Did you ever stop to think how much content there is on the Internet? According to an analysis from 2016, there are at least 130 trillion known web pages. That figure has probably increased significantly over the past two years.
If you are a new blogger, trying to compete as the Internet becomes more saturated may seem hopeless. How can you expect to compete against billions of other websites?
Don’t get discouraged. The truth is that at least 90% of the webpages on the Internet offer little value to their readers. You have an excellent chance of succeeding by creating superior content. Arriana Huffington, Peter Rojas and other millionaire bloggers got their start by creating exceptional content.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Creating great content will be a huge investment of your time, but rewards will follow. Here are some tips to create higher quality content for your blog.
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
1. Research your topic before you start writing
You need to take a look at other content in your niche. Try to figure out what is working for the leading thought leaders and come up with a game plan to create even better content.
The best place to start is by conducting a keyword analysis. You can use a number of tools such as Google Keyword Planner to figure out what keywords other people in your niche are using. Start by eliminating keywords that are not relevant enough, have no search volume or seem far too competitive to rank for. The remaining keywords on your list are the ones that you want to target.
Keyword research is always going to be a time-consuming process without the right tools.
SEMrush can speed up the process and make large amounts of data a lot easier to consume and navigate through. Best of all, the SEMrush keyword tool helps you instantly determine how difficult it is to rank for a specific keyword phrase.
After performing a keyword search you will start to see results for monthly volume, competition, keyword difficulty and more.
Once you have determined the keywords that you want to rank for, you want to see who your competitors will be on the front page. Conduct a search with these keywords to start analyzing their content.
There are a few things that you need to look at while doing your research.
How detailed is other content in this niche? You want to look at both the length of the content and the amount of research involved. Do any of the other writers have professional experience in the field? How many resources do they link to? How long do you think they spent creating each post?
You can use existing content as a base. However, you can’t expect to create the best content on the web by just rehashing a couple of other sources to create a 500-word article. Those days are long gone.
You will need to study the niche in detail. In addition to looking at other articles, you may want to consider talking to actual experts.
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2. Decide on the best way to provide value to your audience
It can be difficult to compete with other content leaders on their own terms, especially if they have professional training or a formal education in a competitive niche. Don’t get discouraged, because you may be able to provide more value by finding an original angle for your content.
Brainstorm the different ways that you can add value to your readers. There are probably a lot of angles that you didn’t consider. Let’s say that you are creating a website for people on the Paleo diet. You could create a blog specifically to share Paleo recipes or news, which is what the vast majority of Paleo bloggers do. However, there are some other angles that you could consider as well, such as:
- A blog on frugal Paleo living. You could help people on tight budgets come up with interesting recipes.
- A blog to help people avoid the temptations of straying from their diet.
- A blog for athletes following the Paleo diet. The blog could cover both dietary and exercise tips.
- A blog for paleo moms to help make the paleo diet seem more appealing to their family.
TIP: If you need even more ideas, or are simply at a loss for what different angles might be available to talk about, just start searching through Google. At the bottom of every search, Google will provide you with a wide range of ‘related’ search results that people are continually searching for. (Jeff also uses BuzzSumo to find great performing content ideas.)
The type of content that will get the most traction will depend on the audience that you are targeting. Every demographic has different needs, so you will need to take those into consideration. If you are creating content for college students, then content talking about saving money is probably going to resonate with them. A blog that caters to middle-aged parents could thrive with posts talking about improving their financial stability and dealing with the challenges of aging.
You don’t necessarily need to target your blog readers by their age, gender or income profiles. Instead, you may focus on their level of knowledge of the particular topic or the type of problem that they face in your niche. This is why many Internet marketing blogs are dedicated to either educating people that are new to the profession or providing more technical detail to people with a lot more experience.
As your blog grows, you may find that the audience you originally intended to write for isn’t the one that you actually attracted. This is uncommon, but it does happen. You will want to keep this in mind and adjust your writing style accordingly.
