Traffic, Leads, Sales...
We all want them because they help us get so many other things:
Maybe more free time, less stress, or to hang out with family?
Maybe to remove yourself as the bottleneck in your business, work less hours or even have time to spend on that next important thing?
Maybe you want your content to finally work so you can get your boss off your back and get some results without having to dive into the next new post?…
There are literally 80.1 million articles written per month and almost all of them go unnoticed…
No joke that’s a LOT of content being created and almost no one reading it
You might be in the exact same situation
Writing content with nothing to show for it…
But then you have those articles that simply crush it and generate almost half of all the traffic online
Why is this?
Are they some kind of mutant, ninja writing wizards?
Or do they just know something that you don’t?
In the last post I talked to you about our results and have shown you that yes IT IS POSSIBLE to write content and get traffic
We showed you how we generated 50,000 readers to a brand new site with only 2 blog posts
This lead to 300 client requests and $3 million dollars in potential sales
We also shared how our content has been seen, linked and shared by Billion and Million dollar CEO’s, marketers and more
And also how our content has been voted in the Top 10 of all time in content marketing forums…
But the best part?
We did this with only 8 blog posts total in 2 years…
This means you don’t have to write all the damn time to get results!
You can see that its possible right?
Its not easy but damn…
…we can make this a whooooole lot easier for you because we made all those mistakes so you don’t have to
I told you when I first started my content just wouldn’t work
Over 80 hours spent on a post that got 2 social shares total and my Nan was one of them
In all honesty my writing wasn’t that bad…
…I just needed to understand how to promote it and how to improve it
Once I understood those 2 things, our traffic and results shot off like a rocket
I could write faster, easier, less stressed AND get more traffic
If you read Part 1 then you know that Promotion is more important than constant creation
But we also revealed that you can’t just share anything…
(Well you could, but you would be crazy to)
Because if you can improve your content and get it to that ‘killer content’ level?…
Then it helps you get more shares, traffic optins and links
Killer Content’ is also far easier to promote because you’re proud of it, AND your readers LOVE it
I’m going to be honest with you it really isn’t that hard to write…
Once you know the things to miss and what to actually do to get results?
You can pretty much set it up to ‘paint by numbers’ and get it done
And I know it sounds too good to be true but trust me, its the truth
I learned the hard way by doing literally everything wrong
But its how I learned what not to do…
…and how to get actual freakin’ results
So let me help you bypass those mistakes right now so you can start creating killer content of your own
Keep reading to learn how…
The 9 Elements Of High Value Content
Back in Part 1 we talked about a study by Buzzsumo
In that study they looked at 1 Million articles online and their performance:
They found some pretty interesting things…
Less than half those articles had a single backlink and so zero chance to ever get traffic from Google
Why has this happened?
(They could literally link to new content from old content and get more than 1 link)
So why is the content just not performing for them?
From chatting to our own readers, students and clients its usually because people:
- Don’t promote enough and write too often
- They think their content isn’t good enough and don’t promote at all or
- Their content sucks and so it gets no results
The thing is ALL of this can be bypassed to get you traffic
In fact if we look at the content that did well in the same study, we can start to see some patterns emerging…
Hmm longer content seemed to get more links and shares
But that wasn’t all…
Patterns kept reoccurring in all the successful content:
- Long form content (3000 words or so)
- Highly detailed with valuable steps
- Large number of images and content
Pretty interesting right but whats the point?
Well because the easiest way to do anything in the world, literally any goal or task?
Is to simply replicate what others did to achieve that same goal…
Literally see what works, figure out why and then do the same to get similar results
Its soooo simple
No one EVER ran a four minute mile until Roger Bannister did it back in 1954
Then once they saw it was possible others started replicating his methods
Soon more and more runners broke that four minute barrier (That’s 15mph btw)
Its the standard that all runners are based on…
Find what works, Follow the same process, See Similar Results
Its the same for content
When you look at the weak content that didn’t do well it also had patterns…
- Short (500-900 words)
- No real value
- No structure or format
- Walls of text with little images or content…
Like I said I’m no genius
I just made those mistakes and found what actually works
THAT is how we get results
We looked at the top performing content and the comparisons that keep arising
Then we looked for the elements that made them successful…
We started to look at what made content go ‘viral’ or ‘Contagious’
We looked at what actually drives people to share content or even do anything…
This was easy because some super smart people had already done the research for us
We started to look at research from Professors at Stanford, MIT and others
We looked at their work on virality and human behavior..
From these findings we started to see overlaps again and again
What did we find?
There Are Just 9 Elements That Make Up The Best Content Online
What do I mean by ‘the best’?
