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Worth it to invest hundreds into an article?

stevenar22
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Joined: 08 May 08
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Worth it to invest hundreds into an article?

Hey there,

**I initially deleted this post, but decided to repost it and allow other members and staff to respond to it.**

Anyways...

I was studying what MOZ.com teaches about seo. They basically teach people to create content worthy of being at the top of google (rather than mass producing standard articles with no unique value). This seems to make sense, since the geniuses at google spend all their time trying to put the best content at the top.

Another benefit is if you create AMAZING content, you'll get thousands of free and natural links from people who love your stuff. So much of the link building is done for you.

So after considering their advice, I checked my competitors for certain keywords, and I KNOW I can create content way better than what they created... however, it would cost at least a couple hundred.

So now I'm trying to decide if it would be worth it to create content worthy of being #1. I'm sure there's lots of content out there that is way better than the stuff in the top 10, and yet doesn't rank anywhere near it. I'm a little scared would happen to me.

I suppose I would be putting a lot of faith in Google's algorithm.

Has anyone ever tried spending extra money to create the best possible content? Has it ever paid off for someone? Does better content REALLY mean better rankings? Or does it really all come down to who can give themselves the most un-natural backlinks?

Thanks to anyone who replies! :)
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Last edited by stevenar22 on 13 Jan 14 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 

tankctrlr
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Absolutely agree with creating Big/Epic & High-Quality/Helpful content, the days of the general 'article directory' type content are done, don't get me wrong they have their place, they are just not useful for Attracting/Converting visitors.

Think about what content does get the links/likes/tweets/shares, it's NOT 500 word $5.00 articles, it's 2,000+ word $80.00+ content.

Checkout Neil Patel's Trick #9:
http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/12/04/1 ... g-results/
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Last edited by tankctrlr on 17 Jan 14 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

Writing Services - www.needanarticle.com
 
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aletta
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Hey Steve (and Andrew for that matter).

Sorry you didn't get the speedy reply from Mark that you were hoping for. I'm not sure what your question was since you've removed it, but normally if we see a question directed specifically at Mark we'll fire it in his direction so he can respond. He's pretty good about it, but he is a busy dude who's out there making money rather than hanging out on the forum all the time, so he might not get back to you straight away.

Also keep in mind we've been off on Summer vacation the past few weeks, and I'm sure Mark's taking a bit of time off with his family as well. So even a good prod with the sharpest of sticks might not have roused him.

Is there something that someone else can help with? Some of us here know a thing or two as well, and can wield that prodding stick if it does happen to be beyond our ken ;)

Also Andrew: The search function is your friend. Actually it's not all that friendly at all, but if you look at Mark's profile you'll see links to a number of forum posts within the past five years. You've made my jaunty hat droop with sadness...
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cterao
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Based on your title, my initial reaction is that it is not worth it to invest hundreds of dollars in a single article.

Maybe if you're hiring a copywriter to write sales copy or something that is directly related to your conversion rate and revenue...

...but for just a run-of-the-mill content blog post or article, probably not.
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Clayton
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stevenar22
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Decided to rewrite my initial post above since some people have been replying.
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aletta
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I have a site that is basically built on the "if you build it (and it's awesome) they will come" principle. Mostly out of laziness: I built it in 2007 after doing AffiloBlueprint 2.0 with Mark, but I was too lazy to go the hard yards building links. So it just sat there languishing for a long time.

Around mid-2009 it started getting reasonable traffic -- like 5000 visitors a month. I was pretty happy, particularly since I hadn't been doing any work on it. Most of the traffic was from Stumbleupon -- people were sharing and liking my site because I had some particularly link baity items of content. Stumbleupon traffic is pretty worthless from a conversion perspective, in my opinion, but it was getting my site out there in front of people.

From there, traffic kept increasing. A few good educational sites linked to me, and there was lots of sharing happening on social networks. People were sharing my site on forums, Yahoo Answers has sent me a lot of traffic. People were even adding my site to their "blog rolls" on their WordPress blogs, which I think is cute. I get a bit of Pintrest as well (it helps to have good images for this).

Then Panda and Penguin came along, and either gave my site an extra boost (no unnatural backlinks, good user experience, not loaded with ads...), or wiped out the competition who were likely engaging in these practices. Whatever happened, my site started ranking very highly in Google for my "buyer intent" keywords, and it's been up there ever since, and making pretty decent money.

The only downside to this is that it takes a hellova long time to snowball and gather momentum, if you just do it lazy like me. I think it's worth planting the seeds in forums, blogs, ads, wherever else to begin with, and then (assuming your stuff is really shareable) it'll pick up speed and grow naturally.

