Writing is difficult sufficient when you need to write 500 phrase weblog posts. Now think about writing in-depth articles and guides that stretch to five,000+ phrases on a constant foundation. 

Such “skyscraper content” is terribly onerous to create, however when performed proper, it will probably dominate the SERPs and appeal to a whole lot, even 1000’s of hyperlinks.

How do you go about creating such content material?

On this submit, I’m going to indicate you the way to discover the correct key phrases for such huge content material, the way to define your content material, and the way to rent writers.

The Worth of “Big” Content

First, let’s reply a easy query: why huge content material?

4 causes:

1. Longer content material ranks higher

Longer content material will get you higher rankings within the SERPs. This has been confirmed by a number of research over a number of years.

Ahrefs staff has not too long ago analyzed rankings throughout 2 million key phrases and located a robust correlation between the content material size and rating positions.


A examine from Backlinko discovered related outcomes: longer content material outranked shorter items within the SERPs.

One other examine by HubSpot discovered that longer content material will get extra hyperlinks.

content length by links

You may see this your self. For almost any aggressive key phrase, you’ll discover that the highest few outcomes are virtually at all times prolonged articles.

For instance, Google “how to start a successful blog”; you need to see this glorious information by Matthew Woodward within the high 5.

It affords 4K+ phrases of recommendation interspersed with a number of video walkthroughs and demonstrations for every a part of the method.

Adjoining search end result, a information to beginning a weblog from Ramsay Taplin, has round 4K phrases in it as effectively. 

These are prime examples of “big” content material performed effectively.

Editor’s Word
There isn’t any precise phrase depend once we discuss concerning the “long content.” There are research exhibiting 2,000+ phrase articles dominating the SERPs’ high for a lot of aggressive key phrases. 

We additionally are inclined to publish 3,000+ phrase posts right here on Ahrefs weblog, as we discover that’s what’s (typically) required to cowl a technical matter in-depth.

Nevertheless, our examine of two million random key phrases talked about above discovered that the median content material size for the pages rating at place 1 was truly underneath 800 phrases.

So right here’s our recommendation: don’t shoot for a selected phrase depend — simply be sure to cowl a subject in full. Whether or not that takes 500 phrases or 10,000. The secret is that you’re creating the finest useful resource obtainable to your goal key phrase.

Learn on for some glorious recommendation from John on the way to do exactly that. 

Nick Churick
Nick Churick

2. Longer content material will get extra shares

Unsurprisingly, longer content material additionally will get extra shares. In response to knowledge gathered by BuzzSumo, the longer the content material, the upper the prospect of it getting 100+ shares.

average shares by content length

If you wish to discover probably the most shared content material on any matter, use Ahrefs Content Explorer.

Now it has a “Word Count” filter in order that you can simply discover the preferred long-form content material throughout the net.

And our Website Explorer can present you probably the most shared content material on a selected web site.

3. Longer content material is topically related

So far as rating components go, we already know the essential ones — content material high quality, backlinks, on-page engagement, and so on.

There may be, nonetheless, another rating issue that Google appears to put increasingly significance on: matter relevancy.

Publish Hummingbird, Google has began understanding whether or not a question is a subject or a query.

For instance, a question like “Barack Obama age” is a query and doesn’t actually demand a prolonged end result.

Therefore, for such queries, Google exhibits the reply straight:

barrack obama age

A question like “dog training tips”, alternatively, calls for an extended reply and is taken into account a “topic”.

In response to knowledge gathered by MarketMuse, in-depth content material is taken into account extra “topically relevant” and thus, ranks increased for matter key phrases.

content topic creation

For instance, should you Google “pricing psychology”, the primary result’s a web page from creator Nick Kolenda. The second result’s a web page from KISSMetrics.

google search

The first result’s an in-depth, topically related 10,000+ phrase information. The second is a a lot shorter article of underneath 2,500 phrases.

Evaluating these two domains on Ahrefs, we see that regardless of having a decrease DR and fewer backlinks, Nick’s web page outranks KISSMetrics due to the power of its content material.



