#167 – Writing Great Content isn’t Just for Authors, It’ll Also Help You Sell Your Amazon Products
Just write great content.
That’s the answer to both blog writing and Amazon listings.
Today on the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes the entire (three person) Content Team at Helium 10 to speak about the power of the written word.
Chuck, Kai and Brian have all been with Helium 10 about a year and during that time have come to appreciate the culture of Helium 10 as well as further their understanding of Amazon’s selling ecosystem.
Writing solid content is more than creating informative entertainment for e-commerce sellers. Listen in to hear how good writing will also help to get your Amazon products sold.
In episode 167 of the Serious Sellers Podcast Bradley, Chuck, Kai, and Brian discuss:
- 03:30 – “Falling” Into Writing for Amazon Sellers
- 05:00 – Screenwriting Was Safer than Life as a Navy Seal
- 06:45 – Chuck’s Normally on the Other Side of the Editing Process
- 07:30 – Ice Hockey First
- 10:15 – Building an Amazon Selling Program from the Ground Up
- 14:30 – Coordinating Written Copy with Photography
- 17:30 – As You Scale, Make Sure You Don’t Outsource the Wrong Things
- 20:00 – Keeping Plastic Surgeon’s Names at the Top of the List
- 24:00 – Preparing for the Future with Content
- 25:15 – An Exercise in Empathy
- 27:15 – Fitting Keyword “Pegs” in the Right Holes
- 29:00 – Research and Circumnavigation
- 33:00 – Balancing Artistry and Analytics
- 36:00 – 30 Second Tips from Helium 10’s Content Team
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: You all know how the stories you tell through your listings are very important with connecting with your buyers. But today, our content writer guests will give other ideas on how to connect with your audience through writing outside of just your Amazon listing. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: Hello everybody. And welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS free, unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the eCommerce world. And we’ve got not one, not two, but three guests today. Part of the content team here at Helium 10, we’ve got Kai, Brian and Chuck. Welcome to the show. How you guys doing?
Chuck Kessler: Hey, doing great. Thanks Bradley. Thanks for having us on.
Brian Wisniach: Doing awesome, stoked to be here.
Kai Maranon: As good as one can be doing during quarantine.
Bradley Sutton: Indeed. We’re all normally under normal circumstances. Maybe we would have been able to record this in the podcast studio, but we’re in four different locations right now and in two different States and four different cities. But what I’d like to do right now is kind of what we always do on this episode is we want to get to know you guys a little bit more. You guys are not active Amazon sellers at this time, but you’re still here in the Amazon ecosystem. And what I love showing is how we’re all here in this same ecosystem. But our superhero origin stories is always different. I have never had two that are even remotely close to each other. So let’s just get to know you guys a little bit more. Let’s start with Kai. First of all, Kai, I know you were originally from– I thought San Francisco, is that where you’re born and raised, or where you from originally?
Kai Maranon: East Bay, San Francisco.
Bradley Sutton: Cool. And growing up, what were you like? Hey, this is what I want to be when I grow up.
Kai Maranon: No, not at all actually. I kind of just ended up here.
Bradley Sutton: No, I mean, what did you want to be when you were growing up in the East Bay, in San Francisco, a San Francisco Giant, or what was your work goals for the future when you were eight, nine, 10 years old?
Kai Maranon: I wanted to be an artist and a Marine biologist.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, wow. That’s pretty fancy, pretty noble for such a young age. Now, did you end up going to university for that at all?
Kai Maranon: No, I ended up in university for history, which I guess it’s kind of in the realm of art.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Well, you know what, that just adds– I didn’t know that myself and that just answer some questions on now. I make sense. Some of those blogs where you make a lot of historical references, I’m like, where did Kai come up with this stuff? Okay. There we go. History major in the house. Excellent. Excellent. Now you actually worked for a company that’s sold on Amazon or you actually dealt with Amazon a little bit yourself, didn’t you?
Kai Maranon: Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Talk a little bit about that. How did that happen? And when was that?
