I Wish I Never Built a Personal Brand

neil patel brand

Some of you who are reading this know who I am. And many of you don’t.

So, for those of you who don’t…

My name is Neil Patel, and I am the co-founder of an ad agency called Neil Patel Digital. I’ve also co-founded a few marketing technology companies.

I blog about marketing at NeilPatel.com, and in the last 31 days I was able to reach 1,701,486 people through my blog.

traffic

I have a decent social following… 927,000 Facebook fans, 298,000 Twitter followers, 289,802 LinkedIn followers, and 159,588 YouTube subscribers.

And in the last 28 days, 43,196 people found me by Googling variations of my name.

brand queries

So, can you see the issue with everything I am doing?

It’s all tied to my name.

None of my companies have as much traffic, and they don’t have anywhere near the social following as my personal blog that you’re reading right now.

And that’s not even the biggest issue, which I will get into later on.

But before I go into why I wouldn’t build a personal brand again, let’s go over how it all began.

Why did I build a personal brand?

I never planned on building a personal brand. I started my career in marketing at the age of 16.

My first website was a job board called Advice Monkey (no longer exists) that I started when I was 16 years old. I had no clue how to generate traffic… I just thought that you put up a website and people visit.

Boy, was I wrong!

Eventually, I saved up enough money from picking up trash and cleaning restrooms at a theme park to pay a marketing firm.

They ripped me off and provided little to no results.

From being broke and frustrated I had no choice but to learn online marketing.

I got so good at it that Advice Monkey started to rank on Google for competitive terms like job board, job search, and tech jobs. In essence, I was ranking for so many job and career terms that Advice Monkey started generating well over 100,000 visitors a month.

I know that doesn’t seem like a lot of traffic, but for a job board with no listings, the Internet not being as popular 17 years ago, and for me being a 16-year-old kid, I didn’t do too bad.

But here is the thing, I was never able to make Advice Monkey work out. I just didn’t know how to monetize it.

So, like any other nerdy 16-year-old, I did what my parents wanted me to do, I went to college. And I know I was a bit too young for college as I was still in high school, so I took night classes at a college nearby my home while still in high school.

My first class was Speech 101, and I gave a speech on how Google worked. Funny enough, someone in the class worked at a company that was looking to hire someone that knew how Google worked.

He asked me if I wanted a consulting job… I said yes… they paid me $5,000 a month. I was able to help them generate well into the 8 figures of additional yearly revenue because of my work.

The owner of the company was impressed, so he introduced me to his son, who owned an ad agency.

Soon enough, he outsourced some work to me, which lead me to generate $20,000 a month in income.

The start of my personal brand

I was happy with the money that I was making for my age, but I knew it wouldn’t last.

Just because someone is paying you money right now, it doesn’t mean they will pay you next year or even next month.

I had to figure out how to generate customers.

I wasn’t the best at sales, I wasn’t well connected… so I did what I knew best. I created a blog that focused on the topic of SEO in hopes that it would generate leads and sales.

The blog no longer exists, but it was called Pronet Advertising. Here’s what it looked like:

pronet advertising

Over time, the blog started to grow in popularity and it would generate leads here and there. I never hit more than 150,000 monthly visitors, and I wasn’t satisfied with the results.

I wish I knew what I know now because I would have done simple things like leveraging exit popups and lead forms on the blog.

Seriously, I made so many basic mistakes back in 2006.

Because the blog wasn’t working out too well, I decided to speak at conferences in hopes that it would generate more clients. I literally applied to every marketing conference in hopes of landing a speaking gig.

The first conference I spoke at was Search Engine Strategies (it no longer exists). I was a bit nervous, but people enjoyed my speech.

I generated no new business from the event. 🙁

But that didn’t stop me, and I started to speak at more conferences and eventually, I drummed up business from a few events. Plus, I was building a personal brand in the marketing space (without realizing it).

Now when I say I started to build a brand, it wasn’t anything like it is right now and my goal wasn’t to build a brand… I just wanted to close new deals.

The software era

My ad agency grew to a few million a year in revenue, but by the time the recession hit in 2008, we started to lose a lot of clients.

Eventually, I shifted my focus to a marketing software company I co-founded, Crazy Egg.

At the same time, I stopped blogging on Pronet Advertising because it wasn’t generating any real income.

