Creating content is, of course, the most important concern facing every blogger. Without compelling content there would be no reason for anyone to visit your blog.
At this point.. you should have already taken the time to choose a blog niche as well as register a domain name and make a decision as to your web hosting provider.
Hopefully, you have also done some brainstorming and made a list of some things you will be able to create content around for your blog posts.
If you have not yet completed this step.. sit down and make a list of all things you can think of pertaining to your niche. Many of these things will become topics for your posts.
If you need help getting started go to Google and type in you main niche keyword.
The Google auto suggest will help you find the things people are most often searching.
CREATING CONTENT – COMMON BLOGGER MISTAKES:
When it comes to content creation.. one of the common blogger mistakes is in neglecting to do proper keyword research.
A lot of new bloggers make the mistake of sitting down and starting to write blog posts without giving any thought as to whether or not these posts will actually be able to rank well in the SERP’s.
They simply start writing about the things they want to write about. This approach is fine if the purpose of your blog is meant to be a personal journal of sorts.
Maybe you are creating a personal blog of your wedding and honeymoon photos as well as photos of family members, family gatherings, etc. Maybe your only goal is to create a place to share these things with friends and family.
If that is your goal and you have no intention of having it found in the search engines.. that is certainly your prerogative.
However.. if you are starting your blog in the hopes of it being a viable way to earn some extra income.. then you need to write about things that people are searching for.
CONTENT CREATION AND SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION:
The first thing any blogger needs to learn is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Every aspect of your entire site needs to be optimized for the search engines. Each of your posts needs to be optimized for a particular keyword(s) having to do with your niche.
Since SEO is the number ONE priority in creating a successful website it needs to be addressed before continuing with your content creation.
However.. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is certainly not something that can be explained in a paragraph or two.
There are a lot of books and courses available online for learning the art of Search Engine Optimization.
Some of the top ones can be very expensive.. and although some of them are definitely worth the cost.. you may want to start with something less expensive in the beginning.
After you have learned the basics and are ready to move on to more advanced techniques you can consider one of the more expensive in-depth courses at that time.
I have taken a number of courses and have read a lot of SEO books in all my years of building websites and earning money online.
SEO is something that is ever evolving.. but the basics are always going to remain the same: On page optimization.. as well as establishing backlinks to your site.
I always buy books and read them before recommending them to anyone. Debbie Gartner has written a couple of SEO books that are among the best that I have read.
Both books are written for a beginning to intermediate blogger who needs to learn more about how to optimize their blog for SEO.
Her books are fairly inexpensive and will definitely pay for themselves in helping you to write posts that are properly optimized for SEO as well as find places to get backlinks to your site.
These two things are absolutely necessary for your site to be found in the SERP’s.
Since SEO requires on page optimization as well as backlinks to your site I am including links to both of Debbie’s books.
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NOTE: If you purchase both books as a bundle you will save $10 on each book.
Here is a link to the bundle as well.
GET THE BUNDLE HERE
CONTENT CREATION REQUIRES KEYWORD RESEARCH:
Before you start writing.. you need to do some keyword research. You don’t want to spend a lot of your time writing posts based on keywords that no one is searching for or that you will not be able to rank for.
If thousands of other bloggers have written blog posts using the same keywords.. you may find yourself competing with a lot of blogs that have been around longer than yours and have built up a lot of authority.
NOTE: Keyword research is a whole topic on its own.
We will devote another post to going into the subject in more depth.
However.. for now let’s get you started on some of the basics
so you can begin creating optimized content for your new blog.
There are a lot of tools to use for keyword research. The best tools are paid tools, but there are also a few free options that will get the job done when you are just starting out.
One of the best keyword tools to use for this is Keywords Everywhere. You can enter your keyword and it will give you a list of long-tail keywords that will be easier to rank for.
The tool is available as a free download as either a Chrome or Firefox extension.
They also have a paid version, which is unbelievably inexpensive. The least expensive plan gives you 100,000 credits for $10.
If you have the paid version.. when you do a search.. if you get a list of 50 long-tail keywords.. it will cost you 50 credits. Believe me.. 100,000 credits will last a looong time!
Begin by downloading the extension to get started. I am not sure how many keywords you get for free as I use the paid version.
Ten dollars is a bargain for the amount of information it will provide for you. If you join.. be sure to print out a copy of your receipt and put it in your tax file.
This is a business expense and you will be able to write it off against any income you earn from your blog.