Kai Maranon: I think my first encounter with e-comm was before the days of Amazon prime actually. Back in 2008 maybe, one of my part time jobs at college was just helping this lady do her own FBM business.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Cool. And then from there?
Kai Maranon: And then from there, I kind of just fell into writing for various small businesses. My most recent job before Helium 10 was consumer goods manufacturer here in Irvine and I was helping to Amazon account management and that’s how I first became exposed to Helium 10.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So you were doing Amazon account management for them and also writing at the same time or you were just doing the Amazon thing at that company?
Kai Maranon: Everything. Both of those and more.
Bradley Sutton: Love it. Love it. Let’s switch really quick to Brian now, Brian, where’d you grow up?
Brian Wisniach: I grew up right here in Southern California. I’ve never left.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Now, were you looking to be a Marine biologist too at the age of nine, like Kai? Or maybe not so ambitious?
Brian Wisniach: No, I was not nearly as ambitious as Kai was. I think I– maybe I was, but in a different way, I want it to be a policeman, very classic. And I wanted to be a Navy seal when I was very young. Because I thought that was just the coolest job in the world. But then once I grew up a little more, I realized maybe I don’t want to do something so dangerous and pivoted to writing.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, is that what you ended up having as your major?
Brian Wisniach: It is. It was kind of an unlikely path. Like so many, I didn’t really know exactly the direction of my life at– I don’t know, at 18 years old. So, I kind of just went with what I always knew I was good at, which was writing. I knew I sucked at math, so engineering was out of the question and I chose communications and then later I had always had an interest in film and movies and stuff like that. So I ended up majoring in screenwriting and got a little bit of cool experience, learning to write movies,
Bradley Sutton: Interesting. What kind of writing jobs did you have? Did you ever write for consumer goods company like Kai, or was it for magazines or it was just in the film industry or what was going on there?
Brian Wisniach: It’s kind of funny. Straight out of college, I was doing the whole “trying to break into Hollywood and make it big” thing. And it’s easier said than done. I also found out I did not like commuting to LA from Orange County, which is if anyone has done that, they know exactly what I’m talking about. So I figured if I’m going to stay down here, I got to pivot once again, if I’m going to stay within writing and maybe get into marketing a little bit. So I ended up scoring a job. My previous job before coming to Helium 10 was for a small SEO agency. So, I have a little bit of experience writing for consumer goods and services and stuff like that.
Bradley Sutton: Nice. All right, let’s go now to Chuck. Now, Chuck is– you guys have never heard his voice perhaps here on the show, but he is no stranger to the Serious Sellers Podcast because Chuck is the one who is our main editor for all the podcasts. So once I actually record these things, I kind of wash my hands and send Chuck all the different audio files. And Chuck’s the one who edits all my ums out. If I’m stuttering excessively, or if I screw up and say something wrong, he’ll edit it. So Chuck, we appreciate that and welcome actually now to the show that you’re kind of the producer on.
Chuck Kessler: Thanks. Yeah, at this point it’s a pleasure to be here. We’ll see on the other editing side if it remains that way.
Bradley Sutton: We’ll see. All right now. Yeah. If you just can’t edit yourself, let me know. Maybe I’ll go ahead and edit this episode for you, but let’s go back a few years for you now, for some reason I have in my mind that you either lived or grew up in France, is it?
Chuck Kessler: No, I did live there part time for 20 years. I was born in Colorado, grew up in Arizona, and moved to Western Canada to play junior hockey.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So as an eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 year old, was that pretty much your dream? Maybe become an NHL player?
Chuck Kessler: It was really the only dream I had. I used to dream about the world freezing over and being able to skate everywhere. So yeah, that was the only thing on my mind.
Bradley Sutton: Now what derail those plans?
Chuck Kessler: Well, I actually ended up playing pro hockey for quite a while, so that worked out for me.
Bradley Sutton: Awesome.
Chuck Kessler: I didn’t make a million dollars, but I played in Holland after playing division one college hockey in Colorado. And after playing hockey, I moved back to Colorado, became a ski instructor and spent a long time teaching skiing.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. Now, how did you end up having interest in writing?
