How to write comments that bring visitors (but don’t make you a spammer)

I had to laugh.

A few days ago, I saw a funny photo, and I found the statement particularly apt.

In the photo, we see two older women chatting on the street:

I only dare to go out on the road. It has become too bad on the Internet.

Sometimes it is. People scold, swear, troll, and annoy so much on the Internet that the street is already safer than the Facebook timeline.

On the Internet, many people seem to be losing their manners.

You can see this on blogs too: comments that are pure spam, that offend or that are subliminally arrogant.

Comments are an excellent tool for getting new visitors – if you do it right, because almost every blog offers you the opportunity to leave your URL when you comment.

If the readers find you attractive, click on your link, and you have won a new reader.

Another feature of comments is almost as important: they create a relationship between you and the blogger. Usually, the blog comment is your first encounter with another blogger. So you should make a good impression.

But how do you write good comments?

1.Have a face

Have you ever had a date when you showed up in a Spiderman costume? Or as a Duckwin Duck with a cape and mask?

Of course not.

People with a mask are immediately suspicious. They are up to something or hide something under their cape. You don’t trust such a person.

It’s no different on the Internet.

If you comment, there should be a face – your face.

As a gravatar, do not use childhood heroes or other “masks”. You shouldn’t just use the gray silhouette, which is set by default.

Take a photo where you can sleep well and look beautiful and use it as a gravatar.

Everything else just makes people suspicious – and suspicious people don’t click your link.

2. Have a name

On the Internet, many people like to hide behind a pseudonym.

If it were legally possible, many would even like to blog with a pseudonym – but this is not possible due to the obligation to provide an imprint.

I am not a dating expert, but if you introduce yourself as “Master Yedi” on your date, then I am sure that the meeting will go wrong – unless you are lucky and your counterpart does not label yourself as schizophrenic.

Therefore, use your real name when commenting.

And no, please do not use your domain as a name: “Harry from CoachingDeluxe.de.”

That looks spammy. It looks like you want to put your domain in the comment as often as possible.

So don’t do that.

Just do it: “Harry”.

There is a separate field for the domain.

3. Don’t scatter links.

Links in comments are like fire: they can keep you warm and bring joy, but you can also burn your fingers on them.

So you should treat links to your blog very carefully.

My advice: leave it.

Sure, you may be able to contribute something to the discussion, but no matter how good the link is, it always leaves an impression on the blogger:

He just wants to spread his links.

Maybe some readers have this impression too. It is tough to post a link in the comment without acting like a spammer. And spammers immediately leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

Above all, you should refrain from comments such as: “Cool, I also wrote something on this topic [Link].”

Sincerely: who cares? You join the “me too” shouts at a flea market. You can be happy if the blogger unlocks your comment at all.

If you want to arouse interest and trust, leave the scattering of links in the comment field entirely.

There are better ways to get backlinks.

4. Don’t stink

Self-praise stinks, even on the Internet.

Some people love their voice so much that they can tell you for 15 minutes what they had breakfast and how tenderly the butter melted on their tongues.

Unfortunately, you can also see self-praise in blog comments. And to clarify: self-praise has lost nothing.

How to read comments like:

  • “I’ve been implementing all these tips for years. That’s why I have the leading blog in my niche. Have a look; there you can learn something. “
  • “Nothing new in this post, I’ve been doing everything for years.”
  • “Oh yes: I can make a good living from my blog income and only paid the deposit for my Mercedes SLK yesterday.”

My thought with such comments: Nice for you. You get an order. Pat your shoulder three times.

Seriously: hold yourself back in a comment with self-praise. Otherwise, you are immediately unappealing.

Oh yes: mockery, destructive criticism and sarcasm also stink.

5. Read the article

Yes, this is not a matter, of course.

This phenomenon is often seen on Facebook, where people only see the headline of the article, but are already diligently writing hate comments on Facebook or otherwise adding their mustard.

If you don’t want to go through as a mustard slingshot, then show with your comment that you’ve read the article.

So don’t write: “Great article.”

But: “I loved the example with the mustard. That made the problem so clear to me. “

Do you see the difference

Be as specific as possible and refer to the article – the more specific, the better, because then you can also start a dialogue.

6. Show appreciation

People love recognition.

And when you give others credit, it has a significant effect: people love you too.

Imagine your circle of friends, and a “new” comes into the round. He criticizes each of your friends, enumerates quick facts, and makes an effort to stand in a great light.

Then a second newcomer comes around, and he gives praise. He sincerely praises your friends’ shoes, their smiles and is interested in them.

Which person do you find more likable?

The second, of course. Those who give recognition also get recognition from others.

Therefore, you should always show appreciation in your comments. No, you shouldn’t crawl or slime in the other’s butt, but give honest praise.

As a reminder: When you put it in, you tell people what they want to hear. When you praise, you tell people what they don’t expect.

So your comment should contain a simple element: the compliment.

I don’t say that because I want you to praise me in the comments, but because it should be so. Compliments are the best way to make yourself accessible.

7. Increase the value

Now comes the coronation.

The most important aspect of a useful comment is that it offers added value. Ideally, your comment should increase the value of the article and not decrease it (as unfortunately, spam comments do).