I started to focus all of my energy on getting Crazy Egg traffic and customers, while my business partner focused on making the product great.

At that time, Crazy Egg’s brand recognition was larger than mine. And I had no intention of growing my personal brand.

So, when I spoke at conferences, I talked about Crazy Egg. When I woke up in the morning, I spent my time trying to make Crazy Egg more popular.

As Crazy Egg was growing, I randomly decided to start a personal blog, Quick Sprout. I have no clue why I decided to do this… I just wanted a personal blog because I thought it would be a fun experience.

And if you are wondering why I didn’t name the blog Neil Patel it’s because I didn’t own NeilPatel.com at the time.

By January 2011, Quick Sprout grew to over 67,038 visitors a month:

quicksprout 2011

And by November of 2012 I was generating 112,681 visitors a month:

quicksprout 2012

My traffic was growing nice and steady at the time although my personal brand wasn’t really taking off yet.

But by January 24, 2013, my personal brand started to take off. That was when I started to publish in-depth marketing guides that were 20,000 to 30,000 words.

People thought I was crazy!

The first one was called The Advanced Guide to SEO.

advanced guide to seo

It did so well, my traffic jumped to 244,923 visitors a month.

quicksprout 2013

Once I realized that people loved these in-depth guides that were as long as a book, I kept publishing more and more. Eventually, I cranked out 12 of them and my personal brand started to skyrocket.

People would come up to me at conferences saying how they loved my content. People would even tell me how they would have discussions with their co-workers about my content. It was surreal!

Heck, it even got to a point where professors would email me asking if they could teach my content in their classrooms.

And luckily for me at that time, one of my Quick Sprout readers saw that the domain name, NeilPatel.com was being auctioned off for $900. Once I found out, I bought it. I didn’t do much with it… I just wanted to own my name.

Quick Sprout eventually grew to a point where it was generating over 500,000 visitors a month and I partnered with a few people to turn it into an SEO software company.

quicksprout 2016

Once I brought on a few business partners, it hit me that Quick Sprout was no longer just my blog. I had business partners, which meant it wasn’t just my blog anymore.

There was nothing wrong with that, but I wanted a personal blog as well. Somewhere I could write whatever I wanted and not worry about the “business” aspect.

The start of NeilPatel.com

I started this blog in August 2014. When I started this blog, my personal brand was just taking off.

According to Google Trends, I was at a 6:

2014 trends

And currently, it’s roughly at a 22. Which means it is 3 to 4 times larger now than what it was when I started this blog.

But here is the thing, Google Trends doesn’t paint a full picture. It just tracks how many people are searching for your brand on a monthly basis.

There are a lot of people who have known about me for years who don’t Google my name on a monthly basis.

My personal brand has grown for a few reasons:

  • I blog consistently – I’ve been blogging for years on many different blogs. From Pronet Advertising to Quick Sprout to NeilPatel.com, I enjoy blogging about marketing. Just on NeilPatel.com, I have published 4,868 posts.
  • I have a daily podcast – Marketing School generated 725,044 listens last month. If you haven’t, make sure you subscribe to it.
  • I produce weekly video content – from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, you constantly see videos from me about marketing. My Youtube channel alone generated 566,816 views in the last 28 days. If you add in LinkedIn and Facebook, I’m hitting over a million video views a month.
  • I still kind of speak at conferences – I’ve slowed down on the speaking circuit as it got so exhausting because I used to speak at over 50 conferences a year.
  • I guest posted weekly – I used to blog on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, and Fast Company as it helped spread my brand. Over the years I have written 1,831 guest posts in three different languages.
  • I expanded internationally – NeilPatel.com is now translated in 4 languages, and I continue to add more each year. This has been helping my brand grow.
  • I keep giving back – I’ve been making marketing tools free, such as Ubersuggest and Subscribers. Who doesn’t like free? 😉

In other words, I’ve built a decent personal brand by just being consistent and putting in long hours for over 16 years.

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t trying to build a personal brand… it just happened. It’s not huge, but it’s grown to a decent enough size where it’s larger than any of my corporate brands.

My personal brand has helped me generate millions in consulting deals, and I constantly get offered $25,000 to $50,000 for an hour speech at conferences each week.

So why do I regret building a personal brand?

Well, let me ask you this… think of a few of the brands you are very familiar with, which ones come to mind?

Apple?

Maybe Google?

