Content Writing Secrets: Build a Content Strategy for Connection and Growth | Lauren Lbik | Skillshare

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Content Writing Secrets: Build a Content Strategy for Connection and Growth

teacher avatar Lauren Lbik, Digital Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to the Course!


    • 2.

      Writing "Skills"


    • 3.

      Types of Articles


    • 4.

      Differentiating Your Content


    • 5.

      Facts vs. Experiences


    • 6.

      Sharing Your Opinions


    • 7.

      Relatability to Audience


    • 8.

      Planning Out Content


    • 9.

      Keyword Research


    • 10.

      Article Title or Headline


    • 11.

      Content Outline


    • 12.

      Writing Tips


    • 13.

      A/B Perspective


    • 14.

      Editing Your Content


    • 15.

      Adding Images to Your Content


    • 16.

      SEO 101: The Basics


    • 17.

      Call-to-Action (CTA)


    • 18.

      Publish and Promote


    • 19.

      Consider Page Speed


    • 20.

      Repurposing Content


    • 21.

      Guest Posts


    • 22.

      Sponsored Posts


    • 23.

      Outsource Content Writing


    • 24.

      Key Takeaways


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About This Class

Content writing can be a real bore sometimes, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. But with the content strategy and writing tips that I’m sharing in this class, writing blog posts doesn't have to suck!

Sure, SEO, keyword research, and good information all matter -- a lot. Content marketing and how and where you share your content are also important. 

But the magic really happens when you’re able to reach your audience in a way that your competitors can’t. This is the real content strategy that will lead to people sticking around for longer and wanting to read everything you have to say.

Important class links:

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Plan and organize your articles to save time
  • Differentiate your content from the sea of others
  • Improve your writing skills and connect better with your audience
  • Use perspectives that will help improve your marketing strategies
  • Use keyword research and basic SEO tools to increase your reach

And just generally learn how to write much more relatable content that makes your audience want to hear everything you have to say!

This class is for anyone who is doing content writing or blog writing or needs any help to improve their writing skills or any other form of content creation. It’s really all about how to communicate better with your audience.

It's suitable for all levels -- especially beginners!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lauren Lbik

Digital Creator



Hey, I'm Lauren - an online creator and teacher!

I started my first online business in 2016. I didn't have any special background at the time. In fact, I was a CPA at the time. Since then, I've started multiple online businesses in various niches. I've been able to quit my full-time job as an accountant and start traveling the world, which has always been a big dream of mine.

Now, I'm here to teach you everything I know about starting and growing an online business!

Everything from...

content creation and marketing, social media and SEO, email marketing, creating and selling products, podcasting, and so much more!