Chuck Kessler: Well, For the last number of years, I had been helping photographers build websites and writing content for websites, and I’ve always journaled and living out here in Orange County, I became aware of Helium 10 and one thing led to the next and I was in the office, writing posts and kind of got into writing full time and it’s been a ball.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Let’s go back to Kai now. I’d love to ask you Kai, cause a lot of this is new information to me. I wasn’t in the content department when you were hired. I never got to interview your personally to find out your kind of work back history. But I want to talk more about that company you were working for, where you were helping them out with their Amazon, but also writing for them. So this was a company that obviously was selling products on Amazon and I’m assuming off Amazon as well. Now, what do you mean when you say, Hey, you were a content writer for them because obviously the majority of our listeners are probably Amazon or Shopify sellers. And I think for a lot of them, it might be a foreign concept of having either a writer on staff or perhaps even trying to write yourself or your product. Because mainly they– we think of, Hey, I just got to have a– I got to write my listing and that’s it. But would you actually write blogs or articles about the company’s products that you work for?
Kai Maranon: Um, no. Not in the capacity that I’m doing now at Helium 10. It was more on the copywriting side. So I did hundreds of SKUs. They put a lot of stuff on Amazon basically when I started with them. We established the Amazon department at this company that had been around for, I think they’ve been around for at least 20 years. I’m not sure, but either way. I did a lot of copy for mainly for listings and optimization and such, and then occasionally website content.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. What about– was there anybody on staff or maybe, I don’t know what kind of products it was, but that required writing instruction manuals or– what else, what other kinds of writing does a larger company like that have other than just writing the Amazon listings?
Kai Maranon: We had someone who was the technical writer do that kind of instruction manual, more technical writing for most of the products in the company. And so I would just borrow from them, but for the Amazon team, I was the only one writing copy for them, for the Amazon listings.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now when you joined the company, had they already been selling on Amazon?
Kai Maranon: Nope. We started it from the ground up.
Bradley Sutton: Ground up. Alright. So what kind of things were working for you? I mean, for the listing optimization side, you’re able to kind of build that up, what did you say? A hundred or 200 products that they were that they had?
Kai Maranon: No, but I was there for about a year and a half and by the time I left, I think we were around like 600 SKUs.
Bradley Sutton: Oh, wow. So how are you able to write 600 listings and do the research for all of those? Was it just you, or did you have a team of you guys? Cause that’s a lot of SKUs right there.
Kai Maranon: Right. Well, we had a small team, so the Amazon department was only about five people, but I was the only copywriter. So it was basically me writing, listing for products, day in, day out.
Bradley Sutton: How do you keep from going crazy of doing just that?
Kai Maranon: You assume I haven’t gone crazy yet.
Bradley Sutton: I assume. You know what they say about assuming, but I think in this case, it’s not that bad,
Kai Maranon: But, it really was just like eight hours a day writing. And so in the beginning it was kind of us just trying to figure out how to get going. And I didn’t, or we didn’t discover Helium 10 until probably a few months in. So we were trying a bunch of different free tools and just kind of going off of whatever research we could find, there’s Google.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now that’s an interesting point because, for example, you before then didn’t necessarily come from an Amazon background. And I would venture to say that 95% of the people listening who are either thinking about selling on Amazon or have already sold on Amazon, they probably came from a place that wasn’t Amazon. I’m actually the flip side I had originally was working just in the logistics part of an Amazon company. And I was working a lot with Amazon before I came to Helium 10, but other people might not have that background. So how was it different for you, do you think coming from that kind of creative background and writing background going right into listing optimization before using the tool and then contrast that to maybe after you found Helium 10, what changed for you with your process on how you created those listings?
Kai Maranon: Definitely a lot of evolution of having to tailor writing styles to different audiences and different purposes. Cause I mean, before working in e-comm, my education background was in history and humanities, so that’s a lot of very deep research on a lot of esoteric topics I’m going from writing these very verbose types of assets.