You can deliver added value in the following variants:

  • Tell about personal experiences – Often, in a blog article, you only see one person’s skills. If you bring your expertise into the discussion, people will know that it works for others or that you can do it differently. A good experience report leads readers to this reaction: “Oh, he had the same problem as me. I’ll take a look at his blog. “
  • Ask meaningful questions – in your comments; you should ask questions that others might ask – then other readers will see the answer directly. You should also ask questions that are as specific and goal-oriented as possible. An excellent question is always: “How would you approach Problem X? I can’t get any further … “
  • Add a point – Many bloggers like to write list posts with a fixed number of points. If you can think of another, it would be the perfect material for comment. But please don’t be spiteful or with your big index finger. Just put your tip on the table. If you are lucky, the blogger will even add your comment to his article.

Improve the world

There are enough trolls and spammers on the Internet to make the web a place you don’t like to travel.

We can change that. We can start with ourselves and write comments that are not spammy. Comments that add value. Comments that give honest recognition and do not burst with self-praise.

In the end, only everyone can win: the blogger gets more comments. Good comments get you more attention. And you two enter into a dialogue.

What more do you want?

4 simple steps so that your content ranks well in the search engine

Imagine that you have created excellent content.

You invested 20 hours, did a lot of research, and packed the findings nicely. It is a little masterpiece. Everything is perfect. Nearly.

With all the effort, you forgot one important thing: good old search engine optimization. By now, you should be convinced that SEO plays a vital role in inbound marketing.

Every inbound marketer should have a bit of space in their hearts for SEO.

So let’s take a look at why SEO is essential and what steps to optimize your content for the search engine.

Why is SEO important?

On the surface, there seem to be significant differences. But if you look at SEO and inbound marketing from different perspectives, you will see that they complement each other perfectly:

When you research for a topic, you do it from the gut or through market research (inbound). But you should also consider proper old keyword research (SEO). Further sources are also good for the consumer (inbound), but they are internal and external links (SEO) simultaneously. After creation, your content must be promoted. The best way to do this is via influencers and guest posts (inbound), but at the same time, you also get external links (SEO). Finally, take a look at the shares and comments and see how well your content performed (inbound). But the search engine rankings are also a good criterion (SEO).

You see, SEO and inbound marketing are a perfect combination. Whereby SEO is just one piece of the puzzle, inbound marketing without SEO would only be half as effective.

Therefore, you should always create content for people and then adapt it to the search engine. And you do that with the following four steps.

1. Research

You might think of search queries and competition when you think of keyword research and the keyword planner, to pure vital figures.

But you should take a vital thought step in advance. You should always speak the language of your target group. You should find out what words your customers use. Different target groups often use different names for the same ideas or concepts.

If you know your target group’s exact words, you can take a look at the key figures:

  • Search queries – Here, you can see how many queries there are for this keyword in a month. Make sure that there are enough search queries. A rough guideline is 1,000. But don’t drive yourself crazy, even a keyword with 50 search queries can be interesting if you catch the entire target group with it.
  • Competition – Here, you can see the game in AdWords for this keyword in most tools. With this, you can derive the game in the search results. Logically, the most attractive are many search queries and little games.
  • Trends – Trends is also an interesting point in the research phase. Google Trends sits on important data and can show you the seasonal popularity of a keyword or generally show whether there is an upward or downward trend.

I do quick keyword research for every content idea to get an impression of how popular the topic is and how difficult it will be to rank.

You can also use keyword research to find new ideas for topics that are important to your target group. Another helpful tool for this is KeywordTool.io.

2. Optimization

Here you have to make sure that Googlebot understands that your content is the desired keyword. The Googlebot is relatively intelligent, but you still have to provide it with a bit of context.

You do this primarily with the classic OnPage optimization. Pay attention to the following points:

  • Title Tag – Your keyword should appear in the Title Tag. Ideally, as close to the beginning as possible. Also, make sure that the title tag does not exceed 75 characters.
  • H1 heading – Your keyword should appear in the H1 line.
  • URL – Your keyword should appear in the URL. In general, your URL should be as short and descriptive as possible. Also, make sure that your entire URL is no longer than 90 characters.
  • H2 and H3 headings – If it fits, it can be an advantage if your keyword appears in the H2 and H3 headings.
  • In the actual text – Depending on the length of your content, your keyword should appear approximately twice in the exact wording. Frequently used related words can also help here.
  • At least 1,000 words – Except for content landing pages, we always recommend writing at least 1,000 words. Correlations repeatedly show that lengthier content ranks better.
  • Bold or Italic – Once your keyword is formatted in bold or italic, preferably as close to the beginning as possible, it can have advantages.
  • Image, alt attribute, and file name – You should have at least one image that contains the keyword as an alt attribute and as a file name.
  • Meta Description – Keywords in the meta description are not a ranking factor, but ensure higher click rates and, therefore, possibly more top rankings. Again, make sure that your meta description does not exceed 160 characters.

Another critical point in this phase is the linking. You or others certainly have content in use that continues to work on a topic that you have outlined. This helps your consumer, but also the search engine. So make sure that you have at least three additional links. We always have a lot more. If you set internal links, be careful not to overdo the anchor text. Always ensure a healthy and natural anchor text ratio.

3. Doctorate

Now the real work is just beginning. In general, you should always actively promote your content. A good guideline is 50/50. So if you spent 50% of the time creating it, spend another 50% supporting it.

Inbound marketing is a long term game. That’s why you should think long-term and build real relationships with influencers in your industry:

If you know a lot of influencers, you can always ask them for links, shares, or guest contributions.

Therefore, create an extensive list of all influencers and start building relationships slowly but strategically.

Another critical point is the topic of link building. You should get into the habit of asking for links regularly. You should build it into your workflow. For example, get in the habit of writing to 10 operators after each publication and asking for links.

