Get Your Articles Ranked Faster, - the Cluster Concept. My Personal SEO Experiences in 2024

blog cover image
27
14.1K followers
Updated

There is a lot to learn here about building a blog and getting it ranked. I know this as a newbie, even though I have been here for 17 years. Everything has changed since I first started and the experiences I am going to write about here are what I have learned this year.

The Content Landscape of 2024

The sheer volume of content being published online has reached unprecedented levels in 2024. It's not just traditional blogs competing for eyeballs—it's social media, AI-generated content, videos, and more. This creates an overwhelming landscape where traditional content strategies struggle to stand out. Anyone writing today in a new blog faces these challenges.

The already-fragmented attention spans of users are further strained, making it harder than ever to capture and retain interest. Compounding this challenge, search engine algorithms like Google's continue to prioritize quality, depth, and expertise in the results they display.

Generic, surface-level content simply can't cut through the noise. It's much more difficult to stand out in search results when countless blogs, articles, videos, and social media posts all compete on the same topics. This makes it harder than ever for new or even established content creators to gain traction and build an audience.


The Concept of Cluster Writing.

There are two types of cluster writing from an SEO point of view. Cluster Writing and pillar post writing. I start with a pillar post

The Pillar Post:My Foundation for the Content Cluster

My initial pillar post functions as an anchor within an overall content cluster strategy. I Think of it as the authoritative guide to a broad topic. My pillar posts are typically longer and more comprehensive than standard blog articles. They are between 4,000 - 6,000 words. My aim is to provide an in-depth overview of the topic, covering all its essential aspects, common questions, and key concepts. I finish the article of with a Faq's page. I have been writing this solely with AI, but this is not a quick process I use four different AI models and research these posts fully before I start. Overall I am looking to write a valuable resource , that will be bookmarked and also commented on. I encourage my readers to ask further questions or add their experiences. The first article the pillar post takes all day to write, even with AI. They would take me three days to write without AI.

My first new blog is about being a digital nomadess and here is one example of an outline for one pillar post. It has been written to appeal to aspiring digital nomads and also those who are partially transitioning to freelance work.

Here's a comprehensive pillar post outline for your digital nomad lifestyle blog, designed to appeal to both aspiring nomads and those transitioning to freelance work:

Pillar Post Title: The Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to the Digital Nomad Lifestyle:

Introduction

  • Define "Digital Nomad": Explain the core concept of location-independent work that enables travel.
  • Target My Audience's Pain Points:** Address their desire for freedom, flexibility, and the allure of travel and new experiences.
  • Acknowledge fear and anxiety around income stability and practicalities.
  • Promise of the article : Present this as a roadmap for transitioning to this lifestyle, from the early freelancing stages to managing practical aspects about life on the road.

Section 1: Building Your Freelance Foundation

  • Skills Assessment: Help readers identify skills they can monetize (writing, design, development, virtual assistance, etc.) Call to action to free workbooks to build my list
  • Finding Clients: Cover freelance platforms, job boards, and direct outreach strategies.
  • Establishing Routines: Emphasize time management and work-life balance, even at home, for future sustainability.
  • Setting Rates & Managing Finances: Provide basic guidance on pricing structures and responsible budgeting.

Section 2: The Digital Nomad Toolkit

  • Essential Tech: Laptops, internet connectivity solutions (hotspots, local SIMs), cloud-based storage.
  • Productivity Apps: Recommendations for task management, communication, and collaboration tools.
  • Challenges of living a life off the grid.
  • Travel-Friendly Gear: Noise-cancelling headphones, portable chargers, etc.

Section 3: Choosing Your Nomad Destinations

  • Key Considerations: Cost of living, internet reliability, visa requirements, expat communities.
  • Research Resources: How to evaluate destinations.
  • Short-term vs. Long-term Stays: Pros and cons for beginners.
  • How to establish hard and soft bases.