You’ll discover that this sample holds true throughout key phrases and industries. Longer, topically related content material commonly outranks shorter content material for a number of key phrases.

4. Longer content material is simpler to transform

That is one thing entrepreneurs don’t discuss, however from expertise, I’ve discovered that longer content material is far simpler to transform than shorter content material.

(“Conversion” right here means capturing leads)

There’s a easy purpose for this: among the finest changing lead magnet-types — content material upgrades — solely work with longer content material.

Bryan Harris, for instance, affords readers every part from checklists to video walkthroughs together with his posts.


These act as “content upgrades” to his already in-depth posts.

He additionally commonly will get conversion charges of 20% or increased.

Equally, Brian Dean of Backlinko affords readers downloadable PDFs of every submit.


It is a content material improve that may solely work with longer posts. You may’t moderately provide readers a content material improve with a 500 phrase submit — there simply isn’t sufficient ‘meat’ on the submit to do that.

The takeaway: “Big” content material works, plain and easy.

Create Large Content

You’re now satisfied that your website wants larger, higher content material. The downside now’s penning this content material.

Even should you’re an skilled author, creating such huge content material will be extraordinarily difficult. The quantity of effort and analysis required to create an in-depth article can delay all however probably the most decided of entrepreneurs (which can be the explanation why such content material is so efficient).

There may be, nonetheless, a option to create such content material even should you’re not a author.

I’ll present you the way under.

Step #1: Choose the most effective key phrases to focus on

Large content material means huge funding, each by way of money and time. You need to goal key phrases the place this funding will even have a optimistic ROI by way of visitors or leads.

Because of this, concentrating on long-tail key phrases isn’t essentially a good suggestion (too little search quantity). As a substitute, concentrate on mid-tail and even broad key phrases as an alternative.

Ideally, you need to goal key phrases with a pleasant stability between competitiveness, visitors and industrial intent.

There are 3 issues you need to have a look at right here:

1. Search quantity

Search quantity is essential for the straightforward truth that it’s going to have an effect on the variety of precise prospects you get.

There was a time when you can use the AdWords Key phrase Planner to get search volumes for the key phrases. However because it began exhibiting fairly large ranges as an alternative of actual search volumes and displaying the identical search quantity for the shut variants of the identical key phrase, Key phrase Planner grew to become a lot much less helpful for natural key phrase analysis.

Don’t get me unsuitable; you in all probability can’t abandon GKP should you’re researching key phrases to your PPC campaigns, however Ahrefs Key phrases Explorer is a greater resolution to get search volumes.

For instance, listed here are the metrics Ahrefs exhibits in key phrase recommendations report for “backlinks”:

Wanting up search quantity additionally helps you determine a baseline visitors quantity that can yield a optimistic ROI inside a selected timeframe.

Editor’s Word
I feel a brief clarification is critical right here.

Search Quantity alone just isn’t the one metric you need to contemplate for key phrases. Two completely different key phrases with the identical search quantity could deliver significantly completely different quantity of visitors to web sites in search outcomes. 

That’s the reason the key phrase experiences throughout our instruments at Ahrefs additionally embrace such metrics as:

  • Variety of Clicks,
  • Clicks per Search (CPS),
  • Return Price, and
  • Key phrase Issue.

(See all of our metrics defined right here.)

These mixed will higher enable you to discover the most effective key phrases to focus on.

Nick Churick
Nick Churick

Right here’s a easy method for doing this:

Search Quantity * CTR * Conversion Price * Buyer Lifetime Worth (LTV)

In response to AdvancedWebRanking.com, the CTRs for first web page rankings are as follows:


Because of this should you rank #1 for a key phrase, you’ll get round 30% of all of the search quantity.

For instance, if my goal key phrase will get 1,000 searches each month and I rank as #1 for it, I can safely assume that I’ll get not less than 300 guests every month.

If my conversion fee for turning guests into prospects is 3% and every buyer is value $100, I can anticipate to make almost $1,000 from this key phrase every month.

