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.
Do You Get Lost in Blogging Busywork?
My prime business intent going forward is to get my 124 ebooks in 1 billion places. That’s it. I will promote other opportunities of course and prosper through multiple channels but it is a billion with my 124. Hold me to that. Wait a second. You won’t have to hold me to that. I’m pretty good about being accountable to myself.
Anyway, it’s been fascinating to see moments of my mind attempting to pull me to blogging busy work. You know exactly what I mean. For me, my day is largely about promoting my ebooks through Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, guest posts, Live broadcasts on Facebook, my podcast, and videos on Twitter as well. Other than promoting a few other opportunities, I do not intend to do anything else. But of course my mind tries to pull me toward blogging busy work at times. How does my sidebar look? Is my sidebar converting enough? What about blog comments? Should I open comments on specific old blog posts? Each question indicates some type of busy work that is not genuinely important or business building for your blog. Of course, most bloggers spend a fair chunk of their days on busy work and wonder why they struggle and fail so horribly. If you spend most of your time doing what does not matter, you will fail. But if you spend most of your time doing what does matter, creating and connecting and opening multiple streams of income, you will succeed. Blogging is that simple.
But blogging is not comfortable at all because even though we intellectually know to avoid busy work, our fears pull us in towards the silly activities. Some bloggers spend weeks or months or even years doing stuff that ultimately does not matter. Why spend hours on your blog design when it’s the content you create and the connections you build that lead to your greatest blogging success? You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to blogging. Being straight with yourself makes the difference between success and failure.
I usually catch myself within seconds to minutes of being engaged in busy work that does not really make a difference. I scan my email in seconds. I am down to that number now. But I recall my struggling days when I would be in my email for 20 minutes or an hour or longer every day. I tried to read every word of every email. I tried to engage every silly sponsored post pitch. Huge mistakes. I wasted so much time on what didn’t matter. You know what matters? Creating helpful content and building genuine connections with human beings by helping other bloggers. Do these things and you position yourself to succeed. Add income streams and you position yourself to become a full-time blogger, just like I discuss in this eBook.
Blogging is simple but uncomfortable. Creating and connecting feels uncomfortable when your fear pulls you toward busy work. Ego is like that. The mind is like that. It makes a mountain out of a molehill by pulling you away from core, business building blogging activities towards stuff that waste your time. I have never looked at a heat map in my blogging life yet I’ve circled the globe for the past eight years as a professional blogger. Feel free to spend a few moments checking out heat maps but when moments become hours, you’re messing up. You’re too engaged in blogging busy work. Help people freely and generously. Trust in the process. Open multiple streams of income. Promote your core opportunity the most, like me promoting my 124 ebooks. Success will find you.
Do You Reject or Accept Opportunities for Growth?
I just wrote and self published this ebook in a little over 24 hours:
not bad, eh? I asked my readers for ebook ideas. I received answers. I wrote the ebook. I really hustled on this one. I’ve already generated a quick sale. How? I accept opportunities for growth immediately. Do you feel the same way? Or do you reject opportunities for blogging growth? Be honest with yourself. This is not a comfortable process for bloggers to follow because your ego may sting a little bit.
Blogging struggle is borne of rejecting opportunities for growth. Blogging success is born of accepting opportunities for blogging growth immediately. I opened another income stream within 24 hours based on seizing an opportunity immediately. No hesitating. No hemming and hawing. No delaying. Other than sleeping for a handful of hours I did nothing else other than write the ebook, proofread the ebook, add photos and publish the sucker during that 24-hour stretch. Oh yeah. I also did some networking and content creating and yes, I promoted a handful of my 123 books. But I wrote ebook number 124 during that time frame too. Why? I love blogging. I love freedom. I love seizing opportunities for blogging growth.
Emerson said all life is an experiment and the more experiments you make the better. This wise man knew the secret to success. Seize the moment and squeeze all you can out of the moment by accepting opportunities for blogging growth fast. If a reader nudges you to write an ebook, write the darn ebook. Do not delay. Unless you despise writing, and you probably don’t because you blog, write the ebook, help the reader and make money. If one reader has that issue than 50 million readers have that issue. We are all human beings with pretty similar problems when you break everything down.
