The Lagrange Strategy
How I Made A $114,000 Per Month Blog
with just 24 articles

by Mihael D. Cacic | December 7, 2022

This strategy is not ideal for all businesses.

It’s designed for:

  • SaaS companies
  • eCommerce stores
  • coaches, consultants, and agencies…

… who want to get high-quality leads on autopilot by creating a hyper-profitable blog in the shortest time possible, like so:

Figure 1: Number of monthly leads for one client. He’s been blogging with “the standard advice” and failing for 4 years. I helped him fix that in early 2021, and we took his blog to 7-figures by end of the year.

(Here’s the above graph in numbers)

Figure 2: As of August 2022, the signups increased to 560/month. With an LTV of $2260 and a trial-to-paid rate of 9%, 560 inbound leads equal $113,900 in revenue per month.

On top of that, with this strategy:

  • you don’t have to spam people to give you backlinks
  • you don’t have to create complex email nurturing campaigns
  • you don’t have to wait years before your content starts to rank

No — I designed this strategy because I wanted a reliable “set and forget” system for getting more customers on autopilot that works 24/7: without me having to constantly feed the beast with backlinks or fluff content.

I like to keep things simple. Do only what’s essential.

If you too would like to create a system like this for yourself and get 10, 100, or even 1000 new customers every month from your blog, then THIS is the strategy to follow in 2022.

First, grab my Lagrange Strategy swipe file below to see exact content strategy examples & templates that I personally use every time I plan a Lagrange strategy for my clients or affiliate websites.

Download My Lagrange Strategy Swipe File

Then dig into the most effective strategy for creating hyper-profitable blogs in 2022.

The 3-Steps Of The “Lagrange Strategy” To Get More Leads Than You Can Handle in 2022

This strategy has three steps.

Step 1: Create “Commercial Intent Content” to attract Big Budget Prospects.

  • Landing Pages & “Best of” Product Listicles
  • Competitor Comparisons & Alternatives
  • “Dark Social” & Consideration Keywords

Step 2: Create “Linkable Assets” to scale your Domain Rating & Ranking Potential.

  • Statistics & Surveys (best for scale)
  • Glossaries & Definitions (best bang for the buck)

Step 3: Retarget Prospects with Case Studies to convert them into New Customers.

  • “Everywhere Effect” Retargeting Campaign

Before I break down how every part of it works, let me tell you why I call it “The Lagrange Strategy”…

Back in college when I was studying to become a Physicist, we were talking about this guy named Joseph-Louis Lagrange.

Mathematician, Joseph-Louis Lagrange: expressing disappointment over being featured in a marketing blog.

In 1788, Lagrange invented the “principle of least resistance”. Which is basically a bunch of mathematical equations that describe a system.

When solved, these equations tell you what’s the easiest way to take a system from state A to state B. Theoretically, that can be any system. Like a flying boulder on its way towards a Gaul settlement hurled by a Roman catapult. Or even a marketing channel. Like a blog.

In our case:

State A: blog making little money

State B: blog making lots of money

But in the case of an unsuspecting Gaul:

State A: intact living Gaul

State B: not-so-intact not-so-living Gaul three feet under the crust

(Unless you’re Obelix. Then you can inverse a boulder’s trajectory back to Roman catapults.)

The days of me solving Lagrangian equations are long gone.

Since then, I have moved on to obsessing over content marketing and how to make blogs hyper-profitable in the most efficient way possible. As this approach is soaked with the philosophy of the “least resistance” I have named it the Lagrange Strategy.

In practice, this simply means that we first focus on content that gives:

  1. big ROI
  2. as fast as possible
  3. with little chance of failure

Then only after we secure cashflow do we shift focus on more long-term, riskier, brand-building techniques.

Bonus: I put together a swipe file of the best content strategies for SaaS, eCommerce, and service businesses that I use to kickstart all my projects. You can access it for free inside this Lagrange Strategy Swipe File.

Step 1: Create Commercial Intent Content To Attract Big Budget Prospects.

The marketing GOAT, Eugene Schwartz, once said that at any given moment a market has three types of people:

  • Most aware they know what they need to solve their problem. (~10%)
  • Somewhat aware – they know they have a problem. (~30%)
  • Unaware – they don’t even know they have a problem. (~60%)

Ask any SEO/content marketer and they’ll tell you to only go after the “somewhat aware” and the “unaware” section of the market because that’s how you’ll get the most traffic and thus most customers.

WRONG!

