Learn how to get more visitors to your WordPress LMS website with SEO expert David Attard from Collective Ray in this episode of LMScast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. David shares his story of how he got into the world of content writing and marketing, and how what he has learned can help online course creators build successful SEO marketing campaigns.
David’s story of how he got into content writing is quite interesting. In the first stages of his career he was trying to learn as much as possible, and he found that writing posts explaining a process he was learning would help him to understand the concept. This helped him further understand what a user is looking for when they find a specific piece of content, and that led to him further learning about what it takes to create an effective marketing piece.
One of the most important aspects to writing a good article for the top of your sales funnel is keyword research. Figuring out what people are searching for and what the trending articles are for their search results is a great way to find which phrases and concepts you should cover in your article.
A great piece of advice Davis shares in this episode is that at the very top of your funnel you need to address your audience, not your solution. This means it is important to establish trust and an understanding of the issues your customer is facing before pitching your product and how it can work to solve that problem.
Working with a plugin such as Yoast SEO for your WordPress site is valuable for increasing your search engine rankings by learning what it takes to optimize your pages and appear the best to search engines. But as David shares, there is no strategy for SEO that is not time intensive at the moment. Writing content, acquiring links, and building up your search engine rankings in a legitimate way requires a lot of time. So he recommends avoiding offers that seem too good to be true, such as offers for greatly improving your SEO for a few hundred dollars.
At CollectiveRay.com/LifterLMS you can find the full in-depth review David wrote about LifterLMS. David focuses on actionable advice in a big way. By subscribing to his mailing list you can learn more about the great SEO and marketing strategy he has to offer course creators. He has many deep dives on other plugins, themes, and WordPress tricks on his site CollectiveRay.com as well. So if you’re involved with the tech behind your WordPress site, you may want to check out some of his other posts.
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom, LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett, I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called Lifter LMS. Enjoy the show.
Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, David Attard. He’s coming at us all the way from Malta. He’s over at collectiveray.com. If you head over there to collectiveray.com/lifterlms, David wrote a really in-depth review of Lifter, which is awesome. And he also has actionable WordPress tips that you can subscribe to if you join his mailing list. When you see the quality of the article and the review and the depth that David goes into with LiferLMS, I believe it was somewhere around 6,000 words or something, it was a lot. I remember it being a lot when I saw it I was like, “Whoa, this is deep, we need more stuff like that.” But all that is to say, is that David, if you’re new to WordPress, or already kind of experienced with WordPress, I’d encourage you to check out his actionable tips. Welcome to the show, David.
David Attard: Thank you, Chris. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Chris Badgett: We kind of connected, you did a review of LifterLMS, and like I said, it was long, it was really in-depth. How did you develop the skill of research and then long-form writing, and let me just couch that with the problem I see a lot, of course, creators have is they put all this effort into building the course and everything. But from an SEO perspective, they may just not write any blog posts, or have very little actual public page content on their site, which kind of puts them at a disadvantage for search engines. So how did you develop as both a researcher and a blogger writing about kind of technical subjects in the WordPress niche?
David Attard: Yeah, so it’s actually quite interesting how I got into content writing. So in the very first stages of my career, I was sort of trying to learn as much stuff as possible. But I was finding that the best way to actually learn stuff was to actually write it. So after you’ve done most of the research you had to do, what I would do is, “Let me now try to explain all of this to somebody who doesn’t know it.” So that was sort of, to me, the best way to actually take all of this stuff, make sure that I’ve understood it well, and then put it into an actual new article, or new tutorial, or a new whatever, but what I was actually learning, to make sure that I’ve grasped the concept completely. I always do quite a lot of research before I actually look at something, and then I think one of the differentiators of how I write this stuff is, I try to look at stuff mostly from a user’s perspective. So you try to understand what the user is trying to do when they hit that particular piece of content. So, when you actually get into that mode of writing, then your content goes on different kind of levels so to speak.
Chris Badgett: What are some tips on how to really drop into the user’s intent, or their perspective, or their mindset? How do you do that?
