How to Use Smaller Topics to Write Longer Articles

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How to Use Smaller Topics to Write Longer Articles

Sometimes publishers find themselves with useful information that would benefit their readers but there isn’t enough content to fill an entire blog. Instead of trying to stretch out the topic, you can use something called the Army Ants method to take multiple smaller topics and create a full-length blog. Writing articles with the Army Ants Method is a great way to answer smaller questions that would otherwise not be useful for a full-length article.

The Army Ants Method takes those questions and bundles them together in order to create a resource that can keep the reader on the site for longer than usual (which is really great for ad earnings).

These tiny topics are often not taken by bigger sites as they focus on the larger topics (low competition!), so it’s a great opportunity to grab some traffic in your niche early on before you have much authority in Google.

Let’s explain what I mean – or just lean back and press play below and see everything explained in a video:

What does an Army Ants method article look like?

An Army Ants Method article compiles a list of tiny questions around one bigger topic into a long-format article.

For example, let’s use “spam emails” as an example here. With a title like: “Spam Emails: 13 Things You Should Know (for Beginners).”

Once you’ve identified this overall topic, you can begin.

Your Army Ants Method article will begin with an introduction about your broad topic, before diving into a list of easy-to-answer questions, such as:

  • Do Spam Emails Delete Themselves?
  • Why Do Spam Emails Have Many Spelling Errors?
  • Why Am I Getting Spam Emails About Dating?
  • Is It Safe to Delete Spam Email?

Each of these questions will be a subheading in the article.

This is not a list post or a step-by-step “how-to” article, as these micro topics can be about very different aspects of “spam emails”. Instead, the result will be a helpful guide that answers many different questions that the reader may have about spam emails.

Not only does this answer your reader’s initial question, but it keeps them interested by encouraging them to stick around and learn more.

For a great example of how the Army Ant Method works, check out our Godownsize.com article: “Boats & Flags: 11 Things You Should Know!”

My website, passiveincomegeek.com, also has great examples of the Army Ants method.

Why the Army Ants method works so well

If you tried to write a full-length article on any of those four questions above, you might find the challenge more difficult than you first expected.

For example, if you tried to write an article on whether or not spam emails delete themselves, you would find that most spam boxes delete emails after 30 days to keep your email tidy.

spam email
Screenshot: an email inbox full of spam messages (all elements, including gfx and text, are created by me). Angled shot, darkness and blur.

It is very hard to get a reader to stick around for a full-length article on this small answer alone.

Not to mention, you will have a hard time stretching this tiny question into its own article, or worse: you would end up writing (or paying for) a lot of unnecessary fluff that your readers will either get bored with or think ignores the question that they came to your article to ask.

The Army Ants Method works because it turns all those tiny topics or questions into a full-length, helpful guide or resource for readers who want to know more about the underlying main topic they are researching.

Answering several smaller questions in an article like this not only drives more traffic to your site, but keeps the reader coming back to reference your guide over and over again if they need to.

How does the Army Ants method benefit you?

This style of article does two very important things for you and your blog:

#1 Beating the competition:

First, the Army Ants Method helps you snatch up ignored topics that most blogs don’t bother with.

This is usually because those smaller, underserved questions tend to have very quick answers that wouldn’t be able to be turned into a full-length article.

Even though the answers you give for each of those smaller “spam email” questions aren’t very lengthy, the fact that your article answers many questions within that topic category is crucial to readers who really want more information.

Furthermore, by grabbing these topics, you are beating the competition by not only answering these questions, but putting them all in one place, which is convenient for the reader.

army ants gif

A reader is more likely to click on your article titled, “Spam Emails: 13 Things You Should Know” than the competition. When they are researching questions about spam emails, your article catches their eye because it promises them the answer to their question, plus twelve other facts they might want to check out.

#2 Keeping readers on your site longer

Secondly, the Army Ants article keeps readers on your site longer.

Because your article promises them the answer to their question, plus additional content that is relevant to their search, they are more likely to stick around to read the other facts you’ve compiled.

Like an army of ants, your many small questions can help support the larger structure of your article.

Those extra minutes on your site works wonders for your ad revenue on these articles!

A quick-answer article is more likely to see its readers click away as soon as they have the information that they need, but a rabbit-hole article full of facts that catches the reader’s attention is a great way to keep them on your site.

The Army Ants method, in summary

morten storgaard

The Army Ants Method is the perfect way to give your readers the answers they are looking for while also flying under the radar (regarding the competition) with underserved keywords.

Not only are your readers staying on your site longer, but you are providing them with a great resource into their topic of choice.

Furthermore, your article is more likely to be viewed or referenced multiple times as a helpful guide.

Finally, the Army Ants method prevents readers from clicking away to multiple articles, and gives your website more screen time.

By Morten Storgaard

Morten Storgaard has created passive income since 2007, is a previous SEO consultant, has spent time in ecommerce, and owns multiple websites. After him and his wife spent years owning their own business and experiencing burn out, they found website publishing as a means to create passive income and fulfill their desire to travel. He has multiple successful YouTube channels, including Passive Income Geek and Go Downsize, as channel about living in small spaces such as tiny homes, RVs, and boats.

3 comments

  1. The readers will click away once they get their product details from a quick-answer article, but if you write a rabbit-hole article, they’ll stick around longer.

  2. Thank you Morten for this amazing article I will now make sure to follow the army ant method on my Blog as It makes sense and also the user will get there answer on one single article without having to bounce back

  3. Thank you, very encouraging and easier to follow. I have a very competitive market and am trying very hard to carve a niche. This strategy will help for sure

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