It is also interesting to analyze the competition at this point. What does the already ranked content do well? What can you learn from them? With tools like MOZ’s Open Site Explorer, you can find out what your competitor’s link profile looks like and try to build a more robust profile over time.

4. Tracking

Finally, you should always keep an eye on your external links and rankings. After all, you need to know how well you’ve worked and whether you still need to improve, right?

You can use the external links e.g., B. also find out with the Open Site Explorer. But you have to start it manually every time, and the tool is limited to a few requests per day. To monitor the ranking, you can e.g., B. Use Rank Checker. But here, too, it is a bit cumbersome if you want to find out the current classification for your entire client. It’s especially tricky with a ranking history.

In general, it makes sense to create evergreen content. Over time, your rankings should slowly improve on their own, because you will always get new links and shares actively and passively.

What are the content landing pages?

Before we finish, one last thing. It is so small and inconspicuous that it is used far too rarely. But this little thing is the key to good rankings.

If you found a longtail keyword (e.g., “how do I eat a banana”) with little competition during the research phase, simply create content for it. But if you have found a short tail keyword (e.g., “banana”) with higher competition, you should take a detour via a content landing page.

Content landing pages are primarily simple pages that are optimized for a specific keyword. They do not generate their benefits directly but through their further content. Hub pages usually unite one topic. So you find z. B. on our content landing pages on the subject of headings, all new content. It also ranks quite well for that.

You will always link to this content landing page from internal as well as external sources. Due to the high added value of the site, influencers like to share and connect it. So you ensure that you can rank long-term with lucrative but highly competitive keywords.

Conclusion

You should invest a lot of time in creating content and always create content that delivers value.

But with all the effort, you must not forget the good old search engine optimization. SEO and inbound marketing are a perfect combination. Only then will you maximize your results and get an effective marketing strategy.

Let’s summarize the individual steps again:

  1. Research – Find an attractive keyword that is important to your target group.
  2. Optimization – Put the keyword in certain places to give the Googlebot context.
  3. Linking – Set further internal and external links that provide the consumer with even more added value.
  4. Influencers – Promote your content using influencers by asking them for a share, link, or guest post.
  5. Analyze the competition’s link profile and see if you can build a better profile over time.
  6. Tracking – Keep an eye on the external links and rankings and find content that could be improved and optimized.

You can accomplish these steps with the tools mentioned. Unfortunately, these are often only accessible to a limited extent or are very cumbersome.

SEO tips: off-page optimization in 2020 – how it works!

Even people who otherwise have little to do with SEO should have heard of the topic of on-site SEO. But what about off-page optimization? Is it just about link building, or is there more to it?

Off-page and on-page are two sides of the same SEO medal. Off-page optimization defines all processes and methods that take place away from your website – for example, references from external pages (links).

The ultimate goal of off-page SEO is to attract as many visitors to your website as possible. This can be used to generate sales in the following, or to inform customers about the offers in a retail store, depending on the goals pursued a website.

But how specifically will you tackle off-page optimization in 2020?

Clean link building in magazines, blogs and forums

For search engines, backlinks are still the basis for building trust. The main focus is on the value of a page that issued the link.

If premium magazines, newspapers and Wikipedia link to your site, this is a great sign of trust for Google and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the ranking.

The term clean link structure is also understood to mean that the pages concerned are selected. Not every page should refer to your page, because this could look like spam. A search engine like Google will see through such measures in the medium term and even punish the landing page in case of doubt.

Link building through resource pages

Resource pages are pages that publish high-quality content on a specific topic. These can be found among others as follows:

“Keyword” + inurl: links

“Keyword” + “Question”

“Keyword” + “resources”

The next step is to check out the free backlink checker from Ahrefs and have the domain checked.

If the page is good enough for a backlink, there are the following approaches to get a backlink from the desired page:

  1. Broken links method. The requested page is scanned for broken links. If you find one, you point this out to the website operator and suggest a replacement. Of course, this should be a suitable, own destination URL.
  2. Guest posts. The operator of the desired page is advised to write a guest post on a specific topic to place the desired backlink then organically.
  3. Find suitable articles on external sites. The blog or website operators are contacted and referred to a new, appropriate source on their landing page and asked whether they would like to incorporate it into their page. This is legitimate because Google also honours when websites are kept up to date and refer to relevant sources.
  4. Answer questions on portals such as Quora, gutefrage.net & Co. to include the appropriate backlinks in the qualified answers.
  5. Write and publish high-quality forum entries that refer to the destination URL.
  6. Create high-quality reference contributions on your page and link them to Wikipedia.
  7. Link exchangeWrite to thematically related pages whether you are interested in a link exchange.
  8. Infographics: If you create great infographics, other people may want to include them on your website. The condition for using the infographic is that a backlink is set.

No matter which of these ways you want to go, creating high-quality content is always part of building backlinks.

One cannot expect much from dubious ranking packs for a few available euros, for example, from Fiver and Co. Here you usually get to deal with “black hat” SEO methods, which will always damage your reputation in the medium term, for example, if there are entries from spam websites under your company name or the backlinks are generated via hacked websites.

People don’t link to your site because they don’t know they exist; and they will not usually know, that they exist unless you tell them about it. “

– Julie Adams, Our Beautiful Planet

Buying premium backlinks and having the link building service carried out by professionals to achieve a sustainable SEO effect makes absolute sense. There, SEO agencies that specialize exclusively in the topic of off-page optimization are recommended.

Other factors of a useful link

If excellent content is provided on the website, organic backlinks will inevitably also result. Forums, in particular, generate some links if the topic is worth discussing. Blogs or newspapers can also mention your page as a reference.

