Blogging can be a profitable venture, but you need to the importance of keyword research. I wanted to share how my blog has grown in the past year since I started using KWFinder. Hopefully, this will help you why keywords are important.
My Biggest Lesson
I started this blog in October of 2016 and because of some bad experience with keyword stuffing and shady link building, I chose to completely ignore using SEO keywords.
For the first year and a half, I wrote content on what I wanted to write. This content was usually a tutorial on WordPress with screenshots. It’s what I knew and loved writing about.
I figured if I wrote what I wanted to write and didn’t focus on SEO, my blog would eventually grow. So I ignored Google Analytics and just sat down to write content I wanted to write that I found helpful.
Personally, I thought my content was good and I knew that it was helpful because people were reaching out to me via email and Facebook to have me help with them with their blogs.
But I just wasn’t able to grow and my organic traffic sucked for the first year. The best way for me to show you how my blog has grown organically is to show you a comparison of December 1-29, 2017 and 2018.
Hopefully, this will help you understand why it’s so important to avoid the same mistakes and help you realize why keyword research is so important.
Blog Growth December 2017
As you can see, I was only averaging around 3,000 pageviews for the month of December a year ago. Yes, I was getting traffic from Pinterest and some other places, but I wasn’t really getting any Google love.
Blog Growth December 2018
While I am still not averaging hundreds of thousands of page views, you can definitely notice a difference from where I was last year at the same time. This month, I’ll get over 12,000 page views and a lot of my traffic now comes from Google.
I still get some traffic from Pinterest, but between you and I, this niche isn’t as popular on Pinterest as other niches are.
The best part is that I know that my blog will continue to grow with all those posts I’ve written. Plus, I am continually updating it every week.
A Look At My Organic Growth
Take a look at how much my organic traffic has grown since the last year. Last year, I was only getting around 400 visitors per month from SEO. This month, I’ll most likely get over 6,000 visitors per month just from SEO.
The best part is that I am now making money and it has motivated me to continue blogging.
This is why it’s so important to choose a niche you love, if I didn’t love writing content on this blog, I would’ve probably quit after a year of not making money.
Why Am I Telling You This?
Because I want you to understand that you can do it wrong from the beginning like I did and still improve your blog when you’re ready. I haven’t been focused on improving my content for search engines very long.
This past August I decided to sign up for a KWFinder subscription and started focusing more on low competition keywords. Some of the keywords are target don’t get a ton of monthly searches, but that doesn’t stop me from writing an article.
I also started increasing the amount of content that I published on my blog. Since a lot of the content that I had in my archives weren’t helping my blog, I knew that I needed to get new content out as quickly as I could.
At one point I was publishing 5-6 articles in one month. Now, I’ve dropped back down to 3x per month and I also started another blog that needs to be updated regularly.
If you want to grow your blog, you need to write content that you can actually rank for. You also need to understand and read everything you can about SEO, here’s a great place to start.
Now I want to share what I look for in a keyword before I actually sit down to write an article. I don’t usually write content based around SEO, but I just had to write this and hopefully, it will help someone who is struggling to grow their blog organically.
What Is A Keyword
A keyword is nothing more than a topic or phrase that you want to rank for and get traffic for. Say for instance your blog is in the pet niche and you’re writing an article about the best raw dog food.
The keyword you’re targetting is “best raw dog food.” You focus your content around that particular keyword and provide your readers everything they need to know about that topic.
Keyword Research Tips to Implement
Before I sit down to write an article on this blog, I always make sure that it doesn’t have a lot of competition. There’s no use on writing an article for your blog if you’ll NEVER be able to SEO traffic.
Yes, you may love your blog, I love mine. But you’re in this to make money and earn a living. Here is what I look for in every search phrase I write on my blog.
- Are people actually looking for the phrase?
- Does it have a lot of competition and do I have a chance to rank?
- Do the other sites on the first page of Google use the phrase in their meta description and permalink?
- Will this traffic help me reach my goals, email sign-ups, monetary or other?
- Is it relevant to my blog?
There are other things that I consider before sitting down to write, but these are the main things I always consider.
What If You Make A Mistake And Choose The Wrong Words?
I still make mistakes and choose terms that are somewhat too competitive. It’s okay, the point is that blogging is a numbers game and as you continue writing content, you’ll get better on choosing the right keywords.
It’s easy for new bloggers to let this stop them. They think if they choose the right keywords it’s the end of the world. I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT.
We all make mistakes, the point is that you can’t let that stop you. As long as you continue doing your keyword research and writing content that helps your audience, you will start to see organic traffic.
