Sustainable fashion + the most underrated content strategy

I'm writing about sustainable fashion today, because it's a super popular field with lots of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, makers, thrifters, and resellers active in the space. It's also difficult to break into. Here's some tips.

Sustainable fashion + the most underrated content strategy

Hey all,

My posting schedule got derailed over the summer with vacations, a bout of Covid, and planning the future direction I want to take my business. Now I'm back to a weekly publishing schedule for fall.

I'm writing about sustainable fashion today, because it's a super popular field with lots of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, makers, thrifters, and resellers active in the space. Here's some tips for writing relevant content in this space.

Tips on writing SEO content for sustainable fashion

First, sustainable fashion is a lot broader than just brands that call themselves sustainable. For people interested in fashion, it's an activity rather than just an industry.

Crafters, sewists, upcyclers, thrifters, clothing collectors, and people practicing minimalism, outfit repeating, clothing renting, clothing swapping, and reselling are all topics that orbit the concept we know as “sustainable fashion.”

Keeping this in mind, we can easily think of sustainable fashion content beyond the narrow topics of styling pieces purchased from retail outlets. The sustainable fashion space has evolved into a social space where makers, sellers, and shoppers are often indistinguishable.

Examples of 10 sustainable fashion keyword opportunities

  • Cuyana (21K, 10KD, $0.50)
  • thrifting (13K, 13KD, $1.20)
  • how to sew a button (9.7KMSV, 24KD, $0.45)
  • where to donate clothes (8.0K, 24KD, $2.50)
  • vintage shoes (5.1K, 29KD, $0.80)
  • what is tencel (4.2K, 25KD, $0.09)
  • how to make a scrunchie (4.1K, 22KD, $0.50)
  • sustainable shoes (3.0K, 15KD, $1.6)
  • sustainable jewelry (3.0K, 22KD, $2.0)
  • natural dyes (2.7K, 30KD, $1.10)
  • knitting socks (1.3K, 11KD, $.80)

My "opportunity SEO keywords" strategy

Today, I'm going to go a little more in depth on strategy. I'm going to share my favorite, duplicable SEO writing strategy. This is to search for the following types of "opportunity SEO keywords" in Ahrefs:

  1. Keywords with high search volume (1000+ msv)
  2. Keywords with very low difficulty (20 or less in Ahrefs)

This combination of low difficulty and high search volume creates what I call opportunity SEO keywords.

Keep in mind that when you choose opportunity SEO keywords, the high-volume/low-difficulty constraints won't give you access to the most obvious keywords for your industry. They're only low difficulty, because few other websites have targeted them (yet).

Competitive keywords are extremely difficult to rank for when you have a newer site. It's not worth the time and effort to target high difficulty keywords on your blog, unless its really central to your brand, and your brand already has lots of existing domain authority. There may be other brand-related reasons to do so, but it won't likely bring in lots of organic search traffic.

It's also usually not worth your time to target keywords that only get 10-50 searches per month. While this does place a constraint on your content, it's worth it to work within these constraints.  

The fun part of keyword research is finding keyword opportunities that would be relevant to your audience. You can get creative with this, too. For sustainable fashion, you may consider finding good topics for the following content categories:

  • Explainers: A deep dive on a topic drawing in details that your audience, in particular, would benefit from reading about.
  • Round-up listicle: This is a way to incorporate brand names other than your own into your content. You can share insider lists of the best places to find or get something. To make it local content, target it to a particular area.
  • Hot takes: Take a popular topic and present it with a counterpoint argument that will especially resonate with your audience.

I prefer keeping the blog editorial in nature and aimed at drawing in top of funnel traffic which you can convert into email subscribers, contacts, or social media followers. A blog isn't the right place to constantly toot the brand's horn--it's a place to draw people in and provide uniquely valuable content they can't find elsewhere.

Newer websites should definitely target opportunity SEO keywords as at least a part of their blogging strategy.

Applying the opportunity SEO keyword strategy + my own writing samples

For one of my client's blogs, I targeted a trending phrase, "French tuck" and a classic opportunity SEO keyword, "oversized t-shirts," both of which satisfied the constraints at the time of writing.

In about 8 months--yes, it takes some time for SEO ranking and traffic to build up--the post now gets hundreds of visitors in monthly search volume, according to Ahrefs. I managed to do this with just a 400-500 word blog post, so this is a really powerful concept.

For the same client, I chose a different angle and targeted the keyword "what is polyester made of?" which gets 2600 in monthly searches. Now, a blog post I wrote targeting that keyword is ranked 4 for the keyword and receives about 150 visitors each month. I published the post last July, so this took about a year.

Why gain SEO-based organic traffic?

The great part about the organic traffic to those posts is that the visitors are new visitors. These visitors don't usually overlap with their existing audience built elsewhere (social media, press, etc.) This way, you can build your brand recognition and network in a way that is impossible through other channels.

It's also a consistent source of new visitors. Thanks to SEO algorithms, well-ranking evergreen content tends to acquire more and more traffic over time. This is why I think of SEO writing as a slow-building investment.

More samples of high-ranking sustainable fashion blog posts

Here are posts that take three different approaches to the keyword “thrifting.”

Thanks for reading :)

Sustainability Traffic is a weekly newsletter written by Erica Eller. Each week I present a specific sector or trend within sustainable business and share details on SEO blogging for that field.

If you like what you've read so far, please share my newsletter with your friends.

My aim is to help sustainable companies improve their blogging content strategy with trend overviews, SEO tips, recommended keywords, etc.