I have grown email lists, YouTube channels, Pinterest accounts, you name it -- to over 100,000 subscribers and... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Welcome to the Course!: Hey there, my name is Lauren and I'm so excited that you're here and that you chose me to help you on this journey. Here's a quick background about myself. I have started in groan, multiple online businesses from scratch in various niches. I've grown Pinterest accounts, YouTube accounts, email lists, you name it to over a 100 thousand subscribers and followers. I've started a podcast. I've been able to quit my full-time job as an accountant and I've traveled the world and worked from cafes from South America to Europe, to Asia, to Africa, all while working on my online business. Now, in this class, you are going to learn how to plan and organize your articles to save you time. You'll learn how to differentiate your content from this sea of others. How to improve your writing skills and connect better with your audience. Use perspectives that will help improve your marketing strategies. And use keyword research in basic SEO tools to really increase your reach. And just generally, you're going to learn how to write much more relatable content that makes your audience want to hear everything that you have to say. In our class project, you're gonna get to create your own content, outline or even get feedback on an entire article that you've written. And just so you know that I'm not some internet unicorn, I actually used to be a tax accountant before I started exploring the online business world. Absolutely no experience when I first started. So it's totally okay if you don't, either this class was designed for beginners or really anyone else that really just need some help making their content stand out against the crowd. Now, as you can see, we've got a lot to cover, so let's get started. 2. Writing "Skills": When I started my very first website, I didn't do any of the writing. My business partner did a 100% of it. This is because I was an accountant and I thought I wouldn't be any good at it. I'm good with numbers and spreadsheets. I can't write and I'm not creative. These were my thoughts and they were true because I made them. So in this class and all of my classes, I want you to let go of any limiting beliefs that you have about not being cut out for something. This is the first step towards getting better at writing and improving your skills. Get out of your head. Good writing is simply about knowing your audience and how to talk to them. That's it. We're just having a conversation. There's a little more to it than that, but it's still pretty simple. Once I unlocked some of these secrets and my own business, that's where the magic really started happening. Because you could apply what you're learning here, not just your articles, but also to your emails, to your social promotions, your products, every piece of communication that you write. And the best part about all of that is that I found out that not only did I actually really like writing and communicating with my audience, but I was really great at it. 3. Types of Articles: Let's talk about the different types of articles that you can write. Because this also determines how you're going to structure your articles and how you're going to speak to your audience. If you have a blog or an article based website, I think it's generally a good idea to create a variety of different types of articles. This keeps things interesting for your audience and also serves various purposes in your business. For example, some content is better for building relationships. In some content is better for selling products. So make sure to think about what you want to accomplish with each article when you're planning out your content. Okay, here are a few of the main types of articles that you can write. Number one is problem-solving content. These your how-to articles where you're teaching someone how to do something or how to solve a problem. For example, how to get clear skin naturally in just two weeks. How to train your German Shepherd without hiring a trainer. These are great opportunities to provide value for your audience and start building connections with them. Number two is roundups and lists. These are articles that list options or comparisons for people to choose from. For example, the top ten natural solutions for clear skin in two weeks. The ten best training tools for German shepherds. As you can imagine, these are also great places to link products, but they're really not very good at building relationships because there's less room here for you to educate and insert your personal opinions. Then number three, lastly, we have testimonials and other stories. This can be other testimonials from your clients or any other stories that you want to share that relate to your experience. For example, how I cleared up my acne in two months. You can see it's a bit similar to the how-to article, but it's really focused a bit more on you or how Maria trained her German Shepherd in one month by herself. These are even better opportunities to let your audience get to know you and sharing your experiences. Now, there are also other types of articles like news pieces of fiction content, scientific journals. I mostly excluding this kind of content here because it's written very differently and not generally about building relationships or making connections. Now that we've talked about some of the different types of articles, next, we're going to talk about how to differentiate the content itself. 4. Differentiating Your Content: Hey, there, Let's talk about the importance of differentiating your content. There's an overwhelming amount of content on the Internet. And despite their vast amount of power and resources, the Google gods don't always do their best job of sorting content in the algorithm. The result is that there's a lot of bad content on the Internet and also a lot of content that is exactly the same. Just articles that are carbon copies of each other because people look at what's the top of search and then create something extremely similar. It's for all of these reasons that you need to differentiate your content. If it's just like everyone else's, people are going to scan through it and then move on to the next article. They won't remember you and they certainly won't come back. This is the real reason why you're taking this class. Not just to write better, but to make your content so good that people look for your email list or click through to your other articles. The goal is to get more eyeballs on your content and to keep those eyeballs on your content for as long as possible. That's what signals to Google that people like your content. Now thankfully, we don't have to become New York Times bestselling authors to do this or re-invent the wheel in any way. We'll start diving into how we're gonna do this in the next lesson on facts versus experiences. 5. Facts vs. Experiences: Are you ready for my biggest secret of all? To be honest, it's not really a secret. It's more like an obvious statement that most people just don't think much about. But here it is. Anyone can spit facts on the Internet. No skills are required there. You're just reading everyone else's content and then regurgitating your own form of it. The most prominent examples here are always lists and roundups. Like an article title the ten best video editing software. Then you have 20 different articles all listing the same exact products with very little information about them. Do you know what's missing from all of these experience? Most people aren't sharing their experiences with these products because they haven't actually tried any of them. They only looked at other people's content and use it as a basis to write their own. I think I truly understood how big of a problem this was. Or alternatively, how big of an opportunity there is here. When I was first looking around for podcasts, analytic software, there were 15 different options and I couldn't find any articles that gave me an accurate picture of which one might be best for me. So I gave up and started trying out each one of the big ones on my own. But if a podcast or had given me their honest thoughts after trying a few, I would've become an instant fan. So remember this. Facts tell stories, sell. Facts are very important for knowledge and credibility. But stories are what form connections, build relationships and turn your readers into buyers. And that's exactly what we're going to talk about in the next lesson. Sharing your stories. 