3. Start writing your content and make sure it’s amazing
At this point, you have researched your competitors and determined the demographic that you want to target. It is time to stop analyzing the niche and start writing!
You can use your competitors’ blog posts as a general template, but don’t limit yourself to their writing style. You should write content that offers more value and detail. You may find that many of your competitors are ranking on the front page with articles that are only a few hundred words long. This is often because they have a high domain authority or are lucky enough to have found some keywords with little competition.
If you really want to dive into the world of aggressive content creation, SEO and promotion, then you need to try a tool called BuzzSumo. Not only will it provide you with the top ranking, performing, and shared content for whatever you might be searching for, it also provides you with the tools and features to reverse-engineer the process as well… ultimately allowing you to create the best content possible.
You will need to raise the bar if you want to outrank some of the top sites online for many reasons, but specifically, because you are likely running a newer blog and have a smaller digital footprint with Google. Think of ways that you can create longer posts without diluting your site with thin content. While many bloggers and brands are just looking at SEO rankings and visitor numbers, not paying attention to what users are doing when they actually hit your site could be detrimental to your growth.
No matter if it’s creating content for your site, or how to improve user experience, always keep your readers’ needs in mind as you attempt to grow out your site. You are going to get more return visitors and earn more backlinks by creating content that solves complex problems that other bloggers haven’t addressed as thoroughly.
Also, make sure your posts are properly cited with links to authoritative sources. This will prove that you did your research, instead of making things up and hoping that nobody would check.
4. Go live with your article then start promoting it
A couple of months after you launch your blog, you may have written a dozen amazing posts. But you feel frustrated that nobody is visiting your blog yet. If creating great content is so important, shouldn’t your blog be taking off by now?
While creating great content is important, it will only be an asset if people find it. Think of your blog post like diamonds on an uncharted island. They won’t be valuable to anybody if they are never discovered.
When it comes to the promotion of your content, there are way too many methods to choose from. We could actually write a whole guide on content promotion itself. Instead, we can simply refer to this content promotion guide from Buffer, as they did a great job at covering all of the basics and more.
Once you create your content, you need to start promoting it. Syndicate it to Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other social networks. Share your best posts with your email list.
You can create a teaser video with InVideo and post it to all your social media accounts, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more.
For times like these, a tool like Sentione can come in really handy. While many people are using free online monitoring tools like Google Alerts for brand and personal name mentions, they are only getting a small fraction of the results. With so much time and effort being focused on the content creation and promotion process, it would be a huge mistake to skimp on the monitoring process and knowing when, where, and why people are talking/sharing your content.
Marketing is an essential part of blogging. You will probably spend more time promoting your content than writing it. As long as you have excellent content and choose the right channels to promote it, your blog will start getting traction.
5. Expand your promotion with manual outreach
Social media can be great for promoting content, but you can get a lot more traction by collaborating with other thought leaders. Try reaching out to other bloggers in your niche via email to see if they will link to any of your best resources. This is something many site owners and bloggers are seeing a lot of lately with 404 broken link building requests. The method works well, but it’s also very time-consuming. When done right, and if you show that your content is valuable to their clients, they may be willing to cite it as a source for an upcoming post.
Guest blogging can also be an excellent way to improve your reach. Don’t be afraid to pitch major publishers. It may be intimidating, but they can help you significantly. The trick is to make sure that you have stellar content to share. They will be more than happy to work with a great blogger with an excellent track record.
Creating great content is a big investment with an even bigger payoff
Blogging is becoming tougher these days because Google is raising the bar on the types of posts that it ranks in the SERPs. Readers are also becoming more demanding.
This is actually a good thing. It means that you will have a better chance of ranking if you focus on creating quality content, instead of keeping up with the latest black hat ranking strategies that are sure to get your site banned or alienate your readers.
If you follow these tips, you will produce excellent content that will set your blog up for success!
TIP: You can always hire an expert or freelancer on Fiverr to help out with your blog’s content.
Guest Author: Zac Johnson is a world renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com