Topic Clusters: Fresh Expertise-Based Ideas

If you want to know the SECRET to reach the right audience with your expertise, the solution is within YOU. Learn about creating Topic clusters (AKA content themes) based on your expertise.
Topic Clusters: Fresh Expertise-Based Ideas
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Table of contents

Topic Clusters and Content Themes

We've talked A LOT about researching content based on customer testimonials and basic keyword research. But if you want to know the SECRET to reach the right audience with your expertise, the solution is within YOU.

This week's show is all about creating Topic clusters (AKA content themes) based on your expertise. You'll find you have a goldmine within you. We'll help you unlock the riches.

Training topics:

E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)

  • Why Google cares about your Expertise as a creator, the Authoritativeness of the content/information, and the Trustworthiness of your website.

YAMYL (Your Money or Your Life)

  • Use care in creating content in these areas:
  • News and current events (business, tech, science, etc.)
  • Government and law
  • Financial advice (investments, retirement)
  • Shopping information (product reviews, research)
  • Medical advice (drugs, hospitals, emergencies)
  • People (race, religion, sexuality)
  • … Yeah, we think it’s just about everything too. But Google doesn’t like it if your content is inaccurate and could do harm to another person.
  • Long story short: create good content based on the content funnel and topic clusters we talk about next and you should be OK.

Content Funnel

  • People search for different reasons:
  • Navigational
  • Informational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial
  • Create different types of content to capture people in different places within the funnel.

Topic Clusters

  • What are topic clusters?
  • Grouping content based on themes or a common broad topic, held together by a pillar post or skyscraper page
  • High-quality content representing different places within the funnel.

Chocolate Cake Example

  • We walk you through a topic cluster using chocolate cake as an example.

Service Providers

  • Use the 'problem, solution, results' model if you’re a service provider struggling to come up with topics.
Topic Clusters by Jen McFarland

Words of Wisdom

It's really important that whatever you create is within your expertise and is authoritative, meaning you're creating it to create value, to help people. And that it is based on expertise and part of what helps with that is if you link to other things. So something like topic clusters, you might link out to HubSpot or Semrush, or any of these different SEO companies to show that you have well researched it and you're within your lane. — Jen
We have found that when you completely radically change, sometimes you have a small group of people who ‌stay with you because they like you. They will stay with you no matter what you're talking about because they like you as a person, a friend, or a brand. So you can change your brand. You can change your focus. You can home in on things a little more if you need to in the future. But to get started, you want to be very clear about who you are, what you're talking about, and who you're talking to. — Shelley

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Topic Clusters: Fresh Ideas Based on Your Expertise

Transcript: Topic Clusters

[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: This show is an educational how to women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real life experiences.

[00:00:17] The Women Conquer Business Show is an educational how-to women in business podcast. That features stories, marketing news and real life experiences from fun and friendly hosts. Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details. So you can slay marketing, overwhelm, streamline processes and amplify your impact.

[00:00:39] You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills of practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs. To help you grow, nurture and sustain your business.

[00:00:59] Shelley Carney: okay. That was

[00:01:00] Jen McFarland: fun. I don't know what just happened, but welcome to live hunger business. I'm Jen McFarland, who apparently has not mastered scream yard yet. And , I am joined by Shelley Carney.

[00:01:13] Shelley Carney: I am here and it's okay. That's what happens when you go live, there's gonna be little glitchy things that you work your way through and that's life.

[00:01:24] Yeah.

[00:01:24] Jen McFarland: So here today, we're gonna talk about topic clusters. So it's coming up with fresh ideas based on your own expertise. We've talked a lot over the last few weeks. Researching content based on customer testimonials and basic keyword research. But if you wanna know the secret to reach the right audience with your expertise, the solution is within you and oh, by the way.

[00:01:48] It will really help you rank with Google. And it's a really good thing to use if you wanna come up and search. So this week's show is all about creating topic clusters or when I'm working with my clients, I often call them content themes based on your expertise. And you'll find that you have this gold mine within you and we're gonna help you unlock those riches today.

[00:02:11] Shelley Carney: Riches treasures. Yeah. All right. What's up. So in my life, I'm still at my mom's house and she came home on Saturday and we have been adjusting to. That we getting the correct equipment in place. We have home helpers coming in and we're getting used to each other. She's got physical therapy and occupational therapy going on, still people who are coming to the home to help her with those things.

[00:02:41] It's a good move forward, but at the same time, it was like, stressful for her. So it's this time period of transition. And then we're ready to move ahead. Now. I think we're in that place where she's good with being at home and good with people coming in to help. And now she's ready to get to work on her physical therapy.

[00:03:04] So it's all good. Wow. Yeah. How about you?

[00:03:08] Jen McFarland: I have been heads down working on this presentation for the association of philanthropic council. So I have. Some clients who are nonprofit consultants, they help nonprofits do capital campaigns and fundraise. They help them hire people. They're just like, they're like us they're consultants, but they help nonprofits exclusively.

