So, you’ve read that content marketing is all the rage, and you want to use it to boost your bottom line, huh? Great content can definitely take your business to new heights — but only if you approach it the right way. In fact, until you understand these 4 things, you’re never going to be a successful content marketer:
1. Willy-nilly doesn’t work
If you think you can publish a new blog post or a new article whenever it happens to fit into your busy schedule, think again! The entire point of content marketing is to build a relationship with your readers, but if there’s no rhyme or reason to your publishing, your readers are going to think you’re flaky. They’re not going to depend on you or consider you to be a go-to source because they never really know when you’re going to share more expertise with them.
If you really want your content marketing strategy to succeed, you need to have a set schedule. Whether you decide to update your blog once a week or once a day isn’t important. What IS important is sticking to the schedule you’ve created. That way, your readers will know exactly what they can expect from you.
2. Fluff can’t be substituted for facts
One of the biggest problems I see is blog owners who are so concerned about publishing on a set schedule that they publish any ol’ thing. They feel like they HAVE to publish something, but they don’t have the time or the desire to go out and research, so they publish a bunch of fluff and hope that their readers don’t notice.
Trust me, your readers will notice!
It’s just like when you were in school and you had to write a book report on The Great Gatsby. Instead of reading the book, you bought the Cliff Notes, used really big font on your report, and hoped your teacher wouldn’t notice the two pages of BS you turned in. Your teacher saw right through this trick, and your readers will, too!
3. Every piece has a specific goal
You’re not publishing content because you like taking up space on the web. You’re publishing content for a specific reason — like getting more traffic to your website, making readers see that you’re a legitimate authority, convincing people to sign up for your email list, etc. If you want to be a successful content marketer, you have to keep those goals in mind every single time you sit down to write something. If you’re not clear on what you’re trying to accomplish, you can’t expect your readers to take action!
The next time you sit down to write, ask yourself (out loud if you have to!), “What am I trying to accomplish with this piece of content?” If the answer is, “Help my readers and, thus, make them like me more,” you might decide to write an article with a bulletpoint list of tips or a blog post that links to a bunch of authority resources. If the answer is, “Show my readers what an expert I am so that they sign up for my email list,” you might write an article that analyzes the latest news development in your niche. If you offer one-of-a-kind insight, your readers will be chomping at the bit to see more from you — and they’ll be more than happy to sign up for your email list.
4. Content isn’t one-size-fits-all
Just because you’ve written successful content in the gardening niche doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be able to write successful content in the bodybuilding niche. After all, gardeners and bodybuilders have very different needs and wants! If you think you can use the same lingo in your bodybuilding content that you did in your gardening content, you’ve got a lot of frustration headed your way!
Being successful at content marketing means making your readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with you. They want to feel like you truly understand their wants, needs, questions, and problems. So, before you sit down and write a single word, you need to get a clear mental picture of WHO you’re talking to. Until you do that, your readers are going to see you as an “outsider” — and, unfortunately, outsiders aren’t deserving of their hard-earned money!