Now that we know what traffic is and where it comes from, how keywords give visitors a way to find us, and what SEO really means to us, we’re ready to get into content creation.
Creating content could really be an entire course all by itself. It’s that important.
Because we never actually meet our visitors. Our content is the only way we can connect with them. All the keywords and SEO in the world won’t get you anywhere if they aren’t part of something.
To build a successful online business, we need visitors. We then need to turn those visitors into customers. Whether that means selling them our own product, directing them to someone else’s product that we promote, or providing a service, we need them to become our customer.
And we do that by connecting with them through our content.
You Content Is Your Greatest Tool
An online business is very different from a physical, “brick-and-mortar” business. The biggest difference is that you don’t see your customers, and they don’t see you.
But you still need to connect with them in a way that creates trust. If they don’t trust you, they certainly won’t buy from you.
Since we don’t meet our customers, we need to create that trust with our content. We need to connect with them through our content.
Connecting with them doesn’t mean becoming best friends and exchanging birthday cards. It simply means giving our website a human voice.
If you went to a website that was full of facts, but incredibly boring, what would you think? I’m guessing you wouldn’t like it very much, and wouldn’t spend much time there.
But if you found a website that had the same facts, except they were presented in a way that sounded like someone explaining it to you personally, or telling a story, you’d probably like that a lot better.
That’s what I mean by connecting with our visitors. We can’t talk AT them. Even though it is a written page, it should still be treated as a discussion. Write as if you were talking to a friend, and your content will connect with people. By connecting with people you don’t sound like someone trying to sell a product. Instead, you sound like someone trying to help.
When you’re helpful, people are more likely to listen when you suggest what to buy.
Don’t think the approach matter? Let’s look at that a little closer. We’ll use an example that almost everyone can relate to.
The Used-Car Salesperson
I know care salespeople get a bad rap. But they’re just doing their job and trying to make a living. To work from home and make money online, you are basically going to do the same thing they are.
There are a lot of different types of salespeople, and if you’ve ever bought a used car you’ve probably dealt with a few of them.
Let’s take a look at how different salespeople approach a potential buyer, then we’ll discuss the different tactics.
Type 1 – “Mr. Matter-Of-Fact”
Maybe you’ve dealt with this guy before. You meet him when you’re standing near a car that caught your eye.
He approaches and says, “That’s an ’05 Toyota Camry. It’s got 42,000 miles. Been well cared for. Still has almost 60,000 miles on the original warranty. We can get you into that car for $10,000. How about it?”
Not very personable, is he?
Type 2 – “The Hard Sell”
This type also approaches you when you are looking at something that caught your eye.
“That’s a great car! One of my favorites on the lot! Low mileage, good condition, great price. How about a test drive? I can have the paperwork ready when you get back!”
Slow down, Pushy!
Type 3 – “I’m Your New Best Friend”
This type has a more casual approach. He might come up to you when you’re looking at a car. But more likely he’ll make sure to approach while you’re walking from one car to the next. He does this intentionally so he looks more focused on you than the sale.
“How are you doing today? We’ve got some great deals right now. If anything catches your eye, make sure to let me know. I can get you all the details, and see if we can manage an even better deal. See anything you like?”
Take a breath, buddy! I haven’t even had a chance to tell you I’m doing pretty good or ask how your day is going.
Type 4 – “The Normal Guy”
This type could approach you anywhere. At a car. Walking across the lot. He doesn’t care.
Him – “Hey, how’s it going?”
And he gives you time to answer. “Pretty good. How are you?”
“I can’t complain. My name’s Joe, by the way.” He holds out his hand.
You shake his hand. “I’m Nathan.” (Well, that’s what I’d say, anyway)
Him – “Nice to meet you. You live around here?”
You – “Yeah. Just the other side of town.”
Him – “Oh, nice! So what brings you in to see us today?”
You – “I was thinking about buying a car, but haven’t made my mind up yet.”
Him – “Well, we’ve got plenty of cars. Used ones over this way. New ones over there. Anything particular in mind?”
You – “Not yet. Just looking right now.”
Him – “Alright, sounds good. If you see something you like or have any questions, feel free to ask.” Holds out his hand again.
You shake his hand again. “I’ll do that. Thanks.”
He walks away. Never talked about a specific car. Never tried to push a sale. Never assumed you were ready to buy. All this guy did was strike up a conversation and offer to help.
Your Approach Matters
Which one of these salespeople would you prefer to work with?
Hands down, Type 4 – The Normal Guy. Am I right?