[00:03:31] And I. They asked me to come speak at their conference in Portland and I'm super excited. It's gonna be fun. It's right down on the riverfront. It's supposed to be like 85 and sunny tomorrow there. So I'm gonna speak for about an hour and a half about how to market your nonprofit consultancy. And then I'm going to go walk along the river and just enjoy the weather I've been waiting for this for months.

[00:03:57] It we've had blue skies almost all week. And. Yeah. In fact, after this, I'm gonna go take my dog for a walk and go enjoy it, cuz it's just it's phenomenal here. So I'm really excited. I get to meet I have been collaborating with this group for their conference now for a few months and and the weather's hitting it just the right time.

[00:04:16] So I, I just, I think it's gonna be really fun, but yeah, I've been like super. Laser focused on that. And I think it's gonna be super fun. And in fact you're breaking news. , that's the thing I gave up to, oh, speak at this event, I had tickets to VidCon. I had my hotel, I had everything and I had to cancel it all, but it's worth it.

[00:04:39] Cuz this is gonna be this is gonna be a great event. So

[00:04:42] Shelley Carney: very good. Yeah. Oh also I'm. Completing the prep for my course live cast life style. And one of the funny things is my daughter has decided that she and her two of her friends are going to revitalize her YouTube channel, where she focused on weird Al Yankovic.

[00:05:05] They're super fans. And she's revitalizing that with these young ladies and there are other, there is another podcast out there. A friend of hers is doing his own podcast. There's a couple of guys doing this. So she's how am I different? And what's, how and how do I do this?

[00:05:21] And so I've been working with her on her channel ex and telling her. YouTube first, livestream first and then create the podcast from that. And I've been walking her through it and she keeps coming up with more questions. So I. go through my slides for my course. I think they're gonna answer a lot of your questions and then you can also tell me if you have any new questions based on that.

[00:05:45] And then I can, that'll help me make the course even better. Looking forward to that course coming out. Think I'm gonna wait till I get home to record it though. So it may not come out till. Early to mid July, but if you would like to get on the waiting list for that course, you can go to course.livecast.life and sign up to be on that waiting list.

[00:06:08] So you'll know that when it comes out and if you're on that list, you'll be offered a special discount for friends and family discount for our early bird signer, uppers. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah, that's cool.

[00:06:22] Jen McFarland: That's really exciting. Yeah. And we were talking earlier this week about different platforms for.

[00:06:29] For your daughter and like how to do it, platforms like Patreon, they just take such a huge percentage out, any revenue that you generate. It is, there are a lot of options out there. And so she's been talking, you guys have been figuring out where to put her platform so that she can raise money, giving up a lot to some of these other platforms, the creator.

[00:06:52] The struggles of a creator are very real because, you make things and you want people to participate and then it seems like there's always something out there who wants,

[00:07:04] Shelley Carney: and you're breaking up a little bit. Maybe you might move your microphone just a little bit closer,

[00:07:09] Jen McFarland: so funny. Okay.

[00:07:11] There that's so funny. Okay. What about that? All right. Okay. So breaking news, it is VidCon this weekend. Yeah. that would've been awesome to go it's

[00:07:22] in Anaheim. I had that's fair in Anaheim yeah. And it's in Anaheim and it, they, it, they had it all set up really great so that kids could go and they had daycare and they have all different kinds of topics. They had, they have groups where you can meet some of the big influencers on YouTube and.

[00:07:40] TikTok and all kinds of places, it's gonna be a really neat event. So I didn't realize that you could get in on it through through

[00:07:49] Shelley Carney: YouTube. Yeah. Yeah. They have a YouTube channel. Bidcon has a YouTube channel and they are doing some of the con will be live streamed on their channel. I'm not sure how long they're gonna keep it up.

[00:08:01] On, on the channel, but they've got it all set up for the different talks. You can go there and subscribe and click on the bell to get notified when they go live. They're gonna be incorporating a lot of ads and stuff for. For their sponsors in their live stream. So it's, valuable for their sponsors and them to do it to share that content in that way so that more people can see those sponsors and advertises.

[00:08:29] And yeah we're gonna put the YouTube E YouTube link for VidCon in the show notes so that you, if you wanna know more about it, you can, or you can just look it up on YouTube VidCon. .

[00:08:42] Jen McFarland: Yeah. And I forgot to do the breaking news. I forgot to do the sound. Sorry.

[00:08:49] Shelley Carney: that's okay. So Toby got his new. Road caster pro two.

[00:08:56] So he's going to bequeath me the road caster. when I get home so I can have new sounds too, so we can all have, sounds, have

[00:09:06] Jen McFarland: sounds. Yeah, I don't have a lot of other breaking news. I've been reading some interesting blog posts about Google. There's a lot going on right now. Google analytics and what they're gonna replace it with.

