By: Darcie Connell, Founder of Trekity.com
It’s here—the revolution of content marketing and what you’re reading right now. Gone are the days of pushy sales letters for appalling products you don’t even want; today, it’s all about the soft sell. Knowing your customers inside and out, providing them with high value content, and building a trusted relationship. Today it’s all about content marketing. So join the revolution, learn how to properly execute content marketing, and profit from a solid business strategy you believe in.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a soft sell approach of creating and publishing valuable content to acquire potential customers. Content marketing includes publishing content on your own website, someone else’s website (also known as guest posting), social media networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), Email broadcast or auto responder, direct mailings, or any other potential customer touch points.
The benefits of content marketing include:
- Providing valuable information to potential customers,
- Building a trusting audience,
- Building your online publishing portfolio and credibility,
- Building relationship with other website owners,
- Driving targeted traffic and potential customers to your website, and
- Improving search engine optimization (SEO) from any backlink(s).
How to Make Money with Content Marketing
You’ve heard it countless times—people who write their goals down, are more likely to achieve them. And the same concepts apply to content marketing.
To start, create a content marketing strategy with actionable and realistic goals. Review your strategy regularly to stay on track.
There are several strategies to making money online with content marketing:
- Placing advertisements on a website or an email.
- Selling affiliate products/services—where you make money selling someone else’s product/services—on a website or via email. Amazon is a prime example.
- Selling your own products/services such as e-books, training videos, or consulting on a website or via email.
- Selling a subscription such as member only access on your website.
- Selling sponsored posts where a website pays for a link back to their site. While many people follow this strategy, keep in mind it’s against Google’s policy.
Remember, content marketing is all about the soft sell. You’re goal should be to engage potential customers with high quality content, drive traffic to your website, and build a long-term audience. After you’ve built trust and developed a strong rapport with your audience, you can then work on a hard sell.
Publishing on Your Website
When publishing content on your own website, create and follow a publishing schedule so your readers will know when to expect new content. Whether you publish every day, every week, or every month, be consistent. Also, periodically publish cornerstone content (extremely high-value content that dominates anything else published online). This type of content can take several weeks to prepare, but the results are worth it. If you provide the best resource online and share it with your readers and other websites, there’s a chance it will go viral or other websites will link to it because it’s valuable.
Publishing on Other Websites (Guest Posting)
Guest posting is a clean and long-term strategy for content marketing. Not only are you publishing high quality content which generates traffic to your site immediately, you also get a backlinks that will improve your SEO and generate traffic in the long run.
In order to drive targeted traffic to your website, the majority of the content you write should be within in the same niche as your business. For example, I run a travel website for women. So, I write for women on specific websites and travel websites.
It can be valuable to publish content on websites outside your niche as long as the content is tailored to your targeted traffic. For example, I also write for food websites and frame the content to include travel such as “Warning: 10 Craziest Dishes Around the World You’re Too Scared to Try.”
Keep in mind though that if you’re only writing guest posts to improve your SEO not traffic, the niche doesn’t really matter.
On May 1st, 2012, my husband and I launched Trekity.com. As part of our content marketing strategy, we pitched, wrote, and published 51 guest posts all on the same day. The results were outstanding. Just read our case study How Trekity.com Scored 8,370 Pageviews Its First Week.
Email marketing is the hottest strategy in marketing today. Why? Because it’s the most direct and personal form of communication with your audience. Think about it—they didn’t just “like” you on Facebook or visit your website one time. No—they’ve trusted you enough to give you access to their inbox, the most sacred space online! Now that’s potential customer.
Same thing goes with Email; send out content on a consistent basis to train your readers on what to expect.
Social media is tricky because there’s a constant stream of information and you have a limited amount of characters to write (e.g. Twitter is only 140 characters). However, it is a form of lead generation and an ideal way for people to “share” or “like” your published content.
When posting on social media, provide valuable information to your friends and followers in a friendly and causal tone to build trust.
To make the move to direct mailings, you’ll need to know your cost per acquisition—or how much it costs to gain a paying customer. If you’re cost per acquisition is lower than the amount they spend, then you should consider direct mailing. If you don’t know the numbers, wait until you have sufficient data.
Content marketing is a solid business strategy that drives targeted traffic to your website and builds trust with potential customers that can then be turned into real customers down the line. So join the content marketing revolution and start making money today.
Do you have a content marketing strategy? If so, leave a comment below to share with fellow readers.
About the author: Darcie Connell is the founder of Trekity.com that provides daily travel tips for women and TravelBloggerAcademy.com that helps travel bloggers build a business. Her content marketing strategy has helped her write for Forbes, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Follow her on Google +1.