How To Start a Successful Blog That’ll Make You Proud (An Ultimate Beginners Guide)
Step #5: Get Backlinks and Traffic by Creating the Right Type of Content
Remember when I told you that you need content ideas for your audience and content ideas for other bloggers in your niche?
If you want to grow your blog fast you should also have 2 types of content on your blog:
- The first type is content that targets your audience and helps them to overcome the obstacles they might have.
- And the second type is content that targets people who run blogs in your niche.
This is the thing you won’t find in most guides. All you’ll see is advice to publish content only for your audience. But that audience can’t provide a link to your content and links are a major part of success.
Content for your audience can be a review of a popular product, list post, or how-to guide. These types of content work best in this case.
Content for other bloggers has to be more in-depth because bloggers are much harder to impress than your regular readers. Case studies, in-depth how-to guides, expanded listicles are what most bloggers tend to share and link to.
Now, you won’t just guess what they might like. If you did your research from step 2 then you already have a list of topics you can write about.
Do you see how important it is to do everything in order one by one?
Satisfying Your Audience by Publishing Types of Posts That Work Best for Them
There are two types of content that you’ll be creating for your audience.
Educational content that will help them to overcome their problems of challenges, and sales content that will help them to find out more about products they might want or need.
Not every piece of your content should be selling something.
Have one sale post to two educational posts. Keep in mind that educational posts have a purpose too. They are used to attract readers, to keep them longer on your site, and to lead them to a piece of selling content.
Here are 3 types of posts you can create for your audience that will do well:
- List posts (10 Ways to X, 10 Steps to X, The Top 10) Example: The Top 10 Simple Tactics for Driving Targeted Traffic to Your Website.
- How-to posts (How to Do X, How to Be X, How to Do X Without X) Example: How To Drive Traffic to Your Website Without Spending a Dime.
- Product or service reviews
Let me tell you more about these types of posts.
It’s well known that people love long list posts.
Headlines containing a large number indicate long content, and people commonly correlate longer posts with more work and greater quality.
Statistics also show that long content gets shared and linked to more than short content.
Brian Dean from Backlinko analyzed 912 million articles and found out that content longer than 3000 words gets an average of 77.2% more referring domain links than content shorter than 1000 words.
He also discovered that lists posts are the most shared type of content on social media. They get an average of 218% more shares than how-to posts and 203% more shares than infographics.
How-to posts are blogging classics, loved by bloggers and readers. They are practical and valuable and make great pieces of cornerstone content.
HubSpot discovered that how-to posts yield an average of 55% more views than any other type of posts on their blog.
A couple of years ago how-to posts were a goldmine for traffic and engagement, but things have changed.
Today how-to posts are getting much less traffic, and there is almost no engagement from that traffic.
How to fix this?
There’s a simple trick that works in every niche.
Instead of educating people on what to do, educate them on how to do it differently.
Jon Morrow from smartbloggers.com explained this perfectly, so I’ll quote:
Assume every person coming to read your how-to posts has already read a dozen other posts on the topic. To get their attention, you have to show them an entirely different method that works better.Jon Morrow
Product or Service Reviews
There are two types of reviews, straight product reviews, and comparison reviews. When writing reviews the smartest thing to do is to follow a template that works for reviews.
Single Product Reviews
- 1000 words minimum
- List Pros and cons
- Cover features and benefits but be strong on benefits
- 2 to 3 calls to action in the content
- Hyperlink images
- A call to action at the end of the conclusion
- Longer than 1500 words
- Pros and cons for both products but one must come as a winner
- Cover features and benefits for both products
- The winning product has to be 2nd one
- 2 to 3 calls to action in the content for each product
- Hyperlink images
- A call to action for the winner at the end of the conclusion
Some Other Tips to Follow
- Short paragraphs, 2 to 3 sentence max
- Never use long words if short ones can do the job
- Use images and subheadings to break up the content
- Use simple words
- Use Grammarly to fix grammar errors
Getting Backlinks and Traffic by Publishing Content That Work Best for Other Bloggers
I’ve already mentioned which types of content work best for other bloggers in your niche.
- Case studies
- Complete list posts
- Ultimate how-to guides
Case studies are sharing real-life experiences someone is having with some particular product or method. They work well because they tell a compelling story, they are focused on prospects, and they address the needs of a targeted persona.
Complete List Posts
Complete list posts work well mainly because they are easy to scan, easy to write, and easy to preview.
Regular list posts cover items without many details for each one, while complete list posts have more content and details for each item on the list.
Complete list posts provide your reader with pieces of information they need to take action right after reading. Without having to look at other places for some further explanations.
Ultimate How-to Guides
Ultimate guides are a great way to draw traffic, links, and social shares.
The goal of every ultimate guide should be to provide better and more in-depth information than all other posts about that topic. This is what makes this type of content so valuable.
This type of content is what Brian Dean from Backlinko used to drive over 9000 visitors in the first 3 weeks after publishing his ultimate guide.
Are you willing to give it a try?
I’m going to show you how to create your ultimate how-to guide.
How to Create Your Ultimate How-to Guide
Step #1 Choose a topic
But not just any topic. It has to be a topic that other bloggers in your niche are constantly sharing and linking out to.
Also, you want to choose a topic that can be divided into 7-10 subtopics, which is a sweet spot. Anything more or less than that is too broad or too narrow, so stick with that optimal length for your ultimate guide.