David Attard: One of the most important things I do is keyword research, obviously. So when you’re actually doing SEO, you need to keyword research. You cannot just start writing about anything which you think would make sense, or anything which you’ve seen other people write. There are tools to actually do content research to see what people are actually searching for. Now if people are searching for something, that means that they don’t know about that something, or they want to learn about that something. That’s the great thing about SEO, the intent when you’re doing a search is actually, “I don’t know enough about this, I need to learn something.” So you have to go back into that mindset. If I am looking for this particular keyword, what am I probably trying to achieve? So if I’m looking LMS plugins, or what is an LMS, you really need to go into the mode of, “Okay, so this person has no clue about what an LMS is, so we need to go really in-depth.”
David Attard: If you’re doing keyword research for LifterLMS, this is somebody who actually has heard about LifterLMS but now maybe they need to learn more of the details of what LifterLMS actually does. So there’s a different kind of way to write for those two different sets of people, I mean, and if you take that to each and every article you actually write, you start actually learning. What also actually helps very, very much is we actually look at the top results for those queries, which they’re on Google right now because obviously, the secret sauce of Google is that they’ve actually learned how to give the good results for the specific intent. Which means that whatever keyword you’re looking for, in all likelihood, the top 10 keywords will be spot on user intent.
David Attard: So using those two tricks, so first, you actually take a look at it from your own perspective, and then you actually analyze search results, then you’ve put yourself in the mindset and then obviously, using those initial results, you can actually start doing your research from those specific results.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I have a question about SEO, when, like in the WordPress community, if I look at one of the most popular WordPress plugins, which is Yoast SEO, and I see pictures of Yoast on social media or whatever, and all the purple shirts, there’s a big team there. Which to me, what I actually see is a lot of people want the benefit of SEO, they want to rank high, and as a business owner, of course, I want to be number one on Google in my category or whatever. So when I see all those purple shirts, I just think about how much people want search engine optimization. However, my question to you is, we’re just one individual, we’re not going to crack the code of Google, and also Google will penalize us if we do something that is not ethical or is an SEO trick and not really a solid strategy. So how do you do SEO but never get yourself in trouble, what are some tips in that?
David Attard: So in general, as you’re saying, it’s hard to actually be able to do SEO without having enough knowledge. So there are a few ways to do things. I tried to do SEO for years, and years, and years, and I used to fumble around. So I used to get lucky on certain articles, others I used to not be able to rank whatever I tried to do. Eventually, what I did, I started investing in my own knowledge, so other than actually trying to, I don’t know, read the free articles and stuff I said, “Look, it’s time to get serious.” I paid for a few courses, quite expensive courses, and I started going to really big guys. I mean, I spent a few thousand dollars in both. I took two courses, I had been obviously researching and learning SEO for quite a long time. And then I took these courses, and it’s sort of what took me to the next level. There are two ways to actually do good SEO, number one I think is the hire a good SEO, now the problem is there’s a lot of snake oil in the industry.
David Attard: So I think when you speak about a good SEO, you really can’t go into the ones who are trying to do SEO for a few hundred dollars a month, you can’t do anything with a few hundred dollars. You can’t do anything really intensive because the industry, it’s time-intensive, anything which you do is time-intensive. Content writing is time-intensive, acquiring links is time-intensive, all of this stuff which you need to do is very time-intensive. So if anybody comes up and tells you they’re going to do something for a few hundred dollars, I think you should really avoid them like the plague, you’re not going to get anywhere. Now if you’re not able to actually afford that in terms of dollar value, what you need to do is do it in terms of your own time. So take that money, invest it in yourself, and then start doing it yourself essentially. I wouldn’t say it’s rocket science, I mean, it’s not terribly complicated, but it’s hard to actually figure out by yourself. You need to go to the people who’ve actually learned, who’ve actually mostly cracked the code because obviously nobody has it all down to a real science.
David Attard: But there’s quite a lot of people who know quite a lot of good stuff. So you need to sort of shorten your own learning curve significantly and then start learning from there. What I would say is, if you want to do really good SEO, I would say you have to dedicate, I don’t know, 20% of your time to SEO. One of the things, which we did when I was running [inaudible] which is sort of a project management tool for web designers, besides Collective Rays, we dedicated quite a lot of time during the product management phase to actually doing very good SEO and learning all of this stuff. But I would say we easily dedicated 20% or more of our time in all of SEO. It’s obviously not just the content writing, but all of the relationship building, all the prospecting and all that kind of stuff, it’s very time-intensive. That’s the hardest part, that’s what people are most afraid of.