Section 4: Challenges and Solutions

  • Loneliness and Isolation: Strategies for combating homesickness and finding community.
  • Maintaining Productivity: Tips for focus while traveling, dealing with distractions, and coworking spaces.
  • Cultural Adjustments: Importance of respect, open-mindedness, and navigating language barriers.

Section 5: Success Stories & Inspiration

  • Words of Wisdom: Include quotes and advice from my friends who are experienced nomads to boost motivation.

Conclusion

  • Acknowledgement of Challenges: Reiterate that it requires effort and planning, but is achievable, if you have the skills.
  • Call to Action: Encourage readers to choose one action step to move towards their digital nomad dream. The call to action will be download a free ebook so I can build my list

Faq's

At least 16 questions


My Extended Cluster Articles.

Cluster Article Depth: While pillar posts are the core, in-depth cluster articles (2,000-2,500+ words) are still crucial for SEO and offering diverse value. They are written around the core pillar post. Each cluster links to the pillar post. The pillar post links out to the cluster articles.

Please be aware that the outlines below are just that, rough outlines, the first draft. I am only giving examples here, but if i was using it in a real example, I would expand those topics and the depths of the articles. Some will naturally transition to be pillar articles by themselves. Others will fire off ideas for other cluster articles as I do my research. I know my niche so keyword research is not vital for me.

I am more interested in answering the questions that people are asking in my niche. I know what those questions are. If you don't know the questions in your niche. Go to forums, facebook pages, Quora and see what people are asking. Do not dismiss a keyword because Jaaxy it has less than ten searches. I frequently get articles ranked and the traffic is more than ten by using one of those keywords.

Thank you Sami , below for reminding me, that you are writing for humans nor machines. It could well be that more than ten people are asking that very question. To be fair also, I am going for long term results. The cumulative results of Google finding al the keywords in my articles and that does take time.

The first section of cluster articles will dive into focusing on new freelancers.

Article 1: The Art of Pricing: How to Charge What You're Worth as a New Freelancer

  • Intro: Acknowledge the common fear of pricing and potential for underselling yourself.
  • Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Mindset reframing to recognize your value.
  • Pricing Methods: Hourly vs. Project-based vs. Value-based. Pros & cons of each.
  • Market Research: Finding comparable rates for your skillset and experience level.
  • Confidence in Negotiation: Scripts and templates for communicating rates professionally.

Article 2: Building a Standout Portfolio with No Paid Client Work

  • Defining Spec Work: Examples of well-executed, targeted spec projects.
  • Finding Volunteer Opportunities: Websites and strategies for offering pro bono services.
  • Leveraging Your Own Platforms: Starting a blog, YouTube channel, or offering free mini-services to showcase skills in action.
  • Case Study Focus: If possible, document the process to demonstrate results, even in unpaid work.

Article 3: Time Management for Freelancers: Productivity Hacks for Location Independence

  • The Nomad Challenge: Unique distractions vs. home office environments
  • Pomodoro Technique & Alternatives: Apps and tools to implement focused work bursts.
  • Planning for Time Zone Differences: Strategies for both client work and self-paced tasks.
  • Finding Your "Productive Hours": Adapting to new locations and maximizing focus periods.

Article 4: Client Communication Success: From Pitching to Invoicing

  • The Winning Pitch: Template breakdowns and examples.
  • Setting Expectations: Clear contracts, scope of work, and managing "scope creep."
  • Professional Communication: Tools for efficient client interaction (Slack, etc.) and how to set boundaries around work hours when traveling.
  • Managing Difficult Clients: Proactive strategies and when to cut ties
  • Secure & Timely Invoicing: Best practices and app recommendations

Article 5: Scaling Up: From Solo Freelancer to Building a Remote Team

  • Recognizing the Need: Burnout signs and when bringing in others is a must.
  • Outsourcing the Smart Way: What tasks to delegate first for maximum impact.
  • Finding Reliable Collaborators: Platforms, vetting processes, and pricing considerations.
  • The Manager Mindset: Leading vs. doing, and setting processes for asynchronous work.
  • Success Stories: Case studies of nomads who've successfully expanded their business.

