what is topical relevance

What is Topical Relevance (+5 Strategies To Build Topical Authority)

If you've landed on this blog post, chances are you're already familiar with the term "SEO" and the various factors that can impact your website's ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

One of the most important things to consider when trying to improve your website's SEO is topical relevance. But what exactly is topical relevance, and how can you make sure your website has it?

 

What Is Topical Relevance?

Topical relevance is essentially how relevant your website is to the specific topic or topics that you're trying to rank for in search engine results pages.

There are a number of factors that can impact your website's topical relevance, including:

  • The content on your website (including the topics you write about and the keywords you use)
  • The structure of your website (including your navigation and how your pages are linked together)
  • The external signals pointing to your website (including backlinks and social signals)

 

Why Is Topical Relevance Important?

There are a number of reasons why topical relevance is important for SEO.

For one, it can help you rank for the keywords you're targeting. If your website is highly relevant to the topic of your target keyword, chances are that Google will recognize this and reward you with a higher ranking in search results.

In addition, topical relevance can also help you attract high-quality backlinks. If your website is relevant to the topic of a high-authority website, there's a good chance they'll be willing to link to you. This can not only help improve your SEO, but also send referral traffic your way.

Finally, topical relevance can also help improve the click-through rate (CTR) of your website in search results. If your website is relevant to the topic a searcher is interested in, they're more likely to click on your listing in search results. This can not only help improve your SEO, but also result in more traffic to your website.

 

How Topical Relevance Works

There are a number of different ways that topical relevance can impact your website's SEO.

One way is through the use of keyword research. When you're trying to determine which keywords to target, it's important to consider not only the search volume and competition levels of those keywords, but also how relevant they are to your website.

For example, let's say you own a website that sells bicycles. If you're trying to decide between the keywords "bicycles" and "cycling," it's important to consider not only the search volume and competition levels of those keywords, but also how relevant they are to your website. The keyword "bicycles" is much more relevant to your website than the keyword "cycling," so it's likely that you'll have an easier time ranking for the former than the latter.

Another way that topical relevance can impact your website's SEO is through the use of on-page optimization. When you're optimizing your website's pages for specific keywords, it's important to make sure that those keywords are relevant to the topic of your page.

For example, let's say you have a page on your website about the history of bicycles. If you're trying to optimize that page for the keyword "bicycles," it's important to make sure that the keyword is relevant to the topic of your page. If you use the keyword too many times or in an irrelevant way, it's likely that Google will penalize your page.

Finally, topical relevance can also impact your website's SEO through the use of off-page optimization. This includes things like link building and social media marketing.

For example, let's say you're trying to build links to your website about bicycles. If you're only targeting websites about bicycles, it's likely that you'll have an easier time getting those links than if you were trying to build links from websites about unrelated topics.

 

5 Strategies To Build Topical Authority For Your Website

1. Write In-Depth, Thorough Content

One of the best ways to build topical authority for your website is to write in-depth, thorough content. This includes both blog posts and articles.

When you're writing your content, it's important to make sure that you're covering all aspects of the topic. This will show your audience that you're an expert on the topic and that they can trust you. You need to research your topics very well in order to be able to write such content.

In order to write in-depth, thorough content, you need to research your topics thoroughly. This means going beyond just reading a few articles on the internet.

When you're researching your topic, you should look for primary sources, like data from studies or surveys. You should also read books and articles from experts in the field. Use tools such as Google Scholar to find scholarly articles.

 

2. Get Links From High-Quality Websites

Another great way to build topical authority for your website is to get links from high-quality websites. This includes both inbound links and outbound links.

Inbound links are links that come from other websites to your website. These are also known as backlinks. Outbound links are links that you put on your website that go to other websites.

You can use tools such as Moz and SEMRush to check the quality of a website. This will help you determine whether or not a website is of high quality.

 

3.  Analyze the search intent for your topic

When you're trying to figure out how to optimize your website for a particular topic, it's important to consider the search intent. This is what people are looking for when they search for a particular keyword.

There are four different types of search intent:

  • Navigational: People who use this type of search intend to go to a specific website. For example, if someone searches for "Facebook," they intend to go to the Facebook website.
  • Informational: People who use this type of search intend to find information about a particular topic. For example, if someone searches for "bicycles," they want to know more about bicycles.
  • Transactional: People who use this type of search intend to buy something. For example, if someone searches for "bicycle shop," they want to find a bicycle shop so they can buy a bicycle.
  • Commercial: People who use this type of search intend to find a business or service. For example, if someone searches for "bicycle repair," they want to find a bicycle repair shop.

You can use tools such as Google AdWords and Microsoft Advertising to research the search intent for your topic.

 

4. Improve your On-Page SEO with Supporting Content and Structure

This means you need to create at least 3 supporting articles that you publish on your website that will link back to your main landing page. By doing this, you’re essentially building a mini authority site on the main topic, which will help your overall website rank higher in the search engines.

When you're trying to optimize your website for a particular topic, it's important to target long-tail keywords. These are keywords that are more specific and usually have less search volume than shorter, more general keywords.

For example, if you're trying to optimize your website for the keyword "bicycles," you might want to target the long-tail keyword "road bikes."

Also, on top of content, it is also important to consider the linking structure of your website. This means you need to make sure your website’s navigation is easy for both users and search engine crawlers to understand.

 

Use the Hub + Spoke Model

In SEO, the hub and spoke model is a linking strategy that's used to help improve the link equity of a website.

The basic idea behind this strategy is to have a "hub" page on your website that links to a number of other pages (the "spokes"). This hub page should be well-linked to from other pages on your website.

 

5. Promote Your Content

Once you've created your content, it's important to promote it. This will help you get more people to see it and will also help you build links.

There are a number of ways that you can promote your content. You can share it on social media, post it in forums, and submit it to directories.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you build topical relevance?

1. Conduct keyword research.

As mentioned above, one of the best ways to improve your website's topical relevance is by conducting keyword research. This will help you determine which keywords are relevant to your website and how difficult those keywords are to rank for.

You can use tools like Google's Keyword Planner and Moz's Keyword Explorer to conduct keyword research.

2. Optimize your website's pages.

Another way to improve your website's topical relevance is by optimizing your website's pages for specific keywords. This includes both on-page optimization (like using the keyword in the title and body of your page) and off-page optimization (like building links to your page).

3. Create blog posts and other content.

In addition to optimizing your website's existing pages, you can also improve your website's topical relevance by creating new blog posts and other types of content. This is a great way to target additional keywords that you didn't have room to target on your existing pages.

4. Build links from relevant websites.

Link building is another great way to improve your website's topical relevance. When you're trying to build links, it's important to focus on getting links from websites that are relevant to your own.

5. Use social media marketing.

Finally, social media marketing is a great way to improve your website's topical relevance. This is because social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are frequently used to discuss topics that are relevant to your website.

By using social media marketing, you can get your website in front of people who are interested in the same topics as you. This can help you attract new visitors and improve your website's SEO.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can improve your website's topical relevance. By using these strategies, you can improve your website's SEO and attract more visitors.

 

What is topical expertise?

Topical expertise is the degree to which a website is considered to be an expert on a particular topic.

This is generally determined by looking at factors such as the age of the domain, the number of inbound links, the quality of the content, and the overall authority of the website.

 

What is a topical search?

Topical search is the process of searching for websites that are relevant to a particular topic.

This can be done using a variety of different methods, such as conducting keyword research or using a tool like Google's Related Searches.

 

What is topical authority?

Topical authority is a measure of how authoritative a website is in a particular niche, as opposed to a single keyword.

Since Google's Hummingbird update was released, there has been an increased focus on topical authority. This is because Hummingbird gives greater weight to websites that are considered to be experts in a particular topic, as opposed to those that are just optimized for a specific keyword.

A topical site is a website that focuses on a specific topic.

This can be a website about a particular niche, like photography, or it can be a website that covers a wide range of topics, like a news site.

Topical sites are often considered to be more authoritative than those that cover a broad range of topics.

 

What is relevance in SEO?

Relevance is one of the key factors that search engines use to determine the ranking of a website.

In general, the more relevant a website is to a particular keyword or topic, the higher it will rank in the search results.


how to make a content outline

How to Make A Content Outline

Content creation is one of the most important aspects of any digital marketing strategy. In fact, eMarketer finds three-quarters of surveyed marketers create at least one piece of content material every 24 hours.

After all, without content, there would be no way to attract and engage an audience.

One of the best ways to ensure that your content is effective is to create a content outline. This will help you to organize your thoughts and ideas, and to ensure that your content is focused and well-targeted.

 

What is a Content Outline?

A content outline is a document that helps you plan and organize your content. It's like a roadmap for your content, and it can be helpful to have one before you start content writing.

A content outline should include:

  1. The topics you will cover
  2. The format of your content (e.g., blog post, infographic, video)
  3. The target audience for your content
  4. The main points you want to make in each piece of content
  5. Any supporting information or data you need to include
  6. Any keywords or phrases you want to target
  7. The call to action for each piece of content

Why Make a Content Outline?

There are several reasons why you should make a content outline before you start writing:

1. It will help you focus your ideas.

Creating a content outline ahead of time will help you to focus your ideas and ensure that your content is on point. It's easy to get sidetracked when you're writing, but if you have a content outline, you can always refer back to it to make sure you're staying on track.

2. It will save you time in the long run.

A content outline may take some time to create, but it will save you time in the long run. Once you have a content outline, you won't have to waste time brainstorming topics or trying to figure out what to write next.

3. It will help you create better content.

When you make a content outline, you have to think carefully about your target audience and what you want to achieve with your content. This will help you create better, more targeted content that is more likely to be successful.

4. It will make it easier to repurpose your content.

If you ever want to repurpose your content (e.g., turn a blog post into a video), having a content outline will make it much easier. You'll already have all of the information you need, so you can simply adapt it to the new format.

5. It will help you stay organized.

Content outlines help to keep your thoughts and ideas organized, so you can easily find what you're looking for when you need it. This is especially helpful if you're working on multiple pieces of content at the same time.

How to Write a Content Outline (5 Easy Steps)

Now that you know why you should make a content outline, let's take a look at how to do it in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Brainstorm content ideas.

The first step is to brainstorm content ideas. Think about the topics you want to cover and the format you want to use (e.g., blog post, video, infographic).

If you're having trouble coming up with blog post ideas, try using a tool like Google Trends or BuzzSumo to find popular topics in your industry.

The best ideas are usually what people are already searching for. You can also check social media channels like Reddit,  Twitter, and Facebook to see what people are talking about.

 

Step 2: Create and organize a list of main ideas.

Once you have a list of content ideas, it's time to start narrowing them down and flesh out your ideas. Create a list of main ideas for each piece of content, and then choose the most important ones.

 

Step 3: Finalize the structure.

Once you have your main ideas, it's time to start organizing them. Group related ideas together, and then order them in a way that makes sense. If you're creating a blog post, for example, you might want to start with an introduction and then move on to the body of the article.

 

Step 4: Fill in the details.

Now that you have your main ideas finalized, it's time to start filling in the details. For each main idea, make a note of any supporting information or data you need to include. This could be statistics, research, case studies, etc. that help to support your points.

 

Step 5: Revise and adjust.

Once you have all of your ideas down on paper, it's time to take a step back and revise your outline. Make sure everything flows smoothly and that your content is on point. If you need to, add or remove ideas as necessary. 

Now that you know how to write a content outline, it's time to get started! Just remember to keep your target audience and goals in mind as you brainstorm ideas and outline the main points of your content.

Content Outline Free Templates

If you need a little help getting started, we've created 5 free content outline templates that you can use. Feel free to use the templates below that's most relevant to your project and fill it out with your own information.

1. Blog Post Outline Template

If you're writing a blog post, this outline template will help you to organize your thoughts and structure your post in a way that is easy to read and understand.

Blog Post Title: Start with the main header. Then, add a subheader for each main point.

Introduction: Introduce the topic of your blog post and give an overview of what will be covered.

Main Point 1: State your first main point and supporting information.

Main Point 2: State your second main point and supporting information.

Main Point 3: State your third main point and supporting information.

Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your blog post and include a call to action.

 

2. Video Outline Template

If you're creating a video, this outline template will help you to organize your thoughts and structure your video in a way that is easy to follow.

Short introduction: Start with a short introduction that will grab the viewer's attention.

Main points: Outline the main points that you want to cover in your video.

Call to action: End your video with a call to action, such as subscribing to your channel or following you on social media.

