The biggest mistake I used to make when writing blog posts on my first site was writing too short articles. I later learned by following the Income School Youtube channel from Jim and Ricky that you should write at least 1000-1500 words per article.
The second huge lesson I learned is how to do keyword research with the “No Nonsense approach” taught by Jim and Ricky on the Income School Youtube channel. Basically, you don’t need any keyword research tools but instead, use Google autosuggest and related searches shown by Google to check what real people are actually looking for.
This article is inspired by the Income School Youtube channel and all the free value Jim and Ricky provide on that channel. I have watched almost all of their videos and learned so much but sometimes I would want to go back and check some details. The video format is not really searchable and often I don’t remember which video or which part of the video had that gold nugget in it. So that’s why I’m providing all of you with the best tips from Income School in searchable form.
Note that Jim and Ricky have on Income School LLC also a course called Project 24 where they teach their process on how to make profitable niche sites. This article contains none of that information since I haven’t purchased their course, at least yet. The Project 24 course costs currently 449 USD for the first year and then 199 USD for the following years. Jim and Ricky seem like really good people and I bet the course has far more value than the price. Still, I don’t feel like investing that much money in a course before I know I can make money with my website.
If you are looking for a free way to get started without following a course this article is a great place to start since it provides a ton of value extracted from the Income School youtube channel and it will save you a lot of time since watching through all the videos and trying to remember afterward when you put things to action isn’t that easy.
Write long meaty articles
Looking back at my first blog posts they are way too short. Many of them are only 300 words and some of them are even shorter. I didn’t know why I’m not getting any traffic to the blog posts until I started watching the Income School youtube channel and discovering that articles should be over 1000 words, preferably 1500 or for some topics even 4500 words.
It can feel daunting to write 1500 words if you are used to writing 300-word posts. Writing a response post can surely cover the answer in the first 300 words but you should go into more detail creating subheadings and explaining the topic properly to get length to the article. It’s not that hard to add 5 subheadings and writing about each of them 300 words and suddenly you have 1500 words.
How Long does it take for an Article to get Traffic
After writing my first longer posts I almost gave up since I was not getting any traffic although I followed the Income School guidance on article length. It’s perfectly normal not to see any traffic in the first three months of writing. Jim and Ricky talk about writing to a ghost town in their ‘Plan Your Blog’s Success’ youtube video. At first, I got so demotivated about writing longs posts and no one reading them that I completely stopped for several months.
After around 3 months I started getting organic traffic from Google on my first articles and that was really inspiring and got me fired up to write more articles. It all makes perfect sense when listening to Jim and Ricky so just knowing that it takes time in advance will allow you to start and keep going knowing that readers will come as long as you write long high-quality content.
Since it takes such a long time to get traffic to your articles it’s important to set goals that keep you motivated. Instead of using the objective, for example, replacing your full-time income as a goal set a goal that is in your hands, for example, I will spend 5 hours a week writing and complete my 30 articles in x days.
No Nonsense approach to Keyword Research
Write with the reader in mind
It doesn’t help to write about things you know which you would want to teach the reader if no one is looking for that content. You need to write about stuff people are actually searching to get traffic. My first mistake was to start writing about things I want to teach people without paying any attention to are people looking for this information or not.
It makes a lot of sense to write about something you are passionate about or at least are interested in learning because you will be miserable writing about things that you don’t care about. To ensure you will get traffic it makes sense to do keyword research to find an angle on the topic which will lead you to answer questions people are actually looking for answers on.
Keyword Research using Google Autosuggest
Jim and Ricky tell us to stop buying keyword research tools. Instead, we should use Google autosuggest and related searches shown by Google to check what real people are actually looking for. The reason why we should not use keyword research tools is that they are not accurate.
The most simple way to find keywords is to just start typing in Google. If you are for example going to write about beard trimmers you can write in google ‘beard trimmer’ and you can see what Google suggests to add. In the screenshot, you can see for example ‘best beard trimmer for stubble’.
