- Content Creation Strategy
- Let’s Get to Writing Epic Content
- Parting Words
We are all living in a digital world where everything you ever see anyone mention is CONTENT.
Content, content, content.
- Influencers 🍑: Create content
- Marketers 🎯: Create content
- SEOs 📈: Create content
- Growth Hackers 🚀: Create content
- Your mom 🤭: Create content
But do you ever find yourself with zero ideas on what to write?
Or where to even start?
I know it can get pretty overwhelming when you try to create a full-on content strategy from zero.
You don’t know where to start, what to write, how to optimize.
Keywords, alt tags, internal links, what???
Yeah, I had that problem too.
Until I found out about content clusters and SEO silos.
You might say "There is so much to write about there is no way I’m going to run out of ideas".
Trust me, you are.
When it's your first week everything seems like sunshine and rainbows🌈.
But try writing content for a year every single week.
It gets old fast.
So my way of battling the "topic idea" block and actually creating a well-structured content plan was the clustering strategy that I’ve been using for a while now.
Although I’m not going to go into content clusters here, I’ll make sure to cover it sometime soon.
Back to our content creation.
So everyone is telling you to create "high-quality content" (whatever that means) because it ranks well, earns tons of backlinks and raises your website’s EAT.
But do you actually have any idea how to do that?
I mean I am confident that you can write (almost everyone can, well those of us that graduated middle school) but is it the right type of content for your target audience and for your website?
That’s the question.
Let’s dive in.
Content Creation StrategyNow before jumping in with both feet and writing on the first topic idea that pops into your head let’s get some things straight.
I know how exciting it is to create content around what you are passionate about, love doing, feel comfortable writing, etc.
And having a set content structure might stifle your creativity.
Trust me, it won’t.
If you don’t want to end up with random pieces of content that are forever lost in a corner of your blog for your eyes only, listen up.
An optimized content creation process is much more rewarding and actually gives you a lot of wiggle room to express your creativity all the while following the best practices that lead to some serious results.
Ultimately the point of this whole content creation strategy and its increasing importance in any digital strategy is to showcase your brand in the best light possible and raise brand awareness.
That is precisely why all your content creation efforts should reflect your brand’s unique voice and align with your business goals.
What Are Your Goals?What do you want out of your content?
What’s your motive?
I mean you gotta have one.
There is no point in going forward if you don’t, so you better get thinking.
Do you want to spread information?
Do you want to educate your potential prospects?
Do you want to build a sense of trust around your brand?
Do you want more search visibility?
Do you want to earn lots of backlinks?
Do you want your readers to eventually make a purchase?
Probably all of the above.
And this takes me to my next point.
Don’t Overlook Your Buyer’s JourneyBefore going ahead and creating a piece of content that you "think" will be "good" for your website take a look at your buyer’s journey.
Your online content should ideally fit into your buyer's journey at each stage of the funnel.
You need to have educational/informational thought-leadership type of content that is catering to upper top-of-the-funnel prospects who are completely new to your product, even your brand and need a lot of nurturing and cuddling to get comfortable with your product/service.
On the flip side, you have your bottom-of-funnel prospect who are primed and ready to go through with a purchase, just a gentle push and you’ve got your deal.
With every brand, the marketing funnel takes different shapes and sizes so there’s no one fits all approach when it comes to your buyers and how many stages they go through.
But let’s not complicate things either.
I’m pretty sure you know your product and your target customer well enough to have this done and ready in no time.
Remember, this is just something to keep in mind when structuring your overall content plan and writing individual pieces, that’s all.
And of course, when it comes to mass-market products that we use every day, or even clothing this type of TLC is not as necessary because the funnel tends to be a lot shorter.
But if you have a higher-value offer I’m afraid this is your chance to convert those leads (well, along with a strong social presence, good search visibility and a bit of help from paid media).
Now that we have a clear idea of who is the consumer of our content let’s get to work.
Review Your Website ArchitectureFirst and foremost, you know it, I know it, it’s time to do the structure thing.