More Cluster ideas around freelance skill development

Article 1: Top 5 In-Demand Freelance Skills for Digital Nomads (and How to Learn Them)

  • Intro: Explain why choosing the right skills is crucial for both income potential and location-independent work.
  • Skill #1 (e.g., Writing/Editing):
    • Why is it in demand?
    • Types of clients who need this service
    • Best free/paid resources for learning
  • Repeat format for Skills #2-5 (consider: Social Media Management, Web Design Basics, Graphic Design, etc.)
  • Conclusion: Emphasize that even one strong skill can launch a nomad career

Article 2: From Office Worker to Freelance Writer: A Step-by-Step Transformation Guide

  • Target Audience: Office workers dreaming of leaving their 9-to-5. Relatable tone!
  • Step 1: Identify Transferable Skills (detail how these common office skills translate)
  • Step 2: Niche Exploration (finding what type of writing excites them)
  • Step 3: Building a Mini-Portfolio (sample writing, even if unpaid, to demonstrate potential)
  • Step 4: Landing First Clients (platforms, direct pitching, realistic expectations)
  • Step 5: Mindset Shifts (embracing uncertainty, self-promotion)

Article 3: Virtual Assistant Services: The Perfect Entry Point for Aspiring Nomads

  • Define VA: Explain the range of tasks VAs can handle (admin, social media, etc.)
  • Why it's Nomad-Friendly: Low skill barrier to entry, can be learned quickly
  • Market Demand: Highlight how busy entrepreneurs need this support
  • Finding Clients: Specific platforms and strategies for VA work
  • Upskilling: How to build expertise for higher rates (niche-specific VAs)

Article 4: Can You Become a Digital Nomad with No Tech Skills? (Yes, and Here's How)

  • Acknowledge Tech Envy: Address the feeling that everyone else is a coder
  • "Soft Skills" as Strengths: Customer service, communication, organization, etc. are valuable
  • Service-Based Niches: Teaching (language, music), consulting based on life experience, creative niches (art, crafting, even tarot readings for the open-minded)
  • Low-Tech Platforms: Fiverr etc., for gigs requiring minimal tech expertise
  • Building Confidence: Mindset shift to recognize the value of their unique skills

Additional Notes:

Focus on the no experience angle


Article 1: Visas for Digital Nomads: A Guide to Short-Term and Long-Term Options


Practical Nomad Experience

Article 1: Visas for Digital Nomads: A Guide to Short-Term and Long-Term Options

  • Introduction: Explain that visa requirements vary, and the "digital nomad" term isn't always legally recognized.
  • Tourist Visas: How long they allow, extension possibilities, and risks of working on a tourist visa.
  • Digital Nomad Visas: A growing trend - list countries offering them, requirements, and pros/cons.
  • Freelance Visas: Some countries offer these based on income/client proof.
  • Resources: Official government sites, nomad-specific visa tracking websites.

Article 2: Finding Affordable Accommodation Abroad: Hostels, Apartments, and Beyond

  • Budget Breakdown: How much to realistically allocate for different trip lengths.
  • Hostel Pros & Cons: Social but dorm life isn't for everyone. Tips for choosing good hostels.
  • Apartment Rentals: Airbnb, local sites, and considerations (length of stay, deposits).
  • Housesitting: Pros and cons of this less-common, but budget-friendly option.
  • Nomad-Specific Solutions: Coliving spaces designed for longer stays/community.

Article 3: Packing Light Like a Pro: The Digital Nomad Minimalist Packing List

  • The "One Bag" Challenge: Benefits, and why it forces tough choices.
  • Clothing Capsule: How to mix and match a few versatile pieces (focus on your destination climate).
  • Tech Essentials: Laptop, noise-canceling headphones, etc. but focus on minimizing gadgets.
  • Toiletries: Decanting products, solid toiletries, "multi-use" mindset.
  • Example Packing List: A visual breakdown of what fits in a carry-on.