 

3. eBook Outline Template

If you're writing an eBook, this outline template will help you to organize your thoughts and structure your book in a way that is easy to follow.

Table of Contents: Include a table of contents at the beginning of your eBook so readers know what topics will be covered.

Introduction: Introduce the topic of your eBook and give an overview of what will be covered.

Main Points: State your main points and supporting information.

Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your eBook and include a call to action.

 

4. Whitepaper Outline Template

If you're writing a whitepaper, this outline template will help you to organize your thoughts and structure your paper in a way that is easy to follow.

Table of Contents: Include a table of contents at the beginning of your whitepaper so readers know what topics will be covered.

Introduction: Introduce the topic of your whitepaper and give an overview of what will be covered.

Main Points: State your main points and supporting information.

Conclusion: Summarize the main points of your whitepaper and include a call to action.

 

5. Website Copy Outline Template

If you're writing copy for a website, this outline template will help you to organize your thoughts and structure your copy in a way that is easy to read and understand.

Homepage: Write the headline, subheadline, and body copy for the homepage of your website.

About Us Page: Write the headline, subheadline, and body copy for the About Us page of your website.

Product/Service Page: Write the headline, subheadline, and body copy for the Product/Service page of your website. 

Contact Us Page: Write the headline, subheadline, and body copy for the Contact Us page of your website.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to create a content outline, it's time to start brainstorming ideas and organizing your thoughts. Use the templates above to get started, and don't be afraid to get creative with it. The most important thing is that you take the time to plan out your content before you start writing.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the main rules of outlining?

Rule #1: Start with the Main Heading

The first rule of outlining is to start with the main heading. This will be the title of your blog post, video, eBook, etc. Once you have the main heading, you can start adding subheadings for each main point.

Rule #2: Add Subheadings for Each Main Point

The second rule of outlining is to add subheadings for each main point. This will help to organize your thoughts and make it easy for readers to follow along.

Rule #3: Include Supporting Information

The third rule of outlining is to include supporting information for each point. This could be statistics, quotes, data, etc. that support your main points.

Rule #4: Include a Call to Action

The fourth and final rule of outlining is to include a call to action in your conclusion. This could be a link to your website, a free download, etc.

Here are a few tips for writing an effective outline:

  1. Start with the Main Heading
  2. Add Subheadings for Each Main Point
  3. Include Supporting Information
  4. Include a Call to Action
  5. Be Concise and to the Point
  6. Use Simple Language
  7. Stick to One Topic per Outline
  8. Make Sure Your Outline is Logical
  9. Edit and Revise

 

How many main ideas should an outline have?

An outline should have as many main points as necessary to cover the topic at hand. However, it's important to keep in mind that each main point should be supported by evidence and data.

Here are some brainstorming techniques that you can use to generate ideas for your content.

1. Brainstorming with a partner or group

If you're having trouble coming up with ideas on your own, try brainstorming with a partner or group. This will help to stimulate new ideas and get the creative juices flowing.

2. Use a mind map

Another great way to brainstorm content ideas is to create a mind map. This is a visual representation of your thoughts and ideas. You can start with a central topic and branch out from there.

3. Keep a content ideas journal

One of the best ways to generate content ideas is to keep a content ideas journal. This is a place where you can write down any and all ideas that come to mind, no matter how crazy they may seem. The more ideas you have, the better!

4. Use online resources

There are tons of great online resources that can help you brainstorm content ideas. Try using Google Images or Pinterest to get started.

5. Take inspiration from other content creators

If you're having trouble coming up with original ideas, try taking inspiration from other content creators. Look for content that is similar to what you want to create and use it as a starting point.

 

What are the different outlining styles?

There are three main outlining styles:

  • Alphanumeric Outline
  • Full-sentence Outline
  • Decimal Outline

Each style has its own set of rules and guidelines. Be sure to choose the style that works best for you and your project.

What is an alphanumeric outline?

An alphanumeric outline is a type of outline that uses letters and numbers to organize ideas. The first level of an alphanumeric outline is denoted by Roman numerals, while the second level is denoted by Arabic numerals. Each subsequent level is denoted by a lowercase letter.

What is a full-sentence outline?

A full-sentence outline is a type of outline that uses complete sentences to describe each main point. This type of outline is helpful when you need to present your ideas in a more detailed way.

What is a decimal outline?

A decimal outline is a type of outline that uses numbers to organize ideas. The first level of a decimal outline is denoted by Arabic numerals, while the second level is denoted by decimals. Each subsequent level is denoted by a lowercase letter.

The best way to choose an outlining style is to experiment with each one and see which works best for you and your project. There is no right or wrong answer, so go with whatever feels most natural to you.

Once you have chosen a style, be sure to stick with it throughout your entire project. This will help to keep things organized and prevent confusion.

What are the three purposes of outlining?

The three main purposes of outlining are to:

1. Help you organize your thoughts

Outlining can help you to organize your thoughts and ideas in a logical way. This will make it easier to write your content and stay on track.

2. Help you find gaps in your knowledge

Outlining can also help you to identify gaps in your knowledge. If you're having trouble coming up with ideas for a certain section, it may be because you don't know enough about the topic. Doing some additional research can help to fill in these gaps.

3. Help you save time

Another purpose of outlining is to save you time. Once you have a good outline, the writing process will be much quicker and easier. This is because you'll already have a plan to follow, so there won't be any need to stop and figure things out as you go.


content gap analysis

Content Gap Analysis: Three Uncommon Ways to Fill The Gap

What is content gap analysis?

Content gap analysis is strategically understanding the needs of a targeted audience by looking at untapped content opportunities on competitors' website, in industry's content as a whole, and in several micro-niche communities.

There are many benefits in initiating a content gap analysis to your content marketing campaign. Let me give a few. 

  • Examine overlaps in your content topics with your competitors 
  • Discover new content opportunities your direct competitors haven't grabbed yet (where you can fill in the gap) 
  • Identify content formats your unique industry majorly consumes

In the latest post of Rand Fishkin at Sparktoro, he examines the current blogosphere and if there's still room for companies and other entities to leverage blogging in their online marketing strategy. 

In relation to visibility, content formatting, and authority, not all brands can benefit much from blogging. Out of thousands of people who blog, a few only exist and do well.

Understanding that reality allows you to seek out topical opportunities that are driven by demands (needs) but with less supply of content. 

To start with content gap analysis, you can execute the most conventional approach, which is finding content gaps by plugging in competitors' domains in a content marketing tool. 

With Ahrefs' Content Gap feature, you can discover keywords your competitors have ranked for, but your brand hasn't yet targeted. 

To get the most out of the results, it is best to first include websites you're directly competing with from the highest relevance level. Go very specific with your competitor targeting.

Filter down keywords based on keyword difficulty level, search volume, and relevance. Create content assets that best suit your content marketing resources.

This is the most common way of doing content gap analysis, but there are three more methodologies I'd like to cover in this post.

 

Let me start with link-based audience overlap.

Link-Based Audience Overlap

One leading indicator of a growth-wise content marketing campaign is the number of links generated to a content asset. Though it's not the primary defining value of a successful campaign, it helps create expectations from a quantity perspective.

Knowing this, , you must also see if the preferred topics have probability of driving links to a page/site. 

The 601 audiences spreadsheet from Citation Labs is not only a good list of potential linkable audiences to tap to in your content, but also a good assessment tool if there are any audiences that haven't been reached out by your competitors through content.

Visit their resources section, or if the blog has massive content pieces, you can use Ahrefs' Top Pages or Best By Links feature to quickly see their most-linked to pages.

Check the 601 Audience spreadsheet alongside your competitors' resource pages. It is best to curate all resources pages of your competitors in one place so you don't have to switch to different tabs/sheets. 

List down linkable audiences untargeted by your competitors. Check using any of these search queries to see if there is a load of resource page link opportunities for that audience. 

  • intitle:links OR inurl:links "keyword"
  • intitle:resources OR inurl:resources "keyword"
  • inurl:links.html "keyword"
  • inurl:links.htm "keyword"
  • "links to resources" "keyword"
  • "of links for" "keyword"
  • intitle:”helpful links” "keyword"
  • intitle:links "keyword"
  • "other helpful links" "keyword"
  • "links to websites" "keyword"

By considering not only keywords per se, but linkability potential of topics, you're better of hitting a good leading indicator - highest links possibly generated for the page. 

Micro-niche Communities (Gaps in the Industry)

You may find industry content gaps in platforms where your targeted people are mostly engaging in. These include micro-niche communities where some of the blogs originated given that they see a significant need of information in the market. 

Sub-reddits is a popular example of a micro-niche community. Examples of targeted sub-reddits are Woodworking  and StopGaming

Given the information is strictly on the most relevant topic, you would often find questions that are too deep and technical in nature. Those questions are likely to have a search volume and/or that demands some content attention. 

You can leverage these sub-reddits to pinpoint technical and niche-oriented keywords and questions either by engaging in the community and plugging your subreddit in a link analysis tool. 

Another good approach is to create a singular page for the topic you've discovered. See if there's a gap other content creators haven't filled in yet. With the use of the advanced search operator, "intitle:keyphrase", you can check if the topic is highly saturated with informational pieces. 

Pre-content Creation Link Jacking

One of the gaps every link-oriented content marketer has to fill in is outdated opportunities in content.

If a page has linked to an outdated study, statistics and article, it will be better off linked to a new referenced content piece. 

This may be overlooked by content creators and more often than not, not taken care of bloggers, unless they do regular content audit of their websites.

It is a gap you can fill in right away. 

If you have published interesting statistics, you can find earlier ones and articles with outdated statistics.

Find them and see the sites that linked to them. Reach out to those sites and ask them to update their links to your new study. 

Improving Your Content and Other Creators' Content

As soon as you update your content piece with new, relevant information, other content formats to make it not just comprehensive but unique for an intended audience, you'll then find ways to fill in gaps of other content creators. By providing them with new content asset to reference to or by crafting content for a certain linkable audience untapped by your competitors, you meet a need in your market. 


linkbaiting

LinkBaiting: Creating Content That Attracts Links

What is linkbait?

Linkbait is a value-driven content that attracts links organically and through manual outreach methods.

 

In other posts like in Kaiserthesage, linkbait is almost synonymous with the term, "link magnet", which refers to a website that has created a credible reputation by building highly-exceptional content and strong relationships with industry publishers who became sources of organic links.

The only difference between linkbait and link magnet is that linkbait refers to the page that attracts links, while link magnet is about the website in general that earns links.

Both of which are essential to understand, as one is depending on the other.

 

LINKBAIT AND LINK MAGNET COMBINED

Apparently, the approach to linkbaiting is by starting with one page first. If you can develop a highly-valuable content once, it is possible to get it done multiple times.

However, take note that not because you've done it one time, you could produce the same or better results for your next content pieces.

When people say content is king and just produces great content, they really mean producing great content consistently.

Consistency is the key. If you are able to produce one linkbait and do it consistently on topics related to your brand, it is possible to create an authority website that attracts authority links.

Never assume you'll get your overall website attractive if you're only aiming for one big shot.

What REALLY makes a good linkbait?

If you have gone through several articles on linkbaiting, you know what these bloggers say is almost true. In fact, these are characteristics of a good linkbait. Let me give you some of what I've got.

  • Your content offers utility to its target audience.
  • Your content invokes some kind of emotions that are enough for people to share it.
  • Your content is visually-appealing (should be on top of the list for every content creator).
  • Your content may have newsworthy elements (if it's timely, it gets viral quickly).

 

If you take a deep look, the above elements plus other worthy things that are not listed here can be summed up into four things: value, context, timeliness, and relationships. 

hloom resume templates

 

By knowing how each of these elements works and applying them to your own content piece, you'll be able to transform your page into a good linkbait.

1. Value & Usability

The value of your content differs from one visitor to another visitor who sees it. Some people may see the value of content by how fast people could consume it; for others, it means how comprehensive and timely text in content to its user.

In understanding value and usability, it's critically important to align your purpose (the reason why you've created the content in the first place) while doing the piece at hand.

For example, if you have published content that lists down the "best X tools in INDUSTRY". The number of items in the list may not necessarily bring the value: who wants 200 tools if people are only looking for what's best that they could use immediately to their business?".

The form of this type of content may be shorter than the usual (12, 10, or 6) among hundreds or thousands of tools. But the best part that will add significant value is what makes these industry tools best. What differentiates these tools from the others? Their pros, as well as cons, are likely to be complemented by another tool.

