Lesson #5 | Creating Valuable Content
You've heard me waffle on about giving people value right? Well, this article explains how you are going to do that and ultimately why it matters so much.
Why People Search For Stuff Online
The entire concept of building a website and getting people visiting it revolves around giving people somehting of value in the form of your content. If you don't write stuff that helps people then why the heck would they wanna visit your site? I know I wouldn't.
In order to know what your audience finds valuable and what will actually help them you need to understand who they are and what they are searching for. Understanding your target audience completely is something you will come to learn in time and is an entire field of study in itself. There are many free tools available that give you some incredible insights into your audience once you start getting visitors.
For now though, you don't have visitors to get that insight and more importantly you don't need to have that kind of insight to get the ball rolling and start making commissions. Just understand that people search for stuff that solves their problem and your going to be the key problem solver. Got it? Cool!
Different Types Of Content
There are many different types of content and many different styles of writing that content. The good news is that for the purpose of affiliate marketing with a website you do not need to be some kind of writing guru. You just need to help people solve their problem.
Below is a list of some of the main types of content you are going to be writing moving forward and what they are about. To help explain things I'm going to pretend like your niche is "house cleaning ideas".
This type of content can bring you traffic (and ultimately commissions) for years to come based off just one effort. It is called evergreen because it's something that people will continue to search for well into the future. Pretty much anything you write that isn't a product review or some kind of trending story is going to be evergreen depending on your niche.
There's tons of evergreen content you could write for the house cleaning niche. Why? People live in houses, houses need to be cleaned. It's really that simple.
For example, you could write an article about "removing stains from a ceramic cooktop" or "5 tips for cleaning your oven" or "best method for removing soap scum from your shower glass". They all help your audience and they're going to be searching for this for years to come.
A pillar article is not just a standard blog post, it's something you are going to put a lot of time and effort into and it's a type of content that other (smaller articles) will link back to. It's typically much longer and more detailed than a standard piece of content.
For example you might write an epic tutorial on "DIY bond cleaning for newbies". This article is in depth so it doesn't leave anything to the imagination. When people come to this article they get all the information they need to successfully clean their home and get their bond back. Somewhere along the lines you'll write other content and when the idea of bond cleaning comes up, you'll proudly link your readers to this 'pillar article' because you know it's going to help them and they're going to love you for it.
In summary, it's just content you put an extra effort into that covers some of the main topics your audience is going to be searching for. Oh, and it's always evergreen.
How To Guides
This is content that helps your audience achieve a particular task. For example: "how to clean your carpet without hiring anyone". This content is generally evergreen but it doesn't have to be long winded or 'pillar' style content and can be written about anything relating to your niche.
There are thousands of 'how to' style articles you could publish in the cleaning niche alone, and 100,000's of niche ideas. In other words, you'll never run out of ideas which means you'll never run out of targeted free traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Doing product reviews is good for 2 main reasons:
- You can rank and get traffic SUPER easy
- You are targeting content at people who are in the tail end of the buying cycle
The reason it's easier to rank is because, generally speaking, less people have written articles about them. This is because there are tons of new products coming out every month so there are endless opportunities to review these and share your insights with people. For example, you could review oven cleaning solutions, vacuum cleaners, steam mops or one of many household cleaning products or appliances.
As mentioned, the cool part about this is that you are delivering content to people searching for "xyz review" which means they are ready to buy if the product or company checks out. Why is this such a good thing? Well, somewhere in your review (typically the start or end) you'll provide your readers with a link to the product under review so they can buy it through you. Not from you.
This does NOT cost them any extra but when they buy a new Dyson through your link- you get a commission! If the product you are reviewing is not something you are proud to link to or promote, offer them a viable alternative. There are many. Either way, your audience is happy because you've solved their problem and you make a commission. Win win.
The drawback to this is that products come and go so you might rank quicker in general, but you're efforts have a shorter lifespan. That is why this is best published in conjunction with the other 3 types of content I explained above. Also, Google like to see people coming back to your site and that you are an authority in your niche which is difficult just doing product reviews alone.
How To Write Content
As I said earlier, you do NOT need to be a writing guru to make money with what I am showing you. Not at all. One of the best pieces of advice I could give you is to remember ONE core thing:
Write The BEST Content Possible, To Help Your Audience
That is it. Really? YES. There are many so called 'SEO gurus' out there that teach all kinds of tricks and tips. I am telling you THE most important thing is your content. The amount of times I've come from page 4 to 1 just by writing better content than the majority already on page 1, is nuts.
People read, like, share, link to and spend more time on the page of quality content. Plain and simple. Google knows this! If there's one thing you can bank on, it's that they will get better and better at detecting this.
As you'll come to learn in later lessons and throughout your journey, writing for search engines and just to get rankings is stupid. I'll say it again... you are writing for people! Avoid tricks and 'secret' ways to improve rankings like the plague.
