When we first start a blog or niche site, we may be brimming with ideas on articles we want to write, especially if the topic is a passion of ours. But is there a specific way we should approach writing content for our new site to give it a better chance of ranking well on Google and getting traffic?
There is definitely a certain method we should use to decide which content to write for our site, the type and length of content to write, and the order in which we write it.
Writing content in such a way (and such an order) that authority and trust are slowly built up with Google is the best way to ensure your blog is successful in the long term. Start with lower competition, longer tail keywords before building up to more competitive keywords as your blog gains more authority and trust.
If we stay at it for long enough, there is no doubt that bloggers can “go up against the big boys” and target short tail, extremely high competition and traffic search terms with authoritative sites at the top of the results. But there is no chance at all of this happening right away on a brand new site.
Authority needs to be built up on Google in a very specific way, by starting off small and then building up to progressively more competitive and potentially profitable keyword searches, to give a new site the best chance of drawing in lots of traffic and succeeding long term. Let’s look in more detail at a very specific strategy to accomplish this.
Answer Queries Which Are Being Typed Into Google
The first thing you need to do to make sure your content ranks is to actually answer queries which are being typed into Google, and not just writing about things you want to write about. This is a common mistake for new bloggers especially – they write about things they want to get off their chest, but which have no chance of ranking because they are not queries other people are typing into Google.
The online market for information is the same as any other physical market on the street or in the shop – you have to be providing what the consumer wants and not just doing or saying whatever you want to. You need to answering questions people are actually asking.
If you can combine this into things you also want to say, then great! The two things will often overlap, and you will be able to get your points or critiques across whilst answering a specific search phrase. But the primary goals needs to be answering questions people are typing into search engines.
Thankfully, the Google Autocomplete search feature allows you to very easily find this out – it completes search terms for you precisely because these are terms other people have already typed into Google before.
So you already pretty much have all the keyword research you need for free, without using any keyword research tools, which almost never give truly accurate search volume figures, since no one really knows these numbers except Google. The guys at Income School emphasize this point time and again – Google autocomplete is your research tool – see the video just below for more on this.
Google autocomplete is your friend when it comes to finding article titles for your new site
You can of course use alternative or equivalent words – with semantic search nowadays, Google is well aware of understanding when two words mean the same thing in an article title, such as “film” meaning the same as “movie”. But the general title of your article needs to be directly aimed at search terms being typed into Google.
You can also of course occasionally write “opinion pieces”, which aren’t aimed at search terms but are just your opinions or criticisms about a certain topic. Just don’t expect them to rank if they are not matching a search term – it can be a good idea though if it can be linked to from one or more of your articles which do rank well.
The simple way to find keyword phrases to write about
Pick Low Competition Search Terms
To start off a blog or niche site, you also need to be targeting long tail, low competition keyword search phrases in your niche to begin these. By this, we mean longer search phrases (five to eight words), with lower or average quality results which you can write better content on.
These are the only type of article which can rank on a brand new site. Forget about chasing more competitive, shorter search terms on a new site, because it simply won’t have the trust or domain authority on Google to compete with bigger, more established sites. You can however target these phrases down the line once you have built some authority ranking for less competitive search queries.
So what are some examples of these less competitive search phrases? In general, you are looking for search phrases within your niche which show up on the Google Autocomplete search feature, where there is a clear opening to write a better piece of content than what currently ranks.
Here are the general criteria to look for:
- Long search phrases – 5 words or more.
- The top results for the phrase are from sites you haven’t heard of, like other blogs or smaller sites.
- The top results for the phrase are average or poor, with short or shallow content, and you can easily write a longer, better article with your knowledge of the topic.
- The top results are not even directly answering the query being asked, but are perhaps only tangientially related or answering a slightly different question.
- Forum results at the top, or Reddit and Quora results.
- Old results at the top, from five years ago or more.
These are the types of article to start off your site with, and they don’t even need to be super long. 1200-1500 word response posts, which directly and thoroughly answer the question, and are a better resource than what currently ranks for that search, can be a great way to build authority up on a new site.
Then, once you have ranked some of these on Google, you can move onto shorter, more competitive search phrases with more traffic. Google likes to see a progression in terms of the content on your site, starting off with smaller, less competitive search terms to build trust in the first year, before moving onto more competitive search terms and longer content in the second year and beyond.
See the niche site tutorial video from the guys at Income School just below, where they go through this process of building up progressive ranking in detail from the 15 minute mark. They detail how the order you write you posts in is very important to get traffic to your blog as soon as possible.
Income School recommended content mix for starting your blog:
- First batch of articles – low competition, long tail search terms – 1000-1500 words.
- Second batch of articles – higher competition, more in depth articles – 2000-2500 words.
- Third batch of articles – short tail, competitive search terms – much more in depth and thorough articles – 3000-3500 words or more.
- Writing your posts in this specific order gives the content the best chance of ranking in the quickest time. See the 15 minute mark of the above video for more explanation on this.
Content Writing Checklist
Here is a quick checklist of tips for actually writing the content, to make it as engaging and digestible as possible for viewers and give it the best chance of ranking on Google.
- Go for longer content whenever possible – length is a big ranking factor. Aim to go longer than the results you are completing against. Having said that, don’t unnecessarily waffle and stray off point just to add word count to posts. If 1200 words fully answers the question, that’s cool, stay with 1200 words.
- Research your article properly before writing – check out what the top 3 or 4 results are like and combine the best bits from these, plus adding your own original content, critiques or corrections to show Google there is something original there.
- Having original research always helps make an article stand out to Google eg. data from your own surveys or enquiries, charts and infographics from your own data.
- Write in short blocks of text, 3-4 lines each, since mobile viewing makes up a huge amount of web site visits now. Make sure your content is easy to read on a mobile device.
- Use H3 subheadings throughout to break your content into easily digestible sections.
- Make sure each H3 subheading is still directly related to the main title of the article though. If you start straying too far off point just to add length, then Google will truncate your article.
- Use bulleted lists, tables, pictures, infographics and embedded videos when relevant to break your content up and make it more interesting.
- Make sure you are answering the question with as much depth and detail as is necessary, covering as many bases as possible. Make your article more helpful than anything else that ranks for that term.
A Recipe For Success
You may have noticed that we constantly embed the videos of Income School in our articles. We do this simply because we believe they the best resource for providing simple, down to earth tips for building up new blogs or niche sites to success.
Their information is simple, common sense and well delivered, without any silly “black hat” SEO tricks. Their approach is content focused, with no peripheral trickery or SEO fads, and is the perfect approach for people who just want to create sites about their passions and interests and write content around that niche that helps people out.
The guys at Income School will help you channel and direct this passion in a way that will actually allow your site to build ranking and trust on Google, and ultimately succeed in the long run. They will tell you what to do, but more importantly, the order in which to do it, in order to get your site ranking, and to draw traffic in.
If you want their step by step program for how to do this, then check out their Project 24 course, which is their step by step guide for building up a brand new site from zero to success in 24 months. The embedded previews are a great primer to the full body of resources and tips you will get access to if you sign up to the course.
The course is much cheaper than comparable “how to” course offered by other successful internet marketers, and is based on an approach which may take a little longer, but is ultimately based on creating content which is genuinely useful rather than trying to trick Google with the latest SEO fads.
Following their formula will require some patience in the early days but will deliver a more stable and profitable online business in the long run.
Click here to visit the sign up page for Project 24.