FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the different types of articles you write, and what are the benefits of each?
There are many different types of articles that you can create, and each type is differentiated by its structure and intended purpose. Here are six commonly created types of articles:
- List posts: List posts are easy to read and, often, easier to skim. Each item included on the list is self-contained, making it easier for readers to select which parts of the post interest them.
- Cheat-sheets (checklists): Cheat-sheets or checklists are pieces of written content that offer readers high practical value. Often, cheat sheets are gated content, which means readers must provide their email address to access the content.
- Long explanatory articles: These are blog posts or other pages on your website that dive deeply into one specific topic. Such blog posts may be stand-alone articles or clustered together to cover a topic comprehensively.
- How-to-articles: How-to-articles explain some process to the reader. Often, how-to-articles use a combination of text, images and videos.
- Roundup posts: This term most often refers to a roundup of industry experts who share insights or thoughts on a specific topic.
- Research articles: These are thorough, data-rich articles that offer some new insight to the reader. They usually have a methodology and findings section.
Different article structures are used to accomplish different things. So when you hire Steeped Content to produce an article, the first step is determining what you want to accomplish.
For example, list-style articles are more informal and tend to get shared more on social media. Research shows listicles (list articles) get 2x more shares than any other blog format. Checklists (or cheat sheets) can be delivered as gated content to help build email lists; research and long educational articles can help build site authority.
Look at my portfolio of articles on The Tea Tribe while keeping your unique needs in mind.
Where can I find samples of your blog posts?
Writing over 100,000 words about tea means I have a lot of samples. Head over to The Tea Tribe to explore my writing portfolio.
If I hire you to write a blog post, what will stop you from giving that same post to another client? How am I protected?
This is a great question. There are a lot of slimy people out there, so your caution makes sense. I act with integrity, and it’s one of my core personal values.
What stops me from giving a duplicate version of your article to a competitor is self-interest; I strive to do great work for my clients, so they keep doing business with me. Additionally, Google prioritizes original content and can determine if one article is plagiarized from another. If I gave a copy-and-paste version of your article to a competitor, it wouldn’t perform the way it did for you, the original publisher.
When I hire you to write an article, who owns the intellectual property?
If you hire me to write an article, you own the intellectual property once I have been paid in full.
If you hire me to write a 1,000-word guest post, I maintain control over the article, although it resides on your site. You should also rest easy knowing that each of my blog posts, including guest posts, is an original work. Under no circumstances do I plagiarize or post duplicate content.
If I hire you to write a blog post, how much will it increase my website’s traffic?
When estimating how much a blog post will increase your website's traffic, you need to consider two things.
First, you need to look at your primary keyword search volume. This gives you an indication of how many times a month a specific keyword is searched, indicating total traffic.
Second, you need to estimate where your article is likely to rank on the search engine results page. The table below shows how click-through-rate (CTR) changes based on what position your site achieves in the search engine results page.
Here is an example illustrating how knowing search volume and position helps you estimate your website’s traffic increase. The keyword “Caffeine in green tea” is searched around 4,400 times a month. Let’s say you write a great article on the subject and are lucky enough to achieve the fourth position in Googles’ search engine results page (SERP) for the keyword. 13.6% of 4,400 is 598.4, meaning your website traffic increases by roughly 600 searchers a month. That’s roughly 7,200 additional visitors to your site per year.
How many rounds of revisions are included when you create a blog post for me?
When I write a blog post for you, the service includes one round of revisions. A single revision is usually sufficient to address the small alterations you may require before accepting the final product. I offer additional second revisions to clients who want them, billed at my hourly rate of CDN 75 per hour.
How long will a blog post take you to produce?
The amount of time it takes to create a blog post depends on the topic’s complexity. For example, if I am writing a 1000-word article in a casual tone, structured as a list, and made to engage rather than educate, it typically takes about 4 to 6 hours to create. If I am creating a research-based article designed to educate the reader, it can take 10 to 15 hours of scholarly research, keyword research, writing, on-page optimization, and editing.
Is external link-building included in the blog post service?
I love people who ask this question! It’s a genuinely excellent query. If another website links to you, this is considered an external link to your site.
