August
12, 2020

6 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

I posted paid ads nine years ago to grow my business.

My goal was to provide the proof of my pudding and sell my company's brand with just content. For a content creation agency like mine, there couldn't have been a better strategy.

I focused solely on content for two years and haven't paid a single ad during that time. By the end of year two, I had published 215 blogs that were generating 500 daily visitors and $ 29,000 monthly income.

But the excitement soon turned to exhaustion. I realized that I was doing too much without reaping the success I had dreamed of. I wrote day and night, posting blogs I wasn't proud of, and constantly looking for new topics to engage my audience.

What did I do wrong? Why did my extensive blogging efforts not skyrocket my business? Why did I hit a ceiling?

After several setbacks, I decided to retire and rethink my content marketing. I spent time regrouping and rebuilding myself. I was convinced that I didn't want to resort to paid advertising. What I came up with was a formula for blogging my brand's growth: a content strategy.

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After implementing my content strategy, I saw exciting results. We have a monthly income of $ 71,000. The number of keywords we ranked for on Google has doubled. Our inbound leads were highly skilled and ready to buy our products.

Here's what I've learned from my nine years in content marketing: blogging can grow your business, but only if you have a solid content strategy to support you. Here are five steps to creating your own.

1. Define your audience members and learn how to turn them into customers.

You can create content that is sophisticated and polished, but it won't get paid attention if it's not what people are looking for. For example, if your audience wants to learn how to make goat cheese at home, they won't read your beautiful, in-depth blog on the history of goat cheese.

To make sure you don't waste hours creating content that no one will read, find the sweet spot between your expertise and the topics your audience wants to read about. Let's say you're a pastry chef and your audience wants to learn how to bake. Add recipes and baking tips to your blog to get their attention.

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The next step is to turn your audience into customers. Set up your website with clear paths to your product. A skilled customer service team on standby turns hot leads into customers like magic.

2. Use the right SEO keywords and frameworks to target this audience.

There are now six billion searches a day on Google. Ranking high in search results is a powerful way to promote your brand to an audience.

Start with root keywords to create search engine optimized content. You can find ideas for this in your products or services. For example, if you sell pastries, use keywords like "chocolate cake", "recipes", and "bread".

The next step is to generate long-tail keywords from your root keywords. Long-tail keywords, usually terms with three or more words, are good to focus because they have less competition to rank and because people who search for these terms are more likely to make a purchase. Someone looking for a "little black ball gown" has a higher purchase intent than someone who is just looking for a "dress".

Find long-tail keywords using a keyword research tool. Sophisticated keyword research tools provide you with valuable information on keywords such as: B. on their competitiveness, search volume and the websites currently rated for them.

3. Focus on your website and build authority through lengthy blog content.

If you are new to blogging, where should you post most of your content? On Facebook, which has 2.6 billion monthly active users? On blogs from other websites that have established the following?

Unfortunately, many new bloggers focus all of their energies on social media and guest blogging. While these platforms are great, they shouldn't be the place to lay the foundation for your content house. Post to a platform that you have full control over – one that you can expand over time without worrying about disruption.

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Think about what happened when the Huffington Post closed its guest blogging platform. On the day it was announced, many bloggers (myself included) found they were losing access to years of hard work and creativity. If you build your content house on another platform, there is no assurance that you will always have full control over it.

Focus on posting on your website to build brand authority. Spend most of the time posting your best pieces there.

Tips for building your content house with relevant content:

  • Never go easy. Dive deep into topics and support what you write with actionable advice, statistics, and research
  • Write longer blog posts. While 500 word posts are great for light-hearted, fun pieces, authoritative content should be at least 1,500 words long. Search for 3,000 or more words for detailed instructions

4. Create content strategically and consistently.

The creation of content shouldn't be left to just when the muse strikes. Instead, it should be strategic, consistent, and well planned. In particular, block the time in your content creation schedule. Create an editorial calendar with topics focused on specific release dates. (When I plan content, I fill my editorial calendar with topics for the next three to six months.)

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5. Maintain and promote your content.

Like a house, the content needs to be maintained over time. I review my existing content at least once a year. I update old stats, fix the formatting and add new stories and facts if necessary.

Promote the content you create. Tell people it's out there. Share it on social media. Send emails to your list. Content marketing should consist of 20 percent creation and 80 percent advertising. When you have unique, valuable content and share it on the channels your audience uses, it won't be long before your content marketing is successful.

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