[00:09:19] How are they gonna do the cookie list future of tracking and ad tech, but there's just nothing definitive yet to really report it breaking news. So I guess we should move on to training. Yeah. Okay.

[00:09:33] Shelley Carney: I'm looking forward to it.

[00:09:38] so it's like baseball. Woo.

[00:09:42] Jen McFarland: Let's play ball. So it's a, yeah, it's about leveling up. That was why I picked that. Pick that sound. It's funny. We have this show flow, which we've talked about a few times and on here Shelley asked me if I was still recovering from my concussion, because it looks like code in here of all these different topics.

[00:10:01] And so I'll be taking the lead on this, and Shelley's gonna be asking me a lot of questions and talking about her experiences with this, but topic clusters are really important. And one of the reasons that I wanted to talk about this is I work with a lot of people and I've talked to a lot of business owners and they have a really hard time coming up with ideas that are.

[00:10:25] To talk about what do I talk about? They don't know what they can talk about in their expertise. And so what we're gonna go through are a few things that are important as you think about the types of topics you wanna discuss and how to brainstorm it so that you're not only getting the expertise, meaning you're bringing the right people in, as you talk about the things that are important to you, but you're also going to get the search.

[00:10:52] Benefit from it because you're gonna be talking about a broad range of topics and then I'll show you how that plays out on your website. You could do the same thing. I think on YouTube, where your related videos are related to all of these other elements. You can do this on LinkedIn. If you have a LinkedIn newsletter and you wanna link to like all the different newsletters, there's a lot of ways you can do it.

[00:11:16] Fundamentally. This is about cuz we're talking a little bit last week, we talked about blogging. So this week we're talking about how to plan out your blog a little bit, but you could use this for just about any topic that is within your expertise that you want to. Is that right? Shelley? I can link everything the way that I said in YouTube.

[00:11:37] All the cards and everything. Yeah. Yeah. So you could do these deep dives in this way. You could do it. You can also do it with your podcast, essentially. That's what we're doing here, where we are taking these different topics and we're diving. Sometimes

[00:11:50] Shelley Carney: you just don't know what people are gonna find.

[00:11:52] Interesting. The other day yesterday, Toby's I don't know if I wanna do this show cuz I don't know if anybody's gonna show up and I'm like, if you're excited about it, they will be excited about it. Yeah, let that inform you because inform you, that show did really well. And a lot of people showed up and watched it.

[00:12:10] Yeah.

[00:12:13] Jen McFarland: so we're gonna explore it and we're gonna see what happens next. So the first part is to really think about how you are communicating and what this is called in SEO. Land is E a. And or eat, which is funny because my example is about chocolate cake. So I guess it's all tied together.

[00:12:37] So eat is what Google is looking for when they're trying to decide if your website is worthy of sending people to, it could be the same thing where, you know, when you are, if you create a lot of YouTube videos, and previews of videos coming up in search, it would be the same thing. So they're looking at these different layers of.

[00:12:58] Who you are, what you do in order to determine whether or not to serve your content up. The first dimension of that is E or expertise, and they're looking at the creator themself. So that would be like, in this case, they're looking at Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. What is the body of work that these creators have made and they can look at everything.

[00:13:24] And so they're looking and evaluating whether your expertise is aligned. This is why, if you are an acupuncturist, you don't want to suddenly be talking about. something completely unrelated, like lighting your live stream. you wanna stay in your lane because Google is looking for all of the things that are part of your lane.

[00:13:47] Does that make sense?

[00:13:48] Shelley Carney: It does. And we have found that when you completely radically change, sometimes you're gonna have a small group of people who do stay with you because they like you, they will stay with you no matter what you're talking about, because they just like you as a person and a friend, a brand, whatever.

[00:14:08] As long as you're not going. Turning into a different person. They like you. So you can change your brand. You can change your focus. You can hone in on things a little more if you need to in the future, but to get started, of course you want to be very clear about who you are, what you're talking about and who you're talking to.

[00:14:32] Jen McFarland: absolutely. And that is entirely about expertise. And again, we're talking about Google, but the same is true with your audience. You know what Shelley's talking about, like whether they're gonna follow you or not. And you have experience in this because you made a radical shift, from talking about treasures, to talking about.

[00:14:51] Content marketing, you know how you put out the information about treasures basically was what I was gonna say it was related, but, and you've retained some of the audience, but then from the Google perspective, they're like, wait, they were talking about treasures.

[00:15:05] So it takes a while then to build up that expertise so that Google will send people to you. So there's two different layers of what's going on. Which is the audience layer and the people who know you layer and then the people you don't know who largely come from Google, other people sharing, all of that kind of expertise that you're sharing that then other people wanna share your work with their friends.

