In the past, writing a handful of short, keyword-optimized articles were enough to get top rankings and plenty of traffic, but these days your content must be top notch for several reasons:
- Google won’t rank low-quality content in the search engine.
- People won’t feel inclined to share irrelevant content on social media or within their communities.
- People won’t click affiliate links on sites that don’t provide value or win them over.
- People won’t join your list if you have content that doesn’t motivate or move them in some way.
- You’ll never position yourself as an expert with thin, useless content.
If you put out low-quality content, you almost certainly will fail. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. There is no method of traffic generation that will make worthless content profitable.
The great news is that it’s easy to create epic content that both people and search engines will love.
When I write an article, the process goes something like this:
- Choose a keyword to create an article around.
- Come up with a killer title.
- Find 3-5 sources for research.
- Come up with an outline for the article, 3-5 section topics.
- Find 3-5 images to go along with the 3-5 topics.
- Create a graphic for Pinterest.
- Create a graphic for Facebook.
- Create a graphic for Instagram.
- Write the article, making sure it is at least 1,000 words.
- Add images to the article at each section, adding alt text.
- Post the article to blog.
- Pin to Pinterest.
- Share on Facebook.
- Post the image on Instagram.
Let’s look at each of these steps one at a time in detail.
Choose A Keyword
You don’t have to meet any specific keyword density or stuff it into every paragraph, but you want to choose a keyword that makes sense and is likely used by your visitor’s when searching Google for content.
Include that keyword in the title of your article, if possible. It’s not critical, but it can help your future SEO.
If you have a captivating article title that you think will pull a lot of traffic in, don’t worry about the keyword. You can use it anywhere in the body of article.
Choose a Title
Your title is very important, because it’s the first thing people see when they land on your page. It is as important as a book title. It can make or break your content’s ability to connect with your reader.
That means it needs to be exciting, interesting, funny, and essentially, attention grabbing.
Let’s say you have the keyword “chicken casserole recipes”. You might be tempted to title your article something like “The World’s Best Chicken Casserole Recipes”.
But that type of title has been used so many times that it’s not exactly attention-getting, right? It’s really boring!
Instead, you could try something like “11 Chicken Casserole Recipes That Will Impress the Fussiest Eater in your Life!” Or “11 Restaurant-Quality Chicken Casserole Recipes That’ll Win His Heart!”
Don’t be afraid to go crazy! After all, you’re going to follow through with an exceptionally high quality article that will meet those expectations and fulfill your promise.
Find Sources for Research
You never want to use just a single resource for your research, because you risk creating content that borders on plagiarism.
Contrary to what you may have been told, it’s not enough to simply rewrite someone else’s content.
Sure, if you rewrite it you probably won’t run into any legal issues, but if someone were to come along that was familiar with the original source, it’ll likely harm your reputation. You’re too good to be a copy cat!
And if you even think about being lazy and copying someone’s content, let me clarify that it isn’t just your visitor’s that you’re likely to piss off.
Google is becoming more sophisticated, and will quickly detect if two websites have very similar content. It doesn’t want to show the same content over and over, so it tries to rank content that is distinct.
Guess what will happen if your site is found to be using the same content as another?
You’ll get penalized as a “duplicate content” site. That means your website will no longer rank. You’ll be lost in the black abyss, forgotten by the one search engine that matters.
Besides, if you use several sources for your research, you’ll have a good mix of information when forming the basis of your content.
Providing a different perspective on a much-covered topic is a great way to stand apart from the crowd, right?
So, research several sources, think about how you could provide a different viewpoint or speak to your reader in your own voice, and write that killer article!
Create an Outline
I always create an outline when I write content for my niche websites, whether it’s for a special report that I offer as incentive to join my mailing list, or a 1,500-word article for my blog.
Outlines help prevent writer’s block, and they ensure that you’re including all the essential information without losing focus or going off track. I even outlined this book you’re reading right now before I started writing it! 😉
A 1,000-word information-based article should have 3-5 sections, each focusing on a different element of your topic. This might vary, if you’re writing something like a content roundup, but 3-5 sections are the sweet spot.
Need an example? No problem!
Let’s pretend you’re writing an article on ways to save money. You might have sections such as:
- Save money on groceries
- Cut out unnecessary recurring charges
- Lower your utility bills
- Cook at home more often
- Buy used items whenever possible
Essentially, you’re segmenting your content and breaking it down into digestible chunks. It makes it easier for your reader to follow and pleases page-scrollers who browse sub-headers for the topics they’re most interested in.
Integrating Eye-Catching Images
Images are an important element of your content, too. Google loves content that contains photos and illustrations, but so do users.
Research has shown that our brain processes visual information over 50,000 times faster than text!
