I read something powerful recently and I wish I could remember who wrote it.
It was one of those things that you read quickly, think “makes sense,” then realize later how strong it is.
Like a time-released medication.
Here it is:
“Be the end of the search.”
It was in reference to SEO content, but it feels like, metaphorically, it could extend so far beyond web search results.
But, let’s start there first.
We’ve all been there.
You Google a phrase looking for an answer to the current problem you need to solve.
Cue the top-ranked articles for that keyword.
You click one.
Note the advice.
Pick a new result.
Very similar advice.
Ok, so they’re all saying the same thing: Do X, Y, Z.
But, maybe, just maybe, there’s a standout result.
Worth adding to the swipe file.
Worth going ahead and executing on because the instructions are clear.
And you are also now aware of how the brand that published this actionable advice could further help you.
You didn’t go back to the search results.
Instead, you saw more content they created and recommended as helpful and thought, “Oh, yeah, I should look into that, too.”
Or you felt compelled to subscribe to receive more.
Or explore their case studies.
You might not convert on this blog article / video / whatever that was good enough to rank but different enough to end your search.
But now you have the most compelling version of the answer you were looking for and are aware the company that published it exists and sells a thing you might need.
Let’s think about the end of a search.
It’s the moment when you find what you are looking for.
The moment when you decide, “Yes. Let’s try this.”
Search happens in search engines, but it also happens in private networks, on social media networks (hello, TikTok is crazy popular for search now), in peer-to-peer conversations, and, basically, everywhere.
Think of it like the hiring process.
At some point, a hiring manager decides that a candidate is “the one.” The search is over. That person gets the offer. And the paycheck.
Your content, in whatever medium you distribute it—newsletter, blog, videos, paid media—should feel like the end of a search.
“I need a good resource for X.”
“Oh, brand Y creates trustworthy content about X. In fact, it’s so good, I’ll subscribe and stop looking for more.”
Your content goal: no “going back.”
If you posted about this concept recently, thank you. It stuck with me. Let me know who you are and I’ll give you the credit you deserve.
A Product-Led Content Rubric To Try
This LinkedIn post by Gaetano Nino DiNardi continues our conversation from last week about product-led content. He explains how to replace outdated marketing concepts with a product-led content framework and shares the rubric he uses as well as an excellent example in the comments.
Marketing Tips From Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin (formerly Moz, now SparkToro) has been publishing pearls of wisdom lately:
“99% of content marketing fails.” In this LinkedIn video, Rand offered a tactic to help you become strategic before creating content: ask, “who will amplify this and why?”
Next, Rand shared a 90-second story he calls “The Parable of the Pizzaria” as a cautionary tale on wasting marketing dollars on channels that claim credit (think Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). Not sure if a channel is taking credit or actually incremental? Try shutting it off for a while.
If you’re not following Rand on LinkedIn yet, you should, if only to learn and mimic how he’s using the channel to distribute insights and build thought leadership. Notice he’s taking articles SparkToro published in the past and putting together quick presentations that can be consumed right in the feed (aka zero click content). Way more strategic than simply dropping links to recently published blogs.
As a bonus I’m tossing in this 44-minute episode of the Marketing Revisited podcast with Liam Moroney, where Rand offered insights into ICP research, including how to “do audience research properly”.
Taking A Podcast / Conversation First Approach To Content Marketing
Justin Simon encourages creators to “get off the content creation hamster wheel” (creating content for the sake of creating content) and offers a 5-step process for creating a content repurposing engine.
Want to see how this could play out in real life? Over on TikTok, I shared a new approach to content creating that starts with real conversations (first, show guest experts, then social media audience members who react to what we are posting) and turning those insights into long-form articles.
Here are 2 SEO tips you can add to your strategy:
1. Don’t overlook low search volume keywords:
MJ Peters encourages marketers to take a chance creating SEO articles with low-volume terms that are relevant to your business. The payoff might be more than you expect (even if it’s a couple of months down the road).
2. Be patient:
Si Quan Ong asks the question, “How long does SEO take to show results?” According to LinkedIn and Twitter polls: Between 3-6 months. This Ahrefs article explains why.
Radically Rethink The Way You Write: Use Smart Brevity
Is your writing actually keeping people’s attention? Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei shares how to say more with fewer words in this Ted Talk.
Discovered via For the Interested.
Should You Create Unique Brand Language?
“Crafting a unique language around your brand, community, and content can help your offering stand out, increase customer loyalty, and add an element of playfulness to your work.”
This Ghost article explains how to use unique language and offers examples from different industries.
Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.
Up Your Content Curation Game
We’ve shared a lot of “what is curation” links over our past 92 issues, and while this one isn’t anything revolutionary, it does serve as a good reminder of what to curate and why. If you’re a newer subscriber looking for curation tips, Cait Carter has you covered.
Also, if you’d like to dive down a rabbit hole of this SEO topic: we’ve included a few in the past.
What Type Of Newsletter Business Model Do You Need?
After talking with teams at hundreds of indie newsletters, Dan Oshinsky determined there are 5 categories, each needing a different business plan.
- The Analyst
- The Curator
- The Expert
- The Reporter
- The Writer
Determine Your Subscribers’ Lifetime Value
How do you determine how much a newsletter subscriber is worth? Find out how to calculate your newsletter subscribers’ lifetime value with this calculator by Louis Nicholls at Sparkloop.
Discovered via Inbox Reads.
As we transition this newsletter from a primarily newsletter-focused newsletter, we’ll be phasing out Curated News. But, you can check out all past segments here to learn more about features and tips for using Curated.
New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).
Opt In Challenge
Invest In Relationships
Josh Spector’s offering a secret to audience growth and this week your Opt In Challenge is to try it out. Here it is in a nutshell: “Spend less time creating content and more time building relationships.”