External link building is the most critical thing you can do for your content, other than writing it. Receiving external links helps your search engine optimization (SEO). The number of websites that link to your article is an important signal to Google and significantly impacts how your website ranks in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
External link building requires the use of specialized search engine optimization tools, like Ahref. Additionally, external link building is not a one-off activity; it requires frequent, ongoing outreach and takes time to implement.
Because of the time, effort and ongoing nature of external link building, I do not offer it to clients who hire me to produce a single blog post in a one-off transaction. However, I do provide external link building services to clients who keep me on a monthly retainer.
Is internal link-building included in the blog post service?
This is a good question. Internal links are links from one page on your website to a different page on your website.
Like external link building, internal link building is important for search engine optimization (SEO). Building internal links between your pages makes it easier for Google to index your website. The more pages of your website that Google has in its index, the more likely your web pages will be delivered to searchers.
I offer internal link building services to all clients. For those who hire me to create a one-off, 1000-word article, adding an hour of internal link building is advisable for sites with established blogs. For clients who hire me on retainer, we can include internal link building into the deliverables.
Can I hire you to produce a monthly blog post for my website?
Yes. I can be hired on a monthly retainer to produce blog posts for you. Depending on your budget and your content strategy’s objectives, I can create as many articles as needed each month. Most clients who keep me on retainer ask me to produce between one or two blog posts a month. The fee they pay for my services varies based on the scope of work.
In your opinion, how often should I be posting to my tea company's blog?
Generally, posting high-quality, long-form articles once a month should be your minimum goal. If you have the resources, like a talented writer on staff or a great content marketer contractor, you should consider publishing high-quality content twice a month or more. As of 2020, 66% of bloggers are posting a few times per month.
You may want to strive for a higher publishing frequency because it creates more content assets, from which you may rank higher in search engines. Additionally, content marketing is, to some degree, a numbers game. According to research conducted by Neil Patel, a marketing guru, companies that have published 400+ pieces of blog content received up to twice the traffic compared to those that have published between 301-400 blog posts.
There is room to experiment with your publishing frequency to determine what works best for you. However, once you decide on your publishing frequency, you should stick with it.
Can I write the article and then hire you, Mackenzie, to edit it?
Some clients want to write the article themselves and then hire me to edit it. I’m open to doing this, but I approach this collaboration style with a bit of caution.
The primary reason I approach the arrangement with caution is accountability. If you write, and I edit, and the article does not perform well, I don’t want to be blamed or held accountable for the performance of a piece of content I did not control.
The second, lesser, reason I approach your writing arrangement and me editing with caution is cost. My time working at a digital marketing agency demonstrated how client involvement in creating articles could be more time-consuming. This often means you may get stuck with a bigger bill rather than a smaller one.
Here’s when I think particular people may be well equipped to write their articles. Certain people have deep expertise in one or more specific aspects of the tea industry. For example, you may be an expert in building and managing a tea supply chain or farm-direct trade. In such cases, it makes sense to leverage the expertise you have; it’ll give your content an edge.
In such situations, my role at Steeped Content may be to edit your work, conduct keyword research, write the meta description and alt text. I can also conduct competitive research to determine what pages your content must outrank, and what you can selectively learn or emulate from them.
Explain what keywords are and walk me through the different types?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines like Google.
The most common way of categorizing keywords is based on length and specificity. When using this classification method, digital marketers refer to keywords as head terms, short-tail keywords, mid-tail keywords, and long-tail keywords.
- Head keywords, also called a head term, is a generic keyword with a high search volume and is competitive to rank for.
- Short-tail keywords are phrases with a couple of words. Short tail keywords are often searched frequently and remain very competitive, making them similar to head terms.
- Mid-tail keywords are usually three to four words long. They can still be very competitive and reasonably hard to rank for in organic search, but they are more attainable than head terms and short-tail keywords and may therefore be within reach of some brands.
- Long-tail keywords are often four or five words long. They are highly specific phrases that are searched less frequently than head terms, short tail keywords, or mid-tail keywords.
When it comes to keywords, how do I know what people are looking for?
Everyone who types something into Google has a purpose for their search. This is known as “search intent.” Keywords fall into one of four categories of search intent.
- Informational: The searcher is looking for information.
- Navigational: The searcher is looking for something specific.
- Commercial Investigation: The searcher is looking to take action and weighing options.
- Transactional: The searcher is looking to make a purchase.
Why should I hire you to conduct keyword research when I’ve found someone cheaper?
