Monday, January 25, 2016

How To Create Engaging Content – Jake and Ryan Call #4

It’s that time again – for Niche Site Project Call #4 with Jake and Ryan.

If you listened to our last call, you know that Ryan is just about to select a niche and has really be digging into in-depth keyword research following the methods we’ve covered in the last 2 weeks.

As I always say, finding a great keyword is only half the battle.

The next thing you have to do is create content that deserves to rank for that keyword.

If you create thin, poorly written content that doesn’t connect with your readers – it really doesn’t matter what kind of keywords you find, you’ll have trouble doing well in the search engines.

Here are the highlights of what we cover in the call today:

It’s Not a Book

For the first-timer, it’s easy to forget that creating a website – particularly one based on getting Google traffic by focusing on long tail keywords – is not going to be consumed like someone would read a book.

Nobody is going to come to your website on the home page and then start reading everything you wrote in sequential order.

In my experience, the vast majority of my traffic comes from search engines directly into specific blog posts. So it’s my job to make sure that each blog post has a purpose – whether it’s to monetize immediately through ads or affiliate offers, or to get them to join my email list through some kind of opt in.

In the Long Tail Pro world, an example of this might be a post I did about Weebly SEO. We successfully ranked near the top for the “Weebly SEO” keyword, knowing that many people who are using Weebly and trying to figure out SEO would likely be interested in the benefits of Long Tail Pro – if they knew it existed.

So this blog post lets us pull in thousands of visitors who’ve never heard of our product, and deliver a really helpful guide to what they are struggling with. In the process, we also introduce how we can help – the Long Tail Pro software, and encourage them to take a free trial.

Likewise, your content should always have some kind of purpose. In this call, I explain that to Ryan and encourage him to start thinking about what the purpose will be behind the keywords he’s finding.

The other topic we spend quite a bit of time on is how to create interesting content that doesn’t take an eternity to create.

Content Variety

Today’s call goes in-depth on creating strong content variety on your website. Even though we plan on reviewing equipment and creating buying guides to generate affiliate sales, that isn’t the only kind of content we’re going to create.

Far from it.

We’ll have a mix of different kinds of informational content that our audience will be interested in (based on keyword research), and inside of those informational pieces of content, we’ll use a number of different formats that serve a special purpose.

This is a big part of what makes a website pass the eyeball test and look like a “real” website, as opposed to some ugly affiliate site.

Here are a few examples of the content types we discuss:

Crowdsourced Post

This is where you pull together opinions from experts in your niche and put them all in one piece of content. Usually this begins with you thinking of an interesting question or topic and emailing a bunch of respected people in your field and asking for their opinion.

Readers love this kind of content and it tends to get shared quite a bit. You are also able to make connections with other influencers, which is a big win for you.

Here is an example of a crowdsourced post.

Content Aggregator

The content aggregator is similar to the crowdsourced post in that it consists mostly of featuring others’ ideas. In this case, you aren’t really emailing people a specific question to answer, but you’re curating the best ideas on a particular topic.

These are also relatively easy to put together, and bring a lot of value to your readers.

Here is an example of a content aggregator.

It goes without saying that you should always cite your source, and you’ll notice in this example that they have the text “source” under each one with a link to where it came from. Personally, I try to always go beyond this and make it very obvious that the source of an idea is someone else.

So rather than just putting “source” with a link, I’ll add a few lines of text before the image and really give a plug for the person/site who created the idea. Maybe I’d write something like “If your closet is a disaster, then you’ve got to check out the next brilliant idea from Spencer Haws – who is one of my favorite organization experts on the web.”

Embed Reactor

This post type is all about starting with someone else’s content that you can embed on your site, and then add to it. This is usually something like an Infographic, YouTube video, or Slideshare presentation. Basically anything online that has an embed code or share button readily available – meaning they want you to share it on your site!

Then, below what you embed, you provide some kind of reaction. This could be adding to the ideas in the video, highlighting the most important points, disagreeing with the video, etc.

In the video, I share a number of other content ideas like this. The source of several of them, including the 3 above are from the folks at Digital Marketer. I highly recommend checking out their post with tons of blog post ideas.

Watch the video for more content examples: 

As stated in the video, now is the time for Ryan to make a decision on his niche and buy a domain name. This will allow him to start creating content around the keywords he’s finding and start picking up traction.

I’m really excited about where we are in the process, and the more keywords and ideas I see Ryan add to our spreadsheet the more I’m convinced he’ll be successful with this.

It’s likely that our next update will be after Ryan sets up his WordPress, so we can show what plug-ins and customizations we’ve done for the site.

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