How’s your content plan going? I thought I’d help you out by giving real examples of how to do keyword research for content marketing.
Remember how I told you to research from a social media platform - the one that you are most interested in?
Although I am mostly a silent reader of “Manila Grows Food” public Facebook group, I consume most of the people’s “contents” while lying down trying to sleep. I see people sharing their successes in growing specific plants, asking questions, and some are even selling fertilizers (but they are mostly deleted by the admin).
Now as I browsed the newsfeed, I saw some questions, and did a little keyword research.
So for this lesson, I will aim to come up with keywords which will be good for a 1 month content plan.
Important: Don't OVERDO your keyword research. Ubbersuggest is free but have limitations. If you cannot see the results anymore, that means you already reached the limit for the day and needs to come back after 24 hours.
Idea #1: “Why do you use plastic forks and knives in the plant box?”
forks in the garden
Idea #2: “My Basil plants started to die, since it's started raining. I'm not sure why, but anyone who can give any tips on how to save my basil?”
Idea #3: “Got these seeds today: Carolina Reaper and Habanero. Before I even attempt to start planting them, do you have any tips and advice as to how to take care of them or effectively make them grow?”
How to grow
Idea #4: A shared blog post about “compact edible garden.”
edible garden plants
list of edible plants
Companion planting examples
Companion planting garden layout
Companion planting chart for vegetables
Companion planting potatoes
See how I easily gathered topics to produce contents about? And I only scrolled the Facebook feed for 10 minutes!
To test the potential of this public Facebook group if they will engage in my post should I decide to create and share solutions to their problem, I posted a helpful post.
A little background:
Two weeks ago, I went to this group desperate for solutions on how I can stop stray cats from ruining my vegetables. I went there (instead of Google) since these are “targeted helpers who will not sell me anything.” And we share something common: we grow food in an urban setting.
Beginner gardeners like me (I’m trying to grow some edibles in pots/small space) are always excited to “harvest.”
Everyday, we check how many leaves are added, if there are caterpillars snacking on the leaves (LOL), or pests, etc.
Now, imagine one morning what we will feel if stray cats will just end up stamping on the vegetables that you are supposed to already harvest, and worse, leave their poop over there?
Okay, end of background story, LOL.
So my problem with stray cats has been going on for 3 days, before I asked for help since I cannot take it anymore. Googling didn’t necessarily helped me (most of them don't have a blog! So YES!!! Can you see the potential of these 23,000 targeted people who I can invite here in my blog, and benefit from my FREE training, using the topic they are already passionate about?)
So anyway, my post was flooded with “helpers.” Some of them suggested sticking forks or plastic knives in the ground, while others told me to put citrus (including my mother, LOL). So after doing all the suggestions, something finally worked! Just put a water bottle (with water) and place it beside the pot!
Since I owe the “solution” (I don't know how long it will work) to the group, I shared it with them. Most of them started to really “engage” (HINT: engagement is super necessary in social media marketing).
Someone asked: “Do I put the water bottle beside the pot or inside the pot?”
Another question: “Does anyone know how to stop stray dogs from digging the soil in the pot?”
Most of them started giving me theories (links to other blogs) why it worked. If I have a blog post about it, and IF the “solution” I shared is a blog post, instead of just the photo of my plant with a water bottle beside it, see how people are already giving me suggestions on how I can start to “improve” my post.
I can include their questions to my blog post now, so every time someone has a problem with stray cats, my blog post (with complete proven solutions) will be the ANSWER! It will be a “cornerstone content” now.
According to Yoast (a tool used for SEO, separate lesson), a cornerstone content should be the most comprehensive and longest article in your blog (you can have 4 to 5 cornerstone contents).
If I have an urban gardening blog, one of the cornerstone contents can be the solution to stray cats (compilation of all other blogs’ solutions + my compiled suggestions from the Facebook group + my proven solution to give it credibility).
And do you know what else happened after I shared the solution to them? My post was “shared” although I didn’t solicit for shares!
Social media shares is one of MANY factors for ranking in Google!
While your competitors are “manipulating” their shares, using expensive automation tools just to “share” a post they either probably spend money/time on, and “marketing” it to random audiences who are not actually interested at all - HERE you are, in this targeted Facebook group. Helping people who need your help. And you don’t need to solicit shares because they will share it and tag people they know who have the same problem!
Now, from a single “specific” problem, which is now solved (for now), I can go ahead and look for solutions to stray dogs. I can even start to look for products on Amazon that can stop specific pests like snails (yes, I also saw the problem on Facebook. Snails are snacking in my friend’s garden, LOL)!
I googled, “What product should I buy to get rid of snails?” Since there are no “potential” keywords, I can move on to the next related topic with a good potential.
If I want to earn money faster, I will focus my research in Amazon search bar:
I typed “snail repellant” and Amazon products started to populate!
