You’ve been publishing blog posts for weeks.
But, you haven’t seen much traction.
Maybe, it’s because you’re guessing.
You’re creating content that you think will perform well.
You’re not inspired by your customers’ problems and desired outcomes.
Therefore, they don’t want to promote you.
You need to understand your target customers better.
Discover what they like. Then, reflect it in your content marketing.
Speak their language by using phrases that they use.
So, when they read your blog, they’ll be more excited to share it.
You probably think that this is a lot of work.
You’re right! But it’s worth it.
I created a blueprint that will help you develop epic content today.
Before you start writing, identify who you’re writing for.
You’re trying to appeal to your target audience.
They’re the people who will benefit from your content marketing.
Novice marketers believe that appealing to everyone will bring greater results.
Nope! The opposite is true.
Copy Hacker’s Joanna Wiebe advises writers to narrow down their target audience; because writing for broad markets will weaken conversions.
In her book, she explains that most Fortune 500 companies have websites converting at 2%.
It’s because they’re targeting too many different groups.
Websites addressing a specific audience tend to have double or triple the conversion rate.
Doggyloot used personalization in their email marketing.
They segmented customers by their dog’s size, style, and birthday.
They sent product recommendations based on their customers’ data. Therefore, making online shopping easier.
Here’s an email sent to large dog owners:
This campaign resulted in a 10.2% open rate. But, it had a click-through rate 410% higher than average.
Their birthday campaigns were also successful.
It had a 28.1% open rate and a 750% increase in click-through rates.
A customer avatar is a worksheet detailing the interests, personality, and problems of your target customer or client.
You can download Digital Marketer’s free customer avatars.
When filling out the sheet, list your customer’s demographic.
Use your experience with past customers or clients to write down their pain points and challenges.
In Sources of Information, list the publications and influencers they enjoy.
For example, I want to promote a yoga training service similar to Cody App.
My audience is women in their mid 20’s — 30’s. They prefer to workout at home.
They follow beautiful fitness models on Instagram. They also subscribe to yoga channels on YouTube.
When you’re done with your avatar, write a 500-word profile of your reader.
In first person point-of-view, explain why they need your product or services.
Here’s an example from Convince and Convert.
This activity fleshes your avatar into a real person.
That’s perfectly fine.
Analyze your competitors’ web copy. Daily Burn’s homepage entices aspiring at-home fitness lovers.
Remember your answers for Sources of Information? Go to their website or blog to find the topics they cover. This will help you brainstorm content ideas.
On their blog, Cody App publishes several articles about yoga.
Another option is social media listening. Search for related keywords and hashtags on Twitter and Facebook.
Trigger words are phrases that evoke emotion from your reader. They’re not uncommon words like “urgent” or “vibrant.”
They’re words used by customers to express their problems and goals.
In the online marketing niche, words like “growth-hacking,” “conversion rates,” and “sales” inspire most entrepreneurs and marketers.
They appeal to their desire of making money with very few mistakes.
Blog titles with these phrases are often popular.
Find trigger words by reading testimonials, product reviews, online surveys, and long-tail keywords.
If you have clients or customers, you must likely have a few testimonials or product reviews.
They explain the problems you solved and why others should buy from you.
Usually, they have a few words that will excite your reader.
Joanna helped Keep&Share revise their homepage’s headline. Here’s the original copy:
She A/B tested it against these variations:
But, none of them had significant results.
So, she looked through the entire website and found this testimonial:
It depicted a transformation. An outcome, a customer, would love to have.
She wrote this new headline:
Against the original headline, this version had a 103% increase in click-through rate on the home page to the pricing page.
On Amazon, people tend to share their intimate details.
They write paragraphs expressing their problems, objectives, and how the book or product helped them.
You can find trigger words just by reading review titles.
That’s how Joanna crafted a new headline for Beachway Therapy.
While reading reviews about people seeking substance rehabilitation, this message stood out:
She transformed it into a headline and tested it against the original web copy.
It touched Beachway Therapy’s website visitors. And, it increased leads by 20% with a value of $20k/month.
Utilizing long-tail keywords is another option.
They’re not as powerful or natural as trigger words.
But, you can brainstorm great blog titles with them.
If you don’t like Google’s Keyword Planner, I recommend using Ubersuggests.
It will generate a list of keywords from A — Z in less than a minute.
I searched for “home yoga.”