Images also help break up a wall of black-and-white text that may feel monotonous, and can also help support the points you make in your content. Plus, they just add some pizazz! 😉
Word of Caution: Never use free images you find on Google Images!
Make sure you have the legal right to use every single image you post. Otherwise, you could end up on the hook for thousands of dollars in damages if the photographer or stock agency that owns the image finds out that you’ve been using it without authorization or proper licensing.
I recommend creating an account at one of the popular stock image sites online, such as:
If you don’t want to pay for images, try searching various free stock sites like:
Create Social Graphics
I always create 3 different graphics for social media.
- One for Pinterest that is 600×1200 or 600×1800, or even 600×3000. Just make sure your images are taller than they are wide. (If you want to understand why, just look at Pinterest and notice which images stand out most!)
- One for Facebook that is 1200×630.
- One that is 1080×1080 for Instagram.
You don’t have to have Photoshop, or even any special graphics skills, to create these images. You can use something like Canva to create your images for free on PC, Mac, and even on an iPad with the Canva app!
Another great option is Pablo, which is also free. It’s very easy to use, and there are over 600,000 images include that you can use!
Write the Article
Remember to make sure your article is at least 750-1,500 words, and concentrate on relaying information in an interesting and engaging way.
Then, edit it! You want to make sure you’re not overlooking spelling or grammar errors.
If you struggle with this and don’t want to hire an editor, download a free copy of www.Grammarly.com. It’s one of my most used tools and makes me look like a pro! 😉
Add an Image into Each Section
Make sure to place images throughout your article for visual appeal and to keep your reader engaged. It’ll help break up the content.
Don’t forget to add alt image text for SEO purposes and for Pinterest. The alt image text will automatically populate the description field on Pinterest if someone pins an article from your site and chooses one of your images, so it’s very important to do this!
Here’s a quick tutorial on adding alt text in WordPress:
Post the Article
Post the article to your blog when you’re certain it’s free from spelling and grammatical errors. If you’re extra creative one week, you could always write content ahead of time (based on your content schedule) and then set it to go live on specific days.
I do this all the time, especially when I know one week is bound to be busier than usual and I don’t want to fall behind with updating my niche blog. I’ll schedule posts to go live once a week so that even if I’m not at my computer my website is up to date and producing fresh content.
Share on Social Media
Once you have posted your content, it’s time to share it on social media!
- Pin it on Pinterest using an image based on the specifications I listed earlier. Taller than it is wide (600×1200).
- Post it on a Facebook page linking back to your blog post.
- Post on your Instagram while inserting relevant tags. Link back to your blog post.
Last Minute Tips & Strategies
- Make sure your content is easy to share. Check out SumoMe’s floating share toolbar that makes it easy for visitors to share your content: https://sumome.com
- You can also give your visitors the option of saving your content in PDF format so they can read it later. I use PostGopher.com to do this easily. Then, take that content in PDF format and submit it into popular sites like www.DocStoc.com and www.Slideshare.com
- Quote experts and influential marketers so they link back to you. People love seeing their name on growing websites and by doing this you’ll be able to get on their radar and form powerful connections.
- Create interactive videos and post them to YouTube.com, DailyMotion.com and Vimeo.com. If you can’t make one, hire a freelancer for just $5-20 on Fiverr.com
- Build your own social network and share your content regularly. Use Buffer to automate the process so that your content is distributed amongst all the top social media communities.
- Don’t overlook sites like Tumblr and Flipboard at http://www.Flipboard.com . They can bring you fresh traffic and new readers, even without an existing audience of your own. Flipboard is a mobile app that will turn your content into gorgeous magazine-style pages and with over 80-million users, it’s worth checking out!
- Email your list from the very first Don’t wait until you reach a high number of subscribers before you begin to communicate. Draft 2-3 emails and set them up as autoresponders that will automatically go out at specific times (day 1, day 4, day 6, etc.).Remember, your business starts with just one customer. Plus, communicating with your subscribers from the early stages will help you get better at it!
- Create a Facebook page and group and reach new readers and customers but also consider posting within existing groups and pages that allow it. It’s an easy way to connect with potential readers before you have an established Facebook page of your own.
- Participate in forums relating to your niche. Provide valuable information, comment on posts and engage with the community. Most forums will allow you to add a link in your signature field which can drive traffic to your website.
- Guest post on authority websites and tap into their existing base of readers. Make a list of blogs that allow guest posting or featured content and contact those bloggers to see if they would be interested in sharing your content on their website.
- Post your content on the leading information networks, such as: https://alltop.com/ and http://digg.com/
I wish you all the success in the world and hope that my guide has helped you get started. You have what it takes. Go do it!