So now, I have a HELPFUL article (which doesn’t expire easily), integrated with Amazon products which I do not have to review since reviews can expire over years, and just embed Amazon products (with my Affiliate link) as “Products To Explore” or "What's selling?"
When you want to update the Amazon products in this post, you can “update” it by choosing:
“What’s new, what’s selling and what’s hot.” People like new/latest products!
There are few things to note about the keywords that I chose, aside from the number of searches and the competition.
The topics will not easily “expire.”
If you write about why people use forks in their garden, the answers “might evolve” over time. But in concept, the reasons behind doing it were the same years ago as it will be years from now.
Growing a Carolina reaper will require the same elements: how much water, how much sun, and how big the container should be. Wherever you are in the world, five years after you publish the content, there might be new technologies to grow it, but as long as your post is talking about growing in soil, then you don’t have to revise it often compared to when you are writing product reviews.
Also, seeing the results above, I know that I will prioritize the "companion planting tomatoes" content. Not only because so many people are searching for "help" about it and there's only a little competition - but because, as a gardener, you should know how hard it is to grow tomatoes!
I planted my tomato seeds 4 and a half months ago, and although it has been flowering for quite sometime now, it doesn't bear fruits at all! I consumed all suggestions on Google and nothing worked so far. If you have a solution that works, people will definitely consume your content and in the end, you can end up gaining their trust.
Here's the thing - this is a tempting niche to explore. It is an "evergreen niche." So many years ago, people are already trying to learn how to grow vegetables. Many years from now, the basic process of growing vegetables will be the same as long as you are using soil. There might be new technologies in the future, but the "classic way" of growing vegetables will not change.
Spending time researching and pushing to pursue a niche just because it is evergreen is something to consider. It can take time to "finish" - and see monetary results since you will be spending time researching something you know very little about, but consider it as an investment. In the future, you don't have to keep on revising since your contents will not easily expire.
For me, my priority is to finish my free course. Five years from now, I "might" explore this niche - when I already know so much about plants. If I pursue this now, my credibility is still questionable since my garden is full of dying vegetables that I cannot even proudly promote my gardening blog to my neighbour, lol.
Before you worry about how you can make money about these topics, specifically through affiliate marketing, you need to help. Produce contents that can help your target audience.
To give you peace of mind, I googled for “urban gardening affiliate programs.” You can do the same by googling your niche + affiliate program.
I made sure that there are “enough” affiliate programs in urban gardening. Look! TONS!
And there’s Amazon (which has almost all products you can think of) to begin with.
Here’s your homework:
Finalize your keyword list. Use Google spreadsheet so it autosaves reliably and you’ll have a copy wherever you go (as long as there’s an internet).
Use Google Docs to start writing about your first 12 chosen topics. You can choose a method which is the most comfortable for you - writing or making videos.
If you love making videos, stick to it so you'll not struggle with creating contents. It should be helpful videos, showing solutions, and educating the audience how to get rid of the problem.
Do this for the next 1 month. (Yes, try to produce 12 in a month. That’s how you will get the momentum going). Don’t worry if you don’t finish all. If you aim for 7, you might end up with just 6, 4, or even just 2. It’s still a good progress compared to aiming for just 2 to begin with!
I hope this post has been helpful, and no, I won’t teach you how to optimize it for SEO yet, LOL.
I believe that in order to get results faster, you need to focus one task at a time.
If you are struggling to come up with contents, maybe there is something wrong with the method you are using. Maybe, writing is not for you. Maybe video making is alien to you. So focus on what other “content” you can do. For podcasts, look for Pat Flynn, or maybe use the free Canva (affiliate link) if you want to focus on creating beautiful infographics.
In order to get rid of any hindrance which can stop you from producing a content a day, focus on your existing skills. If not, just dedicate time and be willing to learn new ones. Instead of thinking that acquiring new skills can delay your content creation process, consider it as an investment.
I’ll see you in the next lesson.
P.S. It's important to learn "content marketing" too (since this is a "timeless" approach) - learn how to build and gain trust, before trying to rank in search engines (SEO), so audience can buy from your affiliate links (affiliate marketing). Gaining your audience trust can mean a lot, like getting their e-mail addresses, talking about your blog to people they know (free offline promotion), sharing your contents (free social media automation) and commenting on your posts (free engagements!).
If you provide value and help people, they will help you too (they just don't know that they are actually helping).
Should your "traffic" or site visitors drop in numbers (due to the everchanging algorithms of Google for ranking on top), we will have other ways to "sell" our audience something - like the old school but still very effective (when done right) e-mail marketing. Even if the internet is gone in the future and everything goes back offline, only one thing will remain - the "trust" of your audience to you or to the brand you built.
Content Marketing: "A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action." - Content Marketing Institute.
"What you plant today, you will harvest tomorrow."
Before I forget, since you already know by now that external links to authority sites are good for ranking higher on search engines, every time I point you to an authority site, I advice you to learn from the article, too. However, to stay focused, come back here, or check your e-mail (I probably have a lesson there).