How to Perfect Your Content Marketing Strategy
It’s been a hot minute since I sat down and wrote a long post revolving around blog tips. Well, today I’m doing it! I am sharing lots of stuff with you.
I want to focus on Content Marketing Strategies for your blog & biz. Because let’s face it, you can’t expect to turn your blog into a full time job unless you really buckle down and learn content marketing strategies.
Let me tell you a secret, & I will be REAL with you… I have VERY little prior knowledge to marketing and business. I am a college dropout (but my major was communications for one year) who was waiting tables for a living…I have a story, how I turned my blog into a career in 6 months.
Okay Ell, so why the HECK would we trust you to give us any marketing tips????
AHA – you don’t have to trust me, but this is what I was able to accomplish with very little prior knowledge.
In just ONE year:
•I grew my blog traffic to over 40,000 monthly (currently). 140,000 total for the year, with 1,500 comments + this is my 105th post! (May not seem like a lot to the big time bloggers but to me it’s blood, sweat and tears!)
•I grew my Facebook group to almost 30,000 incredible members (female bloggers and entrepreneurs)
•I Was able to take on blogging FULL TIME making about $5,000 – $7,000 some months a month from blogging & all that jazz.
•I Grew my Pinterest to over 11,000 followers with 2 million monthly views. (Was growing my Pinterest before I even had a blog though, but Pinterest is my jam.)
Now, some may think that’s nothing to cheer about but if you know me, you know I am freaking CHEERING!! This is huge for me. I believe in celebrating big and small wins always! Coming from waiting tables all day, everyday, to being able to finally do what I love full time, it’s overwhelmingly joyful!
I guess you could say serving tables helped my communication & sales skills… I mean if you ask me what my favorite burger on the menu is, I might say the most expensive one, because “UPselling” right???
Well… when it comes to blogging and talking to you, I am not about upselling at all. (kind of) In fact my approach to marketing and promoting might be a lot different than the usual blogger.
I am not going to sugar coat anything. I am not going to sit here and say I make $100,000 in a month, or that I have 100,000 pageviews in a month because that’s not true. I know there are many out there who will try and stretch the truth & I find that tacky. One of the BIGGEST marketing tips that has worked for me is to keep it REAL.
I know that with a lot of continued hard work I can eventually up my income + blog traffic even more, but it’s not an overnight process. It’s a freaking journey!
Okay, okay, okay it’s time to jump into the tips now.
Keep in mind, what works for me might not necessarily work for you, BUT I have put all of these to the test and this is how I was able to get the results I have thus far. Again, I am not an expert, I don’t have a degree in marketing or business, but I do have real life experiences and I took the time and dedication to figure out strategies that work. So now I am sharing them with you so that you don’t have to spend hours looking elsewhere, searching high and low for answers!!
* Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used, meaning I will get commission if you purchase via my links at no additional cost to you. Read my disclosure here.
ONE – BE REAL, PERSONAL CONNECTIONS
I think I always mention this whenever I am talking about marketing of any sort. Why? BECAUSE IT IS SO IMPORTANT. Your audience doesn’t want to feel like another number on your list, they want to feel valued, special, important!!!
& you know I am all for keeping it professional, but I am sorry, I like to put my personality behind everything I do. I’m not going to act up tight and poise at all times. That’s NOT ME. So compared to others I might seem a bit more “unprofessional” but at least I am being real. I don’t like to fake it.
Don’t be afraid to be real & relatable! Get personal. I’m sorry but no one is perfect. You see all of these insta feeds looking as if everyone has their sh*t together, making lives look CRAZY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
But again, that’s just pieces of lives that people are choosing to show you. There is so much more. I find that sharing my struggles, sharing my REAL TRUE everyday life, no makeup, mismatched clothes, dishes in the sink (sometimes)… real and raw is what people connect to. Because everyone’s life has flaws & not everyone can relate to a life that looks too good to be true. Although, do some live lavishing lives? Of course, nothing wrong with that! And it can be very inspiring!!
But for me, that’s not the life I live and I find being real, raw, and honest is what my audience craves.
And when I say make personal connections I mean, don’t ignore your audience!!! Be a friend, make them feel like they can come to you. There is nothing worse than someone who acts as if they are “better” than you and treats you like a number rather than a human being.
You should always make any subscriber, any follower, any member feel as if you value their time and appreciate their support.
Okaaaay moving on…
TWO – Write Less / Market More
I don’t know how many will agree with me on this one BUT it seriously works for me. When I first started blogging I swore that I had to push out 3-4 posts a week. I thought that was the only way to grow my audience and get my content seen…
Oh man was I wrong. I was trying so hard to push out content constantly that I was exhausting myself!!
