Build A Successful Blog Using The Keyword Marketing Model Step-By-Step

Build A Successful Blog Using The Keyword Marketing Model Step-By-Step


The goal of this article is to be a very long and in-depth guide to absolutely every piece of building a successful blog using the keyword marketing model. From not even having an idea to being fully running

This guide is still growing so check back frequently!


Section 1: Prologue

What is a blog?

Web + Log = Blog. These terms began merging together from 1997 to 1999 to become the slang term we know today. It was originally described as a noun or verb meaning “to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog”. To give you a frame of reference, American Online was on top of the world in the mid-nineties.

While the origins of “Blog” could mean pretty much every site on the internet, it has grown to have a very niche meaning. When someone says “blog”, they are usually thinking it is a personal project where that person is talking about their life. You would never think of a high-end content machine delivering you world class info as a blog, but it certainly could be.

At the end of the day, a blog is an online location that has recorded information on any topic whether news, editorial, reference or other.

How do blogs make money?

Blogs make money in several different ways but the main categories are:

1. Advertising – showing ads on your site

A top ad service to use is Google Adsense because it is so easy to implement and use. You get paid with a mix of PPV, PPC, PPA (pay-per-view, click, take action) but that all happens behind the scenes and you just see a daily earnings total. You add their code to your site and you are done. There are other services out there that have different pros and cons, but Google is a great place to start. More on this later.

Sponsored posts fall into this category which is where people pay you to put up an article. They like this because it gets them eyeballs and a backlink and it tends to live forever.

2. Affiliate Income – earn a percentage on selling a product or service.

There are many different affiliate services out there but a major player is the Amazon Affiliate Program. By doing this, say you talk about a cool product in your niche, and below it you put a link to the amazon product but with a unique code for you tied to the URL. If someone clicks on that link and buys the product, you earn a % of the sale cost (around 2 – 8% depending on the product category). More on this later too.

3. Business Services – people pay you a fee in exchange for a service.

Another example could be offering business services. Maybe you talk all about SEO in your blog. Once there people can book a personal SEO evaluation with you for $100 an hour.

In this scenario, you need to set up your own payment pricing setup that will go from easy to robust. You can always get started very easily by just throwing the “Paypal now” button up.

You are getting more into the driver’s seat with this kind of revenue. Make sure you are thinking about your taxes and if your site is storing any sensitive financial information. If you use the right 3rd party service, they will help with all this.

4. A Completely Different Thing – when blogging is just marketing for something else.

Writing blog content to bring users into an ecosystem doesn’t have to be a business model in itself, it could just be promotion for something else.

Let us pretend you are selling tickets to the horror clown thriller film franchise IT. Your team knows this is going on for years so you create this whole about clown paranormal activity and lore. Someone comes through getting some satisfying scary clown lore and at the bottom you get the message “IT 2 is playing in this theatre near you, you should buy a ticket.”

You have no plans to utilize advertising, sell anyone else’s product or anything, you just want to get eyeballs from a relevant audience on your thing.

What is the keyword marketing model?

“Keywords” are things people put in search bars. They could be as short as “newborns”, or something much longer like “what is the difference between the keyword marketing model and the influencer model” or anything in between.

The keyword marketing model is building content with the sole focus of targeting very specific search terms. You want to look for search terms that do not have a competition but has some search volume (more on keyword research later).

The more specific the keyword or mix of keywords the better. You then reverse engineer that term to build the best article possible to solve that problem or answer that question. Search engine optimization is the cornerstone of this strategy and the tips given out here go hand in hand with its best practices.

Keyword Marketing Model Vs Influencer Model

The Influencer model is all about building an audience and then marketing to that audience. Putting out content while trying to ride waves of virality. Socials and your connection with people is much more important than how your pieces rank in search. While there are exceptions to everything, keyword marketing is a steady march while influencer is a wild roller coaster that you may or may not be able to ride.

How do you spend your time?

With keyword, you really want to put most resources into generating content that can live for a long time. You either need some incredibly long and high quality content or you need lots of articles targeting easier keyword targets. This is a grind, every article is a reliable step closer to your goal. Socials are important enough to put some effort into (because it is a signal of your brand) but it is not your main source of traffic.

With influencer, you really want to put most resources into building your audience. You want to focus on one platform so you can strive to be the best. This could be a social platform, a newsletter and even a microsite/forum within a different community. You need to put out content but it is less about building things that will stand over time and more about satisfying your audience right now.


Section 2: Figuring Out Your Site

Now that you have some background information, the first thing you need to do is figure out what your site is going to be about. This needs to be a mix of something you are passionate about and something that is lacking in coverage out there. You can go after a highly competitive topic, but just know you are going to have to do whatever it takes to be the absolute best in that space. The higher the competition the more likely the higher rewards if you conquer it.

