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Guide to building your first site - Part 4: Content creation

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by davids355, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is part 4 of my guide to building your first website. Its meant to be a guide for beginners to intermediates and hopefully it could be useful even if you have built lots of websites in the past. Basically it includes a lot of what I have learned since doing SEO (For quite a few years).

    Here are the previous parts of the guide:

    Part 1: Picking your niche
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/guide-to-building-your-first-site-part-1-picking-your-niche.863733/

    Part 2: Keyword research
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/guide-to-building-your-first-site-part-2-keyword-research.864455/

    Part 3: Building your site with SILo structure
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/gu...uilding-your-site-with-silo-structure.864763/

    Writing your content

    Before you start following part 4 you should have your niche, all of your keyword research done and your site design and structure built and ready to go. All of these stages are important because it means you are not dealing with any unknowns when you start producing your content.

    The opposite of this is building a site and then just staring to write - if you do this then you have no idea of what keywords you are targeting and the chances are you will end up without any traffic for that reason.

    A note about content quality

    I think it is a common misconception that content is everything when it comes to your website, and more specifically that quantity of content is everything. I see a lot of people starting journeys the same way - I have ordered 10,000 words of content, I am going to post a further 500 words per day etc etc... then I will rank and bank in x months.

    It doesn't work like that. Yes quantity is important but even more important is quality - @shezboy recently made a great post here about why most people fail in IM and specifically he talked about the difference between copying everyone else and doing something original -

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/th...ng-online-and-what-you-need-to-change.872101/

    Well its exactly the same with content - and just to add to that post - the thing to avoid is copying what you perceive everyone else to be doing and doing something yourself. In relaity all of the people that are making money are doing their own unique things that add value and differenciate them from the crowds of competitors that are below them, they just don't talk about it.

    The truth is that your content needs to be unique, informative, relevant, original and actionable if you want to get anywhere with your website - so this doesn't mean paying someone $1/100 words for realing off a load of generic sentances about XYZ product. You need relevant and well researched content that you have taken the time to write OR that you have paid a decent writer to produce for you.

    Research

    The first thing to do is carry out some research - you already have your keyword research from Part 2 so you know what topic you are going to write about and this makes it easy to do some more detailed research. Start by looking on Google, see who is currently in the top 3 for that keyword - what are they writing about? How long are their articles, what sort of sub-topics do they cover in the article, what angles are they taking, what sites are they linking to etc etc.

    The more info you get from your competition the better - this should give you a real idea of the level of quality and research that you need as well as the sort of article length that you should be aiming for.
    At this stage you can also start putting together a list of related keywords that you should mention in your article as well as a list of authorities for that subject matter - this will become very important when you start writing your content.

    As you are doing this research you can start putting together the foundations for your article - a bit like a short version of the content - maybe a couple of hundred words taken from 5-6 competitors websites.

    Related keywords

    Whilst you are researching you should also build a list of keywords and phrases that crop up frequently for your keyword - it is very important to include relevent keywords and phrases, and not just the longtails that you are trying to rank for - these related keywords are used by Google to re-enforce the topic of your article and they will help you to rank higher for the main focus keywords.

    Using an angle

    As you are getting together some ideas for you article you should think about the angle you are going to take - maybe a spin on the topic that makes it fresh and interesting - not only does this allow you to keep your article pointing in a certain direction, it also makes it more likely to be shared because it will have a unique and specific viewpoint.

    Length of content

    Length of content is very important and you should be thinking about pushing over 1000 words or if you really want your content to do well then upwards of 2000 words.

    There are a lot of benefits to writing longform content - firstly Google loves it, secondly its adding more value for your readers and third if you have more content then you are likely to pick up more natural longtails when it comes to ranking.

    @t0mmy published a great infographic recently all about long-form content - why its important and how to create it. This infographic highlighted the fact that content over 2000 words ranks far better than shorter content. This was backed up by some stats as well:

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/in...rm-content-is-better-how-to-create-it.864546/

    Include actionable tips

    Content with actionable tips and guides is far more valuable to readers and far more likely to get reposted than generic overview content. You should think about writing content that you readers can actually take something away from and impliment it for themselves.

    For example, in this article I am trying to give tips about content writing so that you can actually go onto your site after reading this and write something of more value than you could have done before you read this post (Hopefully anyway). This means avoiding the normal approach of just writing as many words as you can to make up the numbers and rather do research and try to think about what will really help your readers.

