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Brendan Egan

Focus On Writing Your Highest Payoff Blog Content

We often receive emails from clients or discuss with them during monthly calls their content strategy for their website.  After all, content is an integral part of any online marketing or SEO campaign these days.  And they often understand that they need to produce lots of quality content, but they end up having no idea what they should write about.

We’ve given tons of great articles on our own blog about blog writing and topics, including some of our most popular posts:

With these articles in mind though, we never addressed the payoff related to blog content.  In short, what you want to write about the most is what your customers, clients, or leads are most interested in hearing more about in order to ultimately spend money with your website, company, or blog.  It really is that easy, but the challenge comes in first of all understanding what they want to know more of, then in staying on track and actually writing about that, and finally in doing this consistently over a long period of time.

The Content:

While writing great content is as important as ever, it won’t necessarily mean you’ll make more money.  A few months back we wrote about how companies who blog make more money, and yes this is true to an extent as it applies to companies who blog properly.  This content has to address a question or concern that a lead has, and it needs to then leave them wanting whatever you’re offering.

Perhaps the best way to describe this process is through an example; in this case I’ll use an example from our niche:

Content writing is a critical part of any SEO campaign.  It’s how you target long tail keywords, how you convey information to site visitors, and how you stay fresh in search engines.  We often write blog posts (such as this one) where we share tips, ideas, and concepts about content writing, and we try to leave the reader wanting to not only learn more, but to view us as an authority and want to hire us to either handle their content writing or offer consulting to help them and their writing team with their content.  How do we do this? By providing enough information to be informative and establish credibility, but by not giving away the “secret recipe” to content marketing.

Focusing On Conversions:

When writing content, there’s five main things that are important to first focus on:

  • Traffic: Does the search phrase you are targeting have traffic? This can be determined by using various tools to estimate search traffic for a given word or phrase
  • Competition: Does the search phrase you are targeting have a realistic level of competition?  This can be determined by searching the phrase and researching the competition for that phrase (the top 10 rankings)
  • Regularity: Is the search phrase something that is regularly searched for (ie: not a seasonal phrase)?  This is important to make sure the phrase will generate traffic year round
  • Content:  Can you write targeted, quality content around this search phrase?  Is this search phrase/topic within your area of expertise?
  • Links: Can you gain some quality links to this content, either naturally by writing fantastic content or manually by gaining high quality links from people willing to link to this content?

Once we address these five issues, we then focus in on conversions.  The content needs to be structured in such a way that it will lead to conversions.  The conversion could be a phone call, consultation request, purchase, email list sign-up, or some other metric, but it’s important to make sure the page where the content will be posted is optimized and to make sure the actual content is optimized.

Staying Focused & Repeating:

It’s important to focus on content that will lead to visitors who will ultimately convert.  This means, in our case, writing about content and SEO and not writing about off-topic posts such as content marketing problems or the history of content marketing.  A good post for us might be “How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Content Marketing” as this will deliver high payoff, highly targeted traffic which is exactly what we’re looking for.  A bad post for us might focus on “The History Of Content Marketing” as this traffic isn’t necessarily targeted and isn’t considered high payoff.

I personally know first hand that consistently writing high payoff content and staying focused on that task is difficult.  It’s very easy to wander off track, to have “off” days, or to run out of ideas to write about.  This is why it’s extremely important to have a structured method in place for writing and publishing your content and to also work with an SEO company or consultant to assist in content ideas and making sure you really are staying on track at every point in the production process.