First off, what the heck is content marketing? Content marketing is the type of “pull marketing” where you create useful content and that draws in potential customers. In most cases, that includes blogs, videos, white papers, and guides. (That’s why I have all these different blogs)
The goal is to put out useful content so that (1) search engines like you, (2) customers come to trust you, and (3) you become a known expert in the field.
Rules for Content Marketing
As with any type of marketing, there are rules that go with content marketing. Follow these to ensure you don’t get harmed in one of your goals above.
Firstly, content marketing needs to be useful. Content that isn’t useful ends up hurting your website or channel’s SEO scores. The more people who show up and leave right away or downvote it, the worse off you are. The opposite is also true. If your content is super helpful, people will share it and stay on it longer. The search engines see this and rank you higher.
Secondly, content must be original. Depending on what your content is, this is a moving target. You obviously cannot post the same article to ten sites and hope to get ten times the gains. However, you can make a video of a blog, and then make an ebook of several blogs, plus an audiobook of that ebook. None of that will hurt you. The content just needs to be original enough (in form or substance) for the search engines to see it as new content.
Thirdly, you cannot oversaturate your content. If you’re trying to rank higher on “plumber Durham,” you better not put that phrase in your article 40 times. Search engines see that as your attempt to cheat and they lower your score for that. Although search engines will not tell you what the right ratio is, my best advice is to read it aloud and make sure it sounds natural.
Fourthly, no plagiarism! Any usage of others’ words or images beyond Fair Use will get your in serious trouble with the content owner as well as with the search engines. It is actually extremely easy for an attorney like me to get your site taken down from search results for copyright violations. It takes a long time to correct that mistake.
For me, coming up with topics to write about is the hard part. These are the tips I’ve compiled to help with my own content marketing strategy.
Firstly, create a master plan. What keywords do you want to rank highly on? What articles could build off of each other? For one site, I created an outline for an ebook that my business partner and I will release. That book is separated into chapters and then different topics in each of those chapters. Each of those topics is 1-4 blogs. Therefore, we had a ton of potential content right away, and when we do all that, we also have an ebook!
Secondly, write about topical and regional information. If there’s an issue that is in the news right now that you can write on with authority, do it. Topical things do better on social media and regional content does better on search engines.
Thirdly, if you can’t think of anything to write, write definition blogs or talk about what you did this past week. It might not be as exciting as your other content, but it is good to keep adding content regularly.
Fourthly, schedule things out. It is better to have one blog a week for a year than fifty blogs in one week and nothing the rest of the year.
Lastly, if you don’t have time to do it, hire a content writer. They generally cost between $20 and $50 per article, but the returns can be much more than that over time. On my most successful article, I have gotten at least 10 new clients. In my line of work, that’s thousands of dollars. Additionally, that doesn’t include the indirect benefits.
Hopefully this has been a helpful article about content marketing. In my opinion, it isn’t for everyone, but it is for everyone who believes there’s a lot of bad information on the internet right now.