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.