Step #2 Write down your subtopics
These subtopics will be titles for your guide so make sure to pick the best ones.
Step #3 Transform your sub-topics into beneficial titles
You have to show people that your content is useful, and when you make benefits clear, it will upgrade the perceived value of your content.
For example, let’s say you are creating a guide on making coffee and you have a sub-topic Filter coffee.
So instead of using just that you transform it into something like How to make filter coffee that will make your taste buds go wild.
Is that sound more valuable to you?
Don’t worry if you can’t transform every subtopic into a beneficial title. Just do as much as possible.
Step #4 Set up your ultimate guide
When you’re done with your topic and subtopics it’s time to move on to the content creation for your guide.
Here’s how to do it.
First of all, you need a title. And since you are creating an ultimate guide, make sure to put that into your title. For example, something like “The Ultimate Guide to Coffee Grinding” will work well.
Then you need a custom graphic that will divide your title and introduction, which also can be used as a featured image. You can create the graphics with a free tool called Canva.
Step #6 Write the introduction
You want an intro that will hook your readers and make them want to read more.
But how to do it?
Here’s the intro formula you can use:
- Shortly summarize the importance of your topic
- Refer to a common challenge
- Pitch your post
Step #7 Create content around your chapters
Consider each chapter like a mini-post. So you need an introduction and a quick explanation of the 3-5 most important things about that chapter. These things can be pieces of information, strategies, or a list of tips.
Step #8 Write a conclusion
The conclusion is used to get the readers to comment on your post. Simply ask if they have a question or is there something they think is missing in your guide.
And that’s it. Your ultimate guide is ready and you’re all set.
There is one skill that you should learn so you can have more success with your content. Keep reading if you want to know more.
Compelling Visitors to Take the Actions You Want Them to Take by Learning the Art of Copywriting
No matter are you an affiliate marketer or a dog walker, you could have the best website and lots of traffic, but if your visitors aren’t compelled to take the action you want them to take, then it’s all for nothing.
Having an idea, turning those ideas into words, and writing your first blog post is the fun part.
Copywriting is one of the most important skills you can ever learn for your online business, and it’s going to be a vital part of your success.
To become a successful copywriter you have to follow a standard formula that’s been working for years, and still works today. The AIDA formula.
As I said, you don’t have to be an expert in your niche. To create content all you have to do is research, read, and compile. You “steal” it from other blogs.
That is something that you might not expect. But that’s right, you steal it. The trick is to find correct information from trusted sources. Research, read, and compile. And originality comes from using your own voice, and you improve your voice from writing more and more.
And it all starts with headlines.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
There are two things that we imply when creating content, features, and benefits. Remember this true old saying: Features tell, benefits sell.
Benefits are much more important to your readers than features. Great headlines ideally have two or three benefits, and almost 99% of great headlines that you can see today are stolen ideas because writers follow a template that’s been working since the beginning of time.
All they have to do is fill in the blanks. You can and should do the same.
Let’s see some headline formulas you can tweak and use in your content. Brian Clark from Copyblogger calls this a sure-fire headline template.
12 Headline Formulas That Work
- Who Else Wants [blank]?
- The Secret of [blank]
- Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]
- Little Known Ways to [blank]
- Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
- Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]
- Now You Can Have [something desirable]
- [Do something] like [world-class example]
- Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of
- What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]
- How to [blank] and [blank]
- How to [do something] That [Rewarding Benefit]
- [Number] Ways to [blank] so you can [blank]
With that said, let’s move on to a useful content strategy you can use to organize your content.
When you creating your content you should consider using a content strategy that will help you to rank higher in Google. It’s called the pillar page and topic cluster strategy.
Organizing Your Content and Boosting Your Rankings by Using Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters Content Strategy
This is a content strategy that you employ to organize your content, boost rankings for all linked pages, and bring more traffic to your site.
Having in-depth pillar pages surrounded by topic clusters is very effective because, as I said earlier, Google suggests focussing on blog topics instead of focusing on keywords.
The idea is to create a big and powerful piece of content (pillar page) that wraps up all of the questions about a specific topic in-depth.
Then you start creating blog posts about different topics covered on your pillar page.
Improving Your Writing Skills and Boosting Your Chances for Success
Like with anything else, in order to become better, you should practice and educate yourself. The same goes for writing.
Here’s a couple of websites with great writing courses that I recommend to anyone who wants to become a better writer.
One of the courses that impressed me is Creating Blog Material Your Readers Actually Want to Read.
All SkillShare courses offer fun and interactive lessons and set you on the road to becoming a writing wizard.
Freelance Writers Den is an online community where writers learn how to boost their writing skills and grow their earnings fast.
It’s an exclusive community and you have to join their waiting list and wait because they open to the crowd only twice a year, but special offers to their waiting list can sometimes get you in sooner.
HubSpot Academy is an outstanding free source for marketers and sales professionals to expand their skills and discover new areas of online business.
Make sure to go through the Business Blogging Course: Attracting and Monetizing an Audience Through Content.
Anthony Miller is the guy who’s responsible for the invention of the robotic exoskeleton, multi-use rocket, and a hair growing helmet.
His inventions helped him to become the first man who flown to Jupiter, where Jupiterians greeted him exuberantly and even adored him divinely because of his long curly hair.
“Such lovely beings”, he reported on his return back to Earth.
He’s also been blogging successfully for over 10 years and he took an enormous amount of online courses before he was enlightened by God himself to start helping beginners to transform into successful bloggers.