I don’t know about you, but I find it quite interesting.
Whether you plan on chucking all of your content into your blog or want more of a tiered approach, you need to take your website architecture into consideration.
Personally, I’d recommend using the content cluster strategy for a cohesive silo structure.
If you want to know how to achieve the perfect website structure check out my guide on SEO content silos.
I really don’t want to say it’s a game changer, but it is.
Let me explain.
Most websites have a blog where they post ALL of their content in no order whatsoever, right?
The issue with this is that said blog is quite disconnected from your website.
As for crawlers, it might as well be a separate entity on its own.
Because blogs have a very flat structure everything is basically on the same level and I think you see why that is a very bad idea.
Try putting your resource pages besides your "how to" posts (or your company announcements!) and see how they perform 🤦♀️.
While the silo structure is deep and very logically organized.
Every page of content has its place in a dedicated topically relevant cluster where "link juice" flows freely throughout the entire silo.
Anyways, I’ll go forward explaining everything based on this strategy because that’s the one I feel gets the best results.
Time to Choose A TopicThe way I approach content creation and content strategy is by looking into the brand's search visibility on specific topics, not keywords, but topics.
This is the topic cluster strategy in a nutshell.
There is a but.
The topic clustering strategy is wonderful and it really works but we gotta use it right.
The ideal way to approach this is by mapping out 5-10 core (or more) problems that your buyer persona has whether it leads up to why you actually created your product or certain questions regarding your product.
The possibilities are endless.
However if you want to gain search visibility on a certain topic, great, but it can’t be something totally out of your website’s theme.
This is what I mean.
If you have a website that promotes a dental clinic you really don’t want to dive deep into plastic surgery on your blog.
Rhinoplasty, maybe, if you have maxillofacial surgery as a service.
If not, what’s the point?
All in all, your blog content is specifically designed to support your landing pages so they need to be closely related.
Say we are looking at Keyword Cupid's website.
The primary focus of the website is the keyword clustering tool that is targeted at marketers who are looking for an efficient and data-driven way to create ideal keyword-targeted content for their websites while taking into consideration site architecture, keyword cannibalization and the overall marketing landscape.
From my brief introduction, it’s quite clear that we are focusing on optimal website architecture here, aka silos.
So what did we do?
We went out to cover SEO silos in its entirety in the KC blog while also going into each specific component of the silos structure (e.g. keyword grouping, internal linking, content creation!!!, etc) separately.
What this does is it goes into each individual feature the tool has and how it can be used for creating the ultimate content strategy from your keyword list.
The overachieving goal of your clusters is to build an extensive stream of content around specific topics.
Meaning, you want to cover your chosen topic in its entirety.
Yup, all of it.
You can’t cover your chosen topic within one post.
Technically you can but it will resemble a novel... just saying.
All jokes aside, we need supporting pages of content to build up our cluster.
You certainly can try to brainstorm your subtopics.
If it’s a narrow, very niche topic you can really get away with the manual work.
But if your subject matter is quite broad, brainstorming won’t cut it.
This is where your keywords join in on the fun.
Identify Keyword Groups for Each TopicThe easier and more strategic way out of creating each content cluster is by taking a closer look at your keyword list.
Generally, at this point in time, you should already have your keyword research file done and ready because it should come way before you start out with creating your content.
The best possible way to come up with strategic topic ideas for each cluster is by grouping your keyword list.
It’s literally called keyword clustering and I wrote a pretty long piece explaining what it is, so go over there to check it out.
The idea here is to group your keyword list into thematically related keyword clusters.
But if you are lazy to go read the whole thing (I know you are but at least bookmark it for later) I’ll give you a little sneak peek here.
You know grouping a thousand-keyword list of data is exhausting and probably not worth your time 😳.
But I have the solution for you.
Did you know that Keyword Cupid groups your entire keyword list, no matter how large into thematically related groups of relevant search terms using an awesome machine learning algorithm?
Yes, you read it right, it uses data straight from Google SERPs and gives us the most relevant grouping possible.