The link strength results from the anchor text, the position of the link in the article and the number of backlinks.

To analyze organic backlinks in more detail, it is worth taking a look at tools such as Seobility (which offers up to one domain and up to 10 keywords for free), Openlink Profiler (completely free) or the Moz Link Explorer.

About the anchor text, it should also be mentioned that a so-called exact match anchor text has its disadvantages. If too many anchor texts with a single specific word or order appear in the link profile, it is reasonable to assume that these are not organic links, but instead, activities related to link exchange or link purchase.

How effective are social signals?

In addition to pure link building (link building), there are also so-called “social signals”. These are mainly tweets, Facebook posts, and all other “social” platforms on which content and links are shared.

Although a direct connection between ranking and social signals is controversial, a correlation can be seen in any case. Google has also confirmed such a relationship:

Social annotations drive a 5% -10% increase in click-through rate, on average.

ZMOT Handbook, Thingwithgoogle.com

Social signals don’t just include tweets and Facebook posts. Social signals are also comments, likes and retweets. Those who focus on this generally have more traffic, since the platforms automatically promote a lot of interaction through the algorithm. Efficient social media marketing should, therefore, also take place.

Also, customer reviews on external sites as Amazon or Google My Business are among the so-called social signal.

Become an opinion leader and strengthen your brand

If you are looking for a specific search term, you will notice that large portals (with a lot of traffic) appear in the top places. This is primarily because Google, Bing and other search engines prefer strong brands and opinion leaders. A well-known brand, therefore, has it more comfortable and more relaxed.

But how can you strengthen your brand? This works especially when there is a lot of talk about a brand name. The mentions on the Internet show that it could be a relevant company. But a large number of high-quality backlinks and a large number of subscribers on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Co. can also be an indication of this.

This is again proof that social media should not be put on the siding, even if you have a limited reach in social media. You can counteract this by, for example, “managing” the current social media trends, that is, by publishing suitable content for popular hashtags.

Criteria on the website

To understand the rankings in the search results, you have to ask what Google values. Google’s goal is to show the best and most relevant content for a given search query. For this, Google uses the so-called user signals, e.g. the length of stay and the bounce rate.

If the user lingers on the page for a long time and even clicks on further pages, then it is a sign that it is relevant content. Google will then reward the page with even more visitors.

Create a monthly report of the off-page optimizations

To draw an interim conclusion, it is worth creating a report with the most important key figures once a month. The reporting can include the following numbers:

Website key figures

  • number of visitors
  • Number of page views
  • Sessions per user
  • Home page views
  • Top 10 Articles
  • The average length of stay per session in seconds
  • Pageviews per session
  • Bounce rate
  • The main traffic sources
  • Share of organic traffic
  • Direct traffic share

Social media

  • Follower XING
  • Twitter followers
  • Facebook likes
  • Followers on Pinterest
  • Followers on LinkedIn
  • Followers on Instagram

In this way, it can be systematically recorded whether the methods in off-page optimization made sense or whether one’s efforts in a particular area still need to be intensified.

Conclusion

With our contribution to “Off-Page Optimization in 2020 – How it Works”, we have prepared a broad overview of the topic for you and showed you how systematic backlinks could be built up.

However, all of this means that high-quality links exist on the target page. Every effective off-page optimization in 2020 goes hand in hand with on-page optimization. In this way, parameters such as loading speed and bounce rate can also be improved.

How to create content step by step that gets more traffic

If you want to get visitors now, you need to create high-quality content first.

But before you start with the actual work, you should invest a little time in the planning.

Step 1: content planning

By now, you should have roughly defined your inbound marketing strategy and created a buyer persona.

Let’s take a closer look at critical strategic points related to content marketing:

Step 1.1: Define your rough topic

You start by defining your big topic. What category is your company in? Your topic could also be your industry here.

Step 1.2: Define your subtopics.

After you have defined your topic, you should consider the associated subtopics. As a rule, your topic is very rough. What components can you split it into?

With us, it is possible to divide our topic into the following areas: content marketing, social media marketing, blogging, search engine optimization, advertising texts, landing pages, conversion optimization, analytics, design, and marketing automation.

These are the pillars around which your content will turn.

If you follow these two steps, you have mostly automatically defined relevant short head keywords with which you want to rank in the long term. Short Head means that it is short keywords that are searched a lot, but accordingly have a lot of competition.

As a rule, you should find 5-10 subtopics. You can also call these topics or terms “seed keywords.”

Step 1.3: Think about content ideas.

Your seed keywords are the big categories for which you should create content. Here you can choose your rough topic or one of your subtopics (e.g., “Inbound Marketing”) and think about content ideas (e.g., “Inbound Marketing Benefits”) for your editorial plan . At this point, think about a publication rhythm such as B. “once a week”.

Et voilà, you already have an exciting idea and also a keyword that you should focus on. With this, you have automatically defined a long tail keyword. In contrast to the short heads, these are longer and therefore have fewer search queries, but less competition.

Step 1.4: Do keyword research

In between, you should always do little keyword research with the Google Keyword Planner and pay attention to the following points:

  • Relevance – How relevant is your idea to your potential customer? What does he expect? What exactly does your keyword describe?
  • Search queries – How often is your opinion searched for per month? Is the work worth it? Anything over 100 searches is worthwhile.
  • Competitors – How strong is the competition for your idea? How difficult will it be to rank with it?

Since it is not so easy to rank with short head keywords, you should first focus on long-tail keywords with little competition and pick them up first. Let’s do it too! 😉

Step 1.5: Choose the content medium.