 

That's a pretty good example. If you're after content that brings value, go back to the purpose of the content. Here are some questions you can ponder:

  • How could I make the content piece easy to digest (read, listen, watch, scroll, etc..)?
  • How could I format a page that will give the best user experience possible?
  • Is there any information that I need to strip out to make the content succinct as possible?
  • Are there any content elements, i.e. video, graphic, gif, that will emphasize human emotions and/or make the content more comprehensive than other similar assets?

B. Context & Differentiation

Context is vital. Who is the specific audience your audience caters to? What are their needs and how you can fulfill them? What to address and what not? What to offer and not to offer?

These all things require critical thinking - understanding the right timing and context.

Inclusive of that is having a game plan to differentiate your content asset from other pieces of your competitors.

You can be the FIRST or be the BEST.

When you've done good research, it doesn't take you longer to see if you're the first one to cover the topic, or even realistically, the first one to cover a unique angle of the topic.

 

Kaiserthesage has done extremely well providing the first of the guides about link building. Because of this, it doesn't make him a decade to build authority and trust in the search marketing space.

kaiserthesage linkbait example

 

Meanwhile, you may not be the first to address a specific topic with your content. However, you can create the best of it -the most excellent in terms of form, style, user experience, delivery, and other content elements that will allow you to provide the best possible solution to the serious need of your audience.

You can add unexpected hooks that your audience would find uniquely valuable. So it's critically important to go through similar content assets and see what they are missing out on, which you can fill in your content in order to make it a better web asset than theirs.

C. Timeliness

You will appreciate more timeliness as we go through the promotional part of linkbait. But the good thing with first understanding how valuable its role is in the linkbait creation process is that it allows you to set expectations in its actual doing and delivery.

periodict table linkbait example

 

If the content will be consumed by the audience on a certain day or week (holidays, annual celebrations, etc..), it would be wise to set an advanced preparation of the content as early as possible.

If the content is seasonal, make sure the content is published days or weeks before its promotion. There are chances when you have to revamp or change the formatting so to make it fully resonate with its intended visitors.

D. Relationships

Why is there a need to look into relationships and see a list of interested people when the content is still going through in its creation process?

The answer is very simple--to validate if there is an existing audience ready to consume and amplify the content once it is published.

Identify existing linkers in your industry by checking who has linked to your competitor's similar content. This activity is attainable when you use Ahrefs and Similar Prospecting Tool by SkyRocket.

You may add to your list all past linkers to your content. If you offer relatively topical content, they would find it again interesting to cite in their own works.

What does a GOOD linkbait produce? How to measure?

  1. Value of links
  2. Relationships

Let's start with value.

A. VALUE OF LINKS

All bloggers discuss the value in content marketing, but, if you think deeply, value is very subjective. A content piece that's valuable for me may not be valuable for you. Each visitor has his own criteria for identifying how valuable a page is.

In order for you to understand the value itself, you need to go directly to your audience. The question you need to answer is, "how are they consuming, if they are, or perceiving my content?"

The first important point of understanding the value of content is through the lens of its audience

The content length, depth, word count, number of images, and other elements within the content are all important, but these don't say much until the market sees the finished product.

A good indicator and somehow predictor of the future success of a linkbait (not a guarantee, but a good place to start with) is the backlink history of successful linkbaits in your industry.

You may not be able to know entirely how people perceive these pieces, but if you go through some quantifiable values, you can measure your content piece's linkbaitiness.

These values include the current quantity of linking pages (how many referring domains are linking to the page), speed (how fast does this page earns or get these links), growth (how much links are earned this month compared to its previous period), and traffic value (estimated ROI value of each link).

 

Let's first look at the value by linking pages.

MEASURE BY # OF LINKING PAGES

The number of referring domains linking to a content piece can show a lot of things. First, if the audience targeted by the content is a linkable audience - meaning these are audiences who have the behavior of citing, referencing, and linking to highly valued content from their works. These are people who are not just consumers but actual contributors through their linking behaviors.

If the audience is linkable and your other similar content assets (from content competitors) have gained hundreds of links, it says two things: either you've got some work to do and improve in your content or you haven't prospect enough link opportunities.

Grab your content's URL and enter that in Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

ahrefs link explorer linking domains

 

You can also benchmark the success of your linking page with your content competitors. Check the percentage you've achieved over their current number of links (e.g. your 10 acquired unique links over their 250 unique referring domains).

 

MEASURE BY LINK SPEED AND LINK GROWTH

Aside from the number of linking pages you've gathered over your linkbait promotion, it is best to also know the progress of your link acquisition campaign by looking at both link speed and link growth.

Link speed, in essence, is how fast you're building links over a period of time. Let's say, you have built 6 links last month, and in the course of the next two months, you have built 10 and 15 respectively, your link speed rate increased by two and almost threefold.

link growth link speed

 

Meanwhile, link growth is the increase (or decrease) as well as projection of links built over time. Using the recent example, if you have built, 6, 10, and 15 over the course of three months, you may expect multiple numbers over the next time period (another three months).

It is worth considering factors that can affect your linkbait's link growth and link speed. Let me give you some of them:

  • Prospects reached out to in previous months may have just been converted in the current (or hopefully the next time period).
  • Sudden exposure on a top authoritative publication or news site may give a burst of incoming links for one month but doesn't sustain its link numbers in the next months.
  • Putting more link builders into your team for the promotion of a content piece may increase the speed of links built over time.

There are more elements that may come into play. By checking your content's link growth and link speed, you'll be able to track your progress.

 

MEASURE BY INDUSTRY LINK VALUE

Ross Hudgens recently published an interesting article on link value by industry, which gives rise to this important section of the guide.

If you are pursuing links, you are also looking at money value derived from the link building campaign.

One way to measure link value by price is to look at the traffic value of the page. Apparently, it includes on-page factors and other ranking signals that formulate that number, but you may consider traffic value over a number of links to get the industry price value per link.

industry price value per link

 

If you're an agency, it's one way to get more buy-in for your client's campaign or additional budget to allocate to link building, as they are now able to see how valuable your linkbait is in terms of its ROI to the overall brand.

B. RELATIONSHIPS 

Other than links, there's one by-product a linkbait can provide to your brand, that is, additional relationships.

t

 

As you go to the massive promotion of your linkbait and as it earns links, you would be surprised at how many connections you can build on the process.

Not only first-hand relationships (connections from the first burst of promotion) but also second-tier and even third-tier relationships. These are relationships created through the first form of relationships.

 

When someone is a brand follower or enthusiast, it's not impossible to refer your content to friends of friends (inner circles) and business networks they would find your content to be useful for.

As your linkbait continues to earn its authority, you'll then start to receive emails for inputs or advice from relevant industry publishers and even emails from potential linkers who have actually linked to your content (and sharing it to you for a favored promotion).

How to promote linkbait?

The massive success of linkbait won't start until there's an early burst of exposure. Rarely you'll see a linkbait that has gained hundreds of links without any form of promotion.

Apparently, there are a lot of ways to start promoting your linkbait, after you've assessed its quality and have full confidence in your content.

1. Your own circles

Let's start with people who know about your brand.

It's more reasonable to start reaching out to people and brands who are already interacting with your content. Start with your followers on social networks, email subscribers, and your personal connections. Here's a good example from David Farkas of UpperRanks.

2. Linkers of your competitors' similar content

The next best set of people to receive early promotion of your linkbait content are those who care and consume the subject matter of your piece.

Begin by looking at existing linkers and sharers of content assets similar to yours.

If you're unsure of your competitors' content, you can use Ahrefs' Content Explorer to find them quickly.

3. Resource link building

Find list pages of topical resources where your linkbait can be the best fit. You may use a variety of search terms (like inurl:links.html "TOPIC" or site:.edu ~resources "TOPIC") to look for links pages.

Tip: Check out this cheatsheet guide for more link-based prospecting search queries.

Go over each resource page and check if they have broken pages, that you can take advantage of when reaching out to them. You can ask them to replace these broken resources with a link to a relevant linkbait of yours.

Useful Resources:The No Non-Sense Guide to Broken Link Building

4. Participate in community discussions

Joining in fora and online community discussions is still a valuable activity in the linkbait promotion process. People are looking for answers and useful references that they can take away and use for their business and personal life.

linkbait promotion joining discussions

 

When you engage truthfully with the intent of sharing your linkbait is a good reference and other useful resources, you become a more valuable participant in the discussion. The rewards of views and referral traffic will become a by-product of an authentic engagement to help.

Linkbait Best Practices

1. Content value assessment for the right prospects

Consider spending time to evaluate the value of your content. The receptivity of your people who've encountered your content in the first place may show its value in the online market.

In this way, you will determine if your content is targeting the right audience or not. Even so, you can look for any possible solutions to revamp your content with little changes to the format, style, and information of your page.

2. Sustain through consistent outreach strategy (if evergreen)

If your content is evergreen (it passes the test of time), you can go back to your linkbait and update it accordingly. This will not just maintain and improve your content's search rankings, but be able to promote it again.

Execute another outreach campaign after a year, and soak for any new link opportunities.

One way to start is to collect a new list of possible linkers from a Google search. One pro tip that I highly recommended is to check your competitors' content new links. Over a period of time, they managed to get some links from new different websites.

You can leverage their success to your own advantage, and make it worthwhile to you to discover new backlink targets.

3. Powerhouse your linkbait content asset

With proper strategy and execution, you can publish a series of linkbait pieces that can perform well in the market. Of course, some pages won't get the desired traction, but over time, through testing and innovation, you may get some rewards from multiple successful linkbait campaigns.

Start creating a hub of successful linkbait content pieces. Getting them all into one corner have several benefits you may never think of:

  • Getting multiple links from a topical resource page (as one linker whom you haven't reached out to yet may find two of the pages valuable to link to from his list page).
  • Your content hub can target ahead industry term and has chances of gaining the top spot in search results because of its existing solid links which can pass authority to the content hub itself.

THE PROCESS NEVER STOPS

There may be instant food, but no instant success. The same is true with producing linkbait. You may gain traction at once, but if it's not sustained for a long time by producing solid linkbait content consistently, results will never last.


link building home gardening

Content Creation and Link Building For Home Gardening Websites

Starting your own home gardening website is never easy. You look for topic ideas that your readers want to consume, grow your blog, and turn it into something of value — a coaching business, an affiliate, or a community for gardeners.

Traffic acquisition requires effort and a full of other resources to make it a reality. This includes putting enough content that engages your audience and that attracts enough links for your page/site to rank for your target keywords.

Content marketing provides an opportunity for your brand to interact with your audience. When I say your brand - it is you regardless of your team size. Whether you are just starting this home gardening website as a hobby or you have a large content team, consider it as your brand.

Today, let's talk about how to create content that gets organic (natural) links for your home gardening website.

 

Content Guides For Targeted Audiences

Resource guides are not uncommon today. You'll find them everywhere.

However, publishing guides for content quantity sake is never enough. You need to understand your audience and how they want to be served by your expertise.

Level of Audience

For example, Green and Vibrant exemplify great content writing because of their beginner guides about hydroponic gardening.

 

Beginners guides

definitive guides home gardening

 

They even have Do It Yourself and complete guides for newly like-minded communities.

Essentially, the level of audience should be considered in crafting your content piece. You want your blog to cater to as many audiences as possible. In most cases, industry starters or early adopters are ones that dominate the majority of the search market.

 

DIY guides

diy guides home gardening

 

Complete guides

complete guides home gardening

 

It is a note to consider tapping into topics that people are likely to be interested in. For example, hydrophonic plans and aquaponic gardening may be unfamiliar terms for most people, but valuable topics for those who want to dive into home gardening.

Content Type - "How to Grow and Care Plants"

Gardening is about growing your plants. It involves processes and procedures which your readers would likely want to follow as they pursue their hobby.

You can start creating content about methods in growing, caring, and setting up plants (e.g. how to grow and care air plants).

 

Methods to grow plants

kratky method home gardening

 

Plants (Daises)

types of daisies

 

Setting Up Plants

indoor grow tent

 

You can go step further by providing information and articles on types of plants and flowers. For example, you can have articles on the types of roses and types of daisies.

Content Depth - "Planting Systems"

Home gardening is a broad industry. That's the reason there are content creators who enter the scene that dive deep into a specific niche.