This implies I can safely spend $1000+ on content material and nonetheless get a optimistic ROI.

After all, in the actual world, you won’t rank #1, nor will your conversion charges be the identical. You may also get much more visitors from different key phrases, so use these figures solely as a really tough estimate.

Primarily based on this, choose a number of key phrases, then gauge the standard of the competitors to pare the listing additional down.

2. Competitors power

The success of your huge content material relies upon enormously on the standard of your competitors. You’ll discover that it’s simpler to rank for some key phrases than others just because the competitors’s content material isn’t deep sufficient or the area sturdy sufficient.

Begin by objectively analyzing the primary 10 outcomes to your goal key phrases. The quickest means to do that is to make use of an Search engine optimisation toolbar akin to this one by Ahrefs to get key stats concerning the end result proper as you’re searching.

For instance, utilizing the Ahrefs toolbar for a key phrase like “building backlinks” exhibits me this:

ahrefs toolbar

The first three outcomes are all very sturdy domains with excessive URL scores (UR) and tons of backlinks. Actually, the primary two outcomes are from the identical area, which doubtless signifies that rating throughout the high 3 goes to be tremendous onerous for this key phrase.

However goal evaluation can solely go up to now. You continue to want to grasp whether or not your rivals will be crushed in content material high quality and depth.

Ask these questions of your competitors’s content material:

  • Does the content material have sufficient depth?
  • Is the content material well-formatted?
  • Does it have loads of pictures?
  • Is the content material shareable (sturdy headline + good use of sharing buttons and prompts)?
  • Is the content material Search engine optimisation-optimized (good use of tags and key phrases)?
  • Does the content material come throughout as one thing created by an knowledgeable?
  • Does the content material hyperlink out to sources?
  • Is the positioning design reliable?

You’ll typically discover that you could beat stronger domains within the SERPs just by creating in-depth, well-formatted content material.

Learn how to fill gaps in current content material for a fast visitors increase on this case examine.

3. Business intent

Rating for a key phrase with zero industrial intent is not any enjoyable. You may get folks visiting your website, however not an entire lot of them will convert.

Determining your purchaser’s journey will make it a lot simpler to search out industrial key phrases. Comply with this information from HubSpot to determine the way to do this.

After you have a purchaser’s journey, you can begin understanding the industrial intent of your goal key phrases.

Determination stage key phrases

If conversion is your goal, strive concentrating on “buy now” key phrases. These are often key phrase phrases with the next phrases in them:

  • Purchase/Store/Buy
  • Low cost/coupon code
  • Deal

Individuals trying to find such key phrases are deep into the Determination stage of the customer’s journey and simply need some reductions earlier than shopping for.

Another Determination stage key phrases you may goal have these phrases in them:

  • Overview
  • Comparability/vs.

These folks learn about a lot of the options and wish affirmation of their decisions. Changing them will probably be straightforward should you can persuade them to purchase via your copy.

The downside with such Determination stage key phrases is that they at all times have very low quantity. It’s additionally more durable to create huge content material for such key phrases.

Consideration stage key phrases

Consideration stage key phrases are nice targets for large content material since they’ve the correct stability between search quantity and industrial intent.

Strive discovering key phrases with phrases like:

  • Inexpensive/low cost
  • Finest
  • Prime

These convert very effectively, particularly when related to a selected product class (akin to “best web hosting service”).

Consciousness stage key phrases

Consciousness stage key phrases often have the very best search quantity however the lowest industrial intent.

Normally, these will probably be query key phrases with phrases like “how”, “what” or “why” in them, akin to “how to register a domain” or “why do I need web hosting?”.

These are nice targets for large content material if in case you have a robust gross sales funnel already in place.

I recommend concentrating on such key phrases should you goal to seize leads and nurture them over time. Or should you’re promoting a excessive ticket merchandise. They’ve decrease competitors which makes rating for them simpler and the question-focused nature of the key phrases makes content material creation quicker.