So I thought to myself okay… what if I create 1-2 really juicy articles a week filled with valuable content. AND THEN I focused on promoting and marketing the CRAP out of them. DING DING DING.
I instantly saw my blog traffic and sales increase because promotion and marketing is key!
My rule is to have at least 20 high quality posts up on your blog and then cut back to 1-2 longer, quality posts a week and focus more on promoting and marketing strategies to get your blog seen.
Unfortunately, blog traffic doesn’t just come to you when you post, you need strategies to grow that traffic.
THREE – SET REASONABLE GOALS
Too often we want to set these CRAZY goals, but they aren’t realistic. You have to make sure you are setting goals that are realistic, that you know you can achieve if you keep yourself accountable!
Here are some examples of reasonable goals that I have set for myself this year:
- Grow my community from 30,000 members to 50,000 members.
- Grow my income to $10,000 a month by next year.
- Grow my email list by 1,000 more subscribers.
- Create a planner dedicated to content creators.
- Launch Boss Girl Bloggers website.
These are five of my main goals this year that all tie into my content strategy. Once you create these yearly goals, you have to break them down into monthly goals.
How can you get closer to your yearly goal each month?
- This month I want to grow my community by at least 1,000 members.
- This month I want to grow my income by $500 dollars more than last month’s income.
- This month I want to grow my e-mail list by 100.
- This month I want to have 10 pages created for my planner.
- This month I want to have my logo and theme all set up on my Boss Girl Bloggers website.
After you create your monthly goals, figure out how you can achieve them!
- I need to create a couple pins that promote blog posts that talk about my Facebook community, & even create some pins that link to my Facebook community and promote those.
- I need to figure out where most of my income is coming from, and figure out how I can increase it even more. Maybe more e-course promotion? Or maybe trying to gain more clients.
- I want to create a second opt-in and promote my opt-ins more on Pinterest so that I can grow my e-mail list. As well as set up a monthly freebie that I send out to my list.
- I need to set aside dedicated time to really work on creating pages in my planner.
- I need to get myself onto Canva and start creating my Boss Girl Bloggers logo.
These are just examples of how I take my goals, break them down, and crush them. Keep track of your goals and always write down what you ended up achieving at the end of the month. You need to keep yourself accountable.
FOUR – PINTEREST
Come on Ell, we know, you LOVEEEE Pinterest. Shhhhh. That’s probably what you are saying to yourself right now because I talk about Pinterest more than I breathe. But I am telling you, FIGURE PINTEREST OUT.
Why is Pinterest the best for your blog? BECAUSE IT IS A FREE MARKETING TOOL! Pinterest is like a pretty search engine. People go on there to search for things, “good alfredo recipe.” Or “How to contour without looking muddy.”
Before I had a blog I used Pinterest to search for everything, and then I realized Pinterest is like a collection of blogs and articles! Almost every pin links to a blog post if you think about it. It’s blogger heaven!!
Not to mention it’s the PERFECT way to target the right audience. If you are using Pinterest SEO properly, you will have your target audience coming your way in no time.
I know many are skeptical about Pinterest and diving in head first but I think if you ACTUALLY sit down, dissect Pinterest and learn strategies you will see so much growth! You can promote everything on Pinterest – your blog posts, ecourses, some affiliate links, your email freebies, and even your Instagram & YouTube.
I put together a Pinterest e-course that goes over everything from the basics of Pinterest, to setting up your Pinterest properly to work to grow your blog traffic, all the way to my exact pinning strategy that grew my blog traffic by almost 200% in just one month. & a break down of exactly how to use Tailwind to explode your traffic.
& I utilized my strategies for my clients & even their results were crazy. I brought their Pinterest reach up by over 6,000% in one month with click throughs to their blog!
You can also make money on Pinterest with affiliate links!!! Crazy right?! This course is just $15 so I would get it while it’s hot.
I will also say that Tailwind has played a HUGE part in my blog traffic growth. I wouldn’t have seen such an increase without investing in their annual plan. It seriously pays off! The free trial doesn’t even compare to the results that annual plan gave me. I was skeptical to invest money into Tailwind, but it was worth every penny for me.
But one thing I really want to talk about with Pinterest is your Pin graphics. The way your pin looks plays a HUGE part.
Yes repins are great, and so is Pinterest views BUT what really matters is how many people are seeing your pins and CLICK through. That’s the point right? To create a pin that’s click worthy to drive traffic to your blog.
