One of the things we did at DevriX in 2014 is focusing more on content marketing. Back in 2011-2013 we kept maintaining a 10-page website with no content since we believed that there are way too many sites out there sharing WordPress tutorials or business tips.
Wrong. Ever since we started our tutorials section, we kept growing our visitors base, together with our list of followers and people sharing our resources. Admittedly, there’s a lot of work that we need to improve and increase our quality, but we’re working in that direction and the numbers are quite positive.
Publish For Profits
Jennifer Bourn gave a talk at WordCamp LA named “Publish for Profits – Leverage Your Blog and Create Content That Attracts New Prospects and Clients”
It’s an insightful reference for content marketing and blogging for business matters.
One of my first experiments with content marketing was in 2009 when I built a site for the optics industry. I had a long meeting with my client discussing the benefits of content marketing, Google indexing, social media and similar things since most of their competitors weren’t focusing on that.
The weekly blogging started with the site launch, and few months later our client was in the top three Google results here for “optics”. They shared incredibly valuable content for visual impairments, lens, and other health tips for their audience. They significantly increased their customer base and their content was shared a lot. Everywhere.
Consultants and Tutorials
While the smarter organizations hire copywriters and content marketers, this is not exclusive and doesn’t rule out entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers. Plenty of successful influencers spend time blogging, writing tutorials and sharing their experience. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert, and dozens of leaders in our WordPress industry became popular mostly because of their online exposure.
I have met hundreds of experts who complain about their lack of exposure. They have spent 10+ years in their field, and they try to do some freelancing on the side, but they can’t find clients. They keep on waiting for referrals.
But here’s the thing. Most experts hang out with their colleagues and friends from their industry. It’s like looking for clients at a WordCamp. Imagine how many agencies and freelancers attend these. Then compare that to another event for a related industry that is not focused on WordPress, but it’s still likely for people to use WordPress for their websites or blogs.
KISSmetrics and Neil Patel
I read a few posts by Neil Patel in 2014, and I subscribed for all of his blogs and sites of his. He is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics and his articles are always top quality. He writes about different forms of marketing a lot on his blogs and as a guest blogger, sharing tons of examples, charts, stats, and case studies of his.
One of the best resources of Neil’s that I’ve read is How Does Content Marketing Actually Get You More Sales?. Since content marketing is more popular for cheaper products and services, most high-end companies tend to focus on sales force instead and outbound marketing. Neil combines the best of both words with KISSmetrics by generating valuable content, turning regular readers to ambassadors and guest writers, and inviting potential customers to try out KISSmetrics or share their contact details.
And then the sales guys jump in. It’s one thing doing cold emails or cold calls for random target groups, but it’s much more powerful to focus your effort on people who recognize your brand, enjoy your content and sign up for your resources.
Their professional plan is at $2,000 a month and they offer a custom enterprise layer. It’s tough selling that virtually, but they do it – and they are good at selling it.
Content Marketing Frameworks
Another blog I read is Buffer’s, and they’ve blogged about 4 Powerful Content Marketing Frameworks to Jumpstart Your Blog Traffic. While blogging could be a hobby, it may as well be a science and a full-time job, which is why Copyblogger are also so successful.
So there are different ways to channel your knowledge into a piece of content that is valuable, well-structured and helpful for your readers. There are other, custom ways to do it, but if you learn the theoretical ways to get better, you can combine some of those approaches into a tailored method that works best for you.
One of Neil’s research studies states that the most popular posts are 2,000 words long or more. Since the number of websites out there is growing constantly, and more and more businesses invest in content marketing, it requires more time and attention not only to build quality, but expand that with more case studies, examples, quotes and so on. Longer content usually ranks better.
That’s why I use two different strategies when building a blog strategy for our customers.
Quality From Day 1
This is a standard approach that many business owners prefer. In order to keep your authority, you can start slowly, by building one piece of content every week or two. It takes more time, and it takes many months before you can grow your blog. All of your articles are top notch, but it’s hard to rank and get people on board until you generate a good number of posts at first.
Quantity Turns to Quality
That’s another approach that we tend to take sometimes. Since Google loves new content, you can start with quantity first. I’m not talking about terrible content with filler words, but you can certainly start with shorter posts or well-crafted posts that can be better. After building 50 or more of these, you can mix the top quality ones with the other type, for example – 4 shorter posts a week and one incredible entry. After passing the 100 mark, you can go back and edit your old posts. Switch your published date to “last modified date” in your theme and edit your posts over and over again. You can continue with the mixed strategy until all of your posts are top quality. That approach is a bit risky if your quality isn’t good enough, but with the right balance you can provide enough value at first without being the number one resource in your industry, until you grow your base enough to reevaluate your old content and make it shine.
What is your content strategy?