That way, not only you’ll have to create email nurture campaigns to get people to become your customers, but you also have to realize that most people in those two stages are beginners with little buying power. Sure, you’ll make sales. But mostly for your low-ticket products.

Takeaway: In every other type of advertising, everyone is focused on the audience that’s in the “buying now” mode. But for some reason, Search Engine Marketers avoid that segment like the devil. And herein lies your opportunity.

Focus on the “most aware” audience first.

It’s the fastest way to make sales with content — they’re literally looking for your solution. Just give it to them.

Sure, you’ll reach only about 10% of the total market size — but that 10% of the market is ripe with ideal customers. Decision-makers with big budgets. Veterans who’ve been in the industry for years.

I have this mentality when working with clients and it always pays off big time:

Figure 3: Highlighted articles were made by me. Articles in gray were made by the client before I came on board. He was creating lots of content for the “somewhat” and “unaware” audiences. As a result, he was getting lots of traffic, but almost no customers. Even with aggressive welcome mats, the conversion rate on his articles hovered at 0.3%. My team and I identified lots of commercial intent content he wasn’t going after. We wrote the content and it started ranking in months & converted between 3 to 12% cold organic traffic into SaaS product trials.

Making your blog top-heavy with Commercial Intent Content should be the #1 priority of every new and old blog.

You’ll get:

  • Short sales cycles,
  • Quick influx of new customers,
  • Shockingly high conversion rates,
  • Increase your average order value.

Secure cash flow first.

Focus on “somewhat” and “least” aware audiences after that.

How to find ideas for Commercial Intent Content.

There are three keyword patterns of Commercial Intent Content that show up in every industry.

  1. Landing pages & “Best of” Product Listicles
  2. Competitor Comparisons & Alternatives
  3. “Dark Social” & Consideration Keywords

Let’s discuss each separately.

1. Landing Page & “Best of” Product Listicle Keyword Pattern.

These keywords indicate that your visitor is looking for a product or service like yours.

Whenever I start working with a new client, this is the first keyword bucket that I look into. For some reason, even if a company has been blogging for years and has over 300 articles, they still somehow miss 90% of “best of” keywords.

For a SaaS company, some of these keywords are:

  • “best (solution) software”
  • “best (feature) software”
  • “best (industry) software”
  • “best software for (audience)”
  • “best product for (category)”
  • “best [mechanism] tools”

and various combinations, like:

  • “best (industry) + (use case) software”
  • “best (use case) software for (Industry)”
  • “best (use case) software for (company type)”
  • “best (Industry) software for (use case)”

For example, I’m looking at Quickbase, a popular CRM software.

Check out their use cases and industries they’re serving:

Just from this, we can get 7×7 = 49 commercial intent keywords.

  • Process improvement software for construction companies
  • Process improvement software for government
  • Process improvement software for real estate

and moving down the use case column…

  • supply chain software for construction companies
  • supply chain software for government
  • supply chain software for healthcare

The more verticals and audiences you serve… the more features your product has… and the more ways your users describe your product… the more opportunities you have for ranking for commercial intent keywords.

Bonus: To see how these keyword patterns would look in an actual content strategy, check out my Lagrange Strategy Swipe File.

Before we move on, I get this question a lot:

“Is it okay to create a landing page and a product listicle for the same keyword?”

Yes! It’s okay to create a landing page AND a product listicle for the same keyword IF AND ONLY IF you include a strong keyword modifier with one of them.

For example, Snovio has one page optimized for “Email Finder” that’s ranking #2 spot for its main keyword:

And they have one page optimized for “Best Email Finder Tools” that’s ranking in the featured snippet for its main keyword:

These are two completely different pages: one is a landing page, the other a product listicle.

Moving on to the next industry…

For eCommerce, “best of” keywords are:

Pattern Example
 “Best (product) for [audience]”
  • Best hiking boots for kids
  • Best hiking boots for men
  • Best hiking boots for diabetics
 “Best (product) for [pain point]”
  • Best hiking boots for bunions
  • Best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis
  • Best hiking boots for ingrown toenails
 “Best (product) for [activity]”
  • Best hiking boots for deer hunting
  • Best hiking boots for walking the camino
  • Best hiking boots for climbing kilimanjaro
“Best (product) for [use case]”
  • Best hiking boots for snow
  • Best hiking boots for downhill
  • Best hiking boots for off track
  • Best hiking boots for casual wear
  • Best hiking boots for arizona desert
“Best (product) with [specific]”
  • Best hiking boots with arch support
  • Best hiking boots with wide toe box
  • Best hiking boots with ankle support
 “[modifier] (product)”
  • cute hiking boots
  • cheap hiking boots
  • waterproof hiking boots

One of the easiest ways of coming up with a list of commercial intent keywords is to simply use Google autocomplete like this:

(Unironically, autocomplete is the most accurate SEO “tool” since the list you see is sorted by popularity using Google’s own search data.)

