Dreaming of making a living from your blog but don’t know how?
Listen up buttercup, here comes the secret sauce with the power to make or break your dream of a profitable blog! 🙂 As with most fundamental concepts, it’s really simple at its core.
Don’t mistake simple with easy though! It will still likely take some wrapping-your-head-around and definitely some trial and error to get this right. But I’m sure once you know the concept, you’ll figure out the rest!
As you’ll already know, there’s more than one way for savvy bloggers to monetize their blog, but as you’ll see in just a sec, good content marketing is the heart and blood of most of those strategies.
Content Marketing Definition
So what is content marketing anyway?
Content marketing is essentially a two-step process:
- Creating great and relevant content that’s designed to attract and help your target audience.
- Monetize that audience that by now already likes and trusts you through purposefully advertising either your own or your affiliate products (or both).
So where do you start? You start by offering great free content that’s very specific and targeted to your ideal customer. If you’re thinking “I understand those words, thank you very much, but what the heck do they MEAN?” – bear with me!
Let me walk you through an example.
Content Marketing Example
Let’s say you’re in the gardening niche. To be even more specific, your blog is in the organic gardening niche.
You’ve written a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious book on the subject that you’d love to sell to information-hungry folks who are unfamiliar with the matter.
Stop right there! That last sentence is very important as it contains 2 key elements you absolutely need to create a successful content marketing strategy:
- You know your target audience (the clueless organic gardening aficionado).
- You know your content marketing goal (selling your book).
Once you know these two things, you basically know your starting point (your ideal customer) and a defined end point of your content marketing journey (selling your product).
If you have no idea who your ideal customer is or what you want to sell, you’re in trouble, hunny.
That’s why you need a solid business plan to help you figure out your strategy. If you don’t have a business plan yet, go check out my Business Plan Bundle with lots of information, examples, and templates to help you figure out those initial steps.
That wasn’t too bad, was it? 😉 Now that you’ve figured out your start and end point of your content marketing journey, all you need to figure out is the fiddly middle part. Piece of cake, eh? LOL
Content Marketing Plan
Based on those two key elements, you can start devising your crafty content marketing plan.
As a content creator and marketer, you want to create a content strategy that helps you attract your ideal customer and turns that person into a buyer (and preferably a loyal, raving fan).
To do that, your content needs to move your reader through different stages of the buying cycle: from awareness to evaluation and finally conversion.
In the above example, you could start by blogging on why organic gardening is better than conventional gardening. This will increase awareness for that topic.
If you’re doing a great job, people will think “Jep, he/she’s right! I’m convinced – how do I start?”
Then, you could offer a free video series on how to get started with organic gardening – in exchange for the reader’s email address. See what you did there, you nifty thing? You got your foot in the door, so to speak. 😉
Once you got their email address and gave them some time to evaluate your video series, you could subtly introduce your core offer: The book you wanna sell. They loved your video series, they are more than happy to buy your book (conversion goal). Bingo!
Congrats, you did it, you just created one of those infamous sales funnels everyone is talking about. 🙂
Content Marketing Goals
Let me quickly go over WHY you want to use a content marketing plan.
When someone lands on your website for the first time, they don’t know you, they don’t trust you and therefore they are most likely not going to buy anything from you. For all they know you might be a scam.
Thus sending all those people (aka cold traffic) directly to your sales pages is a wild-goose chase.
Before someone buys from you, you need to prove that you are who you say you are and provide real value.
That’s what you do by giving away great free content: You are proving yourself to someone who doesn’t know you.
You show what you have to offer in terms of personality, style, experience, and knowledge.
Yes, it’s gonna polarize. Some will decide they love your style and content, so they’ll stick around and others will run for the hills.
And that’s fine. You don’t need everyone. You just need to find your tribe. The ones that get and like you. Those are the ones you create content for.
Content marketing is a great way for bloggers to leverage their content to move potential buyers from website visitors to happy customers.
The most important thing is getting the flow right. As I said in the beginning, the concept is simple, but the implementation is a little tricky. And that’s where the trial and error comes in: You gotta find the right offers for your target audience.
But hey, you wouldn’t be you if you shied away from a challenge, right? 😉
Since creating content is so important, I dedicate the whole month to that topic. Watch this space for more tips on content creation! You might even be able to put your new content creation superpowers to the test at the end of the month…
Meanwhile, I’d love to know: What’s your greatest hurdle when it comes to creating new content for your blog? Let me know in the comments below!