Biz Tips: Using Research To Master Content Writing (Part 1 of 5)

Biz Tips: Using Research To Master Content Writing (Part 1 of 5)

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Using Research To Master Content Writing (Part 1 of 5)

If you’re going to put out content, you need to have a strategy.

Without a strategy, you’ll be putting out content that will never help you grow and you’ll forever go unnoticed.

This is particularly important for bloggers.

Since blogging has become so popular, most of the markets are flooded with people trying to build a personal brand and monetize their passion.

This means everyone is pumping out content like no tomorrow but often get stuck in the rut of developing the same content over and over.

The trick with blogging and developing content is keeping it fresh.

Introducing new lessons and stories related to your core categories.

For me its; personal branding, content writing, and motivation.

For you, it will different but the idea is to stay within those categories but to produce new ideas.

Over the course of the next 5 blog posts, I’ll be explaining how you can improve your articles to ensure that more people read them.

WHY YOU NEED TO STAY FRESH

I’ve been looking into why some blog posts do better than others.

Just consider these 2 articles I put up on Medium:

Why did one do so much better than the other?

Why did one have so many more people engage with it?

Well, that’s what I’ll answer over the course of this 5 part blog post.

Why do some blog posts perform so much better than others and how can you make sure yours continually perform well.

Let’s start with research.

APPLYING RESEARCH WITH THESE 5 FREE TOOLS

I’m going to assume you already have a content plan in place for the articles you’re going to post. If not, check out this post on how to create one.

Before you start writing a blog post, you need to check to see if the topic and idea will produce a positive outcome.

You need to find out if:

  • The topic is one of interest.
  • The topic contains keywords that are frequently searched.
  • The post will provide valuable information relevant to your focus categories.

These following tools will help you identify these.

BUZZSUMO

Buzzsumo is a way to quickly identify if people are interested in the blog post you’ll be writing.

It shows top posts relating to your topic and the number of social shares to each social media platform that the post has received.

To use it, write the topic of your blog post in the search bar and click ‘go’.

You’ll then land on a page like this:

From here you can see all the posts. In this case, in the past year, and how many times they’ve been shared.

This will give you a good idea on whether the blog post will be a success or not.

Generally, speaking lots of articles and a high number of shares means the topic is of interest to others.

Buzzsumo is also good for finding competitors within your categories as it provides links to the stories. You can click through them and find out who posted it and how you can make your post better.

ADDITIONAL

If you’re okay with spending a couple of dollars, you can also filter the posts based on when they were posted. This is incredibly useful for staying on top of trends.

When doing your research start with Buzzsumo.

SEMRUSH

After you’re finished with Buzzsumo, you want to use SEMrush to do some SEOkeyword research.

SEMrush will provide you with relevant longtail keywords and keywords that relate to the keywords that you want to rank for.

Consider this example as to why you would want to find related keywords:

Say you wanted to rank for the word ‘content writing’. That keyword has a high search volume and a high competition rate due to how generic it is. Making it near impossible to rank number 1 or even on the first page. So you want to find variations that have less traffic but have a lower competition rate.

So something like ‘ how to write an article that people will read’ will have less competion and a lower search count, making it easier to rank for.

SEMrush helps you do this.

Just like Buzzsumo, put your keyword in the search bar.

I’ve used ‘content writing’ again.

After you click ‘start now’, you’ll land on a page like this:

Here’s what it all means:

For picking keywords, they’re the only 2 things that are important here.

Bypassing this information, you need to scroll down until you see these two tables:

These are where you need to focus.

One gives you phrases with your keyword in it, the other gives you related phrases.

Next, click on ‘view full report’ and you’ll get a graph like this for both:

These are where you can find alternative keyword combinations.

If you’re starting out, this is particularly important as it will help you identify keywords that you have a better chance ranking for. Meaning that you’ll get more traffic than you would if you focused on high traffic, generic keywords.

What you want to look for is:

  • Keywords with around 100 searches per month
  • Keywords with low competition

These are your best bet for ranking and getting your desired audience to see your articles.

In this case, I would try to rank for the keyword ‘how can i be a content writer’.

Try to pick 5–8 of these. This will boost your chances of getting traffic without you having to flood your content with keywords, which will turn your readers off.

One issue you will have with SEMrush is that you have to make an account to keep doing searches and once you’ve made an account, you’re limited to 10 searches before you have to pay for a subscription. When this happens, there’s an alternative and arguably a better alternative…

GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER

Almost identical to SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner allows you to research keywords that are related to the topic you want to write about.

Using ‘content writing’ again, write it in the bar and then click get started.

Google will provide you with a long list of alternatives and how many times they’re searched, and how competitive they are.

From here, you can get an idea of how popular your topic is and what keywords you want to try and rank for.

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to use if you plan on using Adwords to drive additional traffic back to your site, as you’re able to save the keywords you like into groups and then target ads to that group.

It’s a bit of extra help before you create live ads with Adwords.

Quick Overview

Just tick the keywords you like and add them to a group, like below. From there you can open your Google Adwords account and start targeting ads to that ad group.

MEDIUM

I use Medium to find what to write about next. It’s the greatest platform for anyone who’s content writing.

You can see what people are writing, whether it goes well or not and engage with your audience to see what they want.

A lot of my stories have come from reading articles on Medium.

Here’s how you can use it to justify and research your article ideas.

Firstly, go to medium. Then search for your topic in the search bar at the top right.

You’ll then come to a search page where you can click the tag relevant to your topic.

Once you’ve found your relevant tag you can use the ‘top stories’ tab to see if your topic is something your audience is interested in.

Using Medium as a way to justify your topic is great to ensure that your blog posts will become popular. If you want to go one step further, try commenting on the articles within the topic and see if your comments get any traction.

Every now and then, you’ll get a high performing comment which you should turn into a story.

For example, here’s one of my comments that got over 16,000 views:

QUORA

If you still don’t want to fully commit to putting all that time into writing a blog post, you can post a couple of answers on Quora.

Aim to focus on the categories you’re writing about and answer as many questions as possible.

When you have one that gets a lot of upvotes, turn it into a full blog post.

SOME UP PART 1:

Before you start writing, you need to do a bit of research on whether your post will go well. All up, this will take a maximum of 20 minutes and will make all the difference.

Remember:

  • Use Buzzsumo to justify the topic.
  • use SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to pick your keywords.
  • Use medium to check trends.
  • Use Quora if you want to est the waters.

Thank you for reading! I hope this article helped you. If you don’t mind, please ‘clap’ so more people can see it!

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Using Research To Master Content Writing (Part 1 of 5) was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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