eBook: Killer Flagship Content.
Author: Chris Garrett.

Killer Flagship Content is one of those must-read ebooks. It’s doubly important because it’s written by Chris Garrett, one of the founders of Performancing, who helped it achieve its lofty status in the blogosphere by offering sage blogging advice. Chris is running a cool promo: review his first ebook, Killer Flagship Content, and you not only get a link back to your review but a sneak peak at his next ebook – which reveals how he scored over a thousand feed subscribers in just a month. (It doesn’t hurt that he’s Chris Garrett.)

Having read most of what Chris wrote at Performancing, and some of his musings at other personal sites of his, I was eager to read the ebook. I’ve already browsed it over twice, and reading it now as I write.

At 14 pages plus cover pages, the Killer Flagship Content packs a lot of advice for building authority for your website/ weblog. Chris essentially defines Flagship Content as articles that give value to readers and entices them to return. If you manage to brand your content and build a message, even better. Can you be the go-to resource for your niche? (e.g., as Brian Clark’s Copyblogger is to good blog writing in general – at least for 13,000+ feed subscribers – and Darren Rowse’s Problogger is to blogging best practices for 19,000+ subscribers.)

Now, if you’ve heard of the term link bait, you probably know there are several kinds, including the “Top 10 Reasons To Something Or Other” type. But Chris points out, link bait has a stigma attached to it, and that it’s more about creating buzz. Whereas flagship content consists of compelling resources that are evergreen, that are still useful down the timeline. As a ghostbaiter for paying clients, I know how valuable link bait can be, SEO-wise. But flagship content stands on its own. Chris lists the potential benefits as:

  1. fame
  2. brand
  3. SEO
  4. authority
  5. visibility
  6. value
  7. longevity
  8. viral appeal
  9. marketability
  10. expansion into products
  11. convert your traffic

That’s eleven – count’em, eleven – benefits for creating flagship content. Chris then delves further into the last benefit, indicating that if you become a trusted resource, you very well stand to be bookmarked and subscribed to in a feed reader. You might even get delicoed (del.icio.us) and dugg (digg.com) regularly.

Quite possibly one of the most important points Chris makes in the Traffic Conversion section is:

Start thinking about your content as small parts of a larger system.

It’s hard work to write good posts everyday (or regularly), but taking some time to plan your content series will go a long way towards helping turn your posts from just a random collection into flagship content.

So how do you come up with flagship content? Chris outlines several steps and ideas. Which ones you pick depend on your knowledge and expertise. Also looking to fill needs. People would sooner ask someone a question than use a search engine to find the answer. Are there questions you can answer? People are clannish [my emphasis, not Chris’] and want to go to a trusted human resource.

So what can types of flagship content can you write? Here are Chris’ 10 instant flagship content ideas:

  1. Your biggest tip.
  2. Vision.
  3. Guides, how-tos, tutorials.
  4. FAQs.
  5. Message.
  6. Research and results.
  7. Jargon buster.
  8. Product database.
  9. Case studies.
  10. Resource round-up.

Just be unique, Chris points out. Your content’s success will depend on a number of factors:

  1. Being remarkable.
  2. Having magnetic headlines.
  3. Being easy to grasp.
  4. Having friendly URLs.
  5. Havng an immediate and obvious benefit.
  6. Keeping hype to a minimum.
  7. Being placed prominently.
  8. Not having any barriers. (i.e., no password protection on content)
  9. Applying quality control.
  10. Building on the foundation content.
  11. Closing the deal (persuading people to subscribe).

Chris then finishes up with a 10-point promotion plan (and closing words), which I’m not listing here because I want you to go read his ebook and check out these great ideas for yourself, even if you’ve been blogging for a while.

In short, Chris practices what he preaches, turning his ebook Killer Flagship Content into flagship content itself, imparting valuable advice on building authority for your website or weblog. And there’s more to come, with another ebook on the way. I can’t wait.

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