There’s a reason why some bloggers make multiple six-figure incomes and others struggle to earn pennies from their writing. People who earn life-changing amounts of money from their content usually follow a strategic formula.
The step-by-step formula that I have laid out below is a repeatable recipe that you can use to create profitable blog posts, Medium articles, or YouTube videos. This is the exact “behind the scenes” process that I used to achieve the results outlined in a case study that I wrote a few months ago.
I’ve been using this exact formula to reproduce these results on several of my websites covering different niches. The formula itself is simple. However, it does require some planning, effort, and practice to see maximum results.
Step 1: Start with the End in Mind
What do you actually want to accomplish with this piece of content?
Is your goal to:
- Get someone to sign up for your email list?
- Buy your book?
- Sign up for a free email course that leads to a sale?
- Hire you to perform a service?
- Purchase an affiliate product?
- Something else?
What EXACTLY do you want your reader to do after reading your content?
Step 2: What Problem Are You Solving?
There is only ONE thing that motivates people to search for content online — they have a problem or desire, and they’re looking for a solution. The product or service you are promoting should offer a solution to this problem.
For example, if you are offering online tutoring services for grade school children, the problem that you are addressing is the parent’s fear that their child isn’t getting enough help at school to excel academically. One solution to this problem is to hire a tutor.
What problem does your product or service solve?
Step 3: What Are People Asking?
Now that you know what problem your reader is trying to solve, think about what questions or queries they would type into Google to find information.
What would you search for if you were looking trying to solve this problem?
If we go back to our tutoring example, you could imagine someone searching for:
- How much does tutoring cost?
- How to find a tutor for my child?
- How does online tutoring work?
Each one of these questions would be a great topic or headline for a potentially profitable article.
If you are having difficulty coming up with ideas, type your main keyword into Google and then scroll down to the bottom of the search listings where it says “Searches Related to [keyword].”
Here you will find questions and keyword phrases that real people are searching for in Google.
What questions are people asking about your topic?
Step 4: How Many People Are Searching?
This is a bit of an advanced step, but it is essential to writing profitable blog posts. The goal is to uncover which keywords and questions have the highest search volume. In other words — what are people searching for the most?
This step is crucial because there’s no point in creating content that no one is looking for. For this, I recommend using a simple SEO tool like KW Finder. This is the tool that I use to come up with profitable blog post titles and keywords.
Type your topic or question into your SEO tool and it will tell you how many people are searching for that keyword phrase each month. It will also give you related questions and keyword phrases that you can use.
How many people are searching for your target keyword phrase each month? Is this enough to justify writing an article or do you need to keep searching?
Step 5: Craft a Clickable Title
I’m sure that you already know how important titles are for blog posts, Medium articles, and YouTube videos. People click on titles that are clear, concise, and compelling.
I recommend looking at the articles ranking the highest for the keyword phrase you are targeting in your SEO tool.
For example, I recently wrote an article targeting the keyword “Teachable review.” This is a post that earns passive income because it contains referral links. When I was coming up with the title, I first looked up the articles that were already ranking on the first page of Google in KW Finder, and I used a very similar title, though not exact.
Within a week, my article showed up on the first page of Google for my target keyword phrase.
There is obviously more involved in SEO than simply creating a strong title, however, without this piece it will be very difficult for your article to be successful. Spend some time on this.
What is the title of your blog post or video?
Step 6: Answer the Query
Now that you’ve gotten the reader to click on your title, give them exactly what they came for. This is your core content.
If your title is in the form of a question, answer that question in your first paragraph. Please don’t create a long meandering introduction, or you risk losing your reader.
Write or outline your core content.
Step 7: Provide a Nugget of Insider Information
At this point, you’ve satisfied the promise of the title. You could end the article here, but if you want to achieve the goal you set in Step 1, you have to keep going. The next step is to provide a “nugget of insider information.” This is something that is personal to you or your unique process. This helps lay the groundwork for your pitch.
Here’s an example —
In one of the blog posts on my main site, I answer the question, “How much do audiobook narrators make?” I first answer the question with general information that I found researching the topic.
I then provide a “nugget of insider information” by disclosing how much I earned from my first couple of audiobook projects. This is information that they would not be able to find elsewhere.
It’s unique to me as someone who has first-hand experience with the subject matter. You do NOT have to be an “expert” to provide a nugget of insider information.
I could have shared how much I earn now as someone with over 7 years of audiobook production experience, but many of the people reading my post are beginners — they want to know what they can expect to earn now, not in 7 years.
Insider information does not always have to be about earnings or things related to money.
It could be:
- a process that you developed,
- a special tool that you use,
- a tip that you picked up along the way,
- a book or program that helped you achieve a particular result, or
- a personal observation or opinion.
The only rule here is that it must be interesting or valuable to the reader.
What is one “nugget of insider information” that you can offer?
Step 8: Make Your Pitch
August Birch is a brilliant writer who has mastered the art of making a pitch at the end of each one of his posts.
It is clear that his objective is to get every single person who reads his stories to sign up for his email list. From there, he offers a paid product, which I have purchased (and I am not an easy sell.) After providing the content promised by the title, he uses the last third of his post to make a pitch to the reader to sign up for his free email course.
I use a similar strategy on my websites to get people to sign up for webinars, mini-courses, to buy my book, and hire me for freelance projects.
When you are making a pitch, you want to tell the reader what you have to offer and how it will benefit them. This works best if the offer is the next logical step to help the reader achieve their goals or solve their problem.
If you are selling a higher-priced course, coaching package, service, or product, you may want to offer a free opt-in first, then nurture the lead with an email sequence, webinar, or call to close the sale.
What is your pitch?
Step 9: Close With a Clear Call to Action
After you’ve made your pitch, end the post with a clear call to action. Your call to action should direct the reader to complete the goal that you defined in Step 1.
Here are some examples:
- Sign up for the free email course
- Register for the webinar
- Take the 5-Day Challenge
- Get the Book on Amazon
- Request a free consultation
Each of these calls to action is a short, clear directive of what you want the reader to do next.
What is your call-to-action?