If you’ve been following along in this Niche Site (the Dumb Way) Follow-Along, you know that I am not using any paid tools, themes or plug-ins and that I am doing all of the work myself. This includes writing the content. This is by far the most time consuming part of building a niche site and one of the things I look forward to outsourcing in the future. For now though, until I get this business rolling and profitable, I will continue to keep doing things the “dumb” way. By doing this, the only thing I stand to lose is some of my time. I am risking very little money (hosting costs) to see if I can make this niche site thing work.
How To Find What To Write About
By this point, I already have my main keyword I am targeting – getting rid of fleas. How to get rid of fleas is a close second, but I am sticking with the former and using the latter as secondary in most of the content. Okay, so I am going to write about getting rid of fleas, but I need to be more specific. I could just guess and start pulling topics out of thin air and write about them. Or, I could see what people are actually searching for and write about that. Going back to the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool, I type in my keyword – getting rid of fleas. Make sure to un-check the box for Broad and check the box for Exact. If it’s not already open, click the tab for “Keyword Ideas.” In this case, it spits out 800 different keyword ideas. Here is a screenshot for a few of the results at the top.
By looking at these results, I get a great idea of what people are searching for when trying to figure out how to get rid of fleas. I concentrate on the results that get the higher number of searches and then make a list of the topics I wish to write about and include on my site. I can see that people are generally searching for how to get rid of fleas from their dog or cat, on humans, in their home, or in their yard. My preliminary list to start off this site looks like this:
- getting rid of fleas
- getting rid of fleas on pets
- getting rid of fleas on humans
- getting rid of fleas in the house
- getting rid of fleas in the yard
If you look at the search data for these specific keywords (screenshot below), it looks pretty stupid that I am writing articles with these titles and based on these exact keywords. Except for the main keyword, the rest of these don’t get very many searches. There is a method behind my madness which I am about to unfold and explain.
Internal Link SEO and Website Structure – The Pyramid Method
I cannot take credit for coming up with this method. It was just a short time ago that I knew next to nothing about search engine optimization (SEO). I first learned about this pyramid method for website structure on Sunil’s Extra Money Blog. Go read his post for great detail and explanations on why to do it this way. I’ll just give you the nutshell version here.
Basically, you group your content ideas into 3 tiers. Tier 1 (T1) is your main keyword. Write an article targeted and optimized for that. Tier 2 (T2) are articles targeted and based around keywords that could be considered main sub-heading topics for your primary keyword. This is what you see in my example list above. Tier 3 (T3) articles are everything else you could possibly write for your site and should be able to be categorized in some way under one of the T2 categories.
My T1 article, A Guide For Getting Rid of Fleas Now, contains links to each and every one of my T2 articles. These links can be anywhere within the content, or at the end of the article. I also link back to the homepage of the site at the end of this article under the heading “Related Pages.” Every single article on the site links back to the homepage in this way, as well as linking to at least one other article on the site.
Each of my T2 articles links back to the T1 article, as well as to the homepage. Again, most of these links I simply throw under a “Related Pages,” heading at the very end of the article. This completes the top of the pyramid for the website structure. Now, every other article I write will be considered a T3 and will contain links to the related T2 article as well as the T1 article and the homepage. As of the writing of this post, my T1 and T2 articles are complete and posted. The rest of what I write will target some of those great keywords I found (with lots of monthly searches) in the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Some specific posts could include:
- how to get rid of fleas on dogs (linking to getting rid of fleas on pets – and T1 and homepage)
- how to get rid of fleas on casts (linking to getting rid of fleas on pets – and T1 and homepage)
- home remedies to get rid of fleas (linking to getting rid of fleas in the house – and T1 and homepage)
- how to get rid of fleas naturally (this could be another T2 since it doesn’t relate specifically to only one of the other T2’s – link this only to T1 and homepage)
All of this internal linking is essential for SEO and building link juice. Also, make sure your internal linking anchor text contains the primary keyword and secondary (longtail) keywords that you are targeting.
Tip: For larger sites (more than 5 pages of content) it’s a good idea to organize your keyword ideas that you plan to write articles for in a spreadsheet, identifying each for its respective tier. For smaller sites (5 pages or less) I simply use only 2 tiers – knock out the articles and link each T2 to the T1 and the homepage.
Writing The Content by Becoming The Expert
So what if I find a great keyword that I think I can rank for easily and get to the first page of Google but I know nothing about the topic? This was my case exactly for this getting rid of fleas site. I’ve owned dogs in the past, but never really had to deal with fleas. I didn’t know the first thing about getting rid of fleas. So how am I writing all of this content?
This is the time consuming part and the main reason I look forward to outsourcing this in the future. I studied. I looked up everything I could and read ALL of every website on the first page of Google for the search terms “getting rid of fleas,” and “how to get rid of fleas.” Wikipedia and YouTube are other great resources I used to learn about the topic. I call this, “becoming the expert.” At first, I knew nothing about getting rid of fleas, and now I am practically an expert. Although I have no first-hand experience, I do have the knowledge.
After the learning, it’s just a matter of doing the actual writing. For SEO purposes, I always mention my main keyword somewhere in the first and last paragraph. It is also mentioned throughout each article, but I make sure not to overdo it. I’ve heard that you should try to keep your keyword density to 1% or less – meaning if you have a 900 word article, don’t mention the keyword more than 9 times. I also make sure that all of the writing looks natural and that keywords aren’t just “stuffed” in there for SEO.
Tip: Many SEO “experts” say articles should be at least 700 words. This is the rule of thumb I go by. Some shorter articles are OK, but most should be 700 – 1000 or more.
For my primary keyword, getting rid of fleas, I can see that for virtually every sub-topic that how to get rid of fleas is searched for just as much, or more. For this reason, I’ve decided to target both variations in every single piece of content. For example, my article for Getting Rid of Fleas in The House also targets the phrase, how to get rid of fleas in the house.
It’s always a good idea to add pictures or graphics to each post. I always make sure my primary keyword is somewhere within the title of the picture. I usually accomplish this by writing a description of the picture in the title, and then a dash, and then the title of the website (which contains my primary keyword). Be sure to only use pictures or graphics that don’t violate any copyrights – and link back to the source if applicable.
When using specific data, content, charts, etc. – I always mention the source and include a link back to the original site. This can be done simply by adding a “Resources,” heading at the bottom of the article.
This about does it for my content strategy for niche sites. I guess tracking site ranking and link building (backlinking) should be the next things I write about as part of this follow-along.
Until then, remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.