The Niche-yer The Better

The balance you need to find is specific enough to dominate any one area but broad enough so you can write many many articles about it. Ideally, there are also lots of expensive products you can sell in connection with your topic.

Take the example of Board Games. It is more specific than “gaming” which is more specific than “fun activities” or “hobbies”, but also broad enough to write about 1000s of articles about from “how to play game 1” to “games like game 1” to “game 1 review” to “top 10 gamey board games”. There are hundreds of board games and lots of articles to write about each one.

A good rule of thumb when picking your topic is to think, would you be able to write 200 different articles about this topic. You do not have to be married to your specific niche and lines do blur, but starting here will get you going on your research.

Keyword Research

When determining what you are going to talk about, you want to do lots of keyword research. This is where you look into stats behind different topics to see if they have a high volume of people searching for them and what the competition is like for those eyeballs.

Remember those 200 article ideas from a few paragraphs ago, start a spreadsheet and put some of them down. Get a good mix of things you will be top cornerstones, quicker one offs, the short, the long, etc. The idea is that you explore the different sizes and reaches of your planned content so you can start seeing if you have a worthwhile audience in front of you.

Competitor Research

You need to look at who else is in your proposed space and make sure you can do all or some of it better than them.

Revenue Potential – The TAM Of It

TAM stands for total addressable market, your potential pool of customers. This is important because no matter what you go into, you need to make sure the pie is big enough so that the slice you get for yourself is big enough to make your work meaningful.

Sales & Marketing Funnel

The sales and marketing funnel is a visualization of how your viewers (ie your customers) come into your ecosystem, like if they clicked a link on an external site, and how they leave, maybe you sold them a product and they walk away satisfied. Because of the nature of these flows, this visualization looks like a funnel.

Section 3: Build

Container / Filling / Fridge

You need 3 things to successfully “build” a site. You need the actual website (container), some content that will go onto that website (filling) and the place it will live ie your host (fridge). Each one is going to inform the other so you should strive to launch as soon as possible (like 40% into the process) so you can then revise. If you wait until you have everything perfect, you will never launch. If you put something down, you can see what works and what doesn’t, making changes until you are happy.

Site Platform For You – WordPress

There are lots of different methods for getting a site onto the internet but that is for another article. This article’s recommendation is to go with self hosting WordPress. It is the intersection of the easiest and most powerful.

Finding The Right Hosting

There are lots of different methods for getting a site onto the internet but that is for another article. This article’s recommendation is to go with hosting for your WordPress site with Sitegrounds. It is built for hosting WordPress and comes with a great speed and optimization plugin built to work with it. They have great rates and the way they bill is great for this website model.

It is not a great idea to use any of those free WordPress themes, they look exactly the value of what you paid for them. By stepping up your price point to just $50 – $100 you can really get something that is high professional and customizable for all your needs.

Theme Forest is a wonderful director to find everything you need.

Choose And Purchase Your URL

A lot of thought should be put in to your site’s name and a big chunk of that is whether the URL is available.

Branding is important but not as important with keyword marketing. Who you are is important but people finding you and what you have to say is far more important. If you can get a keyword into your URL without being cheesy it will help your SEO. If you talk about board games, a URL like “BoardGamesJimmy.com” is a positive. Find a balance between unique branding, being informative and it not being too long.

Wherever you settle on getting hosting, it does make it easier if you also buy your URL but this is by no means required. It is not a lot of work to link these two things and the deals out there vary dramatically.

We are going to throw out the recommendation of getting your URLs from GoDaddy.com because they often give you big discounts on your initial purchase in the hopes that you stay with them for years and/or buy other products.

Bring It All Together To Create V1

Once you have your hosting, your site URL, the WordPress files and your theme files, you can now put them all together to get a live and functioning site up. This is the container you will fill up with content.

Install WordPress Files on Sitegrounds Hosting

You need to actually get the basic WordPress files onto the hosting, then you can go to your site where the base files and WordPress will bloom based on how you want to grow it.

  1. Log in to SiteGrounds. Go to “websites” and click “+ add new site”
  2. Choose if you have the domain with them, somewhere else, or want a temp
  3. Follow the wizard steps to type in info about your site and click finish
  4. It will take a few minutes but your site will be set up. Navigate to the “site tools” of that new website.
  5. In the top corner of the panel is “Install & Manage WordPress”, click on it.

Connect Your Sitegrounds Hosting And GoDaddy URLs

The task you are doing here is pointing the URL at the hosting “name servers”. You copy and paste two different numbers from one into boxes on the other. This method is pretty standard across any host / URL scenario, it is just the individual settings of these sites that may be different. Here is connecting Sitegrounds hosting to your GoDaddy URL step-by-step:

  1. Log in to SiteGrounds. Go to websites -> site tools of the individual site.
  2. On the dashboard, you will see “name serves” and two IP addresses.
  3. In another window log in to Godaddy. Go to the domains -> find yours -> click “DNS”
  4. Scroll a bit down to see a “name servers” section, click the change button
  5. Go back to the site grounds page to copy those name servers into Godaddy
  6. Click save/done and wait a bit. Now going to the URL will show what’s live on hosting.