6. Sharing Your Opinions: I'd initially titled this lesson storytelling, but it's not so much about telling long thoughtful stories. It's more about sharing your personal thoughts, opinions, feelings, stories, struggles, and experiences. This is what differentiates you from every single other person in the world. No one has walked your exact path, or it can create an exact carbon copy of that path. Here's the thing. People don't just want to know what the answer is. They want to know what you think and more importantly, why you think it. They're learning from you. You can't make decisions for them. You can only do your best to educate them on why they need to make them and really make that decision for themselves. A few years ago I became a pretty hardcore vegan. For two years, I completely changed my diet, my lifestyle, and all of my thinking around this. It all stemmed for reading one single article, one article that turned into multiple other articles on a website that lead to buying two different books. I was drinking that Kool-Aid. And I mean that in a good way, I'm not a vegan anymore, but I learned a lot. And he's still steer clear of certain foods since learning so much about veganism years ago. This is the power of great content. This is your goal. Don't be afraid to share your honest opinion. Turned out to be offensive, but it's okay to be polarizing. This is how you start to attract your people. And speaking of your people, who are they, that's what we'll talk about in the next lesson. 7. Relatability to Audience: So we just talked about how sharing your personal thoughts and opinions is the first step towards personalizing and differentiating your content. But it's also the first step towards building a connection. Something that makes the reader stop for a second and think about what you've just said. You know, what makes this even more powerful when you make it as relatable to the specific person who's reading your content as possible when you share your thoughts and opinions with them in mind and how all of this affects them. Anytime you're seeking help for pretty much anything, you're gonna be drawn to the content that most closely applies to your situation or content that's written by someone that you can relate to. Woman to woman, mom to mom, young professional to young professional. Think about who you're trying to reach with your content. This is the person that you're speaking to and who you're really writing to and relating to. You can see information about your existing audience in Google Analytics. Now if you don't yet have an audience, remember that the platform that you share your content on, you can have a major impact on this. For example, if you get most of your traffic from Pinterest, you're going to have more women in your audience. If you share more content on TikTok, you're going to attract a younger audience, right? For your people and share your content where they can easily find it. Then this will be a recurring theme throughout the rest of this class. So don't worry, we're going to dive a lot deeper into that area. But next, we're going to talk about planning out your content. 8. Planning Out Content: The very first step to writing better content is to plan out your articles. What are you going to write and in what order are you going to publish them? How often are you going to publish content? Which keywords are you going to use? Content writing can be a big time suck. So we need to make sure that we're strategizing here and really just getting the most bang for your buck. I've included a simple content scheduled for you in the resources that includes spaces to add your article title, the keywords that you're using in each article and your plan published date. Now it's a good idea to try to publish a new article at least once every week or two. This will help you build up a presence for Google SEO or even have enough content to recycle and promote on other platforms when you're planning out future articles, here are a few things to consider. What would be helpful for your audience? What are a few of the basic topics in your niche that you need to cover. Remember that your articles should always serve a purpose. That purpose can be to educate them about topics in your niche. To build relationships, to encourage e-mail sign-ups, or even to sell a product. Ideally, you put a variety of these types of articles on your content planner, will dive a little bit deeper into planning in the next couple of lessons on keywords and outlines. 9. Keyword Research: After you've brainstormed some basic topics, it's time to turn those topics into Keywords. Doing even some basic keyword research will ensure that you're giving your content the best chance it has to be found in Google Search. This also applies if you put any content on Pinterest because it's also a search engine. Using a keyword research tool will help you to figure out which keywords are more competitive and easier to rank for. It'll suggest alternative keywords that will be easier to rank for. Show you related keywords that are helpful to include in your content. And also things like which articles are currently ranking for specific keywords. Basically, they give you a ton of information that you can use when you're planning out your content. The key here is to find keywords that aren't too competitive, that, but also that aren't too obscure so that no one searching for them. The highest difficulty keywords will also have the highest volume of searches. Now I don't want to discourage you from certain keywords that you may want to create for other reasons other than SEO traffic. But I just want to explain that some of them are very, very competitive and you will also be competing against huge media publishers with whole teams of writers behind them for those top spots on Google. Okay, consider this keyword phrase, how to lose weight. This is gonna be ultra competitive and you're not going to ring for it anytime soon unless you do build a major publishing website. Consider it and said starting out with some low to medium difficulty keywords. These are often keywords or phrases that have more words in them and that are called medium or long tail keywords. For example, how to lose weight fast for women over 50 or keto diet for women with PCOS. There's no perfect strategy here and you want to find a balance between what the data is showing you and what keywords or phrases are still very important for your audience. Some articles won't ever have a chance of ranking in search. And that's perfectly okay if you have other reasons for creating that content. Now, keyword research tools can also be very expensive, especially for the best ones that give you the most amount of data. But there are still some free options and I'm going to include a link to some of those in the resources. So after you've selected your keywords, it's time to create your outline. 