In general, you should not start with several media (text, image, audio, video) at the same time, but limit yourself to one medium.

Even if you, For example, a good copywriter up to, creating content that has a marketing function is a bit of a bummer. You have to learn and perfect that first. I only started with text in 2012.

I also recommend that you do not create news-heavy content, but focus on evergreen content. Many of my posts from 2012 are still valid today and are shared diligently. Timeless content is much more efficient. Above all, small businesses always have to struggle with the scarcity of resources. That is inevitable.

Duration: about 1 hour

Step 2: content research

OK. Research doesn’t sound as exciting as letting your creativity run wild and creating content. But solid research is essential if you want to be successful with inbound marketing.

It is about collecting so much data (statistics, examples, quotes, theories, ideas, and stories) for your potential customer to provide them with sufficient information. This is also one of the most common mistakes I see:

Unfortunately, the content is often far too thin.

This is due to a lack of research. Fittingly, Wilson Mizner once said so nicely: “If you steal from an author, it’s called plagiarism. If you take from more than one, it is called research “. I don’t mean that you should copy other content. But you can calmly inspire yourself. After all, there is no monopoly on ideas. It is essential that you bring your own words, your own words, and only your way in your point of view. This makes your content unique.

You will then no longer have any blockages because you have plenty of material that you can use. Even if you’re an expert in your field, you should always research to find exciting ideas that you didn’t have before.

But how do I do it correctly?

Step 2.1: focus on a keyword.

When planning content, we came up with a few content ideas and found a few new keywords to match.

It is crucial here that you focus on a keyword. The trend is in the opposite direction, but that’s how you keep it friendly and straightforward.

Step 2.2: Brainstorming keyword variations

Let’s stick to our example with the advantages of inbound marketing. Here I have z. For example, simply search for “inbound marketing advantages”, “inbound marketing benefits,” and “inbound marketing advantages”.

Step 2.3: Scan the first 100 search results.

I checked the first ten pages for each of these terms, so I scanned all 100 search results. Here I mainly look at the headline and select the posts that seem appropriate to me. Sometimes I find inspiring and exciting articles on page 10. In-depth research pays off! 😉

Then I scan all the posts and filter out those that are not relevant. Amazingly often, there is still inferior content.

Step 2.4: Consume the found content.

Finally, I consume the content and keep taking notes at the same time. I also collect essential sources such as studies or statistics, which I will link later.

During this research, you automatically check your competitors. So look at what they do well and what they do bad. Then think about what you can do better.

Step 2.5: stay up to date.

Also, you should regularly consume a lot of third-party content to acquire plenty of inspiration, ideas, and metaphors. Therefore, you should also follow your influencers and look at their content.

Duration: about 4 hours

Step 3: Content creation

Anyone can create mediocre content.

But producing content that is regularly read, shared, and linked is a somewhat higher art. An art that is hard and takes time. The resources and knowledge needed.

Now let’s take a look at how the process works in detail. Whether you choose text, image, audio, or video, the workflow always remains the same:

Step 3.1: Think of your buyer persona.

First, take your buyer persona at hand, imagine it again in your mind’s eye and start producing content just for them!

Step 3.2: Create a heading

Your headline is the essential element. It is a promise in return for the valuable time of your prospect.

Therefore, make sure that your heading contains a benefit. What does your prospect benefit from? What’s in it for him? A simple trick here is to start with a “like you” heading. When you do that, you automatically force yourself to think about its benefits.

Take your time here. You should create at least 10-30 variations of a heading.

Always remember that everything is only temporary. The finishing touches come later. I always choose the first best. But over time, I keep changing it because I find something better.

Step 3.3: Create an introduction

With the introduction or the intro, you have to pull your prospect into your content. That is why it is the second most crucial element.

Tell something exciting here, make a definite statement, ask a provocative question, or list exciting statistics. Work here with things that draw attention. You are welcome to tell a story that, at first glance, has nothing to do with the topic.

Step 3.4: create a structure.

Then you think of a structure that breaks up your content into small parts. If you focus on the text, we are talking about the subheadings here.

Make sure that they are in a logical order (such as the post you are reading). You should also remember that the beginning and the end are essential. These are the points we humans remember.

Step 3.5: fill in the blanks.

If you have a structure, you have created a form that you only have to fill out. This makes the whole thing much more comfortable.

So start by writing down everything you can think of and what you’ve learned from your research. Don’t pay attention to structure or spelling. The main thing is to put your thoughts on paper!

Step 3.6: Don’t forget the conclusion

A missing conclusion is one of the most common points that I miss from our guest authors and generally on the web.

Therefore, summarize the entire topic in a few sentences, since many only look at the conclusion. In the end, feel free to ask an open question to encourage comments or make a direct call for action. An exciting cliffhanger is not wrong at this point, either.

Step 3.7: do the finishing touches.

You have now created a rough draft. Now you have to grind it again from start to finish.

The previous steps were your notes or script if you focus on image, audio, or video. Now it’s about the creation of the recording.

Make sure that your content is personal, that you use everyday language (content is not an essay), and tell stories.

Step 3.8: take a break.

Yeah, congratulations! You have a robust design! You can now retake a look at it, but editing or editing it doesn’t do much.

You’re just too blind, too deep in the subject.