Consider Home Hydro Systems. It is a non-elegant website with basic design. But what makes it stand out and rank for multiple niche keywords is the idea of topic focus. It only covers everything about home hydro systems.

home hydro systems

 

If you haven't started creating your home gardening site, you can think of one particular topic area where you'll massively invest efforts and resources. Look into your expertise and available assets to use for content creation and content promotion.

Content Topic - "At Home" Keywords

Keyword and topic research is essential to any content creation initiatives. Looking into what topics that make pages rank and increase organic traffic to the site helps better structure the content.

During this content ideation process (blog post ideas), you can use the "at home" trick to find any gardening keyphrases. Particularly in this season where most people are staying at home, topics about what to do "at home" are in demand.

ahrefs at home gardening keywords

 

Note: You can use this same strategy for other industries if you're working with clients or have multiple websites - may it be bands and musicians, music eCommerce, plumbing, personal training, moving, car rental companies, hotels, and dentists.

Promotion of "Home Gardening" Content 

When promoting your content pieces, it is important to know the best places that will amplify the reach of your web assets.

That includes finding what types of linking pages that have a history of linking to a certain type and format of content in your industry. In home gardening niche, I've found many curators of resource pages actively linking to educational types of web assets. Here are some examples.

DIY Resource Pages

Do you have "do it yourself" guides?

Start finding DIY resource pages you can reach out to for content promotion. Use targeted queries such as inurl:links OR inurl:resources "DIY" to discover those pages.

High school and College Links Pages 

Highschool websites have dedicated pages for science-related guides that perfectly fit for home gardening content.

These are quick wins in link building as you don't have to force them to link to your page. All you need to do is to check if the page has a linking history to any similar content assets.

You may simply show your content piece and let the curator decides if it's worth linking from the links page.

college links page

Forum Links Opportunities

You can't get away from forum links.

If you can participate in niche relevant discussion threads, you can develop momentum for link acquisition.

hydroponics forum link

 

To start with, go through forum threads and participate in discussions where you can contribute your expertise in.

If your existing content assets may be a good addition to your answers as helpful references, add links to appropriate pages. Don't spam forums with your links. Rather, assess if a link to your resource asset is good for sharing.

Take Good Care of Your Home Gardening Website 

Deliver content that matches your expertise and to your audiences' needs. Always have a caring mindset of who you are reaching out to — whether you're working in your content creation or content promotion process.

Like growing a plant, your website needs to be taken care of by putting high-value content assets and promoting them massively to appropriate places.


content production links

Content Production For Links

What is content production?

Content production is the art of understanding and defining the right audience and of discovering ways where to put content pieces on a website, in such a way it is visible to the users.

Content production is both a science and an art. It deals with systems that help scale the production of content assets - whether visual or written, such as videos, blog posts, or whitepapers.

A proper workflow of activities streamlines the process and makes it more possible to develop higher-quality content assets on a consistent basis.

There are no guidelines or a proper framework for content production. As much as people are trying to box things, it wouldn't be possible given the diversity of audiences, industry market, and the way things are changing constantly.

In this post, we'll dig into some non-conventional ways to produce content assets in your industry.

 

INVERTED BROKEN LINK BUILDING IN CONTENT PRODUCTION

There are a plethora of online assets on any subject and if you'll take a look at your industry, you would find hundreds of blog posts on your chosen topic.

If you're starting and you want to produce content that gets links, you can start by reverse engineering other assets that have done well in the past in terms of link acquisition.

While this sounds to be the skyscraper technique, but you may do an alternate approach of focusing on dead pages that acquired links in the past.

Look for pages that have been brought down by the creator but previously gained link traction.

If you're doing link prospecting for resource pages, you can start running through the page with LinkMiner to find any dead pages with a substantial number of referring domains.

linkminer finding broken links

 

Check the live version of the page using archive.org and assess if it's relevant to your content strategy.

This exact process may be time-consuming and isn't scalable as it is uncommon to find highly linkable dead links on any resource page.

With that, you can use Ahrefs' Content Explorer to simplify the process. Ahrefs recently added features that allow content creators to find dead pages on topics.

ahrefs only broken

 

Input the industry keywords and choose only broken in the Live & broken dropdown menu filter. Go through the search results and sort it by referring domains.

Assess which ones are fitting to your brand. Develop the content asset, link to the original source for data and information if needs to be. Reach out to people who have linked to the original source and to linkers of similar content assets.

FINDING RECENTLY PUBLISHED CONTENT TO REPLICATE

If a blog post (or any page) has been recently updated, there seems to be a reason behind it--either it was just updated to adapt to the current year's information or it was perceived to be valuable enough. Getting organic links and social shares over time could help content perform better and attract more links if updated.

You can use the approach of looking for re-published content. And not just republished, but is perceived to be so valuable enough to reformat and update again.

Ahrefs' new feature of published and republished dates makes this process practical. Search for any keywords in your industry and use filters of published and first published date filters. A concrete example is to find pages that have been first published from 2000 to 2010, and have been published from 2018 to 2019.

ahrefs republishing dates

 

Add referring domains as your filter and make it to a minimum of 100 referring domains.

Go through each title of the page and click on ones that make sense to your business. Get inspiration for your site's content ideas.

CONTENT PARTNERSHIP THROUGH DISCOVERY OF AUTHORS

In the field of link building, there is more to consider than just the process and systems. While most SEOs are fond of pushing scalable processes, there is one thing people shouldn't neglect after all - that is relationships.

Partnering with any publishers for content production is one good way to produce higher-quality articles as two or more authors can validate the information and texts on the page.

You can do simple Google searches to find authors in your industry. Dig a little deeper and search for websites they've contributed works to. google prospecting by author

 

With Ahrefs, you can already see all other content written by the author using the tools' 1-click filtering. You may find more websites and blogs that may not be industry-specific, but are audience targeted and still relevant to your potential customers.

ahrefs view all pages

 

There are a lot of benefits one can derive from discovering industry authors and websites. Here are some of them:

  • Allows you to find industry blogs and publishing sites where you can pitch for "guest posts".
  • Helps determine the niches and sub-niches these authors are focusing on and where could these intersect with your brand.
  • Discovers tangential markets your content production team can tap onto to expand your markets in audience targeting.
  • Can be a way to collaborate with other content authors for huge web assets - it may be daunting at first to reach out, but if you also have substantial followers, there's a higher likelihood of success for mutual collaboration.

Here are more useful resources on content creation and recreation:

  1. LinkBaiting: Creating Content That Attracts Links
  2. Creating and Developing Content Assets Like A Pro
  3. The 38 Most Creative Ideas I've Ever Seen

CONTENT PRODUCTION FOR LINKS

At times, you don't have to always reinvent the wheel. There are content producers in your industry who have done so well in crafting and promoting content assets that get links organically. Get content inspiration from these linkable assets and you can even reproduce a few highly linkable content for your site.

If you're in need of outsourcing link building projects, you can check out our services page or directly contact our team for a consultation.


link building personal trainers

Creating Content That Gets Links For Personal Trainers

Personal training is a growing industry with a 24% increase in personal training and fitness instruction jobs between 2010 and 2020.

It's no wonder why it's becoming an in-demand and popular industry. That said, it's also becoming more competitive as personal trainers market themselves online.

Search engine optimization for personal trainers is vital in the process. Content creation and link building itself requires effective tools and techniques to maneuver rankings for personal training-related keywords.

In this post, we'll focus on effective content creation techniques for the personal training industry.

 

"ANYTHING THAT COUNTS" CONTENT

If you are handling a personal training client, you'll find all sorts of articles about fitness. One theme of topics that gains traction in terms of links is how to count/calculate topics specific to personal training.

People basically want to know their current physical standing - in one part or parts of their body. If you can provide rough estimate counts, your content would help suffice their needs.

Here are some examples of count-related keywords in the personal training space:

How to count macrosmacro counting personal training

How to calculate leangains macros

referring domains leangains content

how to calculate leangains personal training

 

Make it comprehensive, but more so, add meaningful content formats such as charts, infographics, and even a simple calculator. It would literally require investment, but it's worth it if you can dominate the search result for a target keyword with substantial search volume.

The next question is, where can you find these how to count or how to calculate keywords?

There are two approaches that you can choose from.

The first method is by checking personal training competitors for keywords they are ranking. It will quickly reveal keyphrases where there are published content assets that served those queries.

Plug in one of your competitors' domains. Go to Ahrefs' Organic Keywords data. Filter the results by including keywords like, "how to count" or "how to calculate", so you would only have keyphrases with those exact words.

rippedboy organic keywords personal training blog

 

Sift through the list and get industry terms that you can confidently create content.

The second approach to get counting ideas is to discover gold mine topics in Reddit. The way to do this is either directly searching it on Google (see the first image below) or plugging Fitness sub-reddit in your link building tool (for this example, I use Ahrefs).

google search reddit how to count fitness

 

Pop in the same words (how to count or how to calculate) in the inclusion filter of Ahrefs.

ahrefs organic keywords subreddit fitness plug in

 

From here, you discover content ideas that Fitness sub-reddit ranks for.

GUIDES FOR UNFAMILIAR TERMS

Jargons and industry technical terms may not necessarily be familiar to your target audience. So, having content assets published on your blog dedicated to elaborating what those terms are and giving more specific information about them is a big plus to your content marketing campaign.

Here are some examples of guides that define and discuss some personal training niche terms.

Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting guide

Leangains leangains guide

 

Show off your expertise by publishing technical guides. By being at the forefront of content creators who craft expertly-written online assets on subjects only specialists can best write, you'll have a better advantage of ranking for some of the most competitive keywords.

Here is a recent useful slide deck by Lily Ray of Path Interactive on the topic of leveraging E-A-T for SEO success. The "E" in E-A-T stands for Expertise.

expertise eat slide deck

CONTENT REPUBLISHING

I've shared this effective content creation technique in my recent post on how to produce content for links.

Content republishing works perfectly for personal training websites. The idea is to find content assets published years ago but have been recently re-published given the topic relevance to its current date - its potential traction to gain new traffic and links and mentions from new people who might need the topic information.

The process of content republishing goes like this:

  • Start by identifying topics being republished using Ahrefs Content Explorer's new features (publishing and republishing dates).
  • You can add more filters to the search results to only discover linkable topics - i.e. add a referring domains filter with 100<.
  • Go through each topic and find the ones you or your team is capable of producing.

ahrefs republishing dates

 

Find ways on how to leverage content formats for your chosen topic to make it more comprehensive than what's already been published. For example, you can integrate data charts to appeal more to visual consumers.

There are two subreddits that you would find very helpful in getting inspiration for data visualization:

DETERMINING HISTORICAL HOT TOPICS

Aside from digging into evergreen topics that often get republished using Ahrefs' Content Explorer, you also want to look out for historical hot topics. These are basically topics that seem to come back year after year.

In almost every industry, you'll find these topics that don't change over time, but rather are updated only with new tools, strategies, and techniques. Historically hot topics may be issues, pain points, and problems that are often experienced in daily human lives.

For personal trainers, one evergreen topic is procrastination. Whether in 1962 or 2025, this is a topic that keeps coming back every year for sure. The only thing that varies is the verbs accompanying the topic, so phrases like the following are getting searched at the highest level:

  • how to overcome procrastination
  • how to avoid procrastination
  • how to beat procrastination
  • how to fix procrastination
  • how to get rid procrastination

procrastination phrases

 

Join subreddits, slack groups, and niche forums to get a feel of what's often being discussed by your community. You can really identify historical hot topics if you are heavily involved in community engagement.

CONTENT GENERATION MATTERS IN PERSONAL TRAINING

Among verticals, the personal training industry is heavy in its production of content and in introducing new content types and formats. A niche you'd get inspiration for content ideas if you take a look at them on a regular basis.


content-writing-tips

55 Actionable Content Writing Tips

What is content writing?

Content writing is a form of online writing that aims to convey a message targeted to an online user on one buyer's stage: viral, discover, consider and customer.

 

What is content?

Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life. It could be in a form of text, image, video, audio, product, ideas and messages that can build trust and authority with your readers and customers.

 

Content marketing is a buzzword. You probably have read hundreds of articles on how to create and write content that can engage readers and potential customers but at the end of your reading time, you still ask yourself, "How can I apply those content writing tips and strategies I just read?".

This guide gives you 55 actionable content writing tips that you can immediately apply today.

But for newbie content marketers, let me first define to you what is content and what is content writing.

 

55 Content Writing Tips [Best Practices]

1. AGGREGATE BEST POSTS USING GOOGLE+

You know that you need to brainstorm content ideas.