Chris Badgett: Right, and I think that’s part of the challenge of it and why the industry, as you said, sometimes has a bad name, or there’s snake oil or whatever is people think, “Oh, I just need to install this plugin, or I just need to hire this really cheap service, and my SEO’s good to go.” But there’s a lot that needs to be done.
David Attard: Yes, I mean, with plugins like Yoast, what you’ve done is half of the work, so in terms of SEO, there’s on-page SEO, which is the stuff you need to do on your website, and then there’s off-page SEO. On-page is the easy part because you get a good plugin like Yoast, or SEO Press or whatever, there’s quite a few good ones these days, and that is essential. I mean, if you don’t do that it’s like trying to put in a Ferrari engine on a whatever, on a small family car, it’s not going to work. But you can’t do it the other way around, for you to have a good overall package, you need to have both of them well in place, essentially, you can’t have one without the other, but you can’t just do half.
Chris Badgett: That makes a lot of sense. Well, since I have you here, I’m just going to ask for some free consulting. If you type the word WordPress LMS plugin into Google, what’s been happening a lot lately is, from an SEO perspective, the top-ranking things are roundup posts where people are publishing articles that have all the WordPress LMS plugins and themes, and sometimes they put Teachable and Thinkific in there or other stuff. Me as a business owner, I have a WordPress LMS plugin, but these bloggers are outranking me, what advice do you have for me? And to be fair, I’m grateful for it because the bloggers are sending traffic because I’m on the list. So why is that happening and what advice do you have for me, even if that’s, “Chill out, don’t worry about it.”
David Attard: Yes, so why it’s happening, it’s because of user intent. The user intent, when somebody is looking for WordPress LMS plugins, they’re at a point in time where they don’t know what they need to get. So they don’t know which one is the best one at that point in time. So the fact that there’s a roundup which is offering a number of options rather than just going with Lifter LMS, people might not, I mean with all respect to Lifter LMS, which is a great, great tool, it might not be a good fit for everyone. But when you have a roundup, there is a whole selection of plugins or different options which a user can see. So it’s more likely to cover their intent from a searchers point of view. Google is actually able to measure the intent of and the user experience of somebody who has actually landed on the roundup and the one who landed on your page. If you are able to cover 50% of the user intent, and the roundup is able to cover 75-80% of the user intent, they are going to be the ones who are going to be ranking better, essentially.
David Attard: So what you need to do yourself, my advice is for you to actually in touch with those bloggers and make sure you are on the list. So, create a relationship with these guys, make sure you’re there. If there is a way to actually get at the very top of the list, so much the better, obviously it’s going to be the plugin which gets the most traffic by far. Make sure your product is up to par, so you cannot sell a product which is broken, and again, I have absolutely no doubt about Lifter LMS being not up to par. It is definitely one of the best products out there, but for obviously anybody else who is experiencing this kind of problem, just make sure that when you create the relationship with the blogger and give him access to your tool, if they find that it’s broken, they’re obviously not going to include it in their roundup. So make sure your product is, I don’t know, 89% there, then start creating these relationships, which are obviously going to be touting the good parts of your product. Obviously also the stuff that they don’t like, that’s obviously going to be there because it’s going to be like for all of your competitors.
David Attard: Just make sure that you have those differentiating factors from your own competitors that, “Look, I can actually cover this niche really greatly or I have these features.” Which are the differentiating factor, “I have a better price, I have a better whatever.”
Chris Badgett: So help them sell it, basically?
David Attard: Help them sell it, yes, definitely.
Chris Badgett: That’s great. What-
David Attard: And try to get on as many roundups as possible.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah that makes a lot of sense.