With all this knowledge, you may zero-in on a handful of key phrases that will probably be acceptable for large content material.

The subsequent step is to choose the correct format to make creating your content material simpler.

See our ‘SEO Secrets’ submit for extra on integrating “buyer’s journey” into your Search engine optimisation course of. 

Step #2: Choose the most effective content material

After you have a key phrase, you need to choose the correct format for it.

For instance, a key phrase like “building backlinks” will be was a number of completely different codecs:

  1. Listicle: “7 Proven Methods to Build Backlinks”
  2. Infographic: “The Visual Guide to Building Backlinks”
  3. Thought piece: “Why You Need to Stop Building Backlinks (and What to do Instead)
  4. Typical article: “How to Build Backlinks Easily”

All of those might even have the identical content material, however the best way you’d write and format them could be completely different.

When it comes to ease of creation, listicles are the simplest to create. The listing format means every listing merchandise works as an unbiased “sub-article”. This fashion, you may concentrate on one listing merchandise at a time with out worrying concerning the move and construction of the remainder of the article.

Thought items and content material that solutions “why” questions, alternatively, will be troublesome to put in writing since they require in-depth data of the topic. You’ll must make sturdy arguments and again them with knowledge in order for you a thought piece to be taken critically.

It’s the identical with standard articles (akin to “How to Build Backlinks Easily”). If you’d like your content material to be favored and linked to, you’ll should create essay-like articles with sturdy construction and move.

Because of this, I like to recommend framing your key phrase within the type of a listicle. Not solely is the listing format extra shareable, it is usually simpler to put in writing. Whether or not you’re outsourcing or writing your self, you’ll discover that structuring your content material as a listing will make creating it a lot, a lot simpler.

You may virtually flip any key phrase right into a listicle. For instance, check out how I’ve framed these key phrases within the type of lists:

Key phrase Article Title
Content advertising “10 Content Marketing Mistakes You’re Probably Making (and How to Undo Them)”
Wood furnishings “9 Stunning Examples of Wooden Furniture”
Journey Australia “5 Reasons You Need to Travel to Travel to Australia”
Be taught digital music “13 of the Best Resources to Learn Electronic Music”
Evaluate smartphones “5 Things You Should Look for When Comparing Smartphones”

Step #3: Create an overview

When you’ve selected a format, it’s time to create an overview.

Two the explanation why you need to do this:

  • Ensures high quality. The freelance writers you rent could or could not share the identical concepts as you about creating content material. By giving them an in depth define, you make sure that the content material may have your required degree of depth and analysis.
  • Can cut back price. With no detailed define, you’ll have to rent area of interest consultants to put in writing your content material in order for you any kind of depth. Clearly, area of interest consultants are costlier than your commonplace author.

The finest option to create an overview is to go about it incrementally.

To present you the way, I’ll stroll you thru a pattern define for this very submit.

Bonus Tip
For those who’re curious, I’m utilizing LittleOutliner to do that — a unbelievable free instrument for creating outlines 

1. Begin by defining the broad sections of your content material, like this:

content outline

2. Subsequent, divide every part into sub-sections

content outline

3. Develop every sub-section additional

sub sections

4. Add particulars of examples, analysis or knowledge that you simply need to embrace

research data

It is a notably essential step. Examples and knowledge elevate your content material past the peculiar. Including directions to incorporate them will make sure that your writers discover the correct sources.

This could take you underneath an hour to create however it can enormously enhance the standard of the completed product.

Step #4: Rent writers

Hiring writers is commonly the most important hurdle to creating huge content material. As a result of writing is such an accessible talent — everybody can write, in any case (not that everybody ought to) — most freelance websites are flooded with expertise, and never all of it’s good.

