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Starting a Blog! Avoid the 3 Most Critical Mistakes People Make When Getting Started


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Starting a Blog? Have a blog? Avoid the 3 Most Critical Mistakes People Make when getting started! When we nailed #2 our traffic tripled.

This is not your typical 'tips' slideshare. This is an in-depth walkthrough on the most common mistakes bloggers make these days. If you make these three mistakes during this startup process, it's all for nothing. These go way beyond tips on starting a blog, these are flat out necessities.

We want to not only discuss these 3 mistakes here but also give you a roadmap on how to avoid them altogether. This will make your blog stand out from the masses and give your readers the best experience possible. More importantly, give them reasons to keep coming back.

Get access to the full post as well as a 32 page PDF for you on our blog:

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Starting a Blog! Avoid the 3 Most Critical Mistakes People Make When Getting Started

  1. 1. The3mostCRITICALmistakespeoplemake whenstartingablog • Not Defining Your Target Market • Not Figuring Out Your Site Structure • Not Doing Basic Keyword Research Now that you know them - let’s figure out how to avoid them! NOTE: This presentation assumes you will be using Wordpress for your blog
  2. 2. TARGETMARKET Defining Your
  3. 3. WHATDOWEMEAN? Figure out who you want to serve, and then figure out how you can serve them. Once you do this, everything else falls in line. Before you begin any type of content creation, marketing, or monetization strategy, you have to know who you are talking to!
  4. 4. HOWDOYOUDEFINEYOURTARGETMARKET? The first step in figuring this out is to answer the following questions: 1 2 3 4 Who are you? What do you stand for? Who do you serve? How can you serve them? THE FIRST 2 QUESTIONS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT You need to figure out what you are passionate about. What's life all about for you? What do you like to talk about? What are your values? What's important to you? If you don't base your blog around something you are passionate about, you will lose interest quickly.
  5. 5. FIGUREOUTTHEIRNEEDS Once you pinpoint who your target market is, then it's time to figure out what their biggest challenges, concerns, and problems are. What do they REALLY want? Use these resources to FIND OUT! SOCIAL MEDIA Use Facebook and Twitter. Look at hashtags that may be used by your market. What are they talking about? What words are they using? What questions are they using? Are there Facebook groups based around your target market that you can join? REDDIT Reddit is an online community that provides 'sub-reddits' or small communities of specific interests. There is a sub-reddit for pretty much every topic. Find your relevant community on there and join the discussion!
  6. 6. FIGUREOUTTHEIRNEEDS Q&A SITES Question and answer sites like Quora & Yahoo Answers can give you great insight in to the actual questions your target market it asking when searching in Google. Find out from their mouths what their most pressing questions are. ANSWERTHEPUBLIC.COM This is an awesome resource that provides you with questions that your target market is asking in Google and Bing. It even allows you to export the information they give you in a very nice visual data sheet! bottomlineis:Findoutwhereyourtargetmarket hangsoutonline,andjointheconversation!
  7. 7. SITESTRUCTURE Figuring Out Your
  8. 8. NOWYOU’VEGOTYOURTARGETMARKET… It's time to figure out what you are going to be talking about, what topics you are going to be covering, the type of content you are going to be creating, and how you are going to organize it on your blog. THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR MANY REASONS!
  9. 9. 1:HELPSGOOGLE A good site structure gives Google clues on what your site is about AND how to find your most important content
  10. 10. 2:HELPSYOUR READERS A good site structure makes it easy for PEOPLE to find the content on your site that THEY WANT. Give them a GREAT USER EXPERIENCE!
  11. 11. 3:CONGRUENCY A good site structure allows you to EASILY target your audience with relevant offers and lead magnets. IT ALSO KEEPS YOU FOCUSED & ON TOPIC!
  12. 12. You end up with a log of blog categories because you didn’t put much thought into them before you started. Or you created them on the fly as you wrote. You end up with category bloat, and your ‘niche’ blog went off track. ASCENARIOYOUWANTTOAVOID…