I mean the content that gets almost 37% of the ENTIRE traffic on the internet
The content that just crushes it…
Now that might seem complex but it isn’t
Its actually suuuper easy
If you break down what you need, it just means you create content that is:
- Long form content 1500-3000 words
- Has Step-By-Step definitive solutions
- Has images, references and resources to provide context
- Includes the audiences emotion, drives and mirror language
- Use’s open loops, curiosity and transitions to pull them through the content
- Use metaphors, personal stories and experiences in the content to help them remember
Follow those elements and suddenly you have that high value content also
Once you know what boxes to tick, you just make sure to tick them
Once I started doing this I would get more links and shares then ever before:
The absolute best in the business were emailing to make sure I didn’t miss out on this awesome post they had found…
…but it was MY POST they were sharing with me
I couldn’t believe it
I even had readers emailing me to let me know how much they enjoyed my new content!
I wasn’t doing anything different
I just edited the content to meet those 9 elements
Like I said…. its really not that hard to make sure your content performs
In fact that’s the easiest part
The biggest issue we had was getting past my own stumbling blocks to start writing…
What The Expert Writers Are Doing And Where You’re Stumbling
OK so we know what elements the content needs to have to succeed
But what about the actual writing process?…
This might be where you struggle
(I know it was my biggest hurdle when I first started)
Here’s the thing though:
Every writer goes through the EXACT same issues
- Self Doubt or Feeling a Fraud
- Analysis Paralysis and the dreaded blank page
- Finding The Time or Needing Inspiration
Writers have had these exact issues since back in the Roman times
Fortunately they are easy to get past when you know how…
My Content Is Never Good Enough! (Perfectionism And Paralysis By Analysis)
We already know those 9 elements that make up killer content
As long as we hit those, then chances are high that the content will do well
But here’s the other thing:
Your content will never ‘be perfect’
Perfect is an unachievable state
All it means is that you never publish
How many articles and books are sat on a computer somewhere unread?
The only truth is this:
Content sat half done on your laptop will NEVER get traffic
Which is why its always better to click ‘publish’
Instead the goal is to be done and not perfect
When you understand the factors of what makes Killer Content you can simply make sure that you meet those requirements
Then you know that this content is ‘good enough’…
What Will People Think About Me? Will They Think I’m A fraud?
Here’s a hard truth:
No one cares about you
We’re all caught up in our own world and so we’re not worried about you at all
We’re worried about ourselves and what other people might think about us! (Just like you are)
And so we don’t have time to worry about anyone else
But because your content HELPS those readers, then that’s all they care about
They care that you helped them…
And the haters?
For every 1 hater you get, you have around 10 people who love your stuff
Its just that haters are more vocal about it
So reframe it in your mind
Every time you get a douche comment realize that you have ten more people who love you’re work
You count up the douches
Times it by ten and that’s how many people LOVE your stuff right now
In fact they are probably telling friends all about it
And so its ok
I know its hard to not worry about these people
And it can be hard to not feel a fraud
Even Seth Godin feels it when he hits publish
And yet he’s written 17 books…
He’s ghost written a huge number of New York Times best sellers for other authors (i.e he wrote the book and their name was on it)
And yet he still feels it…
We ALL feel it
We just do it anyway because you can’t let it stop you
- When you know those 9 elements of high value content?
- When you follow proven archetypes and writing structures?
- When you create systems for editing processes and research techniques?
Then you just have to understand the simple fact
Your content is now as good as it can be
And so waiting any longer won’t help
You have to put it out there and into the world to help your readers…
I Can Never Find The Time Or Inspiration!
Stephen King has a quote about writing inspiration but I think its taken out of context
He says he ‘finds inspiration at 9am every day when he sits at his desk’
Here’s my opinion
There is no ‘muse’ needed for you to be able to write
There’s no flash of lightning where you suddenly write an entire book in one night
It can happen but usually because of what I’m about to share with you
Do these things and you can’t help but get the work done
In fact you don’t even need inspiration
Its just a stumbling block that can be overcome…
…BUT you might not know that yet
It might be years till you figure this out so let me save you a whoooole lot of heartache
The biggest issue that most people have, is they lack systems when writing
Let me explain:
If you sit down to write and all you have is a blank screen in front of you, then this is an error
Its crippling and you get lost in thought or make zero sense
But if you’ve done your research and made some kind of notes?
If you have a goal for your content?
Then there is NO blank page issue..