10. Article Title or Headline: Hey, there. Now that you've selected your keyword, it's time to think about what you're going to call this new article. Now you don't have to decide on this completely right now. I usually come up with a working title when I'm first getting started and then I put it up at the top of my outline. But when I'm finished with my first draft of my content, I usually if revisit my title and make sure that it's still suits me or to make sure that it still accurately represents that content that I've written. Now sometimes I decided changes based on what I've written. So I want you to come up with a first draft of your article title or maybe even two to three ideas. Honestly, it's always good to really exercises creative juices and to try to cope with at least 223 good ideas, then you can choose the best one now or later whenever you've finished writing. So here are my tips for choosing your article title. Number one is that it's really important to use your main keyword in your article title. This is super important for SEO. It's also important that it's your exact keyword or as close to as possible and not some variation of it. For example, if your keyword is lose weight fast for women, your article title should include that exact keyword phrase in it. Like this, the top ten easiest ways to lose weight fast for women and not lose weight fast with the top ten tips for women. Now, that is the absolute most important part about your title. Well, aside from number two, which is to make sure that your headlines are the right amount of characters so that they don't get cut off in Google search results. This number is, of course subject to change, but the time that I'm recording this, the recommended number of characters for your article title is about 50 to 60. So make sure that you try to stay within that range of not getting cut off in Google search results. Now the rest of the tips I'm gonna give you here are optional and it may depend on how long your keywords are. Lose weight fast for a woman is already a pretty long keyword phrase and we can't really fit a whole lot else in here. But consider these other ways that you can spice up your title. Number three is to mention the purpose, goal or result. Lose weight fast for a woman, ten day diet challenge, or at £10 in ten days. It communicates a lot more than the top ten tips for women because it's more specific about the purpose and the result. You want to think about these things when you're trying to make your headlines stand out against everyone else is. Number four is to consider using a number in your title if it's appropriate. Anytime that you have an article that's in a list format with a top ten things or the 17 tips or whatever. You should mention that in the title. There are some statistics out there that I cannot quote right now let's say that headlines are more clickable with numbers to finding the content. So numbs, you can even throw a number in there, even if the main part of your content isn't a list. Like how to lose weight fast for Women, Plus the three tips for success. Now if you don't have a list or if this doesn't apply, don't worry about this. One. Number five is that you can use parentheses or brackets to show emphasis or to clarify something. For example, lose weight fast for women, ten day diet challenge, or how to care for succulents. Three steps to stop the killing. Number six, consider adding the year to show relevancy. I think that this is helpful in some niches, maybe more so than others. I definitely see it a lot more in the business and financial content. But even articles like the top ten books on weight-loss for 2022 can make your content appear super relevant. Just make sure to update these articles with the new year each year is that they don't appear to be outdated. Number seven is to consider using buzzwords or power words or emotional words, whatever you wanna call them. These are just other words that can really spice up your title. Here are some examples. Essential, effortless, inspirational, fun, mind-blowing, easy, simple, Complete Guide. Cringe worthy, fabulous, powerful, proven, bizarre, actionable tips, free, guaranteed, discover, huge everything you need. Secrets. Strategy, Best, more effective, okay, I think that's enough. You can Google headline power words or emotional words and get even more ideas. But using words like these in your titles make them even more descriptive and more compelling. And speaking of compelling the click, one final thought that I want to leave you with in this lesson is to please avoid clickbait as much as possible. You know what I'm talking about? Those news articles that serve something like this. You'll never believe what this mother did to her child or Netflix sci-fi you miss, that will blow you away. These articles are sensationalizing, normal things that shouldn't even be considered news to be honest. They are created just to generate a ton of clicks, and they often do accomplish that. But the thing is when you deliver a mind-blowing piece of content behind that title, people bounce from your website, your balance rate goes up, your standing in the Google algorithm goes down. You absolutely should inspire and pique curiosity, but there is a limit here, so don't go overboard and sensationalized your content. Okay, like I said, get a working title here or three and then we'll move on to the outline. Then you can revisit your title later on when you're finished writing your content and just to see if you want to make any changes. 11. Content Outline: Okay, Let's start writing. The first step is to write an outline for your content. In this outline, you're going to include your article title or proposed title ideas, the keyword or keywords that you're using, major headings or subheadings in your content. And really any other bullet points are notes that you want to add as you're creating the outline. This just ensures that you have a plan for what you want to say, that you don't end up making your article too fluffy or two off topic. And also that you include everything that the reader needs to know. People want to read structured and informative posts. They don't want to skim through fluff or have any of their time wasted. I often get asked how long does my content needs to be? Well, for one, that those keyword research tools will tell you exactly what's the content length is from the top ranking articles. So it's a good idea to take a look at that information and to consider it. Otherwise, say what you need to say. Get personal. But don't go off topic or off on tangents. When you're planning out in headlines and sub headlines, consider using related keywords in those headlines for better SCO. Again, good keyword research tools will provide you with a lot of this information. Take a look at the top breaking content on Google and see what information they are including. Remember not to go down that path of being a carbon copy. Simply use this for inspiration purposes only and to make sure that you aren't leaving out anything important. But do make that article your own. Here's where I want to insert a reminder about your class projects. I'd love to see an outline for one of your articles. Or if you're keen and want to upload a full article and have me take a look over it. I'll be glad to do that to check out the class resources for more information. In the next lesson, we'll start actually writing your content. 12. Writing Tips: The writing part is really up to you and it's going to look different for each individual person based on their writing style in their audience's needs. But I want to give you a few of my best writing tips for you to think about. Number one is to do what you can to get in your writings zone. You want to write well and you want to write quickly ideally, so you can have time to focus on other aspects of your business or your project. Whether it's headphones on and focus playlist or complete silence, or working from a cafe or your home office. Do what you can to get into that zone and eliminate all distractions. That one's pretty obvious, but it's worth mentioning for those that don't have a lot of experience writing or pumping content out regularly. Number two was to write like you're talking to a friend or a colleague. We tend to want to talk with professionals to illustrate that we know we're talking about. But in order to achieve that relate ability that I talked about, you really need to take it down a notch and make the atmosphere more comfortable and familiar for your reader. Be open, be honest, even be vulnerable if it applies to the situation. That is how connections are built. Then my third tip is to remember that your reader is on a level one and you're often speaking from a level ten. Remember that you have the full picture. You're likely sharing information about problems that you've personally solved. You've got it already figured out. And we tend to forget about all those smaller nuances that are readers getting hung up on. We tend to skim over some parts that we know aren't necessary or important. But that doesn't mean that they aren't important to the reader at that time. And usually whenever we try to write it a level one, we often still land somewhere around a five or six. A good way to summarize this concept is to think of your audience as being in a new originally writing from a point b perspective. I'm actually going to dive much deeper into this in the next lesson because it's super important for a variety of reasons. 