Home Β» Blog Β» The Blog Content Strategy That Builds Traffic, Attracts Links, And Crushes Competitive Niches

The Blog Content Strategy That Builds Traffic, Attracts Links, And Crushes Competitive Niches

By Chris Lee 101 comments

A VERY LONG DISCLAIMER: This content plan is for those who are willing to invest the time, money, and effort into building a premium blog. This isn’t a guide on how to put up something quickly and make money as fast as you can by taking short cuts and getting by on “just enough” work. This isn’t a guide on how to put up a $100/month site, or even a $1000/month site. If you’re looking for that, you’re going to waste your time reading this, and you don’t even really need to get into a competitive niche in the first place. This is an in-depth guide on how to build an online publication with the goal of possibly selling it for 7-figures in the future. To do that, we need to do things a little bit differently. Everything about your new blog and brand has to be of premium quality – especially content. You need to build a strong brand, grow the right (targeted) audience of readers (and customers), and have the potential to be scaled to multiple times your size given additional resources. If that’s something that interests you, continue reading… πŸ™‚

This is the first guide of a 3-part series that I’ll be publishing over the next few weeks. It’s basically going to outline the step-by-step strategy that I personally am going to be using going forward with new projects in more competitive niches.

While the strategy is designed for dealing with higher levels of competition, that doesn’t mean that you can’t follow it yourself in less crowded markets.

Essentially, you’re going to learn how marketers of all levels can compete with the big guys and build a profitable online business, even in very competitive niches. The reason it’s the game plan that I’ll be following is that it’s the most effective way to build initial traction to a new site (that can be scaled long-term) – in terms of building traffic, and initial revenue.

And it’s the combination of three things: content strategy, traffic strategy, and monetization strategy.

Which is why I’ll be publishing 3 separate blog posts over the following weeks:

Part 1: Content
Part 2: Traffic
Part 3: Monetization

Each section accommodates the other. For instance, our content strategy helps our traffic strategy. Our traffic strategy aligns with our monetization strategy.

And in the first part of this series, we’re first going to learn about our content strategy.

But first… why a competitive niche?

While I’m all for building a business in less crowded niches, there is a reason that certain niches are packed with competitors, and that’s the potential to scale your traffic and revenue.

We want to build a site in competitive niches because they have the potential to build the most traffic, make the most money, and later on be sold for the highest price.

Yes, it’s easier to build a high-traffic site in less competitive niches, which makes it easier and faster to make your first $100/month.

But when you really want to scale your business to the highest levels, competitive niches have the best potential.

The challenge, though, is building traction to the site, and building enough traffic to it where monetization is a profitable option.

But we’ll discuss traffic and monetization in the next blog post. First, let’s start with content.

Content as a marketing (and business) strategy

Content is the backbone of your business. You need to understand that, and keep it in mind with everything you do while growing your business.

Fail at content, and your business will have a very tough time succeeding. Too many people focus on the traffic or the monetization, and not enough about the content.

You’ve probably heard the term, content marketing a lot over the past few years.

Here’s the definition of content marketing that you need to understand before you continue: Content marketing is the art of producing consistent value to your audience in the form of content. Each piece of content you produce should deliver value to your readers, help them solve a problem, or answer questions they may have. As you consistently deliver value and help your readers, it establishes trust, builds your brand, and grows your audience – all of which lead to the long-term goal of driving sales.

That pretty much sums up what we’re trying to achieve here.

So how do we go about doing this?

Your content quality is everything

However, it’s not something people pay much attention to. From my experience, most people are focused too much on length and too little on actual quality.

Just because an article has a high word count, doesn’t mean that it’s high quality. Great content is something that goes very deeply into problems or questions that readers have, and providing solutions in a detailed, but simple and easy to understand manner. It’s about knowing HOW to present the material, like a good teacher.

Think of it this way: Each piece of content you produce is a touch point with your current and potential customers.

This being the case, you need to really consider the quality of what you publish.

  • Are you just pumping out thin articles to target as many long-tail keywords as possible?
  • Are you cutting expenses by hiring only the cheapest writers?
  • Is your content the best in your industry?
  • Can you call yourself a leading expert in your field based on the content you’ve published?

Creating quality content is very hard OR very expensive.

It’s the biggest barrier to entry.

So you might be wondering…

What’s the content strategy then? Is it just: Publish high quality content?

