SEO

Writing Content for People vs. Search Engines

One question that you probably ask yourself is this: Is it better to write content for people or write content for search engines?You already know the correct answer to this question. However, writing content for search engines and writing content for people doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

One blog post entitled, “Top 10 Funny Christmas Songs,” gets a great deal of traffic from search engines primarily because of the keywords “funny Christmas songs.” It sees a sharp spike in search engine traffic during the winter months. That article is an example of one that is both high in quality and designed to get traffic from search engines.

How to Pick Article Topics

If you were only writing content for search engines, you would only have to care about the following items when deciding on topics to blog about:

  • How many searches the keyword phrase you are targeting gets per month
  • How much competition there is for that phrase
  • How high the adwords CPC (cost-per-click) is for that phrase

There is a difference between building a low or high quality blog and it is whether you only care about the items above. You wouldn’t actually have to care about building and retaining an audience. Nor would you care about creating content that people actually want to share on social networks. You also wouldn’t care about anything except getting drive-by search engine traffic. Now, I’m not implying that you don’t have to pay attention anymore to things like the average cost-per-click and search volume of a key phrase. In fact, you should still absolutely consider those factors. However, those factors shouldn’t be your sole consideration when deciding on topics to blog about.

How to Find Keywords

So now the question is, how do you find keywords to target with high search volume and low competition? Furthermore, how do you determine the perfect keyword phrases to use? You need to use a keyword research tool like Wordtracker.com. Two other tools I encourage you to checkout are SerpIQ.com and SemRush.com. SerpIQ states that it, “helps you assess a keyword 100 times faster than doing the research by hand,” according to its sale page.

Other Effective Methods to Generate Content Ideas:

  • For inspiration, read other blogs in your niche . You don’t need to copy their articles. You  can just use their articles as springboards for your own ideas.
  • Ask your readers what they would like to see stories about. Pose a question on Facebook or TwitterTry out BottleNose.com for an advanced look at what’s trending across social networks. You might be able to connect some trending keywords to your niche.
  • Read books that relate to your niche.
  • Read highbrow publications like The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Time Magazine and The New Yorker. Reading highbrow publications will place you in a highbrow state of mind–the state you’ll need to be in if you want to dream up amazing article ideas and build one of the top blogs on the Internet
  • Exercise. Workout in a room with no access to television or go jog outside. As you are doing such exercises, start thinking about topics to blog about. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain, thus increasing your creativity.
  • Listen to music.IT causes your brain to release dopamine, which regulates your mood. If you are in a pleasant mood, the tendency is that you will have a higher state of attention.
  • Drink green tea or an extremely caffeinated cup of coffee. This works wonders to make you sharp as a whip, and it fills you with creative energy.

How to Find and Hire Writers

There are times however that you don’t feel like writing every article on the blog by yourself. So, where can you find writers? For reference, you can use the following resources:

  • Freelancer websites like Upwork.com. These freelancer websites allow you to post jobs that contractors can apply to. When posting a job, be sure to be as specific as possible about what you want. You can also sort through a listing of contractors on these sites and contact people directly.
  • Craigslist. You can also find top-notch writers by posting ads on Craigslist.org. The disadvantage to using Craigslist is that you will be inundated with applications, many of which are poor. So you’ll have to spend more time sorting through the responses you receive, but it will still be worth it because many strong writers lurk on Craigslist.

You can also look at other blogs in your niche and contact the people writing for them. For instance, if your site is a fitness blog, you can look at the people writing for Greatist.com, a health and fitness blog, and contact its writers to see if they also want to write for you. Many writers for popular blogs are freelance writers, which is why this strategy often works.

Another effective way to generate content is to conduct contests. You can run a contest in which you offer a cash reward (say $300) or a product that many people would want (like a Macbook Pro) to the person who turns in the best article.Basically, the more money you offer as a reward the more entries you will get. The advantage to running contests instead of paying for individual articles is that you may receive many high quality articles that you can then run on the blog. Of course, the participants would aim to win the contest so they will absolutely hand in winning articles However, you need to make it clear to the contestants that you will become the copyright holder of their work after they submit it to you.

When you’re dealing with writers who you have recently hired or thos whom you have never worked with before, it is a must that you run the article they turn in through copyscape.com to make sure they haven’t plagiarized their work. Copyscape.com costs 5 cents per search.

Don’t have working capital to spend on writers because your blog is new? Wait for your blog to build up, and then start hiring people. Hiring others to write for you will give you more free time and allow you to devote it to audience building and other tasks that are important.

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