  13. 13. IDEALBLOGSITESTRUCTURE SHOULD BE PYRAMID OR TREE-SHAPED A good site structure gives Google clues on what your site is about AND how to find your most important content. Your brand is at the very top, below that is your cornerstone content for your ‘head’ keywords (the keywords you care about the most), below those are dozens – if not hundreds– of posts, strengthening your site’s structure. 1
  14. 14. INTERNAL LINKING Remember we want to make it easy for users to find related & your BEST CONTENT! You want to consider linking from your ‘tail’ of your pyramid to the ‘head’ where your best content is. Basically - link your smaller ‘filler’ posts to a related piece of pillar or ‘cornerstone’ content 2 3 EQUALLY LARGE CATEGORIES This is important to maintain an accurate reflection of what your site is ABOUT. If you are blogging too much in one category, you may want to rethink your structure
  15. 15. KEYWORD RESEARCH (BASIC) It’s important that the words you are using in your structure (categories, tags, etc.) MATCH what your target market is actually searching for. Proper keyword research will help you find out what search terms are used by your audience! 4 A FEW MORE TIPS • Try to have a maximum of 5 to 8 core categories • The category names & tags should MEAN SOMETHING to your audience (don’t get cute!) • As you move down your pyramid, you get more and more specific with categories and posts • Link from these more specific ‘filler posts’ up to your pillar content - ALWAYS guide the reader where you want them to go
  16. 16. WHYKEYWORDRESEARCH CASE STUDY 1 An old side blog of ours used to have a main category with the keyword of Get Leads. The image below illustrates why a few seconds of keyword research could have given us a better idea of what people are searching for
  17. 17. CASE STUDY 2 Colleagues of ours were starting a blog geared toward people who wanted to be able to start their own business while traveling the world. They were targeting the term ‘Travel Business’ - Simple keyword research shows their target market was using the term Digital Nomad. WHYKEYWORDRESEARCH
  18. 18. ACCESSTHEFULLBLOGPOST! To read the full post about starting a blog and making sure it’s successful, click here & get access to your very own free 32 page pdf walkthrough!
  19. 19. CATEGORIES,TAGS& PILLARCONTENT Let’s chat about
  20. 20. THE3RULESOFCATEGORIES RULE 1 Categories are used to create LARGE groups of content within your site. They bundle content that has a similar HIGH LEVEL topic RULE 2 Categories are ‘hierarchal’ - simply means they can have subcategories to bundle small groups of content (more ‘niche’) RULE 3 By creating categories & subcategories you end up creating the ‘tree-like’ structure by organizing your content! 1 2 3
  21. 21. THE3RULESOFTAGS RULE 1 If categories are your sites Table of Contents, tags are it’s index. You can use these to ‘micro-organize’ your content RULE 2 Think of them as popular keywords or ‘search terms’ you can use to relate your posts. This helps with your websites internal search and related posts. RULE 3 TAGS DO NOT EQUAL META-KEYWORDS! Do not try to ‘stuff’ your posts full of tags to try to trick Google. You’ll do more harm than good 1 2 3
  22. 22. IMPORTANTNOTE: As with all aspects of your site structure - tags are meant to make it easier for YOUR USERS to find related content on your website. If every post/article receives yet another new unique tag, you are not structuring anything!
  23. 23. WHATISPILLARCONTENT? MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLES These are posts or pages that literally provide your audience with MASSIVE VALUE DO THE HEAVY LIFTING This type of content gets shares, backlinks, engagement and can eventually rank for competitive keywords MAKE YOU THE AUTHORITY Supports your brand promise, establishes trust & credibility HIGH IN YOUR SITE STRUCTURE Easy to find, quick to reach, linked to and referenced REPEATEDLY from related posts
  24. 24. WHATISPILLARCONTENT? A GOOD DEFINITION: Pillar content is the content that pretty much sums up what you have to say from now until kingdom come. It is the end-all, be-all for your target market. These posts will be the definitive answer to your target markets biggest questions, concerns, and problems. It’s highly likely that they’ll be the longest, most well-researched, and best content on your entire site–if not the best writing you’ll do anywhere else online. EXAMPLES (clicktoview) Starting a Blog - The Definitive Guide Facebook Messenger Marketing: A Complete Beginner’s Guide Content Marketing Strategy: The Ultimate Guide
  25. 25. HELPSWITH CONGRUENCY Clear Site Structure
  26. 26. MAKESSEARCH RELIABLE Your internal site’s search bar is important for your users. Having your content properly tagged and categorized makes it easy for YOUR USERS to find the content they want.