Open up the Google search bar and start typing in your seed keyword, like “hiking boots”.

As you type, you’ll see a list of related searches appear below the search bar. To get more suggestions, add “a”, “b”, or “c” at the start of the next word. Google will adjust the autocomplete list to fit your new pattern.

Go through the entire alphabet. Scan every new autosuggest list and jot down any keyword that is relevant to your business or products. Boom. Done.

Is this a perfect content strategy that a professional content strategist would have done for you?

No.

But if you’re on a tight budget, this will get you moving in the right direction.

Check the swipefile to see how a professional would do a content strategy.

Moving on to the next industry…

For service businesses, commercial intent keywords are:

Pattern Example
(service) for [industry]
  • website design for real estate
  • website design for law firms
  • website design for SaaS
(service) for [company type]
  • website design for startups
  • website design for nonprofits
  • website design for enterprise companies
(service) for [audience]
  • website design for accountants
  • website design for dentists
  • website design for barbers
(service) services
  • website design services
(service) company
  • website design company
(service) expert
  • website design expert
(service) specialist
  • website design specialist
(service) consultant
  • website design consultant
(service) coach
  • website design coach
(service) agency
  • website design agency
(service) vendor
  • website design vendor
  •  

Service businesses have extremely lucrative commercial intent keywords because if you ask 10 different people to describe the same services, they would describe it in 10 different ways.

Yet, Google recognizes them as separate keywords, with different SERPs.

That means that one service = a dozen commercial intent keywords.

(And that’s without taking “for industry” into account.)

So while most agencies optimize their website around just one commercial keyword (if that!), you can leverage this information to create 17+ different landing pages and get 17x more leads!

Why don’t service businesses create more commercial intent content like this?

I believe it’s because they’re afraid of keyword cannibalization.

Making landing pages for “website design services” and “website design agency” does seem kind of unnecessary: they literally mean the same thing. However, if we check the SERP for website design services…

… and the SERP for website design agency…

They are not the same.

Meaning, that despite the fact that these two keywords have the same search intent (people looking for a website design agency to get their website design services), Google still considers them to be different.

So you don’t have to worry about keyword cannibalization at all.

2. The Competitor Comparison & Alternatives Keyword Pattern

Note: this batch of keywords is more appropriate for product-based businesses (like SaaS and eCommerce), not so much for service-based businesses.

There are three keyword patterns in this bucket.

  1. “[competitor] vs [your brand]”
  2. “[competitor 1] vs [competitor 2] vs [you brand]”
  3. “[competitor] alternatives”

Out of 1. and 2., you will mostly go after 1. (“[competitor] vs [your brand]”) if you’re an already established brand with lots of awareness. Because, well, people are searching for your brand!

For example:

  • RouteXL vs. Circuit
  • Salesforce vs HubSpot
  • monday.com vs. Smartsheet

But if you’re a small brand getting off the ground then go after 2. keyword pattern (“[competitor 1] vs [competitor 2] vs [you brand]”) to piggyback off the success of already established brands. This way, when people search for “[competitor 1] vs [competitor 2]” you’ll also show up in the search results.

For example:

  • ServiceTitan vs Housecall Pro vs Jobber
  • CallRail vs CallTrackingMetrics vs WhatConverts
  • Cypress vs. Selenium vs. Katalon Studio vs. Rainforest

Finally, you’ll go after the 3rd keyword pattern (“[competitor] alternatives”) regardless of how established you are since your brand name doesn’t appear in the title.

For example:

  • 3 Best Marchex Alternatives
  • 13 Salesforce CRM Alternatives
  • 20 Best Monday.com Alternatives

Important: the key to making sales with “alternatives” keywords is to position yourself on the first spot on the list. How you’ll do that —ethically— is out of the scope of this article 🙂

Coming up with keyword ideas for this bucket is easy: make a giant list of all your competitors and permutate it.

If you want, you can also throw them into a keyword research software and prioritize them by search volume or ranking difficulty. Beware, though. Keyword research software will oftentimes say search volume for some commercial intent keywords is 0-10 per month, and not worth going after.