Bradley Sutton: By the way guys, as you can see, you can see the struggle I do when I try to edit Kai’s blogs because Kai will be always coming up with these vocabulary words. I’m like, what in the heck is verbose and esoteric. I’m like, I know what that means. Sure, sure, sure. Please continue. But please try and dumb it down a little bit for poor old Bradley here who doesn’t have your level of education,
Kai Maranon: Right. Well, it’s going from writing your regularly 3000 word essays to having to fit all of this information into a 500 word description. It takes a lot of skill. And I really admire people that can do this every day. Amazon sellers who are just crushing it. It’s crazy.
Bradley Sutton: Did you work with the photography department at all? Did you guys coordinate on– I’m assuming you didn’t take the photography yourself. You were just focused on the copy of the listing, but how did you coordinate with whoever was actually supplying the images for the products?
Kai Maranon: Our team had an in-house photographer, so the company overall had their own photographer, but then we had an Amazon photographer who just did listing images for us.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. But how– did you collaborate with them at all? Or did you guys completely work independently from each other?
Kai Maranon: Oh, it was a lot of collaboration
Bradley Sutton: Talk about that a little bit. Cause this is interesting because I think a lot of people start off as kind of one man shows. Right? Hey, I’m going to make the list. I’m going to do the keyword research. I’m going to do the photography. I’m controlling everything. But as companies scale, you kind of have to delegate and then have different departments doing different things when you have 600 SKU like this company. So when the roles are kind of divided like that, but you still kind of have to keep on the same page. What was your process? Did you guys have get together and just outline the planner or what was that like?
Kai Maranon: I guess it’s very different from the traditional school of thought that we have here where it’s like you do your product research right before choosing a product and then going all in on that. For us it was different because we had all of these products, but it was trying to figure out what of them would be e-commerce friendly. Since you speak this company was what we call like a big box kind of retailer. So most of their products were in store instead of online. And so making that switch was probably– that was kind of the awkward part for us trying to start this up from scratch. So it’s kind of I guess our team was kind of starting, not at the one man show phase, but kind of later on where, like you said, you have a small team that– with delegated positions and for photography and me, like, yeah, there’s definitely a lot of overlap because we were basically creating the creative assets side of the listings. So I mean we sat right next to each other. So we would work on– if he had photos that needed a text or whatever, I would help him write the copy for that. And basically our director would take a certain amount of items and just give it to us. Here’s 10 new items I picked from our warehouse. Just figure out how to get it on Amazon. And that was it.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. I mean guys, if you’re listening to this and eventually hopefully you guys get to be that big. It’s something very important to keep in mind because one of the first things, I think that even a smaller company that they might do when they start scaling is when they start trying to outsource one of the first things they outsource might be the images. But it’s very important that if you outsource the images, a lot of people do it to– let’s say Philippines or Bangladesh or Pakistan due to the very talented labor over there for graphics, but you can’t completely just cut the cord and keep that department separate. Whoever is writing your listing really has to keep a close relationship. Maybe they can’t sit next to each other. With the photography department over there, but it’s something that you guys have to really make sure that you keep tied together because if you guys are going one direction on photography and in another direction on your listings, that is a recipe for a pretty messed up actual listing there for the buyer. So that’s interesting. Let’s switch back to Brian for a second. Now, Brian, you said you worked at a company that was helping, it was for SEO, right, you said?
Brian Wisniach: Yes. Correct.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So what’s– I think this is a part that a lot of Amazon sellers don’t think about, but I’ll tell you right now all those 400 products that I helped launch for the different companies. I never once thought about writing a blog about the product or doing a press release about it. I mean, when I thought about copy, it was pretty much just like what Kai did at Kai’s company. He’s like, we’re talking about making a listing or something like that, but in your experience, You might not have been working for Amazon product companies, but how does the whole organic SEO aspect of things, how could it help a company who is selling on Amazon?
Brian Wisniach: With SEO specifically, it really teaches you to approach writing at least in a very unique way because before my approach was always– just write, engaging content that people want to read and that’s all fine and well, but if you’re not also writing, engaging content that the Google algorithm, for example, wants to read, and therefore rank you for the people you want to reach are never going to see it. So, it was really a tight rope act, sort of a learning to balance my tone and achieve both sets of ears, if that makes any sense.
