It’s a no-brainer. Content marketing is one of the best techniques you can try to market your new blog, website or business (provided your business has a website, duh!). Anyhow, it’s surprising how so many new bloggers get the complete content marketing hype wrong, which ultimately leads them to ditch their content marketing strategy.
Therefore, in this article, I want to just talk about how you can completely mess up your content marketing game and also will delve into how you can get it right.
#1. Stop writing posts after posts in your blog
Write quality posts instead of short posts. Don’t write just for the sake of writing. In fact, it has been found in research that articles which rank in the top 10 of Google’s SERP usually measure around 1890 words. That doesn’t mean you should write fluff just for the sake of getting more words in. On the contrary, you should always edit your posts so as to delete everything unnecessary or even remotely necessary. Your post must be packed with “HIGH QUALITY RELEVANT” information that matches the searcher’s intent exactly.
And, this is important. SEO has evolved to a point that Google’s third-most important ranking factor, it’s machine learning algorithm – Rankbrain has become better than humans at understanding what exactly do viewers want when they search for a term at Google. Therefore, no matter how detailed your content is, if it doesn’t match the searcher’s intent, it is not going to rank high, period.
Now, how do you get to writing posts that actually rank after measuring all this stuff? Simple. Search for keywords with low competition – look at the top of Google’s SERP to get an understanding of what the searchers want. Then craft an article that is at least 2x better than your competition’s. That’s how you should go around targetting each and every blog post that you write.
#2. Don’t guest post just for the sake of link-building
Yes, link building is important. But, that shouldn’t be your sole objective. Guest posting should be done with the main aim of branding yourself. Google has in fact said, the main way to get to the top ranking is by building up a brand.
So, how do you build a brand?
There are several steps and BizCatalyst has an amazing article on building a strong online brand but let’s look at my favourite here first – that is, guest-posting. To be honest, guest posting is by far the best link-building strategy for newbie bloggers and probably the worst when it comes to veteran ones. But, one thing that stays consistent with guest posting is that you get tremendous branding, provided you do it right.
I consider guest posting at blogs with a DA below 30 to be a waste of time but you may still do it in order to draw its audience to your name and brand. But the sites at the top are what counts the most. There will be times you will get the opportunity to guest post at top-notch websites, but you may not be allowed to link back to your site. At those times, you should not leave the opportunity of posting there. Writing for those sites gets you the opportunity to brand yourself in front of a completely new audience.
In fact, I got an amazing ghost-writing opportunity of a book for a CEO of a company after I wrote some posts at Addicted2Success.com. And, make no mistake – I got no backlinks from the A2S website – but, I got tremendous branding instead! Thanks, Tyler!
Anyhow, before you go around guest posting, first figure out what you consider your benefits to be from blogging for an external website. Understand how you are going to get leads and may monetize your business using the guest posts and then go ahead. Even if you don’t get links, it can push you ahead of your content marketing goals by a ton margin!
#3. Not getting the emails of your audience
It doesn’t matter how low your blog traffic is – if you get visitors, you need to try to convert them into your subscribers. I understand you may not get much when you first start your journey – probably something around 10 or 20. But, if you don’t put in a continuous stream of efforts on getting leads, you are leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. Email subscribers can boost your content marketing efforts a lot! In fact, most marketers die over getting more subscribers to their blog via email.
The same goes for your guest posts. It is a great waste to leave the audience of another site leaving your post and forgetting all about you especially if they like your content. But, some site owners, may consider you asking their audience to subscribe, as self-promotion.
So what do you do? You give out more value.
First, create some awesome content – be it a list post, or a definitive guide or anything that addresses your audience’s pain point – and, this is important. Just an article on whatever topic that seemed best for your keyword ideas isn’t going to cut it. You need to find the pain point of your audience and then you got to capitalise on that by creating an article that goes above and beyond to address that issue.
Finally, you create some sort of additional content as a free gift for those who subscribe. Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko.com is great at doing these types of additional content that he offers for free at the end of his articles to those who consider subscribing. It usually goes like this – after the end of a post, say, on List Building Tips, he offers the viewers the complete PDF version of the guide as well as two extra tips and how to actually implement those tips as a free download. And, to get the download, you got to put in your email address and he will email you the download link.
Apart from that pop-ups also work great. But, make sure you give viewers a good amount of time after they come to your site before you shove the pop-up in their faces!
#4. Being Out there on All Social Media Platforms
I see this all too often. New bloggers in the FOMO hatch into all social media platforms that they possibly get their teeth into. What ends up happening is that they end up capitalising on none of the social media platforms that they ventured into and burn themselves out. This need not happen to you. As a blogger, if content marketing is your goal, you need to look at blogging like one would look at his very own business. You need to formulate a business plan and understand what type of blog you have and which social media platforms does your target audience usually hang out in.
There are also some other factors that you have to take into consideration, for example, the demographics of your audience, their age group and so on. But here’s a rule of thumb – if you have a business that sells any physical products, head over to Instagram. If your business sells services, LinkedIn and Twitter are the best. And if you have a general biz, Facebook is your trusted shot even though its new algorithms are highly non-business friendly. Even though I am not into YouTube, video marketing is blowing up now and it should be a vital part of your social media planning and content marketing efforts.
When you are starting out – take no more than two social media platforms on your plate. I’d recommend a mix of YouTube with other social media options, but if you suck at video, feel free to test what is best for you.
#5. Giving Up on the “Marketing” of your Content Marketing strategy
There are billions of blogs on the web. And, it’s all too surprising to find so many content marketers out there who just post content and leave it be. Creating content is not content marketing. And, if you do this, you are leaving the main part of content marketing on the table which is actually going out there and marketing the content you create. In fact, 80% of your content marketing efforts should be directed at promoting the stuff that you create. If you have just started, I’d recommend, you create a solid 20 “REALLY GOOD” articles on your blog before you start promoting content because you need to engage your audience and collect emails and it’s really hard to do so without having some stuff in your site.
And, after that just promote, promote and promote.
Send cold-emails. But, make sure you personalise them and be warm to the people you send and for god’s sake avoid the skyscraper content technique. For those unfamiliar with the skyscraper technique, it is where you create very good content and ask people to link to them. For starters, there are thousands of articles which explain why this technique won’t work for you.
First, it is really hard to convince some big-shot blogger to drop all the work that he has to review some article that you have created and to link to it. Just ask yourself a question – why would they? What have they to get by linking out to some better resource when the resource that they are linking out to already does the trick?
Second, cold emails suck if you are an unknown person. If you are some hot-shot like Neil Patel, skyscraper content would work like a charm for you but if you are an unknown newbie in the world of content marketing and/or if your site is not that famous, most chances are that the people you are reaching out to will just ignore your email.
Third, Search Engine Journal already showcased how they failed to gather links via the skyscraper content technique because their post did not address any pain point of any audience. It’s vital for the skyscraper technique to work that your post must address some pain points of your target audience.
Instead of doing that, just politely reach out to experts in your niche and share with them your article and ask them to share it if they like it. It works much better.
If you have a new website, focus on offering value first for your content marketing efforts – such as writing guest posts, creating infographics and sharing them for free. They work much better!
Now, it’s your turn. Were you making any of these mistakes? If so let me know in the comments and if you liked this post give it a share and spread the word!