In 2017 The Web MD blog was purchased for a colossal $2.8 Billion.
Nerd Wallet is estimated to be worth $500 Million, but its founder started it with just $800.
Martin Lewis set up Moneysavingexpert.com with just £100 and sold it 10 years later for a staggering £87 Million.
So, what is the secret formula behind these mega blogs?
The answer is surprisingly simple.
They create content that generates revenue.
And in this article, I am going to teach you the formula that you can use to create revenue-generating content.
And how you can apply it to articles, emails and even social media posts to drive sales and leads.
Let's do this.
How Most Blogs Create Traditional Content
Before we go forward, we need to talk about how traditional blogs create content.
For the majority of the time, most blogs create solution-focused content.
You may be familiar with the content formula PAS.
If not, it stands for:
You take the problem that your target audience has, make the problem feel even worse and then supply the solution.
And this formula is both time tested and works.
And it is what most blogs and content creators use.
However, the focus is generally on the solution side of the content.
This is what most of the email or article focuses on.
And this approach does still work to this day.
Why? Because people do like helpful content.
And the content model for a lot of blogs is to provide helpful content in the hope, that people either subscribe or while they are on the site, they click on an advert.
But when it comes to MEGA blogs, ones that end up being worth millions, they tend to do something else.
And the difference is a subtle one, that I only noticed when the copywriter Ben Settle mentioned it in one of his pieces of training.
The PAT Method That Grows Mega Blogs And Drives Mega Revenue
If you were to speak to any traditional online publisher right now, they would tell you that revenues are down.
And that makes sense.
With free content, online newspapers tend to only make revenue by either gated content or advertising.
But advertising revenue is rapidly declining.
Mega blogs that are profitable take a different approach to content creation.
They produce content that doesn't only lead to higher rankings, readers or social shares.
They produce content that does all of that AND generates revenue.
And this is where most content creation falls flat.
Content that is great to read and grows the brand is all well and good.
But content that generates revenue is vastly more important.
So, how do you create content that generates revenue?
Enter The PAT Method
So, what is the PAT Method?
THE P.A.T METHOD
Talk about the problem repeatedly.
Make the problem feel far more serious.
Tease the solution rather than give the answer.
Let's break this down.
Repeatedly Talk About The Problem
What mega blogs do a lot of, is repeatedly talk about a small number of problems.
Web MD is all about health problems.
Nerd Wallet was started because people had a problem shopping for great financial deals.
And Money Saving Expert was started because people were struggling to save money.
And this is a core difference between mega-successful blogs and ones that do OK.
The biggest blogs are based around problems.
And they talk about those problems repeatedly, covering it multiple times, in different angles and by different writers.
This, of course, makes sense.
Let's say you have a health problem.
So, you type your symptoms into Google, and the results appear.
You don't just read one article.
You read the entire first 2 pages of content on Google about that problem.
In short, when you have a critical problem you don't just read information, you devour it.
People love to consume content about their problems.
Take Web MD for example.
This article is about sunscreen, and the headline shows the problem that people have 'picking the correct sunscreen'.
But this isn't the first time they have talked about Sunscreen on Web MD.
In fact, they have over 21 articles on the subject of sunscreen alone.
And of course, the bigger, more immediate the problem, the more information people devour.
But talking about a problem isn't enough.
You need to make it far worse in their mind.
So bad that they need a solution.
And that's the next step.
Agitate The Problem
OK, so the problem caught the eye of the reader.
The next part is to pour fuel onto the fire by agitating it.
You want the reader to be desperate to get that problem sorted and take action straight away.
To be honest, this isn't as hard as people think when it comes to a problem. You just talk about the worst-case scenarios.
If you run an insurance site, you are going to be talking about houses falling down.
A savings site, you might talk about the risk of losing a job.
As long as the problem is linked to the subject, this is where the writers make the worst nightmares of the reader become a possibility.
In this example from an article on Survival Life, they actually talk about Doomsday, which is of course what preppers and survivalists fear most.
You can also agitate the problem by talking about the subject in depth.
This approach makes the reader feel that they are 'out of their depth', and ONLY professional help will get this sorted for them.
Tease The Solution
Teasing the solution is where most people go wrong.
Sure, most writers and bloggers are great at identifying a problem and making it severe in the mind of the reader.
But often, instead of teasing the solution, they give the solution in enormous depth.
And when it comes to creating revenue-generating content, this is the wrong mistake to make.
Especially in B2B writing.
The solution doesn't have to be explained in colossal detail; what it needs to do is 'tease' the solution rather than give it all away.
And when you think about it, this makes perfect sense.
For example, in this article by Money Saving Expert, they talk about the problem of deciding to remortgage a house by looking at the pros and cons.
But they only tease the solution at the very end by suggesting they use one of their tools.
In an ideal world, you want the reader to finish the content and to understand the problem they face and STILL be looking for a solution.
They can't finish and feel they can resolve the issue themselves.
They need to feel overwhelmed and out of their depth.
And this will make them feel more open to your tease.
How To Use The PAT Method To Drive Leads And Sales
OK, so you might have been reading this and thinking 'great, but I don't own a mega-blog'.
