If you’re like many online business owners today then you’ve set up your internet presence within the framework of a blog. This is a smart move because, as any savvy internet marketer will tell you, blogs tend to perform better in the search engines than static sites. This is due to a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the major search engines place a higher value on sites that offer new information on a consistent basis.
If your business model is centered around generating revenue with contextual advertising or affiliate programs then you may already know that churning out a large volume of posts and information is vital to increasing your profits. It is true that you can still earn a decent amount with only a handful of high-ranking posts that target highly-searched keywords, but experienced bloggers know that going after so-called “long tails” is also worthwhile.
By going after “long tail” keyword phrases I’m referring to those which tend to be three words or longer and have what could be considered relatively low search volume. They are more obscure terms that are easier to rank for but deliver less revenue because few searchers use them when looking for information. Thus, ranking highly for “cheap platinum wedding rings” is much easier than ranking for “wedding rings”, though the latter phrase might see a hundred times more search engine traffic than the former.
Essentially it comes down to two different strategies. Either you can write huge numbers of posts that target long tail terms or you can focus on targeting more popular keyword phrases with less frequent posts. Each has its pros and cons, but I feel that the long tail is overlooked much too often. By using the long tail approach you can worry less about having to earn inbound links, and focus more on simply pumping out consistent and useful content for your site. The challenge becomes not so much fending off competitors but rather finding the motivation to write one or more informative posts per day, which in my book is a pretty good trade-off. Of course I’m not saying to ignore keyword phrase volume altogether, but it might be a good idea to think about zeroing in on phrases that might only draw a hundred visitors a month instead of ten thousand. You can make up for it with volume.
As I said, this might not be new information for some online business owners, especially those who earn a living with contextual ads or affiliate programs. I have noticed, however, that people who use a blog as an ecommerce platform tend to be less disciplined about generating site content. They tend to be satisfied when all their product pages and posts have been published, and they completely lose sight of the benefits that consistent blogging can provide them. In essence, they might as well have a static site, and this fact seriously limits their earning power, even if they’re pursuing one of the best online business ideas.
When I approach these folks and inform them that they are not leveraging their blogging platform to its full potential they usually complain that they don’t know what to talk about. For these people the concept of the “long tail” has either been forgotten or discarded, but ignoring it is a huge mistake. If you have an online store that was built using WordPress, Typepad, or any other blogging platform then you have an enormous opportunity to take market share simply by coming up with weekly or daily fresh content! If you’re trying to figure out how to make a lot of money with your online store then you should know that you can greatly expand its reach by adding more posts to capture more potential business.
Let’s say, for example, that you sell yard signs via your site. You could talk about everything from how to keep yard signs clean, to how to design it for maximum impact, to what qualities to look for in a sign maker. The possibilities are endless. It’s not even so important that each post tackles a major concept or issue; you just need to churn out as much content as humanly possible in order to capture as much of the long tail as you can. This way there is less pressure on you to rank #1 for “yard signs” because the hundreds of other posts on your site are combining to pull in a huge amount of targeted traffic on their own. It’s really just a matter of going wide or going deep. Ideally, you would do both, but it’s easier in the beginning to rank for the long tail keyword phrases, and then you can go after the “big fish” later on down the road.