Whether you’re new to content writing, or you’ve been doing it for years – everyone can face writer’s block. The other side of the coin may be that you just don’t know how to get started.
No problem. The first step in terms of content writing is really just choosing your focus. What are you going to write about? By now, you’ve hopefully taken a look at some of my other guides that tell you how to get started, in terms of selecting your niche. I always recommend that you want to focus on what you love. Writing content should be an outlet, it should be a release – it should never be a chore. When building your website starts to become a chore, and you’ve lost having fun while doing it – then you know you’ve gone wrong somewhere along the way. Of course, if your website is grossing a major income, then you may do it for that reason, too. In the early days though, when you’re first starting to write content for your website – it should be something you truly enjoy. If it’s not, try to pivot and build your website (or maybe start another one) and make it about what you really want to talk about. That’s the most important part – make it your passion, not a chore.
Once you’ve selected the niche you’re going to write in, I like to recommend the blog approach. If you’re building your website with WordPress, then the blogger approach is the one for you. In terms of pages / posts, look to do about 20-30 each – so when done you’ll have at least 50-60 pages to get started. If you’re writing really long tail content (very long pages), and depending on your niche, it is possible that you can be successful with a 20-30 page website. It all depends on your target market and how you execute.
One Topic or Keyword Phrase, One Page
So, the approach I’ve always used is to have one page for every keyword phrase I’m attempting to optimize for. I call this “segmenting,” or “siloing.” Optimizing for too many different keyword phrases on one page gets sloppy, and messy. From a user research perspective, when they’re on your page looking at content, they are reading about a specific subject. You want to continue that stream of thought for the entire page. We call this “flow.” It’s similar to how people’s brain works when playing video games, or playing an instrument. Flow is when your brain is centered on a subject, and it wants to continue learning or reading about that specific subject.
So, for instance, I’m writing a website here on how to make money online. What a huge and wide-ranging topic that is. So to break it down, I have to talk to every single thing about making money online. I can talk about all the different ways, and then break that down further. For example, the ways in which I’m familiar with is building websites. So I have a section just about building websites, and then a page for each subject about that. One page on how to design, another specifically on WordPress, another on how to do domain research, etc.
Let’s look at another niche market. Let’s say I am building a website that teaches people how to play guitar. Let’s start by mind mapping the website before we write anything:
How to Play Guitar
- How to play certain chords
- One page for each chord
- One video for each page
- How to read sheet music
- Individual page for each song that you’re teaching site visitors to read
- How to play certain songs
- List of songs by a certain band
- One page for each song, “how to play nameofsonghere” for meta tags on each page. Optimize for “how to play song title” on each page
- List of songs by a certain band
- Advanced power chords
This is a very basic mind map structure, but you get the idea. Strategizing and laying out a list of pages you’re going to write in the concept phase is very helpful. Later on, when you’re looking for new content to write pages with, you’ll thank yourself for taking the time to complete this up front. There’s nothing more frustrating then starting to write content and start your build, only later to find that your site structure is disjointed and difficult to navigate as you didn’t take the time to define the subject content you’re going to talk about on your website.
As with all content building strategies, I always recommend to try and optimize for longer, deeper keyword phrases as opposed to short ones. For instance, the other day I was searching for something specific with a video game I like to play. Specifically, I was looking for “how to perform ocean fly technique super metroid.” Kind of a long keyword phrase, right? Now imagine you have a page specifically targeted at that keyword search. The way you would know to write about this is likely if you’ve played the game, then you know that this is something players are aware of and are looking online for how to perform the trick.
Learn what to write by Thought Process and knowing your Niche – Online Tools Cannot Give you All the Answers
If you have never played that video game in your life then you’d probably not know about this search. That’s kind of the way it is sometimes. You can use every online tool out there, but the truth of the matter is if you know your niche, then you’ll know what people look for and what makes sense to write about. It simply comes with the trade. Let’s say you are a mechanic, and your website is about your hobby car. You know from experience that in this particular year, make and model of hobby car that you love to write about, that there’s a particular common problem with the gas pedal. Or a common particular problem about the odometer. Now you know from experience that this is a common problem and sooner or later, you’ll have website visitors who are looking for it. If that’s the case, write a page or post specifically targeted for that particular issue. If your website becomes popular and pages start to rank (and they will if you follow my guides), sooner or later that page specifically about that problem is going to rank well for when site visitors are looking for help with that particular issue.
The more particular you can get, the more in-depth you can get (as opposed to using broad keywords), the better chance you’ll have for obtaining a rank on major search engines. Remember that optimizing for a huge search can be folly – but optimizing for a whole bunch of longer, laser-targeted keywords can get you some traffic. Eventually, the smaller searches can potentially make up the meat of what a larger search would provide. You also have better security with the smaller searches. Once you’re in there, it’s more difficult to get displaced that way.
Remember the old saying: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”