So you shouldn’t do anything at first. It sounds ironic, but it is true. Have a beer or wine to celebrate the day. Relax! 😉

The next day you should start again with fresh eyes. I do it in detail like this:

  • Day 1: Research, brainstorm, and make enough notes. Then nothing. Then take a break.
  • Day 2: Make a first rough draft. Bring in a little structure and order. Then retake a break.
  • Day 3: Fine-tune your content until it’s perfect. Then feed him in and publish it.

It works well!

Step 3.9: Optimize for the search engine.

After the fine-tuning and the break, you take care of the on-page optimization. Here you simply make sure that your focus keyword appears in the following element on your page:

  • Title tag
  • URL
  • H2 and H3 heading
  • In the actual text
  • Bold or italic
  • Image, alt attribute, and filename
  • Meta description

Also, you could now do OffPage optimization and take care of what’s outside of your website. All to get links. But here is the most straightforward strategy to start with to create content that is automatically linked because of its added value.

Step 3.10: Add your content

Finally, you have to enter your content. To do this, copy your text into your CMS and, if necessary, upload your infographic, podcast episode, or video.

Make sure that your spelling is correct, that you are using further links and show notes, and that the formatting is designed appropriately.

Duration: about 4 hours

Step 4: content marketing

Unfortunately, the fun doesn’t stop after the content is created. That was only 50% of the work. You should spend the remaining 50% doing your doctorate.

The internet is just a crowded place. Your content may be great, but finding it is a problem.

Getting your content closer to your target audience is hard work!

To make things a little easier, follow the steps below. Of course, you don’t have to take them all now. But the more, the better results:

Step 4.1: Create an email campaign

Your audience should always know about your new content first. And email is still the best way.

Your email subscribers are your real audience.

That is also the basic idea of ​​inbound marketing. You start with a small audience and let it grow bigger and bigger, and they help you more and more to spread your content and your brand accordingly.

Step 4.2: Link from older content

Many like to forget this point. You should link from your older content to your new content. Here you already have perfect prospects and customers who may also be interested in your new content.

Step 4.3: Promote via social media.

Social media is the best place to discover content. That is why you should share your content there via your fan page, relevant groups, and also via your private profile.

Here you can promote your content more often. In the past, we only got a doctorate once. Today we do five promotions per content. Much more effective.

Step 4.4: leave comments.

High-quality comments that add value to entertainment are excellent content that can draw attention to your new content.

You should have thought about who your influencers are in your inbound marketing strategy. So leave comments on relevant posts and link your new content.

Step 4.5: contact your influencers.

If you’re already with your influencers, slowly build a relationship with them and ask them to share your content or link them where appropriate.

Step 4.6: Write guest posts

Guest posts are an excellent strategy to reach the audience you want quickly. Everyone involved benefits. Guest posts can also provide relevant links that can have a positive impact on your rankings.

Buffer has e.g., B. wrote 60 guest posts at the beginning and thus got 100,000 customers. Not bad, right?

Step 4.7: Unlock Paid Ads

You can also spend a bit of money and promote your content via social ads (such as Facebook ads) or search ads (such as Google AdWords). Facebook, in particular, makes it pretty easy with its boost function.

Step 4.8: be creative.

Finally, you can get creative with your marketing. Mint has z. B. worked with badges with something like, “I’m horny for mint” on it. Over 600 blogs took part, linked the website, and gave Mint a lot of visitors and links. Blog parades count e.g., B. also here. Or how about a crazy marketing stunt?

It is even more relaxed if you already plan your doctoral strategy when it is created. So you can e.g., B. mention, quote, and link your influencers in your content. So you have a good reason to let them know afterward.

Duration: about 4 hours

Step 5: content optimization

When many hear “content optimization”, most think of the search engine. But just focusing on it here is a bit too short.

After all, inbound marketing is about more than just the search engine!

So let’s take a look at the individual steps to optimize your content so that it produces better results.

Step 5.1: optimize your content.

First, take a look at your visitors. Does your content marketing work at all? Do you even get visitors with your content?

If not, you should first look at your formatting. Your content has to be attractive. Even if that sounds like a trifle, I often stumble across content that looks inferior but is not.

Then you should look at your quality and ask yourself if your content is of high quality. At this point, also look at your grammar, spelling, content length, and whether you get to the end.

Step 5.2: optimize for social.

In this step, you look at your shares. Is your content shared at all? That’s a good factor in whether your content is of high quality.

Another, not so unimportant, point is the social media images. Do you have an exciting picture at all? Can you see your intriguing headline in the picture?

Also, it can only be due to marketing. Therefore, check again if you can go more about influencers and guest posts.

In some industries (most sensitive topics), content is not shared publicly. Here you simply have to focus on the search engine.

Step 5.3: Optimize for Search

Here you look at the absolute criterion: your rankings. How well does your content rank for your focus keyword? You should also see how many links your content has received. Links are still one of the most crucial ranking factors.

What can you do about it? First, focus again on the good old OnPage optimization and see if you meet all the points from step 3.9. Often you go over here quickly and like to forget some points! 😉

You can still do link building and ask for links to essential content influencers, magazines, bloggers, and other websites. The best thing to do is simply go through guest posts here.

Step 5.4: Optimize for conversions.

Finally, you look at the business indicators. Is your content already generating leads? Can you attribute your content to your sales?

What you can do about it is challenging to say. Then you probably have a strategic problem. Then you should dig in-depth, conduct interviews with your prospects and customers, and try to find out why.

Check out what the best content is. Why does it work so well? Can you create more content like this?

Duration: infinite

Conclusion

The core of inbound marketing is always about content marketing. So you have to start with quality content to get traffic.

But before you start, you should plan a bit and think about your keywords and content ideas.