Once you realize that almost all content ever made follows a structure, then all you need to do is pick the best structure or ‘archetype’ for your goal
Almost every article, book, film and theater play follows 1 of 7 different archetypes
A structure that follows for every story written…
Sure there are a few different ones
But once you know these, you can simply take your notes and research and add them to your structure
Suddenly you have a framework for a first draft…
You know what goes where
Then you can start fleshing out that draft and it gives you something to edit
You DON’T edit as you go
This stops your train of thought and you lose concentration
Its actually harder to do and increases stress…
Instead you edit afterwards and you do it in phases
Editing for one goal or another but only one at a time
This ensures you tick those boxes
Writing really isn’t hard when you know the problems and how to get past them
Then you simply put each step into a logical order of completion:
- You never get stuck on a blank page as you have all those notes, research and structure
- Your content works because it ticks all the boxes
- You feel a fraud but write anyway as you know this is the best version you can create
- You’re never stuck to find time to write as you follow a sequence of what to do
- If you have only an hour or even a whole day, you’re far more effective with your time because your writing follows a system (You’re not sat thinking what to do next or lost in thought)
Its not hard when you know the problems and how to get past them
But if you want to make it even easier?
You need to get organized
Because writing is far faster and easier once you have systems in place…
The Importance of Creating Systems
When I first started, the though of doing this seemed like I was making my life harder
In reality it made it so much easier
Remember I told you it took me 80+ plus hours to write a post and it got a whopping 2 whole shares?
But now our content is getting crazy results?
What if I told you that I got the first draft of those killer posts completed in around 30 minutes or so?…
A 3000+ word first draft in just 30 minutes…
I thought you might be
So let me explain how…
Systems are there to help make our lives easier
Anything that we do more than once, we create a system for
Its how McDonalds can take spotty kids and train them into making a multi billion dollar company
They simplify and break everything down from start to finish
- This is a tomato
- It looks like this
- Here’s how to hold a tomato
- How to slice it
- Where to put it on the bun etc
It means that even brand new people can work at make that burger almost right away
But it also means that you get a certain level of quality EVERY SINGLE TIME
How helpful do you think this might be with your writing?…
Its more helpful that you can even imagine
Its so helpful we now have systems for writing, editing, promotion and so on
Why do this?
Everything that we do more than once is broken down into handy guides to follow here ‘in house’
It means I get past all those stumbling points and can create the best possible piece of content
But even better?
I don’t have to try and remember everything
There can be so many steps its easy to forget it all
But with a writing system I can simply follow along every time I create an article
I can ignore any other distraction and just focus on that one next task that’s in the writing system
(Or editing or promotion system etc)
This helps me stay mentally focused and means I don’t need a coffee every 15 minutes…
But even better still?
I can pass this onto a member of staff to do, outsource to a freelancer, use it to train new staff etc
Because its all there as an asset for me or someone else to use
Its not just the steps for us to follow each time
But its also
- Reminders on how to do each part
- Templates to use,
- Archetypes etc
It makes my life soooooo much easier
Sure it took time to make at first
But because its something we do more than once, it means that every time we do these steps its faster and easier
Pretty cool right?…
Example Writing System: The 30 Minute First Draft
Here’s how I can get a first draft done in less than 30 minutes
Its almost like cheating…
- I have a post I want to write
- I know the ideal audience and the goal for the post
- I do the research and make notes
- I put my notes into an archetype structure or template
- I then create an audio adlib version of those notes and transcribe it
- I then have a 3,000+ word post first draft finished and its time for lunch
Building systems like this make your life soooo much easier
This process alone gets me past almost all of those stumbling blocks we mentioned before
After that draft is done I can start editing it into something awesome
This means I can edit it to hit each of those 9 High Value Elements
So not only was it written faster, but now its also a better piece of content
Can you see the value in having systems for this?
And just like the initial writing stage, I have systems for each part of the editing
I simply follow along and do the task in order of completion
And because these edits are systematized I get them done easily and quickly…
What You Need To Do Now
So here’s the thing:
I just helped you walk past the main objections and stumbling points when creating killer content
You can see the value of it
Not only does it convert higher but it means you can write far less content and still get results
Its a no brainer right?
But the thing is…
To actually get results from this series, YOU need to take action
Its very easy to get excited and then forget about this
Action = Results
So here’s what I want you to do:
- Go ahead and click above to get the bonus video
In that video I walk you through a previous article
I show you an original version, and then I show you a version that has been edited to meet those 9 High Value Elements
Then I show you each edit to help it hit those 9 elements of high value content
(But its ONLY in the video)
This will help you compare the 2 posts and see what a difference this makes
- I want you to go into an old blog post that YOU HAVE ALREADY, and make those same changes to meet those high value elements
Why an old post?
Because this means you don’t need to write anything new
It means you can get started right NOW
And most importantly?
Any traffic you already get to the post will improve so you can start to see almost immediate results…
Not only that but you need that post for whats coming next
Because in Part 3 we’re going to take same post and help you get 10% email optin’s from it
You need to finish the work here FIRST
Once you’ve done that, do me a favor and leave a comment below of the post that you’ve improved
I have NO content!
That’s all good
The same rules apply for new content
The biggest things about writing?