Just a few rule of thumbs you need to observe when hiring writers:

  • Be ready to pay for high quality expertise. Anticipate a fee of not less than $5–10/100 phrases in order for you any semblance of high quality.
  • Writers who’re consultants in a distinct segment — say, advertising or Search engine optimisation — will cost extra. In change, you’ll get one thing that’s extra in-depth and will be readily revealed with out a lot modifying.
  • Search for writers who’ve beforehand created content material in your area of interest. For confirmed high quality, attempt to rent writers who’ve revealed content material on main websites in your trade. Any skilled author ought to have an honest portfolio of revealed work.
  • Don’t anticipate to work on brief deadlines. Most freelance writers who’re value hiring hold fairly full calendars. Relying on the writers and the depth of the content material, you might need to attend 1–4 weeks for turnaround.
  • Pay a flat fee per article as an alternative of a phrase depend based mostly fee. The latter typically ends with writers padding phrase depend.
  • Ask about any extra costs upfront. As an illustration, some writers will cost further for quicker turnaround.
  • Guarantee that you’ve got full rights to the created work.
  • Lastly, just remember to verify for plagiarism (use Copyscape). This shouldn’t be an issue in case you are hiring skilled writers with established reputations, however should you go for a beginner, plagiarism is usually a actual challenge.

The place to search out writers

The apparent place to search out writers could be Upwork or Freelancer, however I’ve had very blended outcomes on these websites. For one, the large quantity of expertise on these platforms signifies that you’ll typically get a whole lot of responses for any posting.

As a substitute, strive these platforms:

1. Author-specific job boards

These are job boards particularly for bloggers and writers. A few of them are free, some will cost for every job posting.


  • On paid job boards, the standard of job postings is increased. This, in flip, attracts extra critical writers.
  • Since these job boards cater solely to writers, they have a tendency to have higher expertise onboard.


  • You’ll get lots of responses, so be ready to have screening course of.
  • Whereas the standard is healthier than UpWork or Freelancer, you’ll should nonetheless display screen closely.

Just a few standard job boards are:

  • ProBlogger jobs
  • BloggingPro jobs
  • Freelance Writers Den
  • Freelance Writing Gigs
  • FlexJobs
  • Freelance Writing Jobs

2. Area of interest-specific web sites/boards

These are web sites and boards particular to your area of interest. Whereas they may not have lots of full-time writers, they’re nice for locating consultants who need to make some further money writing on the aspect.

Each area of interest may have its personal such websites. Within the advertising area of interest, for instance, two such websites are:

  • Inbound.org
  • GrowthHackers.com

Each these websites, particularly Inbound.org, have lots of writers onboard. If you’d like content material on advertising matters, I recommend giving it a shot.

This thread is an effective place to search out some high quality candidates.


  • Frequented by area of interest consultants, which implies you’ll typically get extra in-depth content material.
  • Since these are typically not frequented by writers, you received’t be flooded with responses.


  • You received’t discover lots of full-time writers on such platforms.
  • Knowledgeable writers are typically costlier.

3. Content marketplaces

These are two-sided marketplaces that match writers with shoppers.


  • Simple to search out first rate to good writers for the reason that market does the screening.
  • Self-serve mannequin makes it straightforward to submit jobs.


  • Most high quality marketplaces are typically costly for the reason that market operators take a giant lower.
  • Can’t develop long-term relationships with writers.
  • Can’t work with one author alone. This may influence the consistency of your content material tone and elegance throughout weblog posts.

Just a few standard marketplaces for premier content material are:

  • Scripted
  • Contently
  • NewsCred
  • Percolate

For those who’re on the lookout for one thing cheaper, strive these:

  • TextBroker
  • Zerys
  • WriterAccess

4. Content creation firms

These are companies specializing in creating content material. When it comes to high quality and price, they vary from 500-person companies catering to Fortune 500 firms to 1–5 individual outlets working with small startups.


  • The company may have a number of writers and editors to deal with giant workloads.
  • Quicker turnaround time for a similar purpose as above — a lot of manpower.
  • Most established companies have confirmed processes in place to make sure content material high quality.


