If you’re working for residual income, here are some things that should make your eyes perk up when you’re browsing the web.
#1- rather crappy websites that don’t appear to be Search Engine Optimized, yet seem to get a lot of traffic. I found one the other day that said something like this:
I started this website in 1991 as a hobby and now I get a million hits a month. Please donate so I can pay my hosting fees.
After laughing my pants off, I decided to alleviate some of his hosting expense by diverting traffic into my own direction, and you should, too.
Why? Because they’re living in a niche that has yet to be conquered. Your SEO skills can change all that. If you’re writing for Suite101, eHow or another high ranking website, you can beat them at their own game. It’s a SERVICE to the reader. if someone is searching for “podunk roadside cafes” for example, they’re not looking for pictures of someone’s cat posing in a cowboy hat outside of a podunk roadside cafe. Chances are, they’re looking for a list of cafes, reviews, etc.
How? Go to Alexa.com and enter their URL to see which keywords are sending them the most traffic. that’s the title of your next article. If it doesn’t mesh with your current content web, create a new one. Both suite and ehow allow you to create titles and then enter the rest of the article later. At Suite101, however, your article’s category needs to be entered at the time your title is created, so you may want to research keywords for category placement at the same time.
You may find, however, that they’re really not getting much traffic at all and that they’re full of beans. It happens.
#2- You’re looking for information and the first thing on the list isn’t exactly what you searched for. Example, you google Waterbeds in Australia and the first thing on the list is Shopping for waterbeds in Northern Australia.
Why? because you were looking for something and the results you got were second best. Close, but no cigar. There’s room for improvement and you’re just the person to improve it.
#3- Another writer says something like “_______ article gets a thousand hits a day” Don’t just gawk in amazement and say “Why can’t I write like that?” Dissect it and figure out why. There’s a few ways to do that.
a- run the URL through the keyword tool and see what their keywords are. How often are they used, how many words is the article (what’s the saturation percentage) how are they spaced. Which searches (and which search engines) is this article coming up with page 1 results? What’s the CPC for each of their keywords?
Where are their inbound links coming from? Were they quoted by some badass blogger? Were they the recipient of a digg, a tweet or some other recommendation?
most importantly- traffic doesn’t always translate into clicks. Are the advertisements on the page relevant to the content of the article. If you were desperately searching for the info in that article, would those ads interest you?
And most most importantly, how is this article affecting their income? At eHow writers get to see which articles are earning, and how much they earn. At Suite101, they can’t. However, the author should know “ever since I wrote that, my earnings have doubled…” or something like that. A good Suite101 writer has an inkling of which articles are earning. In the long run, it’s a good thing they don’t tell us, I think.
So… what does opportunity look like to you? Do you look for opportunity online, or do you just “write what you want?” using these techniques serves the reader by catering to what they’re looking for. Remember, when you’re writing for the web, it’s not about YOU- it’s about the reader, and their feedback comes in the form of CLICKS.