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We’re back with coaching call #3 with Ryan Spadafora!

Leading up to this call, I’d asked Ryan to send me 20 keywords he liked based on some of the things we talked about in call #2.

In today’s call, I picked out a few of those keywords he found and talked about whether or not I would have picked them and why.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the analysis (which starts at about minute 35 of the call).

Keyword Mindset

Another topic I discussed quite a bit on this call was a proper keyword mindset – or at least the mindset I have when finding my keywords for a website. I really want Ryan to grasp this because I think it’s important to understand a few things as you’re considering a keyword:

We’re After a Collection of Keywords

This site isn’t after one keyword, and it’s not even focused on a “primary keyword.” We’re after a particular market, whether that ends up being baseball training or bowling training, and we want dozens of low competition keywords that fit under that umbrella.

Keyword Purposes

It’s important to understand that not every keyword serves the same purpose. Some are “buyer” keywords which are great for monetization, but you don’t want a site full of just buying guide/review type of content. Some keywords you’ll find you shouldn’t worry about monetizing at all, because it might be an excellent topic for building a big curated list or some other kind of more “shareable” content that can attract links (which will ultimately help your other monetized posts).

Not Just Low Competition and High Volume

In the call I share a personal example of when I targeted a keyword because my gut told me it made sense – despite virtually no search volume and a KC score that wasn’t exactly low. It turned out to be a great decision. The lesson is that if you really know your niche, you’re going to be targeting things that just make sense for your audience. Maybe it’ll bring you traffic and maybe it won’t, but these are keywords/topics your site just needs to have.

Look For Patterns

Sometimes, when you find a nice keyword you can take things to the next level by finding a pattern that will lead you to other similar keywords. Examples I gave involved athletes/celebrities like “how to shoot a basketball like Lebron.” If I found this was a good keyword for my basketball site, I would use Ubersuggest and type in “how to shoot a basketball like” to find out some other players that people commonly search for. I might find that replacing Lebron with Kobe, Steph Curry, Michael Jordan, etc. would turn that one keyword into several that I could target.

We’ll talk about several other mindset kind of topics in the call, and I hope you enjoy it. But before we get there, I wanted to have Ryan share his thoughts about NSP #3 up to this point:

Ryan’s Thoughts

Hey all, Ryan here. What can I say about this project so far? Well, for one, I’m learning a ton of new stuff. I know a lot of you have been building sites for years and are seasoned vets, but I’m just a baby lost in the woods – alone. Except I’m not alone! I have Jake to hold my hand and guide me through. Aww. Thanks, Jake.

Anyway, for the past few weeks I’ve really been digging into Long Tail Pro, and slowly but surely, I think I’m getting the hang of it. When I first started I was sort of afraid to star any keywords. Everything just seemed like it was too competitive – I was gun shy. Eventually, I just threw myself in head first and if I thought it had any kind of potential, I was going to save it – perhaps only to come back to it later and cross it off the list. Pretty soon, the good keywords started showing their beautiful faces.

Lesson #1 (that is not already covered in the call): Keep pushing yourself forward.

It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to get intimidated. It’s easy to give up. But you can’t. You just have to power through and you will find a light at the end of the tunnel. And then, of course, another dark tunnel to fight your way through, but that’s life!

I would venture to guess that up to 50% of the people who follow this site never take the leap and create a site. And of those that do, I’d bet a lot of them only throw 50% effort into it because of the struggles I mentioned above. Why do I think this? Because I can easily see myself being one of those people. I’d been coming to this site for the last 4 months or so, reading all the blogs, listening to all the podcasts, and guess what? I didn’t do anything in those four months… until, that is, I applied for this project and changed everything.

I’m lucky in that I have this project, and Jake, to hold me accountable and keep me on track. I know how lucky I am. So this advice is for all the people out there like me. Keep going! Put yourself out there. If you’re going to fail, fail at 100% max effort. Keep pushing yourself forward.

Lesson #2: There are no rules… sort of.

Part of the fear that I had in choosing keywords was that I thought there were a strict set of rules that needed to be followed militantly – only I didn’t know exactly what they were. Not just in the statistics coming back to me, but also in what I could put in as a seed keyword, etc… What an idiot! Once I loosened up and started to think outside of the box, a lot of good things started coming in. I had to realize, oh yeah, we’re really just talking about Google searches here. What would you be searching for?

Part II of this lesson is that I’m not going to shy away from some of the more competitive keywords. They might not be my focus, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to go after some of them.

I think it’s important to remember that the site is not just for you. It’s to serve an audience with a specific set of problems. Go solve them! An article focused on a competitive keyword might be exactly what your audience needs from your site. And it might wind up being just the type of thing that keeps those people coming back – or at least spending more time exploring your site. It’s not all about the money. Just mostly. (Jake feel free to put me in my place on this).

Lesson #3: Listen to jazz while researching keywords.

Works for me! Happy keyword hunting, y’all!