13. A/B Perspective: So this is actually one of my biggest marketing secrets that I'm about to share with you. It's something that I discovered on my journey towards connecting better with my audience, marketing better and selling butter. Let's talk about this concept of a B perspective. I'm going to illustrate first with an example of how it applies to weight loss because that's a niche that I have experienced in. Your clients and readers are at a point a, they haven't fixed their problems yet. They're still trying to lose weight and they're not succeeding. They often don't know why they can succeed or don't understand the full picture. They're overweight. You are at a point B, you fix your problems. You have lost that weight and you have succeeded. You also most likely know why you've succeeded and you do understand the full picture. You're no longer overweight. Now you can share before and after photos of yourself. And some people will find it very inspirational as often very necessary for credibility. But it's probably going to do little more than give them some brief inspiration that will probably wear off pretty quickly. It's not super relatable because there's still overweight, right? They can imagine what that might be like when they do reach that goal, but they don't truly feel anything about that. So what are they feeling? Well, changes are, uh, you know, this because you've been in their shoes in the past. What did you feel when you were overweight and nothing was working? Now that is the point, a perspective. If you can share those personal thoughts and opinions, feelings, stories, struggles, and experiences. From that point, a perspective as it applies to them. That is what is going to hook them. You're connecting to how they feel right now and showing them the path out. So try to put yourself in this point, a perspective as much as possible. Note that this applies to so many aspects, aspects of your business communications, including your articles, your other content, your emails, your products, your sales pages, and really every other place where marketing applies. Because reliability is everything. 14. Editing Your Content: Now that you've finished writing your content, it's time to edit it. Well, if you've just finished, take a skim over it to make sure it has everything that you want in there, but then take some space from it. Ideally at least a day or overnight. This will give your brain a chance to rest and let you edit it with a fresh pair of eyes and a more open mind. You'll be able to get a better idea of how it will be received by your audience. Now, there are a few things you need to do when editing your content, including checking for grammar and punctuation, adding links, photos and other references, formatting headings and other texts. So bolding, italicizing, underlining, et cetera, SEO and mentioned irrelevant keywords. In of course, readability and relatability. Check the description and resources area to see some recommended software and plug-ins to help you with some of these. There are some really great, awesome free tools that you can check out for getting help with their grandma. And also that include SEO checklist to work through. These kinds of tools are super helpful because they can save you so much time and make your life so much easier. Now one thing I do want to address here is specifically related to the readability of your content. Remember that people do like to skim content for important information. Not everyone is going to read every single word, many won't. So here are a few tips to make your content more readable. Number one, don't make paragraphs too long. It makes it harder to skim. Instead, break up your content in one to three sentences, paragraphs, number to make that content easier to read by bolding, italicizing and underlining every few sentences or so. Use bullet points and make sure to make your headings bold and large enough to stand out. And then number three, at images where it makes sense, which is what we're going to talk about in the next lesson. 15. Adding Images to Your Content: Hey there, I wanted to make sure I included a lesson in here, but images, because it's a question I get asked a lot about, where can I find professional photos? Can I take my own? Should I take my own? First of all, if you can take your own and they're really great photos, then absolutely do. So. It's another way to make sure that your content is unique. But for everyone who doesn't have the time or the skills to do this like myself. That thankfully, there are a lot of options these days to get free professional stock photos. Too many options to be honest, it can be pretty overwhelming. The key is to find a good site or two that has the largest selections that you don't have to go through five different sites to find exactly what you're looking for. Trying to find that perfect stock photo to illustrate what you're trying to convey can be really difficult, especially if you're really picky about it like I am. And this isn't just for your articles. You'll probably need images for other things like social media marketing, email marketing, sales marketing, etc. Now, I'll include a list of some of my favorite resources for images in the class resources. So make sure to check that out when it comes to adding images to your articles. Here are a couple of tips. Number one is to try to find photos that look and feel more natural and less artificial. We tend to want to show photos that people smiling to illustrate happiness, but sometimes showing phases of strangers just comes off as really unreliable. They can often have an unfamiliar or clinical feel like the images that you see in doctors offices or an ads or inserts for prescription drugs. Number two is to make sure to re-size and optimize before uploading to your website. When you add an image to your website, you want it to be the smallest possible file size without sacrificing too much quality. So really large, high resolution photos take up a lot of space and they take a long time to load. This can cause your entire page to load slower and can cause people to balance before they get a chance to actually read your content. So first you want to resize that image to make it smaller. Then you want to compress that image to make the file size itself even smaller. I'll include a couple of free tools in the class resources to help you resize and optimize your images. Then lastly, number three, remember that fewer images are sometimes better. You don't want to go overboard and have your images take away from your written content. Only add as many as you really need to break up the text, illustrate a concept or evoke feelings. And then one more thing, makes sure to add descriptions or alt text to your images when you upload them. This is another really basic concept for SEO, one-on-one, which is what we'll talk about in the next lesson. 