Bradley Sutton: Yeah. So, what were the kind of companies who would go to you guys as an agency and say, Hey, we’re trying to get some exposure on something here in scale. So what was the typical profile of a company? What were they trying to achieve in other words?
Brian Wisniach: I would say, well, to answer the first part of that– funny enough, primarily our clients were plastic surgeons and dentists. So, I quickly learned more than any 23 year old should have known about breast implants and root canals at the time. But our clients, it ranged from home and garden to a lot of doctors and plastic surgeons, to plumbing and stuff like that. And ultimately what they’re trying to do is– a lot of these were a lot of smaller companies who didn’t necessarily have the manpower to devote to writing, which is very time consuming in of itself. And they want consistent content to be put out every week if possible. So we would step in and help them not only put out consistent content that their patients or customers want to read, but what’s something that would help them rank for the keywords, whether that be best dentist in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, stuff like that. Just keeping their name at the top of the list.
Bradley Sutton: I think that’s great information because so many Amazon sellers out there who are making products, don’t realize the power of Google and SEO. Brian was just talking about dentists in LA, wanting to rank for best dentists in Southern California or things like that. Guess what guys, people are not just searching on Amazon for products. They’re also searching on Google. If somebody is searching collagen peptides on Amazon, guess what? They’re probably searching collagen peptides or collagen peptides for protein or things like that on Google. So if you really want to diversify your traffic and bring some outside traffic outside of social media, which is, I think what the first thing people think about when they think about outside traffic going to Amazon, you guys should be considering how your SEO game is off of Amazon and trying to capture that traffic off of Amazon and especially using– possibly bringing them into a funnel like using Helium 10 tool Portals to try and capture their email address or something before you send them to Amazon. But this is something that I would venture to say that at least 95% of sellers are not doing, I don’t think they’re writing blogs for their products. I don’t think they’re trying to worry about placement. Do you have any examples, Brian– it doesn’t have to be a dentist or something, but one of your happy customers and what they said happened because of working with you guys and because of basically being able to optimize their SEO in Google, how it helped them?
Brian Wisniach: I’m trying to think to give you a specific example on the one that came to mind first was the client was one of our larger clients. They were a landscaping supplier and just landscaping company that was based out of the Southwest. And they were really focused on expanding. They’re getting to the point where they were pretty big and they wanted to start competing with the home depots and stuff like that, which is no easy feat. But they came to us asking for content to help branch out the new areas that they’re going into, whether that be wholesaling or consulting for contractors or stuff like that. So they would adjust their content strategy accordingly. And basically, the goal is to not just to try to sell people on what you’re already doing, but to kind of seed the field for where you’re planning on going. And I think I probably left before I got to see the true fruits of that labor, but they were headed in the right direction. I choose to believe that it worked.
Bradley Sutton: So, then what would have that looked like then? What was the end goal there?
Brian Wisniach: It depends how you define the end goal. I mean, there is no end when you’re talking about content specifically, but, I guess you could say, the first goal was to one, make people aware that the company was expanding and A, B and C offering this, that, and the other, how to access the services. And then, basically just provide– proving themselves as an authoritative source.
Bradley Sutton: Obviously you didn’t work with any Amazon sellers who are trying to expand, but using the same philosophy. And again, understanding that content isn’t just a black and white game, let’s say an– somebody’s listening to our show right now and aspiring Amazon seller. They’re selling a coffin shelf. I don’t know where I came up with that one, they’re selling a coffin shelf. And they went to you at that SEO agency. What would be kind of your strategy if they told you, Hey, our goal is, we’re kind of crushing it here on Amazon. Right now, we’re at the top of SEO on Amazon for keywords like coffin shelf and Gothic decor and things like that. But we want to start tackling and bringing in some organic SEO traffic now to our Amazon listing through content writing. So what would your strategy be to try and help them achieve that goal?