Don’t get discouraged by this.

Every keyword software is working with a VERY limited database, so it’s prioritizing crawling high-volume keywords while skipping most lucrative commercial intent keywords: the numbers you’re seeing are wrong.

In my opinion, this is the biggest reason why so many companies never see ROI from their content marketing.

Ignore what your software says. Even if the search volume for a commercial intent keyword is actually very low—like just 10 per month—that’s okay. That’s 120 very interested prospects per year looking for what you’re selling. Say 40 of them visit your article and 6 of them become customers. If your customer LTV is $3000, then that’s $18,000 additional revenue per year.

Is it worth spending $3000 creating an article that would get you $18000 per year?

You bet it is.

Sure, one article won’t move the needle… But 50 articles?

3. The “Dark Social” and Consideration Keyword Patterns

In my experience, the Dark Social and Consideration keywords are the least understood concepts in SEO… And companies are losing MILLIONS because of it.

Here’s how I define them:

Considerational Keywords are simply questions that people have regarding your product or company.

These questions arise once people are already familiar with your product (they’ve read your ad, visited your page, or watched a third-party review), but they still don’t know exactly how your product will fit in their life.

Instead of looking for that specific bit of information on your site, they type their question in Google — it’s faster, more intuitive, and we’re used to searching for information this way.

If you haven’t written an SEO answer to their question, then you obviously won’t show up on the SERP and the prospect will visit third-party pages. And if even those don’t have a good answer, they’ll turn to “Dark Social” for help.

(Provided they didn’t lose interest from the lack of information.)

Dark Social refers to the conversations about your product that is happening on non-indexable sites, like closed groups and private communities (discord, WhatsApp, telegram, Facebook messenger, email, etc.).

Your job is to find all those questions and conversations, and bring light to them with short, 500-word articles.

If not, then third-party sites and dark social will control the narrative of your product — and that’s the last thing you want to happen.

Consideration Keywords for eCommerce Stores

When selling physical products to end users, consideration keywords will be questions about:

  • how the product is used;
  • how and where it was made;
  • the raw specifics of the product;
  • how they can include it in their life;
  • etc.

Here’s an example for Adidas’ Yeezys — a shoe made for fashion-conscious millenials with higher-than-average buying power.

Figure 4: various questions people have when buying Yeezys. Check the KD and Volume columns: those are some extremely easy wins right there.

You can also find consideration keywords by checking out Reddit, Quora, Twitter, Facebook groups, or any other forum. All these platforms are also search engines in their own right. Leverage it.

Here are three questions that popped up after I searched for “Yeezys” on Reddit.

The last one, “removing yellowing from Yeezys”, got great engagement – I would definitely write my own article for it. Although it’s not something a first-time buyer would search for, it’s a great topic for repeat customers.

If your product is well known, a great place to check is also the People Also Ask section on Google. After searching for “Yeezys” and expanding the results, this is what I got:

Here are some more niche questions with less search volume that I found:

  • how to clean 350 yeezys?

A great topic for someone who already owns 350 yeezys, but also for someone who is considering buying 350 yeezys and is thinking about whether they can even get cleaned and restored in their former out-of-the-box glory.

  • what size is a women’s 8.5 in yeezys?

Obviously something a very interested buyer would ask in a store. Specific detail about the product.

  • when did the dazzling blue yeezys come out?

Less obvious, but this one also has high buying intent. Buyers for Yeezys are trend conscious: they want to keep up with the latest versions of the products. So the time of release for dazzling blue yeezys might be an important factor to consider.

Many big companies think answering these questions on their website publicly is somehow “beneath” them.

I think that’s silly.

Again, do you want random people to dictate the conversation about your product?

You don’t have to go all out and write super long-form answers to these questions. A short, 500-word article is more than enough to rank for one of these. Especially because it’s YOUR product, and you will have the most topical authority to rank for it.

Low effort, high returns.

Consideration Keywords for SaaS Companies

SaaS buyers, especially bigger companies, are notoriously complex buyers.

They have to be.

Think about it: you’re selling a CRM — a vital piece of software for a company. Before an enterprise switches their CRMs and all their crucial data with it, they need to be 100% certain that

  • the new CRM has features that their old CRM doesn’t
  • the new CRM will fit their workflow just as good or even better than the previous CRM.

Here are some of these considerational keywords, from a research done by Mike Sonders.