16. SEO 101: The Basics: Okay, Let's talk a little bit more about SEO. Now this is a deep dark rabbit hole with a lot of underground pathways, some of which are super legit and some look like shortcuts that abruptly ended disaster. We're not gonna go that deep because that's another course or even three. And it's also moving target. But it's at least important to make sure that you have the basics down and covered in each of your articles to give them their best shot at ranking. Some of the basics of SEO include keyword research, like we already mentioned before. Make sure to write articles with a specific keyword or phrase and also include other relevant keywords throughout your content. Don't stop them too often, but makes sure to make your main keywords appear at least a few times throughout your text. Next is your content length. There aren't any specific guidelines here, but as I mentioned, make sure to look at the content length of other articles already ranking just to get a general idea. Next is headlines and subheadings. I already mentioned that you need to have them when we talked about outlined, but it's also important to add the right heading tags to your content. This shows Google what the hierarchy of your content looks like. Next is categorizing your articles. If you have a blog or multiple articles on your website, It's a good idea to separate them into different categories. For example, recipes, fitness, dieting, etc. Next is adding relevant and helpful links to your content. This includes both internal links which link to other content on your website, and external links which links to other websites. Internal links are good for building SEO on your content and getting more eyeballs on your articles. And external links are also necessary to show that you're referencing relevant and helpful resources around the web. Now there's a lot to think about here. This doesn't really do much more than scratched the surface. But the good news is that there are free plugins that give you so much of this information in a checklist format that will help you detect exactly what's missing from your content. I'll link my favorite resources for this in the class resources section. After you've ticked off some of your your SEO checkboxes, it's time to add a call to action to your article, which is what we'll talk about in the next lesson. 17. Call-to-Action (CTA): Okay, one more thing before you hit that Publish button, let's talk about adding a call to action or CTA to your article. Every single article or any piece of content or communication that you share should have one call to action at the end and action that you want them to take after reading your content. At this point, there's the beginning of a relationship forming. And if they've made it to the end of your content, they're gonna be more likely to want to learn more. Now you have a variety of options here, including links to another relevant article or two, links to a podcast, a YouTube channel, or some other platform, an email opt-in so that they can subscribe or even a link to irrelevant product or service. Ideally, you only have one big call to action at the end of your content. If you include multiple people, might be less likely to take action or field divided on what to do next. At the end of my articles, I like to include a link to the next article that they can check out. Now I already have an email opt-in form that displays at the beginning of my content and also with the footer at the end. So I know that they've likely already seen my email opt-in, or that would've been my first preference. Now it's also a great place to link our product if you're selling one. But that can also depend on the price of the product. If it's above $200 or so, people probably aren't likely to buy it after just reading one article. Email list is a better place is so a higher price product. And therefore your email opt-in should be prioritized here. But if you've launched a new podcast or YouTube channel, you can also direct people to that platform to check out other content. You have options here, but try to limit this to one to two actions tops. After you've added your call to action, it's time to publish and promote, which is what we'll talk about in the next lesson. 18. Publish and Promote: Okay, you ready to make your content live? It's time to hit that Publish button. Makes sure that you're publishing new content often at least once or twice a month. If Google SEO is important to you, Google SEO is important because it's free traffic there for the taking. It can take a lot of work, but the rewards are worth it. But whether or not Google SEO is even a big part of your strategy, you'll likely also need another platform or two in your arsenal. The good news is that now that you've created this great piece of content, it's relatively easy to recycle that information for promotion on other platforms. You can create a YouTube video discussing the topic, record a podcast episode, create a few Pinterest pins. Make a few TikTok videos or an Instagram story, write an email and promote it to your audience. Now you don't need and shouldn't do all of these things with every single piece of content that you write. But choose one or two platforms and recycle your content for these platforms. Mixture to add an email opt-in to your articles that people do have an easy opportunity to learn more from you. And lastly, remember to update your content. Almost every piece of content that you write needs to be updated. It's important for Google SEO and just to show your audience that your content is still relevant. And honestly, you'll be surprised at how much things change and even just a year or two, your relationship with your audience will change, the world will change. And all of this impacts what you say and how you say it. Every time I read over a content from even just a year or two ago, I sometimes cringe and think, why did I write that? Well, it seems like a good idea at the time. So anyway, make sure to always update your content at least once every year or two to make sure it's awesome and relevant as possible. Of course, that isn't from 1986, right? You want that updated year to always be displaying on your posts. 19. Consider Page Speed: Hey there, Let's talk about page speed. A bit of a boring topic really, but it is really important. Now if you're just getting started writing content, this actually might not be super important just yet. It's more important when you're optimizing what you're trying to do. Like when you're writing a lot more content, trying to get it to rank in Google, or just trying to generally get more traffic to your website. Page speed. Or rather at the time that it takes content to load for a user is really important because if it is too slow, people are not going to wait and your bounce rates are going to go up. And Google does pay attention to those because they want a really good user experience for their users. Now, many factors are related to page speed and they're gonna be, some of them are gonna be somewhat out of your control honestly, if you aren't a website coder. For example, some website themes out there are much faster or slower than others. This is just due to the coding that was, that was used to build these websites. Many themes are super easy to use and super customizable, but these also tend to be a bit slower. Now, super successful websites with big pockets often have their websites custom-built to maximize the speed and efficiency. But let's talk about the rest of us and some of the things that you can control. Number one is taken care of with the images that you upload to your site. This is the most important. You want to always make sure to re-size images to the lowest file size possible, and then also compress the image to reduce the file size. Then you can upload it to your website. Having too many images or too many really large, high resolution photos will put a serious drag on your page. Now there are tons of free online tools to both resize and compress your images. And I'll leave my favorites in the resources. Something else that you can do is to look into some free plugins that help with PageSpeed. Whether this is for page caching, image loading, there are tons of free plugins out there. I'll also link a few of my favorites in the resources. Then lastly, you can use a page speed tool like Google Page Insights to see what your pages score and see what improvements are recommended. Pagespeed tools can give you a ton of insight, but I warn you right now that's a lot of them probably will go over your head. They do mine anyway. Now I've been down that rabbit hole a few times and I've actually also hired people in the past to help me with PageSpeed because it can get really complicated really fast. Now, I don't want to send you down any rabbit holes today, don't worry. So please don't stress this. If your scores aren't perfect, they're not going to end up being perfect. I've had plenty of success with my websites when the scores weren't great at all. So it's not that big of a deal. I really just want PageSpeed to be something that you are aware of and make sure that you have the tools to check on this from time-to-time. And please do mine the things that you can control, like uploading the images to your website because it's one of the biggest factors impacting speak your page speed. 