How to Find the Keywords that Work for Your Content Marketing Goals

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When you do keyword research, you’re working to discover the actual words your customers use when they search for information about your content topic.

Smart keyword research will let you uncover great information about your audience — how they search, how they speak, and how they think.

Accurate keyword research helps you optimize your website for the search engines, and it also allows you to shape your content strategy. So it’s vitally important that you use smart tactics to help you do your research in a fast, efficient way.

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A 3-Step Process for Painless Keyword Research

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Keyword research is one of the most important types of research you’ll do throughout your content marketing career. It’s also one of the most difficult.

In this series, we’ve already discussed the fact that research isn’t sexy, glamorous, or fun. We’ve also talked about how you need to do research consistently — just like you need to work out in a consistent manner in order to see the real physical fitness results you want.

But there’s something particularly arduous about conducting keyword research. Many of the tools available are confusing and counter-intuitive. We don’t know what we’re supposed to be looking for, and we often don’t have a system in place for how to do keyword research effectively.

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Become a Content Marketing Secret Agent with Competitive Intelligence

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Who wouldn’t want to become a secret agent like Jack Bauer, Ethan Hunt, and Perry the Platypus? We all want cool gadgets, sexy entourages, and glamorous gigs.

More importantly, we want to be secret agents because they always have inside information.

And as a content marketer, you can get the secret scoop on your competitors by doing a little high-tech spying.

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A 6-Step Content Marketing Research Process

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Professional athletes log thousands of hours in the gym preparing for competitions on the field, court, bike or ski run.

Athletes can’t be great at what they do without putting in that critical preparation time in the gym.

It’s the work that most people never see — all those hours of workout time — that makes the difference between a good athlete and a truly great one.

In the world of content marketing, you need to think of yourself as an athlete. Your market research is your training — it’s what you have to do, day by day and week by week, in order to be great at what you do.

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Research Ain’t Easy (But it’s Necessary)

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Let’s face it — doing research might not be as fun as creating killer headlines, writing the first draft of a genius blog post, or crafting your next irresistible offer.

But solid research is absolutely essential if you truly want to be successful as a content marketer.

When you hear the word “research” in conjunction with content marketing, you might immediately think about keywords (and optimizing your content for search engines using those keywords.)

And yes — keyword research is incredibly important. Mostly because it’s the language of your audience — even if search engines didn’t exist.

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How to Resist the Temptation to
Lie and Cheat Your Way to the Top

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I’ve been duped.

A few weeks ago, I bought Jonah Lehrer’s new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, after hearing rave reviews from several friends and respected bloggers.

Imagine was an easy book to love.

Jonah Lehrer has a wonderfully engaging writing style, and I enjoyed his anecdotes, examples, and advice on how to use the “science of creativity” to cultivate more creative and inspired work.

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