Well, I may not know what you’re doing right now with your content marketing career, but one truth is sure – you truly want to make a BIG difference; make money. Correct?
How possible is that? I’ve come to realize that content marketing all by itself can burn you out if you are not smart.
I’ll explain, read on…
You may not perform some magic arts to be addressed as a smart person, but when you challenge yourself to finally break out of the nightmares and begin to smile to the bank – that’s the point.
For the past 3 years, I’ve been earning decent income online.
Trust me; there is no one-off rule for generating income with a blog. But you must choose the one that’s suitable with you first, then suitable with your audience as well.
Yes, I know you’ve been advised to care for your readers SO much and it’s good because they’re the reason why your blog exist.
But you MUST have a plan for yourself first… then you can convince your readers to take you the way you are – providing that you can solve at least one specific problem for them.
While chatting with few blogger friends over the weekend, I discovered that so many people don’t even know the essence of content marketing.
If you’ve been writing articles, blog posts, guest posts, creating videos and podcasts, writing e-books and short reports and still don’t know why you’re doing those things, I wish I could spank you so badly – because you deserve it.
The essence of doing content marketing is to generate leads, and eventually make money from those prospects who found your content valuable. Take it or leave it.
Many bloggers are literally wasting time, waking up every day to write a new post and they wonder why they’re still broke.
If content marketing isn’t making you money, then I suggest you look for alternative marketing systems. Or go get a day job.
I’ve written and successfully published over 700 guest posts since 2011 and I’ve just one goal – to build up my credibility and attract high paying clients to my freelance writing services.
That’s what I do for a living with this blog. As a result of this, I don’t just write articles to sound so smart or prolific – I write because I want to get a reward.
Web hosting, email autoresponders, keyword research tools all costs money. They charge my credit card every day. I need to earn from my marketing efforts or risk losing my assets.
In case you don’t know yet, content marketing goes beyond creating free articles and giving it all away. In fact, if that’s the strategy you’ve been using, you’re making a mistake.
If you watch closely the lives of expert content marketers like Brian Clark, Chris Brogan and Danny Iny you’ll come to a conclusion that these entrepreneurs are smart.
You may think that they gave out their best information for free, but that’s a BIG lie. Don’t believe anyone who says ‘write article and give it all away to get free traffic.’
If you must succeed online and become an authority, stop looking for free lunch anywhere because it doesn’t exist.
When you write guest posts to help fellow entrepreneurs learn new tips from your years of experience and research work, don’t make it seem like a free giveaway. Attach a value to it.
But who is going to pay for your guest posts?
Well, you don’t have to sell your blog or guest articles, just make it exceptional and worth paying for.
That’s the only way prospective clients and blog readers can actually see you as someone who truly cares and wants to sustain his business. And that’s the only way you can persuade them to spend money on your products and services.
As you already know, the money is the list (Actually not in the list, but in the relationship you’ve with them).
But the experts are so busy or they utterly forget to tell us that just capturing email leads without a definite objective isn’t going to yield results.
I do believe that an email list is much more powerful than social media fans. And if you nurture your list members well, you’d reap the rewards. Aha, there is a BIG problem here…
If someone subscribed to your email list because you were giving away a “FREE” report or e-book, I can assure you that converting that lead into a paying customer would be extremely difficult.
For this reason, don’t use free and crappy lead baits to build your list, attach a VALUE to it.
Did you spend 2 – 5 hours compiling the short report? Then how much is your time worth? For me, I’m worth more than $60/hr.
So, let’s multiply $60 x 4hours = $240. From this calculation, you can see how much I’m giving away.
On your squeeze or landing page copy, boldly write the value of the e-book or software you’re giving away at no cost. For instance: ($240 worth).
Enclose the value in a bracket and that would be fine. From that day onward, your subscribers would know that you LOVE them, because you’ve demonstrated how much you care by giving away so much value.
This is quite different from giving away free stuffs – please avoid that…
If you’re a shareholder in a company, you should get dividends (money) right? Now content marketing is so much like investing into your business for profit making.
I felt a strong urge in my spirit to write this post, after I spoke in a conference with 61 bloggers and website owners’ attendees.
Most of these internet marketers have heard so much about content marketing but didn’t know they’ve been doing it.
It’s so unfair how business owners are misled by marketing gurus. To a large extent, everyone is actually a content marketer except the get-rich-quick gurus.
Because if you create blog posts and leave comments one another blog, you’re practicing content marketing – at least the basics.