David Attard: So if anybody mentions a competitor on their site anywhere, just go down and make sure they’re actually mentioning you as well, either on the same page, on a different page or whatever. So that is the easiest and most effective way to get yourself out there, look for competitors or people who are in the same niche and start a relationship with these people who are actually mentioning these competitors, make sure that they’re mentioning you, and do whatever it takes to get on their site.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, we know that a big part of SEO is inbound links, and then there’s this concept of link building, where the more people who link to your course site or your membership site, the better your SEO gets. And the quality of the source of that link, there’s a whole quality score thing or whatever, we’ve just talked about one strategy of link building by approaching people who blog about your category. What other ways can course creators or any business owner really, build links without getting into trouble?
David Attard: Yes, so building links is, in general, incredibly difficult. Everybody wants to build links, everybody. So the industry, again, it’s everybody’s charging money for links and doing all this kind of dodgy stuff because obviously, links have value. Now obviously, there’s always this sort of cat and dog fight between SEOs and Google. Google is trying to sort of get rid of the links which are not natural and obviously SEOs are trying to make sure that they get as many of these links which are natural-like. But you can actually get natural links by creating very, very useful content. So there are three things which are quite easy, number one is if you go for helpful stuff such as checklists, templates, cheat sheets, task lists for, I don’t know, let’s say you’re building a course for whatever, give you an example of, I don’t know-
Chris Badgett: Let’s say it’s a weight loss course.
David Attard: Yes, weight loss course, great. So, you’re going to need a checklist of let’s say recipes, I don’t know, a bunch of recipes, a whole checklist of recipes, or not just recipes, but a whole calendar for a whole month. So, create as many of these helpful resources as possible, as many as you can, I mean, go the whole nine yards just check what is out there and make sure that you go beyond. Make your content better than what there is. So if you create that kind of resource, which is really, really, really helpful, then it’s actually relatively easy to get links in that because your content is so great that when you actually pitch it to people who have linked to similar kind of content, they’re going to see that your content is actually better. When they see that, even for them, when you actually discover these resources and share it with your own readers that this is a great piece of content that also gives you sort of this credit that you’re a good researcher and you find the good stuff. So you’re actually making their job easier by going to them with the content, which is great and pitching it to them.
David Attard: It’s relatively easy because what you need to do is research and then create, let’s say, this piece of content. The second piece, which is a bit harder, is just to create these data kind of articles. So, I don’t know, you go into-
Chris Badgett: Like graphs and statistics and stuff?
David Attard: Yes, yes, you go-
Chris Badgett: Like industry reports with-
David Attard: Yes, industry reports. So especially either if you’re an established brand or if you’re a semi-established brand, even if you don’t have access to the actual data, you can actually buy stuff from all these kinds of places, or find free resources. I mean, just gather as much information as possible, then create this data report, either with trends over a number of years or what the situation is right now. Or I don’t know, there’s a whole lot of stuff which you can actually do, but make sure that you come up with a number of brilliant conclusions, or brilliant, I don’t know, you need to make sure that there is stuff which is actually useful for the industry and people are going to refer to.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, not just the stats, but what does all this mean and how do I benefit from it?
David Attard: Yes, yes, for sure, for sure. So I mean, the industry is now going in this direction when it was going in that direction before. So you need to start changing the way you do business to actually make sure that you’re picking up what they’re saying. So again, it needs to have value for the people who are actually consuming it, like the resource has to have value, this has to have value for those people who are actually going to write about it. Now again, this is not just for the bloggers who typically would write about you, this would be actually quite useful for the industry-leading sites. I don’t know, let’s say in WordPress. It’s not just WP Tavern and that kind of sites, you can also go to people like I don’t know, Creative Block, Fast Company-
Chris Badgett: Bigger tech news.
David Attard: … type of news, exactly, like Hacker, the big, big industries, [crosstalk 00:22:55]-
Chris Badgett: Are you saying to give them your article, or just tell them that it exists, check it out?
David Attard: Tell them that it exists, tell them that it exists. I wouldn’t give it to them, but you wouldn’t really guest post, you’d push it to the journalists, essentially.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah, I see.