Amazon, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nike, American Express, Tesla… the list keeps going on and on.

Did you notice that you didn’t really think about a personal brand?

Now tell me one personal brand that’s bigger and more successful than any one of the companies I mentioned above?

Whether you pick Tony Robbins or famous athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo or reality TV stars like the Kardashians, none of them will ever be bigger than the companies I mentioned above, at least from a financial perspective.

And what’s sad is when the face of a personal brand passes away, in most cases so does the income. For example, Tony Robbins does well because he is Tony. But if Tony wasn’t around, who would speak on stage on his behalf?

It wouldn’t be the same if his company replaced him with someone else.

But on the flipside, look at Apple. Steve Jobs was the visionary who helped build this amazing company we all love but since he passed away, Apple’s stock price has gone up roughly 4 times.

They are now worth a trillion dollars. That’s crazy!!!!

Yes, Steve Jobs was an amazing entrepreneur, but Apple has grown without him and has continually improved their products.

In other words, Apple will continually live and hopefully grow because it isn’t reliant on any one individual.

Now my company is named after me. I’m not the only person within the company… the team is what makes the company amazing, not me. If I wasn’t here tomorrow, the company would still be around, but it probably wouldn’t do as well.

Not because the team isn’t capable… the team does amazing work and they are better than me in many ways. It’s because, without me, many companies wouldn’t come on board as clients.

If I changed the name of the company it also probably wouldn’t do as well because my personal brand is influential within the digital marketing world.

And here’s the kicker: It’s also harder to sell a company when it is named after a person. And if you are one of the lucky people who are able to sell a business based off of a personal brand, the multiple won’t be as great because the buyer knows that when the personal brand leaves, so will some of the revenue.

I’m not saying it’s impossible… just much harder.

That’s why you see companies like GitHub being purchased for $7.5 billion when most people haven’t even heard of it (outside of the tech world).

Conclusion

If I took all of the time I spent building a personal brand into building a corporate brand, I would have been worth a lot more money.

I know money isn’t everything in this world, but in business, it’s the scorecard that everyone looks at.

If you want to build a lifestyle business then consider building a personal brand. It’s easier to build, and you can make good money from speaking, consulting, or partnerships.

But if you want to build something big, something that will continually live and move on without you, then focus on building a corporate brand.

I’ve slowly been transitioning. That’s why I spend more time building up the Ubersuggest brand than I spend building the “Neil Patel” brand. And I know my ad agency Neil Patel Digital is based on my name, but I’m ok with that as I never plan on selling it.

Now in an ideal world, what you want to do is leverage personal brands to grow your corporate brand. For example, Beats by Dre leveraged strong personal brands like Lebron James and the Kardashians to grow in popularity.

beats by dre

It’s a smart model because this made it so the company isn’t reliant on one brand, such as Dr. Dre. A lot of companies, like Pepsi, Nike, and Coca-Cola do this.

Even B2B companies do this… who wouldn’t want a testimonial from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, or Elon Musk. It’s probably harder to get their endorsement as they don’t need the cash, but you can get micro influencers within the B2B space.

For example, I was discussing with my business partner that we should hire a lot of the popular personal brands within the marketing niche and bring them under the Neil Patel Digital brand. That way the company isn’t as reliant on me.

When you also build a strong corporate brand you’ll notice that it may indirectly help you build a strong personal brand. But that shouldn’t be your goal as your company won’t be worth as much if it is fully reliant on your brand.

So, are you going to build a personal brand or a corporate one?

The post I Wish I Never Built a Personal Brand appeared first on Neil Patel.

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/build-personal-brand/

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How to Get Around Google’s Latest Algorithm Change

google logo

Have you noticed that Google is constantly making algorithm changes? And when they do, they rarely tell you the change they’ve made.

They tend to keep it a bit vague, like this…

twitter update

So, do you want to know how got around this algorithm update?

Well, before I tell you how, there are a few things you need to know.

How Google works

Can you guess how many factors there are in Google’s algorithm?

It’s over 200!

SEO is complicated. If Google made SEO easy you would see product and service pages rank at the top of every Google search instead of content-rich pages.

That means it would be easier for you to rank and make money, which would cause fewer companies to spend money on Google Ads.

google ad revenue

Just look at the image above, Google generated over 95 billion dollars in ad revenue. That’s a ridiculous amount of money!

