One thing that any internet marketer should be aspiring to be good at is to learn how to create quality content that shows up in the search engines.
Unless you outsource it, content creation is free and has the potential to both build your brand and to gain you exposure if people are easily able to find it.
By building your brand people will perceive you as an expert and are far more likely to want to opt in to your list, compared to others with no online presence. It allows you to create social proof that goes a long way towards people liking and trusting you, and possibly buying from you.
By learning how to create quality content that ranks on Google and the other major search engines, and by also maximizing the content by making it go viral, you can create a very powerful online empire. In my opinion content creation is the ultimate low cost marketing strategy.
So lets take a closer look at the four stages of content creation.
1. Keyword Research
This is where it all begins, but unfortunately many marketers or bloggers don't even bother with this step. I know that I used to create content I thought people may like to read (or watch), but the problem with this is that 9 times out of 10 the content will hardly ever get read or viewed, no matter how good it is.
Content can be created in either text, video or audio format, but text remains the most popular. In this tutorial I will mainly be referring to text based content (articles or blog posts), but no matter which one you do, the principles remain the same
Importantly always create content based around carefully researched keywords that you want to be ranked on. Otherwise you are just wasting your time and effort creating the content. If you only get one thing out of this post, then this is the most crucial to learn how to create quality content.
Keyword research is a whole topic in itself and you can find loads of free tutorials on the subject. As a general rule though I use the Google Keyword Tool to find relevant keywords to my niche that have between 100 and 1,000 searches per month, preferably with low competition.
The way I see it any less than 100 searches per month is not enough, and anything over 1,000 searches is too competitive and therefore very difficult to rank on the first page unless you are a SEO guru. Some may disagree with this philosophy, but I like to keep it simple and it works for me.
In summary, do thorough keyword research to discover an opening in your niche or industry, with the view of ranking an article or video on the front pages of major search engines.
2. Content Creation
Now that you have chosen your keyword(s) that you want to rank for, it is time to start creating the content.
Obviously the primary keyword needs to be used in the title, and it should also be used in the first sentence of the article as well. It is always a great idea to use numbers in your title also, as this attracts more curiosity for some reason.
The content should have an introduction, a body containing a few paragraphs that illustrate certain points, and then finish off with a conclusion. Some people like to make a bullet point list and then create an article around these bullet points.
You should try your best to eliminate all spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. If you are not confident with your spelling, you should always use a spell checker. It is unprofessional to publish content with errors in it.
Try to use high quality and relevant images also to brighten up your blog posts instead of just having all text. I get the images for this blog for free from 123RF, but I have to give credit to the owner/author of the image.
Remember though, It is not as simple as stuffing your keyword 15 times into an article. People don't want to read junk that doesn't flow or make sense. If you put too many keywords in the article most people will realize you are keyword stuffing and stop reading.
You need to balance between writing an informative or entertaining article with your carefully selected keywords, so that people don't even notice that you are including keywords. Google will more than likely penalize you for overusing keywords anyway as their algorithm is now extremely advanced.
I also use a tool called SEOPressor, which gives me directions on exactly what I need to do to get my blog page ranked highly. It costs money, but it is worth the investment if you are serious about ranking your content. SEOPressor is really easy to use and it works.
Over time you should be able to create content that people enjoy and thank you for, as well as getting it ranked highly on the search engines. That is the ultimate combination.
3. Content Distribution
There are varying opinions on content distribution and duplicate content. With text it is a far more confusing subject, but with video and audio the idea should be to post your content on as many sites as possible.
Videos can be distributed to many video sharing sites rather easily using Traffic Geyser, and rank very quickly if you do Steps 1 and 2 above properly. Remember to always include the URL that you want to direct traffic to at the front of the description.
Audio can be turned into podcasts relatively easily and made available to download on iTunes. If you go down the audio path make sure the sound quality is excellent, because most people don't like listening to podcasts that are all crackly and are not clear.
You can distribute articles to multiple article directories and even use spinning software to make different variations of the same article in an effort to keep the content unique.
I believe that although this was once a useful strategy, it is now a waste of time as the majority of the article directories are not ranked highly and therefore the back links are not worth much. I prefer to avoid duplicate content though, especially with a website that I want to keep Google friendly.
If you do submit the same content to article directories just choose the ones that are ranked very high, such as Ezine Articles.
You can also look at sending links between the same content on various sites that you have submitted to, which creates a chain or wheel of sorts. The purpose of this is to help you to rank your landing page or blog (the end of the loop or chain) as high as possible.
You can learn more about link wheels over at http://www.submitedge.com/link-wheel-service.html. It is an advanced SEO topic that needs to be explained in more detail to understand it fully.
4. Content Syndication
Content Syndication is all about SOCIAL BUZZ and making your content go viral.
It is basically the process of "looping" your existing traffic through your core social media sites and other content to create additional free exposure for you and your content. This allows you to leverage your traffic for continued exposure, social proof, more traffic, and more leads.
If you go to a website and see a piece of content that has been retweeted 150 times and shared on Facebook 80 times, you are far more likely to take the time to read the article or watch the video.
Syndication can be best summarised as a community of people that agree to share, like and retweet others people's content in return for having their own content shared, liked and retweeted.
The result of this is that your content will gain a lot more exposure and credibility as you will have a whole community of like minded people voting for you. Depending on your budget you can set this up to be fully automated, or you can also do it manually for a lower price.
To learn more about driving traffic, viral exposure, opt-ins & SEO using automatic social signals it is highly recommended to register for a free webinar which will go into much more detail about how Syndication can transform your business. Click here for your free webinar .
Rinse And Repeat
So now you know how to create quality content that ranks highly in Google it is just a case of doing it over and over to start seeing results. Content creation can be a slow process to get started, but just like saving money in a bank it compounds over time.
Give it at least 6 months to a year of massive action before you expect to get good it at, and in time you will be able to master it if you have the patience to stick with it.
image Copyright from (c) 123RF Stock Photos