Here are my results:
A list of 238 potential keywords I can optimize.
Don’t forget your trigger words.
Simply, copy and paste them into a document.
Use these words to create blog titles, website headlines, and email subject lines.
In Uber Suggests, click the View as text button.
You’ll get all the keywords in text form.
Hold CTRL + A (on Windows) or Command + A (on Mac) to select everything.
Copy all the terms and paste them into your document.
Don’t waste time by practicing trial and error. Spy on your biggest competitors.
They have done the hard work for you.
They already published high-quality content for you to analyze and reverse engineer.
Use Aherfs to find your competitors’ most popular content. Or use it to find the most shared articles about a keyword.
This tool isn’t cheap. Their Lite plan starts at $99/month.
But you should take advantage of their 14-day trial.
First, enter and confirm your email address.
On this page, submit your website’s URL. For my imaginary startup, I’ll enter Cody App’s URL.
Next, add the keywords you want to track. I entered “home yoga” and clicked the Add to list button.
Your keywords list is on the side section. Pick a location to track your keywords.
Confirm your list by clicking Next.
On this page, you’re going to add your competitors’ websites. I entered Do Yoga With Me’s URL.
I also added two more websites from the list.
When finished, click Next.
Here, you’re going to add keywords mentions.
They’re like the first keyword page, but you’re tracking mentions in titles or content.
I added “home yoga” again. I also added more terms from the list. Then, I clicked Next.
Here’s what your dashboard should look like:
But, we’re not going to use it.
Click on the Content explorer tab. This is where you’ll find your competitors’ most popular content.
Enter their website’s URL. I entered Do You Yoga’s web address.
Here are my results:
But, they’re not good enough. I want to find their most-shared content.
Filter your results by selecting social shares.
Here are my new results:
If I click on a link, I’m sent to a blog page with thousands of shares.
Click on the Keyword Explorer tab. It’s where you’ll find the most popular content by keyword.
Enter your target keyword. I submitted “home yoga workout.”
Here’s my results page:
Scroll down to find the most-shared content.
If you don’t like Aherfs, you can easily cancel it.
Click on the face icon on the blue navigation bar.
Select the Subscription plan option.
You’ll be directed to your profile page.
Click the Cancel subscription button.
A popup will appear asking for confirmation.
Select Yes, cancel my subscription. Then, offer your reason for canceling.
Your card will no longer be charged.
Buzzsumo is a good alternative to Aherfs.
You can find popular content by URL or keywords.
Their interface is much easier to manage. And it’s free to use, but with many limitations.
Get more features by signing up for their 14-day trial.
Average content isn’t good enough anymore. The internet is full of it.
The same blog posts are being published, but with a different title.
Your competitors are also producing mediocre articles.
It’s your job to outperform them with higher-quality content.
The skyscraper technique is when you reverse engineer a popular but basic blog post. Then, you expand it with more valuable information.
That’s how Brian Dean exploded his search traffic in 2 weeks.
He followed these three steps:
First, he decided to write about Google’s ranking factors.
He used Aherfs’s Site explorer to find related articles with the most backlinks.
Articles with 20+ sites linking to them were worth upgrading.
While reading several Google ranking lists, he noticed that most of the information were outdated.
So, he updated the topic with more relevant data.
He added a title cover to attract more readers.
The finished 5,900-word article was called, Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List.
Lastly, he contacted blogs who were already linking to similar content.
He exported links referencing his competitors’ articles into a spreadsheet.
Then, he filtered out unnecessary pages like forums and article directories.
He contacted 160 prospects with this email:
17 people agreed to link back to him.
I know this seems small, but it was all he needed.
The backlinks to that article exploded.
The organic search traffic to his website doubled in 2 weeks.
And it drove more than 300,000 referral visitors to his site.
Currently, it’s been shared over 14,000 times!
I hope you liked Brian’s tactics.
I’ll show you how to practice it.
Remember my fictional yoga service? We’re applying the Skyscraper technique to it.
First, search for terms in Keyword explorer. I picked, “easy home yoga.”
Here are the results:
The second listing, Yoga Poses for Beginners by Fitness Magazine, has been shared over a thousand times.
Now, I perform a content audit. I record the content’s word count, number of images, quality score, and style.
Word count: 1296
Number of Images: 12
Style: A slideshow with visual and text instructions.
Next, I brainstorm ways I can upgrade this content.