[00:15:29] So then the second layer is authoritativeness and it is the actual content itself. So it's not only you as a creator. It is, or the professional, if you're a professional. You are a creator. If you're putting something out into the world, it's also the content itself. Is the content itself good? Or are you just creating it for the sake of getting clicks without any substance?

[00:15:55] Or are you creating it just to sell something, but you don't really know what you're talking about. We're seeing this happening a lot where people get something like Jasper or pepper type or some of these AI writing programs and they. enter a topic and create Goble de cook, just so that they can rank.

[00:16:15] And now what Google is doing is they are going through with humans, discrediting, but it takes a while to do it. So it's really important that whatever you create is from is within your expertise and is authoritative meaning you're creating it to create value, to help people. And that it is based on expertise and part of what helps with that is if you link to other things.

[00:16:46] So something like topic clusters, you might link out to HubSpot or SIM rush, or, any of these different SEO companies to show that you have well researched it and you're like within your lane of.

[00:17:02] Shelley Carney: That's right. And the way you present it can be attractive as well. For instance, if you're doing a demo of a product and here's how you use it, here's step by step.

[00:17:15] And then you review of it. People are gonna watch it again and again. Because they're gonna go through those steps with you. But if you are doing a conversation about a topic, you're more likely to get people in the beginning where it's live and they can participate in that conversation. So you wanna think about how you're presenting your content as well.

[00:17:39] Jen McFarland: That's right. A hundred percent. And then the third dimension that Google is looking at is a little bit more technical and. and not like it's the website, it's the platform itself. So if you're presenting on YouTube they like their own platform. but if you have your own website, which I highly recommend, it's looking at things like what's the other content on that website, is that trustworthy?

[00:18:05] Is it coded well, or does it have malware or viruses on it that could be harmful to other people? Does it have, is it well coded? Does it perform well or are people gonna have to wait eight seconds before the website even loads? It's looking at the overall, how long has the website been around the overall trustworthiness of the content itself, where it lives?

[00:18:29] So these three things go together, hand in hand, and that's really one of the basis. For how Google is looking at your work. How do we know this? Because this is one of the few things that Google has actually written up. on their website as one of the ways that one of the factors for how they're looking at you and looking at your content.

[00:18:50] So how you communicate is. Incredibly important. Having one website with all of your stuff is really important because you're not spreading out your creator expertise among a lot of places. You can have content on YouTube and apple podcasts and LinkedIn, but ultimately you really do wanna have that content hub in one place where you are putting all of your authority and expertise in one.

[00:19:23] Shelley Carney: okay. No. Okay. I know you worked really hard on that and I'm still getting there. We do have our livecast life hope where all of our content lives and our about page tells you what we do, but it's not maybe as beautiful. And these user friendly is what Jen has.

[00:19:45] Jen McFarland: Yeah, I've worked really hard on it.

[00:19:48] yeah, , it's changed a lot even since we've known each other Shelley, so it's a process. And that's the thing. I always tell people in the beginning, you just want that good enough website and you wanna get the hang of whatever it is that you're doing. So don't put a lot of pressure on yourself on the trustworthiness of a website, but just know that it'll come, especially if you continue to create things within your expertise that are helpful and authoritative.

[00:20:12] So that those are the two that you maybe have more control over, especially if you're not a web developer yourself and you don't have, or a brand specialist and know everything about branding. The next dimension is the next set of. The next acronym is, your money or your life. So what this means, and I think that this is interesting because it really does seem to me like this is encompasses all topics , but the next dimension is, are you providing accurate information?

[00:20:45] Could your information do harm? And you could say we already talked about that. That's authoritativeness, right? It is. But it's also. Something separate that's being looked at and you could, I know people will look at these topics and think I have seen things that are harmful in any one of these things.

[00:21:03] So it's a judgment, right? Whether or not something is doing harm or not, I think it's entirely a judgment. What is that kind of your take on this?

[00:21:13] Shelley Carney: I think you have to be careful in what you're using to support your. Your theories, your arguments. In our case, I, if you go into our little treasure community, there are people who are supposing where the treasure was hidden and nobody knows for sure, except for a couple of people, like the ranger of Yellowstone national park and the person who found the.

[00:21:40] They know where it exactly the geographical coordinates of where it is, but other people are supposing about it. And then they take those suppositions and treat them as fact. And then they start to build their case upon that. And then they get angry at anybody who questions. They're facts. So you have to be careful.

[00:22:00] You're not doing that, that what you state as a fact really is a fact, and not just your opinion, and then building your case. And then you know that I'm right in your wrong kind of an attitude. If you have good, strong research and surveys that you can use and support your theories and your argument.

[00:22:22] Then, then you can build upon that and then you can tell people, this is my opinion. Here's how I feel and not to treat it like it is the one and only way to do things.

[00:22:35] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And how do we know that your money or your life is important? We know that it's important because Google has told us it's important.

[00:22:45] We know it's important because it's also talked about on several different places. Again, all of the main SEO topics, main SEO providers, everybody's talking about how important good content is. What are the topic areas where they consider your your money or your life or these to be critical topics?