20. Repurposing Content: Hey, there, Let's talk about repurposing content. Now I touched on this a little bit earlier when I mentioned that after writing an article, you can repurpose it and make a YouTube video, a social story podcast, episode, et cetera. But I also wanted to make sure to emphasize that this also works the other way around. If you have a podcast or YouTube channel, you can also turn that content into an article. I sometimes use the scripts from a YouTube videos and turn them into articles. And every single time I published a new podcast episode, I create a dedicated post on my website for that episode, along with a summary of what was talked about in episode show notes, the links and more. Repurposing content is a really great way to get more content in front of your audience while also saving you a ton of time. Because it takes a lot of time to write a new article from scratch, right? So if you were to create and so an e-book, which I also have another whole course on. By the way, you could also pick out topics from your e-book and you could write content about those subtopics on your website with the purpose of helping to sell your e-book. Remember that a lot of your content will likely have to be updated as well at some point. This can also be another form of repurposing content when you change an article or you add to existing articles just to make them a little bit better. When you do that, you can also send out a new email to your audience and letting them know that you have updated that content and you have even more relevant content to share with them. And especially if all those people that are new to your audience, your email list, and they may have not seen that content before anyway. Another really great way to repurpose content is to use bits and pieces of your best to articles to write in your emails. Now I do this whenever I'm sending out a broadcast about a new article that I've written. And when, whenever I'm creating e-mails for my sales funnels, I talk more about both of those in much greater length in my course on email marketing. But I very often copy bits of my articles into my emails just to save myself a little bit of time. So make sure that you re-purpose this content whenever you can, just to save yourself some time. 21. Guest Posts: Hey there, do you love to write? If so, you might want to consider writing guest posts at some point. I guess post is a post that you write and publish on someone else's blog. You might be thinking, why would I spend my time to publish an article on someone else's blog or website. Especially because you can't repurpose this kind of content. You can write about similar topics, but you can't usually publish that same piece of content on your own website or anywhere else as well. But the biggest reason for doing this is that you actually get a backlink to your website when you post a guest post on someone else's blog. That back link can be very helpful with SEO. One way that bloggers and content writers grow their presence and increase their SEO traffic to their own website is by pitching guests posts to other websites. These backlinks signal to Google that you're a reputable source recommended by other bloggers and websites. And it's not just those, but those backlinks, although they're very important. Publishing content on someone else's website also gives you some additional exposure, exposure to their entire audience. So that person may decide to send out a whole email about your new piece of content or post on social media. That means that some of these people could find their way back to you and your website if they really liked your guest post. That's why it's really important to write high-value pieces of content even though it was published for someone else. Now all of this is a little bit easier said than done. Unfortunately, writing the blog post is one thing, but actually finding good guest post opportunities is another thing entirely. Here are a few tips if you're interested in guest posting. Number one is wait until you have already published a few pieces of content on your own website. You need something to showcase when you're looking for opportunities. Number to decide which posts of your own you want to include that back link to. It depends on the rules set by the website owner you're posting for. But you should be able to link back to at least one or two of your own posts on your own website. Decide which of those two important posts are because they're going to be the ones that are getting all that really good. Seo link juice. Number three, the best way to find guest posting opportunities is to network with others in your niche. Do you have any blogger friends that you can ask? Do you belong to any online communities and your niche that you can ask around in. If not, it's okay. The next best place to find opportunities for guest posting is just by Googling it. Try searching for a guest post opportunities plus your niche or guest post opportunities. Fitness blogger or accepting guest post opportunities for fitness blogger. Try any or all of those examples. Number four, when you're asking to write a guest post for someone, remember what is in it for them. This is often called a pitch because in a way you are pitching your content to them. But it's not just about you. What do you have to offer them? Why is your content so great? Take an extra couple of minutes to personalize the emails or the requests that you send to have a higher chance of someone responding to them. Then number five is don't get discouraged. This is a numbers game. So if you send out 20 requests and you don't hear back, try sending out 20 more or take a break and focus elsewhere like on the networking route. Some websites don't accept guest posts at all. And some of the most popular websites are you probably received ten to 20 requests a day and they might not even open yours. But that is okay. You want to start small here if you need to and work on building your own audience. In the meantime, own PS, guest posting is also something that you can hire out if you want to. I'll talk more about hiring writers soon. Next we'll talk about sponsored posts, which is similar, but it's actually pretty different than guest posts. 