Looking at this diagram kind of reminds me of a funnel — and that’s because it is!

The first question people will have after reading about a product is to see it in action — that’s why “product demo” is the most sought-after consideration content.

After the demo, naturally, the next question is what other people think about the product. So the second most popular keyword is “product reviews”.

Then “product reporting”… then “integrations”… “security”…

You get the point 🙂

With each step, some people drop off because they either

  • couldn’t find the information;
  • or it wasn’t presented well;
  • or discovered they don’t need the product;
  • or they decided the product is the right fit and bought it, exiting the consideration funnel.

Of course, the buyer’s journey is complex and people can search for keywords in any order they want.

But in practice, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you create all pages optimized for these keywords and provide the best information about your product as possible.

Now let’s go over three of these keywords.

1. Reporting (and other “expected” features in your niche)

Reporting is crucial for many SaaS buyers.

In bigger companies, it’s mostly department leaders who are searching for new products for their department. Since these managers typically have to do a lot of reporting to branches higher up, having a product with build-it reporting capabilities is very important to them.

That’s why Hubspot created a dedicated page just for that:

It’s not like Hubspot is a reporting software, and you won’t find much copy about this part of Hubspot on their typical product pages. But on this page, they present their dashboard and reporting as it was a main feature of the software…

Because that’s exactly what people want to read about.

Hubspot has a chance to describe their reporting system and dashboard; without cluttering their main product description with this copy.

2. Customers

Here, you get the opportunity to feature all your customer personas.

The goal of this page is to make the prospect identify with at least one of your existing customers. Fill this page with success stories, social proof, interviews, specific examples of how your customers are using your product to solve similar challenges, the business transformation they achieved with it, etc.

3. Security (and other Legal pages)

Bigger companies have a lot of private customer data.

How they handle that data gets increasingly more important as they grow and have more eyes on them — a data breach could mean a huge setback, damage their reputation, reduce their valuation, and the chance of getting funding in the future.

That’s why you need to show prospects that their data is safe with you — they need to know you will protect them from loss and litigation.

You’d be surprised to learn that privacy policy and GDPR also play parts in the consideration funnel.

Sure, not a lot of buyers will be interested in those — maybe 10 people per year.

BUT those 10 people who do could very well turn out to be massive buyers.

So if you ever feel like you don’t wanna write these pages because they have low search volume, remember: the lower the volume the larger the deal size.

Wanna see more “legal” pages and how to write them to get big fish customers? I’ve included a company in the swipe file that nails the security and legal pages.

Consideration Keywords for Service Businesses

Service businesses don’t have typical consideration keywords like SaaS and eCommerce.

That’s because every service is custom-made for each client. Because of this, it’s impossible to search for the specifics of a service, and prospects will look for “proxies” that indicate a service business can deliver on its promises.

The most obvious proxies are:

  • testimonials
  • case studies
  • about section
  • strength of guarantee

But some prospects will —especially for high-ticket deals— want more than that.

When a customer buys a high-ticket service, they enter a long-term relationship with the coach, consultant, or agency. They’ll need to talk, debate, and solve problems together.

Going into business with an agency they don’t “click” with on a human level, would be the last thing they want. Similar to how you wouldn’t hire a job candidate if he or she doesn’t fit the culture — regardless of their skills.

That’s why prospects will want to learn about who you are.

They’ll look through your social media profiles (a collection of your thoughts and life), like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and podcasts:

… and even more intimate information, such as wife, age, nationality, net worth, and images.

People are nosey creatures.

We’re wired to look for this information because —like it or not— these are indicators that a person is successful in the three main domains: health, wealth, and relationships.

Naturally, for survival, you wanna go into business with a person who has great fitness; has a proven ability to generate wealth; and has deep, trusting, and loving relationships in his life.

These are all indicators of exceptional problem-solving ability, emotional intelligence, and communication skills — the holy trinity of future success.

Here’s how you can put your best foot forward with social media:

  • Podcasts: how you think
  • Wikipedia: your biography
  • Instagram: a portfolio of activities that you love
  • Youtube: showcase your humor and personality
  • Twitter: personal values and bite-sized philosophy
  • LinkedIn: controversial opinions and “how you do things”

Do you have to publish on social media every day?

Although contributing to the conversation in the industry makes you look approachable and active, you don’t have to be posting on every social platform all the time.

Create a portfolio of work for each platform: 5, 10, maybe 20 pieces of content for each.

