It's no secret, clarity gets the click. If you want more clicks, you need to be able to articulate a clear answer to an actual question. Here's how to accomplish that.
Before you publish a blog or record a video, ask yourself:
What’s the point of this?
If you don’t do this, you might be publishing random acts of content.
The internet doesn’t need more random acts of content. There is already too much fluff floating around.
If you want to build an online business from your blog, you need to understand that people want granular answers to the nitty, gritty details of your topic. This might be hard to swallow, but it's true: Generic blog posts are completely worthless and will never monetize.
While it's definitely thrilling to click that Publish button, you don't want to hit publish when there isn't a plan or a strategy in place for your content.
Instead you could be spending your time and energy publishing content that actually builds your brand, builds your credibility, and builds your authority. YES! More of that please!
3 Easy and Free Ways to Get More Clicks!
All right so you’re busy writing blogs or producing videos and they just aren’t getting any traction at all. Minimal likes, shares, nobody looking at it except your mom.
So what are you doing wrong?
There are a lot of Content Calendar Templates out there these days, and while it's nice to have a template as a guide, be careful that you're not only relying on shortcuts.
If you buy someone else's content calendar and start publishing random acts of content, that’s not really a strategy, it's actually a waste of time.
Instead, you want to get intentionally clear about what your audience actually wants from you, and then produce exactly what they want. But here comes the best part…you can’t just guess about what your audience wants!
Tip #1: Research The Kind of Content Your Audience Wants
When you skip the research, you waste your own time. Remember…the reason you're building an online business is so that you can work smarter, not harder.
If you think doing research takes a long time, try spending a year putting out content that you guessed about.
It’s actually pretty easy to find out what people want from you. Whether you’re using Google or YouTube, you can start by typing a search phrase into the search bar, and Google will begin to string together search terms that people all over the world are searching for.
Real people. Real topics. Don't ignore the most basic tool available to you…the search bar.
In other words, Google is telling you what people are searching for!!!
Make sure you do this on your computer and not your phone.
Pro-Tip: Understand the Search Volume
Use a tool such as Keywords Everywhere to show the search volume. Search volume means the number of people that Google estimates search for the topic you just typed in each month. This is an aggregate estimate, but it’s a good indication of whether that particular string of words, or, “long-tail keywords” is a popular topic to target.
As you can see in the GIF above, the search volume comes up next to the keyword phrases.
When you know the volume, you can make a decision about producing content on a very specific topic, and you can choose the topics based on how many people are actually searching for that topic.
This is called keyword research, and to put it simply, it influences everything about your content, from how to title your blog article or your video, to what to write in the descriptions and tags.
But don't choose the words “content strategy” because that has 9,000 searches per month.
Well why not?
After all, 9,000 seems like a huge amount of people searching for that topic. Seems counter intuitive, because at first glance it seems like 9,000 is a big number, why would you not want to target that many people?
The problem is that a small blog without a lot traffic is not going to be able to compete against a large blog with hundreds of thousands of visitors for that exact topic.
The same principle goes for a small YouTube channel. You can't rank against the big fish in the sea unless you choose a more specific topic that has less competition.
Instead of ‘content calendar' try writing your blog post around the topic of ‘content calendar google sheets' which only has 210 and you will probably have a lot more luck!
Imagine how it feels to know exactly what your audience is searching for, and then to create your content based on that information.
Test some different combinations of phrases until you get the right topic and the right search volume.
When you do, it feels like a superpower because all of a sudden, you come to this realization…
Not everyone is doing this!
Why isn’t everyone doing this? Who knows, people are lazy and they don’t want to take the time to do the research.
Your biggest opportunity here is to capitalize on specific phrases that have a lower search volume. Because when you create the exact answer that someone is looking for in a way that is clear and easy to understand, you can very quickly establish trust and credibility.
Tip #2: Intentionally Rank Your Content
Another way to stop producing random acts of content is to learn how to get your content to rank.
What does that mean?
When someone types in that Google search, you want your article or video to come up in the first few spots. But that’s not are easy as it sounds.
Yes, you can do SEO yourself or pay an agency to do it for you, but the reality is that Googles’ algorithm changes often, and nobody can guarantee a ranking because there are so many factors that are taken into consideration.
Of course Google doesn’t tell us everything about their algorithm.
But with that said, there are a few things you can do…a few best practices to put in place to help you rank. First and foremost, we just talked about research, that’s number one.
1. Make sure that you produce content that people are actually searching for.
The next thing you want to do is to look at your competitors and see what keywords they’re using.
2. Do the search and then examine the top content. Look at what businesses or blogs are ranking for the top spots.
If you want to be competitive, you have to pick a long-tail phrase because if you only choose a broad topic, a small blog or small YouTube channel will never be able to compete for the top spot with large, well established brands.
3. Pay attention to meta-data. To get in the top and rank for a particular combination of words, you have to be super intentional about not only how you choose your topic, but how you title your blog post, how you position your description, your tags, and even your thumbnail.
The only way to generate content that has the potential for passive income is to link to either your own product or an affiliate product in your post or your description.
When people search and the content you produced ranks, you have the opportunity to get clicks and generate income.
But lets get real, if you don’t have any links you’re not going to produce any income. So you need to get some affiliate relationships going.
How to design your business around your lifestyle:
I love to ski. I went to college at the University of Utah so that I could appreciate the beautiful mountains, and I took photography classes so that I could learn how to develop my own film. (Yes, it was that long ago! We didn't have digital cameras, let alone smartphones back then!)
So how does this relate to the here and now of building an internet business?
Well, if I were going to take the time to travel to the mountains and take video of the beautiful scenery (not to mention take some video of my friends doing jumps using a super awesome professional video camera) well what do you think I should do next?
Post that video on my YouTube channel along with a review of the camera I used, and then post the affiliate link to the camera of course so that I can get a referral commission if someone buys the camera.
That’s how you create passive income.
How is this used for business?
You deduct the cost of the camera as a business expense, recommend the camera to others in your video to make passive income as an affiliate, and then deduct your travel expenses for the ski trip as business expenses.
See how that works? Design your business around your lifestyle.
Tip #3: Recurring Revenue
Adsense is fine, but it’s not a sustainable business model. Unless you have an audience that numbers in the hundreds of thousands, you’re going to me a few nickels from your Adsense be left scratching your heard wondering how all these people are making $10,000 a month with Adsense.
If you are reading this article, it's likely you don't have an audience that numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Nobody starts out that way, it takes a lot of time and persistence to get there.
Let's look at an Adsense example.
In any given month, if you had about 100,000 views on your YouTube video, and each of those people watched your video for around 3 minutes, you’d make about $200. So while some people would love to make $200 in passive Adsense income, you can see it’s not going to pay the bills.
And that is with 100,000 views.
See what I mean about the need for a very large audience to generate any kind of actual income besides a nickel?
So what can you do instead?
Focus on monetizing in other ways. You can use capitalize on affiliate income by writing blog posts, sharing your links on social media, or even better, come up with a plan to advertise your own products or services.