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.
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.
Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend
Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.
Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.
All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.
Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.
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Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!
Practice in private. Shine in public.
Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!
Do You Assume too Much?
One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.
These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.
This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.
A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.
Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice
Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.
For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.
I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.
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I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.
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