Detour ahead. Before I get ahead of myself with going over what is involved within each niche, I decided that I should give a brief overview of the entire process for you to refer back to, should you need it. I started to write the automotive post, and wound up with well over 1,800 words. This is beyond my targeted number, so I had to do some cutting and pasting.
So, over the next two days, we are going to look at what you need specifically to get started before you dive into content marketing for your niche. In an attempt to keep this as simple as possible, here are 4 very broad steps (that we will go into more detail with over the next few weeks):
- The first step, is that you need to have a platform to deliver your precious content to the people who are looking for it. And yes, they are looking for it.
- You have to know what they are looking for.
- Research your competition.
- Give your knowledge away for free (gasp!).
Those are the four major steps. Yes, there is a bit more to it than that, but we are going to stick with the basics for now. Let’s expand on these, shall we?
What this means, is how you plan to reach your audience. Perhaps you already have a website. This is great, you should have a website. You need to have a web presence to even stand a chance in today’s business world. But let’s take it a step further than that. The most versatile way for you to reach your customers is by having a blog.
More specifically, WordPress is the best way to go for your blog. There are other options, but this one is the most flexible. There are two different options that you could go with, in regards to WP:
- A self hosted blog (through a thrid party, such as Host Gator)
- Or a WordPress hosted blog
I’m not going to talk about the second option, because frankly, it isn’t a good idea for anyone who is serious about content marketing.
One of the most important aspects of a self hosted blog, is that you can pick your own domain name. For example, mine is contentmedic.com. I wouldn’t be able to have that domain name, unless I was hosted with a 3rd party. I use Host Gator (affiliate link) for my hosting, just in case you were wondering.
However, if I were to use the free WordPress site, it would look something like this: wordpress.org/contentmedic. This is bad for a couple of reasons.
- It is harder to advertise–mostly because it is a lot longer than you’d want it to be, which makes it harder for people to remember.
- There is no ownership which makes you not look serious about your business. And, you are renting out your space from someone else–WordPress.
- This is bad for SEO reasons as well. Mainly because you should have your keyword in your name to help some of the other–lesser than Google–search engines find you easier.
It is absolutely necessary for you to own your domain name to be taken seriously on the internet. Personally, I don’t usually click on blogs that aren’t self hosted (there are exceptions though).
This raises the question of: “well, maybe I could get my feet wet with a free platform, and then switch once I get the hang of it”.
Well, yes you can. But, no you shouldn’t. Here’s why: The vast majority of people who’ve done this have said that they wished they had paid from the get go. From what I’ve read, it is so very difficult to actually transfer over. I don’t have any experience with it personally, but I trust these other bloggers.
WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE LOOKING FOR:
The biggest part of going into business for yourself, is to know for certain that there is a market for what you’re offering. Because, if nobody is buying, you are going out of business really quick.
It’s the same way with your blog. Your content strategy should be focused around a couple of keywords (the words that people type into Google when looking for something). These are words that you’ve done research on (more on that in tomorrow’s post) and know for a fact that people will click on when searching.
The experts have agreed upon the magic number of 5-7 keywords/phrases that you will want to focus a majority of your site around. These are what your site will talk about in almost every post.
So, let’s say that two of your targets were “transmission” and “engine”. One day you’d talk about transmissions. The next it could be about the car’s engine followed by something else. Then you could go back to transmission, or to another one. It’s up to you.
In addition to the 5-7 targeted words, each page should have a primary word that your post will be focused on. You can also use secondary words as well, but don’t go over board.
There isn’t a set science, per se, but many of the gurus have stated that each post should have a key phrase or word about once per every 100 (or so) words. You don’t ever want to stuff them into places where they don’t work. It isn’t natural, and Google will disprove and penalize you. This is called black hat SEO, and it’s like heroin.
So, how do you come up with these ultra specific SEO boosting words? Google has a plethora of tools available for your use. One such tool, is the keyword planner. You’ll need an account with them, but it is well worth it because these are like gold nuggets.
It is simple to use, even though they just changed it around a bit. Basically, you just type the word you want to look up and search for the results.
The results may be staggering for you to see.
For example, you may find out that only 300 unique searches each month have to do with your targeted keyword. That is okay because you’ll weed it out.
Or, you may find out that there are 50,000 searches for your target each month. Awesome! You’ll want to include that one!
There is an instance, however, where you’d include the aforementioned 300 unique searches, though. Let’s say that your target word was a locally based one. If 300 searches happened last month, and they were all local, I’d say that may be a keeper. Especially if 300 is a lot of foot traffic to you.
Once you have your 5-7 words or phrases, you can then move on to the next step, which we will cover in tomorrow’s part deux.