Article 4: Staying Healthy on the Road: Fitness, Nutrition, and Managing Stress as a Nomad

  • Fitness Without Gyms: Bodyweight routines, walking as default, apps for nomad workouts
  • "No Kitchen" Nutrition: Healthy snacks, simple meals with few appliances, adapting to local food.
  • Avoiding Burnout: Signs, and the importance of routine even while traveling.
  • Mental Health: Strategies for loneliness, culture shock, apps for meditation, etc.
  • Accessing Healthcare: Travel insurance, finding clinics abroad if needed.

Article 5: Unexpected Nomad Essentials: Your "Just in Case" Kit

  • Not Just Travel Gear: Focus on items specific to frequent relocation or being location independent.
  • Tech Redundancy: Chargers, adapters, backup powerbanks, cloud storage.
  • Mini-Pharmacy: Go-to meds for common ailments, knowing foreign brands can be confusing
  • Comfort & Homeyness: Small items that make temporary spaces feel more 'yours'.
  • The Practical Side: Sewing kit, universal duct tape, document copies, etc.

Tips:

  • Target keywords within these: e.g., "best digital nomad backpacks," "how to eat healthy in Southeast Asia"
  • Your Own Experience: Authenticity shines through - what have you learned the hard way?

The Crucial Last step

Link at least half of those articles to new pillar posts and review posts.

Now lets take article 3 above and link it back to a new Pillar post article

Article 3: Packing Light Like a Pro: The Digital Nomad Minimalist Packing List

  • The "One Bag" Challenge: Benefits, and why it forces tough choices.
  • Clothing Capsule: How to mix and match a few versatile pieces (focus on your destination climate).
  • Tech Essentials: Laptop, noise-canceling headphones, etc. but focus on minimizing gadgets.
  • Toiletries: Decanting products, solid toiletries, "multi-use" mindset.
  • Example Packing List: A visual breakdown of what fits in a carry-on.

We can link this to a new pillar post which is also a review.

Choosing the Ideal Backpack for a Digital nomad lifestyle.

Introduction

  • The Problem: Overwhelming backpack choices, leading to bad fit, unused features, or buyer's remorse.
  • Goal of the Guide: Educate readers to make informed choices based on their specific needs as a digital nomad.

Section 1: Defining Your Backpack Needs

  • Activity Types: Briefly describe the unique requirements of each:
    • Travel: Security features, packability, comfort for long-duration carrying
    • Hiking: Weight distribution, technical features (hydration compatibility, gear attachment), terrain-specific needs (desert vs. alpine)
    • Everyday: Balanced size, internal organization, professional or casual styling
  • Capacity:
    • Provide a chart converting liters to common trip lengths (e.g., 30L = weekend trip, 60L+ = extended backpacking travel)
    • Explain how packing style influences size needs (minimalist vs. bringing extra "just in case" items)
  • Duration of Use:
    • Weekend warrior vs. thru-hiker: Impacts material choices and feature necessity
    • Infrequent vs. daily use: Investing in durability if it'll get heavy wear

Section 2: Key Backpack Anatomy & Features

  • Suspension System:
    • Diagrams: Visualize how a well-fitted pack distributes weight from shoulders to hips
    • Load lifters: Explain their function for fine-tuning fit
    • Ventilation: Showcase mesh back panels for hot climates
  • Materials
    • Denier Explained: Simple breakdown (higher number = thicker, more abrasion-resistant)
    • Water Resistance: DWR coatings vs. needing a rain cover
    • Sustainability: Recycled materials as a growing trend
  • Access Types: Visuals are key! Show examples of each type in use.
  • Compartments & Pockets:
    • "Goldilocks" Principle: Not too few, not too many, finding the right balance for your style
    • Hidden passport pockets: Travel-specific security feature to highlight

