Content is where it’s at. You don’t make money without it, and if it’s bad, so is your income.
You really want to make your content stand out and be the best, but for most of us, that’s not going to happen. It’s taken me 2 years to get to where I consider myself “reasonable” at blogging and content creation. Do you want to wait that long?
Instead, what we’re going to do is aim for “great content”. Content that informs people, helps them, and solves their problems. That’s all it really takes.
Think of this simple formula:
Problem + Solution = Success
If you can solve people’s problems, your content is good enough.
Foundations Of A Site
When I build a new site now, I start with around 10,000 words. This is 2,000 words on the homepage, and 1,000 words on eight posts. This is large enough to start showing Google that you’ve got some good content and do a good job of on-page SEO.
I also have the “About”, “Privacy” and “Contact” pages, but I’m not including them in this word count.
By no means do I plan to ONLY have those words on the site, but this is the starting point. It’s enough to work with when it comes to promoting the site and getting some rankings and sales early on.
As soon as I see a bit of momentum I will start adding more content and going after more long-tail keywords.
Starting The Content
If you’ve followed the previous steps correctly, you’ll have chosen your main keyword. Ideally you will also have found 10 or so other keywords that you can go after. In the previous videos I talked about choosing keywords in a “group”.
For these ones you don’t necessarily need to have large search volume like you do for the main keyword, although it’s not a bad thing if you do!
You also want to make sure that they are related or cover related topics (grouped), so that you’ll be able to link them together later on.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean:
Main keyword: Best Running Shoes
Article 1: Running Shoes For Men
Article 2: Flat-Footed Running Shoes
Article 3: Increasing Run Stamina
The idea is that you can weave them all together and make them have strong internal linking.
Once you’ve got your titles, you can either write the articles yourself, or outsource them. Both have their pros and cons.
Writing Your Own Content vs Outsourcing
If you’re on a tight budget, or you’re a complete beginner, it might be better to write them yourself, as you won’t want to waste your money. There are a lot of low quality writers out there and if you’re a beginner, you just might end up with poor quality articles.
It really is super important that your first articles are good.
Sites like iWriter are pretty decent for finding good articles/writers (go for premium 4.0-4.5 star writers), as is my own article outsourcing service. It’s more expensive, but the quality is exceptionally high. If you have the budget and you don’t want to write your own articles, it’s hard to find a better service.
If you’re planning on writing your own articles, here is some extra reading I recommend for structuring and producing your articles:
Remember to aim for 1,000 words for each article, and 2,000 for the homepage. Break things up with images, tables (use TablePress if you’re on WordPress) and other media.
If you struggle with writing posts that long, then make sure you at least get 400+ words.
Moving Forward – Long Term Content
The short term target is to get those 10,000 words mentioned above onto your site, and that they are of good quality. A longer term target would be to keep adding articles on a weekly basis. Whether you add one, two, or three articles a week is up to you, your free time, or your budget.
Once a site has started to get a little traction and you’ve laid the foundations for promoting it, you can start going after other long-tail keywords and writing articles for them. If you can imagine your site with 100 articles on it, that would be a great long term strategy.
Space them out consistently and keep them at a reasonably high quality and you’ll find you start ranking for all sorts of keywords.
Remember, if any of this is over your head, you can get a foundation education just the same why I did.
Content is important, but it’s not rocket science. You don’t need to worry about SEO or selling at this stage. Just think about what your potential audience will want to know and read.
Spinners, Duplicate Content, and Other Short-Cuts
There will always be a lot of debate about duplicate content and spun articles. Yep, you can probably get some rankings with them and maybe even some sales, and yep they are pretty cheap and cost effective.
The main problem is that they are never going to be good quality. I don’t care right now about whether or not Google will punish you for spinning, or whether you’ve discovered the latest tool for spinning or pulling content from other blogs.
If it’s not a unique article, I’m not interested, and neither will the people who visit your site be.
The Spaghetti Method
Some people will disagree with the way I start sites. They’ll argue that all you need to do is keep posting regularly for three-six months and eventually you’ll get rankings. This is true to some extent, but I’ve seen plenty of people posting away for months and never getting more than a trickle of traffic.
Without promotion (which we’ll cover later), all that blogging is the same as throwing Spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.
It will take time for your site to rank whether you’ve got 10 articles or 50, so you might as well spend some of your time early on working on site promotion and other more productive means, then building out the site later.
1. Add initial content (10,000 words) and use on-page SEO.
2. Promote site
3. Once there’s some movement in the search engines, add more content.
Great! We’ve covered articles for now. You’ll learn a bit more about content creation, keywords, and SEO in the rest of this guide, so don’t worry that it’s not been covered yet.
In the next chapter, we’re going to talk about site structure.