps be more concerned with why readers would be interested in reading about a certain topic on your blog, rather than on a competing one.

I actually stumbled on an interesting article about plagiarism in blogging the other day that offered some interesting thoughts on this. They used the term copycat blogging and stated that “celebrity blogs” tend to be among the worst culprits of that practise.

Then again, hasn’t that always been the standard operating procedure in the celebrity news circus – even in its printed form?

On the whole I agree with the above article though, that it is probably not a good idea to base your entire blog on regurgitated content from other blogs.

But adding a few well placed blog riffs to the mix certainly seems like a worthwhile effort.

3 Responses to “I won the Riff-On contest!”

  1. Matunda Pero says:

    Plagiarism in blogging seems the good thing to start with for the bigginners marketers like myself with zero experience

  2. Michael,

    Congratulations on the win, and thanks for helping to spread the word.

    You should see your prize (SEO Content Factory) on your download page now.

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