Now, Google isn’t just focusing on placing content-rich sites high up in the search results because they care about ad revenue, they do this because that’s what you want.

See, Google’s goal is to provide the best experience for you.

If you as a user wanted to see product and service related pages in the top of organic results, then that’s what they would start doing.

By providing you with the best user experience, this causes you to keep coming back to Google, which allows them to monetize through ads.

If they didn’t focus on user experience and making you happy, Google wouldn’t be the most popular search engine. It would be Bing or some other search engine.

So, when Google makes an algorithm change they are doing this because they’ve learned how to provide a better experience for you.

They aren’t making these changes because they want to screw up your rankings or ruin your business.

Google isn’t perfect

Similar to any other business, Google isn’t perfect. They make mistakes (we all do), and sometimes the changes they make may not provide the best experience for you.

When they may roll out changes, they may learn some adjustments didn’t work out the way they wanted, which causes them to constantly go back and make tweaks.

This is why you see search traffic fluctuations. Just look at my search traffic for all of 2017:

2017 search traffic

When looking at the graph above, you may notice that I generated 6,162,300 visits from search of which 4,284,056 were unique.

And if you look even closer, you’ll see that 2017 started off really well. February was a great month even though it has fewer days.

feb 2017 traffic

In February, I generated 390,919 visits from search but then in March, my traffic went down. And then in April, I saw another drop.

april 2017 search

The drop may not seem that big when you look at the graph, but April’s search traffic came in at 292,480. That’s a 25.18% drop in search traffic when you compare it to February.

Ouch!

I didn’t make any major changes to my website that would have caused the drop and there isn’t seasonality around that time…

2018 search traffic

As you can see from the screenshot above, my 2018 search traffic shows a trend of going up and to the right (that throws the seasonality theory out the door).

And honestly, I don’t know if Google made any algorithm changes during that time in 2017 because I don’t pay attention to them (I’ll get into this a bit later).

In other words, your traffic is going to fluctuate, and that is ok. But when you look at your search traffic, as long as it is going up and to the right year after year, you are fine.

2017 was a rough year for me as my search traffic didn’t start going up again until August. I wasn’t doing anything different, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

So why don’t I pay attention to Google algorithm updates?

I mentioned this above, and I know it may seem shocking. Yes, I do read up on them every once in a while, but I don’t need Google to tell me about where they are heading with their algorithm.

You, the user, tell me this.

So instead, I focus on you. If I do what’s best for you, eventually my site will rank higher.

Sure, in the short run my rankings may drop, but I know if I focus on you (the user) it will give me the highest probability of ranking in the long run.

Just look at my search traffic for the first 7 months of 2018:

2018 search traffic

I’ve already beat my 2017 numbers!

5,017,790 is the number of unique search visitors that have come to NeilPatel.com in the first 7 months of 2018. The count for all of 2017 was 4,284,056.

That’s a huge difference.

As long as I do what’s best for you I know that my total traffic should go up and to the right.

If you look at my traffic from when I started to blog on NeilPatel.com (August 2014) to now, you’ll see that my traffic goes up and down each month, but the overall graph is up and to the right.

all time traffic

So, are you saying that you don’t care about SEO?

No, I still care about SEO and I practice it daily.

I just don’t stress out about every Google algorithm update because it isn’t in my control.

This doesn’t mean I ignore the advice Google gives. For example, when they announced that they were going to create a mobile-first index, I made sure I optimized my site for mobile.

But trying to read into every Google update and making assumptions on what I should do next is like playing a game of cat and mouse.

It’s time consuming, exhausting and inefficient. You are better off spending your time making your website better for your users.

Like I always say: Succeeding with digital marketing is a long-term game. Focus on the long term.

So how do you ensure long-term success?

I already showed you that my traffic goes up and to the right over time.

Here’s my secret to ensure that Google loves you in the long run.

Please, please, please note that some of the tactics I’m about to share with you may reduce your traffic in the short run, but you will be better off in the long run.

Strategy #1: Prune and crop

A lot of marketers discuss how pruning and cropping your content can triple your traffic.

If you aren’t familiar with the process, it’s as simple as updating your mediocre content and make it amazing. And as for your irrelevant content that is no longer valid, you would delete them and 301 redirect those URLs.

I’ve done this multiple times on dozens of sites. I have friends who have done it as well. We all see one major trend from doing this… traffic usually drops.