The only problem:

You don’t know where to start.

One of the underutilized ways of sourcing content inspirations is through social media.

How?

You can use Google+ profile, for example, to create a collection where you can store all content posts that you see both in Google+ communities and in other blogs.

google-plus-collection

 

You don’t need to download an app to store content files. You just have to label each post you are sharing. The next time you start writing for content, you can simply visit your Google+ and make those stored/shared posts as your references.

2. MAXIMIZE CONTENT TIME WITH EVERNOTE

Productivity is an important element in content writing.

The more you are able to maximize your resources wisely, the more time you can spend on actual content drafting resulting in a better quality of content.

One way to do that is to use Evernote.

content-writing-evernote

 

It’s a great tool that you can use to create drafts for your content.

Whether you are commuting going to places or having informal meetings with your other team members, maximizing the tool for effective brainstorming, content outline, and drafting is a better way to maximize time than doing nothing else.

3. FOCUS YOUR TIME WITH TOGGL

Ever wonder how many words you can write every hour on an average?

No?

Remember, every task that is worth doing should always be tracked. The same goes for content writing. If you can track how many hours you can write every single hour, you can also set goals for a content writing project easily. This is very helpful if you are a content writer and is getting paid on an hourly basis.

One of my favorite productivity tools is Toggl.

It’s free and has a user-friendly interface. Check out the image below – this is how I tracked my hours of outlining, getting relevant references and resources on the web, and writing the actual draft.

toggl content brainstorming

4. CAPTURE INTEREST WITH APP METHOD

Aside from writing headlines, one important skill that every marketer and blogger should be good at is engaging users in the first few sentences of the content.

The introductory part can either set the mood of the visitor to continue reading it as it provides information of what the overall content will bring to the table or get him to leave the page because it doesn’t satisfy his intent.

The APP method, a copywriting method that was popularized by Brian Dean, makes content easily relatable.

Here’s an example of how Brian Dean implemented this method.

app backlinko copywriting

If you are struggling with writing the first paragraph of your content, try the APP method.

5. LEARN FROM COMPETITORS’ TOP PAGES

Ahrefs is web-based link research that allows you to track a site’s most performing content in terms of link growth and a number of social shares.

It helps you easily grasp which type of content your top competitors are heavily promoting and are receiving natural links from relevant sources. Here’s how can you do it.

 

STEP 1: Make a list of your competitors. If you don’t have any, ask your clients or do a Google search for your main keywords and see what brands pop up on the first page of search results.

Tip: Know if they are direct product/service-oriented competitors or content competitors. The clue is in the keyword you choose if they are commercially-based or informational.

 

STEP 2: Plug it into an Ahrefs tool and look at its top pages – you can click on the “best by link growth” to give you linkable assets that are continuously generating natural backlinks on their own.

best by links ahrefs

 

STEP 3: Generate ideas from their top pages. Note sections that can still be explained and discussed on deeper levels.

ahrefs competitors top pages

6. LEVERAGE EXPANDED GUEST POST

An expanded guest post is a coined phrase by Brian Dean that can actually help increase your content’s engagement and potential linking capacity by giving adapted readers a new taste of the information.

How to exactly do it?

STEP 1: Make a list of information in your industry based on the audience of your target guest blog. Provide actionable points as this type of content (how-to’s) is more repeatedly shared and linked to by other content producers.

STEP 2: Expand your points by adding more details – more so with detailed steps. This allows your target readers to apply immediately each point you have discussed.

STEP 3: Do this repeatedly to all your distributed content – e.g. guest posts.

expanded guest post content

7. KNOW THE FIRST AND BEST RULE

When there are millions of content being published on the web, there is no other way to make your content standout but to make it totally better than others.

The questions is, how do you do it?

STEP: Type in your target keyword or your topic in Google.

content writing tips google

STEP 2: Read the top ranking pages (if you don’t have much time, you can just skim). Find missing points where you or your team are able to explain much in detail. Note these points and make a list.

content writing tips first page

STEP 3: If your topic isn’t overly discussed by other blogs, i.e. there are only 2 or 3 in the ranking pages specifically covered the topic, that’s a good one you can pursue – make the content better than those 3 content assets or be the first one to comprehensively provide information on one subject if you don’t have any competing pages.

8. FOLLOW INFLUENCERS FOR CONTENT INSPIRATIONS

To build your content’s credibility, you have to make sure your examples are real. If not based on your life stories and experiences, link out to bloggers, experts, or influencers who gave similar references.

Start following these steps:

STEP 1: Create a public or private list of Twitter influencers/experts in your industry. Most of the time if they are active content creators, they’d share their best secrets, experiences, and examples of their work. These are goldmines if you’re trying to look for case studies and references EVEN IF you still don’t want to write at that moment.

twitter list influencers

 

STEP 2: Make a list of the latest content they’ve shared on their blog and their recent valuable Twitter posts – you might want to use them as references in your future posts. You can use Notepad or the best is Evernote as you can easily sync it either you’re online or offline.

twitter list influencers content

 

STEP 3: As you are writing your content, go back to your content references list and get what you think would be useful to add to your draft. Now, you don’t have to do Google searches to find useful resources you’ll externally link to your content.

9. GET A PROOFREADER

If you are a blogging newbie, this tip might cost you a few bucks. But if you’ve been blogging for years, one way to make sure you improve the quality of your content – is by having someone look over it (proofread and edit). Since last year, I’ve hired a freelance proofreader to check all grammatical errors in my article whether they’ll be published on my blog or distributed to others as guest posts.

Here are a few steps to make the most out of outsourcing your proofreading task.

STEP 1: Find virtual assistants who have experience with copywriting and editing. Go search in Onlinejobs.ph or Upwork for freelance copywriters, editors, or writers (some have a good background with proofreading too).

Tip: If you don’t have much time, ask your colleagues if they know someone good at editing/proofreading or go to Facebook content marketing groups.

STEP 2: Interview and hire someone you’re comfortable working with. Write an outline as to the tasks and process you wish to implement. For example, in my case, I want my editor to only add changes (still have to accept/reject) – there’s a feature in Word document for this. This can help me see first my errors before actually making the change so I can avoid it the next time I write the article.

STEP 3: Accept or reject changes. Put your content into your WordPress dashboard and publish it.

proofreading content

10. WRITE A SERIES TO CREATE EXCITEMENT AND ANTICIPATION

When you see your Google Analytics account, you’ll probably get more new visitors than returning ones. Depending on which traffic sources you’re looking at, you want to achieve a higher percentage of returning visitors.

What you can do to achieve that goal is to let your readers anticipate the next content you will publish on the blog. How?

STEP 1: Think of the type of content that will precede your next to-be-published content. It could be sneeze pages (learn more about it here), best of sections (e.g. Crazyegg best of content), or a series of content (one example is this content marketing tutorial of SEO Hacker).

content marketing series seo hacker

STEP 2: Set the tone of anticipation in your next content by adding a call-to-action at the end of the post. One good example is this, see how they let their readers know about the series and why it is something they should look forward to.

STEP 3: Promote your content series to your email subscribers and to your social followers.

11. USE TOOLS TO BUILD A HABIT

Distractions can get in the way easily. What we need to develop as content writers is the right focus towards the goal – which is to finish the writing task within the day.

If you want to be more productive daily, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Install any of these tools to break your habit of procrastination: Focus or Forest. These tools are useful to help you get into your “focus” zone.
forest content productivity

STEP 2: Be accountable for finishing your task by making sure you open up your preferred productivity tool. The web-based product also helps you track how many hours do you spend at work, at social media/leisure, etc..

STEP 3: Be determined to finish your tasks with the help of the tool.

12. CREATE CONTENT BASED ON THE BUYER’S INTENT

Success without an objective is useless. You don’t have a metric or KPI to measure your performance – making it easy to just produce mediocre content.

Hundreds of businesses, whether startups or big corporations are now investing in content marketing because they’ve seen returns from their investments – in particular with brand building, brand exposure, and lead generation.

How can you create content with a business objective in mind?

STEP 1: Identify your objective as a marketer, whether you are working for an agency, client, or for your own website. Set key performance metrics (learn about this here).

STEP 2: Identify pages you have on your site and match to the marketing funnel. Know what pages you still have to create to facilitate your visitors into the buyer’s journey. Sample image from Webris.

buyer persona

STEP 3: Create a spreadsheet that shows what buyer’s intent each target page will be targeted to. You can do your topical research first before doing this. 

 

13. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE’S PAINS AND PROBLEMS

Informational content will best serve its audience if it solves a particular problem in the industry. If it’s something you think you haven’t implemented yet with your content marketing strategy, you can do it with these tips.

TIP 1: Find industry threads in forums and Q&A sites and look for patterns of problems and pain your content should best serve.
quora suggested questions

 

TIP 2: You can also skim through comment sections of top blogs in your niche. There are online readers who happen to share their struggles by asking questions to influencers.

TIP 3: Don’t think much about keyword volume. If you are targeting long-tail topics, you’d be surprised to get some long-tail traffic by creating content that answers a specific question.

Tip: Read this guide for reference on optimizing content for the Google answer box.

14. USE WIKIPEDIA TO FIND OLD LINKABLE CONTENT ASSET

Wikipedia pages acquire a lot of editorial links and mentions from relevant blogs, making it an evergreen linkable asset when its linking inbound links grow over time. Taking advantage of this, by determining which Wikipedia pages relevant to your industry are evergreen linkable assets, helps you brainstorm for great content ideas.

Here is how you can start it out:

STEP 1: Find Wikipedia pages in your industry by using this tool or doing a Google search for site:wikipedia.org [keyword] + “dead link” (or “citation needed”)

wikigrabber content ideation

 

STEP 2: Determine how many referring domains are linking to each Wikipedia page to assess how linkable the topic is (~100 referring domains is a good number).

STEP 3: Create content that covers the topic of the Wikipedia page you choose. Make it as comprehensive as you can, so it’d be easy for you to nudge linking bloggers of that Wikipedia page to mention your similar content in their blog posts.

15. END YOUR CONTENT WITH AMAZING CALLS-TO-ACTION

There are still some content writers who haven’t utilized the power of calls-to-action as part of their content creation phase. It’s saddening that the reason people aren’t signing up for an email list or even following a certain Twitter profile is that there’s no call-to-action added at the end of the post.

Take a look at some of the best call-to-actions I’ve seen on other blogs.

call to action content

Writing a call-to-action takes only 2 to 5 minutes of your time, so be sure to have it as you write your final draft.

16. STRUCTURE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT CONTENT WITH A YELLOW BOX

Design and user experience make a lot of difference in engaging blog readers. The moment they land on the page, they don’t just read your whole blog post but look at other elements that’ll make it easy for them to understand the topic. Elements like images, videos, presentations, and custom boxes give more emphasis to some of the most important parts of the content.

I’ve first seen the use of “yellow box” in Brian Dean’s post. No big thing here, but what makes it interesting is that it allows specific content to be emphasized within the whole content, especially if you’re trying to write a long-form type (~2500 words in length).

STEP 1: You can add this code to your theme’s “functions.php” file (or “custom_functions.php”on Thesis) to create a yellow box.

function make_yellowbox($atts, $content = null) {

return '<p style="background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #ff9; clear: both; margin-bottom: 18px; overflow: hidden; border: 1px solid #e5e597; padding: 13px;">' . do_shortcode($content) . '</p>';

}

add_shortcode('yellowbox', 'make_yellowbox');

STEP 2: Once the code is added, any text wrapped inside of this shortcode below will appear in a yellow box.

backlinko yellow box content

STEP 3: Emphasize your most important subtopics, quotes, features, etc.. using the yellow box feature.

17. STRATEGICALLY LINK TO YOUR INTERNAL CONTENT

As you write your initial or edit your final draft, it is best to know which relevant webpage you can internally link to your content. If you’re a newbie blogger and want to be smart at internal linking, you can follow these simple steps.

STEP 1: Go to Search Console – Search Traffic – Analytics (if you haven’t connected your Google Search Console to your WordPress site yet, check out this guide).

 search console traffic

 

STEP 2: Find pages with high impressions and CTR but are sitting in positions 11 to 20. This is to get these pages to improve their ranking positions by adding new internal links to them.

search console data

 

OPTIONAL: If you have thousands of pages, you can also do a Google search for site:yourdomain.com “your current topic” to find pages relevant to the content you are currently writing.

