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.
Why Invest Money in Your Blog?
I often see new bloggers say they want to blog on a free platform to see if it works. If blogging works on a free platform then they invest in a domain and hosting.
I guarantee guys: you will fail on a free blogging platform. Blogging never works for cheap, fear-filled bloggers using free platforms. Blogging works for abundant, generous bloggers who buy their domain and hosting and who persistently create helpful content and build strong connections.
Why invest money in your blog?
Stand Out From The Crowd
Most bloggers use free platforms.
Investing money in a domain, hosting and premium theme helps you stand out from the crowd. Free themes and free platforms do not impress people. But seeing a premium, clear, professional-looking theme on a hosted platform creates an eye-popping, attention-grabbing experience.
Visualize your blog looking like a lighthouse in a storm. Invest money in your theme and a domain, and hosting.
Standing out from the crowd also helps you connect with the right people online. Birds of a feather flock together.
Listen to this podcast as Alonzo Pichardo and I chat about connecting with successful folks online:
Maximize Monetizing Potential
Free Platforms like WordPress.org do not even allow monetizing. How insane is that?
Blogger is not much better. Tough to monetize on free platforms because you have few options to work with. Plus your blog does not stand out; critical factor in the blog monetizing game.
Investing money in a self-hosted WordPress blog gives you crazy monetizing potential. I currently have established 11 income streams through my blog. You can sell virtually anything through a blog that you own because you call the shots. Toss in sweet customizing options on a self-hosted blog and your blogging profit potential raises the roof.
Build a Respected Brand
Everything is branding online.
Successful bloggers build successful brands first because a brand makes you memorable.
Peep that image above guys.
I built a brand that got featured on:
- Fox News
because I created a clear, powerful blogging brand in Blogging From Paradise.
See the investments in that picture? I invested in a domain and hosting. I also bought a proof copy of my paperback to promote both my eBook and paperback and to bolster my blogging brand.
Spending money helps you lap most bloggers because most bloggers are terrified to spend money. If you dive into the fear of investing money you stand out from bloggers who are terrified to spend even a cent on their blogs.
Drop some dimes guys.
Invest in a bright blogging future.
Imagine if you visited my blog and saw something like:
Looks rough, right?
I would not trust me. No way. Why would I trust someone who could not afford to drop $10 a month on a domain and hosting? If someone is so terrified or cheap they cannot possibly lead and teach readers genuinely. Nor can the individual have the vision and drive to create something meaningful over the long haul.
Think about it guys; imagine if an aspiring doctor said they could not afford med school? Imagine if an aspiring lawyer said they could not afford law school? No way would you trust these doctors and lawyers. Just like no way would you trust a blogger who says they cannot afford to buy their domain and hosting, plus their premium theme. One look at a cheap or free theme on a garbage free hosted blog instantly alerts readers not to trust you. Nor should they trust you.
Invest money now to make more money through your blog.
All business ventures require investment.
Spend money to make money.
If you want to become a full time blogger you can buy my eBook here:
How to Get Endless Content Ideas for Your Blog
Smacked you in the head sometimes, right?
Nothing feels worse than slamming into writer’s block. But nothing feels better than having endless content ideas on tap, making you a prolific, traffic and profit driving machine.
Content ideas abound. But you need to learn how to and where to find these ideas to become incredibly prolific.
This feels challenging at first but finding content ideas seamlessly:
- increases brand awareness
- gives your readers a steady stream of content to benefit them
- increases your blogging profits through a variety of income travels
- inspires your readers to defeat writer’s block and other mental blocks
- helps you become a prolific guest poster
- gives you more ideas for future blog posts
Follow these tips to get endless content ideas for your blog guys.
1: Poll Your Readers
Poll your readers via an email newsletter.
Publish posts questioning readers on their biggest problems related to your niche.
Ask readers questions to get blog post solutions.
Content ideas dance around in the minds of your readers.
Just asking my readers on Facebook or Twitter about their most pressing blogging problems is an easy way to get content ideas. Sometimes I probe into their struggles. Other times I just ask if they have blogging questions. Some days I get 10 answers or questions and other days, 1. Keep asking guys. Probing and polling readers provides ample blog post ideas for you.
2: Hang out on Niche Specific Forums
I spend time daily both answering questions and finding content ideas on the Warrior Forum.
Help folks and see what to write about by observing forums aligned with your blogging niche.
See the most popular posts. What questions do people ask? How do people struggle?
