Keyword research, Instagram ladders and the near future of content marketing
The weekly newsletter for content marketers seeking exponential growth in their work and personal lives.
When it comes to SEO, I've learned a lot from Glen Allsopp. One of his recommendations here is a personal favorite: use a Google Custom Search engine to build an index of your competitors' content.
“With a simple intitle: search we can see which keywords they’re focused on for month based search queries, which tend to include fresher content ideas you may want to mimic.”
This is a simple post with a big takeaway: every article needs to be created for a single, high-impact purpose. Case in point: instead of viewing social media as a catch-all distribution channel for your content, create content specifically shaped to the idiosyncrasies of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
“By comparing the performance of different topics by network, you can develop content that will appeal to target audiences on specific networks.”
Promoting content through social media doesn't need to be passive. This post provides a hands-on process for predictably scaling an Instagram following, targeting low-volume, low-competition hashtags, and using your success to work towards big numbers. I've tried this. It works.
“The key here is that your posts normally couldn’t rank in the popular results for the hashtags that have been used 250,000 times, but they could easily rank for those that have been used 10–20,000 times.”
🔥 5 Ways to Write Better Blog Post Titles [Animalz]
Most title writing advice is formulaic and boring. Jan-erik's post takes a different tack, looking at five high-level principles for writing engaging, purposeful titles. As somebody that's had his own content torn-down and built-up by Jan, I can testify to how stellar his thinking is here.
“Picking a title is just as much an exercise in thinking about distribution and framing as it is an exercise in thinking about what is truly interesting about your post.”
💩 How to Buy Bitcoin Stock [HubSpot]
This is what happens when content marketers slavishly target keywords without understanding the search intent behind them. This post is irrelevant, confusing, and tackles a nonsensical topic - Bitcoin “stock” - just because there's volume in the search query. If you negate the entire M.O. of your article in your second sentence, you shouldn't be writing it.
“However, the source of Bitcoin's value -- and how you buy into it -- is very different than an investment in the shares of a public company.”
I just cancelled Buffer for this baby. Content tagging, evergreen republishing, detailed analytics, a ton of importing and sourcing features... I've spent a long time trying to make social media scheduling less painful, and the single hour I spent in SmarterQueue has filled my social feeds for the next two weeks.
Want to find out what blogging was like 10+ years ago? Start a podcast.
My Animalz colleagues Jimmy and Jan-erik just released episode one of the Animalz podcast. I've had my own foray into podcasting, and I spend a lot of time recommending the medium to any marketer that will listen.
Podcasts are additive, not competitive.
Write a blog post and you compete for attention with other blog posts. But podcasts don't compete in the same way: they open the door to a new type of consumption, allowing people to engage with content while they drive, cook, and workout. In the escalating battle for attention, stop fighting over a few square feet of territory - stake your claim in uncontested land.
You can leverage big distribution networks.
It's easy to get a podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and a dozen other podcast aggregators. Each platform has its own built-in audience, and great content can generate hundreds of subscribers with virtually zero effort.
There's a disproportionate return (for now).
Podcasts are cheap to record (I use a $100 Blue Yeti USB mic and $0 recording software). They can be re-purposed into blog posts, emails, quotes and videos, making them cheaper still. Like the early days of blogging, it's easy to reach big audiences with little investment: there just aren't many podcasts out there.
But - also like the early days of blogging - the opportunity won't last forever. If you want to give podcasting a go, get started the same way we did: sit down with a friend and talk through your latest blog post.