As you may have heard, content marketing is becoming a lot more popular since Google’s Search updates for this past year crippled so many sites. Blogging is, and always has been a great way to gain exposure and get some Pagerank flowing through your site. If you’re like me or if your site is new(like mine), sometimes you might have a hard time coming up with topics to write about. This post is going to solve all the content problems you’ll ever have but, first, I want to talk a little about why I’ve been struggling with content and give some insight into the biggest problem you may encounter.
Know exactly what kind of site yours is.
I always knew this site was going to be about making money online. Seriously, look at the domain name. The problem I’ve been having is not being able to make up my mind about kind of “make money” site I want it to be. How much do I want to focus on tutorials? How much do I want to focus on news? How much do I want to withhold for my email subscribers? Are people going to judge me because I’m not well known yet? All these questions have been bothering me quite a bit lately and consequently, freezing up my writing. Last night, I believe I solved all those problems.
You can’t please everyone.
As far as people judging me, who cares. If someone doesn’t believe in me, they can go somewhere else. If you want to make a lot of money doing this, you have to realize that you need a lot of attention and you can’t please everyone. If I gave a tried and true cure for all types of cancer to the world, I promise, someone would find a reason to be pissed off about it. You simply can’t please everybody. If nobody hates you, it’s because nobody sees you. Obviously, that doesn’t mean you should be a jerk.
News is very perishable and you usually need to post more of it.
Now for the types of content. From now on, instead of only writing about news and mixing helpful advice in the posts, I’m going to go ahead and write tutorials and try to only cover the most interesting and useful news. News sites often have to publish a lot more content to keep the traffic coming in and it’s a lot of work for less reward. It’s actually a lot easier for me to write tutorials because when I’m talking about news, I find myself doing a lot of linking and fact checking. For some reason, that stuff is a little strenuous for me. It’s probably because it keeps me from gaining any momentum. Also, tutorials can be recycled with minimal updating and hold search traffic.
Draw inspiration from your competitors.
What got shared the most?
Whenever you’re having trouble figuring out what to post about next, just go to your competitors and see which posts look like they got shared the most. Most sites seem to have those numbers proudly displayed so, you shouldn’t have any problem figuring out which posts got the most bees buzzing.
Don’t steal content.
It’s very important to remember that you’re only looking for popular topics. I’m not telling you to go and steal people’s content. It’s no secret that if someone has a case study or something like that, link to them when you mention them. It’s also no secret that just because someone writes a walk-through for a video game, it doesn’t mean that no one else can write walk-through for that game. Just make sure yours is better. You can also just make it part of a larger tutorial. Do try your best to make sure yours is different and stand apart from your competitors.
Just because your competitors waste people’s time, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Don’t write a long and useless post just so that it will look more attractive in the serps. In other words, don’t write a post about the top fifty blue widgets if only five of them are actually worth talking about.
Think about it this way. We’ve all met that girl who looks really good but, her personality makes her unbearable. Well, when you draw in users by making your content look more attractive than it really is, you’re not much different from her, are you? Users don’t like it when you do stuff like that and there’s a good chance they’re going to hit the back button.
It’s always better to be the guy who cares more about user experience than page views. Even if you don’t make them hate you, it’s still floating around in the back of their mind that you tried to fool them and waste their time.
Another thing that your competitors might be doing that you shouldn’t is just rewriting content without knowing if the information they’re providing is even accurate. Make sure you’re an expert before you start giving expert advice. Again, it’s about providing a good user experience and keeping customers is easier than gaining new ones.
Remember, it’s all been said before.
This is another problem I’ve been struggling with. Basic stuff seems so old to me and I easily forget that their are tons of people who don’t know what I know. Unless you’re talking about news, most everything has already been said and if you want to be an authority in your niche, that information needs to be on your site.
If you’re not demonstrating that you know the basics, why should anyone believe that you’re advanced. Advanced users are harder to sell stuff to. It’s like trying to convince a 90 year old to take the Pepsi Challenge when he’s been drinking Coke all of his life. Social media is an excellent example. Most brands weren’t trying to be early adopters of social media marketing and until there was tons of undeniable proof they didn’t want to get on that bandwagon. Now almost every brand is using social media marketing.