Mine content ideas in the struggles of your ideal readers.
Be an active contributor on forums to better tune into the needs of folks intrigued with your niche. By regularly publishing posts on Warrior I can see and hear problems experienced by aspiring or even professional bloggers.
3: Follow Top Blogs in Your Niche
Read top blogs in your niche. Keep an eye out for popular posts. What do folks have problems with?
Read the comment fields to get a feel on what readers are chatting about. Many commentors have few issues sharing their pain points via blog comments. Pay close attention to complaints, rants or folks who share their biggest dreams. Tune in to these emotional push buttons to find an endless flow of prospering content ideas.
4: Become a Life Observer
I have nabbed more blog post ideas watching life than you’d ever believe.
Look at yesterday’s blog post: Blogging Outside of the Lines.
See how I spotted a blog content idea by coloring with my niece? Life presents you endless blog post ideas if you quiet your mind, relax, and become an observer of it all. The key is to cease trying to do stuff and to simply relax, and watch, life unfolding around you.
Review your last trip to the store. Who did you chat with today? What life lessons did you learn recently?
Draw an analogy between your experience and your blogging niche. Stay on blogging topic. Be on point. Speak to your readers while relating to them on a deeper level. Be a watcher. Find unlimited blog post ideas.
Meditate or do deep yin yoga.
Both practices expand your awareness, a must for folks intent on clearing their head trash to find more blog content ideas.
Work these streams diligently.
Calm your chattering mind.
Find unlimited content ideas for your blog.
11 Tips on Finding the Right Infographic Ideas for Your Brand
Infographics have become ubiquitous on the Internet. Whether you’re on Facebook, Pinterest, or Linkedin, you’re bound to come across an infographic online.
Infographics are popular due to their ability to convert complex data and information into something much simpler, making them interesting to look at and easy to understand.
According to Hubspot’s study, infographics are three times more likely to be shared than any other type of content— a perfect investment for those who are looking to bring in traffic and generate leads.
As more infographics are published on the Internet, creating one that will stand out from the rest takes more than illustrations with charts and data. An infographic can have great design but without a compelling topic, it might as well be skimmed through.
So, how do you come up with a compelling topic people want to read?
The truth is, it’s not going to be an instantaneous process. It’s going to take time, effort, and a lot of in-depth research. There are times content creators overlook research and end up with a lackluster infographic.
Figure out who your infographic is for. Knowing your target audience beforehand can make the process of choosing a topic much easier.
Avoid aiming for a wider audience. Instead, aim for a specific group of people. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work.
By creating a narrow target, it’ll be easier to create effective strategies for the specified target audience. For example, an infographic about basic exercise won’t be of interest for people who are in advanced exercise programs such as Crossfit or calisthenics.
Cook up a (brain)storm
There are a variety of brainstorming methods to use when coming up with ideas for your infographic topic, such as word association, mind mapping, and keyword research. These methods are perfect for coming up with loads of ideas by exploring different angles and connections.
Tools such as Mindmeister and Ahrefs are great for brainstorming and keyword research. Mindmeister lets you create your own mind map online. You can also export the file into different formats and share it with anyone. Ahrefs is a great tool for keyword research, helping you find high-ranking keywords to use for your infographic.
Another way to find ideas for your infographic is to repurpose existing content. These can be from blog posts, videos, or any other type of content.
Repurposing saves you a lot of time and effort. When you’ve gathered the materials you already have on hand, decide on an angle you want to display the information in. For example, if you have a blog post about 30 ways to save money, you can focus and shorten the blog post and instead, do an infographic on 10 money saving tips for impulsive shoppers.
Knowing what is currently trending can also help you come up with ideas for your infographic. A tool like Google Trends allows you to find the most searched keywords. You can see the searches on different topics and different regions.
Although it’s great to have a completely unique topic for your infographic, it’s also important to consider whether or not it’s feasible. Having a topic that’s too niche and has little to no information to support your research won’t do you any good.
A feasible topic has abundant information that’s easy to access and come from credible sources. Since infographics are meant to inform readers and provide valuable content, an abstract or opinion based topic would have little credibility and wouldn’t be very informative.
For more tips and tricks on finding the right infographic ideas, take a look at the visual guide here!
Andre Oentoro is one of the co-founder of Milkwhale, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. He helps businesses increase visibility on the internet with visual data and well-placed outreach campaigns. Read more on his latest guide to Viral Infographics and learn how to get the most value out of your website’s traffic.
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