David Attard: Because these guys are actually looking for content, I mean, when your job is actually to churn out as much content as possible, you need to find the juicy and good stuff, and then actually link to it. But again if you have this really great content, then the pitch is easy, so if you just have this mundane, normal piece of content or just a guest post, you get 1000 requests for guest posts day if you have a decent looking website.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, you’re not saying like a little 500-word fluff piece, this is-
David Attard: Exactly, exactly, you’re going with something which has so much value, that you can’t ignore it. You’re obviously going to ignore the 100 guest posts you get every day, but if somebody comes up with a really juicy piece of content, or information, or statistics, or reports, then that’s going to get the attention of anybody you’re pitching to.
Chris Badgett: I have a specific question for you. You and I are more advanced content marketers, you more than me, so we have this concept of tofu, mofu, and bofu, top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel. A sales funnel, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s sort of like what David was talking about where at first somebody is unaware, then they’re problem aware and they’re searching for WordPress LMS or whatever, and then they become solution aware, and then product aware, and then they buy from you. So there’s a journey, it’s called the customer journey, and there’s an argument that for the top of the funnel versus the middle of the funnel versus the bottom-funnel, you want different types of content at the different stages. So checklists, resources, I think that’s kind of middle of the funnel content, but since you’re in advanced content marketing, I can’t help but ask you, what’s an example of something, a good SEO strategy piece to put in the top of the funnel?
Chris Badgett: Like for people who may not have heard of you versus something that’s lower down in the funnel is going to help drive conversions and build your brand and stuff like that?
David Attard: Yes. So at the very top of the funnel, you need to address your audience, not your solution, mm-hmm (affirmative). So these are-
Chris Badgett: That’s a quotable right there, that was very well said, I just want to say that again, at the top of the funnel, David said you should address your audience, not run into the room screaming about your solution.
David Attard: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So let’s say you’re writing something for HR people, you don’t speak about your HR software, you speak about whatever problems an HR person might encounter, not even necessarily problems, just write stuff which is useful to HR people. Whatever it is, just make sure that your audience actually hits your website. Once they’re on your website, then the soft pitching can start, and the soft pitching is the most important part of your top of the funnel, is for those users to actually come back. So for them to come back you need to hook them, and you hook them with something, which we call a lead magnet, which is giving them something for free in return for their email address. So, for them to actually get onto your mailing list, so what do you do? You cannot just tell people, “Please subscribe to my mailing list.” I will say that is very, very difficult and the conversion rate of that would be something like 0.5%.
Chris Badgett: That’s a big mistake people make, you see this above the opt-in form, “Sign up for updates, join my newsletter.” It’s too vague, it’s not actionable.
David Attard: Nobody is going to do that, nobody, nobody, absolutely nobody. But if you do something like, let’s say you mention the checklists, or if you’ve written content about checklists or whatever, if you’re writing about a problem your audience meets and then give them a piece of resource for free, just to get their email address, and push it into their face as soon as they land on your page. So don’t just give them time to actually go anywhere. So for example, one of the pieces of content we write is a web design checklist, it’s not on Collective Rays, it’s on another website which we run. As soon as people hit the site, we have a huge pop-up, which is, “Get the 101 web design content checklist, which you need to make sure your website is running 100% right.” That’s the first thing which they hit, and then we have a number of calls to action within the actual content itself for them to actually get the actual piece of content. We have conversion rates of 40%, 60%, from traffic to email, which is incredible. Industry-wise, your conversion from traffic to email is something like .75%.
David Attard: Anything which is above 5% is great, and we’re hitting 40-60%, and this is on traffic, which where we get, I don’t know, hundreds of hits a day. So, our email list or let’s say, audience, is growing by, I don’t know 100 or 150 new users a day. Where we actually get into a problem where our email marketing expense starts to get a little bit too expensive. But if you actually get this kind of content, and give it for free, like you said, at the top of the funnel for your audience, and then you start building a relationship with your potential client by giving them as much value as possible before you actually start pitching your product or rather than your product, your solution to their problem. So this is important, we don’t sell products, we sell solutions to people’s problems. When you actually start getting into their mindset, you know the problems of the industry. I mean, if you’re actually building a course, you’re in the industry yourself. You know what problems people encounter, you know the situations, you know the stasis, you know everything.
David Attard: So if you pitch towards those problems, towards those instances of where people are having problems and then softly pitch towards your solution to those problems, that’s when you have a winner. But it’s very, very, important that, like you said, when people are still not aware of the solution, you need to build trust by giving them as much value as possible for free.
