You can write the best post on the internet, but if you can’t get eyes on it, it will be lost forever. This is the content marketing lecture for beginners from Section 3 my course: A True Beginner’s Guide: How to Make Money Online.
Even the strategy of ripping this lecture out of the beginner’s course and posting it as a standalone guide is a form of content marketing. I’m using this content to create more leads to the beginner’s course.
To get started, click play on the video below:
You essentially have to act as the boy that sold newspapers on the street corner way back in the day.
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
FIREFIGHTER FIGHTS FIFTY-FOOT FLAMES TO SAVE MOTHER AND BABIES!
We’re not going to be yelling, though, as much as we may want to scream at people, “You don’t know what you’re missing!” You can’t convince people that way; you have to draw them in, captivate them, and be inescapable.
The way you do this is by leveraging sites that have traffic. You put a link to your post, with a title and short description on their site (like you’re advertising your article, for free). They have an audience that is interested in your topic and there are already many websites out there that are built for this.
Your social media pages and any other ones that you can use go with content marketing like peanut butter and jelly. We already learned about sharing in a previous chapter, so you can use those tactics to market your content.
Use any groups, forums, or communities that your industry has and you have become a part of.
Besides social media sites, bookmarking sites, sending it to your email list and things of that nature, what else is there?
You can transform your content into multiple different types of content. If you can do this, then you can expand your reach into communities that cater to more than the written word.
Podcasts have well-engaged audiences and I’ve heard a few of them that read articles directly from medium.com.
Listen to a few of their episodes and make sure that what you’re pitching is a good fit for their audience. (Yes, this is a lot of upfront research, but after a while you will find out who the go-to podcasters are for your industry, who their audience is, and what they want to hear about.)
Reach out to the host by email, and let them know that you’ve been a listener and have enjoyed their show for some time, especially their episode about how to properly dunk a chocolate chip cookie.
Say something like: I wrote an article about the disaster of dunking an Oreo cookie for too long. I’ve done my research; it covers which type of milk is the best for this Oreo cookie, the glass you should use, and how many you should eat.
I do appreciate your time and consideration. Have a great day.
The Cookie Monster
Something along those lines. If you have an interesting story, you might even be able to get a guest spot on their podcast as an entire episode to tell your story.
Let’s say, as an example, your article was a review of some product or service. Turn it into a video review and then you can publish it on:
Then, go back and embed that video in your article. Now you can start to reach audiences on these sites with your content, with the ultimate goal of leading them back to your website while growing an audience on those platforms.
Turn it into slides and put it on Slideshare.
Turn it into an image or infographic.
Here is an example of what I did with an infographic when I started Pideals.
I made an infographic that compared the services of Bluehost and Godaddy. Then I emailed a few website owners in the same niche and pitched it to them as a guest post request.
I showed them a shrunk-down version of the infographic, and I would include their branding in the infographic along with my branding, and this would allow them to gain exposure from all the places the infographic traveled.
Erik Emanuelli thought it was a cool idea and posted it on his blog No Passive Income and gave a link back to my website.
After that, Erik promoted the infographic guest post through his channels and I submitted it to every infographic website, infographic community, group, and subreddit I could find.
Content: Comparison type review and infographic (also converted that infographic to a PDF). Content Marketing: Utilized the skills of an already experienced marketer in the industry that I could reach. Transformed content, allowing me to push it to different platforms and audiences.
Link Building: A guest post link back from a website in the industry. A few link backs from infographic sites. I mixed the link back sources between my site and Erik’s site. Then, Google Drive and SlideShare, where the PDF went.
Networking: Started a business relationship with someone in the industry.
We’re going to cover networking and link building later in the course, but usually when you’re doing Internet marketing you can’t just do one thing; rather, it takes several skills in order to accomplish something.
So how did that infographic guest post work out?
Honestly, pretty good for the links, but it only brought in a trickle of traffic. As for branding, I have no idea how to measure that. I don’t think it would have ever worked if I tried to guest post a review – not unless it uncovered something truly shocking, which this didn’t. No one is going to want your review of something, but what made this information interesting was the format it came in and the strategy.
