The internet is flooded with content. Texts, videos, images — we consume hundreds of pieces of content every day without even noticing it. But, how many of them actually hit the target?
As a business, your primary goal is to get noticed, to get heard. So, if the content you create doesn’t resonate with the audience, you are pouring your money down the drain.
As a self-funded startup targeting a highly competitive SaaS market, we at Chanty learned firsthand how hard it is to build a solid content marketing process from scratch. Yet, we had no choice but to make it work. And so we did.
In this article, we want to share our secret recipe for crafting the content that converts.
So, if you are planning to start a blog or promote your business online, here are the 5 ingredients that can spice up your content and make it work.
Write about what your readers want to read
Creating the content which is relevant to your readers and resonates with them is the key to success. Yet, finding the right topics to cover on your blog is always a challenge.
A good idea would be to start your search at a place your readers go looking for the answers to their questions — Google search. Popular search queries can be a great source of inspiration for your content. You can even explore regional interests by changing your IP address through the use of VPN servers and exploring local Google yourself.
The approach worked out pretty well for us. Namely, it turned out that many people are searching for alternatives to the well-known products. In our case, they were looking for team communication tools to substitute Slack and other popular messengers.
Such queries also clearly had a very high buying intent, so we gave it a shot.
We wrote a series of articles dedicated to the team chat comparison and created several landing pages optimized for “… alternative” keywords. As a result, our website traffic grew threefold while conversions hit 10%.
Takeaway? Don’t write for the sake of writing. Answer to your readers’ questions. Educate them. Offer solutions to their problems.
1 – Create content that earns trust
Customer loyalty begins with trust. No one will buy from a company that doesn’t seem reliable or is being dishonest with its customers. So, you need to establish credibility as a brand through the content you produce and share.
Make sure that your content is well-researched and based on facts, regardless of the topic you cover. Always give proper credit to the data you quote in your articles.
A great way to establish credibility is to create opinion pieces or expert roundups. To start with, you can reach out to the fellow startupers and ask for their comments or participate in such roundups yourself.
For example, our piece on How to get beta testers for a startup turned out to be a legit investment. The experts we included in the roundup were glad to share the piece and spread it across their networks, helping us get the visibility and build trust.
2 – Always add value
What is the main purpose of your content?
To get your website to the first page of Google search? To drive traffic to your website? To make the readers buy your product or service?
If your answer to any of the given questions is “yes,” you are getting the content marketing wrong. It’s all about adding value first.
A generic or boring article won’t help you convert the readers into customers. Neither will it help you rank higher in Google search. Yet, original and insightful content will.
Your content should be filled with real-life evidence, your own hands-on experience, and original insights. Namely, the comparison articles we mentioned earlier wouldn’t bring half of the results if it wasn’t for the original, in-depth (and unbiased) analysis they featured.
For example, in our seven-messenger test drive article, we got to the core of the team chat tools comparison. We didn’t go around singing our praises but conducted thorough research and tried to help our readers make the right choice instead.
The effort paid off well enough. The article spurred the conversation on our blog and had really positive feedback.
Feedback from the grateful readers.
3 – Channel your inner Hemingway
Even the brightest and the most valuable article can get dusty in your blog if it is impossible to read or understand. Of course, using proper grammar and following common style best practices go without saying. However, there are many more things you can do to make your content readable.
First of all, always speak the same language as you readers. Don’t overcrowd your content with unnecessary jargon, buzzwords or scientism in attempt to sound smart or trendy. Breaking the text into smaller paragraphs, using bullet lists, quotes or subheaders will make your articles easier to read.
You can also use some graphics here and there to liven up your articles. Adding a dash of humor never hurt nobody either!
Combo: an image we used in our article which is both funny and meaningful in terms of the article content.
4 – Spread the word
Once you create the perfect piece of content, it’s time to share it like mad. And by “share” I don’t mean just social networks. There are many ways to spread your content across all marketing channels. One of the best ways to accomplish this, is through the use of automated marketing tools. Many platforms will work with manual outreach and promotion, but this can add up to a lot of time-wasted, when plenty of automated options exist.
Guest posting is one of them. Getting your content posted on other resources with a bigger audience and higher credibility is a proven strategy for earning valuable backlinks as well as establishing credibility and growing your audience.
Featuring articles on such reputable resources as Hubspot, Entrepreneur, Foundr, Search Engine Journal, SemRush, Marketo, etc. was quite a journey for us as well. Yet, putting our name in front of millions of readers was definitely worth the effort.
On the other hand, if you accept guest posts, you can expect your contributors to share the articles with their network and get you some extra visibility on social media (as well as a good deal of traffic).
5 – Don’t be overly promotional
There’s nothing more frustrating than heading to the corporate blog, tempted with a promising title, just to see another ad in a shiny wrapper. Even if you choose to promote your product or service, avoid sounding too salesy at any cost. Educate your readers rather than try to bluntly sell your product.
Brand loyalty and trust can win you more revenue down the road than a one-time sale.
Need an example of how to best accomplish this? Take a look at the comparison chart at HealthyHandyMan.com, and how they list out the best benchtop jointers for sale on the internet today. We are all sick and tired of reaching long text articles, and want more visuals. This is simply one of the best ways to give your audience what they want, while also increasing conversions in the process!
As you can see, there’s no magic involved in creating the content that drives results. The recipe is simple: a cup of value and original insights, a tablespoon of credibility, and a dash of humor.
Yet, there is one secret ingredient that can make any article even better. It’s the value, the genuine desire to be useful to your readers. Only the content with a clear value will reach its target and bring the expected results.
What’s your strategy for creating the content that converts? Share your hacks in the comments.
Author bio: Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty a simple AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.
4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes
See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?
I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.
Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.
Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?
Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.
Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.
1: Help More Ask Less
If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.
Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.
Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.
2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts
I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.
3: Manage Your Energy
Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:
- face fear
- feel fear
- release fear
- dissolve attachments
I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.
Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.
4: BE with Your Fear
I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:
- list subscribers
I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.
Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:
- will miss out on clients
- are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet
reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.
Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.
I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.
Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.
Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online
Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.
It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.
For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.
There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.
To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.
How Do People Search Engines Work?
Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.
Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.
In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
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