Brian Wisniach: I mean, broad stroke, the goal, SEO wise would be to cast the widest net possible. So if your venture, if you’re ranking on Amazon and succeeding there, that’s great, but you want to always be thinking larger and wider. So I would say that the primary goal would be to, it would be an exercise in empathy really. You’re trying to get behind what is it people are opening literally think from before square one, square zero. People open their laptop, they go to Google, what are they typing in? What are they asking? Are they asking a coffin shelf is a little harder one to come up with a frequently asked questions about, but for example, they’re asking where can I get Gothic looking coffin shelves, or where going to find the scariest Halloween decorations. So you kind of have to build this mental web connecting common phrases, maybe supplementary things that you wouldn’t normally think you would use a coffin shell for. What are the– I don’t know about, I think most people, when they type into Google, they ask questions as if they’re asking a person. You just type in the question and nine times out of 10, you find what you’re looking for in the first five results or whatever. So, yeah, that was a long winded way of basically saying getting in the head of that person on the laptop.
Bradley Sutton: Now, obviously, if somebody is on Amazon trying to do that. They use Helium 10, they run some reverse ASIN with Cerebro. Maybe they do some research with Magnet and they can find the top keywords and they check out search volume on Google. What were you guys using as far as kind of tools to see what keywords you should have been targeting? How did you know that best dentist? What was the main keyword that you should be targeted as opposed to best teeth whitening spot or something like that?
Brian Wisniach: That’s a great question. Luckily I had the luxury of having a dedicated SEO teammate that was part of the company who had access to Google analytics, which was the primary tool. At least that was my understanding that he would use to glean that information from. Like what are the– here’s the 50 keywords we’re chasing eventually, and here’s maybe the five this month that we’re really focusing on. So then my job as the then content manager and content writer would be okay, I have the pegs, how do I fit them into the whole? How do I create content that includes these keywords? So I wish I had a more detailed answer for you, but I had the pleasure of having someone help out on the SEO side.
Bradley Sutton: That’s good. I mean, that did answer the question because guys, guess what, it’s the same thing off of Amazon, as it is on Amazon, you’re going to need either someone or somebody or a tool to be able to figure out what the right keywords are. It’s not like the old days on Amazon where when there was no tools. And you’re just kind of like, just guessing what people searched for. Don’t just guess you need to have an expert or have a tool that gets let you know what’s going on now. Now, Chuck, one thing I’ve always admired about your writing process is your research. I’ll give you an assignment to write about just something you might not have that much experience with. Let’s say it’s PPC or something like that. And then all of a sudden you come back with a blog post that even me having been in the game for a long time, I learned a few things from it. So that shows you didn’t just come off. You didn’t put your hand on the computer and learn by osmosis or anything. Look, osmosis. I’m using Kai level words. Anyways, Chuck, talk about your process when you’re first starting to write about something that maybe you do not have a complete grasp on that subject to start with.
Chuck Kessler: I think it all just comes back to the reason why a lot of us writers become writers, is we like to read and I’ve always read a lot. When I’m writing on a topic that I might not understand, I just, I circumnavigate that topic on the web. I read everything I can about it. I might be a few minutes into a post and I have an idea that it’s probably not the perfect piece of writing, but I still try to make my way through it. Because I learn a little bit of it, something from everything I read, but I just work my way around it on the web, understand as much as I can. And then I triangulate, I know enough of Helium 10’s culture and where we’re going as a company to take what I’ve learned and then try to find that point where I know that we’re trying to get to and where e-commerce is headed. So that’s my process.
Bradley Sutton: I like it. Now, anybody out there can follow that same process, especially as we all know in the Amazon world, as we’ve always taught that the product that you might start selling on Amazon, you might not have even known it existed before you found it in black box or something like that. But you got to go and research and become an expert on it if you want to sell it. And then of course, to be able to write about it as well. So what about the same question to you, Chuck? Let’s say there’s an Amazon seller out there. And again, this is not something that you’ve necessarily done, but it’s a very similar process with all the other writing you do. There’s an Amazon seller out there who is interested in just trying to increase their kind of SEO footprint out there for their product, because they’ve already started crushing on Amazon. And now they want to just start bringing in this outside traffic. What would your process be on how they could kind of get that SEO placement for their product? Anything in addition to what Brian had said earlier?