Another approach is to look at the related searches. If you look search for ‘best beard trimmer for stubble’ and then scroll down to the bottom google will show you ‘Searches related to best beard trimmers for stubble’ as seen in the screenshot which will give you more ideas about what people are actually looking for.
You will also need to look at what the competition looks like. So just look at the first three or five articles and see if they are from well-known websites and are the articles on the topic and are they of high quality. For example, for the above keyword the first article ‘4 Best Stubble Trimmers for an Even & Perfect Stubble’ is directly on topic and it has a word count of 1144 words. So if you want to beat that you could go ahead and do lots of research and write a 3000-word article.
If you want to listen to Jim and Ricky talk about the topic you can check out their ‘Stop Using Keyword Research Tools (And do this instead!)’ youtube video.
Accelerate Google Autosuggest Research with Answer the Public
If you are researching keywords for a new niche site to make a list of 30-articles to write on the topic you can accelerate your research with a free tool called ‘Anser the public’ which actually uses Google autosuggest and shows you all the results in one go.
Answer the public describes the tool in the following way:
The auto-suggest results provided by Google & Bing are a goldmine of insight for today’s marketers. As you type you are presented with an aggregated view of the questions & therefore a hint of the motivations & emotions of the people behind each search query. It’s perhaps one of the best but most underutilized sources of research for content ideas.
So again continuing the previous example we could say the niche site is about beard trimmers so we can go ahead and type in ‘beard trimmer’ in the Answer the Public tool. It takes a while for the tool to get you the results but it’s extremely useful.
You will see the results showing you a summary of all the Google autosuggest questions etc. having your search term in it.
I think the questions part is the most interesting one since I like to start with response posts answering questions and I feel that’s one of the easiest ways of providing value to readers. So for our example, we can see in the below screenshot some example results. Immediately I can see an article idea ‘Are Beard Trimmers Allowed on Airplanes’ that I would like to write and I can add it to my hit list of articles. Continuing through all the questions you can find a ton of ideas you could write about and you would know that people are actually searching for these answers since Google wouldn’t be adding them to autosuggest if no one would be using them.
I didn’t learn about this tool from the Income School youtube channel but it’s absolutely in line with what Jim and Ricky teach since it’s based on Google autosuggest results.
Keyword tools are Not Accurate
Jim and Ricky don’t recommend using Longtail pro or any other paid keyword tools. There is no keyword tool out there which would show you search volume accurately or even close. According to the data which Jim and Ricky are seeing on their websites some keywords are getting a ton of traffic although some keyword tools show that there is no traffic.
You could also ask how could a keyword research tool give you accurate information? Google knows which keywords are getting traffic but they don’t share that information with anyone. So keyword research tools rely on other data sources and with their limited data set they can’t show you accurate search volumes.
If you want to listen to Jim and Ricky discuss the topic you can check out the ‘Should Bloggers Use Longtail Pro?’ video.
Does the golden keyword ratio help you finding good keyword? According to Jim and Ricky, it will misdirect you most of the time.
Search Engine Optimization – SEO
In the Income School youtube videos, Jim and Ricky do a good job of explaining how the old SEO strategies of thin content and shady backlink building no longer work. Instead, it’s all about writing long, high-quality content providing massive value to the readers.
Actually, you don’t need to know that much about SEO. You can focus more on knowing how to write and what to write about.
If you want to know more a good place to start is Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. Jim from Income School calls this the “most important SEO guide ever written” in his youtube video ‘5 Things Google Wants You to Know About SEO’
Winning the Snippet
Jim and Ricky recommend writing at the beginning of your article a clear answer to the readers question and bold it. This should be no longer than 230 characters. This should help you to win the snippet in Google which appears on top of the number one ranking article.
According to data collected by RankRanger, search snippets can now be anywhere from 160 characters to 230 characters on average.
Other content you might be interested in
- What is SEO? A guide for new bloggers This is the best SEO video I have seen so far