He was polite.
He was genuinely interested in you.
He was helpful.
He wasn’t pushy.
He didn’t even bring up buying a car. You did! After all, you could have just been killing time wandering the lot while you were getting your oil changed!
What he did was connect with you by acting like a human being instead of a salesman. The last time I went to buy a car I was first approached by a Type 2 Hard Seller. He got about halfway through how much he loved the car I was looking at before I cut him off and said, “If you love it so much, buy it. But leave me alone.”
I didn’t want to be rude, but he started it!
When we are thinking about buying something, especially something as big as a car, we want time to look around and consider our options before someone tries to shove a sale down our throat.
Well, I was approached about 10 minutes later by a Type 4 Normal Guy. He asked how I was. Introduced himself. Asked if I had any questions. Then he followed me around while I looked at what was available.
The whole time we talked he never once mentioned the cars, even when I stopped to look at one, unless I specifically asked him a question about it.
We just had a friendly conversation that spanned the weather, our kids, and came around to the fact that we were both living in and working on a “fixer-upper” home.
That salesman got the sale. I still talk to him every time I see him when I bring my car in for oil changes.
And when I decide to buy my next car, I will buy it from him, even if that means I have to go back because he isn’t there the day I first go in to look.
He earned a lifelong customer by being helping and talking WITH me instead of talking AT me.
You can do the same thing with your content.
Helpful Content Leads To Sales
By creating content that helps people, you connect with them. When you connect with people, they begin to trust you. When people trust you, they are more willing to take your advice when you suggest they buy something.
So how do you help people without being a pushy car salesman?
By offering different types of content.
If you want to make money online, it’s obvious that you have to sell something. But you can’t fill your website with sales pages. When every page is full of “Buy This” or “Purchase Here” buttons, you become a pushy salesperson and no one wants to deal with that.
Instead, you provide pages of helpful content that lead to your sales pages.
This website (and this very lesson) is a prime example.
My website is centered around helping people who want to work from home and make money online.
Even my sales pages are helpful information. They are reviews of products and programs that can help you learn what you need to know to be successful online.
But not every page is a sales page.
Take this lesson, for example. My goal in this lesson is to outline the different types of content you can create, and how those different types of content determine if you’re a pushy salesperson, or a helpful resource that people actually want to buy from. That’s very important information if you hope to be successful with an online business.
But this lesson isn’t the “be-all-end-all” of content creation. To teach everything there is to know about creating effective content this website would have to be MASSIVE! I would also need a team of people working on it and maintaining it with me. That’s why this course is called “Basic Training”. I can cover the basics and show you how to get started. By doing that, I give you the help you were looking for when you found my site.
After helping you, I point you to my sales page. I do that by saying, “If you really want to learn everything about content creation and building a successful business online, check out my Wealthy Affiliate Review. It is the same training I used to get started, and I still learn new things from them every day.”
I haven’t asked you to buy anything yet. What I’ve done is given you some information, then pointed you in the direction of even more information about a program that can teach you even more!
The goal of this method is to get you to read the review and sign up for the program.
But, even in the review I don’t try to hard-sell anything to you. Wealthy Affiliate offers a free Starter Membership that allows you to try out the training and build a completely free website. You get to see if you actually like the training before you have to pay anything. In my review I urge you NOT to pay anything right away. Instead, I suggest that you take advantage of the free stuff and make sure it’s right for you before you buy.
So even my sales page is really a “sales” page.
Helping People Is Your Business
What I just laid out is the basics of how affiliate marketing works. You can take a more in-depth look at the process by reading What Is Online Affiliate Marketing?
You help people (Like I am doing in this lesson)
Then you suggest a product and describe it (Like I do in my review)
Those pages where you describe a particular product are in effect your sales pages. That’s where you turn a visitor into a customer.
But the greatest thing about affiliate marketing is that even your sales pages don’t have to be “sales” pages. You make a suggestion by being helpful and telling people where they can either find what they are looking for or where they can find more help.
Once they head off to where you send them, It’s up to the company to close the sale.
That means that instead of being a pushy salesperson, you can focus your attention on helping people.
It’s a progression of content types that allows us to do this.
The 3-Step Content Conversion Process
There are 3 main types of content that you will want to create as an affiliate marketer:
- General Information
- Focused Information
Let’s take a look at each one.
This type of content is very broad, and covers a range of closely related topics, but doesn’t dig very deep into the details.