NOTE: To keep from using up your credits
when you are not in keyword research mode.. you can turn off the extension.
That way if you are searching Google for something that has nothing to do with your business.. you will not be using your credits for these searches.
The extension will live in the upper right corner of your screen.. next to the address bar. The icon is a round circle with a K in the center.
If you click on that you will see the following.. where you can turn it on when you are doing keyword research and set the extension to off when you are done using it.
Another great tool is UberSuggest. There is a free version which allows you a limited number of searches per day. There is also a 7-day free trial.
If you were to take advantage of the free trial you could assemble your list of keywords and you will have 7 days to enter as many of your keywords as possible and gather information.
With the UberSuggest 7-day free trial.. this should conceivably give you enough time to gather plenty of information.. as well as a boat load of ideas for content creation.
I would think you could find enough long-tail keywords to keep you writing posts for at least the next few months.
CREATING CONTENT FOR YOUR NICHE:
For this post let’s assume you are a cat lover and that you have decided to create a blog based around the cat niche.
The first thing you need to do is go to Google and type in your primary keyword. The auto suggest feature will give you a list of things people search for.. as in the screenshot below.
In this particular case when I typed the word cat into Google I got a picture of a cat. 🙂
I proceeded to type in cat collars.. and then used the backspace key to delete the word collars and Google gave me the following:
Now enter each of these terms.. cat collars, cat bed, cat toys, cat carrier, etc. to get even more inspiration. You can also enter your search term (in this case cat) and then add a, b, c, and so on. As in cat a, cat b, cat c.
As you enter each letter.. Google will give you another list of terms people are searching for.
Make notes of all the various terms. By this time you should be developing a long list of ideas to begin the process of content creation.
You can enter each of your keywords into UberSuggest to get additional information as to search volume and keyword SEO difficulty.. as well as additional keyword suggestions.
CHECK THE CONTENT OF YOUR COMPETITORS:
When you are doing your Google searches and using the auto suggest feature.. scroll down to see who some of your competitors are.
Scroll past the top results, which are normally paid ads, and go down to the organic results.
Find out what your competitors are doing.. what kind of content they are creating.. and check the affiliate programs they are using.
This will give you even more ideas for your blog. Be sure to keep your notebook handy so you can take notes.
In this case when searching cat beds.. I scrolled down and found a site called Rover.com
It is actually a dog site.. but they have added some cat products as well.
They are using affiliate links.. and have a store section which seems to be a Shopify store.
Hmmm.. there’s another idea! A Shopify store is only $29 a month and you could sell t-shirts, mugs, and other cat related products and gifts. 😊
You could create things in Canva.. and your Shopify store could be a Print on Demand store, with some affiliate products as well.
Definitely something to ponder for the future. For now.. let’s get back to creating content for your blog.
The particular page on the Rover.com site that comes up for the search cat beds is a long list of cat beds with affiliate links from Chewy.com and Amazon.
At the bottom of the page they have listed a few more articles in the cat niche. Browse these articles to get more ideas and to find additional affiliate programs that you might not be aware of.
In this case I found that they are also using links from Walmart, Wayfair and Tuft and Paw.
Their site has been online for a while and has a lot of authority. You do not want to try to compete with them at this point since your blog is brand new.
However, it is always a good idea to scope out the competition. It can be a fountain of information and definitely very helpful to see what they are doing right that got them to where they are.
ALWAYS TRY TO LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
FROM YOUR COMPETITORS!
CONTINUING YOUR CONTENT Creation PROJECT:
We know the site mentioned above is doing very well with their post on cat beds. Their post is on the first page of Google.. they have a long list of cozy cat beds.. and they have a number of affiliate programs they are earning from.
Since your blog is just getting started.. you will not be able to target keywords like cat beds.
Using UberSuggest and entering cat beds it indicates a search volume of 65,000 with an SEO difficulty score of 81.
You will need to find keywords with less volume and a much easier SEO difficulty score.
With the Keywords Everywhere extension turned on.. I got the following list of long-tail keywords.
As you can see.. if you were to target cat cave beds.. or cat heated beds the search volume is a lot less. I know 10 to 30 searches a month doesn’t sound like a lot.. but we all have to start somewhere.
When your blog is brand new.. you just need to start getting some visitors. If you create 10 blog posts and each of the posts is targeting a keyword with 10 to 30 searches a month.. that is 100 to 300 potential visitors each and every month.
As your site begins to get traffic and gain popularity you will be able to target keywords with higher search volume. You just need to take your time and build up to that.