Chuck Kessler: Well, I think Brian was pretty much right on. It’s whether it’s Amazon or Google with our autocomplete already it’s when you’re searching on the web, you get a pretty good idea of what other people are looking for. And, I play around with different ways of saying the same thing to see if I’m not, if I don’t have a bias, that’s handicapping me a little bit, but I think playing around with word sequencing and seeing what both Google and Amazon think are great keyword phrases is a really good starting point.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Now, one thing that’s interesting, and I think that people need to understand this, especially as they depend on what kind of person they are themselves or what kind of people they start hiring is that– I don’t know which one is which, but they talk about left brain and right brain, how one is very kind of artistic and conceptual and the other side of their hundred percent analytical and all about metrics. And I’ve always tried to preach that you have to find a good balance between the two, both are important, but there needs to be a balance. For example, there are some Amazon sellers who just get so focused on numbers and sellers metrics that they forget that they’re actually trying to write a listing or trying to sell a product to a buyer. And they forget about the buyer. There are other people on the flip side who, I’m not going to try and say hippies or something like that. But, I don’t want to offend anybody out there, but are just kind of happy go lucky. And like, Hey, as long as I have great vibes in my listing, in my images, the people are going to come buy my product. So Chuck, how do you find the balance, whether it’s on Amazon, whether it’s in content writing for SEO placement, whatever we’re talking about, how can one find a balance between that completely artistic side of things and that opposite side of the spectrum, that analytical side?
Chuck Kessler: I think that’s a tricky question. You could probably answer that a bunch of different ways. There’s one school of thought that says, just write good content. And I guess that could suffice for a listing bullet points, title, images. I think when you’re talking about Amazon, there are so many very specific rules that, I mean, frankly, that’s where Helium 10 comes in.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. Cool. Now, what kind of blogs are your favorite so far to write for Helium 10? You’ve been given pieces to write about a specific tool that’s launching, you’ve had some SEO centric pieces, I guess, that we’ve given you. And sometimes it’s more of a mindset blog. What’s your favorite to do? What’s your assignment that you’re like, Oh, cool. This is going to be fun.
Chuck Kessler: It’s an easy way out to say, I enjoy a little bit of everything. It’s fun to learn about how the tools work, because the more I learn, the more I realize how powerful they really are. It– big thought pieces where we are given the range to really investigate new trends in e-commerce and selling on Amazon are great. But I think my very favorite are the– some of the Serious Seller Podcasts that I write about sellers that are getting into selling on Amazon and it’s changing their lives. That’s a lot of fun.
Bradley Sutton: Who’s your favorite episode of all the ones that you’ve edited? Your favorite guest, I should say?
Chuck Kessler: I have to say, I like the episode by Carlos Alvarez.
Bradley Sutton: Now, Chuck, you know what we do towards the end of these episodes where we give a 30-second tip, but maybe since we’ve got three, let’s see if maybe we can condense it down to 15 seconds. So this could be advice on how to edit podcast, or how to write your mindset about anything you possibly want, Chuck, what’s your 15 second tip?
Chuck Kessler: Okay. My 15-second tip is that in pretty much everywhere in life, including selling on Amazon, the truth is oftentimes in the middle, that area that we have a hard time understanding
Bradley Sutton: And I hope you’re not kind of promoting gray hat techniques here on Amazon. And you’re talking about the writing.
Chuck Kessler: No, no.
Bradley Sutton: I understand. I’m just giving you a hard time. All right. Brian, what about you? You got a 15 second tip for us?
Brian Wisniach: I’ll see if I can squeeze it into 15 seconds. I was just going to take something that I thought was really interesting that I learned about writing specifically and apply it to the broader entrepreneurial picture. I, over the years have learned that one of the coolest and hardest things to do is learn to write poorly. Because otherwise it just doesn’t come out and you get paralyzed. And I would kind of apply that same lesson to tell almost everything. Don’t be afraid to mess up, just get it, everything out, exorcise it like a demon. And once it’s out there, you not only learn from your mistakes, but you gain more confidence in the process. And I think you ended up becoming a better writer, business owner or whatever it may be because of it.
