In particular, it's cool to see people like Ada Wilkinson post an update about making her first dollar online ($14.80 to be exact) because I can remember that having that same feeling of excitement a few years ago.
Heck, I can remember how excited I was when my first website had a visit from a person not named Jake Cain. Just the thought that someone else was benefitting from my life-changing advice about baseball stadiums was an extremely gratifying feeling.
Today I am going to share a few tips that can be applied to nearly any site, but I'm hoping it will be particularly helpful for those of you who have moved past the initial surge of content on your site and are now wondering “what's next?”
I've found that it's easy to hit a wall where you feel like you are tapped out of ideas and don't really know what else to say on your website that you haven't already said.
I've been in that kind of rut several times, and here are a few things that have helped me move past it.
Finding Keywords For A Keyword Tool
One of the more challenging situations I found myself in was in 2015 when I was pretty much running the show for Long Tail Pro‘s marketing.
One of the things Spencer hired me to do was to breathe new life into the Long Tail Pro blog by creating fresh content that pulled in organic traffic and ultimately helped sell more software.
While I had done that kind of thing for my own niche/authority type websites, I hadn't really done it as my “job” where I had actual expectations to meet.
It was pretty intimidating.
To make matters worse, when I started doing keyword research for the Long Tail Pro blog I was finding it very difficult to uncover low competition keywords in our market.
Up to that point, I'd never really worked on a site that was in an online technology business.
If I were to start a site in a low-tech niche like “raising chickens” the path to getting organic traffic would probably be a lot easier. I could likely do better SEO, build strong links with outreach, and find those golden nugget low competition keywords because most of the competing sites don't really think like that.
They just love raising chickens and want to blog about it.
But when you start blogging about blogging… and internet marketing in general – the competition is stiff.
It seemed like every content/keyword idea I had featured a Google top 10 littered with results from Neil Patel, Brian Dean, ProBlogger, CopyBlogger, you name it…
What was I going to write to outrank those guys?
My idea was to shift my focus to some lower hanging fruit that I actually thought we could rank for. Here's the question I asked to help me discover more keywords for Long Tail Pro:
1. Who Else Can Our Product Help?
The advantage I had was that Long Tail Pro already had a sizeable footprint in the online marketing landscape. Many of the big thought leaders in the space already recommended Long Tail Pro and were affiliates for the product.
So really, if someone was searching more general things about the best keyword research tools or getting more traffic to a blog – they were probably hearing about Long Tail Pro already – even if it didn't come directly from us.
So I started thinking about it this way:
What kinds of people could benefit from Long Tail Pro but have probably never heard of someone like Pat Flynn?
My answer was very small business owners.
In my experience, many non-tech small business owners are so focused on other parts of the business that the online marketing side of things doesn't get much time and attention. So the odds of that kind of person going to search Google for “best keyword research tools” were very low. They probably don't even know what keyword research means exactly.
So what would they search?
Well, I started thinking more general and discovered there were low competition keywords for things like “Marketing Ideas For Insert Business/Industry Here.”
While the search volumes were pretty low, I knew that I could offer a few simple marketing ideas for that type of business – one of which would be the concept of using their blog to get people on their business website.
And oh by the way… we have a software that can help you with that.
By following the same principle, I also discovered some nice keywords around non-Wordpress website builders that are often focused on small business owners. Products like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly who all have customers that could really use Long Tail Pro – they just didn't know it yet.
The end result is that LongTailPro.com did (and still does) rank well for a number of keywords just like this, which have produced a bunch of fresh leads for the business.
How You Can Use This
Really this is an exercise in creative thinking. The people who don't even know enough to be aware of your solution – what kinds of things are they asking?
If you've tapped out of keywords for your bird watching site, maybe focus your attention on activities for seniors, things to do on vacation, lists of non-strenuous activities, etc.
If you can win those keywords, you have an opportunity to put bird watching on their radar as something they might enjoy, and then turn them into a reader and/or customer.
2. Siphon Celebrity Attention
When searching for keywords, being able to think like your searcher is critical. A lot of people want to emulate celebrities in one way or another, and I've found that understanding that idea can really open up a bunch of content ideas you may be missing.
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For instance, your fitness website may never rank on page 1 for something like “get 6-pack abs” but I'd be willing to bet there are people looking to get abs just like a certain celebrity.