STEP 3: Link to your preferred thematically related pages from your content.

18. PUT SCHEDULES TO EACH WRITING PHASE

You’ll read most productivity articles that talk about how to break down a huge project into small pieces of tasks. While this is very useful, there’s something missing here. Even if you break a huge project into smaller ones, you want to make sure that you can commit to completing every small task.

The same goes with content writing. If you’ve got a huge content writing project, here’s what you can do to ensure you can publish your content on or before the deadline.

STEP 1: Break your huge content writing project into smaller tasks. For example, if you are targeting to write 5000 words in length type of content, then you can divide it into five smaller tasks (writing of 1000 words at a time).

STEP 2: Set schedules to finish each small writing task. You can use free project management tools like Trello to make this possible.

put schedules content writing

 

STEP 3: Don’t procrastinate. Achieve your goal daily by completing all small tasks.

19. USE MICRO SURVEY TOOLS TO GAIN VISITOR INSIGHTS

Customer insights play a vital role in content ideation. If you are able to identify what your customers want, it’ll be easy for you to create content that caters to their intent, specific to their levels in the buyers’ journey. One way to do that is to use a micro survey tool. Follow these steps.

STEP 1: Install Qeryz plugin in your WordPress account.

qeryz wordpress plugin

 

STEP 2: Gain insights using their platform, you can ask questions like what type of SEO professional they are, then proceeds to another question like what topics they’d like to read.

seo hacker qeryz content

 

STEP 3: Create content based on what insights you gathered – what content type and format they’d like to see published on your blog.

20. UNDERSTAND PROPER BLOG POST STRUCTURE

Structuring your latest article like how you plan and build a house is almost the same. If you want to make a great foundation for your house, then start by planning everything. Here’s how you can do it.

STEP 1: Create a list of topics, subtopics, and points you’d like to discuss in your article.

STEP 2: Bundle all topics together. Look at points that you can compile into one subtopic. Make sure you don’t overlap points in each and every subtopic that you have.

STEP 3: Use this blog post structure from Zazzle Media to ensure the organization of your content.

article cheat sheet

21. USE SUCCESS AND FAILURES AS YOUR CONTENT IDEA

Stories tell a lot. They’re actionable, real-life, and life-changing.

If you have something that you can share that can teach valuable lessons from your experience within 1 year or so, use that as your next content idea.

Here is a sample from Matthew Woodward’s top blog post – How I Build a Top 100 Blog in 12 Months.

success failures content

You can apply these tips to make your success and failures a great content asset.

TIP 1: If you have internal data like screenshots of month-to-month organic traffic or growth of email subscribers, include them in your content. This will increase the credibility of your page content.

TIP 2: Show results at the beginning of your post to build initial interest from your readers, especially those who are new to your blog.

TIP 3: Share how you accomplished your success by detailing steps to make it easy for readers to follow the process by themselves.

22. WRITE ABOUT INDUSTRY MISTAKES

In any industry, there are always mistakes to commit. For parents, it would be exchanging time at home with more work in the office. For search professionals, it would be blocking your important pages in your site’s robots.txt file. Whatever it is, there are always mistakes in your industry and you can use that as your content idea.

Start with doing a Google search for [your industry] “mistakes” or inurl:mistakes [your industry] or intitle:mistakes [your industry] to find blog pages and forums that cover that specific topic.

google parenting search results

 

Note that in your content ideation or brainstorming tool if it’s feasible for your writing team to discuss.

23. GET INSIGHTS FROM REDDIT AMA

Reddit is one of the top user-generated websites on the web where insights from experts can be best seen on its Ask Me Anything (AMA) sections. Follow these steps to generate ideas for your content.

STEP 1: Go to Reddit and search for [topic] AMA, then you’ll see a list of AMAs recently been conducted by Reddit moderators.

reddit ama parenting

 

STEP 2: Find any relevant Ask Me Anything threads and skim through each question and answer part. Consider using any insights or potential topics as your content ideas for blog posts.

24. SEE COMMENTS ON OTHER SITE’S CONTENT

I’m not talking about these examples of blog comments.

comment spam

 

But there are many other valuable comments on other blogs’ content that could potentially be your next content topic.

Let me give you an example. This Whiteboard Friday post by Michael King garnered a lot of comments in the SEO and link building community.

blog comment content ideation moz

blog comment content-ideation whiteboard friday

 

If you’ll search for specific terms, you’ll notice some of the comments can be your potential topics for content (if you’re blogging about SEO).

Pro tip: Click the box saying, “email me when new comments are posted” right below the post of your target site, this would help you track if there is a new comment on the blog post. You’ll receive a WordPress email when someone just comments on the post. Some blogs in your industry have this feature in their comments section so take advantage of it.

25. SEEK INSIGHTS FROM EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

Email newsletter is one of the most profitable sources of content ideation. Why? Given that your customers subscribe to your email list (assuming they intend to do so), you know that they want to get more information from your brand.

Take a look at this email:

pat flynn email subscripton content

 

If you notice the question, it’s plainly straightforward. “Is there anything you want me to write a blog post about?”

The next time you send emails to your subscribers, add a call-to-action at the end of the email asking to give you their suggested topics to write about. If you’ve got a huge list of subs, it’s a guarantee you will get replies.

26. USE TWITTER LISTS FOR CONTENT UPDATES

One notable feature of Twitter that content marketers haven’t found worth using for their content ideation process is the Twitter list. If you can create your own Twitter list or find any public lists of influences you’ve been following for a long time, then that’s a goldmine of content topics you can take priority the most.

How to get started?

STEP 1: Check out each Twitter profile of influencer(s) or experts in your industry. They may have one or two Twitter lists that are publicly available. For example, Ross Hudgens created his own Twitter list of content inspiration. Given that we’re in the same area of blogging, I can subscribe to that list.

ross hudgens twitter list subscription

 

STEP (optional): You can create your own Twitter list featuring all influencers preferably bloggers in your niche. Take this image below as your example. It’s my own bucket of off-page SEO, content marketing, and internet marketing bloggers. Most of the content here at SharpRocket and Digital Philippines is inspired by their regular tweets.

STEP 2: Check out every link they are sharing on Twitter. This can consume a lot of time, so set it aside either late in the afternoon or evening. Use Evernote to list all links to every article they’ve shared. This allows you to quickly organize all of these resources.

27. CUT OUT UNWANTED FILTERED WORDS

As a writer and blogger, one big mistake I made in the past is trying to please my readers with flattering and unnecessary words. You can relate to this, right? When starting out in blogging, you’ll find yourself adding more words that shouldn’t be added, which makes your overall content crappy as you do it all the time.

Instead of saying very very good, you can say excellent. Instead of saying Today, I am going to tell you about, say I’ll tell you about.

Making your content as straightforward and succinct as possible is important to make your readers engaged better. In your next writing time, make sure to filter your words by cutting out unwanted phrases.

28. FIND FAQS IN YOUR NICHE

Google provides results for frequently asked questions with quick answers, satisfying every online user who does every search query.

In essence, if you are making a habit as a content marketer to find FAQs and servicing each valuable question with the right answers, you are producing new types of content that can drive direct traffic by ranking 0 in Google – if you happened to be caught as a top direct answer. Check out this example. I’m getting some good traffic by ranking for this query.

How to take advantage of this?

STEP 1: Use FAQFox to find commonly asked questions in your industry. Simply do searches for any relevant keywords in the search box.

STEP 2: Pick a category of your choice to start filtering questions targeted to your industry.

faqfox

STEP 3: FAQFox will provide a list of commonly asked questions that are good considerations for your next content. Find any that will fit your blog categories and start answering them in your posts.

29. GET TRENDING TOPICS USING AHREFS

For advanced content marketers, it’s common to use Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the web as well as of your competitors.

If you are using Ahrefs as your primary SEO tool, make sure you maximize their content explorer features. It’s quite a recent feature they have that allows you to find top content with a good amount of social shares and referring linking domains.

How to maximize Ahrefs for content exploration?

STEP 1: Type in your head term or your next keyword phrase in their search phrase. Choose in title in their options to only find blog posts with an exact head term in their titles.

ahrefs content explorer

 

STEP 2: Filter results based on your preferences, either all-time or a set time period, language, specific Social account share or referring domains. Make sure to click one article per domain. Filter based on your needs.

STEP 3: Check each link listed in search results and identify new trending topics you can consider for content creation.

ahrefs content explorer content ideation

 

Pro tip: View each detail (click Details) to get a glimpse of link growth (referring domains graph) and organic traffic. This allows you to see if a specific content topic is linkable in nature as it tends to attract natural links over time.

30. FIND SIMILAR CONTENT THEMES

Analyzing your own data is helpful to get new insights as to which area of topics you should be investing your content creation in. What you can start doing now is to look at your Google Analytics account. Follow these steps to identify profitable content themes.

STEP 1: Go to Behavior – Site Content - Landing pages and set your duration period for one year or three years, depending on how long you started blogging.

google analytics landing pages

 

STEP 2: Sort them by a number of visits and conversions to see which content asset performs well in terms of business value.

STEP 3: Find similar content themes by listing down their topics in a spreadsheet and looking at patterns of content areas each of them is aligned to.

31. DO 6-3-5 BRAINSTORMING

If you’re having a hard time brainstorming with your team using your office’s whiteboard and pen, then you need some alternatives to use for that purpose alone.

One handy tool is 635 brainstorming.

Each individual or content writer if you’re part of an agency will have 6 rounds each to suggest any content idea for a project they’re working on (assuming it’s a collaborated content writing project).

Six people, six rounds at 5 minutes per round.

This allows each content writer to participate in the brainstorming session, not just one – the content manager who does the entire thing.

If you’re part of a big agency or team, this tool might help you brainstorm content ideas effectively.

32. BE MORE PRODUCTIVE WITH COFFEE

Productivity matters in content writing. When you know what specific hours you can do the work more effectively, you’ll see much greater results in less time. One habit you can start now is drinking coffee if you’re allowed to do so.

The habit of drinking coffee helps you become more productive at work, in particular at content writing, helps you to be more alert, and makes you become creative by setting your mood.

In this article from Time.com, the author shared the best times to drink coffee – it is between 10 a.m. and noon, and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. You can drink two or three cups of coffee within a day – it’s up to you, as long as you it helps you do more content work.

33. USE HORIZONTAL THINKING FOR BRAINSTORMING

It is a saddening reality when you’re trying to come up with ideas for a client sitting in a boring or, as they say, less creative industry. Let’s say, for a plumbing niche, you can’t think of broader topics than toilets, installation, etc.. Even if you do, you’ll find yourself moving away from the general content theme.

As such, one way you can do is to think horizontally – others say it is tangential thinking. Whatever it is, it is a process of looking at the sideways. Take a look at this example from Moz.

horizontal thinking

 

If you plainly look at bathroom content ideas, you are only getting a small scope of audience. But if you can think laterally, you can consider other thematically-relevant ones like DIY and eco or environment-friendly concerns.

Did you get how this works now?

You can create a bubble chart to get started with it.

34. WRITE EXCERPTS FOR VIDEOS OR VISUAL PRESENTATIONS

Being resourceful should be every content marketer’s characteristic. Knowing what to prioritize with your list of content ideas and using what assets you already have at hand can help you follow your content calendar – only producing high-quality content pieces.

One creative way you can do now is to collect all your existing videos either produced internally or outside your organization. Once you have all of these internal content assets, choose pieces that you think can be turned into blog posts. The key here is to identify if one particular video is something your existing readers/audience will care about.

Your next step is to write excerpts to be placed below the video content. You can hire someone from Upwork to do the work for you or you can do it yourself.

content excerpts

 

If you don’t know what content you should be producing next, start looking at your database, see which videos you can translate into a blog post, with excerpts to preview details of the video.

35. ALIGN CONTENT TO BUSINESS GOALS

Setting business goals is essential to every business activity. You can’t put a specific KPI at your desk for your content writing or creation process without a goal in mind first.

Now here are some quick tips to start defining business goals with your content writing process:

TIP 1: Be specific with your content creation goals. To be the best marketing agency is not a goal. It’s too broad and there’s a lot of factors before you can measure it. Below are some good examples of specific business goals.

GOAL: Rank on first pages in organic search for competitive link building terms.

SharpRocket is a newly established link building company. In order for us to be recognized as the best link building agency in the world, we need to rank highly for both commercial and informational keywords.

GOAL: Generate 200 inbound leads every month with mid-level to large marketing budgets.