In this next part, we’re going to get a little more specific. We’re going to address things like how often you should be publishing, where to find writers, the goals you should set with your content, and how long your articles should be.

How often should you be publishing?

It’s important to understand how publishing frequencies affect your overall search traffic AND the amount of traction you will build over the first year.

Your publishing schedule affects your traffic. There’s a debate amongst SEO’s that publishing frequency doesn’t really matter. But frequency matters, a lot, especially for the first year of a new site.

For a new site, the more often you publish, the higher your chances of building and piling on your traffic in the second year. When your site has less than 100 pages, content matters. Each piece of content you publish will affect your search traffic.

In the beginning, your site has zero content. There’s nothing to crawl, no long-tail keywords to rank your content for, and no reason for Google to crawl your site very often.

If you publish once a month, that’s 12 articles for Google to crawl and index in a year. If you publish once a week, that’s 52 articles for Google to crawl in a year. If you publish 3 times a week, that’s 156 articles!

156 or 12…

That’s a big difference.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be pumping out articles. You should only publish as often as you can WHILE keeping your quality levels very high.

So what’s the magic number?

There isn’t one. But the number that I would recommend starting out with, and the one I’ll be starting out with myself is 2-3 times per week.

That’s about 100-150 articles of content within the first year.

That’s certainly doable. If you decide to write them yourself, it’ll take a lot of time and effort, but it’s doable. If you decide to hire writers, 100 articles isn’t crazy high to drive your budget out of control.

Content length

Let’s talk about content length.

How long should your articles be?

To understand what the ideal content length is, let me first tell you about the two different approaches you can take.

When you’re creating a site, you can take one of two approaches:

Approach #1. Go after ONLY big keywords/topics in your industry and create 10x content. You wouldn’t publish often, but when you do publish it will be amazing.
Approach #2. Hit a wide range of keywords/topics and create a large quantity of 3x content.

*By 10X or 3X I mean 10x or 3x better than what’s been created by your competitors. Note that 10x better doesn’t necessarily mean 10x longer. Depending on the content type, it can be better designed, more thorough, have more sources, have better presentation, etc.

At first glance, it might make more sense to lean toward Approach #1. You’re targeting the biggest keywords, and once you rank for them, you’ve pretty much built up a giant site already pulling in tons of traffic each month.

So doesn’t it make sense that everyone should take this approach instead?

Not really, and let me tell you why.

First of all, it’s extremely rare (and difficult) to build much traction while publishing that infrequently – especially in competitive niches.

It’s like building a brand new site in the finance industry, and your main strategy is basically to rank for finance tips, best credit cards, and debt consolidation. It’s just not something that the majority of marketers can replicate. It can be done, but there are a lot of other factors you need to get perfect.

The second reason I don’t lean toward Approach #1 is that it’s not guaranteed what pieces of content you publish will be hits or misses.

If you’re doing content marketing long enough, you’ll realize that some pieces of content just do a lot better than others… EVEN THOUGH your research told you otherwise.

That means, that in most niches, you can’t just see what was popular in the past, create something 10x better, and just expect it to get a lot of traction given the proper networking. Most of the time, it won’t work out as well as you thought. And a lot of the time, it’s the random pieces of content that suddenly pick up a lot of traction.

I’ve seen this happen many times, and because content behaves this way, I prefer (and recommend) Approach #2. It’s much more consistent and replicable.

You can grow just as large a business as using Approach #1. But you’re going to be doing so by going quantity over quality.

That doesn’t mean you’re ignoring quality. It just means that you’re spending less time, resources, AND DEPENDANCE/EXPECTATIONS on just one article and distributing them over multiple articles instead.

So how long should your articles be?

10x content might be something massive like a professionally designed 4K to 10k word “ultimate guide” kind of article.

For 3x content, the sweet spot is around 2000 words (in most niches). Don’t confuse that with low quality. Yes, compared to a 10,000 word guide, 2000 seems tiny.

But 2000 words is a LOT of content. It’s a meaty, high quality article. It’s long enough for you to go in-depth into the topic and completely solve somebody’s pain points or questions.

AND it’s long enough to beat most of the thin 500-word pieces of content that most other publishers are producing.

We’re not just making assumptions here.

Around 1800 to 2200 words has been proven by data to be the average length for pages that ranked on the first page of Google.

