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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Content Marketing Lessons from the Count of Monte Cristo

    Posted by Jasmine Henry

    Long-Form Revenge on Google


    We’re huge fans of Alexander Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo here at Inbound Marketing Agents. Actually, we’ll be totally honest and admit most of our marketers have gotten sucked into ABC’s television show Revenge, loosely based on the Dumas work, at one point or another. As far as I’m aware, the current staff record for days spent marathoning the entire 15+ hours of season one is about 36 hours, held by yours truly. It’s a bit embarrassing, but what can I say? It’s really compelling stuff. We got to thinking: What if the classic tale of long form revenge was really about a girl (or guy, or marketing team), their blog, and Google? Bear with us, and we’ll see if Dumas knew more about business blogging than he let on:

    1. No One Has Ever Escaped from the Chateau D’If

    In the original novel, the handsome young ship captain Edmond Dantes (later, the Count) falls prey to wily ways of four conspirators who have him locked up in the world’s scariest prison, Chateau d’If. No one has ever escaped from its frightening confines before. Imagine for a minute that that prison is actually the second page of Google.

    Terrible SEO is a bit like solitary confinement. You receive little interaction with the outside world, because no one ever ventures to the strange land of Google’s second or third pages. Escaping this terrible situation required ingenuity on Dantes’ part, who sewed himself into a body bag after a fellow prisoner died. I can’t tell you exactly how you’ll escape the guards and terrible SEO, but I can say it will require a whole lot of creativity, a social media presence, networking, and maybe a little dash of Reddit.

    2. Never Give Up Hope

    Dantes spent years barely existing in his prison cell before he finally made contact with another prisoner. Sorry to tell you, but unless you’re someone famous, you’re not going to get Perez Hilton-style traffic on your first day as a blogger, especially if you’ve been tasked with the burden of creating content about a boring topic. You’re going to have to grind away, creating quality content, distributing it on social media, and forging relationships with other bloggers before you’ll get noticed. Will it feel a bit like solitary confinement at times? Highly possible.

    3. Nothing Terrible Ever Goes Unpunished

    When Dantes re-enters Parisian society as the handsome, mysterious, and rich Count of Monte Cristo, he’s out with the sole purpose of exacting revenge on those who wronged him and had him locked up in the first place. No spoilers, but just like in the book, people always get what’s coming to them in the end.

    Okay, speaking generally here, we’re about to drop some of the darkest and deepest secrets of the Internet. If you behave badly on your business blog, you’re probably going to get caught. We’re talking about naughty little misdeeds, such as buying inbound links or keyword stuffing or using keywords that are written in the same color as your background page. You can also do malicious and evil things to your competitors by buying sketchy links to their websites. However, Google’s caught on and they’re going to put a stop to anyone who isn’t willing to put in the work required. And if you’re thinking about trying to wreck your competition’s SEO, remember they can now disavow you with just one click.

    Can you potentially see the connection between Dumas’ victorious Count and content marketing? Take inspiration and courage from his tale, my friends. Some days you may feel like giving up on content marketing, but it’s simply not an option. Effective revenge against your competition and Google takes time, and it simply can’t happen overnight. The Count of Monte Cristo may have lived and died long before the Internet, but he’s a hero of perseverance.

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    What literary figures do you feel are inspirational to your content marketing strategy?

    image credit: zirconicusso/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Inbound Marketing