We have to implement robust content creation and promotion campaigns in order to achieve that goal. We also want to make sure that visitors from different traffic sources will convert into potential SEO clients.

These are just some of the goals that we have at SharpRocket. Knowing this in mind will help our marketing and sales team to set specific actions based on the goals set. From goal-setting, now we can set specific KPIs that we need to achieve every single month.

If you are an in-house content writer, it is best to always align what you write to your organization’s business goals in its digital marketing campaign. This way, you’ll be more motivated to provide the best quality with your content given that you know where it’ll go.

36. CREATE YOUR AUDIENCE PROFILE OR PERSONA

When you strategize your content marketing campaign, one thing you should never forget is to create your own audience profile or persona.

It’s not rocket science. It’s very simple and if you haven’t executed this yet for your website, you can follow these steps to get started.

STEP 1: Know your audience and be very specific with this. For example, our company targets three types of companies: SEO agencies, SEO and digital marketing teams of big corporations and medium-sized businesses. Using this as our starting point, we can create the following audience profiles.

buyer persona

 

STEP 2: The next step is to know where these audiences are spending most of their time online. This includes identifying what type of blog they frequently read or which forums they’re actively participating in. This isn’t just useful for content creation but in massively promoting content to web places these audiences are familiar with.

STEP 3: The last but crucial part in creating your audience profile is to think of how you can add value to each of them. Each person has their own needs that your content should be able to address.

As you write your next content, don’t just write everything. Identify to whom your content is targeted to, so you can get more results from your work based on the value provided by your content.

37. USE BLANK PAPER FLOW STATE

Writer’s block is common in content marketers, especially for newbie bloggers--though at some point, you can actually avoid it and make sure it’ll not happen to you all the time.

If you’re struggling with writing your introduction, take these simple steps.

STEP 1:  Install Flowstate. This app allows you to continuously write your thoughts. If you’ve been stuck or stopped writing for more than 5 seconds, the app literally deletes all of your work.

flowstate example

 

STEP 2: When you finish each part or section of your content, i.e. your introduction, be quick at copy-and-pasting it into your Word document.

STEP 3: Use the app every time you feel you can’t write your first paragraph. This is a handy technique every content writer should consider.

38. MATCH HEADLINES WITH META TITLES

When people landed on your page coming from Google search results, their first thing to consider if they’ll keep reading or not is when they’ve found what they are looking for – user satisfaction.

I’ve seen this mistake most of the time. Bloggers tend to mislead their readers by mismatching headlines with meta-titles. They’ll write the most clickbait meta-titles when in fact their headlines and content itself don’t match their SERPs structure.

Don’t let this happen to your own content writing campaign as you’ll lose most of the new visitors you have on your website by misleading them wrong information and by not satisfying their intent, desires, and questions.

39. PREPARE EDITORIAL CALENDAR

As I always say in my blog posts, an organization is one key for an effective content creation campaign. If you don’t take time to organize everything, you’ll miss out on some important details and make more mistakes at work.

Preparing editorial calendar for your content marketing campaigns helps you to schedule and organize topics with deadlines attached to them. This helps you become more accountable for what you do.

Below is a sample of the editorial calendar template from Michele Linn and you can download it here.

editorial calendar

 

In her template, he tracks every info on each blog post such as post date, author, keywords, categories, tags, call-to-action, and status. It’s not near to perfection, but the template can help you start with content execution.

40. KNOW ABOUT BLOGGING MOJO

Blogging mojo is a coined term by Darren Rowse that basically refers to a blogger’s motivation to consistently produce high-quality content. Consistent means not just once every year, but once or twice every week depending on the blogger’s writing frequency.

There are many ways to get your blogging mojo back, especially if you’re being burnout by too much content work. Here are some that are most effective for us:

  • Align your blogging style to your business goals. You wouldn’t worry if you’re producing quality content when you start to remind yourself about why you do it – and mostly it boils down to providing value to your business or to someone’s business – if you’re hired to write for them.
  • Say the same things in a different way. Oftentimes, bloggers stop writing because they think that they always blog about the same topic. More often than not, they simply don’t know to find angles. You can blog about the same topic but attack its discussion in a different way.
  • Get help from other people. If you think you can’t find a good blog post today, then ask your email subscribers, your mentors, or even your offline friends. You wouldn’t realize but they have something to contribute to your content ideation.

41. FINISH BIG ROCKS FIRST

Top CEOs and business leaders start their day early in the morning, on average 6:30 A.M. Before distractions come, they’ll start to do the most important tasks of the day so they can get big wins even before the afternoon starts.

It’s interesting because content writers and bloggers might find themselves to be productive early in the morning. Depending on your work schedules, if you can try to get up early and finish the “big rocks” – your content tasks, you’ll be more efficient and effective with your content creation process.

Jeff Bullas, a popular blogger spends his first five hours (4:30am to 9am) only for content writing. By finishing this big rock early in the morning, he can get most of his day growing his blog and acquiring more business value out of it.

42. USE DOTS TO CREATE SUSPENSE

Engagement matters in content writing. If you can’t connect to your readers until the end, you’ll lose their interest at one point – leading to less time on-page.

One technique you can employ at your regular blogging is the “dotting” technique. I see this all the time from Brian Dean’s Backlinko where he uses this technique throughout his blog posts.

dots suspense content

dots suspense content two

 

The dots create curiosity which keeps visitors reading until they reach the end of the content. Such a technique is much more useful for long-form content.

You can try the “dotting technique to your own blogging style and see for yourself the results of it (check your time on-page data in Google Analytics).

43. THINK EVERGREEN

Content has lifetime value. Its lifetime value depends on how long its information provides value to its target audience.

Take a look at this, this blog post of mine way back in 2014 has been well-received by the content marketing and blogging community. It continuously get new backlinks over time, since more and more content marketers, especially those who’re looking for additional references and resources find it very useful to include in their latest blog posts.

ahrefs content promotion strategies

 

If you have posts that need continuous updates and changes in their context, make sure you take to investing in its update or revision, so you can grow its organic traffic and build more audience around it.

44. LEVERAGE BUCKET BRIGADES

If you’ve started with SEO copywriting, I recommend you start to read this guide from Brian Dean. It compiles actionable copywriting techniques to help you effectively engage your readers – making them stay in your content from beginning to end.

One copywriting tactic that Brian Dean shared is the use of “bucket brigades”.

Bucket brigades or grease-slide words (its other referred phrase) are words and phrases that create a smooth flow of transitions between paragraphs and sentences. They minimize the friction of readers leaving the page and let them read the content just like a greased slide.

If you’ve been an avid reader of link building blog, you’ll probably notice some of my posts have bucket brigades. Here are some examples.

bucket brigades content

 

Here are a few bucket brigades you can add to your post (full list here).

The next time you write the draft of your content, try adding bucket brigades to make your readers stick to it.

45. USE PROPER FORMATTING

One overlooked factor when writing content is proper formatting. I see this all the time – plain content without tables, bullets, numbers, yellow box, etc.

There are simple and most common formatting options you can try to include in your content, such as:

  • larger font sizes for quotes and headings
  • underlined text for emphasis
  • bullets for unordered lists
  • numbers for steps to follow or lists ordered by importance
  • indented paragraphs for quotes or testimonials

46. SEARCH BAR AGAIN THE SECOND TIME

Google autosuggest helps content marketers find new long-tail keywords that aren’t easily been discovered using keyword research tools.

The first suggested search keywords are different from the second try.

Instead of just sticking your content ideation process with the first try suggested search phrase, try searching for Google suggested phrases the second time.

47. DON’T FORGET ABOUT GOOGLE RELATED SEARCHES

If you are a newbie in the content marketing and SEO industry, you probably are not familiar with other keyword research tricks aside from using the Google Keyword Planner.

Google provides suggested related searches connected to your current search query at the bottom of the search results page (SERPs).

This allows you to find other more related long-tail keywords that you can include in your content to help it perceived by Google as desirable to rank for other thematically-related phrases.

google related searches

48. TRY ASTERISKS WILD CARD

If you are creating content in industries with things of different kinds and classes, like food recipes, you can take this search technique: asterisks wild card to find almost all types of things you’re trying to rank for.

Here’s one example.

asterisks search results

49. FIND PRODUCT ALTERNATIVES WITH VS TECHNIQUE

Decision-oriented online searchers are interested in finding products or services in an industry that will best fit their needs. Because they’re still on a decision stage, they’re trying to look for as many alternatives to products they’re already familiar with so as to assess features and benefits does each product or service offers. This way, they can make better buying decisions.

A Google query for product VS can reveal other brands (competitors and industry blogs) that are producing content on that same type – comparison type of content.

product comparison search query

50. GET CREDIBLE SOURCES WITH FILETYPE

If you are creating robust content assets, then you always have to consider the credibility of sources you’re getting information and data from.

One way to easily find credible sources from experts, influencers, and popular brands that have secured significant case and research studies is by using the filetype:pdf research method in Google.

filetype parenting search results

51. GAUGE TOPICS BASED ON COMMENTS COUNT

Typical reverse engineering has this process: find top industry blogs, plug in to top link building or content tools like Buzzsumo or Ahrefs then find which posts are getting tons of shares and links.

Glen Allsopp upgraded that approach by looking at a number of comments each post received as a basis of considering the topics’ high-interest rate compared to just focusing on social shares and links.

blog comments content gauge

52. GET NEW INDUSTRY INSIGHTS FROM SLIDESHARES

Influencers are usually speakers in their own local communities or countries. If they have their own blogs, you’ll find them uploading their slide presentations to Slideshare and re-publishing them on their websites.

Slide presentations of influencers are top content ideation inspirations you can take advantage by monitoring their latest speaking updates using Twitter lists or even finding the latest events in your industry. Do a Google search for [industry] seminar/conference/event [current year] so it can provide you with upcoming events as well as recaps of bloggers on a recent niche event.

53. USE CONTENT GAP ANALYSIS

I’ve been testing a scalable content ideation strategy that will get results for our clients and this makes my top list – content gap analysis. Here’s how you can start implementing this to your own content marketing campaign.

STEP 1: Identify your content competitors – ones that you are trying to compete for informational keywords.

STEP 2: Plug URLs of their domains to Ahrefs together with the URL of your website.

content gap analysis

 

STEP 3: Export results to a CSV file, spreadsheet, or Google Docs sheet. The end result should be like this (image below). Check which keyword you can potentially create content about with high potential to outrank your content competitors.

content gap analysis spreadsheet

54. RESEARCH NICHE TWITTER CHATS

If you are a social media enthusiast, you’d find different industry trends in Twitter alone. In fact, there are hashtags plus keywords that are picked up by top news sites and blogs that always update their posts.

Niche Twitter chats is a content ideation source you should start considering today if you’re a content writer or content marketer.

These trending hashtags don’t just show up without any reason. So if you’re having a content brainstorming block in your head, try searching for industry on Twitter.

niche twitter chats

55. FIND TOP QUESTIONS ON QUORA

I’ve been receiving a good amount of leads from Quora itself (see sample client inquiries below).

quora lead

 

But aside from lead generation purposes, this top community website is also useful in generating topic ideas for well-perceived topic ideas.

What you can do is to search for topical trends in Quora, and list them down in a spreadsheet. Here is a screenshot of what I do. Though this is plainly for content promotion, it’s one great start for content ideation. If you're doing content promotion, make sure you know how to find email addresses of your outreach targets.

quora spreadsheet threads

 

You can base your picking of topics on two things: first, rank in search – search the exact question on Google and see if they rank on the first page, the best should be on top spots 1 to 5. Second, if they are in a range of 10,000+ views or 1,000 to 10,000 views – this means that these threads are visited most of the time by community members and/or are getting pageviews from organic sources (from search).

Now It’s Your Turn…

What other content writing tips can you share?

Or maybe you have a question on how to implement any of the strategies and techniques in our above list?

Either way, leave a comment quick below.

I'll be more than happy to reply to comments and answer questions.

So if you have a question, insight, or new tactic, leave a comment right now.


linkable assets

5 Linkable Assets Examples (How to Create and How to Build Links to Them)

What is a linkable asset? 

A linkable asset is any part of your website or brand that a specific audience will perceive as worth referencing to from any of their pages.

In today's time, you can't get quality backlinks without creating a linkable asset.

Reaching out to a potential linker requires offering something of value. That's what a linkable asset inherently does. It offers value to an intended audience through the information, data, or a source.