And google stuff etc
Let me break it down
When people first see your content, they make a whole bunch of micro decisions- on if its good, relevant etc
You can get past the first hurdle with whitespace, short sentences, lots of images etc
The next part is structure and its vital if you want it to convert
How people receive information reflects how you communicate
We have a 3 tier brain- the lizard, the mid, and the neo cortex
The neo cortex is the logic section, tires easily and makes us want chocolate and coffee etc
Most people try and communicate from here, but the reality is- you need to get past the lizard and mid first
You need to speak to emotion and pain, then desire, then show its relevant to them
Then you need to build trust and authority, and show how much effort it takes
All of this is just to get them to pay enough attention, that they start to use the logic section of their brain and become engaged
Far too many people jump in early, and so lose the audience
It fails to connect
The writing process isn’t that hard-its knowing what boxes to tick, and in what order
We have templates and processes for our own writing- we simply follow along, write, edit, structure etc
If your content can look the part AND follow a set structure- then you’ll beat 90% of the content out there
If you then add an HSO, detailed steps and reference-able material?
Boom not only will you get more traffic, but better results from that traffic also
Does this make sense?
What is HSO?
An HSO is a ‘Hyper Specific next-step Offer (I guess HSNSO is the better acronym but hso works)
Every article should have some kind of goal- usually to change the relationship with the audience in some way
Lead capture is great
You get to interact more, it helps with amplification and promotion of content AND it actually helps increase your likelihood of a sale
Most websites only convert around 2% of traffic into a lead
With HSO’s our lowest optin rate is 15%- that means for every 15/100 visitors convert
Scale that up and its the difference of thousands each year
The reason an HSO works is because its:
Specific to that post
The next step the audience will want to take after reading the article
In the next guide we share how an HSO works and the subtelties behind it
The next step the audience wants?
Its how to make one right?
And so we share exactly step-by-step how to make one (And thats why that article has around a 40% optin rate)
Does that make sense?
Its a large topic which is why we cover it more in an article all to its self
The thing is though, when you have an HSO- your traffic becomes far more efficient
Lets say I used standard lead capture methods and get 2/100
If I double my traffic (Which can be hard) then I only double the leads
For a site with 1000 monthly visitors that would mean 20 leads right?
With an HSO i’m getting a 15% lead capture
For 1000 visitors I’m getting 150 leads…
Even with the exact same traffic volume, the site is already more effective
Then sure, as you promote more and scale you’ll see better results etc
Does that help?
I will start applying these process to my business writing.
You are most welcome Jamiu!
Let us know how it goes 😀
I have to say,this is the BEST article I have read for a long time. It has everything. I mean everything a writer requires to succeed.
For me, my intention is to open my own blog. However, with minimal writing skills, reading articles such as these will improve my writing.
Again, I love this piece!
Thanks David- we do what we can to help! 😀
VERY WELL DONE. I like the Audio AD LIB, since it’s easier for me to do that than sit in front of a blank screen. Thanks!
Thanks for the kind words Bill (And reading ofc)
Yeah- writing like anything, is all about the systems and processes
Once you get that ad lib down, you’ll find it faaaar easier to get content created 😀
Phenomenal Stuff. Detailed, concise, thorough, thought-provoking. We all know that what said above is intuitively correct. Your results speak for themselves. I’m going to select a post to start on now.
Let us know which post you work on and how it goes!
What an amazing post!! Thank you so much for getting this online, people will learn, and then earn!!
No worries at all- thanks for the kind words bud! 😀
Question, can you elaborate further on point 5: “Use’s open loops, curiosity, and transitions to pull them through the content.”
So open loops are a tool used in tv media and book writing etc- its main goal is to open up an idea that keeps the reader interested, to find out the answer
For example Game Of Thrones
Episode 1 has an off the cuff remark about Jon Snow and who his mother is… which isn’t paid off till the final season, but it keeps people asking questions and wanting to find out the answer
You can use this in your content to hint at upcoming topics later in the article, and even in future content- thats how you keep people hooked for more
Transitions are different
When you move from one topic to the next in your content, it can seem abrupt and jarring
By using a transition between the last idea and the new idea, it helps them connect the dots and provides context to the next topic they are about to read about
Not only that?
But it helps them keep reading and staying on the page!
Hi Daniel, I am reading your book – Content MArketing. I get stuck on the acronyms that you use. I am in the early stages of the book – yes you define BAB but now I am stuck with the term HSO – I have searched the book for what it means, Help!!! Michael
So BAB stands for Before, After Bridge
We use it in content to appeal to peoples pain and desires
Where they are now (before) , where they want to be (after), and how to get there (bridge)
An HSO is just the optin method we use or a Hyper Specific next step Offer
I hope that helps!
Hey Thanks for the Awesome content and I Purchased your book too.
No worries at all Prakhar!
Thanks for the kind words and for grabbing our book- we really appreciate it 😀