My Secret Content Marketing Strategies From 27 Years of Experience
Content marketing is quite possibly one of the most powerful and profitable strategies that can be used for any online business or website. Great content can bring you more popularity than you ever imagined, while bad or even spam filled articles, images and videos can ensure that nobody ever sees your site. Search engines like Google can send you insane levels of free website traffic. You just have to provide the right information on your site to reap the rewards.
The most common thing that I see happen among websites is high-quality content that still fails to attract traffic and sales. When this happens to you, it’s easy to get frustrated and simply give up thinking that you’ve failed. In reality, you only fail when you give up too soon.
I’ve been building rich content sites online for more than 27 years now. During that time, I have had some immense successes and really embarrassing failures too. The failures don’t make me give up though. I learn from them and improve my strategies to do better next time.
Over the years I have learned numerous secrets about content marketing that have helped me drastically improve my success rate. I’ve gone through each secret tactic that I use in this post and detailed them below.
Content Marketing Basics
One of the most effective ways to utilize content marketing is with search engine rankings. A search engine can send free, targeted traffic to your website. Search engines like Google can potentially send you thousands of visitors every single day. You just have to provide the right content to capture those search rankings.
So what is content? It can honestly be any kind of media that is used on a website or anywhere else on the internet. Text writing in articles is the most basic form of website content. However, you can also use pictures, videos, audio and more. The type of content that should be on your site will vary depending on the subject. A website about fruit most likely wouldn’t have audio to play, while a site about music would be more likely to use audio or video over images.
Imagine a topic that you might cover on your website. What would the world’s most in-depth, detailed and useful resource look like for that topic? If you can provide that on your site, you’re almost guaranteed to find success.
Keyword Phrase Targeting
Think about this blog for a minute. It’s about managing your money better, investing, and even making a better income with a side hustle. I cannot possibly write about all possible subjects that relate to those main topics on a single page of the website. Instead, I’ve broken down those main niche topics into smaller sub-topics. This page is about “content marketing”, but there are also many other kinds of marketing that I’ll want to talk about on the site. Each of those individual topics can become a standalone page on my website.
Each individual page of your website can target a main keyword phrase, which relates to the main topic of that page. This is how people will find your content on a search engine, by searching for that keyword phrase or something similar to it.
Your goal should be to make each page of your site about a very specific topic. All topics should relate to the main niche of your site. Provide the most useful and complete information that can manage for the topic on each page. Long, in-depth articles with other types of supporting media often perform the best. Personally, I try to avoid publishing any content with less than 1,000 words, but I’ll sometimes write 5,000+ words on a single topic if it’s necessary.
Content Niche Competitors
You have a page on your site targeting a specific keyword phrase, and you have made that page into the world’s best resource for that topic. When it still gets zero traffic and exposure from your marketing efforts, it may not be your fault. In fact, there can be three really big reasons why the best content in the world may not be the #1 ranked page for that subject on a search engine. These three reasons: competitors, niche size and time. I’m going to cover all three here so you can see the whole picture.
The other competitors in your niche that are trying to target the same topics may simply be more powerful, authority sites. A brand-new website isn’t going to be able to compete with Wikipedia, just as a wild example. You may have higher quality content and more of it, about a specific keyword phrase, but your competitors may have a much more dominant position in the niche overall. Their site may cover 10,000+ different keywords relating to your site’s niche, while you may only have 10-100 pages on your site.
More tightly defined niches can help to avoid competition. For example, there are likely millions of websites about “cars”, but there’s probably many less sites about the “1964 Mustang”. If you want to be able to target a more general niche like cars, you must be prepared to deal with the competition. This could mean building your website for years before you see reasonable progress to compete with the big guys. If you don’t want that level of competition, you need to narrow your niche selection for your entire website.
Total Niche Topics
The amount of competition in a niche is often, but not always, relevant to the overall size of a niche. I’m talking about the total number of possible topics that you could come up with for a niche. Imagine if you could go to Google and type in a keyword phrase like “cars”. Instead of a list of sites, you get a list of keyword phrases that cover all potential topics that you could write about in your content for that niche.
For a niche like “cars”, that list of topics would be massive. I’m pretty confident it would easily be in the millions and possibly tens or hundreds of millions. By comparison, there would be a much smaller list of topics about the “1964 Mustang”. That narrowly defined niche could potentially be completely covered in hundreds or thousands of pages. I doubt there would be anywhere close to a million topics for that one year and one model.
Unfortunately, you can’t go to a website and get a list of topics like I describe here. You need to imagine this in your mind for a potential content niche. To have your site viewed as an authority site for your niche, you’ll basically need to cover more topics than most of your competitors. How many pages and keyword topics would you need on your site to be an authority for your niche? If you are working solo to build content, you don’t want to chase an impossible number if this is your ultimate goal.
Website & Content Age
Let’s say you have a lot of money to invest to build a website that would be an authority on a niche. Even if you could instantly publish a site that covers every possible type of content within that niche, it would still take time before you saw the full results. The age of your domain name, and even the age of each page can affect search engine placement and the success of content marketing.
Google, and possibly other search engine networks, will use the age of your site as one of many ranking factors. For this reason, sometimes you will simply need to wait more time before you will begin to see top ten rankings that will bring you a lot of traffic. There’s not much you can do about this, but you need to be aware of this fact, so it doesn’t discourage you. Continue to build your site and add more content. The more time that is able to pass, the better your content will perform.
Another aspect to content age is more organic than a simple date. The longer you leave high-quality content on the internet, the more likely it is that someone else will find it, enjoy the content, and link to it from another website. Obtaining these natural, organic “backlinks” is one part of a website’s age that you can’t rush or fake. Don’t try to create these backlinks yourself or else Google will likely take notice and penalize you for it, instead of rewarding you with better search placement.
Secrets to Powerful Content Marketing
There are a lot of different secrets, tips and strategies that you can use with content marketing. Many of these are things I have picked up with trial and error over the 27+ years I’ve been doing it.
One particular secret that I’m going to share with you is about tackling a really powerful, high competition niche topic. Sometimes a single website page won’t be enough to get a good search ranking on a high traffic, high competition keyword phrase. As an example, you could build a single page that talks about “personal finance”, but an entire section of your site about that topic that covers hundreds or even thousands of sub-topics about personal finance would be much more powerful.
The basic concept behind this strategy is the same as organic backlinks. A link from one page to another page can help to boost the search ranking power of the receiving page. That means that you can build 100 pages on your own website about a wide variety of personal finance topics and link all 100 pages back to your primary page. The primary page is the one targeting the personal finance keyword phrase that you want to get a great search ranking for to send you traffic.
Using this tactic, you can build entire sections of a website just to target one main keyword phrase. This is done to defeat competition, but you should also make sure it will be worthwhile. Use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to find out how many people search for a keyword each month. This allows you to go after a phrase with 10K or more monthly searches, which the supporting pages that link to your main page can target lower traffic and lower competition phrases.
By following the tips and strategies that I’ve taught you in those post for your own website’s content marketing, you’ll be able to capture a lot of free search engine traffic that is highly targeted for your niche. Ultimately, even if you’re trying to pursue content marketing other than with search engines, the lessons I teach here will still greatly help you to provide higher quality articles and better content, which will always improve the results you see from marketing efforts.