To see a couple examples of this, you can read my articles here:
These article all talk about how to work from home and make money online, but they don’t go into explicit detail. They are overviews of different ways to reach that goal, some of the things involved in getting there, and a little about the kind of mindset you need to be successful.
It really is “general information”. It’s helpful, but not targeted. The point behind this type of content is to help people better understand what they are really looking for, and help them narrow down their search. From here you can point them to your next type of content.
Focused information content is where you start to get into the details. Above, I mentioned my article “Start Your Own Business Ideas”. It’s a general information article about different was to start your own business. In that article I point to some of my relevant focused-information articles:
The first one is strictly focused information. It goes into the basic details of what affiliate marketing is and how it works. It takes the broad ideas presented in “Start Your Own Business Ideas”, and focuses on a particular way to do it.
My “Bookkeepers Business Launch Review” is also focused information. It goes into detail about what a bookkeeper does and how you can do it online at home. But it is also promotion/review content.
I said that it is a 3-step content conversion process.
By going from Start Your Own Business Ideas directly to Bookkeepers Business Launch Review, I kind of broke that rule. I get around it by being very informative in that review, not just about the program, but about the work as well.
If the review didn’t cover what was involved in the work (the idea to start a business that led to that article) I would need a bridge piece of focused information content. Otherwise, I’m not being as helpful as I could be.
Because if the review didn’t explain the work, the process would look like this:
- “You could try bookkeeping!”
- “This program can teach you bookkeeping!”
What it leaves out is explaining what bookkeeping is.
My review, however, covers that.
The better example of the 3-step conversion is the What Is Online Affiliate Marketing? link. That’s because we started with general ideas about starting your own business, then linked to details about affiliate marketing, which is a single idea to start a business. What I can do from that point is direct readers to my promotion/review pages. Which I do. I link to my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
This follows the full 3-Step Content Conversion Process:
- General Information (Start Your Own Business Ideas)
- Focused Information (What Is Online Affiliate Marketing?)
- Promotion/Review (Wealthy Affiliate Review)
I started with a general overview and offered several business directions. Then I focused on one particular business direction. Then I suggested the best training for that business direction by providing a promotion/review.
By following that approach you can take a visitor who was just interested in the basic idea of making money online, and virtually lead them by the hand to a specific program that will teach them how to work from home and earn you a commission.
And this can be done with anything.
Don’t believe me?
How about dog food?
- General Information (Dog Health)
- Focused Information (Benefits Of A Raw Diet)
- Promotion/Review (The Honest Kitchen)
In this example we took a visitor who wanted general information on keeping their dog healthy, told them about a raw food diet, and led them to The Honest Kitchen, a provider of raw diet products.
Content Creation – In Review
Traffic starts with a keyword that gets placed in your content according to SEO rules. It isn’t the rules of SEO or the quality of the keyword that determines how effective your content is, or how much traffic you get. If you truly want to make money online so that you can work from home on your computer, you need to create content that focuses on helping people.
A good keyword with lots of searches and low competition placed in your title and first paragraph with help with initial ranking in the search engines. But if you don’t give people what they are looking for when they search that keyword, the search engines will catch on quickly and your rankings will suffer.
By helping people you not only help yourself gain rankings in the search engines and therefore more traffic, you create trust which helps turn a visitor to your site into a customer.
Be helpful by connecting with your visitors. You can’t write boring content that is little more from a list of facts, or obnoxious content that tries to push a sale on every page. That is talking AT your visitors, and they will despise you for it.
But if you write in a conversational tone like you were talking to a friend or telling a story, people will read it. Even though it’s a one-sided conversation, it’s still an effort to talk WITH your readers.
And if your content really connects with them they might leave you a comment. If they do, make sure you reply! Then you really can have a conversation with them. This not only helps you turn a visitor into a customer, the engagement on your site helps your ranking in search engines, which means more traffic.
More traffic means more customers.
More customers leads to a successful online business.
Now that we’ve looked at the different types of content, in our next lesson we will dig a little deeper into creating that helpful, informative content. Our first step is general information content, which is the first step in our 3-Step Content Conversion Process.
It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!
As always, thanks for reading, and the best of luck on your journey to financial independence,
If you ever have any questions, you can contact me here.
P.S. I simply can’t teach you everything there is to know about content creation. I just don’t have the resources. I am a one-man operation, and can’t maintain a site big enough to do it. If you want to learn it all, take a look at my top-rated training by reading my Wealthy Affiliate Review. The training is incredible. The member community is very helpful. And everything included in the membership makes Wealthy Affiliate a truly amazing deal. I hope to see you there!