I mean if Google says so, how can we question it, right?
So let Keyword Cupid do all the clustering for you so that we can move on to creating our content pages.
Look at this as your content calendar/content plan.
You have your main cluster topics identified, the supporting content along with the target keyword sorted out and you have a vivid visual map to take care of the internal linking.
And let’s not forget my favorite feature: The SERP Spy!
As the name suggests it spies on the SERPs and lets you know what your "competitors" are doing to rank for that keyword.
Everything from the average word count, number of subheadings, bolded keywords, contextual outbound links, the number of images, even 404 links.
You’ve got your on-page optimization done and ready, that’s really it!
The only thing left to do is take your keyword group along with your topic idea and get to writing an awesome piece of content.
Let’s Get to Writing Epic ContentNow it’s time to have some fun!
Especially for me.
I love writing content if you can’t tell.
But writing content is not as easy as it sounds.
Creating really informative yet engaging content takes a bit more effort than you might realize.
That’s why I’ll share some real tips here to get your creative juices flowing.
These are things that helped me a lot to create more professional-looking content that actually has a chance to rank.
Outline First, Write SecondMakes sense.
It didn’t for me.
I still struggle with it to this day because when I want to express myself I get carried away.
Seriously, once I start writing I just get lost in my thoughts and when I try to edit it a day later it’s quite difficult to structure it.
That’s precisely why the first thing we are going to do, after extensive research that is, is write our headings/subheadings first.
This is the first piece of advice I give to my employees as well:
- Structure it
- Review it
- Make sure you are giving way more value than the competitor then start writing.
Research, A LotGenerally, I take a day to research if it’s something I’m not familiar with and start writing the next day because the only thing I hate more than keyword-stuffing is copy-cat content.
What’s the point in creating something that already exists?
Such a simple question but a lot of people (way too many) get wrong.
I’m sure you’ve also noticed the sheer amount of literally identical posts on a given topic that spans over 5 pages of the SERPs.
The point is if you feel like you can offer some serious value through your content go for it.
If you are going to rephrase what already exists on the internet and hope for it to rank "magically"🔮, forget it.
Reflect Your Brand’s Unique VoiceYou want to make sure that the content you are creating, especially if it’s a hub page contains really valuable content with superb writing that truly represents what your business has to offer.
Use statistics, data, quotes, screenshots, bold and italic phrases, images, emojis, anything that can get your point across and make your writing as entertaining and easy to read as possible.
Keep It ConversationalIt goes without saying, but I’ll mention it nevertheless, write in a conversational tone.
You are NOT writing an encyclopedia.
Use short sentences, simple words and grab attention.
You might think capturing attention is for social media only.
People have a very short attention span and they want information FAST.
If your intro is dragging on for no reason you better know they are going to leave your page.
Hooking readers in and keeping their attention throughout your whole post is where the mastery lies.
Share Your ExperienceAnother bit of advice I’d like to give is to write from your own experiences.
Don’t be afraid to share your point of view, or previous experiences, even fails.
We all make mistakes and learn from those mistakes so sharing that very personal insight is more valuable than blabbering on about "you should this..", "you should that..."!
Edit and Optimize Your WorkLastly makes sure to edit your first draft, times two.
First, read over everything, add in a few keywords, make some room for internal links, polish a few rough edges, formulate some sentences better, etc.
Then go over those edits once again to make sure everything looks perfect.
Or send it over to a fellow writer/editor for review.
A fresh set of eyes never hurt anybody, did it?
Parting WordsThat’s basically it.
Hope you found it useful and entertaining at the same time.
If you thought that was all I had to share with you, think again.
I have a part 2 coming up pretty soon where I’ll make sure to cover everything from auditing your blog to repurposing and filtering out your existing content.
I’ll also share how to measure your content marketing success and what to look out for when analyzing your data.
So stay tuned for that!
In the meantime try out Keyword Cupid and create your first mindmap.
Jump on a 7-day-trial right here.
Happy clustering everyone!
Until next time 👋