22. Sponsored Posts: Okay, Let's talk about sponsored posts. This might be a bit of an odd one to include in the content writing course because with sponsored posts, you weren't actually doing the writing most of the time. Okay. Let's say they've implemented all the strategies in this course and written some super awesome content. I'm very proud of you. You've been on it for awhile, so you're getting some good SEO traffic, also awesome. Or maybe you have other type of channels like YouTube, social media that are bringing in the fans in droves. Either way, let's say that you have an audience at this point, props to you. Once you have a sizable audience, you can offer sponsored posts on your website. Now this is sort of like a guest post in which a piece of content is written and published on someone else's blog. But in this case, other people are doing the writing, the writing that content in their publishing it on your website. And guess what? They're also going to pay you for it. Well, how do I get people to pay me to write content for my blog, win-win-win, Right? It is. You get content to share with your audience. You didn't have to write it and you get paid for it. Well, first of all, it's not that easy, unfortunately, so awesome, but not so easy. Building that audience is definitely the hardest part here. No one is going to want to pay to post your website if you don't have a very large audience to share that with, That's the whole benefit to them. So this does take time, but I wanted to mention it now because I know that some people are very successful, successful with sponsored posts. I've dabbled in it myself with my health blog and earn as much as $750 for one post written from a supplement brand. But some people earn into the thousands for just one vote for one post. Basically, the larger your audiences, the more that you can charge for a sponsored post. The best way to get started with this is to add a brand media kit to your website. This tells others what your website is about, who your audiences and what your reach is. Basically how big your audience is, and where all of that traffic comes from. This helps interested parties to see if your website is a good fit for their brand or content. From here you can look into influencer marketplaces to try to find brands or companies to partner with. Or you could also just get recognized or approached from your own content. So whether that is from your media kit that you put on your website or from someone seeing you on YouTube or TikTok or Instagram or wherever and just wanting to partner with you. Again, this isn't technically content writing yourself, but it is a really, really great way to grow and expand your content writing business. 23. Outsource Content Writing: Hey, there. Did you know that the writing for your website is one of the easiest tasks to hire out to someone else. Your writing is a certain style and voice attached to it, but not an actual voice you can hear or a face that you can see, like with podcasts, episodes, or YouTube videos. Those are very personal types of content and that's why it's much harder to also outsource that kind of content. But writing is obviously a whole different story. Even if someone doesn't have your particular style or voice, which can be pretty hard to find. You can still edit that content to make it more your own and save yourself tons of time. Now this may or may not be of any interest to you, but I wanted to mention it here so that it was at least on your mind, if you're looking to grow your website as part of a business, outsourcing this content writing is one of the easiest and best ways to free up your time to focus on other more important areas of your business. Now, you might be thinking, why did I just learn all of that? If I should consider outsourcing my content writing anyway, I get that. And like I said, you may never want to outsource and that's totally OK. Ok. Although you may have to if you want to grow, but it's still important to understand and know everything that you've learned so far in this course, even if you're going to hire it out. Because you also need to hire someone that can write really well. Some of the concepts in this course that we talked about, like reliability, AB perspective, some of the content, some of the SEO stuff. Of course, it's so important that anyone that you hire out with this task can do these things as well. Now, hiring a good writer can be really difficult because no matter how much of these concepts you tried to explain to them, they're probably never going to write exactly like you do. I've personally found this pretty frustrating over the years as I've gone through multiple writers. I've heard multiple writers for two different websites in different niches. And I've still never found anyone that can write in a way that I want the content to be written. But here are a few tips if you're interested in outsourcing the content writing in your business at some point. Number one, that use a hiring or freelancing platform to easily find tons of writers with great portfolios. Platforms like Upwork and fiber have thousands of contexts. With example, work that you can view. Pricing that you can use to filter for your budget in an easy way to make payments. These are trusted platforms that pair businesses with individuals and freelancers and it's honestly the best place to start unless you already have contacts. This is how I found most of my writers in the past. Number two is to start by finding two to three writers and give them one to two trial articles, each. Make sure that they know that they are just trial articles and give them different topics. So you can get a better idea of what kind of content they can write. Give all of them different topics that you get a lot of content written from this experience, even if you don't end up hiring someone full-time. Number three, find someone that knows at least the basics of SEO. If not more. Many writers that you'll find these days do mention SEO and their skill sets because they know how important it is. But that doesn't mean that they know much more than how important basic keywords are. If you aren't sure, ask what kind of SEO experience they have, this is just even more work off of your plate if you have less to do on the SEO side. Number four, when in doubt, find a balance and do lot of the editing yourself. Like I said, I've never been perfectly happy with any of my writers. But I've also come to terms with that because I also have a budget that I do like to stick to. Perhaps if I looked into the most expensive riders with the most SEO experience, I would have to edit a little bit less. But it found what works for my business and my budget. That is someone who has basic SEO knowledge, knows how to research topics really well and rights in a style that is fairly close to my own. Now I still do quite a bit of editing, but it doesn't take up that much time. And I usually don't have to make any major changes from the content. It's all about that balance that works for you and your budget. So start small with this. And if you aren't sure, you can always change your mind later on. 24. Key Takeaways: Alright, we have covered so much. Honestly writing it be such a bore sometimes, especially if it doesn't come naturally to you. But I encourage you to use the principles and recommendations discussed in this class to find a way to make it more enjoyable for me, learning more about that Abby perspective that we talked about and how to connect better with my audience also lead to more traffic, more e-mail subscribers, and more sales. This is what helped ignite some of the passion that I have for writing. Something else that helps me really start enjoying. It was receiving feedback from my audience, the comments and the e-mail replies that I receive and how much my content resonated with them and helped them. This is what makes, what you're doing is so much more enjoyable and meaningful. Here are a few key takeaways that I want you to remember. Number one, organize and plan out your content ahead of time with a content schedule and outlines number to write a variety of different types of articles that all have different goals. Number three, facts tell, stories, sell, you need facts for credibility and thoughts and feelings were related ability. Number four, remember your AB perspective in writing on a level one versus Level ten. Number five, always do some basic keyword research and SEO for every article. Number six include a call to action in every post. And then number seven, finally, publish regularly and recycled content for other platforms to increase your reach. Are you always want to say thank you so much for being here and choosing me to help you on this journey. If you like this course, please consider taking just a moment to leave me a review. I really do appreciate it from one small business owner to the next. And make sure to check out my other courses on all things online business. And I will see you next time.