What you will learn
Ah, the good old days of article networks. I remember, we used to rank clients within 2 weeks for crazy keywords and triple their traffic overnight.
There was no penguin, no link penalty, it was EASY. Seriously, if only I knew…
If I knew what I know now back then, I’d probably have a pool of coins like uncle scrooge and not be writing this post right now (sorry :().
We were so good at ranking stuff we outranked nascar.com for the keyword NASCAR during the entire season with one of our clients. That keyword alone was responsible for tens of thousands of hits per day.
Clients were thrilled to see the blue line go up right, and we were super proud (and cocky).
But here’s the kicker, what we were doing was actually resulting in very little revenue. Why ? Because landing pages and content was the least of our worries. Customers ? Who’s that ?
Our only focus was on ranking and getting more traffic. No matter what…
“You can’t pay your bills in unique visitors”
But here’s one thing I’ve said a few times but I think deserves to be repeated: You can’t pay your bills in unique visits, backlinks or social shares. At the end of the day, one of the main reasons we do online business is to generate income.
To do that, you need to not just drive traffic to your pages, but also convince your visitors to take action and buy. Sure, you could make some money from Adsense and other ad networks, but the real money is in making sales.
And let’s be honest, this is where most “SEO’s” and online marketing experts drop the ball.
Making sales is a very different skill set and challenge and most organic traffic people never get to worry about that. Or they try to solve the lack of sales with a need for more traffic.
That’s why I love reading PPC blogs and learning from paid traffic guys. They’re not trying to spend more on traffic, they’re trying to get more out of what they already have.
And that’s exactly the attitude you should have as an authority site owner. You can drive significant income from a fairly low amount of visitors if you do the right thing with your traffic.
You Might Also Like: How To Make Money Blogging: What We Can Learn From 23 Successful Bloggers
The Solution Oriented Content
Nowadays, consumers are starting to buy very differently. They don’t just take the word of their local store’s salesman when they make a purchase anymore.
They have the power of the internet at their fingertips to look for trustable expert advice without the need to talk to anyone (especially not a biased sales person).
As an online authority, your incentives are different.
Sure, making a sale is great but with affiliate programs being so widespread now, you can give genuine advice and help people pick the true best solution for themselves while getting paid.
No matter what they buy.
Plus, this is scalable as you’re using content that can be consumed again and again to solve the same problem many people may face.
Your goal really is to take people from wherever they are to the point where they make a purchase decision (and I’m about to show you how in a minute).
You have the opportunity to be that neutral 3rd party people rely on to make decisions and take your cut of every sale you generate without having to handle customer service or one on one communication.
Obviously, if you want to build this for the long term (which we advise), you should always stay true to yourself and advise the best solution to your audience (not necessarily the one that pays the most).
Our results using this kind of content
The reason we’re talking about it is because we’ve used that kind of content on Authority Hacker already despite the fact that our SEO traffic is still tiny (we’re barely 6 months old).
We’ve produced content such as the formatting guide or the content upgrade guide promoting quality products such as Thrive Architect (read the review) and our conversion rate has been through the roof.
Because we showed people we were actual users and what was possible with that piece of software. We took the time to educate without pressuring the sale. That lead 392 people to make a purchase earning us $15,130.70
Am I saying that to brag ? Nope.
I don’t even think it’s an incredible figure but given the low traffic on this site, this proves the concept. Plus, all the traffic to these pages was generated via email.
This means that if we manage to rank these pages on Google, we’ll be able to generate a decent passive income using both the autoresponder and organic traffic from this content.
Do you want to do the same for your site ?
Then keep reading.
Keyword Types For Solution Oriented Content
Since I know you guys worry about keywords, yes, keywords are important for this kind of content but it doesn’t mean all the traffic needs to be SEO. Your email list is a massive asset when it comes to pushing this kind of content.