Some of the old school techniques that once worked revolved around a much more rigid and technical approach to writing content and getting rankings. The fact is Google is WAY smarter now and trying to trick them is incredibly naive and quite frankly, dumb. You'l understand the significance of what I am saying in the next lesson and as you progress in your business but for now you need to understand that quality and useful content is of paramount importance.
I'm not going to explain Google's advanced algorithms and ranking metrics (because quite frankly no one knows or understands it fully) but I will say that they know when people are loving your content, and when they are not. If people land on your page and don't find what they are looking for, Google will learn this and will almost certainly push your content back down into Neverland.
It's just business. You are essentially 'feeding' Google with useful information so that they can add value to their user base. If you aren't making at least some of G's users happy then your success is going to be very limited.
Anyone in the SEO game will tell you that things change VERY quickly which is why tricks don't work. One thing that will never change is Google wanting to give it's users value and you can count on them getting smarter and more able to detect 'quality' as time goes on.
Moral of this story? Focus on feeding Google with quality content and you'll do very well. The term "content is king" really does mean something as cliche as it may sound.
6 Useful Content Writing Tips
This is definitely not an exhaustive list but it's the main things you should know about writing content.
- Write at least 1000 words or more per article
- Be yourself and write naturally
- Do NOT worry about keywords beyond what I explain in the next article
- Proof read and ensure correct grammar is used
- Link to other content you've written where appropriate (called internal linking) and sometimes credible third party websites
- Break up your content into smaller, more readable chunks of 2-3 sentences
Ultimately, practice makes better and better makes you more money. Once you've written a 100 articles you'll have a WAY better grasp on the concept of writing quality and useful content.
The Importance Of Including a CTA
What the heck is a CTA? It's a "call to action" and is the single biggest piece of content within your articles in terms of making money with all of this and it can be as small as one sentence or even just an image. Every single page/ post should include a CTA of some kind, without exception.
Your audience wants to know what they need to do next and this is where you are going to be linking them to another article or in most cases, a review of a relevant product you are promoting. There is going to be a select group of products (or even just 1 product) that you recommend to people to solve their problem.
Sticking with the cleaning niche, let's say you wrote a 'how to' article entitled "easy ways to remove pet hair from carpet". You could link your visitors to a review you wrote about your top rated vacuum cleaner. A percentage of those that read your article will click through to your #1 vacuum review and some of those will then click through to Amazon or wherever else the actual product is being sold. Since you directed them there through your unique affiliate link, you get a commission when they buy!
The CTA method you use really depends on your niche though. For example, your niche might be "golfing tips for newbies" and throughout your entire website there is only ONE program you genuinely recommend. In this case, after every post you could link back to your review on that one product. Perhaps it is a golfing tips video course for $149. When people reading that review click through and buy the golfing tips video course, you'll make a commission.
The take away being there's more than one way to go about this but no matter what you should always include a CTA at the end of each article you publish. People need to know what you want them to do next and you want to make money. Add a CTA.
The most important thing to remember above all else is to never promote something that sucks! I mean absolutely never. The whole idea of this is to build trust with your audience and if you start promoting crap your credibility will go right out the window. You could spend months or even years building a trusted and respected website that generates a full time income, but if you chose to promote something rubbish, your hard work and reputation is going to take a MASSIVE hit. Not worth it.
I personally only recommend products I've used myself and that I know work well so that I can be certain I'm recommending high quality products that genuinely help my audience solve a problem. Works well for me.
In this lesson you've learned the importance of writing genuinely helpful content for real people who are looking to solve real problems. Millions of people are searching for information every day online and your job is to give them what they need. The more value you can give to people, the more money you are going to make. It's not about writing fancy pants content by any means, it's about helping people. Plain and simple.
I've also explained the importance of writing quality content and how there's no point trying to 'game' the system. Google is a giant and they have incredibly sophisticated algorithms so you won't win and you'll waste your time trying. Just write valuable content. Sick of me saying this yet? Good.
The last point I brought out was about the importance of including a CTA. This is vital if you want to make any money from all of this which I'm pretty sure you do right? Yep, thought so. Always tell your visitors what you want them to do next.
You're not going to be a content writing warrior right out of the gate so don't stress, it's just practice! Much like Michael Jordan became a great Basketball player by getting onto the courts every day, you'll become great by writing and taking action on a consistent basis. Success is cumulative and like anything worthwhile, it takes time to develop your skills. You absolutely will get there if you stick at this I promise you!
In the next lesson I'm going to be covering the second most important element (after quality content) in getting your content ranked and getting tons of traffic to your blog. Things are starting to get exciting at this point. Why? Because when you know how to do proper keyword research you can get any kind of content ranking and drive as much free traffic as you want to your offers.
In this game, more traffic equals more profit. But you want to make sure you target the right keywords, or you will be in for a long journey. The more you master keyword research, the more successful you will become.