The Most Important Lesson I Learned This Year from Blogging for Businesses

It's that quality is everything.
luxurious wooden room with a painting, bookshelf, and table
Before I co-founded FoundCopy, I spent many years writing for several outlets in different spaces. I’ve written on a variety of subjects in the past: politics, music, personal growth, and more.

In the past year, however, I’ve spent most of my writing time blogging for companies. These companies that I have blogged for make tens of thousands in revenue each year just from the content that I have written for them.

It’s pretty amazing to see the impact that written prose has on business growth. That growth leads to more opportunities for everyone, as these companies use that extra revenue to hire more people.

In other words, blogging creates jobs!

I wanted to take some time to share with you the greatest lesson I’ve learned in the past year from blogging for businesses. I hope this encourages you to rethink the importance of blogging, whether you want to do it yourself or have a luxury agency like us do it for you.

Whatever You Do, It Must Be Top Quality

One of the first customers we worked with was SalesPipe…or should we say “work with” as SalesPipe is still a customer of FoundCopy.

Before FoundCopy took on SalesPipe as a customer, SalesPipe had a handful of blogs that were not search optimized. They also barely had any traffic on the web.

In the four years of SalesPipe.co’s history as a domain, the company only had 3,600 organic impressions from Google. SalesPipe never had a single customer from Google: they only made business through referral or using their own outbound sales service.

The founders of SalesPipe understood that they needed more ways than what they had to get as many customers as possible. Things can go south really fast in any business. It’s always a possibility to lose important customers on a whim due to something in or out of your control: a global pandemic (out of your control), nonparallel expectations between you and the customer (in your control), Google marking your outbound emails as spam (both in and out of your control). Such problems affect all businesses and SalesPipe is no exception.

When FoundCopy took on SalesPipe, we started with a list of the most relevant one-hundred keywords that we found using our keyword research tool. We made the list of keywords on none other than keyword intent, and that’s something that can be seen by doing SERP analyses for every single keyword. The list was originally in the hundreds but the SERP analyses made the list lean.

It’s a lot of grunt work but totally worth the labor. You’re going to have to spend time and energy writing content anyway, so you might as well make sure that what you’re writing about will rank for keywords that your customers search for on Google. That’s why I spent so much time doing the SERP analyses.

Once I made this list of keywords, I organized them into blogs that can be written so that certain clusters of keywords appear in the same blog article.

I’m not going to share anything from the plan (blog titles and keywords) here because that’s private knowledge, but I must emphasize again that this research part of the blogging process is arguably the most crucial part of the project. When it comes to SEO blogging, everything you do should be utterly strategic. No tasks should be wasted and there should always be an end goal to anything you do.

This may sound extreme yet it’s not. I’ve spent much of my time simply perusing the web and our keyword research tool for websites that have nothing to do with SalesPipe.co. While this behavior did not “produce anything substantive,” such as a blog post, it was productive in that I gained knowledge and research of what works and what doesn’t in the context of SEO.

So remember this: if you think that researching - even for fun - is not a productive activity, you are going to waste a lot of time blogging and wondering why your blogs aren’t ranking high or are getting organic traffic.

Once we had the plan, we wrote four articles on SalesPipe’s site that had the most crucial keywords in all of them. We found that many keywords tend to be related to one another - not just in their wording but also in the results they produce.

Take a look at this article as an example. If I search for “what to know about blogging” and “blogs about life lessons,” I get fairly similar search results. The article ranks for both of those keywords, among more.

Four articles don’t sound like a lot but remember that these first four articles were of the top-of-the-line standards that exist in search engine optimization. Each was approximately 1,500 words; none had any grammatical errors; they were styled for SEO (lots of subheaders and shorter paragraphs); they were technically optimized for keywords, images, internal and external linking, and header tags; they each have several backlinks.

There’s so much advice on the web telling you that you must write content all the time. Writing a ton of content is not the only way to rank high for keywords. What good does content serve if all of it is watered down and is largely saying the same thing?

Before I get into how these articles performed, think of it in the context of the end-user. If the end-user/potential customer ends up clicking on your article when they searched for something but the article has repeated knowledge that isn’t new, what good does it do for the end-user? They most certainly won’t think you’re different from similar articles if they all sound the same. Why would they become a potential customer of yours?

This is how we think at FoundCopy. We only create content that is unique from other articles ranking for keywords. Of course, some knowledge has to be repeated for the sake of clarity and reminder. But that shouldn’t be the whole article! Readers are looking to gain insights and learn something new, not something they already know.

Google knows this. That’s why black-hat SEO tactics, or SEO tactics that go against Google developer rules like spammy link listing, are ultimately becoming a dying strategy.

Google’s algorithm is so good at showing high-quality content that the first results satisfy readers, clicks are heavily more rewarded to the number one result. Yes, there is something to be said for other factors that influence this. Yet if readers weren’t satisfied with the first result on Google, there would be higher click rates for results two through 10.
first result on Google way higher than others bar chart
This is how we worked with SalesPipe. We refused to follow the conventional wisdom that we just need to create a lot of content in SEO format, regardless of quality, and get backlinks. We took the quality-first approach.

And it worked.

SalesPipe has less than ten do-follow backlinks to those four articles, yet those four articles are the reason why SalesPipe currently receives over 1,500 impressions from Google every day. Those four articles collectively rank for over 100 keywords, some of the keywords were not even recorded in our keyword research before publishing. And because of these results, SalesPipe now makes more than $50,000 in annual revenue within less than six months of working with FoundCopy.

For starters, I’m always satisfied to see an article we’ve written get in the top ranks of Google. I grew up being a Googler as a Gen Z, so being a Gen Z entrepreneur - and seeing our work rank high on Google - is an utter dream that’s my reality.

The fact, though, that this insight - quality-first - worked on the web is probably the greatest insight from all of this. Let’s face it, in the mid-2010s and beyond people have become more cynical and pessimistic about the state of digital technology and its adverse effects on the global population. These effects do indeed exist, as I don’t use social media partly because of this.

But look at how much we’ve advanced on search. Nowadays, Google is so good at giving you high-quality content that you don’t even bother to read results two, three, and four. Google gives you content, like the one that FoundCopy has written for SalesPipe, that informs you and makes you smarter. Google has also become a place for businesses like SalesPipe to make money and distribute it to new hires.

This work is literally educating people and growing economies. How could we not be in awe by that?

There will always be problems with everything as nothing is perfect.

But I want to close this essay by saying one thing: quality matters.

People aren’t stupid, this is truly a fatal assumption. Have more faith in readers because readers know the difference between good and bad writing.

Whatever you do, it should be the highest quality possible.

Post by Noah Levy, cofounder at FoundCopy.
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