Creating and publishing content is the lifeblood of my online business. The world of opportunity online is vast, but I've chosen blogging as my focus, and even within the blogging space, I find that there are more opportunities available than I can actively chase down.
I'm a simple person. I'm not business savvy. I barely know if I should file a W-2 or a W-9. My methods of monetization are easy to understand. I make money with affiliate sales and display ads.
Consistently publishing high quality content to grow my traffic is the main method I use to grow my online business year after year. How do I make more money? Find better keywords. Publish more content. Improve old content. Publish better content.
Content is king in my world. Specifically, content that ranks in search engines and generates organic traffic. There are actually many types of content strategy out there, so to be more precise, I focus on publishing content that ranks in search engines and generates recurring organic traffic.
Sure, I'm missing out on other opportunities while I hone in on the perfect content strategy for my blogs, but here's how I look at it. Despite the fact that writing content that ranks being my focus for the past 10 years, I'm still not an “expert” at it. There's still things I haven't figure out. There's still things I can do better.
Once I become perfect at it, then I can move onto something else. For now, I still see a massive runway in front of me and huge income potential for the future as I get better at what I do.
Creating Content Faster
One question I get a lot is “how to write content faster”. There's good news and bad news. The good news is that you are correct that publishing more content means more chances to rank. Pumping out great content is a perfect way to build traffic fast.
The bad news is that there's no shortcut. You either have to spend money hiring writers, or spend a lot of time writing it yourself. My recommendation is to spend the time as a beginner, then money as an expert later on. Learn the ropes at first, then pay people to leverage your time.
If you haven't done a “content challenge” yet, I recommend it. Set an insane goal and really push yourself. Say 2 articles a day for a month. No matter what.
Although I'm all about sustainable schedules in the long term, sometimes pushing yourself in the short term can really open your eyes to what's possible.
For example, at one point I was doing 3 articles a day. Morning, afternoon, night.
No way I could do that long term, but over the course of a month I basically added 100 articles to my website. In the past, that would have taken me almost a year to do that. I condensed it into a month.
Many articles didn't rank. Many had to be edited later. I'm not saying this is long term way to build a business. It's more of an exercise in knowing how much you can accomplish when you push yourself. Kind of like sports.
As you'll see below, I definitely do not recommend this “speed writing” exercise as a long-term strategy, but it can be useful in the short term to challenge yourself and experience uncomfortable growth in the short term.
However, if you can get a good schedule going, that will set you up nicely to grow your traffic and earnings at a consistent pace.
Don't Use Shortcuts Like Spinners, Curators, Auto-Content!
Stay far away from any type of content software! Auto-creating content, even if you rewrite it, is a bad idea. I've personally used these softwares before, and seen articles rank, then disappear after an update. It's not worth your time and money.
It won't help you rank, AT ALL. no matter what the advertising says, any type of automatic content is a bad idea in my opinion.
Every couple of years something will pop up as the “next big thing”. It was spinners in 2010. Then it was curators in 2013. Just the other day (2021) I heard about AI content generators. No thanks. I'll pass.
I think that a lot of newbies to the blogging space struggle with the concept that their original ideas are actually worth something. Up until now you may have been a content consumer. It takes a mindset shift to become a content producer. To believe that other people will read what you write and look to you for authority on a topic.
Having confidence to publish content confidently takes practice as much as writing good content does. I don't have any good advice on how to gain confidence other than to put yourself out there and be willing to accept criticism that comes your way.
Just do it. I know that's not exactly a helpful strategy, but that's pretty much what I do. Suck it up, publish your ideas, and see what happens. Best I can do right now. Maybe I'll think of something more inspiring later.
Research Takes Time, But Pays Dividends
Taking a long time to do research for your content means you're doing your job. Your job as an online marketer is not to make money. Nobody cares if you earn money. Your job is to provide value. Your job is to help people. Making money is a result of helping people with your business.
If it takes a long time to research the topic, you are essentially saving someone else the time and energy of all that research. You are condensing 20 websites and 5 hours into one article and 20 minutes. Maybe you are making the information easy to understand, or maybe you are going into more detail than anyone else.
The type of value you provide is up to you, your brand, and your chosen niche audience.
Consolidating information is a huge part of how I consider my websites to be HELPFUL online. If your business is not helping someone, it's not going to make money for long (if at all).
Even something as simple as making a list or comparing similar products is helping someone make an educated buying decision!
Content Is A Long-Term Investment
It can be a massive time investment on your part to write an excellent article, especially in the beginning. It can take a full day, or even a week to research, write, edit, format, and publish. To be honest, it kind of sucks to see all that work go into a single article, and after you hit “Publish”, nothing happens.
It's a lot easier to stomach when you consider that a great article will pay dividends over time.
If you write with that mindset, you'll be much happier with your work. I try to look at each article published as an investment of my time (or money if you outsource), that will have some kind of future payout.
That future payout could be literal, in the sense that it makes you affiliate sales. It could also be direct, the sense that it will generate traffic for your blog, which you can monetize with display ads.
That future payout could harder to define, but still exist. Sometimes I just publishing things because I want my own resources on-site. If I'm becoming an authority on a topic, why should I link out to Wikipedia 100 times when I could just link to my own article and keep people on my site longer?
If I'm really deep in research on a topic I'm familiar with, I may just have a cool idea I want to run with and see what happens. For example, despite there being no data about it, I published an article on my homebrewing website about DIY nitro beer kegs using coffee cold brew devices.
The article flopped in this case, but sometimes they hit, and it's cool because I know that keyword won't show up on a keyword tool.
That investment of time may or may not pay out. That's the risk. Many new bloggers just want to make money, and that's OK. However, the longer I'm in this space, the more I find it interesting to seriously look at bloggers as entrepreneurs. Part of being an entrepreneur is taking calculated risks, so it's interesting to look at my day-to-day activities blogging through that lens.
So think of the time you're spending on research and blog post creation now, as an investment in the future of yourself and your business. You're investing in bettering your writing skills. You're investing in increasing your website content volume. You're investing in building an authority brand in your niche.
The Start Is Slow, But You'll Keep Gaining Momentum
In the beginning, you still haven't got much momentum. It can feel like your website is moving at a snail's pace. That's completely normal. But as you gain knowledge and expertise in your niche, you will start to move faster.
Those painfully slow first articles will start to speed up as you get more familiar with your topic. Your knowledge base will be bigger. You'll start to develop original ideas. You'll have more to say in general. Before long, you will have too many ideas and you'll need to start to prioritize, and that's a good place to be in.
Don't be discouraged by slow progress. Put it the work.