Like this study by SerpIQ, which is a few years old but still relevant today.

And this more recent analysis by Brian from Backlinko.

And this study study by OkDork and BuzzSumo showed that longer articles get more social shares.

I think it’s safe to say: Longform content wins, and 2000 words is an ideal length to be targeting.

Content creation

You may be wondering, how can I write 100 articles at 2000 words each in a year by myself?

That’s like 200,000 words!

And we haven’t even taken into account the other parts you’ll be spending time in. You need to edit, format, get images, build links, etc.

That’s a lot of work for just one person.

But it’s doable. You CAN create that much content in a year, and it’s been done before by many others who’ve built successful content businesses.

The real challenge is creating content that’s actually good. You need your content to have proper grammar, a consistent voice, good structure. You also need good sources to make your content credible. They need to be well-researched with sources to back up what you say.

Can you do that?

If you can, and are willing to put in your own hours, then great.

If not, you’ll want to hire writers like I’ll be doing. BUT ONLY if you’re willing to invest the money necessary.

Remember the disclaimer at the beginning of the article: This is a guide on creating a premium content business. This is not a guide on how to produce a mediocre blog that makes you some nice pocket money every month.

Quality content is EXPENSIVE.

A lot of people shoot themselves in the foot by getting too cheap with their content outsourcing.

Ask yourself this:

Will your content be good enough to get repeat visitors? Are people going to read your content and be happy to return to your site for related content?


Is your content just good enough to get ranked on page 1 of Google? Is it just decent, or is it awesome?

Remember what we just learned: Content is the backbone of your business.

You can’t be thinking of buying $5 articles off of Fiverr. You can’t be planning on hiring the cheapest writers off of Upwork. You can’t be thinking of getting 3-4 star articles off of places like Textbroker or iWriter.

In fact, you shouldn’t be using services like Textbroker or iWriter at all because you don’t get the chance to actually work with a writer. You need your content to have a consistent style, voice, and presentation.

So you have 3 options:

1. Go on Problogger and hire the best: This will cost you the most money. You’ll find the highest quality writers, but be prepared to pay them a high price per article (especially if you want to continue working with them). Treat writers as valued employees, not just as people who accepted your gig.

2. Go on Upwork and look for talented writers at fairer prices: This will require a lot of vetting. However, you can usually find some really talented writers for a much lower price than Problogger. There are skilled writers who are new to this site and just want to build their profile and reputation. So they’ll charge a lower price for their work. Once you get experience with working with them, and really like them, you can increase their pay to keep them onboard.

3. Hire someone you know: Do you know someone who has real-life experience in the industry you’re targeting? Talk to them and ask if they would like to write for your site. The costs will vary, and you’ll have to be negotiate with them, but keep in mind that the reason you would go this route is to save money, not spend more. You may even find out that working out a partnership agreement is more suitable for your situation.

What’s an ideal price per article?

If you’re thinking of going high quality, you should expect to pay about $100 to $150 per 2000 word article.

If you’re publishing twice a week, your costs for the year on content should be about $10,000 to $15,000. *If you’re hiring someone for long-term work, you could negotiate costs and even add in additional tasks such as formatting and even uploading to WordPress.

You could get by with $50 articles, but just remember, again, that content is the backbone of your content business.

And if it were me, and I only had the funds to produce low quality outsourced articles, I would just write them myself, or publish less frequently.

$10,000 – $15,000 might seem like a huge amount of money to be throwing at a website that hasn’t even made a dollar yet, but remember that this is an investment. And it’s the only big investment that you’ll need to make at this stage. Other areas won’t require you to throw much cash at it.

You can be thrifty on other areas like design, and you can do the marketing yourself. But for content, there’s no getting around it.

Either put in the time, or spend the money to hire the best.

If you want to find cheaper writers…

Your best bet will be Upwork and other freelancing websites. Or you may even want to try using a reputable agency.

Remember that hiring is all about who you find, and negotiating costs. I listed $100 to $150 because it’s the market price for a high quality article. It’s what you need to hire talented, established writers because that’s what they’re used to making. But it’s not a set cost for everyone, and you can find ways around it.

If you look on freelancing websites, you can find good writers and if you’re lucky, you can hire them for much cheaper.

And as a last resort:

If you need to hire writers, but only have a small budget, then publish less often.

Publishing less often is a better compromise than publishing a bunch of thin content.