Install and Active Custom WordPress Theme

  1. Log onto your site WordPress panel by going to http://www.YOURSITE.com/wp-admin
  2. On the dashboard to the left, click Appearance -> Theme
  3. All the themes you currently have installed are here, click “add new”
  4. Do not look at the directory that came up, click “upload theme”
  5. This will prompt you to add a .zip folder package. The download of the files you received from your ThemeForest purchase are in that zip format. Choose and upload.
  6. If successful, your theme will show up in your installed options from before. If it is not already “activated” here, you will need to click activate.

Customize Site Settings

Setup Theme Customization

Each theme you buy and install is going to have lots of features. Pro, you have tons of freedom and options, Con, there is a lot to set up and decisions to make before you can get started.

Internal Linking System

Your internal linking system is how the pages within your site are linked and how they flow together. Keeping moving around within your ecosystem is always a good thing and that flow is also important for SEO.

Plugins

Plugins are deep packages of software that complete a task and can be added to your WordPress site. If your site is Mr. Potato Head, plugins are the eyes, the mouth or any other accessory you plugged into him to make him who he is.

Google Trifecta

After a long time of inserting codes, Google has come out with a plugin called Site Kit to easily integrate Google Analytics, Google Adsense and Google Search Console into your site.

Security

Having security is one of the most essential things you need to do. WordPress is open source so people are constantly looking for ways to take advantage and target vulnerable sites. The recommendation this article makes is Word Fence. The free product does everything you need it to do and it does it on the free tier.

Speed

There are plugins that specifically help with speed and optimization. You are going to want one of these. These handle everything from how the pieces of your site load to what resolution your images are displayed at. Here are some of the players in the game:

  • SG Optimizer
  • Rocket Speed

Social Media

One of the biggest effects social media accounts can have in the keyword marketing model is a signal to outside partners. Say you talk about board games and do reviews. If you have 8,000 Twitter followers, a publisher who has games they want to promote is going to look at that and think, this person is legit I want to work with them. If you are writing about a game and post it on your socials with a tag to the publisher, that is a direct way to get them to notice you.

Think about where your audience is and try to be there. The most important thing, is that whatever social media platforms you choose, you need to own it and do the best. If you have the option to be sub-par on everything or fantastic on just one thing, be fantastic. The overall theme in this entire article is extreme focus and that should be no different with how you approach social media.

Yes, just like with the influencer model, a bigger audience means more clicks on links you share, but get that focus out of your head. You are building content to be searched for on Google and other search engines, be laser-focused on that. If you logically think about followership, social media visitors are fickle and just bounce around while people who search for something are on a mission to solve that problem. Since your content is about solving problems (a good article on a topic), these people are your friends.

Section 4: Launch Site To The World

Your site is live, you have some content in there and everything is working how you think it should. You are now ready to get it out into the world and build its authority.

Arguably the most important aspect of SEO is building backlinks. A backlink is when a related site points back to you with a link, preferably in a way that makes you seem like a topic expert. This mechanic was how google changed the search game. By assigning importance to search results based on the number of these Google was able to deliver unparalleled quality. You need to get your number of backlinks up, and quality matters, to build your authority and rank higher in results.

Marketing Tech Stack

Your marketing tech stack is all the different pieces of third-party software you use to perform different tasks that help your operations or ability to connect with customers. This are going to really help your efforts so look into them early. Here are some examples:

Communication External and/or Internal – Slack, Discord

Email Marketing – MailChimp, Send in Blue

Project Management – Jira, Trello, Asana, ClickUp, Monday

Social Media Management – Hootsuite, Sprout Social

Spreadsheets / Cloud Drive / Collab docs – Google

Design – Abobe, Canva

Contact Everyone

Every email you have is a potential opportunity. Find a way to reach out to everyone in a personalized way. You need to present value and you need to go out of your way to make sure you are not coming across like spam. People are very hesitant to trust any email that comes in from someone they do not know. Be someone real.

Section 5: Next Steps

Keep A Steady Pace

Are you ready to put 2 or 3 years into this at a steady pace? If you are looking to get rich quick, this is not for you. This is a steady climb up a hill, a tried and true formula that takes a lot of grinding.

You may get lucky with an article here and there, but you will never be successful until you have a big library of content. This means lots of writing. It works because the people that actually do the work and don’t burn out do see returns on their effort.

Take it one article at a time. Set a realistic weekly goal for yourself. Even if it is 1 per week, at least you will be moving forward, building your library and staying “active” (important for SEO).

Your article size should be specific to what you are doing and never hold you back, but a good rule of thumb is over 600-700 words to be considered an article and have higher value.

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