Written by Brian Dean at www.Backlinko.com
When it comes to attracting new email subscribers, there is no substitute for great content. And while you have to write your own content, I want to show you how to create popular content that builds your list.
Let’s imagine two scenarios:
Visitor A lands on your outdated, boring post about your thoughts on paleo diets…
Visitor B reads a post that features hundreds of individual paleo diets rated from best to worst and offers a FAQ about paleo…
* * *
Which visitor is more likely to subscribe to your email list when they see a pop up?
Exactly! Visitor B has already received a ton of value and wants more of what you’re offering.
After today’s lesson you will never need to chose a topic out of thin air…
Instead, you will can find the best content that is already resonating with your ideal visitors and make it better.
Now for the question you’re already asking:
HOW do you find the best content that is generating the traffic and subscribers you want?
That’s easy: follow today’s step-by-step lesson. First, I’ll show you how to find the best content and then we’ll look at how to make your content even better.
Step #1: Find 5 Keywords in Your Niche
When I launched my first blog back in 2009, I had the bright idea to completely ignore keywords.
I said to myself: “I’ll just write for my audience and the rest will take care of itself”.
Face, meet palm.
The fact is, unless you target specific keywords, you have ZERO clue what your audience actually wants.
This has nothing to do with SEO: keyword data gives you objective information about what your audience searches for everyday.
And when you get your content in front of them — kablamo! — more traffic and subscribers for you.
In this example, we’ll look at a Paleo blog:
And see which keywords get solid search volume (don’t worry about the exact numbers. Just keep an eye out for relatively popular terms):
Grab the top five keywords and mosey on over to step #2:
Step #2: Find What Content Resonates on Social Networks
BuzzSumo is a rockin’ tool that finds content that’s generated a lot of social shares. (No connection to AppSumo, except that it’s another crazy useful site.)
Here’s how to use it. Take the keywords in step #1 and search BuzzSumo:
And see which content comes up.
Just like that, you have dozens of tested content ideas that you can improve on and use to attract the right audience.
Now, add those to this spreadsheet and move to step 3.
Step #3: Find What Content Ranks as High Quality
Google is one of the most powerful content marketing research tools because it curates by quality.
Take the same keywords from step #1 and search Google:
Study the first page. See what common threads tie the results together.
For example, the first page of results on Google for the keyword, “paleo diet recipes”, are massive lists of links to individual recipes:
In other words, they don’t tend to be a list of “Top 10 tastiest Paleo recipes” or “20 quick and easy paleo recipes”. The results on the first page are all MASSIVE lists. So don’t waste your time with a list of 10 recipes. If you want to rank for this keyword, go big or go home.
Step #4: Take the Popular/Quality Content You Found and Make It Better
Finally, it’s time to create something that takes what you found in steps #2 and #3…and make it WAY better.
The better your content is, the easier it will be for someone to sign up to your list.
Here’s how to make the content on your site better than the competition:
- Depth and Content Length: Longer content performs better than short-form content almost 100% of the time. BuzzSumo and OKDork recently teamed up and found that content over 2,000+ words performs better than shorter posts:
- Up-to-Date: People love to share cutting edge info. If the content you found in steps #2 and #3 are a little long in the tooth, add updated stats, info or screenshots.
- Design: Don’t sleep on design. Graphics, custom images, charts and infographics to give your content some extra pop.
- Readability: Use a 12+ sized sarif font (OkDork is a great example). Your paragraphs should have no more than 1-2 sentences.
- Find 3 high-volume keywords in your space using the Google Keyword Planner.
- Search for those keywords in BuzzSumo and Google. Add winning content ideas to this spreadsheet.
- Identify ONE topic that’s performed well, that you can improve and make better.
- Create your next blog post on that topic. Make sure it is better than what’s already out there:
- Leave a comment with the ONE topic you’re going to start with. Or if you’re a go-getter and already published your post, leave a link in your comment.
● Length: Make it twice as long as the content you found
● Up-to-date: Add at least two relevant links from the past 2 months
● Design: Add 2x as many graphics
● Readability: Add sub-headers and make each paragraph shorter
P.S. On Thursday, Bryan Harris will show you how to make your best content produce tons of email subscribers using Content Upgrades.