For example, if you have $300 to spend on writers per month, don’t pay for 15 articles at $20 each.

Instead, get 3 articles at $100 each. You’ll only publish 3 times per month, but at least whatever you publish will stay inline with your content marketing goals.

The best sources for content ideas

How do you get content ideas?

There are 4 main sources that I use in the beginning stages.

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is my favourite tool for getting content ideas.

Just input a keyword and it’ll show you the most popular content on the web.

For example, I searched for “money saving tips” and got back these results.

BuzzSumo will show you how many shares it got, who shared it, and who linked to it.

You can even search by domain name.

So you can input your competitors’ sites into the tool, and it’ll show you their most popular posts.

We’ll come back to BuzzSumo in the traffic part of this guide, but for content creation, what we’re really interested in is just looking at the post titles, and analyzing the content.

We want to know WHY their content is the most popular, and how we can create something that is 3x better than it.

2. Quora

I read Quora for pleasure, and even downloaded their app on my phone. It gives you the best answers to questions people have.

The coolest part is that most questions are answered by the most qualified and experienced people.

For example, if you ask about what it’s like to be in prison, you’ll find an ex inmate who tells you about their exact experience.

Or if you ask about what it’s like to own a dog, you’ll find a bunch of answers from people who actually have a dog.

You won’t find a bunch of spammers giving one sentence answers, just trying to link to their websites (although it does happen) like a lot of the other Q&A websites.

Quora is heavily moderated. As a result, the site is extremely popular, and it’s a haven for content ideas.

Just do a search for any topic.

And look at all these interesting questions.

There are thousands of questions for any topic, and most are extremely interesting – great for blog posts.

3. Reddit

Reddit is a fantastic source for content ideas. They have subreddits (sub communities) for just about any topic.

I won’t go too deeply into Reddit because most of you already know what it is, and how to use it.

All you need to do is search for your topic/niche, and you’ll likely find a huge subreddit with thousands of members participating in discussions everyday.

The great thing is that because there is so much engagement on this site, everyday you return, the first few pages will all have brand new content for you to scour.

4. YouTube

And lastly, YouTube.

Most people use it for JUST video, but I love getting content ideas from YouTube.

I wrote about this in the past, and you can read more into it here.

But all you need to do is search for your keyword, and you’ll get a ton of new and interesting ideas.

The cool thing is you can look at things like upvotes and view count to see what’s been popular.

Who cares if your keyword tool shows that it gets low searches a month. If the video got millions of views, and has a ton of upvotes, it’s likely a pretty popular piece of content!

Breaking it down: What is the overall goal with this content strategy?

In competitive niches, it’s NOT a smart strategy to just pick a few high volume keywords and try to rank for them. Unless you have some ninja networking and PR skills, your brand new site isn’t going to shoot up to the top spots for big keywords.

That CAN’T be our main content/traffic strategy at this stage.

So, what we’re focusing on instead is:

1. Hitting a wide range of keywords/topics in our niche.
2. Targeting keywords/topics based on relevance, interest, and popularity – not based on competition.
3. Publishing quality + providing value with every post.

You’ll also want to have strong on-site SEO to maximize your efforts.

What we didn’t talk about in this guide is keyword research.

That doesn’t mean that you ignore it. Keyword research, and having a strong plan of what keywords you’re targeting is essential. It’s just not as essential in this stage of the game when entering a competitive niche.

We don’t dictate what content we publish based on keywords. We’re not going to decide against creating a piece of content around a topic because the keyword is too competitive.

Instead, we’re going to write whatever is relevant to our niche. And we’re going to hit a wide range of topics/keywords. Although we’re not actively focused on ranking for keywords, we know that we will eventually rank for a ton of them. That’s the end result we’re hoping for with this strategy. And that’s including the competitive keywords as well.

With 2000-word articles consistently published in a wide variety of relevant topics in our niche, our site is going to mass up a ton of long-tail traffic over the years.


That wraps up Part 1. If you made it all the way here… awesome!

As you learned, our content strategy is a little bit different when entering competitive niches.

Some things may not make sense as to WHY we do things a certain way. If so, first go back to the beginning of the article and re-read the disclaimer. Next, remember our content, traffic, and monetization strategies all work together. So as you read parts 2 and 3, it’ll make more sense.

