Like most people, you probably have more ambition than time. Not enough hours in the day etc.
These days I’m focusing on how to get more done in less time.
I’m not talking about silly hacks or useless productivity tips such as “stay off Facebook”.
I’m talking actionable things I can do as a website publisher to save me time yet increase what gets done.
How do I figure this stuff out?
It sure ain’t by reading hack listicles.
It’s by trying stuff. I dream up all kinds of ideas. I test most. Some are total flops. Some are meh. Some are winners.
Recently I stumbled on a mega winner.
Specifically, this “win” pertains to improving old content really, really fast.
You could use what I’m about to tell you for new content too.
The problem I was facing is that updating old content can be time-consuming. There are a million ways to make content better. Where do you start? Do you do it all? What’s good enough? Should you make it 10,000 words?
All valid questions.
Sometimes you need to go the extra mile for those super star articles.
But sometimes, good enough is good enough. This is where the following process can save you time (at least it’s working for me).
The solution… drumroll please … FAQ, as in add a frequently asked questions section to your articles (existing and/or new). Don’t forget the answers though.
I know adding an FAQ to an article isn’t novel or revolutionary. It’s rather tame. That’s just for starters.
What I want to get into is how to add a great FAQ section requiring only a few minutes of your time. This way you can scale the process. I’m adding FAQ sections to 3 to 6 articles per day.
Let’s back up first.
Why add an FAQ section?
First, questions are often excellent long-tail keywords. Low search volume but low competition (usually). Quora gets millions of visitors from millions of answered questions.
Second, almost every article can add an FAQ. Whatever topic the article covers, surely there are questions that can be asked and answered. In other words, questions pertaining to the topic are relevant and helpful.
Third, they can be good for getting that coveted question snippet in Google.
Fourth, it’s a ridiculously easy process to outsource. This is the time-saving part. I step you through it below.
How to outsource FAQ sections for your content
Do as follows:
Pay for a KGR keyword pack from Human Proof Designs… but order it with a twist (see below).
What’s a KGR keyword pack?
It’s a list of keywords based on the Keyword Golden Ratio made famous by Doug Cunnington. In a nutshell, they’re low competition keywords and search phrases.
These KGR keyword packs promise 1,000 keywords.
Here’s the twist. What I do is break it up to go after 5 different topics. When I order, I specify 5 distinct topics (based on the 5 articles I’m updating on my site).
This way I get long-tail keywords for 5 different article topics. That’s 200 KWs each (and no, not all KWs will be relevant … you only need 5 to 20 per topic that can be formed into questions).
When you get your KW pack, sift through for each topic and find 5 to 20 keywords that can be turned into questions (some in the list will be questions). If there are more than 20, that’s cool, but it’s unlikely. I average 6 to 12 which is more than enough for a good FAQ section.
Chances are the lists will give you more ideas for questions to add. They do for me.
Order a 500 to 1,200 word article from Textbroker that answers the questions.
My main content agency is Content Development Pros. However, for these FAQ updates, I use 4-star Textbroker because I get them back within one to three days. With my simple ordering template, I can order these in about 10 seconds.
You can use any half-decent content source – but I’m finding Text Broker to be doing a decent job for me.
Here’s my Textbroker FAQ order template:
Please do not pick up this order unless you can begin work on it immediately. If you have any questions, please message us before you begin work on this order. Thank you!
Please research and succinctly answer the following questions. Please don’t answer with just “Yes” or “No”. Qualify/expand on that.
Also, please include the questions in the finished article:[INSERT YOUR LIST OF QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED]
IMPORTANT: no conclusion and no introduction. Just do the FAQ.
FORMATTING: Please put the questions into h3 (heading3) tags.
Thank you very much.
– END OF ARTICLE ORDER TEMPLATE –
Notice my order template specifies heading 3 tags and to include the questions in the finished the article.
If you’re paying attention, you might have thought to yourself – jeez Jon, with the questions added into the final article, you’re paying for the words in the questions you provide… isn’t that a waste of money?
Yes, it’s a bit of a waste of money but it’s a huge time-saver. My goal is to have the delivered article ready and formatted so I need only copy and paste. So while I pay for a few extra words, in return I can slam these FAQ sections into my existing content in 10 seconds.
What I do is get the “html” version in Textbroker and copy it all. In WordPress, I toggle to the “Text” visual editor. I find where I want to add the FAQ (usually toward the end) and paste.
I then update the date then update the content and I’m done.
Can you do additional keyword research?
Of course. Look for additional questions you can include on your own. The KGR pack can be a starting point. Heck, you don’t have to use a KGR pack if you can find your own relevant questions. The point is to come up with 6 to 20 relevant questions for the article topic.
You can use the KW Questions module in Ahrefs (I find this a little cumbersome, but sometimes it’s good). Answerthepublic.com is good too (limited to 3 searches per day though… too bad). Keywordshitter.com can be good as well.
But if you want hands-off, try Human Proof Design’s KGR pack.
We all like examples, so here it is:
- Article topic: How to Ride an Electric Mountain Bike Off a 10 Foot Cliff Without Killing Yourself
- Seed keyword: Electric Mountain Bike
- Example question for FAQ: How much do electric mountain bikes weigh?
Should you add other types of content in addition to an FAQ section to old articles?
Sure. Go to it. I do sometimes. In fact, I published an article listing out 22 ways to improve content. Other times I keep it super simple by slamming in an FAQ, updating the date and calling it a day. It really boils down to how much you should/need to invest in the article.
Use my process or establish your own.
There are many ways to achieve the same outcome which is publishing better articles that serve your readers and vacuum up more search traffic.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.