Your question is a good and valid one. The market offers cheaper service providers, but the reason you should select me comes down to the content creation process’s competence and cohesiveness.
I love tea, digital marketing is my profession, and my specialty is content marketing. I know what I’m doing, and in this game of digital marketing, not everyone does.
When you isolate keyword research from writing, you risk giving up the depth, precision and natural language that you can gain using a single expert (like me) for the entire process.
We already have an in-house marketer, and they have conducted the keyword research for us. Can we provide you with our keyword research to use in the content you write for us?
Yes, you can provide me with keyword research that you have conducted in-house. However, in such cases, I like to verify that the keywords selected are the best fit to ensure strong content.
I have heard keywords help with search engine optimization (SEO). Can my articles have multiple keywords in them?
Many factors influence search engine optimization: links, keywords, and content quality are notable ones.
I design articles to incorporate multiple keywords, but more is not always better when it comes to enriching articles with keywords.
Keyword stuffing is when you load a web page with keywords to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing because it has a negative user-experience for the reader. The price of keyword stuffing is high: Google may demote or delist your site from its index. The moral of the story is unrestricted keyword use hurts you.
How do I know which keywords are right for me?
This is the million-dollar question, so kudos to you for asking.
You need to choose keywords that people are searching for and which are relevant to your tea brand. Knowing which keywords to target can be bewildering but can be made simpler if you have a clear understanding of your brand’s purpose and then invest in brand and marketing strategies that support it.
Here’s an illustrative example demonstrating how purpose and strategic marketing documents add clarity to keyword selection. This model adapts Simon Sinek's Golden Circle and uses a hypothetical brand that focuses on tea’s health benefits.
What is scholarly research?
Scholarly research, which is also called academic research, consists of rigorous, peer-reviewed articles written by scholars or expert professionals. These articles are then published in credible journals focused on a specific field. Such journals include Nature and Food Chemistry.
What sources do you use when you conduct scholarly research?
The exact sources I use when conducting scholarly research vary, depending on the unique content needs. For example, I turn to papers published in reputable scientific journals for topics related to tea’s health effects. If I’m researching how tea is grown, I turn to textbooks and papers published on the subject. Whatever sources are used, the most important thing is to vet for credibility, identify the key insights, and then paraphrase findings, so the information is accessible to your average person. The evaluation, synthesis, and re-communication of scholarly research is often the most challenging task.
What is original research, and are there any advantages to it?
Original research is the findings that result from you conducting experiments and studies. Original research is owned by you and your brand, making your site and brand the primary source.
Google rewards original research, which is why there is considerable value in incorporating it into your content marketing efforts. Original research is easier to promote and generate buzz around; it outperforms most anything else and attracts more links and shares than any other form of content.
However, creating original research requires a considerable amount of work and investment of time. Most tea brands don’t have the budget or skills required to conduct original research, so in reality, drawing from existing academic research is often the more affordable and accessible option.
I have immersed myself in published research on tea and have considerable knowledge in this area, which I draw on when you hire me for scholarly research.
Why is guest posting beneficial for my website?
Guest posting involves writing and publishing an article on someone else's website. It’s beneficial to you because you get the content at a discounted price. Equally important, guest postings build inter-linkages between websites. These links make guest posting valuable to you and vital to the tea industry’s broader ecosystem. The benefits of guest posting typically take time to materialize.
What are guest posting guidelines? If I don’t have any, can you help me develop them?
Guest posting guidelines specify the tone, style, and required actions to guest authors posting on your site.
Some big tea brands may have guest posting guidelines, but many smaller players don’t. In these cases, an initial conversation between the guest author and the tea company (and a paper trail) is sufficient to bring everyone onto the same page.
If you’re planning to make guest posting part of your content marketing strategy, guidelines are worth developing. I can assist you in making guest posting guidelines that meet the unique needs of your company. If you have any questions, please contact me.
It sounds like guest posting gives you, Mackenzie, more control in the content creation. What happens if we disagree on something?
It’s common for people to hire me to create a guest post as our first step in working together. You get to see what I can do in a low-risk setting, and I see what it’s like working with you. I’m always keen to make the partnership mutually beneficial and ensure your happiness. As the author, I decide what outbound links get used; however, I’m happy to explain my logic, so we’re aligned.
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.