After that, you should do extensive research and collect enough data to provide your prospect with enough information.

Only then will you be able to create content that delivers value.

Once you’ve created your content, you should market it via email, social media, comments, influencers, guest posts, and paid ads.

Your content is never perfectly optimized. Always better. That’s why you should run there regularly.

Inbound marketing is a journey. And no campaign.

7 easy steps to create a simple content plan

If you want to start with content marketing, you have the best ideas.

You have the best ideas. You think that you can let off steam and get creative.

You can see how your content is going viral and loved. You dream of creating the largest content hub in your industry that is respected and even a little idolized.

Everything is super. Everything is rosy. So you just get started. You start without a strategy. And without a plan.

And what happens? Nothing. The success is missing.

Why? Precisely: lack of planning. All of this is just not so well thought out.

I understand you all too well. I am a big fan of “hands-on” and “just do it”. But you have to plan! At least a bit.

Therefore, create a simple content strategy. And then a simple content plan. We will now discuss in detail how the latter works.

But one by one.

What is a content plan?

A content plan is similar to a project plan. There you define activities, milestones, and dates.

In principle, you do precisely the same thing with content planning, only about content marketing.

With your content strategy, you first determine the rough direction you want to go. You answer the following questions:

  • Where do you want to go
  • Why do you want to go there
  • How do you want to get there roughly?

In your content plan, on the other hand, you describe the exact things you want to do to make your strategy come true. Your questions become more detailed:

  • What exactly do you want to do?
  • How exactly do you want to do it?
  • When exactly do you want to do it?

So it’s the tactical plan you want to go to. So it’s far more than a simple editorial policy.

Why is a content plan so important?

Benjamin Franklin once said: “By making mistakes in preparation, you are preparing for the mistake.”

And if you don’t prepare at all, it can only be a mistake. Then how can you win at all?

With proper content planning, you simply increase your likelihood of success.

If you want to go on vacation and have no plan at all where, how, and when you want to go there, how do you ever want to get there?

A content plan clarifies the path you need to take to make your content strategy a reality.

So you save time that you would otherwise waste by going the wrong way. This makes everything more efficient, effective, and targeted.

If you then document the whole thing, i.e., write it down, you double your chance. Because 60% of companies that have a documented content strategy feel effective, 39% only have a verbal plan.

It’s really like this: A solid strategy and a solid plan distinguish good from great content hubs.

Step 1: set your content goal.

Think about precisely what you want to achieve with your content plan. What is your goal? Why do you want to do content marketing at all?

You usually have the following options to choose from:

  • Awareness – You want more people to know your brand, company, or you.
  • Visitors – You want more traffic on your website.
  • Contacts – You want more leads or more subscribers.
  • Customers – you simply want more customers. (We all want that!)
  • Customer Loyalty – You want your customers to stay longer, buy more and more.
  • Unique selling point – you want to set yourself apart from your competitors through content.
  • Authority – You want to position yourself as a thought leader and expert in your industry.

We mostly want to achieve all the points. Nevertheless, you should commit to one goal, if possible – The One Thing.

Then you align everything towards this goal. You make sure that you achieve the goal or that the key figures go up.

You are speaking of critical figures. Also, think about how you want to measure your goal. If it is known, it will not be that easy. You can measure the rest with Google Analytics or Matomo.

For example, we only focus on our subscribers. As long as they grow, everything else becomes (shares, registrations, sales, etc.). So we don’t think “in leads,” but “in the audience.” Our goal is to build a growing audience.

For example :

  • Subscribers

Step 2: Choose a content medium (and a content hub)

The next step is about your content medium, which in turn determines your content hub.

You have the following options to choose from:

  • Text – Create an excellent blog.
  • Audio – Create a podcast (which should technically also be on a blog).
  • Video – Create a video channel (which should also be technically in a blog).
  • Image – Create infographics (which should also be technically in a blog).
  • Course – Create a free member area.
  • Print – Create a magazine or book (technically, you would need at least one landing page for that ).

I observe some who want to serve all media at once. So a great blog, a great podcast, and a great video channel. Everything at the same time. And then best of all, a print book afterward! Good luck!

Therefore, you should always concentrate on one medium at a time. You have to master one medium before you can start with the other.

Also, you may not like every medium. Or not every medium fits your company and your customers. And that’s okay too.

At the moment we are only focusing on text, for example (although I am so keen on podcasting again). We want to keep this focus for some time. At the same time, I’m writing a print book.

Example:

  • text
  • Print

Step 3: Choose your content formats

Now you are considering which content formats you want to use. The forms are related to the choice of your content medium (and content hub).

You have the following formats to choose from:

  • items
  • Podcast episode
  • Video
  • Infographic
  • Webinar
  • PDF (e-book, white paper, etc.)
  • Print book
  • Print magazine
  • Photo / graphic / sketch note
  • Slides / Slideshare

You can also focus on e-mail and create a pure e-mail newsletter, such as The Hustle or MorningBrew.

However, I would not commit myself so strictly here. For example, if you usually create blog articles but have the idea for an infographic, you should also cut out the infographic.

Of course, you can also combine the formats, for example, insert slideshares in your blog article.

But in the end, this is also about the focus:

Therefore choose as few formats as possible.

Also, don’t just choose a format because it’s hot right now (it might even be smarter to choose the opposite). Choose the sizes that suit your company, your customers, and you.

For example, I would like to see infographics and podcast episodes again. But until I muddle in there, it’s quicker and more efficient just to write a blog article.

Example:

  • Blog article
  • Print book

Step 4: determine your content mix.