[00:23:07] I, like I said, it's just about everything. So it's like news and current events. So that includes this cuz this is about business and tech and we don't talk about science, but science, it also is government and law. So anything about politics or. The legal system, anything related to that financial advice?

[00:23:26] So investments, retirement crypto, all of that kind of thing shopping information. So product reviews and research in that regard. Anything about shopping medical advice, so drugs, hospitals, emergencies. All, anything in that realm is considered, inaccurate information could do harm and then people.

[00:23:47] So that encompasses race, religion, sexuality. These are very broad topics. So it's really easy to have information taken down. If you are not dedicated to providing the best information available.

[00:24:05] Shelley Carney: Yes. And. If you care about your audience, then you're gonna care about the validity of what you're saying and explaining to them.

[00:24:19] Jen McFarland: Yeah. And you're gonna have to talk about where it is that it comes from and how this fits within your area of expertise. So those are the two things that are just we're grounding. I wanna ground us in when we come up with our topic ideas, but things that we wanna talk about that are the most important to our area of expertise, they all have to.

[00:24:42] High quality focused and linking out to all of the other, the greatest resources, because we always wanna create the highest level of content possible. And this is what helps us show up more online. Cause this is a lot of work writing a blog or creating a video. All of these things are a lot of work. So you wanna make sure that whatever it is that you're doing, it is definitely going to get seen and heard and appreciated by all of your people.

[00:25:11] So the next thing that, that you at least have to think about at a very high level is that people search for a reason. So if you think about it, they, the latest statistics are that like 87% of all people with smartphone, which is a lot of people cause smart phones, they're using their phone as a search engine, 87% of the time.

[00:25:33] Every day basically, and we're all searching for different reasons. We might be searching just to navigate to something, just to learn about something. That's, what's called a navigational search. I don't know anything about this topic. Help me understand it's just a big general cert, and you might wanna come up for.

[00:25:54] But then there's like informational. So what is this and like how, what is some specific inf some specific information on a topic? So it could be like, what is live streaming or what is acupuncture or what is business, coaching, marketing, coaching, energy, healing, whatever that topic is. Okay. And you wanna have stories these studies about.

[00:26:20] And again, I wanna encourage people to really think about what it is that they look for in search, because what we're gonna talk about is capturing people with the law, the big searches. So the big, what is this and then getting them into your content. So they go all the way down to where the more commercial or transactional pieces where you're comparing products or you're encouraging people to buy from you.

[00:26:46] And part of that is that. You want them to get in on a general search and then just start weaving through all of your levels of expertise. And that's really what leads people to buy. And the reason is it takes so many contact points now for people to decide whether or not they're interested in what it is that you're talking about and how you talk about it, what your services are that.

[00:27:12] What you have to do then is find different ways to get people at different points in the funnel. So they're like, man, women conquer business keeps popping up or wow. Shelley keeps coming up. This is how that we do that is that we we go through and make different types.

[00:27:30] Content, we describe our expertise in several different ways, and it eventually will become the contact point that will lead to a sale.

[00:27:41] Shelley Carney: You can separate your content out into these different playlists so that you have a playlist that covers the definition of, the overview of what it is that you talk about.

[00:27:52] Then you can have a playlist that gets more into the informational. Then you can have a playlist that describes products and reviews of that sort. And then you can get into the transactional, how can I help you? Or you can also do one piece of content that funnels all of that starts off with the definition and then works down to the end where the transaction is a lot of webinars.

[00:28:18] Start off that way. Yeah,

[00:28:21] Jen McFarland: totally. Yeah. Although there are a lot of webinars that seem to just go straight to the transactional I don't think there is good. They're not as no,

[00:28:31] Shelley Carney: they're not helpful. They're not helpful. And people are gonna sign off.

[00:28:35] Jen McFarland: Yeah. Yeah. And so that's why we talk about this.

[00:28:38] We want to. help you welcome people in and work their way through all of the different layers and levels of what it is that you are offering and all of your layers of expertise. That's why there's so much gold inside of you as the expert is you have this within you, that you could talk about all these different dimensions.

[00:29:02] And help people in these different ways. So how does this play out? I'm scared to show this next slide. For those of you who are listening, it's gonna be a lot of arrows . So the way that this works, that this is a topic cluster. So the way that you do this is maybe you have four or five different layers of E.

[00:29:26] Maybe you have four or five different services that are all related to one major broad topic. So you have one topic hub. So say you wanted to talk about. Leadership. And next week, we're gonna talk about what that means that pillar post or skyscraper page, and you wanted to have one big post about leadership, and then you have all these different dimensions of leadership discussed in that one post, but then you break it off and write articles about each of those different dimensions.

[00:30:02] To bolster your overall position and expertise in leadership. So it's a lot of different related topics surrounding one big topic hub. And that's essentially what a topic cluster is.

