Note: This is a guest post by Dave Chesson, who helps teach authors advanced book marketing tactics at Kindlepreneur.com. He’s also the creator of KDP Rocket, software that helps authors discover profitable book ideas that Amazon shoppers will love.
When I first started Kindlepreneur about a year and a half ago, I didn’t have a following. I was just a writer with an idea that I thought was unique – teach people advanced book marketing tactics.
But, as we all see when we first create our platform, nobody knew it existed. My traffic was zero.
I was writing articles that I thought self-publishers needed to know, but no one even knew my content was there; thus, no one read them.
And that’s why I shifted my strategy. Instead of writing my best stuff for no one to find, I’d start my platform by writing articles I knew people could and would find when they searched the internet.
I decided to start creating ‘seed’ articles.
The idea is that seed articles bring in new readers every day, and those readers discover your best content by exploring your website once they are there.
Seed articles really do exist, and don’t require you to be an advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guru. It’s just about finding article topics that your market types into Google every day, but doesn’t have a lot of competition.
Think of them as the low hanging fruit ready to be picked. I promise you, it’s a lot easier than you think.
So, let’s find out how to discover seed articles, plant them on your site, and watch your blog grow.
The tactic of seed articles demystified
Like I said, this will not require you to be an SEO specialist, nor will it cost you anything.
The fundamental strategy to building seed articles is this:
Find websites in your market that are either as large as yours, or smaller, and see what articles are bringing them new readers every day. Then, create your own version.
Yup, that’s it.
Once you have 5-10 of these in place, you’ll start to see your traffic grow and your readership increase each month.
I did this with my fourth ever article on Kindlepreneur. After doing the steps laid out below, I discovered that there were thousands of people searching for special websites that would promote their book for free. Using this information, I created my own list of free book promotion sites and have since seen the below results from that one article:
That article has been read over 58,000 times. That’s crazy considering that I wrote it and moved on. I planted the seed, and over time it grew on its own.
So, how can we find your seeds and start growing your blog?
Step 1: Understand the strength of your website
In this first step, we need to know how good our own website is so that we can later compare it to others.
Start by placing your website’s URL into Alexa’s Website Traffic Tool. This tool looks at a website and ranks them based on perceived value. The lower the number, the more traffic it gets, and the more powerful the website is.
Step 2: Identify unknown websites like yours
Now that you have your own website’s Alexa number, we need to find other websites to test in the Alexa tool.
To find websites that write about the same information as yours but aren’t very popular, go to SimilarSites.com and type in a word or phrase that describes your website.
After clicking enter, Similar Sites will give you a list of other websites they believe fit the description.
When I did this step for Kindlepreneur, I typed in “Book Marketing” and found a large list of websites that discuss book sales and marketing that I had never heard of before.
Once you’ve found a couple of websites that fit your niche, place their URL into the Alexa tool and compare their rankings to yours.
If their number is comparable to yours or larger, then mark them down for step 3.
Step 3: Discover what works for them
Now that we have a list of websites that are about our size or smaller, let’s see what keywords or articles bring them the most new readers and what words those articles are targeting.
Take their URL and place it into SEMRush.com:
Then click on “Organic Research” on the left:
By doing this, you can now see the top 10 keywords that website ranks for on Google (these are the words that people type into Google when they find that website), and thus, see the articles that bring them the most traffic. Again, the idea is that if they can rank for it, so can you.
Looking at the information presented by SEMrush, you’ll need to consider the following two things:
- Check the list of keywords and make sure they’d be a good topic for you to write about.
- Ensure that the position they rank for is between 1-14. Anything higher means it will probably be too competitive.
Now go through each one of the websites you collected in step 2 and see if there are any potential seed ideas you can write about. In the case above, the website I put into SEMrush has shown me that writing an article about “famous vampires” and an article about “dark fiction” would be great seed articles.
NOTE: SEMrush will show you the top 10 keywords a website ranks for as part of their free tool. For most of us, that’s all we’ll need. But to access all the keywords a website ranks for, you’d need to signup for their premium package.
Step 4: Start writing and publishing your seed article
You should have a couple of article topics that comparable websites rank for, now it’s time to create your own.
The seed article strategy makes it so that you don’t have to use advanced SEO tactics in order to see increased traffic results. However, there are some things I’d recommend any author do to fertilize a seed article and assist its growth.
- If you’ve identified a keyword, include it in the title of your article.
- When applicable, try to use pictures or videos.
- Never write more than you have to but keep in mind, Google tends to like articles that go more in-depth than ones that just scratch the surface of a subject.
Now, get writing and start planting those seeds so that in time, your website will start to naturally grow and continue to build with or without you.
Building a couple of seed articles can help your blog in many ways, including:
- Help get your blog on the map
- Attract new readers everyday
- Give you key insight as to what your market wants to read
But remember, seeds take time to grow into something useful—so be patient. The article of mine that I referenced above took 3-4 months before I started to see people show up every single day. There’s a reason why we call these seed articles, and not sapling or tree articles.
But once you’ve done the research above, identified some seeds, planted them, and given them time, you’ll see growth.
Plus, even if one particular seed article doesn’t grow, at least you know you wrote an article that people are actually looking for.
But when they do grow, having 5-10 in place can quickly help your website grow exponentially over time and allow people to REALLY discover your writing and what you have to offer the world.
So, what are you waiting for? Create seeds and start growing your site now. If you have any questions, write a comment below and I’ll make sure to answer them.
How strong is your website? What are some seed articles you could write? Share in the comments.