Even if those pages that you are pruning and cropping barely get any Google traffic, you’ll still typically see a drop in traffic.

The only time you’ll see an increase is if your content was so bad, such as deleting short blog posts that are filled with duplicate content.

Even if your blog is new, you should consider pruning and cropping once a year. It will ensure that you are updating your content, thus providing the best experience for your users.

Here’s the process I use to prune and crop (use Excel or Google Sheets to do this):

  1. Create a list of all of the URLs on your website – using Screaming Frog, I crawl my website so I can get a full list of every URL, title tag, meta description, number of inlinks (number of internal links pointing to that URL), and the word count.
  2. Add in traffic per page – I then log into my Google Analytics account and list out how much traffic each URL is generating.
  3. And then I add in backlinks per page – I put each URL into Ahrefs to see how many backlinks each URL has.
  4. Lastly, add in social shares per URL – using a tool like SharedCount you can get the total social shares per URL.

You should have a spreadsheet that looks something like this:

prune and crop

I know the image may be hard to see, so here is a sample.

Some of the data is junk and inaccurate in the sample. Also keep in mind that I am missing some data, such as meta description and social shares (I still haven’t completed this spreadsheet).

The reason I shared the sheet with you is that you’ll notice I added a few additional columns such as “what to do” and “redirect to.”

The 4 options I have under “what to do” are: optimize, delete, redirect, and nothing.

Once your spreadsheet is complete, you need to manually review each URL and select one of the 4 options above. Here’s when to select each one:

  • Optimize – if the page is popular, it has backlinks, traffic, and social shares, consider optimizing it. This could involve adding more internal links to the page, updating the content, or even optimizing the on-page code.
  • Delete – if the page has little to no search traffic, backlinks, social shares, and doesn’t provide any value to the user, consider deleting it. When doing so you will want to update any internal links that were pointing to this URL and then, of course, take this URL and 301 redirect it to the most relevant page.
  • Redirect – if the page is very similar to another page on your site, consider merging the content and 301 redirecting the URL to the similar one. You’ll want to take the least popular version and redirect it to the popular one. A good example of this is if you have two blog posts about social media marketing tools, you’ll want to combine the content, create a 301 redirect, and adjust the internal links to point to the final URL.
  • Nothing – if the page is fine and there is nothing wrong with it, do nothing.

Strategy #2: Expand internationally

There are over 7 billion people in this world, and most of them don’t speak English.

Yes, Google is a difficult beast to conquer, but it isn’t in non-English speaking countries. Whether it is France, Germany, Brazil, or any other country where English isn’t the main language… it’s much easier to get to the top of Google.

Sure, the search volume may not be as high in countries like Brazil, but because the competition is low, you can dominate fast.

Here are the most widely spoken languages in the world:

languages

And here is the GDP per country:

gdp

And here is the population per country:

countries

The best countries to go after when it comes to SEO are the ones that have a high GDP and a large population.

Going international has done wonders for my traffic.

traffic by country

In the last 31 days, the United States only made up 24.23% of my traffic. If you want to grow your global search rankings, just follow the steps in this blog post.

It goes in-depth on international expansion and the lessons I learned from a Google employee.

The cool part about international SEO is that it also creates a better user experience for your users as they will be able to read your content in their native language.

Strategy #3: Fix broken links, images, and media files

Let me ask you a question…

What if you were reading this post and half of the links you clicked on where broken? Especially the links that were supposed to teach you the steps you needed to take to grow your traffic?

You would be upset, right?

I know I would.

And to make matters worse, what if half of the images in this post were also broken?

Do you see how that would provide a terrible experience?

Well of course you do. That’s why you need to fix broken links, broken images, and broken media files on your website.

You don’t have to do this every month, but you should do this once a quarter. You can even use tools like Broken Link Check to make things a bit easier for you.

Strategy #4: Fix errors within Google Search Console

Even if you don’t log into Google Search Console, they will email you when there is a spike in errors.

search console error

When you get these emails, make sure you fix them. If you don’t know how to fix them, find a developer on Upwork to help you fix them.

And once you fix them, Google will email you when they acknowledge the fix.

search console fix

It’s really important to fix your Search Console errors. I know this is an obvious tip, but most people don’t do it.

This one little thing will reduce your search traffic fluctuations. You will never be able to stop the fluctuations, but this will help reduce them.