Creating quality and valuable content, tips and even titles that can motivate, educate, inform, help, lead and transform the life of your ideal customer/reader is what content marketing is all about.
There are no two definitions to it – although several persons have different variations of that.
But how do you intend to educate and transform someone’s life…?
Trust me, if you’re a blogger or niche marketer and all you do is write articles, stumble on popular blogs and leave comments without a plan as to what your blog should achieve by the end of 2013, you’re a failure already.
For content marketing to be effective, you need a product or service of your own.
Affiliate marketing is a great way for getting your feet soaked in earning extra income online, but as time goes by, you’ll need to have your own product/service.
The beauty of content marketing is that you can own a product you didn’t labor for. In fact, you can become an expert even as an affiliate marketer with other people’s product. Sounds cool, huh?
To achieve this, make sure you capture email leads and begin to educate them with valuable content on how to build a sustainable business through affiliate marketing.
Gradually, you’re establishing yourself and you might even write an e-book that takes beginners by hand and reveals your journey so far as an affiliate agent and how they can replicate it.
As you create new blog posts every day, have ONE objective to profit from your efforts – because it’s worth paying for.
What’s your currency? Americans uses the Dollar, Europe the Euros, Japanese the Yen. Guess what, the currency of the earth is TIME. If you spend it wisely, you’ll earn so much money online.
Time is precious online, and if you don’t value your time, your readers will not. Forget blog readers and subscribers who hate it when you recommend a paid product/service to them.
This set of people doesn’t want you to be in business. In other words, they want you to fizzle out. And you don’t need them anyways – find few loyal persons and build a tribe.
What’s this whole noise about content marketing being so effective, when you can’t even make enough money to pay your bills? As the saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
So many bloggers have joined the press to make content marketing a buzzword, but it turned out that approximately 20% of bloggers are actually making a profit. Are you one of them? If you’re, then you’re the smart content marketer.
But if you’re not making any money despite all your hard work and ‘quality’ content, then I’d suggest you start from scratch. Yes, begin again because it’s not too late.
When you write guest posts, do you send fresh readers to your blog homepage, latest posts on your blog, twitter profile or fan page? You don’t have to do it because everyone is doing it.
Use your author resource box to build your business. Link to your landing page, case study page, hire me page or special one-time-off (OTO) page where you can EXCHANGE a valuable product for your reader’s time.
Remember, time is precious and bloggers are the most workaholics I’ve ever met. Majority of them work like Elephants but feed like Ants. Don’t be like that…
When you create any type of content for your readers, make it the best you’ve ever produced. Change people’s perspective about you.
If you’re the type of blogger who writes generic articles that every blogger out there can write without looking at the keyboard, your time is worthless. Oops, did I just say that?
Yes, I’m talking to you. Have you been working so hard on the wrong stuffs with the hope of having a breakthrough eventually?
Stop right there and think again. Stop spending 2 – 4 hours a day on twitter and facebook, not even Pinterest.
Those media platforms aren’t your real business – your blog is. Spend quality time on your blog; with your readers and do all you can to change their mindset about you.
If they’ve been addressing you as a blogger who gives away FREE stuffs so much because he cares, you’ve got to change that. Because you’ll soon go broke.
Blog readers and prospects should see you as a content entrepreneur first and foremost, before tagging you as a blogger.
This is because entrepreneurs are wired to profit with their business, whereas blogging might just be for fun…
When it comes to guest blogging, I wouldn’t tell you otherwise because it should be an integral part of growing your online business.
But don’t guest blog like a blind man. Ask yourself questions on what you really want to achieve with the articles you publish on other people’s blogs.
As for your own website/blog, stop slaving away trying to publish new posts every day. Instead, research more, and when you write a post, speak directly to your readers and dazzle them.
Remember, attach a value to the content you create, because if you don’t value your time, nobody born of a woman will.
Did you know that I never planned to write this post? This is because I’ve already published a post on Sunday, but I’ve a strong feeling that the insights in this post are for you.
Now, what do you say to all those free blogs out there, creating free articles, free videos and free podcasts but never selling a product or service to their audiences?
Do you think that content marketing is all about creating free content or balancing it up with paid services occasionally? Please write a not-less-than 100 words comment in the box right below. I’ll reply you as soon as I can…You’re awesome!
Michael Chibuzor is the Chief Content Writer on Content Marketing Up. He works with both B2B and B2C business to grow their leads and convert more paying customers. If you're looking to create content that converts casual visitors into customers, get in touch with him Here