[00:30:20] Shelley Carney: Okay. So

[00:30:24] are those letters significant? They

[00:30:27] Jen McFarland: are because it's like the informative or the navigational or the commercial or the transactional. So each one of your supporting articles about a particular topic. They also could be how-tos, which are typically navigational or people are trying to learn something.

[00:30:44] They can be comparing two different products that is helping people understand and maybe get closer to making a buying decision. They can be commercial. So that is when people are ready to buy. You're lining up. You're not you're exactly lining up everything that you talk about within your expertise, with a different stage of the content funnel.

[00:31:06] So you're capturing the people who have general questions, and then you're capturing the people who are ready to make a buying decision.

[00:31:15] Shelley Carney: Cynthia says it's very helpful. She loves it. Who says this? Cynthia Moss.

[00:31:20] Jen McFarland: Hey, Cynthia. I'm so glad to see you. Okay. So what does this look like in real life?

[00:31:27] It looks like this and Shelley is so mad at me for not having a piece of chocolate

[00:31:31] Shelley Carney: cake on and the background even, could have one big chocolate thing in the background.

[00:31:36] Jen McFarland: So the topic cluster example that I have is chocolate cake. and you might have, so say you talk a lot about recipes. Say you talk a lot about baking and one of your specialties is making chocolate cake, for example.

[00:31:53] So you have all these different things that you can be talking about related to chocolate cake. But the thing I want you to notice is that all of these topics, they don't overlap. entirely. You're not talking about the same thing over and over again. You're talking about different aspects of chocolate cake.

[00:32:15] So for example, is flowerless chocolate cake, gluten free. This is a question. This is a question that a lot of people might have, and they're just looking it up, but then if they get there, then they might be like, oh, there's a lot of. A lot of blog posts here about chocolate cake. So you link back to your ultimate guide to all chocolate cakes, because maybe they're not just interested in flowerless chocolate cake and whether or not it's gluten free.

[00:32:40] Maybe they want some good recipes. So you have the ultimate guide to chocolate cake, but then you offer different topics around chocolate cake. So it could be chocolate cake versus chocolate brownies, those taste different, I think they do you could also have chocolate cake versus chocolate cake versus cupcakes, also different chocolate wedding cakes, chocolate cake recipes, how to bake a chocolate cake, low calorie chocolate cake and nutritional facts about chocolate cake.

[00:33:11] So these are all different ways that you can be talking about the topic of chocolate cake. It's all different areas. And these are different people who are going to be looking for different aspects of this. You could do this if your area of expertise was marketing. So say your central point is email marketing.

[00:33:32] You don't do 10 posts about what is email marketing, cuz they start to cancel each other out after a while you would do maybe. How to get higher engagement, which email marketing platforms do I want to use? How do I write an engaging newsletter headline? So you're talking about all these different elements that are related to your essentially focused hub or your big topic, but they're a little bit different.

[00:33:58] The other thing that you can do, and this is also really important is say, you have. Four or five different layers, different types of expertise. So in the case of our chocolate cake blog, They maybe also talk a lot about low calorie sweet treats, and they talk a lot about things like frosting or different things that you can use to decorate your cake or different elements that are related.

[00:34:25] You also want to speak to those things and make sure that people know where to find those other topics. So they can always. Stay on your website or stay in whatever your content bucket is. If it's, again, LinkedIn or YouTube or, wherever it is that you're keeping all of your content, you wanna make sure that people know that they're in the right place and that they can get access to all different types of things.

[00:34:53] And that's essentially what a topic cluster is. And then how you get people out to some of your related content.

[00:35:01] Shelley Carney: So that one in the middle. Is that your, that's your skyscraper temp pole.

[00:35:08] Jen McFarland: Yeah. So that is your skyscraper or your pillar post. It's called a lot. And you can do this in a lot of different ways.

[00:35:17] So when I talk to clients about this, I don't call it topic clusters. I call it content themes. So you maybe have one area of E. That's like your hub. That's the main thing that you'll talk about and you might have one really long post that describes it, and then you have themes or different ways that you're talking about it.

[00:35:38] You can do this with social media. For example, you could be like this month, I'm gonna talk about. Blogging, or this month I'm gonna talk about social media. And then, one week you talk about social media scheduling tools. And one week you talk about how to engage. One week you talk about productivity and social media, you talk about all these different dimensions and then you have one topic and it's really important to do it this way, because you're centering your expertise around all of the different factors that you can think of.

[00:36:10] A service provider. So since I work a lot with service providers, one way that you can look at it, if you're like, I don't know anything about chocolate cake, this isn't helpful. another way that you can look at it is problem, solution and results. And you just keep going through these three dimensions of it.

[00:36:28] What are the problems that my customers have? What is the solution that I can offer? What are the results? So this is a basic. Way of looking at it. So you could be like, okay, like I'm, any of these things, you could be talking about email marketing to bring it back. What are the problems that you see people have with email marketing?

