Rhys Mckay

 

Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Rhys McKay, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Rhys is an Aussie who specializes in writing engaging blog content and high converting sales copy.

He has worked with numerous large companies, agencies, affiliates, and small businesses from the U.S. and other English speaking countries.

If you have any questions related to copywriting or looking to start a career in writing, please feel free to pick his brain.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.

#PickHisBrain

Table of Contents

What is the process that you go through to get the highest possible ranking out of the content for a ‘page’? (for any particular search term(s))

In the past, it was simply researching the top 10-15 SERPs for the keyword.

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Integrating keywords naturally into the content & ensuring the readability was appropriate for the target audience (UX).

But I’ve been experimenting with various content optimisation tools for a while now.

Personally, I’ve found POP to work best with my workflow and will be integrating it with my client work in the near future.

1. I use Page Optimizer Pro (POP) to get key ranking metrics (word count, number of headings, structure, number of bullet points, etc)

2. I then research & create an outline/structure of the content.

Basically a series of headings that help create a well-rounded piece of content.

3. Next step is filling out the structure with research dot points.

Doing this helps prevent (accidental) plagiarism and ensures the research comes from a wide variety of sources.

4. I leave the introduction and conclusion to the end of the piece.

5. Double checking whether the content matches the original brief.

Proofreading. Copyediting. Hemingway. Grammerly. Copyscape.

6. Final optimization.

What do start with when writing a blog content?

I touched on the above comment through my writing workflow – but it generally starts with research.

Understanding WHO your writing for and WHY they should care.

Writing an authoritative blog post on any given niche requires more than just splurting out information onto a page.

IMO, the 2 biggest differentiating factors between good and bad content are good research and high readability.

Being able to communicate complex ideas without overwhelming the reader.

Anyway, before I start rambling about good content, here is my current workflow when writing a blog post:

1. I use Page Optimizer Pro (POP) to get key ranking metrics (word count, number of headings, structure, number of bullet points, etc)

2. I then research & create an outline/structure of the content.

Basically a series of headings that help create a well-rounded piece of content.

3. Next step is filling out the structure with research dot points.

Doing this helps prevent (accidental) plagiarism and ensures the research comes from a wide variety of sources.

4. I leave the introduction and conclusion to the end of the piece.

5. Double checking whether the content matches the original brief.

Proofreading. Copyediting. Hemingway. Grammarly. Copyscape.

6. Final optimization.

A saas company I work for has been battling with a blog content dillema. Either low brow topics for search volume, or high brow topics for branding, but no one searches these highly technical topics. Have you run into the same issue?

High brow low search is good for some ebook content and for linked in sponsored content for organizations you’d like to target that may be interested.

I wouldn’t try to use low search volume stuff to get traffic.

But at the same time, if the content is hyper targeted and gets 15 visits a month and has a powerful cta, you can still get.

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As much value as a piece of content with low conversion rates and high traffic.

Just figure out your goals. You dont need traffic. You need conversions. Create whatever converts.

My two cents for what its worth.

Have you seen good results from linkedin marketing? It’s a b2b business but I’ve never tried linked in.

It’s difficult for me. I’ve seen others do it well. I’m still learning it.

I’m basically in the theory stage and speaking with experts when I can.

How long does it take it for you to write a 5000 word blog post on a topic that you are not familiar with? Do you prefer to write an article in a single stretch What time is the best for writing in your opinion? Any tips on getting rid of writers block?

1. Difficult question to answer.

It’s like asking how long it takes to clean a house; it varies depending on how many rooms are in the house and the layout.

(Lmao at this metaphor) Ultimately it depends on the niche & level of research needed.

This is the reason why I don’t charge per hour – there’s just too many factors to account for.

It makes it easier on both the client and myself when there’s a fixed rate for the job… Or fixed rate per word.

2. That completely depends on you.

Are you a morning person? Do you work best at night?

Generally, I write best when I feel refreshed, awake and alert, usually in the morning.

My co-writer Matthias, on the other hand, works best after 12AM at night and struggles with early mornings.

What I’m trying to say is, experiment and find out what works best for you.

3. Balance. Writing several thousand words daily will 100% cause you to burn-out.

Eat a balanced diet, exercise, meditate regularly and change your environment up.

Sometimes I work best in my silent office, and other times I work best in a bustling cafe.

If you were to start again, how would you go about marketing your writing service?

I’ve only been working as a full-time writer since around March of this year – so I’m fairly new on the scene.

As many can probably remember – I (haphazardly) launched a free article post and ended up giving away around 200 articles…

After that point, I was basically overrun with referrals and paid work.

I’m trying to think what I would do differently – but there isn’t really a whole lot.

I’d probably have launched a website earlier, purely to jump on the SEO ranking train. (I still don’t have a website up lmao)

What’s your best article review type format that converts well?

I have an affiliate review article structure I generally work off – but it’s not really something I can post here (as it’s a huge ass word doc).

If you’d like in-depth advice on it, I’m going to be covering these sort of topics in my SEO Copywriting FB group.

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Otherwise, feel free to PM me and I can help you 1o1.

I’m also planning a Black Friday deal at the moment: ‘pay what you want for 1000 words’, exclusive to my group members.

Just in case you were interested.

Ghostwrite – SEO Copywriting For Agencies & Small Business Owners

Are you using a tf-idf analysis for your and competitors content? Any good/bad experience with that?

I don’t really have any experience with tf-idf, to be honest.

I’ve looked into it in the past and it’s been something I’ve been meaning to experiment with, but just haven’t had the chance.

If anyone has experience with it, feel free to chime in and help this dude.

What writing & editing tools do you use from storing research material to final output?

CONTENT OPTIMIZATION
– POP
– Sometimes CognitiveSEO / SurferSEO

WORD PROCESSING
– Google Docs

EDITING
– My brain
– Hemingway
– Grammarly

PLAGIARISM CHECKER
– Copyscape

FILE STORAGE / ARCHIVES
– Google Docs

When do you write to the audience who is on the fence and what is your approach for them? Do you write informational articles or you also write copy to convert them?

Alright let’s take this back a step. Any copy that intends to convert, irrelevant of the format, should be written with the customer’s pain points in mind.

Consider your customer’s problems and potential objections they may have… And write for that.

The ultimate aim is for the target customer to feel like you are talking to THEM.

You UNDERSTAND their problems.

And you answer these questions before they even think to ask them. Raise the objections and solve the problem.

What sort of product are you trying to sell? Is this a landing page? Or an affiliate review article?

Do you write all of your own content? Do you have writers working under you and then edit their work? How has your pricing structure changed since you began? Do you have quality tiers/pricing?

Well perhaps overrun was the wrong word to use.

I’ve taken on my co-writer Matthias as a partner since then.

We do have a few local writers that work with us when things get busy – but generally speaking, him and I handle the majority of the workload.

I don’t offer quality tiers.

As I don’t offer anything lower than A-grade quality writing. But my pricing does vary depending on a variety of factors including: niche, content type, research involved, etc.

When your using copyscape to check your article what % of copy would you deem acceptable as unique content? Or are you always looking to hit that 100% mark every time? Great advice throughout this thread by the way, all the best!

Generally I don’t accept any hits on Copyscape for plagiarism…

BESIDES direct quotes (which obviously will pop up).

 

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