Strategy #5: Build a brand

Do you know what the future of SEO is?

It’s brands!

The websites that dominate Google may not have the most backlinks, but they tend to have big brands.

People trust brands, which means Google trusts brands.

When you want to buy running shoes, what brand comes to mind?

I bet it’s Nike.

When you want a credit card, what brand are you going to choose?

Probably Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

You don’t always Google for a product or service, in many cases you just go to the brands you are familiar with.

Not only does building a brand help with Google traffic, but it helps diversify your traffic sources so you aren’t just relying on Google search.

If you don’t believe that branding is valuable, check out this blog post. It breaks down how I grew my traffic from 240,839 to 454,382 visitors in one month (before exploding into seven digits) all because of branding.

It even breaks down the steps you can follow to build up a brand for your company.

It works so well, that I was even able to grow the brand value of my free marketing tool, Ubersuggest.

ubersuggest

Strategy #6: Keeping a close eye on my competition

You don’t have to be 10 times better than your competition to beat them. Just being a little bit better can do wonders.

Now, if it was up to me, I would tell you to be 10 times better, but I know that can be expensive and is unrealistic in most cases.

If you haven’t, subscribe to your competition’s website.

From joining their email list to following them on their social profiles to even testing out their products/services.

Do whatever you can to stay up to date on your competition. If you can beat them, even by a little bit, people will prefer your site over their site in the long run. This will help you rank higher and get more traffic (and sales!).

And as I mentioned above, being 10 times better is a bit crazy, but usually when you do that your competition won’t copy you.

When you beat them by a little bit, that’s where you will find yourself battling back and forth when it comes to winning over people (and Google).

Conclusion

If you want to get around Google’s algorithm changes, you have to stay ahead by focusing on your users. Do what’s best for them and you won’t have to deal with Google’s ever-changing algorithm.

If you don’t follow the tips above, you’ll save time in the short run, but you’ll find yourself playing a game of cat and mouse in the long run. That just seems exhausting to me.

I don’t pay too much attention to algorithm updates and you shouldn’t either. Instead, focus on providing an amazing user experience. That’s what will cause you to win in the long run.

Now, there will be times where your traffic will drop, but don’t freak out. You can eventually come out on top by focusing on your users.

And if you got to the top of Google by optimizing your site for search engines instead of people, you will eventually get caught up in an update. When that happens, check out this algorithm tracker as it will help you determine what’s changed, what you did wrong, and what you need to fix.

It’s just tedious, which is why I get ahead, focus on the user, so that way I don’t have to focus on Google as much.

So, do you pay attention to every algorithm update Google does?

The post How to Get Around Google’s Latest Algorithm Change appeared first on Neil Patel.

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/google-algorithm-change/

3 Reasons Why You Should Write Definitive Product Comparison Posts

Looking for ideas for your next blog post?

You should try writing a product comparison post.

It’s basically just an article where you compare two (or more) popular products against each other. And it works like a charm in virtually every field.

3 Reasons Why You Should Write Definitive Product Comparison Posts

Are you a travel blogger?

You could compare hotel chains, airline credit cards, or pit Airbnb against VRBO.

Food blogger?

You could compare blenders, weight loss programs, and recipe books.

Digital marketing blogger?

You could compare courses, website plugins, and SaaS tools.

As you can see, writing a product comparison post works in basically any niche.

And here are three reasons why I think you should give writing product comparison posts a try:

1. Product comparison posts are super helpful for readers

As bloggers, perhaps our biggest job is helping people save time by making the information they need more convenient.

In a crowded Internet, people have shared many ideas. But we can make readers’ lives better by presenting content in a convenient format.

Product comparison posts are a great example. By providing the information readers need all in one place, we can help them skip or reduce the tedious work of researching various solutions.

2. Product comparison posts are a great way to educate yourself

We all know using the best tools is essential. But finding the time to research different options is tough — and usually gets pushed to the back burner.

Writing a product comparison post allows you to kill two birds with one stone. You get a great blog post you can proudly share and a chance to become more knowledgeable about products that can help you and your readers.

3. Product comparison posts can make money

Many companies have affiliate programs bloggers can join that pay you for generating leads. If you write a definitive product comparison post about two relevant products and share it with your readers, you might convert a few people into paying customers — and earn a commission for yourself.