Here is a list of keyword types that work well with this kind of content:
- Best X (best podcast microphone)
- How to X (how to create a podcast)
- X tutorial (podcast montage tutorial)
- What is X (what is a condenser microphone)
- X Review (Audio Technica AT20 Review)
- X for Y (best podcast microphone for mac)
- X vs Y (Audio Technica AT20 vs Blue Yeti Pro)
If you need more info on monetizable keywords, I suggest you listen to our podcast with Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits and creator of Long Tail Pro as well as this quick tutorial to find highly monetizable keywords in 5 minutes.
The 7 Steps Of A High Converting Solution Oriented Blog Post
How to use this guide
- Brainstorm a product you could promote on your existing or future site (it needs to be something you stand by).
- Read each step then click on the example link to understand how this tactic was used in a real life situation.
- If you can’t find the corresponding tactic on the example post, read the box again until you find it.
- Write the associated part of the post for it
- When you’re done, post a link to it in the comment section for feedback ;).
Obviously, all the steps are not necessary every single time but try to follow this layout as closely as possible.
#1 – TELL A STORY & QUALIFY YOURSELF
- Prove your legitimacy
- Show yourself to increase trust
- Build report
- Story telling
- Open loops
- Humor / Entertainment
- Emotional appeal
While most people start their content by putting strong CTA’s to the offer they’re promoting or their product. I think it’s the wrong way to go. What you want to do initially is separate yourself from all the crap pages people will already have consulted on the topic.
Your goal is to both prove you’re a legit source of information when it comes to solving that issue and to make the reader identify with you using humor and story telling. I even know people putting personal pictures to get people to relate to them.
You really want to get warm & fuzzy here and share your personal view of things, frustrations and hopes.
This part doesn’t need to be long, but it needs to hook the reader.
#2 – EMPHASISE & AMPLIFY THE PROBLEM
- Make people take conscience of the problem
- Increase the discomfort caused by the problem to the point where the reader will take action
- Prove that if they do nothing, the problem will only get worse
- Authority quotes
- Real life “horror stories”
- Official statistics & graphs
- Emotional appeal
- Future visualisation
- Logical & emotional arguments.
Now that you’ve qualified yourself and appear as genuine to your reader, it’s time to rub salt in the wound.
If you want your reader to take action, you need to exacerbate the pain caused by the issue you’re talking about and you need to make them understand that today is the best day to take action and fix it (under your supervision).
If you don’t go through this, most people will stay passive, consume your content and not take action (buy the product). It’s not good for you (you don’t get paid) and it’s not good for them (they don’t solve their problem).
Just make sure that the solutions you are going to recommend are actually helpful to your readers.
Post where we use that tactic: Should You Outsource Content Production? (and 4 Ways to Find Awesome Writers)
#3 – ELICIT THE “IDEAL” THEORITICAL SOLUTION
- Demonstrate your understanding of the problem.
- Qualify your solution to your reader before you present it to them.
- Relieve the “pressure” from the previous step and associate it with a potential solution.
- Ideal feature lists
- Crunchy details and anecdotes.
- Retorical questions
This step is where many people mess up. They start selling the solution already. That’s not what this step is for. This step is here to break down the anatomy of what the absolute perfect solution would be.
What are the most important features should your reader be looking for ?
What are the special little things most people overlook but they shouldn’t?
Is there a checklist of things to go through before going forward with adopting the perfect solution ?
These are the things you want to go through in this phase. You want your prospect to say yes, this is what I need without being sold anything yet. It makes the whole thing a lot less pushy and threatening.
But subconsciously, you’re getting your prospects to already say yes to the solution you’re about to present them later in a non pressured environment. Now that’s gold.
You basically want to finish that part with something that says “If only something like that existed, that problem would be gone for good”.
Post where we use that tactic: Opt-in Pop ups, the good, the bad and the ugly (and 1 tip to make them 300% more effective)
#4 – REAL LIFE EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WHO SOLVED THE PROBLEM / DO IT RIGHT
- Show how good life is for the people who solved the problem.
- Give a glimpse of the solution applied to a real life situation.
- Make people jealous and want it.
- Case studies
- External links
This step doesn’t necessarily need to be very long. The goal is to show that people like your reader have overcome the issue and how overcoming the issue helps them in their every day life.