Bradley Sutton: I like that. I like that. That can definitely be applied to writing Amazon listings too. You might not knock it out of the park on your first try. You might think you did, but then don’t forget to look at the numbers, look at your metrics for your Amazon listing. And if it’s obvious that something just is not working because you thought that you hit the nail on the head with what your customers wanted. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board and take an honest look at your listing and try and examine what went wrong and just completely pivot. If you need to do, you got to set pride aside sometimes with your Amazon listing, if you want to succeed. So that’s some great advice there, Brian. Kai, you got a tip for us?
Kai Maranon: I guess, since everyone gave life advice, I’ll focus more on the Amazon listings themselves. But what I’ve learned about writing them is that I think we get lost too much with the whole ranking game and keywords and all that stuff. And we forget that we’re at the end of the day, writing for humans, we want humans to buy our products and to connect with us. And so I think having a little bit of human touch in your writing helps establish that relationship and actually have them be interested in you and your product and your brand beyond just adding the shopping cart and forgetting you exist.
Bradley Sutton: That is great. Guys. Remember, what Kai said I’ve been preaching for so long, don’t just think, Hey, my main image here is this many pixels, so I’m going to be successful. Or I’ve used this one keyword phrase seven times in exact phrase form. So that means that I’m going to be successful. No, at the end of the day, it’s not the Amazon algorithm that is going to buy your product. It’s a human being. And so if your blog piece, if your Amazon listing is not catered for your avatar, your customer avatar, then you’ve already failed before you’ve begun. So that’s some great advice. Well guys, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate all your hard work. When we get to feature your work sometimes here every couple of months, we got that best of podcast episode or where we talk about some of the best of the blogs that you guys have written.
Bradley Sutton: And so we appreciate it and we’re going to continue to look forward to viewing your work. And if anybody out there has not seen our blogs, you want to catch up, go to helium10.com/blog, helium10.com/blog. Now, one final thing, if nobody has read our blogs yet, what I’d like each of you to do is maybe tell us which one is what you think is your best work that you’ve done here, or the most interesting blogs that can be the first one that people read from each of you. So let’s start with Kai, what is the blog that you wrote that you’re most proud of that somebody can just type in the search column in our blog site and find it?
Kai Maranon: Oh, I think my favorite would be, I wrote it back in April and it was about the search results that were trending on Amazon related to COVID stuff.
Bradley Sutton: Yes. And I remember you had a very random historical reference in that one, if I’m not mistaken. Right?
Kai Maranon: Exactly.
Bradley Sutton: Something about cake.
Kai Maranon: Marie Antoinette and cake. Which she never said that by the way.
Bradley Sutton: All right, guys. So, that’s the way you can find Kai’s. Just search cake in Helium 10 blog. And you’ll see that example. What about you, Brian? Which one do you want people to read of yours?
Brian Wisniach: My first instinct was the “How to Create an Original Board Game that Sells.” I thought that was such an interesting rabbit hole. I have a love of gaming and all things games. So it was an extra pleasure to write that, but in terms of the actual, maybe more applicable to Amazon selling, there was one, I think it was in May, “How to Come Back from a Failed Product.” Just kind of going over some ways to approach failure and how to bounce back. It was really cool. Right?
Bradley Sutton: Each of those were great ones. What about you, Chuck?
Chuck Kessler: It’s tricky. I wrote one recently that I have to admit it was written with the intent to rank, but at the same time, I think I found a kind of a sweet spot between interesting reading and hopefully something that Google will find. And it’s on selling wholesale. It’s called “How to Jumpstart Your Approach to Selling Wholesale on Amazon.”
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Right. So you guys can search how to sell wholesale in the blog section to find that one. Well, guys, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate your hard work as always. It’s been a pleasure working with you and look forward to many years to come here on the Helium 10 team with you guys.
Brian Wisniach: Thanks, Bradley.
Chuck Kessler: Thank you, Bradley.
Kai Maranon: Thanks for having us.
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