icon picker
Blogging for Business - Ahrefs

Key Takeaways

Write based on what prospects are searching for - perform keyword research within topics of interest.
Always be targeting new audiences - it's the only way to expand your reach and capture new referrals
'viral' is a diminishing return
Your aim should be to build a hysteresis of residue traffic - your blogging efforts should return a background level of traffic that remains even when you stop blogging

Action - Steps

Create a list of themes you want to target in your niche
Create a spreadsheet of: 'keyword/topic' ; 'search volume' ; 'best articles' ; traffic ; linking domains
Discover Keyword ideas - use keyword research
competitor sites, reddit, forums etc.
Assess competitor content and performance

1.1 Primary Goals

traffic is a vanity metric
the main KPI should be - making money! Number of sales/month
Think: customer acquisition not traffic acquisition

1.2 Customer Acquisition Channels

word of mouth

Do you need a blog? - no
You can layer on blog SEO to expand reach and engagment for customers, increasing ROI and retention

1.3 Why most blogs fail

There's so many tactics for blogs - but, you need to create a solid strategy
(in GA)
'spike of hope'
you see a spike in traffic around blog release date, but no results.
'flatline of hope'
interest falls off, the content is stale

You should be seeing some passive growth over time - ROI on your blogs
There's a compounding effect of posting regularly and getting people to return.
2 -3 articles per month could be a sweet spot.
Growth = traffic doesn't fade over time.
Making sure each article hits hard and converts.

2.1 Spike of Hope

Anatomy of 'spike of hope'
instant gratification, false feeling of security
You share with your existing audience.
If you're just starting out there's not going to be a large volume of new subscribers - you need to find ways to reach a new and bigger audience.
New channels are effective when starting out - but, organic channels will fatigue
The Anatomy of the “Spike of Hope”  2 1  - YouTube (1).png
You need to be reaching new audiences ALL THE TIME.

2.2 Strategies that work

Viral traffic vs. SEO traffic
create 'sticky' content
pitch influencers
publish regularly

Create useful content
Get backlinks
publish regularly

Viral does not pick up over time, it decays
Some Tactics to try:
Add a decent quality infographic
Share in the right place (right channel eg. reddit)
an emotive and current topic
a little controversy

2.3 the 'publish more' myth

You need to focus on building articles that focus on SEO keywords
Viral traffic is a gamble - SEO traffic is data-driven and predictable.
build an audience (email list) to send content for word-of-mouth
pop-ups, slide-ins, welcome mats, hello-bars, content upgrades, lead magnets
attractive characters, social proof, personal stories

3.1 - 3.5 Testing ideas for 'search demand'

Using Ahrefs for keyword research
Headlines - SEO keyword focused
Make sure blog post headlines contain keywords people are actually searching for; eg.
"games like... [Pokemon]"
Think about queries people are actually entering into search engines.
Researching Keywords
Use Ahrefs 'keyword explorer' to enter and test new KW ideas
Brainstorm search queries → put them in 'keyword explorer'
Assess keyword volumes (US/UK) (just a guide - dig in deeper!)
Use the 'SERP' button to find exact search results and assess if there's opportunity for you to create content.
Assess 'traffic' (clicks per month - more accurate guide than volumes)
Check the top ranking articles for their monthly traffic - this is a better indicator. Generate more ideas from their content and be prepared to copy.
Click 'KW' column to see what keywords are in the search results - generate more ideas.
filter for '3' in 'position' to see what's getting the most traffic & clicks (top 3 SERP results)
be aware that the " quote marks mean this keyword is in a snippet on Google
Also, 'search volume' for a single keyword is not a good indicator, as most articles rank for multiple KWs - dig into the SERP → top ranking articles, to make sure you understand the depth of the keywords and what other keywords you'd need to include.
Look at 'top keyword'
dig into what people are actually searching for to find these articles - these are the real keywords you want to target
save the top articles into a doc. (see below - create a spreadsheet)
dissect what makes them good.
What KWs and topics are in there.

Search ranking data for a single keyword isn't accurate, you need to dig a layer deeper and look at the SERP for long terms and actual searches.
Keywords Explorer.png
The more websites that link to your page, the better SERP rank you'll get.
If you have the same keywords and keyword density - google will use 'backlinks' as a top-trump to decide who gets the #1 position.
Although, this is not a linear correlation

Lesson 3 4  How to determine your chances to rank in Google.png
You want to look for topics with high search traffic and low backlinks - so you can position yourself in the SERP
Keyword Difficulty
avg. number of links to a website (linking domains)

Use 'KD' to assess how difficult it would be to get backlinks to the blog content you're building.
To compete with
Ahrefs → Google keywords + clickstream

4.1 - 4.5 Finding content ideas

Study your niche
niche forums
online communities
groups: facebook, reddit, slack, linkedin etc.
review sites
physical : magazines, newspapers, trade shows, white papers etc.

If any of the above is missing - create your own and ensure your content is on there first.
Generate Keyword Ideas - : Keyword Research
Google Keyword Planner

Competitor Analysis
study competitors,
find their best content,
beat them
use Ahrefs 'top pages' and 'competitor analysis'

Content Ideas
Use Ahrefs 'content explorer' to target: competitor pages and topics for content ideas.
Filter searches for domains with '0' backlinks to find places with high traffic, but low backlinks (opportunities/ low-hanging fruit)
Use the 'details' tab and find organic keywords that piece of content ranks for
Be careful of Domain Rating - you can only outrank these with strong backlinks.
Combine with:

5.1 - 5.4 Optimize for: target keyword and searcher's intent

When building a piece of content and finding keywords that fit the article, remember what the 'intent' of a searcher may be.
Don't just target the highest volume 'generic' keyword because you see that as low-hanging fruit, find areas with low competition but some search volume (100/mo gives 1200/year) so that you can build a niche for yourself.
After producing an article, ask your friends: "what is this about?"
If you don't have an article formed yet, ask yurself:
Lesson 5 1  What is “searcher intent” and how to match it.png
Optimising Search Traffic
80% of optimisation is making sure the 'searcher intent' matches the theme of your content.
10% of ranking is URL/title/headline/content
This is the last 10% (for pros)
Audit existing content
Published articles likely already have some backlinks
Competitors probably don't bother updating content or optimising (you can beat them)
Past articles may be targeting the wrong keywords and need adjusting

Go through all your content and catagorise them into three groups:
These articles already bring some traffic, but could do with an update
Refresh content etc.
having multiple articles on the same topic is nowhere near as good as 1 hard hitting piece that ranks #1
merge duplicates or use 301 redirects
any totally out of date articles that are pulling down your ranking
this (maybe) a ranking signal for google

6.1 - 6.3 Creating great content that promotes itself

Quality of content determines your success. Think:

Learn to write well:
read copywriting and great authored books
google: "how to improve your writing"

Improve how your content looks:
the layout and design of your blog & website
quality images
short paragraphs

(look at other good blogs and blogging sites)
The headline is what's going to be shared and lure people to click in.
make sure you have at least 5 different headline ideas for each piece of content

Be careful of the trap of replicating what you've already read.
Research what 'research' is being done
What are new ideas of the space
How can you find a new angle or relate the issues in a more digestible format
Information you own that others don't is worth sharing - we live in the 'information age'
industry data
insights that people don't have yet (pull people into your world, educate them)

Why should I read your piece vs. someone with more authority?
How can you create this authority?
Use great sources and quote/ link them in your article.
Be a great journalist
Reach out to people in the space, ask them questions and quote them directly.

Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
) instead.