    Format your article correctly

    We all know that headings are important and that you should put your keywords and longtails in headings but think about why headings are important from the users point of view. Good use of headings make an article far easier to read and so they are very important.

    You should structure your article to include paragraphs, headings and lists so that it is very easy to read - this is great for the user and Google will love you for it as well.

    Images

    Images are very important as well - there are lots of sources for your images, such as:

    1.Free stock image sites like Pixabay
    2.Commercial stock image sites such as istockphoto
    3.Google image search with the usage rights filter
    4.Google image search + requesting permission
    5.Social media + requesting permission
    6.Taking or creating your own images

    You can use a variety of these methods to get the most relevant images for your article - and remember to name your images so that they match or relate to your main keyword and also to use alt tags, titles and captions to the same effect.

    Mention authorities within the niche

    This is something that can not only add value to your article but also can help greatly when it comes to promotion. If you follow the first part of this guide and research your topic thoroughly you can come up with a list of people and/or websites that are authoritive within the niche - of course you need a fine balance here, you dont want to always be promoting your competition but you do want to get involved in the community that centers around your niche.

    If you include these metions within your articles then firstly you are including external and nichie relevant links (Beneficial in terms of SEO) but you will also potentially attract the atention of those industry figures and hopefully encourage them to share your content on social media.

    Everyone loves to be mentioned as an authority in their niche and more often than not they just wont be able to resist letting all of their social media followers know about it.

    If you mention a few people in this way - maybe a quote, a licenced image or a reference to a previous post on their website - then you can really get some great traction going when you post the article on social media and reference those people that you have mentioned.

    Reworking your content

    Once you have created your content that doesn't mean its finished - in fact content is never finished. I often go back to old ariticles and revise them - adding more content, editing existing paragraphs etc. This has multiple benefits because firstly it will be seen as fresh and updated content by the search engines, secondly it will add value for your readers and thirdly it allows you to add additional benefits to your content over time.

    If you go back and read any content that you have previously written then 9 times out of 10 you will see something that could read better or you will think of something that you didn't add the first time - this is just a great opportunity to increase the value that the content has.

    And the great part - if you update your content then why not repost it on social media and you will likely get it shared all over again.

    Its also great when you go back over old content because often there will be new interlinking opportunities - for example you may have since published new content on your website that is relevent to an old article, in this case you can go back to that article and link from it to the newer content. This adds value for your readers, gets your new content more attention and also gives even more reason for Google to notice your content because its well linked to throughout your website.

    Other important points when writing your content

    1.Always check your content for spelling mistakes
    2.Always make sure you are using the right type of langauge for your audience
    3.Take time to cross link between other content on your website
    4.Use a plugin such as Yoast SEO for wordpress to check over your finished article

    Tips for outsourcing your content

    If you just cant write your content yourself then take care when outsourcing. Dont just look for the cheapest content but rather look for the content that adds the most value. This may or may not be the most expensive option.

    Before ordering content ask for samples - read through these samples and see how well written they are, how they are structured and whether you are generic spillouts of content or whether they are well researched.

    Ask the writer if they can provide references as well - this is a great way to find writers that will actually research the content that they are producing for you.

    Did I miss anything?

    This is just me writing what I have learned from my experiences. If I have missed anything important or any of you guys have any other good tips for writing great content then please add to it in this thread. In particular one part I havnt really touched on is link baiting - which is the process of writing content specifically to attract attention and specifically to encourage people to link to it.

    A great example of this would be to write on a really edgy topic, maybe even something that you know will infuriate some of your readers - often when people read content that brings up emotions they just can't help responding to it - and of course this is great for you because all publicity is good publicity after all.

    Having said that, its not something that I have that much experience with, so would be great if someone else can chime in about that side of content writing.

    Next part coming soon: On page SEO.
    This will be coming soon and will be a detailed explanation of what you should be doing for on page SEO - how you should be formating your content in terms of title, URL, headings etc to give it the best chance of ranking before you even think about building any links.

    After that will be the final part of the guide which is off site SEO - in other words how to build links to and market your content and your website.

    Had to ramble just a tiny little bit there to get over the 2k words mark - otherwise this article would have been a bit hypocritical :)
     
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  2. merten

    merten Junior Member

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    Great info thanks!
     