[00:36:49] How would you suggest that these different problems get solved and what are the results that they can expect? And that's another way you can tackle any of these topics.

[00:37:01] Shelley Carney: I like it. You like a Delta, right?

[00:37:04] Jen McFarland: A Delta. I know no pictures. If you wanna see what this looks like in real life, let me show you on the women conquer business website. I feel like I have done a fairly good job of tackling this problem. If you go to the women conquer business website and you go to articles.

[00:37:25] You'll see that, business leadership, marketing reviews, cuz I do a handful of product reviews and then resources for subscribers only. So then if you go in here these are different basically. Product hubs. These are different areas of my expertise. And if you dive into any of those, you can get more articles and get more information.

[00:37:49] Or if you scroll down, you can see all of them. So there are a lot of different ways of doing it. This is a very straightforward way. You can do it any number of ways and get to the same result. It's really about just helping people get to understand you in a more holistic way. That's.

[00:38:08] Shelley Carney: And my central is the livecast lifestyle.

[00:38:12] So I can go ahead and add, say, okay, live streaming is part of it. Podcasting is part of it. Blogging is part of it, social media posting and contacts is part of it. Email marketing is part of it. It's a, it's the hub is all around the livecast lifestyle. Yeah. And that's how I'm creating my course to cover all of those things.

[00:38:33] Jen McFarland: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And Cynthia says, that's what service providers do solve problems. And I think that is fundamentally true and also something that a lot of people forget. , that's what we're doing all the time. So it's okay to also be solving some problems in your content. You're not giving too much away because a lot of times people are never gonna do it themselves.

[00:38:57] They're not, but they wanna hear whether or not you can help them with that. And then they're more likely to engage with you. So don't be afraid to go into that, problem, solution results, Delta as Shelley calls it, where you're talking about those things. Because when you start grouping your content together based on expertise, you're in a really good place.

[00:39:20] So if you wanna know how to take that to the next. What we're really talking about here is looking at your areas of expertise, looking at your services, just to wrap this up and then doing some brainstorming sessions around all the different areas within that, that you can be talking about.

[00:39:42] That's really what this is. What are all the different things within your areas of expertise? Shelley just listed off a whole bunch. So that's why all of you have all of this expertise from within. you have a gold mine within you. You talk about it all the time. You're answering the same questions over and over again.

[00:39:59] Now take that and share it in a systematic, meaningful way so that people understand they're more likely to get you and that's what you want.

[00:40:11] Shelley Carney: Yeah. And that's how they resonate. Yeah. Yeah. become more loyal and bonded to you. That's right.

[00:40:19] Jen McFarland: Wow. I feel a little tired.

[00:40:22] Shelley Carney: I'm saying it's a lot of work,

[00:40:25] Jen McFarland: so I know it sounds overwhelming, but you can do these things over years.

[00:40:29] This is not something you have to do right away. Yeah. You just have a list and you just start like checking that stuff off. Thank you, Cynthia. I'm glad that this is excellent information for you. If you like this information and this kind of style, I highly encourage you to subscribe to the women conquer business newsletter that is@womenconquerbiz.com slash newsletter.

[00:40:50] And every week I share tips that are similar to this different topics that are helpful to people, especially service provider. And help them get exactly what they need to move their business forward.

[00:41:04] Shelley Carney: I subscribe

[00:41:08] Jen McFarland: that's right. Get it every Sunday morning. And then what do you have for us?

[00:41:13] Oh,

[00:41:13] Shelley Carney: So yeah, I have a free livecast life workbook that you can download that walks you through all the steps of becoming a live cast. Producer and you can get that@guidedotlivecast.life. Hey, yeah, it's cool.

[00:41:33] Jen McFarland: All right, so let's move on to are we moving into tweak of week tweaks of the

[00:41:37] Shelley Carney: week? Yeah.

[00:41:43] What's your tweet? Dan

[00:41:44] Jen McFarland: of the week. So I have been, like I said, I've been so heads down on this association of philanthropic council. Work that I have. I, and as you notice, maybe today, my slides that did not include chocolate cake all of that was created in Canva. Canva has been making some minor changes and tweaks inside of their program to make.

[00:42:06] Presentations a little sharper. I think it also helps if you're developing graphics. So I've noticed that they're now sharing with you. If everything is equal distance they're sharing. If everything is lining up just right, they're making it a lot easier, I think, to make your graphics better.

[00:42:24] And since I have these massive presentations, I've noticed that they're no longer limiting the number. Slides, which is fantastic. So I have a lot of really long presentations that I like to give. I tend to use Canva because I like pretty or organized. I don't put a lot of content on mine and. Goo the Google decks, they just don't do as much those slides.