  27. 27. MAKESRELATEDCONTENTWORKFORYOU Wordpress uses mainly your categories and tags to display related posts to your reader. If your structure is all over the place, who knows what they’ll see!
  28. 28. EASILYTARGETYOUR READERSWITH CONGRUENTOFFERS A solid site structure let’s you TARGET YOUR READERS with HIGHLY congruent offers, lead magnet and optins based on the type (or topic) of content they are reading!
  30. 30. SITESTRUCTUREBESTPRACTICES TREE LIKE STRUCTURE The closer you are to your homepage the more general topics should be. Use categories and tags to group related content together for a better user experience. RIGHT MESSAGE TO RIGHT MARKET The head sections of your site (categories, pillar content) should correspond with your primary offers, and/or services. (Remember your target market training)
  31. 31. SITESTRUCTUREBESTPRACTICES PLAN OUT YOUR CONTENT Start by labeling sections/ categories, and work to refine them. Section names and the overall flow of the site should be clear and make sense to everyone! Not just you. BASIC KEYWORD RESEARCH Conducting keyword research can shed light on which terms may be most relevant to your content. What is your target market searching for? What words are they using? DON’T ASSUME YOU KNOW!
  32. 32. KEYWORD RESEARCH! Do Some Basic
  33. 33. WHYDOATLEASTBASICKEYWORDRESEARCH Your goal when conducting keyword research is to identify the topics that matter most to your target audiences, and then discover the exact language they use when they search for information and discuss their questions on social networking sites. 1
  34. 34. WHYDOATLEASTBASICKEYWORDRESEARCH Will also give you the ability to craft headlines and topics that you KNOW your target market will click through when they see it (Like on social media, or email blasts) 2
  35. 35. WHYDOATLEASTBASICKEYWORDRESEARCH It’s incredibly important (and therefore, valuable) to know the exact language that your audience uses when they describe their biggest desires and challenges in your industry. REMEMBER Travel Business VS. Digital Nomad? Get Leads VS. Lead Generation? 3
  36. 36. KEYWORDRESEARCHTERMS Extremely hard to rank for HEAD KEYWORDS Somewhat difficult to rank for, but depending on your content and strategy, it’s possible. Also good for categories & pillar post content MIDDLE or MID-TAIL KEYWORDS More specific, less competitive and less popular. Easier to rank for. Good for blog posts LONG TAIL
  38. 38. KEYWORD RESEARCH! Steps to Perform Basic
  39. 39. Think about the topics you want to talk about in terms of generic “buckets” – and select 5-8 – these will be your categories. This will be the overall information and topics you discuss on your blog. (or anywhere) • These would be the topics you create content about most frequently • The types of topics your audience would search for that you want to 
 be found for • You will use these topic buckets to help come up with some specific 
 keywords later in the process STEP1:LISTYOURTOPICS
  40. 40. Come up with keywords and key phrases you think your target market would be searching for. Brainstorming for something like Lead Generation may lead to: • Online lead generation • How to generate leads online • Lead generation tips • Lead generation strategies STEP2:FILLYOURTOPICSWITHKEYWORDS
  41. 41. If you're struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching about a specific topic, go to and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword. STEP3:RESEARCHRELATEDTERMS BOTTOM LINE: You just want to make sure that the content you are creating is BEING SEARCHED FOR by your target market. You can do this by figuring out ‘search volume’ with a very simple tool.
  42. 42. KEYWORD RESEARCH! Tools to Help You With
  43. 43. KEYWORDS EVERYWHERE • Taps in to a ton of resources to show you keyword volume and difficulty data • Can ‘mass-upload’ your whole list of potential keywords to get search volume • Can export as a CSV KEYWORDRESEARCHTOOLS KEYWORD SHITTER • Terrible name, I know • Good at getting long-tail keywords you may not have thought of • Works with Keywords Everywhere to show search data & volume
  44. 44. KW FINDER • Gives you great keyword suggestions • Gives SERP results of pages ranking for keyword • Gives pretty accurate competitive data KEYWORDRESEARCHTOOLS ANSWER THE PUBLIC • Turn your keyword in to questions, giving amazing content ideas • Excellent long tail keyword options • Pairs with Keywords Everywhere to give you search volume data!
  45. 45. SUMTHISUP! Let’s
  46. 46. AVOIDThe3mostCRITICALmistakes peoplemakewhenstartingablog CONTINUE LEARNING! To read the full post about starting a blog and making sure it’s successful, click here & get access to your very own free 32 page pdf walkthrough! • Define Your Target Market • Figure Out Your Site Structure • Do Some Basic Keyword Research blog