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  3. shezboy

    shezboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Excellent write up and very thorough. Great to see posts that give this kind of information.

    Shez
     
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  4. JamaicanMoose

    JamaicanMoose Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    A comment about finding topics to write about: I always find it easy to generate filler content by going to Yahoo Answers and Quora, searching for my niche/KW, and then writing an opinion piece on that question/topic. To me that signifies that there is an interest in that particular topic, but clearly not enough unique answers on the Internet if someone is going to a Q&A site to find the answer. This gives me some nice traffic every month.
     
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  5. Trinity Smith

    Trinity Smith Regular Member

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    Another excellent info. Thank you so much!
     
  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks mate, appreciate the comments :)

    That's a pretty cool idea. That way you know the article will be of interest. I guess you could then legitimately post your link in answer to those questions as well.

    Thanks for the feedback, and your welcome.
     
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  7. 1morenoob

    1morenoob BANNED BANNED

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    nice guides, well laid out too. Cheers
     
  8. OldClock

    OldClock Newbie

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    Really good article Davids. I loved the other threads that you linked to. I wasn't even aware of the T0mmy one. One tip that I would give people is to make infographics if they can't think of any other images to use. The reason I say that is because infographics are really versatile and they can be applied to almost any niche.

    On an unrelated note, I've been watching Psycho-Pass recently. I haven't seen all of it yet, but the girl in your avatar is one of the creepiest characters I've seen.
     
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  9. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks. Yea infographics are a great idea. The one in tommys thread was wicked as well.

    Haha yea phsyco pass is pretty cool. It's just hard going always having to read the subtitles.

    Not sure who the chick is from my profile pic, I just found it on google images :)
     
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  10. rajsinhahyd

    rajsinhahyd Junior Member

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    Nice Post!
     
  11. haidermiz

    haidermiz BANNED BANNED

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    Awesome post
     
  12. hekke

    hekke Senior Member

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    David, good job on providing this valuable information - hopefully you are already getting PMs with people saying thanks and stuff, if not THANK YOU. I will read these through when I get time, but THANK YOU for taking your time to help so many people! :)
     
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  13. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks guys, appreciate the comments :)
     
  14. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Just wanted to clarify as well, this level of research and time should go into your content whether you are building an authority site or a micro niche site. I think a lot of people think that an MNS site means just chucking up 2k words of content and then ranking it but its not the case. If you want to stand out from the crowd then you still need great content on an MNS site just as much as you do on an authority site.
     
  15. Neoterz

    Neoterz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I had read all your 4 parts. Seems nice to get knowledge on making a powerful website. Great info mate. :)
     
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  16. SEMWORLD

    SEMWORLD BANNED BANNED

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    I am glad and do love the way you have put the steps together. Most of the time we want to do shortcuts in order to make something happen and that is what really affects us. I will urge that we consider the steps above and even modify them in a way that we want to so that we are working professionally. Otherwise we will have issues with quality.
     
  17. SixHats

    SixHats Junior Member

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    Thank you for this nice post!
    I was thinking about the length of the content. Ain't 2000 words on an article a bit much? You have to be a pretty dedicated reader to read something of 2000 words. Will you not end up with getting the reader bored or "scared" when he opens your site and see that long text, then he push back and go to the next site that may have an article like that but fewer words?
     
  18. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I used to think that. But actually if you break content up into clear sections (with headings) then 2k is not that long.

    Also I think it allows readers to skip through to parts they need.

    Even this article is 1k but it didn't take me long to write and I'm during reading it doesn't take that long. Some readers might skip some of the basics and just read a few of the sub sections - like maybe the one about referencing authorities in the niche for example.

    Update

    Just to give some substance to this as well, I have recently been updating one of my sites by systematically increasing the length of content throughout the site.

    So far I have updated 8 pages from an average of 500 words up to an average of 1500 words and after a few days ALL of those pages have moved up in the rankings. So its definitely worth the effort.
     
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  19. Titans

    Titans Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great work mate. :)
     
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  20. SixHats

    SixHats Junior Member

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    Thank you David, I am sorry for questioning your post, I am just a newbie. But you explained it very good here. Thank you for that. I don't even know how to rank yet ;) So I should really not question your post. Sorry again :)