A solid content mix rounds off your content marketing. It ensures that everyone is happy and that you get the most out of it.

To determine your content mix, you should know the different properties that make up your content.

Let’s take a closer look:

  • News content – current content.
  • Entertainment content – only entertaining content.
  • Evergreen Content – Useful, timeless content.

Think about what kind of content you want to create. I always recommend Evergreen Content because it is the most efficient in the long run. The other two can also work.

  • Search content – content that is found in the search results.
  • Viral content – content that spreads virally via social media.

Think about whether you want to focus on the search engine or virality. Back then, with the monkey blog, for example, there were no searches. So I only focused on viral content.

  • Quality content is of high quality (e.g., a blog article with 1,000 words).
  • High-Quality Content – content that is of very high quality (e.g., a blog article with 2,000 words).
  • Skyscraper content is very long and of very high quality (e.g., a guide with 10,000 words).

Determine how deep you want to go in your content creation. This is a crucial unique selling point.

  • Company content – content that revolves around your company.
  • Personal content – content that revolves around you.
  • Influencer content – content that revolves around influencers in your industry.
  • Opinion content – content that has a clear opinion and divides the camp.
  • Heart content – content that is close to your heart, and that simply need to be said.
  • Community content – content that comes from your community.

These points already go in the direction of content ideas. But you must think about it. These are all essential qualities that you should address and should not forget.

  • Guest Content – Content created by guests.
  • Sales content – content that revolves around selling your products or services.

Finally, determine whether you want guest posts and guest appearances as well as sales-oriented content at all.

You can now make individual pieces of content from these content properties (e.g., “The ten best marketing experts”), or you can weave them in again and again if it fits (e.g., you mention the ten marketing experts in 10 different articles).

But I wouldn’t be super strict here either. If you don’t usually create skyscraper content, but suddenly have the idea for it, go for it!

Example: 

  • Evergreen content only
  • Focus on search content
  • Quality (+ a bit of high quality)
  • Integrate Company + Personal + Influencer + Sales
  • Guest content (if it fits)

Step 5: Choose your content frequency.

In this step, you determine how regularly you want to publish content.

You simply answer the following three questions:

  1. How many times a day/month/year do you want to publish?
  2. On what day of the week you want to post?
  3. How much are you want to publish?

Make sure that you plan enough time. Instead, publish less, but correct and in good quality. As a rule, you also have to deal with day-to-day business.

In general, regularity is essential. This is how you demonstrate that you are reliable. This is the only way to build a stable relationship of trust with your potential customer.

Example:

  • 2 times / month
  • on Monday
  • 8:00 a.m.

Step 6: create your content calendar.

Your content calendar is your editorial plan . It shows how your content marketing looks from a bird’s eye view over a specified period.

You can map it analog (e.g., as a calendar on the wall), digital (e.g., as a Google spreadsheet ), or as an app (e.g., with Trello ).

When creating a content calendar, pay attention to the following columns, which should be there:

  • Headline – What is the preliminary headline?
  • Tags – Which tags, topics, or categories can you assign?
  • Author – who is the author of the content?
  • Date – When should the material be published?
  • Status – Is it still in the idea or draft stage, or has it already been published?

In theory, you can even omit the date. You have already set the content frequency. Then you would just knock the part out once it’s done. But a specific time ensures that you also comply with the publication.

After you have created a structure for your editorial plan, you have to fill it out. 

Plan only 3 to 6 months. Things just change too quickly today; you have to be able to react to them. Therefore, also plan a buffer. It always takes longer than you think. And you can then respond quickly to trends.

Example:

Step 7: define your content guidelines.

Finally, we set a few rules. These ensure that you, your team, and your external content creators (e.g., freelancers and guest authors) produce a uniform appearance.

There are no rules on how to set up such a set of rules. But here are some points that you should consider:

General

  • Length – How long should your content be? (eg “at least 1,000 words”)
  • Art – How should your content be? (e.g., “profound, detailed and concrete”)
  • Salutation – Duzen: How should the “d” be written?

Spelling

  • Brand names – Are there any special features about your brand name? (e.g. “monkey blog” – the “a” was always small)
  • Terms – How do you write English terms, like German-English terms? (e.g. “content marketing” – i.e., without a hyphen, but “content creation” – with a hyphen)
  • Numbers – spelled out or as a number? (eg “6 months”)
  • Percent – written out or as a sign? A space in between? (e.g. “7%”)
  • Area – What about “from-to”? Spelled out or as a sign? Also, a space in between? (eg “10 – 20”)
  • Bullet points – what needs to be considered? Do they have a period in the end?

miscellaneous

  • Formatting – How do you want to emphasize things? Bold or italic?
  • Links – How to link? As short as possible or whole groups of words?
  • Abbreviations – Is there something to be considered here? Do you want to use any at all?
  • Emojis – is there anything to consider here? Do you want to use any at all?
  • GIFs – Is there anything to consider here? Do you want to use any at all?
  • Response times – How quickly should a comment be answered?

Wordlist

Finally, you maintain a list of words with words that everyone writes differently and thus define a uniform spelling (e.g., “e-book”).

Your content guidelines are a living document. So if you stumble across something (such as a new word for your word list), add it.

Example:

Conclusion

As I said, I always start with one thing immediately. But so that your dreams and ideas do not burst, you should first create a content strategy and then a content plan.

It can be effortless. You can do that in my head too. The main thing is that you think about it and don’t just get started. Then I would be happy!

Currently, our content marketing finally feels good! A bit of strategy and planning has never hurt anyone!