How quickly do you reject opportunities for growth because you fear something or someone? My most lucrative freelance writing client basically had to beg me to work for him. I so deeply feared I would not be worth the money he was paying me and I also feared his criticism, even though he was such a nice, warm, genuine dude. After he would not accept me saying no, I accepted the job and made a pretty penny over the course of our relationship. I learned my lesson. Now I gobble up opportunities for growth so quickly it’ll make your head spin.
I could go to bed right now to take a quick nap. I just worked for the long stretch to write the e-book and release it. But I gobble up this opportunity to write a guest post. Again guys, I accept opportunities for growth and grow like a stinking blogging weed.
Do not ignore opportunities because you fear seizing blogging opportunities because ignorance leads to struggle, failure and quitting. Seize the moment. Seize opportunities for blogging growth. Write the guest post. Broadcast live on Facebook. Upload a video to Twitter. Write the ebook. Convert it to audiobook. Create a course. How do you think I retired to a life of island hopping? I did not sit on the sidelines folks, waiting and waiting and waiting for opportunities. I seized opportunities for growth quickly and more opportunities flowed my way. Opportunities seized, multiply fast. Opportunities rejected disappear immediately.
Seize the blogging moment!
No Blogger Can Force Clients Customers or Readers to Learn and Succeed
Sometimes you just need to get right to the point with blog post titles. This is one such title and blog post. After answering questions for readers recently I made a realization. Honestly, I’ve had this realization in mind for many years. I guess I never chose to write about it. But today I will cover the topic. You cannot force a reader, client or customer to learn and succeed. This is just not possible. You cannot will someone to see what they are not prepared to see or do what they are not prepared to do.
Sometimes, coaches struggle horribly because they base their success or failure on the success or failure of clients. This is lunacy. You can show a horse the way but you cannot force the horse to drink, right? Ditto for human beings. You can coach someone but you cannot force them to do what you advised them to do. That is 100% in their hands. In truth, the best blogging coaches, ebook writers and consultants are at peace with doing their best job and leaving it at that.
I regularly answer questions for free, offering experience, helpful advice for new or struggling bloggers. Said newer struggling bloggers return within a few seconds with more questions, trying to find a different way to succeed, trying to find the quick shortcuts that lead to guaranteed failure. I release these people. Although I have compassion for fear-filled new and struggling bloggers, it is not my job to convince them of my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either they’re smart and listen, humbling themselves and their ego. Or they make the foolish decision of trusting their fears over my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either way, I have nothing to do with their outcomes. They choose to listen or to ignore me. I’m cool with that.
Be clear with the fact that most humans live predominately from fear so until they change their programming through a personal decision they will ignore good advice and follow bad advice. Self-fulfilling prophecy. In the same regard, you can trigger emotions in someone that allows them to follow your successful advice. Someone may open up and learn from you if it’s their time to open up. Totally their personal decision that has nothing to do with you. This is why I never get full of myself. I understand everybody’s life is their choice. I can show the way. You choose to follow or ignore. Nothing to do with me.
Stop wasting your energy trying to convince, manipulate or flat-out force clients and customers to do what you advise them to do. Offer your advice. Detach. Some folks will follow your advice and succeed with their blogs. Other folks will ignore your advice and continue to fail. You did what you could but now it’s up to them to use your knowledge and experience for their benefit. Keep helping people. Keep meeting new people. Don’t get attached to clients or customers. Offer tips and leave it at that. Every human being is fully accountable for themselves. You are a blogger, not a babysitter. You inspire but you’re not a savior. You can try but you can’t force people to do anything. Be at peace with this truth and you will become more successful than you ever dreamed. Most bloggers never succeed wildly because they never scale, being heavily attached to a few clients or customers. Highly successful, happy, free bloggers keep meeting and helping new people and allowing those people to find their own way. I am responsible for no one but myself. This is how I’ve lived the life of my dreams.
Do you want to live a movie-worthy life of travel like me?
Buy my eBook:
PS…the featured image is me in New Zealand and the hut above is where me and my wife lived deep in the jungles of Costa Rica.
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