We have been covering all the major steps in starting a blog, and are now going to get into content research + writing. In the previous parts we have been exploring how to select a domain, purchase hosting and WordPress installation and customization. We also look at ways to select a theme, and customize to fit your EXACT requirements. Now that your ready to go let’s put everything into full gear and get you publishing high-value content.
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Today, we’ll be looking at:
- The fundamentals of research
- Writing your content
- Publishing your content
Let’s get started, and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Research Content Topics
Over the years I have written extensively about the importance of research, and how this can help build momentum. For example, by knowing the type of content & topics popular within your niche, you’ll be able to attract visitors while increasing engagement. However, you have to find important questions being asked within your niche then write the best content available. Here are a few proven ways to research content ideas:
This is one of the best ways to find content trending based on a specific keyword. Head over to Topsy.com then type in your keyword. The tool will generate the most popular content currently online based on the “keyword phrase”. You can then proceed to research the content finding ways to improve it. I’ll be discussing this with you later however the tool will also provide the following:
- Twitter Shares
- Facebook Likes
- Google +’s
- And others
What can you do with this information? Simple…
You can filter from most popular content so you’ll get a better idea of the topic popularity on social networks. You’ll know right away once you publish your content how popular it will be on social media. Social media already is known to drive enormous traffic to websites.
Google Trends –
I love this tool because it gives you great insight into trending topics within your niche. Head over to Google Trends, and type in your main keyword. Click “Search” and you’ll get a list of relevant and popular keywords which you can use within your content. The keywords shown are growing in searches so using this tool used properly will give you a head start on your competition.
Google Search –
Head over to Google and type in your main keyword. Then skim through the first page looking for relevant blogs within your niche. Visit the top “5” and start going through their content finding which topics have the highest engagement. Later you’ll learn how to use this information. It’s important to create a list of the content on these blogs so you can find them later on.
Forums have been online for years even before search engines were perfected. There are forums for almost every type of niche so visit the most popular ones finding questions which have been asked numerous times, but have NO solid solution. You can then create content based on these questions which answer all of them. Make sure the questions are related so when combined they all make sense and will be engaging to your visitors.
Once you’ve gathered all your topics it’s time to go through looking for ways to improve the content. Earlier you made a list of competitor content…right? Go through each one finding ways to make it better so it’s going to be the best content online. This will increase the likelihood of it being shared online increasing engagement, conversions, etc.
For example, if you found content missing videos, images or even infographics then consider adding them into yours before publishing. Length at this point should NOT be a question because content should be long enough to ensure you get your point across.
You’ll be writing content from within your WordPress backend. Log-in at www.example.com/wp-admin. (Replace example with your domain. Next, the left menu will contain an item “Posts” which you should open and click “Add New”. You’ll see a new screen open where you’ll be either writing or pasting your content. I like to write my content in a separate Word Processor then paste it within the WordPress interface.
Make sure you fill in the following:
- Add H1, H2 and H3
Make sure your content is properly formatted like has been divided into the necessary elements like Introduction, headings, sub-headings, summary and conclusion. It’s been started content which is formatted correctly increase the likelihood of the reader staying on the page.
Publishing Your Content
WordPress is awesome because publishing content can be done with a click of a mouse button. Towards the right hand side you’ll see some options. You’ll also notice a button in blue with text written “Publish”. Once you’ve written, formatted and edited your content then proceed with publishing. Hit that button and your ready to go.
The cool thing with publishing content using WordPress is it’ll take care of everything for you like:
- Add it on front page
- Add the date
- Make sure post URL makes sense (we talked about this in step-one with permalinks)
- Add a comment box to the bottom to increase engagement
Every time you add a new post WordPress will ensure the content is organized correctly so visitors can find it easily when they arrive on your blog.
Once you’ve published your content you’ll have to ensure the on-page SEO has been done correctly. We’ll be discussing the following in Part 6…
- Plug-ins for On-page SEO
- How to ensure your content has been optimized with proper keyword placement
By now you should have everything setup correctly, and should be researching your first topic. Always organize your topics because this will ensure streamlining the research, selection, writing, format, etc.
Beware Who You Trust for Advice
Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.
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I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.
Peep 2 answers.
I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.
This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.
Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.
Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:
- radiate happiness?
- radiate compassion?
- exude success?
- inspire you to succeed?
- uplift bloggers?
If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.
But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.
If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.
Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.
Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.
One Such Example
Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.
Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?
The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?
Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.
Follow heart-centered bloggers.
Live your dreams.
Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?
Some people love attention.
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I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.
I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.
If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:
- small talk
- general BS
people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.
100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.
How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries
Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.
I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.
If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.
You Are Walking into a Word Office
Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.
What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?
I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.
I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.
I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.
People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.
Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
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