Content marketing is the one form of marketing that in many ways has remained stable through the years. Sure, there is a difference in some of the strategies used, such as in SEO, or in the general style used to really catch attention. A viral article from 15 years ago posted today would be unlikely to gain the same traction as it did back then, without a new gimmick to give it legs.
It is the power of content that allows it to continue to wear the crown, even though every year on the internet can be counted in the same way dog years can. Trends move fast, but the right tools remain the focus of marketing as each one floats by.
When speaking about content we have to specify it not by style, but by purpose. That purpose will inform on the audience, the tone, the format, its placement, and everything it is meant to achieve. In this case we are looking at content that converts, and converts well.
Use the following tools to up your content game:
Brainstorm content ideas, collect expert quotes and have your articles edited and improved for free. There’s something for everyone here.
Stay away from duplicate content and check who copies your content on regular basis.
Collaboarte on your content concepts and ideas with these awesome mind maps.
These five examples are the pinnacle of what we should be aiming for.
The Live Contest
Grow and Convert has an interesting idea: create a contest where the winning B2B website gets to be the guinea pig of a traffic experiment involving one high quality, high conversion piece of content on their blog, written by the experts at the G&C agency. Out of the 86 that applied, it was TAR Productions that beat out the competition.
We can use this example two-fold. First, we have the initial content, which not only brought a lot of attention to G&C, but it led to the 86 interested B2B companies taking part, sending in their applications and (presumably) helping to spread the word.
Second, we have the conversion-leading post written for TAR. They identified one piece, improved it, and in part three of their case study we learn that they improved traffic by 67%. This leveraged into increased conversion rates, and proved the value of their strategies.
I won’t go into it here, but it is worth heading over and reading all three parts to go step by step into their process.
Use The “LIFT” Model
The Landing Page Influence Function For Tests (LIFT™) is an awesome strategy created by the brilliant conversion gurus at Wider Funnel. It hypothesizes that you can test, analyze and increase conversion rates by using a landing page format rather than a traditional content or blog style.
LIFT bases the entire concept on their model of six different factors leading to conversion: Value Proposition, Relevance, Clarity, Distraction, Anxiety, and Urgency. Using these factors you can analyze the effectiveness of a landing page, or content that uses the same general format as a landing page. The idea can actually be applied to any content neatly, which is really cool.
Introduce (Holistic) Clarity
Syntaxis wrote an awesome breakdown of clarity as it applies to business writing. This should be applied to all content when you are trying to push for conversions. Because clarity is not just for the words you use, but every element of your presentation. That is where the idea of “holistic” clarity comes in…as in, being clear in each aspect of your content, from headline to page colors.
Coherence is key here. You want to make sure your content remains relevant and tightly worded throughout. Your headline should have punch, but never bait and switch the reader. Your format should be clean and easy to read. Even the colors on your blog, side advertisements, links and images should have a uniformity.
This creates holistic clarity, and it makes it much easier to convert.
The human brain has a number of interesting quirks, and we exploit them in marketing on a daily basis. That is all conversion is: using tactics that appeal to the subconscious and conscious minds to lead to an eventual benefit for both the user and brand, right?
Sony used a psychological tactic when they released their ads in October 2012, teasing a release with next to no information behind it. Any brand that uses a “offer ends soon”, or “only x left in stock” tactic are taking advantage of the Scarcity Effect, or the customer’s fear of losing a deal.
Another good idea is to make the user feel a sense of being part of an exclusive club. For example, they sign up for your newsletter, you give them access to a new, free ebook. They follow your social media, you give a heads up about new products or services. They join your VIP list, they get access to new features months before anyone else.
Make Sure You Aren’t Reducing The Value Through Choice Overload
Marketing Experiments did a fascinating case study that exposed what they call “value inhibitors”. The idea is that too many brands will offer a glut of choices that overload visitors with options. This reduces the overall value on a page, and so lessens the conversion rate, By eliminating these choices they were able to boost conversions by 162%, not by adding anything, but by removing it! This reinstated the value represented by the page.
Select cool WordPress themes that allow for impressive content presentation. Remove distractions and you will see better conversions. One I like to point to a lot (and not everyone agrees with me) are popups. Don’t get me wrong, these still work when you are trying to get people to sign up for email lists, or get free content. But placement is important, so keep them away from areas where you are funneling your conversions.