[00:42:51] I find PowerPoint to be maddening and frustrating. And so I tend to use canvas slides. I know that last week, Shelley, you talked about using Google slides and animation. So I think this is all just about personal preference. The right tools are the ones that you use, right? That's right. That's right.

[00:43:09] Shelley Carney: The ones that work well for you and have become part of your. Life. Yeah, use them.

[00:43:16] Jen McFarland: Do you have a tweak of the week?

[00:43:18] Shelley Carney: I've been using a lot of bit emojis and I think they're a lot of fun. If you're interested, they do have a Chrome extension bit emoji. You can create a little. Cartoon person that looks like you and you get to design it, you get to design their face and their hair and what they're wearing.

[00:43:36] And it's a lot of fun. And then you can incorporate that into your emails. If like, all you wanted to do was respond back and say, thumbs up or team awesome, or something like that. You can pull those in very easily. You can pull 'em into your slides. You can pull you can use them on your phone. They are.

[00:43:55] Integrated with Snapchat, if you're into that too. You can also, if you're a couple, you can, send things out as a couple. My daughter does that with her husband. So there's, they have little couple emojis and they're both in it and they're like, oh, happy mother's there. Or something like that, or a thank you or whatever.

[00:44:13] And the two of them are together and they're a lot of fun. Check it out and play around with that a little bit. It's it can be a lot of fun and it can be like a little bit of a, cartoon representative of you. And I think it's just another way of adding to your own personal brand.

[00:44:31] Jen McFarland: Yeah. I like Bitmojis I used them for a long time and then I don't know why I stopped. And then when I made my Bitmoji, everybody said it didn't really look like me and then somebody else made it. And I was like, I don't think that looks like me. But anyway, I think they're fun. I always love it. When you send me emails and texts that have Bitmojis in it, I think they're, they always make me smile.

[00:44:51] Yeah. I think that's, I think that's important. So yeah. So there you have it. Those are our tweaks of the week. Are you ready, Shelley? For the inspirational. Yeah, let's do it.

[00:45:06] Shelley Carney: So this is from Marcus aureus meditations and he said, you could enjoy this very moment. All the things you are praying to reach by taking the long way around, if you'd stop depriving yourself of them. So as yourself, what is it that I want? What am I working toward? What is important to me in this life?

[00:45:28] And why am I striving? And when you answer that question, try to get to the deepest level. And when you do that, most often, you're gonna find that you wanna feel secure. You wanna feel loved, you wanna feel supported. You wanna it's a feeling. That you're after. So if you want a new car, there's a feeling that you're after.

[00:45:48] What is that feeling? Is it pride? Is it security? What is that feeling that you're looking for then instead of waiting until you have that new car to feel that way. Find a way to feel it. Now, maybe you just think better thoughts or maybe you can be counting your blessings basically.

[00:46:07] And taking stock of all the things you already have in your life. All the people, all the support, all the love you have in your life. And you can get to that feeling that much quicker instead of waiting. You get to a certain place in life, you can start feeling those things now. And I think that's a really wonderful way to, to live each day is just to be grateful for what we have counter blessings and share the love.

[00:46:32] I think when somebody in your life passes or has a major incident like a stroke, it really reminds you to take those moments and connect. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:46:45] Jen McFarland: Yeah. Thank you. I think that's really important to remember that and there's just been a lot of things going on in the world and in our lives, it seems lately.

[00:46:54] And I think that's a really important thing to do is to take a step back and not to deprive yourselves of the fun and the joy thinking that you'll always have time later, cuz you might not.

[00:47:04] Shelley Carney: That's right. That's.

[00:47:07] Jen McFarland: so I, I think that's a wrap for today's show. Okay. Thank you for joining us today on women conquer business.

[00:47:15] And next week, we'll be talking more about those pillar posts, the skyscraper content that will help you be at the center of your expertise. So we talked, we didn't talk at all about chocolate cake. We just talked about all the other parts, like the frosting and stuff. So next week we're gonna get into the meat of the matter.

[00:47:32] And everybody out there have a really great week. And talk to you later from sunny Portland, Oregon.

[00:47:39] Shelley Carney: Woo. Have a good one, everybody. Thank you for joining the women conquer business podcast, hosted by Shelley Carney and Jen McFarland. Please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem.

[00:47:56] Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the. Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.

Breaking News

Tweaks of the Week

Inspirational Nugget

“You could enjoy this very moment all the things you are praying to reach by taking the long way around—if you’d stop depriving yourself of them.” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 12.1
  • What is it that you want? What are you working toward? Why?
  • Where are you standing in your own way?
  • If you’re happy, comfortable and loved… you’re successful.

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Jen McFarland

Obsessed with creating solutions that help businesses make exceptional decisions faster. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project innovator. CoFounder, Epiphany Courses. Women Conquer Business Founder.

Shelley Carney

Livestream host, coach, and author. Podcaster and blogger for Messages and Methods and Women Conquer Business.


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