Increase your visibility using Wikipedia – maybe

My assignment seemed pretty simple – add a client’s biography and articles on his books to Wikipedia. His books had all been successful – one had been made into a movie. The latest one is already getting buzz due to it’s subject matter – a famous trial. He had gotten a lot of traffic from Wikipedia in the past.

I had always assumed that posting on Wikipedia was about as simple as posting to my blog. You write, hit publish, and bam! it’s on the internet. Not so fast…

Wikipedia has editors. And lots of guidelines. And anyone can edit your article or delete it, for that matter. So, if you’re considering using Wikipedia as part of your web marketing, here’s a few guidelines:

1. Dust off your academic guidelines for how to cite sources. Wikipedia wants to know where you got your facts from. Blogs and Facebook sources don’t count. Think newspapers, academic journals, books for sources. Sources you’d see in any encyclopedia.

2. Don’t post original research. Wikipedia wants substantiated stuff – info that’s been circulating and tested.

3. Don’t post blatent press release materials. The editors will take it down.

4. Read their guides and take a look at articles on similar topics. You’ll see what’s approved and what isn’t.

Judging from the webstats and Google Analytics on how much traffic Wikipedia can send to your website, it could be useful if your topic can withstand their scrutiny.