SETTING YOUR CONTENT CREATION GOALS:
Now that you have come up with some ideas and you are ready to embrace content creation mode.. it is time to give some thought to how much time you have available to devote to your new business venture.
You need to set some goals for yourself and set a reasonable content creation schedule.
In the beginning I would suggest adding new content at least every 3 days to get your blog off to a good start. That would give you 10 new blog posts in the next 30 days.
After you have reached the point where you have 50 posts on your blog.. you can slow down a bit if need be.
You can choose to create one new post each week.. or stay at 2 new posts a week.. whatever seems manageable for you.
What is the best way to fit this into your schedule? Are you a mom with 3 small children to care for? Is this something you can do while they are napping.. or after they are in bed for the night?
Be honest with yourself and set goals that are attainable.
Whatever sort of schedule you ultimately decide on.. try to fully commit to it
as if it were a job you have been hired to do.
Having discipline is important if you want to succeed!
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR EACH BLOG POST:
Before you start writing your posts.. in your WordPress dashboard go to Settings on the left and over to Permalinks. Make sure the radio button next to Post Name is clicked. This will make sure all of your links will be.. https://yoursite.com/name-of-your-post/
Choose the title of each post carefully! Once it has been indexed by Google you don’t want to change your mind. If the permalink is changed.. you would then have a link to your site which is broken.
In content creation.. your title should be keyword rich.. but not spammy. Whatever the keyword is that you have chosen to create content around for your post.. that keyword needs to be in your Title.
You should also use sub-headings in your post and the keyword or a variation thereof should be in each of the sub-headings.
Always keep numbers out of your permalink! If you are creating a post.. most popular cat beds for 2022.. make sure to remove the year from the permalink.
Your permalink should read only.. most-popular-cat-beds This way when 2023 comes along.. you can go in and change the Title on the post.. but the permalink will remain the same and not be outdated.
The same is true of any list posts.. such as the top 10 most popular cat beds. At some point you may want to remove some of the affiliate products that are not selling well and replace them with a few others.
Maybe at this point you might want to rename the post.. the top 20 most popular cat beds. So long as the number is not in the permalink.. you will be able to change the Title on the post to whatever number of cat beds you want to list.
When working on content creation, try to make your posts a minimum of 1000 words.
Google likes sites that provide substantial information for the visitor.
There really isn’t any magic number. I have seen posts with 800 words that rank very well in Google. But.. most times you will find that the articles ranking on the first page of Google have anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 words.
Be sure to use your keyword throughout your post. Insert it so that it sounds natural and not like it has been forced into the content for SEO purposes.
Installing the Yoast SEO plugin can be a great help to you. It will remind you how many times your keyword appears in your post.. and whether you have added it too many times.
If your keyword is repeated too many times.. this is considered keyword stuffing and you may be at risk for a Google penalty.
Yoast will also keep track of the word count of your post and advise you of other issues.. like reminding you to enter a description.. reminding you that you need to use your keyword in the introduction.. or first paragraph of the post.. and much more.
However.. don’t get to where you rely on Yoast completely! After all.. it is only a plugin.
There is absolutely NO substitute for learning SEO yourself.
AND LAST.. BUT NOT LEAST FOR EACH BLOG POST:
Be sure to incorporate some images into your post. No one enjoys a giant wall of black text on a white background.
Try to break it up somewhat with a few images.. infographics.. blocks of color behind some of the text.. or the use of large, bright, bold headlines.
When looking for images.. you do not want to go to Google and just copy images as many of the images are copyrighted.
There are some free image sources.. but those can be very dangerous. Most of them accept images submitted by anyone and everyone. In most cases these sites are being run on a very low budget and there are simply not enough resources to monitor every submission.
Please see our post: Best Stock Photo Websites for more information as to finding images that may legally be used on your website.
Canva offers some free images as well as paid images. The good thing is.. the paid images are priced at only $1.
My absolute favorite place for beautiful and unique images is Styled Stock Society.
They tend to be a bit on the expensive side.. so what I suggest in the beginning is that you sign up for the quarterly plan and go back in every few days and download as many photos, templates, etc. as possible for the 90 days you are a member.
That should give you enough images to dress up your blog posts for quite some time 🙂
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I hope you have found this article to be helpful in your ever important responsibility of creating content for your blog. Now let’s move on to the task of discovering the best sources to find images for your website: Best Stock Photos for Your Website.