I know we aren’t all graphic designers etc. but I am telling you, having a sharp looking pin graphic matters more than you think!!! Put some damn effort into your pins! Make them look nice, don’t throw something sloppy together and hope it works.
- Use colors and fonts that are easy on the eyes. Make sure your pin is readable!
- Title is key – make your pin leave them wanting more! If you put too much info on the pin, then you might have answered their question so they won’t click through.
- Click bait is annoying but it’s okay to have a title that’s click baity as long as you DELIVER! Make sure you share what you say you are going to share!
- Tall pins are ideal!!! They get more attention 735 x 1100 at least! Even 735 x 1400 is good!
- Utilize stock photos if you aren’t a good photographer. (that’s what I do.)
- Let Canva be your best friend. I love creating graphics on Canva. & Here is my Pinterest if you want to look and see my designs and how I branded my Pinterest.
Favorite stock photo sites
Related: How to Get Your Pin to go “Viral”
FIVE – FREEBIES
Before you make any sales or receive any bit of audience who is going to want to come back, you need to build up some trust! What better way to build trust with your audience than offering them some valuable FREEBIES.
I am not an email marketing strategist, that’s something I am still working on. But I do know that if you offer something for free, MOST of the time people are going to jump all over it! Because who doesn’t like free???
This is one way many like to grow their email list. They offer something for free in return for subscribing! It’s a win win! For example one of my freebies is a 28 day blog challenge. You receive it when you subscribe!
Now – who’s to say you should only have one freebie?? Hm…. I actually think having multiple freebies is KEY! Don’t have too many but have 4-5 REALLY good freebies that you offer your email list for subscribing, and then promote the crap out of these opt ins.
The more variety of opt-ins, the more chances of growing your e-mail list. But always make sure your opt-ins are related to your niche. You want your target audience subscribing to your e-mail list. If you are a beauty blogger majority of the time, you probably don’t want your opt-in to be “5 ways to slay cooking at home.” you know what I mean.
HOW DO I CREATE A FREEBIE?
Well, first if you don’t already have an email list builder it’s time to do so. I use Mailerlite (easy to use if you are just starting out, and it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers)
Next you have to think of different freebies that relate to your NICHE that your audience will enjoy.
GUIDES • CHALLENGES • RESOURCES • JOURNAL PROMPTS • PRINTABLES • PLANNERS • MINI E-COURSES
Many will use Canva to create their freebies and turn it into a PDF. This is the ideal way to make it happen.
you can create different “pages” that talk about and promote each freebie, and at the end in order to get what you are talking about you have your little sign up form. Once they subscribe they receive the freebie you are talking about. (Sounds confusing to set up but YouTube has so many helpful tutorials)
Make sure to promote these freebies on Pinterest by copying the link to the page you created that talks about the freebie/sign up form + paste it to the pins URL/website. Then promote that pin like you would your blog post pins.
Don’t stop with just that one freebie. Your email list should be VIP. Send them freebies monthly to keep them around! (Something I need to get better at!)
SIX – CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP
I will say my Facebook group has played a huge role in me being able to go blogging full time! I started my group Boss Girl Bloggers May of 2017 , I was able to grow it to almost 30,000 members, almost a year later.
I treat my group as if it’s my baby. If you want to grow a successful Facebook group you have to nourish and cherish your group, you must NEVER neglect it.
Your Facebook group can become one of your BIGGEST money making spots because it’s filled with your audience. I love my group because it makes it so easy for me to create personal connections with my audience and build trust. Not to mention just having a place to go to talk with like minded people, it’s really refreshing! My members are inspiring me daily!!
But don’t think growing and running a successful Facebook group is easy, because it’s not!!! It’s a lot of work and I put a ton of time into my group (somedays more time than I spend on my blog)
But think of it this way, if you grow a group, your group is your “tribe”, they are your biggest supporters and in your group you can market and promote anyway you want because it’s YOUR group, you make the rules.
I am so not about being salesy though. I find that to be a huge turn off. So again, be a friend, be a mentor, make personal connections in your group.
SEVEN – KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE AROUND
We have all heard of bounce rate right?? While it’s pretty easy to have a high bounce rate if you aren’t practicing the right strategies to keep your audience around.
Ways to help lower your bounce rate:
•Interlinking – always link back to previous posts that relate to what you are talking about. Example: I did it in this post. If a previous article I wrote relates to the one I am writing, I link back to it. Increasing the chances of my audience sticking around longer.
•Related posts – at the end of your article you should always have “related posts” shown so that if the reader enjoyed your post they can read something else from you that’s related to the topic. There are plug-ins for this if you are self-hosted using wordpress.