So they might search things like “Get abs like Channing Tatum” or “Spencers Haws' ab workout” since both Channing and Spencer are well known for their washboard abs.
If you can do a little research and put together a nice piece on how they do it – you'll have a much easier time ranking and picking up that traffic than you will with a more generic keyword.
This is an idea I first heard about in the context of YouTube on the DigitalMarketer blog.
They were featuring the strategy of a successful YouTube basketball channel called ILoveBasketballTV and one thing they did was create different videos for all the different player-specific searches like “how to shoot a basketball like Steph Curry.”
What you'll find is that if people are searching these things on YouTube, they'll also be searching them on Google.
In fact, I went a little deeper into this strategy with Ryan Spadafora on one of our coaching calls and how he could apply it to his site about being a better baseball player.
How You Can Use This
I'm guessing your niche has celebrities at some level. If so, use them to your advantage! Maybe it's just a post here or there or maybe it becomes a whole category or series of posts on your site.
How to fix my hair like ____________
How to run fast like ______________
How give a speech like ____________
You get the idea.
In the world of free keyword tools, Ubersuggest is probably my favorite.
In fact, it actually would be a fantastic resource for finding ideas you can use that involve celebrities or notable people in your niche.
Ubersuggest simply takes whatever you type in and then produces a list of all the auto-complete suggestions for that phrase. I'm sure you noticed that search engines do this for you as you're typing:
Want to start your own blog?
Ubersuggest will take your phrase and then pull the suggestions for every letter in the alphabet, so you are usually left with hundreds of ideas that you may not find in the keyword planner:
If you run a blog about decorating for events, this kind of list would be perfect to run through a keyword tool and find out how often each one is searched.
Even if you have an idea like “how to decorate for a pool party” that doesn't show much search volume but your gut tells you that it's something your readers would be interested in – go for it anyway.
The most popular post on my baseball stadium website is focused on a keyword that showed “0” monthly searches at the time that I wrote it. However, I knew there had to be more people than me looking for tips on taking kids to a baseball game so I wrote it anyway.
How You Can Use This
This one is pretty straightforward – just jump over to Ubersuggest and start typing in the first part of common questions or problems in your niche.
Maybe your DIY site has a popular article on “How to build your own smoker” – go get suggestions for “How to build your own” and see what other kinds of projects people are looking for.
4. The YouTube Override
A minute ago I shared an example of where I ignored keyword search volume for a gut feeling.
So it caught my attention when I read Chris from RankXL talk about his strategy for basing blog posts off of popular YouTube videos. He calls the idea “YouTube Curation” and pretty much says that he'll find blog post ideas by doing searches on YouTube related to his niche and then looking for videos that have a lot of views and/or a ton of upvotes – showing that people liked the video.
Chris figures that if people are finding the video on YouTube and it's well received – then it makes sense to do a blog post on his site about that same topic. Chris says “I rarely do separate keyword research when writing articles through YouTube curation. I don’t care if it says 0 searches in the Keyword Planner”
In other words, even if your keyword tool says that topic isn't worth doing – let the success on YouTube override that and do it anyway.
This strategy can be especially helpful if you have a niche with a bunch of tutorials or demonstrations showing people how to do things. If 200,000 people have watched how to make their own mosquito candle, then doing a post about DIY mosquito candles is probably something you should consider – no further analysis required.
I've used this strategy quite a bit for one of my sites in particular, and it has produced traffic and social shares from blog posts that were relatively quick to create. I've also used a few of these in emails I've sent to my list, just because I felt confident that it was something they'd enjoy checking out.
How You Can Use This
Simple – go to YouTube and start searching for topics that your audience would search. You should start pretty general and see what kind of videos come up. From there, start checking out the videos that get the most views as well as videos that were recently published and are already picking up traction. Those could be good topics to cover on your blog.
When it comes time to create content, you can even embed the YouTube video into your post if it supplements your writing. Just work on creating an even more compelling title than the YouTube video and focus on building content that your readers will enjoy.
If you feel like you've said all there is to say or if you're in a content rut of some kind on your site – I hope some of these ideas will help you find fresh keywords and start creating new content that your audience will truly enjoy!
I'm sure some of you have your own ways to bust out of a slump when it comes to content, so please feel free to share what works for you in the comments below.