Section 3: Backpack Fit: Your Personal Comfort Zone

  • Measuring Torso Length: A step-by-step guide, emphasizing this is more important than height
  • Women-Specific Designs:
    • Shorter torso lengths, narrower shoulder straps, contoured hip belts
    • Caveat: Not all women need a women's pack, it's about body shape
  • Trying on with Weight:
    • If in-store, ask if they have sandbags to simulate a loaded pack
    • Online Guidance: How to interpret a brand's fit descriptions

Section 4: Backpacks for Specific Needs

  • Travel: Carry-on compliance, security features, packing organization
  • Hiking: Technical features (ice axe loops, etc.), terrain, and climate considerations
  • Everyday: Laptop protection, professionalism vs. casual style, weather resistance
  • Budget-Friendly Options: Where to compromise, and where not to skimp, if necessary
  • Create mini-guides within this section, tailoring advice to each activity (photographer's backpack needs vs. minimalist traveler) use as another cluster article

Section 5: Popular Backpack Reviews

  • Choose 5 backpacks across different categories. Examples:
    • Travel: Osprey Farpoint 40
    • Hiking: Gregory Baltoro 65
    • Everyday: Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus
    • Versatile: Patagonia Refugio 28L
    • Budget: Tortuga Outbreaker
  • Review Format:
    • Pros & Cons summary
    • Ideal User
    • Features detail
    • Personal experience notes, if possible

FAQs

  • Can I use a hiking backpack for travel?
  • What backpack size is right for a 2-week trip?
  • How should a backpack feel when fitted correctly?
  • Are expensive backpacks worth it?
  • How to clean and care for a backpack?
  • Do I need more than one backpack.

Conclusion

  • Reiterate the fit and intended use as the primary decision factors.
  • Remind readers this is an investment for comfort and practicality.


Future Cluster Ideas:

Articles on packing techniques, backpack accessories

Individual reviews of backpacks.

how to wash and care for a backpack

In short this is an example of how pillar posts create ideas for cluster articles. Theoretically you could create pillar posts from cluster articles, but that feels counter intuitive to me, but it may not be to you. As you can imagine this will work in any niche and can be easily adapted.








Login
Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
icon
4-Steps to Success Class
icon
One Profit Ready Website
icon
Market Research & Analysis Tools
icon
Millionaire Mentorship
icon
Core “Business Start Up” Training

Recent Comments

27

@TheCatherine ... I am up tothis point and am loving this article already!

"Here's a comprehensive pillar post outline for your digital nomad lifestyle blog, designed to appeal to both aspiring nomads and those transitioning to freelance work:

Pillar Post Title: The Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to the Digital Nomad Lifestyle:

Introduction

Define "Digital Nomad": Explain the core concept of location-independent work that enables travel."

..."I know my niche so keyword research is not vital for me."

this is very strategic, Catherine

..."I frequently get articles ranked and the traffic is more than ten by using one of those keywords."

This is a game-changer

Thank you for reading it through

It is a resource :) I have saved the link to this page to return to when building the pillar :)

Nice

Great Examples, Catherine. Getting ranked for great content is a challenge, and remembering that you are writing to help readers with information they can use
is important.
Thanks for sharing,
Sami

Thank you for adding that really important point you are writing for humans not machines

This is great! Thank you.

Thank you Dee

Wow...that was quite the read, Catherine! Great concept to use, makes it easier to stay on track while following such content!

Thanks for the share!

Rudy

You are very welcome Rudi. You are ofcourse correct necausr the two rypes of articles flow into each other seamlessly

An excellent article, Catherine. I'm finding that with AI assistance, this structure is happening naturally.
;-)
Richard

It is indeed Richard

See more comments

Login
Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
icon
4-Steps to Success Class
icon
One Profit Ready Website
icon
Market Research & Analysis Tools
icon
Millionaire Mentorship
icon
Core “Business Start Up” Training