The question here is, do you always have to create new content assets that are linkable?

To answer this, let's understand link velocity and competition.

Link Velocity and Competition 

The competition is tight in many industries.

Particularly in ranking websites for certain keywords, there are keywords that are being targeted by websites pursuant to a number of acquired links per month in order to maintain their current rankings.

For those websites that are actively engaged in link building campaigns to cope up with the quality of links required to sustain the rankings, that's a tough competition, isn't it?

This is to say that if you're pursuing those keywords, there has to be a continuous effort in link building.

Without a doubt, It requires your brand to produce linkable assets continuously.

Later, I'll share the different types of linkable assets.

But content doesn't always have to be an informational page just like this:

definitive guide example

Your people or your offline events worthy of a citation could possibly be linkable as well.

inbound conference

Linkable Asset Types and Formats

With thousands of content pieces being published every day, there are ones that have high linkability factors compared to other web assets.

The reason why content creation is a crucial part of the content marketing process is that it involves the linkability assessment of a content idea and format.

That being said, here are some content types and formats that work in generating high-quality links.

 

Citable elements in sales pages

Sales pages aren't linkable. They are geared towards helping customers make purchasing decisions — and may not have informational details content creators can use for their own publishing works.

That's not to say you can't attract links directly to sales pages.

There are different ways to do so. Garrett French listed a few tips on what to include in your sales pages to make it linkable:

  • Data or "findings" — it can be derived from your business and is relevant to the flow of purchase decisions by your customers (it could be a support that justifies the product or service to let customers make easier purchase decisions). Examples are inventory data and popular color or size of products.
  • Direct quotation of a source — any case stories or brief interviews of customers that give new insights and additional context to the product or service you're offering.
  • Definition of jargon and industry technical terms — define any obscure terminologies related to your brand's offerings that can benefit customers if well-defined in your sales page.
  • Pricing guides or generalized pricing information — any parameters that can impact the cost of the product or service may be a good citable page element.
  • Images, videos, widgets, or downloadables - any graphics, case studies, and PDF files useful for selling the product or service can best be placed as additional citable elements to a sales page.
  • Detailed, multi-faceted metrics-based reviews — these refer to any reviews that can be beneficial for a certain audience corresponding publishers (e.g. parents, seniors, pet owners, etc..)
  • Tips, advice directly related to products or services on the page — these are typical how-to sections enabling a person to complete a goal related to the product or service.
  • Origin stories — any discussion stories with the makers of the product (designers, manufacturers, artists, etc..)

For more information on this topic, you can check out this detailed guide by Garrett French on building links to sales pages.

Lists (listicles)

What makes lists linkable?

Lists that tend to rank for its targeted keywords are likely to receive organic links from publishers.

The discoverability of this type of linkable asset page increases their chances of undeserved linking opportunities.

list gardening tips ideas hacks

list linkable asset links

 

How to build links to lists (listicles)?

  • Start with reaching out to resource curators that have dedicated pages on topics that fit your linkable asset idea.
  • Find topically relevant articles that might cite your list page — pointing more information to your page from their content works.
  • Make it visible on social platforms like Linkedin to get more eyeballs to the page.

Comprehensive guides & tutorials

There are many "definitive" or "ultimate" guides that have been published since Brian Dean popularized the skyscraper technique.

Most content creators want to outdo their content competitors by making the linkable asset longer than usual — to fit the term, "definitive" or "ultimate".

While longer form type of content works, the comprehensiveness of a piece highly depends on the information.

The content's uniqueness of information has something to do with how regular publishers perceived it as link-worthy.

It is best to consume the top rankings pages for your target keywords. Check and identify any content gaps you can fill in with information for your own content piece (to make your linkable asset more comprehensive than other similar assets).

ultimate guide pet grooming

ultimate guide linkable asset links

 

How to build links to comprehensive guides & tutorials?

  • Send outreach emails to publishers and content creators who've linked to any of your content in the past. They might have any needs for reference for their future content works — possibly linking to your current extensive guide.
  • Check out any niche resource pages that can link out to your guide (learn from our resources to know this process — resource page link building and broken link building).
  • Collect emails of publishers of similar content assets and deliver personalized emails to inform them of your latest content piece.

Visual content assets

Infographics are one type of linkable assets that can be pitched to local and niche publishers.

If properly created by assessing it the topic has high shareability (and virality factor) and if it appeals to audiences likely to mention, include or link to the piece, infographics are great linkable assets to consider.

In addition, the good thing with visual assets like infographics is that they can no longer just be published alone on a page (upload the entire visual and call it done). It can already support other content formats. like comprehensive guides and lists, in a way, that enhances the ability of the entire content to be better consumed by its audience.

visual asset example

visual asset example links

How to build links to visual content assets?

  • Link to the visual page internally from other relevant pages on your website. By pushing it further to dominate the top spot for its target keywords, you increase its chances to be more discovered by publishers.
  • Pitch to websites that actively publish infographics. Don't just send outreach emails to any kind of blog — find ones that care about visual assets as part of their content marketing campaign.
  • Link externally from your site's other web assets through guest posting.

Data-driven assets

Any data that can give additional credibility to the piece of content when it is sourced out has the potential to drive more authority links to your website.

Success stories that are driven to provide the audience with numbers, steps, and processes to finish a goal or achieve an objective, are considered link-worthy.

data driven example

data driven example links

 

How to build links to data-driven assets?

  • Spend a minimal amount to advertise on social platforms to get initial eyeballs and prospects for links.
  • Find relevant blog posts that have texts and sections in the content needing references of data.
  • Do regular updates to the data asset as years pass by to make it more relevant as sourced-out linkable assets.

Discover and tap into other linkable content formats

There are other content formats that are not mentioned as worthy of being referenced or cited by other publishers in your space.

Tap into those linkable content formats as early as possible, particularly if it's not yet been popular or tested in your industry. Be the first one to do those formats and gets initial benefits of links and social shares.

 

Find linkable markets and assess their preferred content formats

Linkable markets such as veterans, students, parents, or people with disabilities have considered content formats when consuming a piece.

If a competitor's website has high-performing pages that get links regularly (has improving link velocity), see patterns of content formats. If it's not yet popular in your industry, test it out for your niche by producing one, and then a series of assets if the first one-piece initially succeeds.

 

Assess the linkability of ranking pages

You can quickly check the number of referring domains for each ranking page straight on the Google search engine results using Mozbar.

google search results mozbar links

 

If there are an average of 20 or 30~ish links and those links if checked are the right types of links (i.e. relationship-based or editorial), consider the topic as linkable.

 

Look for shareability factor of topics

Use Buzzsumo or Ahrefs' Content Explorer to see the potential number of social shares you can get in a linkable content format.

While that for sure depends on how good your content is, assessing it solely based on that gives you a preview of the potential benefits you can get when promoting that specific content format.

See what types of content your industry influencers and content creators are sharing. You'll have a good grasp of what makes tick to promote on their own social spaces.

 

Validate ideas and formats through initial feedback on discussion groups

Community groups give feedbacks and insights when new content is promoted and submitted to the platform. Use that as an advantage when validating content ideas and content formats.

Ask them simple questions as part of discussion texts, "what do you think of it?" or "any feedback on this is highly appreciated?".

data is beautiful reddit

 

Of course, you'll get all sorts of feedback — the good ones and bad ones-- but as you go through each, you see if the specific idea or format has good chances of being referenced by industry publishers.

 

Final Thoughts

There are many content formats and templates that are linkable in nature. Choose what best suits your brand, your audience, and your link market. It takes testing plus validity to succeed in producing content assets that get organic links over time.


how to become a content creator

How to Become a Content Creator

What is a content creator?

A content creator produces material for a target audience that serves both a user purpose — entertainment or educational, and a content marketing purpose — generating brand awareness, product/service purchase or brand loyalty. The content he or she produces takes many forms including blog posts, videos, visuals, and audio.

 

Content marketing has grown its importance over the past couple of years in the entire digital marketing field.

Its proven efficiency in improving thought leadership for brands as well as demonstrating expertise for online personalities has been more of a need than a want today.

There are increased demands for content creators to deliver various types of content for online audiences — bringing more jobs to more people. The above quality of work like in any industry lures more pay and career opportunities.

This leads us to the question, "how to become a successful content creator?".

A little disclaimer here: the tips that I'll be sharing below are driven from my experience and from the experiences of content creators I've been following online and have mentored me in this area of content marketing — content creation.

Before we answer the question "how to become a successful content creator?", let us first define what a content creator is.

How to Become a Successful Content Creator?

There is no one surefire formula for achieving success as a content creator. You can't box content creation with limited ideas. However, there are certain principles and habits you can employ and adapt to your context in order to achieve the results you want for your content.

Let's start.

 

1. Get updated about the industry

Whether you are creating content for your own blog or for a brand you're employed with, reading the latest industry updates gives you an advantage.

By knowing what is currently happening in your industry, you can take things right into perspective, which helps in putting more insights into your content piece.

With stored knowledge, you can provide a different angle about the topic you're publishing — a twist that kills boredom for your readers.

Getting updated with industry news allows you to see new brands and new personalities you can also collaborate with for future content creation initiatives.

One way to put this into a habit is to use a tool to save articles for later reading or use. Rather than trying to squeeze time for reading when you're focused on a big task, why not use a tool to save articles you just stumbled upon. This saves you a couple of wasted unfocused hours.

You can use Pocket to save articles and pages you want later for viewing.

 

When finding activities to become productive, you can check your Pocket over the phone. Without too much time consuming, you get things done as a content creator.

2. Produce content regularly

Whether your piece is a video, audio (e.g. podcast), or text-based (article), be consistent in your production.

The way to achieve better quality in your output is to produce more content.

By consistent content production, you see points of improvement as you assess each one of them after the production (even during its distribution or promotion phases). You see how to make it better through the feedback of your consumers — readers or followers.

Quality control is essential in content creation and can be done more effectively if there is a good number of content pieces produced daily. Always strive for more content assets without sacrificing quality.

As a content creator, there are times when you feel like you can't publish any more pieces. That's when you need the inspiration to push you through.

Here are some materials that can inspire you to produce content pieces regularly:

Sidenote: During the Coronavirus, here are some good reads to help you with your content strategy: SiegeMedia's content strategy during coronavirus, and Moz' content ideas guide for every niche (what readers want during Covid-19).

Further Resources:

3. Curate content

Content anxiety is common to content creators. It happens due to the pressure of putting out too much content to fulfill the editorial calendars of blogs. To overcome this type of anxiety means that you follow your content schedules without sacrificing the quality of output.

One way to fight against content anxiety is through content curation.

Content curation is the process of organizing and presenting outside content in a new, meaningful way.

Essentially, you are banking on other people's published content. Organize them to provide easy references and easy consumption to your readers.

You can start content curation by following brands and thought leaders in your industry with solid content assets.

 

You'll be able to find patterns of topics they produce that may be of relevance to current happenings in your niche. Curate them in a way that follows a content idea.

content curation example

 

By excelling in content curation, you don't have to cram with both quantity and quality of content.

4. Consider other content formats.

A content creator isn't only fixated on writers. Content creators can be podcasters, videographers, and graphic artists too. They produce different types of content but aim for the same purpose for the brand or site they're involved in.

The key to gaining more awareness of your brand is to tap other content formats that best suit your audience. If you're a writer, try and invest in producing audio content like podcasts. For example, have your written tutorials be recorded on videos to provide additional learning material to your text-based piece.

Understand the learning styles of your audience. Go to places where they normally engage in. You can use Reddit to see what content format resonates more with your community.

subreddit cool guides

5. Invest in building your reputation and relationships

Regardless of whether you're working as an in-house or agency marketer or a freelance content producer, it is essential to build your reputation online.

The easiest way to build your authority is to participate in online community discussions, where you think you can provide people with your expertise.

Answer niche-relevant questions on the forum and on community sites like Quora. You can use Ahrefs to discover specific questions that are constantly receiving visits from people. Simply reverse engineer by plugging in Quora website and go to organic keywords

ahrefs quora organic keywords

 

Start connecting with other content creators and thought leaders in your space. Build authentic relationships. You may never which one of them can help you further advance your career in the future.

Seek Continuous Improvement

Definitely, there are other more principles, ideas, and methodologies to become a successful content creator in today's time.

However, one that is foundational is to seek continuous improvement. It's a never-ending process to know what works in content creation and how to effectively distribute those assets to other places.