Marketing experts would have you believe that in order to execute an effective content writing strategy you just need high-caliber content. Unfortunately, it takes more than a beautiful webpage filled with great writing to generate traffic and leads.
Research – based on a sample size of 100,000 randomly selected posts – shows that less than 50% of the included posts had more than 2 Facebook reactions (likes, comments, or shares). Less than 25% of posts in the study utilized external links.
What’s more, in addition to being highly saturated, the most profitable industries are fiercely competitive in Google rankings. For this reason, it is widely considered preferable to find and dominate a threshold within a field. The phrase “market to everyone, sell to no one” comes to mind. If you can secure a niche, your site will be more likely to become an authority in content in that specialty. Thus, you will achieve more external links, and, subsequently, a higher Google ranking. Without a niche foothold, your odds of appearing on Google’s coveted first two SRPs are slim to none.
Follow these steps to generate content that will earn your posts enough links to rank in Google.
1. Scout the Competition
This phase of effective content writing is also known as “research”. How your industry’s target audience will respond to content varies from field to field. There’s no one formula for generating effectively engaging posts for every market. The takeaway here is emphasizing the importance of doing your due diligence. Take the time to effectively research the keywords, formatting, and writing style that will most resonate with the readers you want to connect with. Understanding the types of articles your target market links to will help you create content that garners shares via social media and external links.
We recommend using a combination of our favorite tools for content writing that journalists and bloggers will be interested in linking to in their own pieces.
BuzzSumo offers content writers lists of the most-shared content, broken down by website or keyword. For example, for this post, we entered the search term “content writing”. BuzzSumo falls short when it comes to organic traffic numbers, though. That’s where the following come in.
Ahrefs & SEMrush provide data regarding number of keywords and organic traffic. These data points are particularly useful when used in combination with BuzzSumo’s information about sharable content. Ahrefs and SEMrush allow you see the organic traffic estimate for each keyword – based on the number of external links included in the post about that keyword. Additionally, you can sleuth and check out the keywords your competitors are using – and how they are ranking with them – as well as their organic traffic for each keyword.
It bears repeating: never choose the generic approach to content writing. Cookie-cutter content writing might save you time upfront. However, its ineffectiveness will cost you time, energy, and peace of mind as you backtrack to develop a more tailored strategy.
2. Speaking of External Links…Use Them
The great thing about external links in content writing is that search engine algorithms value them on both sides of the equation. That is, you get points when other sites and blogs link back to your articles and when you link to them. So, find some polished pieces related to each topic you cover and allow readers to supplement your information with that of outside sources, where applicable.
However, keep in mind that not all sources to externally link to are created equal. Utilize BuzzSumo to help you find the most desirable and shareable posts that best align with your content writing strategy.
Conversely, work on building relationships with reputable bloggers in or related to your area of expertise. Having 10 or 20 sites that are well-respected link to your content will help bolster your Google ranking. It will also expose each of these externally-linked site’s regular readership to your blog. Some of these new readers are bound to explore more posts on your site. Each time a site externally links to your page, you are likely to gain at least a few new fans.
There are a few recommended ways to reach out to others in the blogging community to start talking about partnering:
- Request to quote the source as an expert in the field or researcher
- Include their site and specifically relevant articles in a list of further reading at the end of your post
- Externally link to their posts throughout your article, when relevant
- Poll industry professionals, and ask to list all the experts who were included in the survey
3. Consider the Optimal Outreach Approach
Put together a list of people, websites, and posts you’d like to link to for a given article. If you don’t know where to begin, check Facebook pages, Twitter & Instagram accounts, and LinkedIn groups related to the subject at hand. It’s always better to reach out to sources you or one of your connections or coworkers knows personally. However, some of the most fruitful partnerships in this day and age are born of strangers via social media. The key is finding those with a similar mindset, mission, and interest in your industry. Peruse a users posts on a given social media outlet, and if you think you could partner for great content writing, tell them so! The key when messaging over social media is to keep it brief and to the point.
Bloggers are another natural group to target in outreach for content writing. If you’ve been in your industry for awhile, you’ll have your own favorites you regularly check out. See what they have posted related to a future post you’d like to write. Then, follow the breadcrumbs of posts they’ve linked to as a means of discovering new viewpoints. When you find something that strikes you as interesting, make a note to contact the author. Whether you agree, disagree, or are interested in discussing a point further, all will make for richer content writing of your own article.
Use these steps as starting points, and start letting organic traffic find you.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.
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