I’m living proof of it, I chased the wrong keywords for over a year. Now that I’ve stopped going after the wrong keywords, I am finally starting to see my SEO traffic grow.
Yes, it sucks that I wasted so much time doing it wrong. But now that I know better, I actually take the time to brainstorm a bunch of topics and check the competition before sitting down to write the article.
This has taught me what NOT to do with my other blog. So hopefully, it will grow faster than this blog.
Of course, you’ll grow a lot faster if you are actually taking the time to promote that content. But I’m assuming that you already know that.
Longtail and Semantic Keywords
Once you’ve picked the topic that you’re going to write about, it’s time to prep some other words you’ll be targeting in your post.
Head on over to LSIGraph and enter your search term. This free site will give you a handful of LSI semantic keywords you can use throughout your article. Be sure that you’re using those terms along with your targetted keyword.
Long tail keywords are terms like best raw dog food, which is a more specific search term that will most likely have less competition. People who type in these types of keywords are most likely ready to buy.
New bloggers should focus on long tail keywords because they are easier to rank for. You’ll never be able to rank for a term like dog food, plus it’s so broad, people who search for this term are NOT ready to buy.
In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to take into consideration every new blogger. If your blog is brand new with a DA score of 0, you’re going to want to target keywords that are considered easy to rank.
I’ve been blogging for a little over 2 years and I still focus on low hanging fruit. I wish, I would’ve done this from the beginning, but I guess it’s better late than never.
Don’t make the same mistake I made, make sure that you’re paying attention to the difficulty score. I’ve written an ebook JumpStart Blog Traffic that shows you what I look for before I sit down to write.
With my second blog, I did things totally different. First of all, I am NOT in the blogging or make money niche. I’m in the pet niche and I started the blog on December 5, 2018.
Here’s a snapshot from KWFinder Serpwatcher of how my site is starting to climb the rankings. It’s amazing to see when you do things right from the get-go, how much faster you can get results.
Choose terms that don’t have a bunch of competition and a new blogger won’t have any difficulty ranking for.
Should You Invest In A Keyword Tool?
At the time of this writing, I am using KWFinder to help me with my content marketing.
As a blogger, there are tons of tools that will help make your life easier. No, you don’t have to use a paid tool, you can use something like Ubbersuggest and still get good results.
Since starting my yearly subscription with KWFinder, I’ve noticed a huge increase in my organic traffic. However, I’ve worked hard on producing content.
Just because you invest in a tool, it doesn’t mean that you’ll become successful. You’ll still be responsible for taking action and writing the content.
There’s no tool or software that you can purchase to see success. There are only tools and software products that will make your life easier.
If you’re NOT ready to invest in your business then stick with free tools. That’s how I started until I had the money to invest in my business.
The only difference is that with a paid tool, you’ll get more features that will make your life easier.
Free Tools You Can Use
As a new blogger, there are other blogging costs that can prevent you from investing in SEO tools. That’s why I wanted to share some of the free tools that I used to use and am still using to help me with my blog growth.
Free Tools You Can Use:
- Ubbersuggest: Free keyword analysis tool.
- Keywords Everywhere: Get free search volume, CPC and competition data at your fingertips.
- LSIGraph: Get profitable semantically related terms to help you with your SEO efforts.
Although I don’t use #1 anymore, I still use 2, and 3 whenever I write a new article.
Final Take Away
Every new blogger starts without any experience. It’s so easy to believe that if you start a blog today, you can be making thousands in just 6 months.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Yes, some people have success quicker than others, that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed online.
Most of us go through several ups and downs before we reach our goals. Hopefully, by sharing my biggest content creation mistakes that I made helped you realize why you need to be spending more time finding the right keywords.
If you’re not getting any traffic from Google and you’ve been blogging for a little while, it’s time to sit down and take a look at the type of content you’re writing.
Are you chasing those terms that get thousands of searches per month? If so, then you’re most likely chasing terms that are too competitive.
Change up your strategy like I did and see how much your blog grows in one year. If you’re in a less competitive niche than I am, then you’ll probably see faster results.
If you want a proven strategy that works, check out this recommended training for bloggers. You’ll learn how to write content that actually brings you traffic and makes you money.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- How Often Should You Blog to See Blog Growth
- 9 Thins to Know When Starting a Blog
- How to Write A Blog Post in 20 Minutes 7 Steps That Work
Do you actually take the time to do keyword research? If so, let me know how that has helped your blog grow by commenting below.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)