•Side Bar Recent Posts – if you have recent posts being shown in your side bar then COOL! It’s another way to get people to stay on your page longer by attracting them to other articles you’ve written.
EIGHT- PLAN FOR SUCCESS
I guess this falls into content strategy, but I find that if you plan ahead, then you are planning to succeed. I am the type of person who needs to have content planned ahead of time! If I wait last minute then my brain goes into a boggle.
Let the 31st of each month be dedicated to planning and preparing for the month ahead!
And if you can create in BULK, then do so. If you have the time and energy to create 2-3 posts at one time, do so! If you post once a week, you now have your content planned 3 weeks in advance! Giving you tons of time to focus on promotion.
NINE – CREATE CONTENT TO PROMOTE ANOTHER
This may sound confusing but hear me out. Let’s say you created an e-course (step by step guide on how to live a happier life. – just an example) Create a blog post that is related to your e-course so that way you can promote your e-course in this post without sounding salesy! Plus, it gives your audience a chance to read free content from you before purchasing the e-course. Rather than just shoving the e-course down your readers throat, you are proving to them that you know what you are talking about!
Find out what your audience likes, what posts get the most attention and engagement and continue to build off of it! Create similar content, related to the content that performs well!!! & Whenever you find a post performing well, go back and add affiliate links to the post if you can! That way you can start earning money off of your viral post!
It’s so important to figure out what trends on your blog, and to continue to put out trending content!
TEN- HIT ‘EM WITH A HEADLINE
If you think about it, your headline to your article is probably the most important part of your content strategy… it’s what the viewer sees first. If you don’t have a catchy headline then that viewer isn’t going to click and read more!!
The power is in the words. Does your headline suggest that you are going to have a solution to a problem? Is it leaving them wanting to know more? Do you use words that can spark interest?
But always remember to DELIVER what your headline says you are going to deliver. If you say “How to make thousands of dollars quick.” You better share your ways to make QUICK FAST MONEY.
ELEVEN – CREATE EVERGREEN CONTENT
Evergreen content, what is it? This is content that can be relevant all year round! Yes, it’s fun to write about holidays and all that jazz , but it’s not evergreen, therefore promoting it all year round doesn’t seem to work out as well.
If you are constantly creating evergreen content (that can be promoted all year round) then you have more of a chance of content being seen CONSTANTLY. You also in return have more content that you can push. If you ever notice on Pinterest most of the articles you read are from months ago, or a year or two ago. It doesn’t matter though, because the content is evergreen and is STILL relevant to this day!
Evergreen content will make your content strategy a lot less work.
AND KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS RESHARE YOUR EVERGREEN CONTENT! Don’t just share it once and forget about it. It’s a great content marketing strategy to continuously reshare articles that you wrote that are STILL relevant. Don’t leave them in the back collecting dust.
TWELVE – CONVERTING YOUR AUDIENCE
Now here is the fun part, how do you convert your audience into paying customers? (I really hate the word costumers but I’m using it..bleh)
Again, it’s all about building those connections and trust. If you offer a freebie that is juicy, they will probably be wondering how juicy your paid content is.
You have to PROVE to your audience that you know what you are talking about. Prove to them that you aren’t out here trying to scam them for a dollar.
Put your all into your blog and brand. Don’t be afraid to offer a ton of free & valuable content FIRST, because that’s what you should do. If you just come out and throw e-courses in your audiences’ face, they aren’t going to trust you enough just yet to purchase from you.
Many find that email marketing is a great way to build up trust with your audience and make those sales, but again for me, I had better luck building a community and interacting with my audience there.
I know many will jump down my throat for saying this but I sincerely feel as if my generation doesn’t use email the way past generations have. I took a poll and many said that they delete emails from those they are subscribed to! That they don’t even bother to open them and read them!
Our emails are constantly being flooded with spam etc. we really don’t care about emails as much. Again speaking about my generation. I am 24. I get so many emails daily. I just don’t find that email marketing is as strong as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still try and grow my e-mail list because either way there are people that do open my e-mails, and I love them for that!!! It means the world, but there are tons who subscribe for a freebie and then leave, I just learn to not take it personally!
If people want to stay up to date they are usually looking at social media not their email.
BUT – it is good to have an email list just in case something were to happen to social media.
All in all, there are so many ways to build up a good content strategy, it’s all about creating goals and meeting them! Building connections with your audience and practicing good promotion strategies! In order to grow a healthy blog and biz you need to invest some money and time into it. As well as a whole lot of PATIENCE.
I hope this helped! Would love to hear from you in the comments!
Until next time,