a quick story about effective tagging and educational posts

If you study online marketing, you’ve learned about the power of using keywords and effectively tagging your posts so that people searching for what you offer can connect with you. Usually we think of that in terms of generating sales, but something else interesting happened to me because of post tags and SEO. I became a tutor for a semester!

If you follow this blog, you know I post some of the writing I do for my university courses. This site’s most popular post is, strangely enough, about the Milgram experiments, something I researched for a Social Sciences Research class as an undergrad.

Well, someone did search for information on this exact class. Why? She was taking the same course, and struggling with unfamiliar concepts. She had projects due but had a hard time understanding what was required on the research and data end. She was quite intelligent, but taking online courses requires you to integrate a lot of new concepts with very little guidance or personalized support.

So, she saw a few of my posts and emailed me, asking if I could help her at least pass this challenging course. I still had the book, in fact! So, we made arrangements to meet once a week to review the assignments and readings, clear up any confusion, and get her on the right track with her projects. Then she would email me her projects prior to submitting them, so I could give her some feedback on where they could be improved.

She did better than pass the class. She totally mastered the concepts, got a high grade on her final research paper, and scored an A for the semester! She was a very serious student who just needed a little extra support in areas she had not studied before. Together, we took a shaky start and turned it into success.

Now, I don’t market myself as a tutor. But this story has a marketing lesson in it. Posts that educate and are effectively tagged will attract readers, and they are readers who may want to talk to you about that topic! People have come to use search engines to do research and solve problems. Providing information on those topics which concern them, and tagging with accurate keywords that reflect the language people use to search, will attract readers to your posts.

And that may not happen today, or even tomorrow. It may happen months from now. None of my most popular posts ever made a splash on the day they were posted. But suddenly, someone looking for exactly what I had posted found it, shared it, and made the page views explode overnight. Once a page experiences that, it seems to have a higher probability of happening again, as if the search engines now perceive the page as more popular.

And in some cases, we even experience other successes, like having an opportunity to help someone succeed at their educational goals!

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