Where The PAT Method comes in for you is with almost everything that you write.
Because the PAT Method is all about creating content that generates leads and sales.
You can use it to create social media content that generates leads, emails that get sales and blog posts that generate clients.
The list is endless.
An here's how you apply it.
Step 1: Find The Problems Of The Market
If you have researched your market, you should know what problems they face, just pick one for any content you create.
But this tends to be where traditional blog writers fall down.
They are hired to write about subjects and don't understand the problems that the customers face.
To be fair, this is often because writers don't get paid enough to go through this process.
But researching the problems faced by the consumer matters if you want to generate revenue.
Let's say you have a client in insurance and you have been hired to write emails.
There are endless problems you can find, such as 'paying too much for insurance', 'illness', 'floods', 'insufficient insurance'. The list is massive.
Dig deep and make a full list of the problems they face, and you will never run out of subjects to write about.
Step 2: Agitate The Problem
No matter what problem you identify, talk about the worst-case scenario and do it early on.
This is essential to make sure that they read the content.
Indeed the entire article or email might be focused on enlarging the problem and making it more significant in the mind of the reader.
And that's fine.
But remember, you can also make the problem seem overwhelming by providing technical information.
And you can enlarge the problem by making the customer confused. For this, a Pro's and Cons article might be a great idea.
Or at the other end of the scale, a few lines or a paragraph might be all you need, especially if you are in the health industry.
It is all about increasing the gravity of the situation in the mind of the reader.
Step 3: Tease The Solution
This is the tricky part that requires your skill as a writer.
But if you master this, you will be able to knock out quality content faster than ever before.
The goal of most content is to lead to sales.
Be that via brand awareness, email sign-ups or direct lead generation.
At no time is the content intended to fix the readers issues.
It is a bridge towards a larger goal.
Your job is to provide easily digestible information that tells them that their problem can be solved, and potentially how it can be solved.
In essence, your job is to fuel their imagination and give them a small push towards the next step.
Your job is not to give them every detail they need to solve the problem for themselves.
In the traditional PAS model, people tend to give the entire solution.
And sure, many blogs and copywriters use this approach and have great results.
But when you tease the solution, you encourage readers to take action.
You want them to realise what the next step is that they need to do to solve the issue and that step involves your client and generating leads.
The Difference Between A Call To Action And A Tease
You might be reading this and thinking 'isn't a tease just a call to action?'
Yes, it is.
But rather than 'call now to book an appointment', you are subtly and casually suggesting to the reader that the solution to their problems lies in taking the action you suggest.
Take this excellent conclusion in this Neil Patel article.
The tease here is that, having read the content and realising that Hreflang might be more complicated than you thought. You can speak to someone about your digital marketing strategy.
And this is where a tease fits in.
You are like a friend who is having a conversation, and you are just saying 'hey if you want to, take a look at this, it might help'.
How Much Of The Content Has To Be Problem, Agitation And Tease?
The content mix is where a writer earns their weight in gold.
And there is no set rule.
You could write about the problem in the introduction and then spend the body of the content agitating the problem before you tease the solution in a few lines at the end.
Or you could put together a more dramatic 'solution tease' that talks about the various options they have to solve the issue and compare them.
Again, it is totally up to you.
The Hidden Secret Rule You Must Always Follow
You might be thinking 'hey, but if these articles never solved anything, why would people read them?'
It's a fair point.
But the reason read them is the one secrete ingredient you MUST include in the content.
You must make the article informative.
This is the critical aspect that mega blogs bring to the table.
You have to give the reader some information.
It would help if you had them to say to themselves 'I never knew that' or 'that's what I thought' or even 'I knew that'.
A statistic, a fact, a chart or even an infographic can achieve this for you.
And again, this can be done in a single line or a paragraph.
So, before you hit publish, you need to ask yourself 'does this tell them something?'
Why Does A Tease Happen?
Mega blogs often have big budgets, or because of their status, writing for 'free' is appealing.
But one thing they tend to have in common is that experts write the articles.
This is yet another reason why mega blogs tend to generate massive revenue. Because they are trusted.
It is also why a tease happens at the end of the content by accident and not training.
This is something we have eluded to earlier.
The writers are professionals who know that there is rarely a one size fits all solution.
Almost all solutions require a consultation with a professional or professional tool/ calculator, which requires more information from the reader.
So, they never go into massive detail on the solution.
Because they can't, it wouldn't be a professional or responsible thing to do.
So, there you have the secret to how mega blogs create revenue-generating content, that has the readers coming back for more.
So, how can you apply this?
It is especially useful for LinkedIn, B2B blog posts in a dry and traditionally dull niche. And it is also a helpful approach for emails.
But I wouldn't use this approach for sales letters or sales pages where you are selling something, rather than trying to get a consultation or some more details of the reader.
Ultimately, content that talks about the problem, makes it feel worse in your mind and then only teases the solution is likely to make the reader feel less fulfilled.
And surprisingly it can encourage them to read more of your articles and make them feel that professional advice or help is the only solution they need.
Thanks for reading.
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