I can add more words by interviewing yoga experts. Like The Balanced Life, I’ll ask them how yoga changed their lives.
I can research studies on how yoga benefits the mind and body.
I can teach yoga with photo or video tutorials. Do You Yoga often uses them.
I can also explain how to maintain a diet with yoga.
To capture leads, I’ll add content upgrades throughout the post. Just like Brian Dean:
Fitness Magazine has 403 backlinks. Click on the number to find all the backlinks.
I can export the sites into a CSV file.
Here’s the spreadsheet.
I can also add yoga bloggers and fitness publications to my outreach list.
I can use Google, Pinterest, or Content explorer to find blogs that will reference my content.
Then, I organize my spreadsheet by name, email, blog post, and person of contact.
Email outreach can take days. But, I’ve learned how to speed up the process.
Instead of sending emails individually, I’ll upload my spreadsheet into Mailshake.
Mailshake is a tool dedicated to cold outreach. Their plan starts at $19/month.
First, create a campaign.
Then, upload your new spreadsheet.
In the Compose section, paste your outreach email.
Don’t know how to write a high converting email?
That’s OK. Here are a few templates you can use.
Art of Emails’s Skyscraper email:
Hubspot’s link building email:
Art of Emails’s social share email:
I hope you implement this strategy. But there’s another step I have to cover…
Separate yourself from the competition by providing a unique perspective.
A lot of businesses do the same work you do. But, none of them has your style.
Express your personality, humor, and opinions in your content marketing.
Because customers build relationships with brands, not products.
Amy Schmittauer is a vlogging expert with 72,367 subscribers.
She’s not your typical corporate marketer. She’s a sassy and quirky video fanatic.
I’ll be honest.
Most marketers are boring.
They present cookie-cutter information full of industry jargon. Some even advise their clients to do the same.
But, Amy isn’t boring.
She speaks to her viewers as if she’s talking to a friend.
She’s honest about her failures.
She also addresses important topics like performance anxiety and procrastination
Her videos are ten-minute consultation sessions masked as a coffee break.
If you’re active on Pinterest, you’re noticing the rise of the personal blogger.
Specifically, the mom blogger.
Many mothers are building six figure blogs due to their personality and advice.
Semi-Delicate Balance’s JD is an excellent example of this.
She’s popular because she’s helpful.
She understands how stressful military life can be. So, she provides family and home advice for new mothers and wives dealing with the lifestyle.
Her blog posts have often gone viral. Like this article that was shared over 16K times on Pinterest:
Her tone is relatable, kind, and informative.
In short, don’t just publish high-quality content. Offer a unique viewpoint or express your personality.
I highly recommend that you publish an infographic alongside your content.
An infographic is a large image depicting data and research. They perform well on most marketing channels.
Vertical Measure explains that infographics can boost web traffic, expand brand awareness, and build credibility.
Their “What Makes an Infographic Design Bad & How To Improve It” infographic was pinned over 132,028 times.
It was also embedded on over 80 websites.
It has 623,844 views on Imgur.com
Authoritative sites like Hubspot and Marketing Land linked back to its page.
Here are a few templates:
If you create an infographic, don’t forget to watermark it.
A watermark is a logo placed on an image to prove ownership. It prevents curators from taking credit for your work.
PNG images usually have a transparent background. Like this Crazy Egg logo:
You can place it on a picture without contrasting colors.
If your logo doesn’t have a transparent background, you can remove it with Online Image Editor.
In Online Image Editor, click Choose File to upload your logo.
Set the convert box to PNG file. Then, click Upload.
Click the Wizard tab. Select the transparency option. It’s the button with the blue diamond.
You’re going to make changes under the Remove Transparency section.
If the background is white, the color hex code should be #FFFFFF
If it isn’t white, use a color picker or eye drop tool to find the color code of your image’s background.
Copy and paste it into the small pink box.
Then, click on your image’s background to remove the color.
Here’s the new transparent logo:
Don’t forget to save your image.
Go back to your infographic editor and upload your new logo.
Insert it where you it should be. I placed Quick Sprout’s logo in Canva:
This blueprint will help you write excellent content.
Content that your audience wants and will love to share.
But, don’t use it just for blogging.
Use it when planning videos and podcasts.
These principles will improve any content you publish.
Stop relying on guesswork. Instead, learn from the best creators in your niche.