Stay tuned for Part 2. It’ll be released some time next week. If you want an update as soon as it’s out, subscribe by clicking here. As a thank you, you’ll also get a bunch of extra free resources.

*UPDATE: Part 2 is live. Click here to read it.

Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts and questions to add.

And if you could share this post, it’ll really encourage me to get to work and release parts 2 and 3 sooner. πŸ˜‰

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Leave a Reply


  • Reply willem

    You are awesome!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Haha glad you liked it Willem πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jeff Vilcinskas

    Hi Chris,

    Incredible article! I have to tell you as a professional writer you hit the nail on the proverbially head. Far too many website owners want incredible writing but do not want to pay for it. They tend to forget that a well-written article requires research, outlining, drafting, etc. You can not expect a masterpiece for 20 bucks…or less. So thanks for banging the point home in this article. Best luck in the future and thanks for all your insights!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome, glad to hear that Jeff! Thanks for sharing your insights.

  • Reply Jesus

    This a 10x content !

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you, Jesus.

  • Reply Qasim

    Hi Chris,
    Awesome content! Is this strategy also effective for general websites like those having the niches beauty, health & nutrition?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading Qasim. I don’t see why not πŸ™‚

  • Reply Philos

    As a blogger for hire I can say that the rate-per-word you listed for 2000-word posts is great for many writers. At a 100 – 150 dollars per post many writers are willing to create awesome content covering different topics in your niche. And the good part is that a client can get two to three posts a week this way (complete with uploading to WP editor).

    I’m also thinking of starting of starting a niche site with some high quality content where I publish 2 to 4 posts a week for a year – and using email outreach (as you teach in one of your posts) to build backlinks.

    Are you publishing part 2 next week?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome, thanks for contributing Philos. Yes, part 2 will be published next week.

  • Reply Davis

    Great stuff. What about using old PLR materiel and rewriting it? I am just starting out with my diet blog and I am using a mix of my articles, rewriten PLR and affiliate content to add some early, get going content.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Davis. Mmm, not something I’d recommend for something like this.

  • Reply Vin

    Hey Chris!

    I actually found this post because you linked to a guest post I did on FatStacks. This is a SOLID write up. Probably one of the best I’ve seen on the topic, actually. It’s great to see the industry moving away from lower quality content mills.

    If I can help out with promoting this series – just give me a shout.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Vin! I’ve never used a content agency before, but I’ve been hearing great things about your company!

  • Reply Mohit Gangrade

    Hey Chris,

    I love your content.

    And this post like all others of yours is pretty awesome.

    I started my latest site with the same content strategy in mind.

    Your post helped make the strategy better.

    You are awesome!


    • Reply Chris Lee

      Happy to hear that! Thank you Mohit!

  • Reply Gregorio

    Hi Chris!

    What type if income can a site where you’re investing around 20-25k per year bring after 1 year?

    Thank you,

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Gregorio, I’ll be discussing monetization in part 3.

  • Reply Deanna

    Thanks Chris this was awesome I am just starting a niche site. This article has really helped with a better understanding. Cant wait for part 2!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Great to hear that it was helpful πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Deanna!

  • Reply Argo

    This is great. I love the idea of reddit and youtube. Looking forward for parts 2 and 3.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Argo πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jonathan

    Great Article. I just found your YouTube Curation post. Do you think that strategy is good for a premium website, perhaps as supplementary content (if not the main content)?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Jonathan!

      I guess it’s okay for supplementary content, but highly depends on the niche.

  • Reply Mike

    great read Chris, do you take the results you find in quora and Reddit and use them verbatim as article titles?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Mike. Mainly just to get ideas.

  • Reply Lu Wee Tang

    What a timely post. I was deciding between publishing infrequently but with 10X better content vs publishing frequently but with 3X content.

    I’ve now made up my mind after reading this guide πŸ™‚

    Thanks. Look forward to part 2 and part 3!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Awesome!! Glad it was helpful, Lu Wee πŸ™‚

  • Reply Babs

    Solid stuff Chris

    Just started a health and fitness site and were stacking at 1000 words per content.

    We really should up that, Can’t wait for the rest in this series to be out.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks, Babs!

  • Reply Bhuboy

    Thanks for this another wonderful , looking forward for the next part

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Bhuboy πŸ™‚ Great to hear from you!