Then pick one platform that you like the most for your daily or weekly musings.

Wanna see what a successful Lagrange content strategy would look like in practice?

I put together a swipe file of content strategies for SaaS, eCommerce, and service businesses that I use every time I start a new strategy. You can see all the examples inside this Lagrange Content Strategy swipe file.

Step 2: Create Linkable Assets To Scale Your Domain Rating & Ranking Potential.

To secure rankings of your commercial intent content and rank for difficult keywords, your website needs high DR.

One of the biggest reasons why companies fail to get any results from their content marketing is because they try to get traffic from keywords that are too difficult for THEM to rank for or hold long term.

Marketers have shown time and time again that there is a clear correlation between the amount of search traffic a domain gets and the amount of referring domains it has.

Figure 5: A study done by Ahrefs. The x-axis is the number of search traffic a domain gets. The y-axis is the total number of referring domains.

Without high DR, most content marketing efforts will be wasted.

Let’s first look at what kinds of sites rank for difficult keywords. Here’s the SERP for a very difficult keyword, “CRM”

Check the DR column — every site ranking for this keyword has a DR in the 90s.

it is simply not possible to penetrate this kind of SERP if your DR isn’t high enough. If your DR is anything less than 80, then the chances of you ranking for this keyword are very low.

Sure, we see DR 60 and 70 here and there — but this is because either A) those sites are hyper-focused only on CRM keywords and thus have lots of topical authority, or B) Google’s #1 goal is to show high-quality content, which smaller sites can have sometimes. So Google is testing out whether the articles from these low DR sites will perform better for the search intent.

However…

The logic can also work in your favor.

Imagine being a site with DR 80 going after “CRM ERP”

Now you have a HUGE advantage over everyone else.

The bottom line is this…

Increasing your DR expands the total number of keywords you can compete for… while at the same time giving you an unfair advantage for keywords where your DR is higher than the average for that SERP.

This means increasing your DR is one of the best investments you can make in your website — it will multiply every single calorie of effort you put into content marketing.

For example, if you have 200 articles and 10 of them are ranking on the first page… Then by increasing your DR by 10 points, you might push an additional 20 articles to rank on first pages — without making any changes to the contents of these articles.

You’ve essentially made your past work more valuable.

Okay, I think you get it: higher DR = more traffic…

But now we need to find a way to increase DR in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

DR is increased with backlinks — but manual link building is expensive, slow, and unscalable.

To increase your DR, you need more backlinks pointing to your website… and there are three ways how you can achieve that:

  1. Ask for backlinks
  2. Buy backlinks
  3. Earn backlinks

Content marketing agencies & link builders swear by strategies #1 and #2: asking for and buying backlinks. This isn’t only expensive (one link can sell for $250 to $1000, depending on the quality of the referring domain), it’s also illegal — it’s against Google’s terms of service.

So every link that you get this way might get your site in trouble if you aren’t careful.

(That “trouble” consists of devaluing a big portion of backlinks you’ve built or even blacklisting your site from Google.)

Although manual link building like this has its place in cases where you need a particular article to rank first page ASAP… You shouldn’t use manual link building for increasing your website’s DR: it’s too expensive, slow, and unscalable.

To do that, it’s better to earn backlinks passively.

Instead of building backlinks manually, create Linkable Assets to get backlinks passively.

The only legal and scalable way of getting backlinks is by earning them — and you can earn them with linkable assets.

Linkable assets are content pieces you create for other writers so that they can use them to improve their content.

In other words, if you made something that makes another writer think “wow, my readers will love this!” then you’ve made a linkable asset.

For example, do you think Backlinko builds over 3000 backlinks manually every month?

Or are people linking to his website passively because referencing his content improves their content? Well, if you’ve ever tried building backlinks manually, then you know it would take about 10 years of labor to build 3000 backlinks manually…

Instead of doing that, Brian Dean, the owner of backlinko, mastered the craft of leveraging linkable assets.

If we check the “best by links’ growth” report on Ahrefs, we can see how many links some of his articles are getting every month

Brian has hundreds of linkable assets like this. That’s why his website is one of the biggest websites in the SEO industry.

Thanks to this, Brian can easily rank for difficult (and lucrative) keywords.

 

How To Find Ideas For Linkable Assets

Likable assets can be anything that helps other people improve their content…

But the ones that are the most effective and 100% passive are:

  • Statistics & Surveys
  • Glossaries & Definitions

That’s why we’ll focus solely on these.