To Recap: Here Is What You Can Do To Make Irresistible, Convert-Crazy Content
Write. Good. Content.
OK, I realize I just went through five examples of intensive strategies and you should use those, too. But none of those tactics will amount to a cent if you aren’t applying them to high quality, incredible content that people want to see, read, and share.
If you really want to make content that converts, make content people like. Then apply the above ideas to give it that boost.
Does Blog Content Make You Money?
starts off with a Bali Bang. I slammed into the ground during a wicked motorbike accident. Pain followed. Big time pain. Excruciating pain. What was my life and blogging lesson? Never take your eyes off of the road. I looked at a dog for a split second who’d been hit by a car or motorbike. Shaking my head at his injured paw, I missed the oil slick ahead. Ouch. 2 seconds later, I felt like 40,000 monkeys stabbed me in the back and lungs, after hitting pavement, Superman-style.
Blogging is similar. You will be punished if you take your eyes off of the proven, straight and narrow road of blogging fundamentals. One such fundamental is knowing YOU, not your blog, and not your content, makes money. Sometimes, we say blogs or content makes money because we speak in casual terms to help people see importance in creating and connecting. But getting clear, and helping you understand this simple concept, behooves me to stress how your generous practice, your creations and your connections make you money through your blog. Never, ever is it the other way around because blogs are inanimate objects. Content is an inanimate object too; it cannot do anything, or be anything,
You are the one, the blogger, the being, that puts everything into motion. This involves your generous effort, your willingness to learn a skill and your daily practice, creating and connecting for years, to make your content pop. Sure I sell stuff THROUGH my content but it was me, and my generous effort, and not the content itself, that did the selling. The content is not anything. Content cannot do anything. Content is worthless unless bloggers inject worth into it; see what I mean? The blogger makes it pop, or, makes content a dud, and that pop-dud outcome bases itself solely on a blogger’s generous effort and full commitment to learning their craft, day after day, for years of their lives.
You can and will succeed. You can do it. Really. But you need to understand how you are the center of it all. Everything moves according to your focus, practice and generosity. Content is a tool; like a hammer, if by itself, totally useless. Hammers need humans to work, and hammers need skilled carpenters to really sing. Content needs skilled, generous bloggers to make it sing, too, and the skills increase as your focus and generous practice, and service, increases.
Does blog content make you money? Nope, not at all. Put in the time and energy to helping folks for free. Improve your skills. Increase your exposure. In time, slowly add multiple streams of income to your blogging campaign. Allow cash to flow to you as people see you in all types of spots, making a serious impact where you show up, because of your blogging skills. Everything gets easier if you commit 100% to honing your skills blogging-wise because the content genuinely sings when you get the job done, with your prodigious, polished blogging skills.
Content makes zero dollars.
You, through your practice and generous service, develop the skills through which you make your content top notch. Profits follow.
Why Do You Want to Publish an eBook?
One subsection of my eBook on writing eBooks is:
Know Why You Want to Publish an eBook
Knowing why gives you clarity if you write to free yourself and to free your readers. But if you write just to make money or to be well know, clarity lessons. Fear invades your mind because you write mainly to get, not to give. Shifting from fear to fun intent-wise just takes a little decision on your part. Small potatoes really. But this shift does feel a bit uncomfortable if you are new to the eBook writing process because you need to face fears. Who wants to face fear? Nobody, really.
But facing fear is one tax to pay for being successful in blogging and life. Ditto for your self-publishing journey. I largely faced fears to be who I am today, although I keep uncovering fears along the way. Part of the journey. I am cool with that. I had to ask why I wanted to publish an eBook about 4 years ago when I went on a tear, but even before, in 2014, I asked why I published an eBook in the first place? Simple. I created a new blog and brand in Blogging From Paradise and just believed having an accompanying eBook would help me be successful. I only had one eBook in mind. I never thought beyond the single eBook. But someone told me I deserved to write another eBook so after my first, I wrote and self-published a second eBook. I caught the writing bug.