  • Reply Phil

    Thanks Chris for a great article!
    I guess this is what you call a 10X content.
    Love your blog and I just started reading all your old blog posts from the beginning. There are so much to learn and great value.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you’re liking it. Thank you, Phil!

  • Reply Velin

    Hey Chris,

    Great article, as always. I’m currently struggling with the content creation and thanks to your valuable information I’ve found some answers! Can’t wait to see the other two parts, you really add value with this one.

    By the way, congrats for the new blog design, I really like it, it is much cleaner and focused on the content, great job!


    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Velin! Very happy to hear that. Thank you for your comments on the re-design. It took a lot of work πŸ˜€

  • Reply Winson Poon

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve been reading your articles for quite while. You’re a very wisdom guy and know what you’re doing there.

    Keep producing high-quality contents, many people will be benefited from it.

    All the best,

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Winson!

  • Reply Cao Viet Hung

    Great article

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Reply Russell Lobo

    Hi Chris,
    Excellent read. I’m sharing it in my group of 8,000+ niche site owners/aspirants.. It will really help a lot.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Sweet! Thanks a lot Russe πŸ™‚

  • Reply Theodore

    This is indeed a masterpiece Chris,

    I do understand that quality contents are paramount to the success of every authority site. Any marketer who’s not serious about developing and publishing top notch contents on his blog isn’t going to see any significant success from the site.

    However, the fact still remains that creating such contents is not always easy, neither is outsourcing it just as you rightly said.

    From now, I will start spending more on contents so as to get only the capable hands to write for me.

    Thanks for sharing.

    BTW: I made my first sale with one of the authority sites I created in February (so happy) πŸ™‚

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Theodore! Great to see you here! Thanks for reading, and congrats on the sale!!

  • Reply Omoba Odusanya

    That is an awesome well-researched post on your blog Chris.

    But then $100 – $150 for an article Chris. Damn. That is crazy!

    I never pay more than $10 max for an article, even that is way so expensive for me.

    I imagine myself in a third-world, I can’t afford that and I am not a good writer either. But I think I should scale up my budget for my credible site blog posts.

    Have you tried any of these?


    I think they are good too for content outsourcing.

    Like I said, the post is awesome and I have bookmarked it already. I stay tuned for the smart traffic strategy.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks a lot, Omoba!

      I haven’t tried them. They’re well-known and reputable companies, but they’re also pricy and used mainly by large companies – not individual publishers.

      • Reply Omoba Odusanya

        I forgot to include a question in my comment.

        If I post a quality content as you have advised. How does Google notice and rank the post?

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Google will crawl your site and index it eventually. You can speed it up by fetching and submitting your site in Search Console.

  • Reply Rob

    Great no fluff info!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for checking it out, Rob πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jhasketan Garud

    Hi Chris,

    You’re onto something big. I’m eagerly waiting for part 2&3.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Jhasketan! Glad you like it.

  • Reply Sasmita

    Awesome post Chris.
    Even, I am tired of seeing mediocre regurgitated content everywhere.
    It’s time all this changed.
    I am bookmarking this one.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Agree! Thanks Sasmita πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tarik Pierce

    Hi Chris,

    I love how you SHOW as well as tell what we need for success. I do agree with longer content using your premium authority niche model.

    After reading your post, I went back and thought about every article of mine that went viral. They were longer list posts that went in-depth and addressed a lot of problems along with solutions to my target audience.

    I tried posting more frequently with cheaper writers but traffic is only going up a little bit. Quality is best but you need decent frequency if you want to make it to 1 million visitors per month. That’s my ultimate goal.

    Right now, I’m trying to go through my old posts and make them longer and more up to date. Hopefully this will give me more traction since I only have 83 articles published in that niche.

    Looking forward to Part 2. Thanks for this guide. I Learned alot.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      That’s an awesome target, Tarik! I appreciate you adding your insights πŸ™‚ Best of luck!

  • Reply Jay

    Thanks for all the great and complete advice you share, not many writers are as deep and the same time easy to understand. One thing I was considering was following all your strategies on a niche but using both English and Spanish maybe running two different sites using Multilingualpress or in the same site using WPML plugins.

    The thing is there is not much reliable information on this topic and less from authority sites experts. I will love to hear your opinion or anyone else if this can be feasible from an SEO perspective and most important worth the effort.

    Thanks again for all your shared knowledge, it has clarified a lot for me in the pursuit of building and authority site.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Jay! Glad you liked it.