Chris Badgett: I can hear just in the course creator community, people are nervous because they have spent so much time creating a course or membership that they think that they don’t have time to also blog. So, and let’s say we’re not suggesting you become a daily blogger or a weekly blogger, and let’s say that we can get you listening to this interview to commit to a once a month article, or even just four times a year. There’s this concept called pillar content where it’s just very strategic what you do. You’re not jumping on the content treadmill and going forever since you don’t have time for that. But do we just pick the biggest problem that people have? How do we decide what should be the pillar?
David Attard: It’s not a simple question, this is not a simple question because that’s the million-dollar question, actually. I mean, because obviously, you want to go for the searches which have a lot of volume, but the searches that have a lot of volume and a lot of intent are going to be extremely competitive. So unless you have enough authority in your website to actually be able to compete for those, and enough SEO to actually get them to rank, it’s going to be very, very hard. So, what you need to do is take a bit of a middle ground, so you go for let’s say content which is not too competitive, but you know that it is within the realm of let’s say your audience. You need to write content for your audience, in general, I would say it’s better to target your audience and then make a pitch. I mean, at that point you’re not going to have people who are actually buyers only. But those you could actually get rid of or they will actually fade away when they’re not actually going to buy.
David Attard: So you need to target your audience, then like you said, you need to create a piece of content which is so great that it would be a no-brainer to actually get on your list, especially if you provide these free resources to actually download and whatever, to actually get onto the list. How to choose what you need to do good keyword research, now that’s a whole sort of specialization.
Chris Badgett: Do you have any websites or browser extensions that you recommend for that?
David Attard: I use Ahrefs myself, it’s an SEO tool, but there are quite a few more. What you can actually do is you can outsource it through somebody who does specific keyword research only. So there are people who actually just, you can ask somebody to give you keyword research, you need to specify the volume or speak to them, it depends a lot on the specific industry, I mean, what it competitive for one industry might not be as competitive for the other. But it’s difficult to speak in general for all industries. But like you said, you don’t have to blog often, what you need to do is write creative content. And if you want to do that, you need to forget the 500 words pieces of content, and you need to go to … I tend to tell my content writers and the people I work with the shortest piece of content we can write is 2500 words. Usually, I would say the average for us is 4000, we’ve had a piece of content going to 6-7000.
Chris Badgett: Which you have for collectiveray.com/lifterlms, that’s one of the things that I was really impressed by, I was like, “This is great it’s a deep dive, there’s a lot going on here.”
David Attard: Because what we do is, we don’t look at it just from a product perspective, we look at it from a problem-solution perspective, so [crosstalk 00:34:54].
Chris Badgett: I noticed in your article you highlighted, we have something in our biggest bundle called the infinity bundle called Lifter LMS Office Hours Mastermind, which is a weekly call that I run, and it’s live technical support, but it’s mostly a strategy just to help people and make sure they’re successful. And you highlighted how important that is and how rare that is for people to be able to do that with the founder or the CEO or whatever, I was like, “So you’re really focused on their experience. How cool is that?” Yeah.
David Attard: Because that is a significant differentiator. So let’s say you’re a course builder, and obviously, you know your industry but you don’t know, let’s say, the course building industry so to speak. So you don’t know those tips and tricks, now having the people like yourself-
Chris Badgett: You don’t know what you don’t know, basically.
David Attard: Exactly. I mean, now having somebody like you who’s spent their lifetime in the industry, so they know their stuff, you know your stuff, when you’re actually combined, you’re onto a winning strategy. But if they had to do it by themselves, they’re going to stumble and fumble around until hopefully they get it right or not, which would be the absolutely worst-case scenario. But when you have somebody who’s actually helping you along, making sure that you actually succeed, then that’s a fantastic relationship for both of you guys. Because obviously, the ones who are actually building your course are making sure that it’s successful, and you’ve got such a great relationship with them that they would never actually consider switching to somebody else.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, you’ve mentioned something, you just let it slip casually but I’m going to go back to it, which is it sounds like you have writers that help you? Can you talk about how you outsource some content writing or some of the process? How do you do that?