You want to make your reader envious while ego baiting the people you’re putting under the spotlight.
By showcasing others that solved the issue, you show the theoretical solution can actually happen in real life, now making your reader eager to catch up.
Additionally, showcasing real life examples of people that have solved the problem is a great ego bait. You can then email these people and tell them they’ve been showcased on your site.
Very often they’ll be happy to share/link to your post, giving your some extra SEO mojo.
#5 – CASE STUDY BEFORE & AFTER
- Show the difference between before and after the solution implementation
- Get people to project themselves implementing the solution
- Present the product you endorse
- Proof pictures & videos
- Story telling
- In text links to the product
Ideally this would be your experience and how you implemented the solution to fix the problem for yourself.
You really want to give the details and the personal experience you went through, the little details, the quirks, what went wrong and importantly the wins you experienced.
This both gives you credibility for being able to advise on solving the problem and gives an idea of the difference the solution you’re advising to implement can make to someone in real life.
Any prop you can use, screenshots, photos, stats are big bonuses and help you stand out from the crowd of websites that will never have their hands on the product they recommend and look genuine to your readers.
This step is the occasion to both grow the trust your readers have in you and in the solution you’re telling them to buy. You may start introducing in text contextual links to the solution/product at this phase (and not before).
Example of posts where we use that tactic: The Non Techie Step By Step Plan To Improving Your Website Loading Speed (And How I Increased Ours By 22 Points In 5 Hours)
#6 – STEP HOW TO GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTATION
- Demonstrate the real life implementation of your suggested solution
- Add a 2nd call to action for the product
- Show you’ve had your hands on the product (build legitimacy)
- Step by step instructions
- Demo videos
- Explainer graphic
- PDF’s & Handouts
Now you’ve teased them enough, they’re ready to take action. It’s time to give them the no brainer step by step plan to going from where they are now to the point where you got by doing the same thing.
Be very practical, implement the solution in real life and film it if possible, you can then post the video on youtube and generate extra traffic and revenue from it. Plus, you can embed it on your post for extra experience and credibility.
As you detail the steps to take, of course, link to the products & solutions you’re trying to sell each time you mention them. Usually this is where people are already sold and click through to buy without thinking twice.
Don’t offer alternatives or debates here. Only show them the products you recommend for this tutorial.
Posts where we use that tactic: The Practical Step by Step Twitter Growth Guide (And a Hack To “Automate” Relationship Building)
#7 – RE EMPHASISE THE PROBLEM AND ADD A FINAL CTA
- Get the reader to click through to the offer.
- Summarise the content of the post.
- Bring pain back to get the reader to take action.
- CTA Buttons
Most readers will have already clicked on your solution link at this point but if they didn’t, this step should make them do so.
This is when you can be a little less subtle about things and use a big call to action button like the one you see bellow this box. See how big it is ? Don’t go any smaller (I recommend Thrive Architect for these and all the fancy formatting you’ve seen in this post).
Use this occasion to summarise everything you’ve talked about and rub some more salt on the wounds to push people to really take action before delivering your final call to action.
Your call to action should be the last thing on that post so there’s no confusion possible.
The next step IS to go get the solution. Nothing else.
Posts where we use that tactic: Buzzstream Review & Outreach Link Building Tutorial
Here you have it, my complete guide to selling with solution based blog posts.
If you build your posts that way, your posts will not only have pages that actually generate income, you’ll have pages that can rock Google’s world. Think about it for a second. With this kind of content you get:
- A page with a ton of content (completing each step requires a fair amount of words)
- A page you can link build through ego bait, video and image posting around the web etc
- Keyword rich content because you talk in length about the issue, problem and solution.
- Very good user metrics, low bounce rate, social shares etc.
Actually, I’ve done that for my Buzzstream review & outreach link building tutorial. The result ? The post shot straight to #1 on Google for it’s keyword because it was such a content heavy piece and outdid the competition by a large margin. No links needed here.
Do you have any question or suggestion to improve this process ? Let me know in the comment section!