  • Businesses are typically considerably costly, particularly in comparison with hiring writers individually.
  • As a small enterprise with restricted content material wants, you won’t get sufficient consideration throughout the company

Listed below are two assets that can assist you discover a content material advertising/creation company:

  • Curata’s listing of content material advertising companies
  • CMI content material advertising companies listing

For those who’d moderately work with people, Copyblogger’s licensed content material entrepreneurs index is a superb place to begin.

5. Others

Moreover the above, there are a number of different platforms you may strive posting your job on.


LinkedIn is a superb place to search out freelance writers. A fast seek for “freelance writer” alone exhibits me 240,123 outcomes.


The good half about utilizing LinkedIn is that you simply’ll get a fast overview of the author’s training and work historical past.

The dangerous half is that writers on LinkedIn will typically be costly. Some may even be unreliable since they do freelance writing on the aspect.


Craigslist is without doubt one of the hottest locations to search out writers regardless of the uneven high quality of candidates.

Trying to find “writing” in New York, for instance, exhibits over 100 gigs.


Simply add a submit to your native space and also you’ll get tons of responses.

The downside with Craigslist is that it received’t have lots of critical freelancers or area of interest consultants. You’ll should have a robust screening course of to make sure high quality.


Few folks use Reddit for hiring, however it will probably yield unexpectedly good outcomes. Moreover the freelancer particular job boards (see under), you can even discover area of interest consultants by hiring from subreddits associated to your area of interest.

Check out this job posting for interns on the /r/digital_marketing subreddit


Use Reddit search to search out subreddits associated to your area of interest. Then add a textual content submit along with your necessities.

Alternatively, strive including your job submit to hiring centered subreddits such as:

  • r/WritingJobBoard
  • r/FreelanceWriters
  • r/Freelance_forHire

Screening and hiring candidates

You’ll most certainly should submit on a number of platforms if you wish to discover high quality expertise. If I used to be beginning out afresh, I’d hit every of the above platforms and see the type of response I get.

The subsequent step is to put in writing a job submit that really will get responses and arrange a screening course of.

There isn’t any one-size-fits-all rule for this. Each platform may have its personal conventions. What may work on Problogger’s job board received’t fly in a Reddit submit.

The finest option to go about that is to see what others are doing and observe go well with.

There are some things you need to take note when writing your job submit:

  • Embody particular directions (akin to mentioning a selected phrase or phrase within the software) to display screen out mass spammers.
  • For those who use Gmail, add platform-specific aliases to make applicant screening simpler. This fashion, you’d have emails like [youremail]+[platform]@gmail.com (akin to “[email protected]”) for every platform. This makes filtering out emails from every platform simpler. Comply with this information to determine the way to do this.
  • For those who anticipate lots of quantity, it may be helpful to setup a Google Types to seize responses.
  • It’s a good suggestion to offer an thought of the type of high quality you’re on the lookout for by sharing some examples within the job description.

For those who undergo this course of, you shouldn’t have any issues discovering high quality content material creators. It’s additionally a good suggestion to rent a number of writers initially so you have got folks you may flip to in case your essential author backs out of a gig.

You may also need to use the identical course of to rent editors and proofreaders.

Try our information on outsourcing content material right here: Outsourcing Content: Ideas, Tips and Workflows That We Use at Ahrefs

Over to You

Large content material can ship tons of worth, however creating it may be a large problem.

Nevertheless, should you observe the 4 step course of outlined above, you’ll discover that you could simply create a lot of huge content material at scale with out important funding. When mixed with sturdy advertising, particularly by way of outreach, this can enable you to rank rapidly for very aggressive phrases.

Right here’s what you need to take away from this submit:

  • Large content material ranks higher, will get extra shares and will get you extra conversions.
  • Large content material works finest when it targets key phrases with stability between visitors, industrial intent and competitiveness.
  • Selecting the best format will prevent and your writers tons of effort and time.
  • Creating an in depth define will guarantee high quality and assist cut back prices.
  • To rent higher writers, keep away from standard freelance websites and go for job boards, boards and content material marketplaces as an alternative.

When you have any questions or feedback, then please drop them under!