The other thing that helped me is that I'm in an educational niche, so I was able to pick up valuable backlinks from respected .edu sites, universities and stuff. A lot of faculties will have their own websites, so if your content is really good and worthwhile and useful for their students, you could contact them directly and maybe get powerful links that way.

So in my opinion, it's worth spending money on content if you KNOW that your audience is going to love it. I mean really love it. I would be hesitant to spend big bucks on a pure plain and simple article, but I don't know what you were thinking of doing. I don't think articles are quite as sharable as something like an infographic, or an interactive tool, but it depends on your niche.

Good content doesn't instantly equate to good rankings. Google doesn't instantly know your stuff is awesome. But awesome stuff will eventually start attracting the kinds of behaviours that Google will see as being indicative of good content -- and I think they're only going to get better at spotting that in the future.
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stevenar22
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Awesome!

Thanks Aletta. That is totally helpful. It does seem more safe to do it that way.

I think I'll use this method and take your advice about planting the seed in forums, blogs, etc.. I suppose I'll get myself mentally ready by expecting it to take a year or so to really start rolling.
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aletta
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The other thing with creating content you're really proud of, and you think people will find really genuinely useful, is.... you don't feel bad about promoting your site. You don't feel like you're spamming people, or trying to get away with something. You can be pretty sure people will actually appreciate the heads up.

This makes it a lot easier to be motivated about getting out there and planting those seeds.

But like I said... I'd want to be really sure that people would want it before investing super big bucks.
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stevenar22
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Ya that's totally true! That's actually the main reason I want to use this method. I feel much better creating really awesome stuff that truly helps people. And if it makes more money in the process, then awesome!

I don't know if you want to tell me this... But I was wondering what kind of optin rates do you get with your content?

I have a few products and I have an idea of what kind of conversion rates I get from optin pages, but I'm really new to SEO and I don't know what kind of conversions to expect from traffic coming from SEO. I would suspect it's quite a bit lower.

Any kind of rough estimate you could give me would be very helpful!
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aletta
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By "opt-in" do you mean sales?

I can tell you that the conversion rate for my link-bait items is largely non-existent ... somewhere around 1 in 5000 people I send to the merchant, and that "1" is just because I randomly made a sale this morning. The people who really love these things are not the people who are interested in buying the products I'm promoting.

For my review pages, 20% of visitors to those pages will click through to the merchant, and 1 in 30 of those clicks will result in a sale. Only about 5% of visitors to my best pages come from my link bait items.

I don't particularly care that the link bait doesn't convert directly, because I believe it's popularity helps raise the rankings of the pages that do make sales. But if you could create content that was fascinating to the people who ARE actually interested in buying... that would be even better.
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aletta
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I should add: It's not really about where the traffic comes from. It's about what the visitor is looking for when they arrive.

Stuff where people are just looking for entertainment, or some interesting factoid, or something fun to play with ... not so high converting, regardless of traffic source. Stuff where people are clearly already interested in buying... high converting, regardless of traffic source.
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stevenar22
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Oh ok. Thanks for the info. I thought you had a optin box somewhere on those pages to capture emails... that's what I meant. :)

I suppose you have banners up, or links to your review pages. I'm mainly trying to get optins because I'm self promoting my own golf product.

Anyways, that info is insanely valuable. I now have a much clearer strategy in mind because of you. You rock. Thanks!
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stevenar22
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I've got one more question. This probably has been asked before here... sorry about that.

But with the past few google updates they have really trying to punish people with unnatural backlinks. Have you found that hurt any of your sites that used the article submission and directory submission methods for link building?
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aletta
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I don't do any article submission or directory submission. I did a bit way back in 2007, but then I got lazy. If anything, I got a boost in rankings/traffic after Penguin -- I'm guessing because my un-lazy competitors got smacked. Being lazy had its advantages in that I didn't have the unnatural backlink profile that other more gung-ho sites had.
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kallayprasanth05
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Yes Aletta, but at the same time submission to high quality directories does help our cause in a professional manner. Quality matters the most!
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gorman.mi
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tankctrlr wrote:Absolutely agree with creating Big/Epic & High-Quality/Helpful content, the days of the general 'article directory' type content are done, don't get me wrong they have their place, they are just not useful for Attracting/Converting visitors.

Think about what content does get the links/likes/tweets/shares, it's NOT 500 word $5.00 articles, it's 2,000+ word $80.00+ content.

Checkout Neil Patel's Trick #9:
http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/12/04/1 ... g-results/

I would actually go much further to say the days of low-value articles is completely dead, nobody wants to read dross, or spun text-we all have little time enough as it is, who in their right mind would waste 20 minutes trying to read a spun article some fool has posted to trick the algorithm, no one that's who-i think you need to focus very squarely on producing the very best quality of anything online these days, it is real out there!
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