      SEO is a lot easier for non-English sites so if the traffic is there, or the niche is profitable even with lower traffic numbers, then it’s worth it in my opinion.

  • Reply Vicky Kumar

    Hi Chris,

    What about the article that is highly focused on the subject and that doesn’t contain word more that 1400 as it becomes sometimes hard to write such a long article.
    Does it really word count matters for the quality article that is between 1000 -1500? Looking forward to hear form you

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Vicky! I know what you mean. Some simple post topics just don’t require 2000 words. And if that’s the case, no need to fill it up with fluff. 2000 words doesn’t mean that EVERY article needs to be 2000 words.

      • Reply Vicky Kumar

        It means quality matters along with the word count. Thanks for clearing it.

  • Reply Cleibert Mora

    Always straight to the point, thanks Chris for your trusted content.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Cleibert! Good to see you here πŸ™‚

  • Reply John M

    Awesome, just awesome! Thanks Chris.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you John πŸ™‚

  • Reply Maeve

    Hi Chris, awesome post you have!

    Btw, does google quick answer box affect your traffic? What is the best way to deal with it? Thanks.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Maeve. The answer box is a great placement to get for your site. While you can’t “do anything about it” you can try to get your own site to get placed there.

  • Reply Rob R

    So I’ve followed RankXL for a while and I love your site strategy. I’m looking to start a new site and follow this method. I know it will take time, but this is a side project that I will do right the first time so it pays off.

    Do you have any ideas on what are good subjects to start a blog about? I know that’s pretty generic, but I would think some topics are easier to write more frequently about. Plus, without getting into the monetization part yet, I’m not sure the topic(s) I’m thinking about will be good ones to pursue.

    Any ideas?

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Rob! For me, The Niche Book in the Vault might be helpful for you πŸ™‚

  • Reply George T.

    Hey Chris, amazing post! You hit the nail in the head with this post for me, because this is exactly what I started two months ago, not another site for that little extra, but what I’d like to think as a big business.

    I was lucky to not have to think about which niche to choose for myself, or have to find writers. My niche is my work for the past 20 years, and there’s no other way to write, other than giving it 10x.

    The only problem is that it is extremely competitive, and I’m trying to make a long term plan for myself here, I don’t think that simple broken link building, or email outreach will get me very far. I don’t mind putting A LOT of work to it, but I have no idea to what! Guest posting with AAA quality content? Hire an agency?

    I can’t wait for the next two parts!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for sharing George! Part 2 is near completed. I hope you find it helpful.

  • Reply Mike Lima

    Hi Chris.

    Great content as always. A true example of a 10x content!

    Two quick questions for you:

    1- What are your thoughts on using this strategy for low competition niches. Is it worth it or would it be more profitable to use the “write pillar post -> get backlinks to it” process instead?

    2- After the initial year of publishing 2-3 times per week, would you continue with that schedule for the next years?

    Thanks for your awesome insights, and looking forward to the next parts!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thank you Mike!

      1. It depends on what you feel comfortable with, and ultimately what direction you want to grow the site in.

      2. Over time, I would really try to scale that number – especially as my domain authority grows. The more content you publish, the more traffic you’ll see.


  • Reply Ciya

    Hi Chris,
    Talking about competitive niche, what do you suggest on negative seo ? Thanks.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      I’ve been negative SEO’d. It hasn’t really affected me at all.

  • Reply umair

    Another epic piece of wisdom! Chriss again great job!Love to hear from you on my questions to your second part of this the post!

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks Umair πŸ™‚

  • Reply Alberto Rendon

    Just finished reading. I’ve got another know-how in creating quality content. It’s a great post. Thank you so much for this teaching ideas.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Appreciate it, Alberto. Thank you for checking it out πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rein

    Cool stuff as usual Chris! Anyway, I’m just wondering if you’re into affiliate as well with regards to monetization method.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you liked it Rein πŸ™‚ I’m not heavy into affiliate marketing. Only if the product fits.

      • Reply Rein

        I see. I just have a follow up question if you don’t mind. Do you use different persona / dummy names in your niche sites? Does it matter?

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Doesn’t really matter. Depends on what you want to do.

  • Reply Agnes

    Awesome article! I have learnt a lot about content. Thanks Chris.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks for reading, Agnes!

