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How to Make Content Effective for Yandex Zen — Beginner's Guide.

Yandex Zen is a platform for content creators and, at the same time, a personalized recommendation service. Essentially, you can publish articles or videos that will be shown to users based on their search queries and reading history on Yandex Zen itself. Once you build an audience, you can monetize it.
Yandex Zen is a platform with over 20 million daily readers (and 62+ million monthly readers). However, it is essential to know how to attract users effectively. Simply creating potentially interesting content is not enough. It is also crucial to avoid mistakes that could repel readers before they become interested in your articles or videos. These mistakes may occur not only in the content itself but also in the titles and cover images.

Effective content is a combination of an appealing title, the right cover image, and engaging content.

Errors and Their Solutions

Let's examine the main mistakes that can be made while working with Yandex Zen. Most often, authors don't put much thought into creating titles and covers for their materials, which reduces the number of readers and the ranking of the content itself.


The task of a cover image is to capture attention and encourage the reader to open your article.

Let's make it clear: predicting in advance which image will work better doesn't always work. Therefore, it is recommended to closely monitor which materials are gaining popularity and compare their covers. This will help understand what your target audience likes the most.

However, there are several common mistakes that can affect the conversion rate.

  • Ugly or Unpleasant Images: An unattractive picture can deter readers from reading even a good article. Low-quality cover images can also reduce conversion rates. It's worth noting that sometimes ordinary, realistic photos can inspire more trust than professional and glossy ones. Moreover, overly shocking or repulsive images may lead to a ban from Yandex Zen.

Remember that the cover image is the first impression your content makes on potential readers. Investing time and effort in choosing an appealing and relevant cover image can significantly improve the performance of your content on Yandex Zen.
  • Discrepancy with the Content Theme: Essentially, this is a mislead. A well-performing cover that doesn't match the article's content will attract low-quality traffic. In essence, people will expect one thing but get something else. As a result, this leads to a decrease in the number of completions, a drop in popularity, and a pessimistic effect on the channel in the recommendation feed.

  • Absence of Testing: Yandex Zen provides a built-in tool for A/B testing of covers and headlines. Therefore, it is essential to upload several images (up to 10) to see which covers and headlines work best.

What to do in the end? In short, "do it well, or don't do it at all." To create a good cover, you need:

  • High-quality images.
  • The image's theme should match the content of the material.
  • Analyze your successful materials and see which covers users click on more frequently.
  • Regularly analyze the completion percentage and transitions within the article.

By following these guidelines, you can create engaging and relevant cover images that attract readers and enhance the performance of your content on Yandex Zen.


The headline is the text that essentially "sells" the article to the reader, revealing its general meaning and content. Quickly creating concise and engaging headlines can be quite challenging, but it's a skill that anyone can learn. Therefore, don't forget to try new approaches, conduct testing, and keep an eye on the most popular materials on your channel.

What are the mistakes that can be made when creating headlines?

  • Boredom or Lack of Specificity: Avoid writing generic texts (e.g., "Changes in Housing and Utilities Legislation," "Myths about IT," etc.). While such headlines may indicate the topic of the article, they lack attractiveness and intrigue.
  • Inconsistency with the Content: Similar to cover images, if the headline promises something interesting or useful, the article must fully cover that topic. Failing to deliver on the promised content can lead readers to unsubscribe from the channel or even report clickbait. This results in low-quality traffic, low readership, and decreased visibility in search results.
  • Lack of Testing: Headlines should be tested, just like cover images. During A/B testing, you can identify the combinations of "text + images" that garner the most trust and attract readers.

What to pay attention to when writing a headline? Remember that Yandex Zen has two types of headlines: long ones (up to 140 characters) and short ones (up to 56 characters). Short headlines can be beneficial as they can be displayed on the Yandex.RSS platform, significantly increasing the exposure of your materials. According to Yandex's own data, the headline length does not affect the effectiveness of the article.
What else can you do?

  • Analyze Your Target Audience (TA) and Address Their "Pain Points" in the Text: The more you know about your readers, the more attractive your headlines can be. If you're writing about weight loss and trying to monetize it through a link to a landing page with nutrition tips, consider writing something like "Lose Weight Without Diets in 17 Days."
  • Use Numbers: Surprisingly, headlines like "Top 8 Popular Affiliate Programs" work quite well. Including specific numbers in your headlines can make them more appealing.
  • Challenge Stereotypes and Myths: People tend to react better to negative or provocative headlines. Therefore, consider using constructions like "Harmful Myths About Skin: Why Bacon Is Beneficial" and so on.

IMPORTANT: When testing headlines, make sure they are significantly different from each other. They should not only differ by 1-2 words but in their entire structure or message. Only then can you see what resonates better with your audience. If the texts during testing are almost identical, you will only observe minimal differences, and you won't get a clear picture of what people prefer.

What should the content be like

Even with a conditionally perfect headline and cover image, one should not forget about the content of the article. Firstly, it's essential to remember that the audience on Yandex Zen consists of adults, approximately 25 years and older, who are willing to spend a lot of time on content. Therefore, don't hesitate to write lengthy texts.

Keep in mind that Yandex has certain restrictions on the topics of materials. Avoid publishing articles that you cannot confirm to comply with Russian legislation or scientific norms. These topics include:

  • Medical services.
  • Loans and microfinance organizations.
  • Explicit intimate content.
  • Political advertising.
  • Shocking or tragic content.

When creating materials, be sure to outline and follow the structure of the article in advance. It should be intuitive and logical. Hence, use various subheadings, images within the content, diagrams, and other elements. The simpler and clearer your material is presented, the better it will be received by readers. The success of an article can be analyzed based on its completion percentage. If it's less than 40%, then it's not doing well, and the text needs to be revised. However, even a high percentage (above 80% with a small number of clicks) may indicate that the reader doesn't have enough time to assess the offered service or product. Also, remember to use a call to action to encourage the user to do what you want them to do.

Therefore, analyze which articles bring the most traffic. This way, you can determine the optimal volume, structure, and content of the material.

Promotion and Budgets

Yandex Zen offers another tool for channel development and promotion, besides testing headlines and covers. That is advertising. Currently, there are two options:

  • Zen-promo: With the help of its algorithms, Yandex will select the most suitable audience and show them your materials. The search is based on readers' interests and lookalike mechanics (displaying similar-themed articles).
  • Contextual Advertising: The familiar promotion model based on readers' queries in search engines.
How much money do you need for paid promotion on Yandex Zen?

The minimum budget is 20,000 rubles (but it is available only to those who have completed the mini-course from Zen). However, the platform itself recommends replenishing the account with 50,000 rubles. The cost of promoting materials can vary depending on the topic (for example, articles about real estate may require more investment than others).

Please note that advertising on Yandex Zen is aimed at a cold audience, so leads from this platform may be more expensive for you.

What models can you use to purchase advertising?

  1. Pay per Completions (PPC): This strategy is for those who want to control ROI and expenses.
  2. Payment for CPM (Cost per Mille): This strategy guarantees coverage of materials for the entire duration of the advertising campaign.
  3. Payment per Daily Budget: This strategy allows you to quickly promote your channel. Yandex distributes the money itself to ensure impressions to the most relevant audience for you.


Yandex Zen is a large platform with a significant user base, making it not only possible but necessary to work with. However, it is not enough to simply write content and hope for results. It is essential to monitor reader behavior, optimize headlines, covers, and text, test different approaches, and scale the most attractive options.