Note: all of these work for all industries: SaaS, eCommerce, and service businesses.

1. Statistics & Surveys

Based on my research, statistics posts attract BY FAR the biggest number of high-quality backlinks out of all linkable assets.

Figure 6: studying how many backlinks Brian Dean’s articles are attracting passively every month. “Statistics” articles are his latest addition, being only 14 months old on average. Yet each article gets 24 unique backlinks per month. Yes, “Original Research” articles pull twice as many backlinks, but they’re also much, much more difficult to write.

Statistics and surveys help content writers (bloggers, marketers) reinforce the point they’re making: helping them look more credible; while also helping journalists get a “feeling” for the industry they’re writing about.

Finding ideas for Statistics & Surveys

Note: I’m not going over how to reverse-engineer competitors’ linkable assets, because that’s just going through “best by links” and “best by links growth” reports in Ahrefs.

The main strategy here is looking at questions in the People Also Ask boxes asking for data.

For example, here’s the PPA box for “tesla users”

Click on a question to open new ones.

After expanding a few, here’s a list of data-based questions (highlighted) that I got:

These are all great questions to include in your Tesla Users, Revenue, and Production Statistics Linkable Asset.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get good questions right off the bat.

It takes a few tries to get a good PPA box, driven by questions looking for data. For example, here’s a PPA box for “keto”:

Even after expanding a dozen of questions, I got no luck.

But after playing around with the search query—trying to mimic something a journalist would type in Google—I got quite decent results.

For example, after searching for “how many people are on keto”, I get:

That’s something I can work with.

Remember, we only want to answer questions that are data-based.

If you’re in a pickle about whether you should include a question in your article or not, imagine being a data scientist. Questions like “why keto diet is unhealthy” or “why is keto so popular” are out of your domain of expertise, so you wouldn’t give your opinion on them.

Writing Statistics & Survey articles

Keep going through PPA boxes until you’ve compiled and organized a list of 10-15 data-based questions, like so:

Then, write 50-75 word answers where you cite the statistics: no storytelling, no explaining. Just facts.

That’s it.

As you can see, these linkable assets aren’t written like typical blog posts, where the goal is to rank for the main keyword…

No. The goal here is to have lots of headers to rank for longtail keywords and featured snippets, while still having your main title “wide” enough so that it makes sense with a vast majority of longtails.

For example:

This article by Backlinko ranks for over 1800 keywords

A vast majority of them are longtail questions, like these:

Pro tip: since this article is a series of bone-dry facts, it helps to break the wall of text with infographics.

A huge added benefit is that if you style these infographics in a “toned down” way (so they could fit on a variety of different articles and brands), you can significantly increase the number of backlinks your asset can generate.

2. Glossaries & Definitions

Besides statistics and popular opinions (surveys), journalists also look for terminology and definitions of concepts when writing their articles. These four things give them everything they need to get a grasp on the industry they’re writing about.

Lucky for us, Glossaries and Definitions are the best types of posts you can write on a new (and old) site because of three reasons:

(besides being very effective assets for passive link building)

Reason #1: Easy to outsource.

Any writer with zero prior knowledge about the industry can write glossary posts.

Glossary posts are, in a way, collections of facts. There is no creativity or deeper understanding needed as is with how-to posts and opinion pieces. Surface knowledge is good enough — and any half-decent writer can get that level of knowledge with 15 minutes of research.

Reason #2: Builds topical authority.

Glossaries are built around concepts in the industry you work in:

  • “Sales glossary”,
  • “Hiking glossary”,
  • “dental glossary”, etc.

This means that, by the time you’re done, you’ll have 100,000+ words of content written about your niche. This will help Google see what your site is about, and give a ranking boost to all your articles around this topic.

Reason #3: Supports manual link building.

In case you want to build backlinks manually, having a glossary is a great way to seamlessly insert extra backlinks in your guest posts. No one is going to mind you inserting a definition-based article in their content.

The ROI of a Glossary

Here’s a short calculation about how many links you can expect to build with your glossary and how that translates into dollar value.

For example, let’s look at Snovio’s glossary about sales.

Since they published their first glossary post in January 2020, their glossary attracted 1402 unique referring domains, with ~450 domains having a DR of 50 and higher.

To assign a dollar value to that, here is a pricing table for link-building services of one of the most popular agencies.

On their best plan, they ask $384 for a single link.

Assuming Snovio’s glossary attracted 1000 proper backlinks, their glossary generated $375,000 worth of value in 30 months (from Jan 2020 to June 2022).