So, now that you’ve read about the benefits of these articles… want to give it a try?

Here’s how to write a definitive product comparison post

Step 1: Pick two products or services your readers are interested in

Think through these questions to find the best products to compare:

  • Think of a problem your readers might face, and two solutions they might consider.
  • Think of a tool your readers might already use, and an alternative they might like to try.
  • Think of a tool you currently use, and some alternatives you’d like to try.

Step 2: Pick some facts about the products to highlight

As the name implies, your goal in a product comparison post is to highlight differences. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with this type of article is writing general product reviews and never pointing out any key distinctions.

I’m not saying you have to pick a winner or make a one-size-fits-all recommendation. On the contrary, it’s usually a game of pros and cons.

For example, one product might have more features, while the other product is cheaper. Which is the better product for the reader? It depends on what they value more: Features or cost savings. Your job is merely to point out these differences.

Here are some areas you can highlight:

  • Pricing
  • Key features
  • Regions where the product is available (when applicable)
  • Reviews (if possible)

There will also be some topic-specific differences you’ll want to highlight.

For example, this review of Daily Harvest and Green Blender, two popular smoothie delivery services, points out the differences in the size of the smoothies; whether the recipes are organic, gluten-free, or vegan; and whether the ingredients are shipped fresh or frozen.

Step 3: Do your research

Now that you have a good idea of what areas you want to cover, you can go on a scavenger hunt to find the answers. Company websites are where you’ll probably want to start, but Google is a big help too — if you know the right tricks.

When you search a keyword followed by the name of the product’s website (“keyword” + “product’s website”), Google can often point you to the best pages for answers faster than you can find them by browsing.

A side-note about finding product reviews:

Reviews and ratings are an incredibly valuable data point to include in your product comparison posts because they quantify how satisfied customers tend to be with a product. However, finding scores to share can sometimes be difficult‚ especially if you don’t know where to look.

Food Delivery Guru has a great post comparing Blue Apron against Hello Fresh (two meal kit delivery services that send customers pre-portioned ingredients for cooking easy homemade meals.) Since retailers like Amazon don’t sell these meal delivery subscriptions, you might think there would be no way to show reviews. But Food Delivery Guru gets around that by featuring the companies’ Trustpilot scores.3 Reasons Why You Should Write Definitive Product Comparison Posts

Trustpilot is a website where customers can post reviews for products they’ve tried. There are many sites like it, and you can find these sites by Googling what you’re looking for—i.e., “Hello Fresh reviews”.

Look for a reputable site that has a considerable number of reviews for both of the services you’re comparing. For example, if one product has a terrible rating but only three reviews, it would probably be unfair to use those metrics as the basis for a comparison.

Step 4: Write the post

You can be creative in the outline you choose to use, but remember, your job is to make the information easy to find and understandable.

Here’s a basic outline I’ve found to be useful:

  • Acknowledge the problem the reader is facing
  • Mention the tools that could solve the problem
  • Quickly explain how the post will help readers pick the best option for their unique situation
  • Offer a side-by-side comparison chart for an easy overview
  • Write a short review of product 1 highlighting unique features
  • Summarize the pros of product 1 using bullet points
  • Write a short review of product 2 highlighting unique features
  • Summarize the pros of product 2 using bullet points
  • End with a conclusion that suggests which product is better for specific groups of people based on their circumstances (e.g., “If you’re looking for the cheapest option…”)

Do I have to limit myself to only two products or companies?

Absolutely not.

Kindlepreneur has a great article that helps aspiring authors pick the best book writing software for their needs. Although the name doesn’t explicitly say it, this blog post is really just a definitive product comparison post. In the write-up, the authors actually compare five different tools you can use to write books.3 Reasons Why You Should Write Definitive Product Comparison PostsTo keep the post from becoming overwhelming, the authors do a few things really well:

  • They highlight mutually exclusive differentiators (like which book writing software works for which device), helping people quickly narrow down their options.
  • They keep their overviews for each of the five products short.
  • They use a lot of bullet points to communicate important facts with less text.

Over to you

Now you have some great reasons to consider giving a product comparison post a try, clear steps for how to write one, and several examples of great articles you can reverse engineer.

If you have any questions, be sure to post them in the comments!

The post 3 Reasons Why You Should Write Definitive Product Comparison Posts appeared first on Copybot.

Source: https://thecopybot.com/product-comparison/