The first step we’ll need to perform if we want to get anywhere on the internet is to create unique, original content. Most folks go blank at the idea of creating content and have no idea what constitutes great content. So here’s what to do (if you need help in this area):
Identify your best customers. Really think about it. It goes without saying that these are most likely very similar to prospects who will be searching for your website’s products or services. But if you haven’t identified who your best customer is then you’ll miss out on the chance to target them. For example, let’s say that a third of all of your customers are accountants or CPA’s. Or maybe a half of them play golf. Once you’ve made these distinctions, you start to get a better of idea of how to create content that appeals to your audience.
Go online and do research. Find websites such as forums or discussion groups related to your industry. Create a discussion yourself and ask questions! We’re confident that if you ask the right questions, you’ll discover a few “AHAs” that will help you create compelling content that will appeal to your ideal prospects.
But don’t overthink this so much that you don’t do it! Do it, do it, do it. Engage in discussions with your prospects. You can start by asking questions like, “What’s the biggest challenge that you’re facing right now?” “What have you tried?” “What do you want most from a (your business industry), and what’s your biggest frustration dealing with them?” Come up with our own list of great questions. You’ll be surprised at some of the answers you’ll get.
Now that you’ve done some research, take out a sheet of paper. At the top, briefly describe your best customer or prospect. Then draw a line down the middle. On the left hand side, write down all of your prospect’s fears and frustrations. Write down everything you can think of – sometimes the best nuggets you’ll discover will be near the bottom of the page.
On the right hand side, list all of your ideal prospect’s wants and aspirations. Right down everything that comes to mind. There is no bad answer to the question of what your prospect needs or wants.
Now that your mind is off to the races with lots of good ideas about what to write about, open up NotePad (or TextEdit if you’re on a Mac) and create a list of at least 50 topics with headlines that you can write about.
The best headline topics often start with: “How to,” are numbered lists, such as “7 Easy Ways to Keep your Dog Healthy and Happy,” use percentages such as “99% of Gym-goers NEED to do this Before they Workout,” or pose an interesting question.
Negative headlines that stir up taboo or controversy work about twice as well as positive headlines. Obviously, your goal with a topic headline is to peak curiosity about the article or blog post you are creating, and it requires due consideration in order to get your content read in the first place. As an aside, an interest phenomenon is that on Twitter, many people will “retweet” an article without even reading the actual article itself! That’s the power of a good headline at work.
Finally, to get your brain actually WIRED INTO the process of writing, take a weekend and learn some speed-reading and speed-comprehension techniques. Then regularly devour the bestselling books related to your industry. You’ll find that by reading lots about your topic, your mind will be “kick-started” into naturally coming up with a ton of great ideas. The simple act of reading these days is an anomaly that will put you lightyears ahead of most people on any given topic. And, of course, write these ideas down as soon they come – they are slippery fish. Take notes and create “tickler files” that you can go back to and refresh your
Do it. It works. For a good speed-reading resource, there’s a free ebook on the net that I’d recommend to others written by Mike Koenigs (http://mikekoenigs.com/speed-reading/).
Now that we have some ideas about how to create some content, the first step is to create at least twelve original articles based on some of the topics that we’ve gathered. If you still have trouble creating that much content, you can aggregate content. For example, you can e-mail an influential blogger and politely ask them to answer several questions, which you include in your e-mail, and you can post his or her reply as a blog post on your site.
Or you could invite guest bloggers to post on your site. Or you could share a blog post from another site, and give your thoughts about it. Or you could interview one of these bloggers and include the interview on your blog. By “aggregating” the content, you become the “source” for great information within your marketplace.
Another tactic you might try is scanning your own e-mail outbox. Was there a time when someone asked you a question, and you responded with a lengthy, detailed e-mail? The content provided in that e-mail can become the foundation upon which to base a new article for your blog.
The key is just to get at least twelve articles, each one optimized for your desired keywords and posted to a WordPress blog on your site. Use your keyword phrase in the title of your article. For example, if your desired keyword phrase was “Austin locksmiths” you could use a title like “Austin Locksmiths – 7 Tips to Secure Your Home While on Vacation.”
Lastly, if you simply CAN’T find time in the day (or create time for yourself by eliminating low-value activities like aimless internet browsing, excessive emailing, or gossip) to write or aggregate content, then you can outsource article writing to someone else. A couple of sites that you can hire writers at a negligible cost are oDesk (www.odesk.com) and Online Jobs.PH (www.onlinejobs.ph). You can also find writers on GetMyRank (www.getmyrank.com).
Once the articles are submitted to you from your writer, be sure to proof read the articles, and make any necessary changes, add imagery or video to your articles, and SEO optimize the articles for the keywords you want by using the keywords every 150-200 words or so.