  • Reply TalithaGlitters

    Hi Chris, this is a wonderful and complete content especially for newbies like me, its so direct and straight to the point…Can I also generate good content ideas on buzzsumo for my niche [art and culture], if not I will appreciate a trusted linkLooking forward for more to digest.

    Thank you

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad to hear that! Yes, you should be able to. You can try it free and see what results come back.

  • Reply Celestine

    Thank you Lee, this is awesome

    Proceeding to part two already

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Glad you like it πŸ™‚

  • Reply Bijay

    Great..Time to go for Part-2 –> Traffic

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Cool, thanks πŸ™‚

  • Reply Alex

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the article, it’s very useful, and fun, too!

    However, if possible I’d like to have your opinion on the matter I frequently think over and still can’t understand:

    Let’s suppose you’re a US$100-per-article author who really can make premium content.

    Then why would you go to Problogger (Upwork, etc.) to get hired by some busy moneymaker (no offence, please), instead of setting up your own WP blog with your own self-made premium content, and at the end of the day having the same money you’d get from Problogger/Upwork/etc.?


    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Alex,

      Great question. To grow a successful blog, it’s not just about publishing a ton of content. It’s like software developers. You can find a lot of good developers in freelancing sites, but that doesn’t mean that it would be more profitable for them to build a startup instead.

  • Reply Adeel Akhter

    Hi Mate.

    The first part is simply awesome and I am going for the next part tomorrow. Super exited.

    The article is really really awesome.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Thanks πŸ˜€ Glad you liked it.

  • Reply Tom


    Awesome stuff as always!

    I wanted to share an “outside of the box” link building tip, and since I have no interest in building an SEO blog, I thought I’d share this SUPER successful tip with one of my favorite bloggers and the community there. πŸ™‚

    Anyways, here’s what you do:

    1. Gather a list of potential organizations, websites, business, etc that have a physical address. Gather at least 100 addresses that relate to your website. Get anything with an address. Either gather manually or even use MTURK.

    For my example, I gathered 100 pet rescue groups for my pet niche website.

    2. This is important. Make sure your website is credible, link worthy and not spammy. Act big, even if you’re not.

    What you’re going to want to do here is write a template using a handwriting font. You want to make it look handwritten as there are a lot of great handwriting fonts out there! You can handwrite, I suppose, but this would take forever.

    3. Write out a simple one-page letter saying that you work for so and so and think your website could be a great addition to their website somewhere. Inside, make sure you list contact information like your email and even phone. If you see a resource page, note it.

    4. Next, write out your envelopes and make sure you hand write these or again, use that handwriting font to print on your printer. Make this look as personal as possible because these places get A LOT of junk mail.

    5. Test mail at least 50 letters. Look a stamp is what? 50 cents?

    My results

    I sent out 100 letters and I was BLOWN away by the response. I was able to achieve 13 links and they are still flowing.

    I probably invested a day, so let’s say 8 hours of work (kind of high). Value your time at $40/hr = $320/13 links = $24 each. Worth it? You be the judge.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Hey Tom! Thanks for sharing this with us.

      A 13% conversion rate is incredible. All you did was ask them to add a link to you somewhere on their website? I’m surprised that it worked out this well.

      Great work and I appreciate you taking the time to share this.

      • Reply Tom


        Just make sure the company has a resource page. While emailing works, I have talked to a few organizations that get TONS of email — most of it spam. So even if you do have something great, they just pass over it.

        With that being said, NO ONE snail mails. Think of it. If I mailed you something that’s handwritten, you would open it and pass a bit more attention to it, right? Do you know of any other SEO blogger recommending this? Ha.

        In my letter, it was short and sweet, something like this:

        I saw you had a resource page on your organization’s page and felt our organization could be of value. Blah blah.

        Hopefully, this makes sense. Some will email or even call to discuss. As long as it’s something of value, you would be surprised at how well it works.

        Maybe I should start an SEO Blog one day but I would rather just share the tips on the few blogs I respect like yours.

        • Reply Chris Lee

          Awesome, thanks for the clarification, Tom! Impressive.

          Maybe you should! πŸ™‚

  • Reply James

    Hi Chris,

    This post (and the rest in the series) has really given me something to aspire to.

    It’s going to be a lot of work to develop the content, but I am going for it.

    Awesome stuff.

    Thanks again.

    • Reply Chris Lee

      Great to hear that James πŸ™‚