David Attard: This is in general because I also work with an agency where I don’t write all of the content, so I need to actually pitch. What I do is I do the content research and the stuff which we need to do-
Chris Badgett: So you find the angle, the strategy?
David Attard: Yes, yes. So, for example, at the agency what we do is if we’re writing about a specific tool for a specific industry, we actually get the people who are doing the real work to actually write the content. So there’s no better person to write about a specific product or solution than the person who is actually using that product because obviously they know what they need to have and they will instantly recognize whether something is great and will fit them when they actually start writing about it. What I do is I guide them in terms of what I think needs to be in the actual content. So if you’re doing a product review, we talked a lot about the actual solution to the problem, but there is a lot of things which people are actually looking for when they’re looking at a product review. They’re looking for price, they’re looking for features, they’re looking for what kind of supports you have, they’re looking at what other people actually think about it, so they’re looking for other testimonials. Those are fundamentals when you’re writing a product review. So in every piece of content, there’s going to be stuff which needs to be in there.
David Attard: How do you actually learn how to do that? I mean, it takes a little bit of experience-
Chris Badgett: To outsource it?
David Attard: Sorry?
Chris Badgett: You were saying to learn how to write it or to outsource it, which way are you going?
David Attard: Both. Even when they are outsourced, to outsource the content you still need to specify it really well. So even if you don’t do the actual writing, you need to know what you need to get, because obviously, you’re going to go to a content writer and tell them, “Write about LifterLMS.” They’re going to write about LifterLMS, that’s very different from telling them, “Look, I need to know features, I need to know what the differentiators are, I need to make sure that there are testimonials, I need to understand what’s the difference between the different tiers, I need to know what problems people have encountered in actually working with this tool.” That’s very different than telling them to just write about LifterLMS.
Chris Badgett: I love that, I mean, that just shows your skill as a leader and a manager and delegator, right? I mean, yeah, taking it back to the SEO plugin, you don’t just install the plugin, you’ve got to have a strategy.
David Attard: Yes, for sure. Let me just share with you one of the tricks which I do for content writing, I don’t share this very, very often, but if you’re writing about a specific keyword, what I do is I look at the top 10, even 20 results and I look at the actual headings of those 10 results, and then make sure that my content is covering all of the different sections in all of the different articles. So, I’m not just matching the content of one article, I’m matching the content which the algorithm is looking for in each of the top 10 articles. So all of those 10 articles might have one thing which is great which is helping it rank, so I’m actually including all of that stuff into my own article. Which obviously then takes that to a whole new level.
Chris Badgett: So that’s what we call an outlier strategy right there, thank you for being so generous with that. And we may have to do another episode because we only have about five minutes left, but I want to switch gears to another topic.
David Attard: Yes, we could speak about this for ages.
Chris Badgett: It’s good stuff, I’m learning a lot from you so this is great. You also have experience in the affiliate space. So if a course creator, let’s say they make the course or the training based membership site, they’ve built in pillar content for blogging and SEO and whatnot. There’s this concept called expansion revenue where especially if their course topic involves working with other products or stuff, it’s very common for a course creator to have a tab on their menu called resources. And then on that page, like let’s say I had a course about how to build a WordPress website and you’re obviously going to be recommending certain page builders, let’s say LifterLMS if you do specialize in that, or WooCommerce, or whatever. And most of these products have affiliate programs that you can join, and I just want to say, this doesn’t just work in the technology space, there’s affiliate programs for everything.
David Attard: Yes, for sure, for everything.
Chris Badgett: I mean, if you’re doing a weight loss course, I mean Amazon-
David Attard: It’s a huge industry, huge industry.
Chris Badgett: … Amazon has an affiliate program, so what’s not on Amazon?
David Attard: Amazon is one of the biggest affiliates, not one of the biggest, definitely the biggest by far.
Chris Badgett: And they have the lowest payout, I mean, their percentage is pretty tiny. But, all right, let’s say somebody’s new, they’re excited, they want the expansion revenue, which just means another income stream around their expertise. We’re going to do a relevant recommended resources page that we’re integrity with what we’re recommending, it’s a good fit for our audience. What should they do? And you’ve only got four minutes to lay some tips on them.