I am planning on doing it differently next time. My next infographic is going to be a guess-the-story style, like: https://unplag.com/blog/christmas-quiz-unplag/
This was genius, but I wouldn’t put the answers at the bottom of the infographic. I wouldn’t even put the answers on my own site. I would do this because I would want people to post in Facebook or wherever and ask their friends, “Hey Jeff, you’re really good at puzzles. I know 1–6, 8, and 9 but can you tell me what 7 and 10 are?” It would get shared because people want help, or debates might arise and they would call in their friends to consult. It doesn’t get a simple “like” because they think, “Oh, that’s nice what they did there, and I was curious about number 4 but you put the answer there at the bottom. I’m done here; what’s next in my timeline?”
Well, that’s nice, Carlton, but in my industry no one accepts guest posts. What do we do with those walls?
I want to use a recipe site as an example here because I’ve never seen a guest post on a recipe site. Here is what I would try.
I would do the exact same thing with the infographic, but use a “guess the recipe” approach, then put a bunch of images of ingredients as the story.
The answers would be nowhere, just like before. Then it would get some great debate because Carol would say, “Well, number 4 is definitely apple upside down cake!” and Jackson would respond, “Nuh-uh, woman, that there is Kentucky’s finest deep-fried apple strudels!” She posts to Facebook: “Jesse! Tell me this ain’t apple upside down cake.”
The point is, it will be fun and everyone will have their own opinion. People will be talking about it, and the more they do, the more traffic and branding you will receive.
“You are only limited by your own imagination” ~ Benny Bellamacina
The best initial thing you can do to get your name out there with your written content is to give that amazing post away to a site that already has traffic and readers. This way, people are going to read it, you have a known name doing the content marketing (because it’s their site), and people will click back to your site if they liked your post to find out more about your service or just your website. Don’t overstuff your guest post with links back to your site. One is all you need. I wouldn’t want you to believe that you will have an explosion of traffic by doing just one guest post, but the more you do them, the more doors will open and traffic will start to grow. Take a look at this slideshow for more information.
You will need to research the blogs that you want to submit your guest post to and make sure that your post will be covering a topic the audience of this blog would be interested in. Once you are certain of that, then you can reach out to webmasters and pitch them the idea of the post and leave them a link back in your email to other pieces of your work so that they can read it and gauge the quality of your writing.
What do you do when you have exhausted all of these options?
Republish it on even larger sites under a different variation of the original title.
Medium.com is pretty much dedicated to this sort of thing. Include a link back at the bottom of your post, or do some interlinking before you “import story” to Medium. This works the same way as a guest post, but it’s automated. The best posts you could put on here are stories that have multiple parts and you have broken them into different posts. Import Part 1 to Medium, and then at the bottom include a link to your site to check out Part 2. Don’t re-post everything you have on Medium because if someone does go back to your site, then all they will see is the same posts you have put on Medium.
Many of these businesses already have a blog and are already doing the same steps I have mentioned, but they also empower their affiliates to do the work for them with events and prizes.
I remember one year, long ago, ShareASale held a competition and the top affiliates would get to go to the Playboy Mansion. I bet those affiliates hustled it that month.
Not everyone is big like ShareASale, or has those kind of connections, but everyone has something to offer.
If you run the numbers on what your affiliates are already bringing in for a two-week timeframe, offer that amount in tiered cash prizes and T-shirts or whatever. Then I bet people would push harder for sales for you during that competition, especially if you find a way to motivate your affiliates and make as many of them as possible feel like they are in the running for a prize. Even if they don’t win, everyone is invited to a party, or host a Google Hangout and award the prizes during that.
The more you can engage your affiliates, the more they will be thinking of your product, and when they do that, the more creative they will become on how to market it.
Do Your Homework
There is no way that I could completely cover every content marketing strategy. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, and I believe it’s all about being creative and trying not to do exactly what everyone else is, although there are some tried and true ways to do it.
In the end, if you can get your content out there on as many websites as possible, in as many formats as possible, you will become inescapable. Even those reluctant few will have to check you out because you keep showing up.
If you haven’t done keyword research in a while, do it again. Search trends change over time. That keyword phrase you picked out a year ago may not have the same amount of search volume.
Here are a couple of guides that you can use to expand your content knowledge on marketing:
Quuu Promote: Paid Tier categories that Quuu allows people to use to promote their content. These categories and promotions can give you some traffic over a period of time and the social signals you’re looking for, as long as you pick a busy channel.