How much is that per page?

Snovio’s glossary has 382 pages…

Meaning each page is worth almost $1000 in the link-building economy.

And the best part?

Last month they got 55 unique backlinks ($21,120 of value)… which means they’ll likely get 55 unique backlinks next month, too.

(And that’s with their current rankings; no new pages or investments.)

Meaning their glossary gets more and more valuable the longer they have it.

As we said already, glossary posts are easy to create.

Here’s Snovio’s best-performing glossary post:

It’s ranking for multiple keywords…

Getting almost 6000 visitors per month…

Yet, the post length here is only 1200 words.

Assuming Snovio invested $300 in this article, that would be a 3x ROI.

Multiplying 384 pages by $300, we get $115,200 — the amount Snovio spent building their glossary… Yet, now they get $240,000 worth of backlinks every year, without lifting a finger

Worth it?

Finding content ideas for your Glossary

Besides reverse-engineering your competitor’s glossary, a great way to find ideas is using Ahrefs.

Go to Keywords Explorer and enter your industry seed keyword, like “sales”

Then go to “Matching terms” report:

This found all possible keywords containing our seed keyword.

I got 4 million results.

Since I only want glossary-type keywords, I’ll add an “Include” filter for “Any Word”, and only for “what is, meaning, definition”.

What I got is a narrowed down list of 67,000 glossary keywords, sorted from highest to lowest search volume.

Most of them will be “intent duplicates” — they’ll have the same meaning. You’ll have to manually sift through them.

After doing this for 3 minutes, here are some sales glossary post ideas I found:

  • what is sales tax
  • what is b2b sales
  • what is net sales
  • what is gross sales
  • what is sales funnel
  • what is a sales order
  • what is a sales quota
  • what is a sales lead
  • what is a sales forecast
  • what is a sales channel
  • what is sales invoice
  • what is a sdr

Would journalists, dropped in the world of sales, search for these definitions?

Yes, yes they would.

How to write Glossary posts

The best way to structure a Glossary post is to search for your main question on Google then check out the People Also Ask (PPA) box for sub sections.

Typically, you will include 2-3 of the following:

  • What it is
  • What are its sub-categories
  • Why is it important
  • Show examples of it

It’s best to demonstrate this on a few examples.

Example #1: If I was writing a glossary post on “b2b sales”, I would include sections

  • B2B sales definition
  • B2B sales example
  • Difference between B2B and B2C sales

Example #2: If I was writing a glossary post on “sales tax”, I would include sections

  • sales tax definition
  • sales tax example
  • sales tax vs VAT
  • Who pays sales tax
  • List of sales tax by state

(It’s also useful to check the Related searches at the bottom of Google SERP)

Example #3: If I was writing a glossary post on “sales invoice”, I would include sections

  • sales invoice definition
  • sales invoice vs receipt
  • sales invoice vs purchase invoice

Easy 🙂

As far as titles go, a simple “What is [concept]? Simple Definition in 2022 – [Your Brand]” will do.

Create enough Linkable Assets to reach “escape velocity” in your niche.

You reach “escape velocity” when you’re getting more backlinks every month than your competitor (who is ranking for all keywords you want to rank for).

If you can get more backlinks, you’ll—eventually—have a higher DR.

For example, here’s Jacob McMillen‘s site.

He got 543 unique backlinks last year, pushing his DR to 61.

Meaning, his link velocity is 543 links /12 months = 45.25 links/month

To catch up, I’ll need to build more backlinks than that. Since I like to reach a link velocity that’s at least 25% higher than my competitors’ that means I’ll need about 56 passive backlinks per month to eventually surpass Jacob’s DR.

And how many articles will I need to do that?

Taking Snovio’s glossary as a base, I’ve calculated they get roughly 1 link every 2 months for each article they have. Meaning I’ll have to make a 100-paged glossary to beat Jacob’s Link Velocity.

To put that in perspective, that’ll be enough to take my site from DR-0 to DR-60 in a solid year.

Step 3: Retarget Prospects With Case Studies To Convert Them Into New Customers.

Coming soon — sign up here to get notified when this section goes live.

Mihael D. Cacic
“Digital Marketing Mad Scientist”

Physicist turned SEO Content Marketer. For the past few years, Mihael worked with many big SaaS and service businesses helping them rank higher and get more customers. Now here to share his secrets on how to make hyper-profitable blogs in hyper-efficient ways.

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