David Attard: Yeah, so you’ve said it very, very nicely there already. You need to find the places, the right fit for the recommendations. So that is the biggest trick for affiliate marketing, you need to find the exact right spot where people need that specific product, problem solved let’s say rather than product, they need the problem solved. So, if you’re writing about something and then try to pitch something completely different, then you’re not going to get any conversions. But if you’re writing about anything and within that anything there are premium products, which would fit into solving that problem, that’s where you get the sales. I’m not sure about specific problem. So let’s say we’re speaking about LMS plugins, if you’re looking for WordPress LMS plugins, that’s going to be a relatively easy sale, but that’s going to be very competitive. But if you’re looking for how to monetize a blog, then that’s something very, very different because obviously, the person is not aware, they will usually be looking adverts, affiliate marketing. But if you tell them that, “Look, if you’re an expert at what you’re doing, this is actually a great idea of actually pitching, let’s say a course builder tool.” Then there is a great way to actually monetize that.
David Attard: I mean, it’s not-
Chris Badgett: So you’re moving up to the top of the funnel, we’re not already aware of this, but we have somebody who’s clearly an expert at something, they’re blogging or they’re YouTubing or whatever, maybe they haven’t even thought about a course idea.
David Attard: Yes, for sure. So let me tell you another of my tricks, I have quite a few pieces of content. So let’s say everybody wants to make their website fast, so if you look at the keyword research for WordPress fast, speed up WordPress, they’re incredibly difficult to actually compete against because everybody wants to do that. But if you look at very specific touches, so you find tools and you find the warnings, which the tools give you, let’s say what is something … I’m giving away a lot of my tricks here, Chris, but-
Chris Badgett: Hey, that’s my job, to mine as much value as I can out of my guests.
David Attard: Yes. So you go to the tools which are making recommendations for making WordPress fast, and there is a warning, which is quite cryptic. So you take that warning, you write a whole blog post about it and how to actually fix it, and then you actually recommend a product which is actually able to fix it, a paid product. So you’ve gone from trying to compete with everyone to going to a piece of content, which is exactly in the niche audience which is looking for a solution, and then you’re pitching a product. So you’re giving them a free solution because obviously, a free solution exists, but for those people who don’t have time to actually tweak and do stuff, just buy this product and your problem is solved.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome, I appreciate you giving away some seriously strategic tips, I mean, my mind’s blown on a couple of things that you’ve said today that I’m going to immediately put into action in my business. And if you like actual tips around WordPress, I think this is just a great just tip of the iceberg of the wisdom and knowledge that David has. Head on over to collectiveray.com/lifterlms and sign up to get his Actionable WordPress Tips. Because I mean, you can tell when somebody adds value, and if you like this episode I want you to email me, just send an email to [email protected], say, “I loved the show with David from Collective Ray, please get him to come back and do another show.” And tell me what you want to hear about, this one is so good I’m going to actually release it early to the Lifter LMS Office Hours Mastermind folks because we typically have about a six-week delay from recording to when it goes live. But I just can’t wait to get this in the hands of some of our topmost action taking community members because I get asked some of these types of questions and you’re clearly the go-to person for this.
Chris Badgett: Again, that’s David Attard from collevtiveray.com/lifterlms, go there, you can read his 6000-word review of LifterLMS, and you can use that as an example of everything he’s talking about today. So David is not just an idea, he’s a take massive action guy. So, David, thank you so much for coming on the show, I really appreciate it.
David Attard: You’re very welcome.
Chris Badgett: Is there anywhere else you want to send people or anything like that?
David Attard: I mean, once they’re on the site they can actually go around and see what we’ve written about, there’s a WordPress tricks section, there’s a theme section, there’s a plugin section where we’ve reviewed a bunch of stuff. So there’s quite a lot of good stuff on the site in general. So it’s not just LifterLMS, we go deep into quite a lot of stuff.
Chris Badgett: Check it all out. David, thanks so much, I really appreciate it, we’ll have to do it again sometime.
David Attard: You’re very welcome, and it would be a pleasure to actually join you again.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses. To help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet.