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Creating content is one of the biggest challenges nearly all small business owners face. Many understand the value of quality, consistent content, but do not have the tools to create it. If you are going to make a commitment to growing your content efforts, you might as well try to make it the best content possible – cue “10x content”. In a nutshell, 10x Content is a webpage or blog post that is 10 times better than anything else on the web about the particular topic. This authoritative approach is exactly the type of content you need to be creating in order to stand out in today’s highly competitive landscape. Before you can review the right digital marketing tools, it is important to know where to start and how to create a post of the highest level. To assist on the journey to a great piece of 10x content, we have put together a list of tools and examples that other small business owners can leverage.
Step 1: Preparation
Creating an Idea
The key for any content creation strategy is to know what people are actually looking for. Take time to understand the hot keywords in your industry and start planning your posts around those topics. Start with looking at content and search results around your industry from Google. It is important to remember the motive or intent for each search (more on that later) as you look for ideas. For example, if you type in “shoes” on Google, there are a lot of results across various targeted markets. Unless you make shoes for every possible group that wears shoes, it will be too broad (and too difficult) of a topic for a thoughtful post. Let’s choose “shoes for dogs” as a more specific example. Next, take your industry or targeted keywords and use a tool like Answer the Public. This tool will help you generate blog topic ideas by providing visualized data of related searches and other keyword ideas.
After creating a list of good questions or topics, it is time to figure out what kind of search traffic each keyword garners and how the competition looks. In general, the more search traffic a topic has the more you can benefit from the keyword. However, remember that with more traffic comes more competition. To research search traffic, Google’s Keyword Explorer is an excellent tool. To use this, however, you need an active Google AdWords account. Another great option is Ahrefs’ new keyword planning tool, which offers a free trial. With these tools, you are looking for three things: search volume, search competition, and search intent. Going back to our original choice of “shoes for dogs“, if we take a look at the top results within the SERPs, we notice that most of the listings are sales pages. This makes sense, as someone searching for this query is likely looking to make a purchase. Given this, it will be difficult to rank an informational blog post for this keyword, as the intent of the user is to purchase shoes for their dog and not necessarily learn about different types of shoes. This is a great time to go back to our list of questions from Answer the Public to get even more specific. “Best dog shoes,” brings us a lower search volume but from here we can compile a list of more specific ideas:
- Dog shoes for winter
- Dog shoes for summer
- Dog shoes for rain
- And so on
Next, you’ll want to choose a few topics and put them into a tool like Ahrefs Content Explorer or UpContent. This will show you the top pieces of content (based on their algorithms) for each individual keyword or phrase. For example, a search for “dog shoes for winter” is very specific and has sizeable search volume, but there is still one problem. The search takes us to sites like All Dog Boots that sells dog shoes, rather than providing information. Can an informational post about winter dog boots rank for this term? Maybe, but it would be more difficult than choosing a term like “Dog shoe sizes chart” or “How to pick dog shoes for winter“. The goal here is to look for content that is popular (search volume), but is missing information or is something you think you can do much better at creating (search competition). Finally, you want to make sure the piece is something that does not only bring sales pages when the user is seeking decision making information (search intent). Repeat this process until you have found the perfect topic in your industry to attack.
Step 2: Write the post
Remember that the key here is to make your piece 10 times better than anything else on the topic. Before we start, let’s look at two example posts from the home industry.
As you see, one post covers everything one could possibly know about home investing. The other is shorter and much more sales focused. Keep in mind that you may even already have 10x content that just needs a little bit of re-formatting or updated imagery. Ask yourself the following question: Do you have proprietary data that is nowhere else on the web? Leveraging this data is an excellent way to easily make 10x content as no one else has the information. Keeping with the home industry, let’s look at two more examples. The first comes from TransUnion SmartMove and the second comes from REAU, by way of Homes.com and Rent.com. Both are examples of leveraging data, but only one uses internal data to create a solid and informative post. Can you spot the difference? Not everyone has hordes of data to leverage, but luckily there are several other ways to make high quality posts. Ask yourself the following questions (hint: you should probably say yes to two or more):
- Will it be an ultimate guide of everything on the topic? If so, it is important to backup and collect all the data needed. Import.io is a great free tool to expedite the data collection process from various web pages.
- Will you include a video? Videoscribe offers a cool animation tool for whiteboard style videos. No “techy” know how necessary!
- Do you need graphs or infographics? This type of content can really add a lot of interest to your piece and can help to quickly explain overly detailed or hard to describe concepts. For help creating these try: Piktochart, Fiverr and 99 Designs.
- Do you need help creating images or logos? Check out Canva, Pic Monkey or our list of free logo makers.
- Are you making a quiz to distribute data? Quizzes are a lot of fun for the end user and can help provide very specific and targeted content based on their input. Check out QZZR for an easy option that does not need a custom designer to maintain.
The post is written, huzzah. Now what?
Time to promote your content!
Promoting a new piece is an entire article all on its own. You get started on creating your content and we will get you a guide to promoting your content! Article to come soon, so stay tuned.