100 plus eBooks later, here I am, writing eBooks for years, and now, promoting the eBooks effectively. The why, the emotion I chose in writing eBooks, propels me forward because I do what I do to have fun, to spread love and to help you, largely. One small part of me wants to make money online too. This is OK. As long as it is a small part of what you do, eBook-wise. Moving that money aspect mostly to the side gives me the energy to keep writing and to keep promoting, should I choose to write another eBook. Now I am all about promoting those suckers.
Why did you consider writing and shipping an eBook? Be honest with yourself. Think through your driver. Money? Fame? Sweet passive income stream? Each primary driver saps your energy because money, fame and passive income flow to you years or minimum, months, after publishing your eBook. What do you do during that zero dollar time? Money drives you, but you see no money. Since you lose your motivator, you quit. This is why so many authors fade into obscurity. Poor driver. Sell 3 eBooks, get flustered because you made $4.35 over 6 months, and quit, because money drove you but you made no money. On the flip side, bloggers and authors who choose a fun, freeing intent promote and write every day for their online career because the work is the reward. All else feels like a bonus, gravy, extra, or icing on the cake….including money.
Be straight with your eBook driver. Do not bother writing an eBook if you mainly want money because you quit and fail when money does not arrive. Even in rare cases if you make money pretty fast, you lose your heart and feel bad reaching money goals because we are mainly designed to have fun and help people, not to make money.
Do You Believe You Deserve Blogging Success?
My friend Alonzo Pichardo sent me an interview recently.
Pay close attention guys; one concept behind the video can be destroying your blogging success. Sure killed my career, for years.
Boxing legend Evander Holyfield went bankrupt, it has been claimed, as of 2012. He lost/spent $530,000,000 USD, 530 million dollars. Allow that idea to sink in. I read how Mike Tyson reportedly went bankrupt after spending/losing over $300,000,000, 300 million dollars. Most of these ideas astound people because we do our best to manage money effectively. I could live 40 life times on 500 million dollars. Anyway, a recent Mike Tyson interview highlighted one reason why he went bankrupt after amassing 300 million. I deeply suspect Evander blew through 500 million largely due to the same mindset. Iron Mike noted how he believed he did not deserve the big bucks. He saw himself as a broke kid from a rough neighborhood who did not deserve money, because he loved fighting for free, and also, clung to the past, keeping the same self image from when he lived in poverty.
If Tyson believed he did not deserve 300 million, the quickest way to get rid of 300 million is to spend like mad and blow the money irresponsibly. Most humans say he is foolish but this is not true; HIS BELIEF SYSTEM ensured he would do everything to get rid of the 300 million he did not deserve…and it became so.
Blogging and Deserving
Do you genuinely believe you deserve $10, or $100, or $100,000 through blogging? Most bloggers do not believe this, so they never make much money. Other bloggers make some money but lose it quickly through poor financial decisions, ensuring that they do NOT keep the money that they believe they do not deserve. Blogging, money or financial conditions have nothing to do with the money woes. The blogger’s belief system concerning money is 100% the root cause behind the problem. Change the deserving issue, and you change the income. Or cling to deserving problems, and keep slamming into blogging financial problems.
I recall not believing I deserved more than 99 cents for an eBook. I slammed into financial issues, sold few eBooks, then decided to face my deserving issues and deep fears concerning money and my self-worth. I eventually rose all my eBook pricing to $6.99, $9.99 and $20. Why? I deserve to sell 7 to 20 dollar eBooks. People buy at these prices – far more than at the dirt cheap prices – because I BELIEVE I deserve to make sales at those prices. Why? I faced deep fears concerning deserving. But if I never faced deserving-fears, I never make the money. Plus I would quickly lose money I made because if I still believed I did not deserve much money, my subconscious mind would find a quick way to lose my money. My belief system creates the experience. Ditto for your belief system; even if your ego does not agree with this point.
Like I say in my eBook:
you may leave your comfort zone if you learn new, scary techniques for monetizing your blog effectively. One scary and uncomfortable tactic involves observing your money limiting beliefs in the light of truth. If you do not believe you deserve money, you never make money or you make money and lose it incredibly quickly. Belief created the experience. You believing you do not deserve money creates the experience. Clear the fears, release deserving issues and money will flow to you more easily. Plus you will keep the money, too. Pure win-win, if you ask me.
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