I remember the day I realized that I wanted to become an online marketer. I was so excited to have found the secret to consistent traffic, leads, and truly doing what I enjoyed in life. I was sitting in my office staring at my screen when these two words came to me and I wrote them down in notepad. The cursor flashed at me, and since that day I have never been the same.
Before I tell you what those two words are, I want to share with you the powerful tools that I learned how to wield after those two words came to me:
In this guide I’ll show you exactly how you can conquer content marketing in less than 60 minutes per week, and I’ll also share with you how content marketing is a huge part of those two very powerful words.
You will need to set up some tools on the first go around, but from there you can invest just 60 minutes per week, and you’ll be crushing it with fresh new content each and every week.
1. Get Creative on a Consistent Basis:
One of the struggles that all content marketers face at one time or another is how to generate new content. Creativity is often misunderstood as an activity where the “creative types” dream up brand new ideas to use in their marketing efforts.
I don’t think that anything could be further from the truth. The truly talented and creative people that I have worked with over the course of my 15 year career are good at one thing:
Someone may have explained it to you differently, but when it comes down to it, creative people are just great at aggregating ideas and content and then re-creating it in a new way. You can be the most left brained “uncreative” person and still follow this path of creativity.
In a fascinating film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” Thierry Guetta became an artist simply by copying the famous street artist Banksy. In the end, he really did become an artist, and you can do the same by implementing these creative stealing “listening” tools:
- Google Alerts – Using this tool, you can get an email every time something in your industry happens, or anytime a particular search term is used.
- StumbleUpon – Join this site and “stumble” your interests. You’ll find topics and content that millions of users find to be interesting.
- popular.eBay.com – If your business has anything to do with consumer products, you can see what is trending right here on eBay’s replacement to the old eBay Pulse tool. Browse what’s trending on eBay and you’ll be able to write about relevant products for your marketplace.
- rt.ly – A beta tool from Bit.ly, this service shows you what links from bit.ly are currently being clicked. You can use this to “News-jack” any topic that people are currently talking about.
- Email Newsletters – I subscribe to at least 100 different newsletters from various industry experts and competing companies. This allows me to see what my industry is talking about, and it fuels my own ideas.
- SmartBrief – This service lets you get the summary clips of industry news from your industry. It’s a great way to stay up to date and also generate ideas for your next blog post.
Go set up accounts on each of these sites, or configure the tools so you can begin to receive a constant flow of information. Filter the tools into a separate folder in your email account automatically and then make a habit of reading through them each week.
2. Make Time to Write:
Once you have all the tools set up and you are absorbing new information on a weekly basis, schedule a time to write. If you are an average typer, you will probably fall into the 30-40 words per minute category, and you really only need 30 minutes to write an article of around 900 words. Set aside a time where you can block out other distractions, silence your phone, and turn off other notifications. It’s hard to write with distractions going on, but when you seal yourself off, you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.
I personally like to turn on some classical music or electronic dubstep music. Anything that doesn’t have vocals seems to do the trick for me.
3. Write a Killer Headline:
Headlines are critical to engaging your reader. If you don’t have an engaging headline, then you’ll never get them to click through and read your actual content. The best way to win with headlines is to test different versions until you find what works, but here are a few tried and true examples that you can steal from me and use to get started:
- How to [accomplish your subject]
- Why Your [subject] is Underperforming
- 10 Things Every Small Business Owner Can Learn from [celebrity name here]
- 3 Ways to Convert [something negative] into [something positive]
- Why [celebrity name] Should Be Running Your Business
- How to Become a Winner in [your subject matter]
- Why You’re Wasting Time with [something popular people use a lot]
Just look for good headlines from the sites you read, the newsletters that you get, and the google alerts you’re receiving. This will fuel your creativity. Steal, steal, steal, and make it your own. That’s the best way to learn.
4. Make a Sandwich:
I like to eat, but that’s not exactly what I am talking about. I’m talking about how to organize your content, and it’s easy for my inner fat kid to remember the word sandwich.
1. Start with the Top Slice:
The attractive cover and the opening statement that defines your purpose for writing the article should come first. Remember that you want to open a loop that your reader is going to unconsciously want to close. “Today I am going to share with you how I finally found the secret to consistent diet and exercise” is one way you could open a loop. Tell a personal story and then complete the story at the end of the article. This is the open loop, or “hook” that will keep your reader plowing through to the end. It will keep them engaged.
2. Lay On the Meat:
In the middle of the article, get to the meat of the story. Share the tools you have, share the advice that you want to give, state facts, and fill them up with good information on the topic you are writing about. Be concise and provide high quality useful information.
Even though you might feel like you’re sharing things that everyone in your industry already knows, you can do so in a more informative, more user friendly way. You can create a step by step guide, or provide pictures of what you’re talking about. Just remember to fill your reader up with good content and things they can use today and in the future.
3. Wrap Up with the Bottom Slice:
Once you’ve gotten through the meat of the matter, close it up, wrap up your personal story, and provide more tools for your reader, or ways for them to reach you. You should never write a post that doesn’t include an easy way for your reader to contact you.
When in doubt, tell your reader exactly what you want them to do next. “Contact me for a free demo” or “Call for a free consultation” or “Try our free tool here” with a link are all examples of calls to action that tell your reader what you should do. Don’t leave anything to chance. Ask them to take action.
5. Edit AFTER You Write and Add Images:
While I believe that you can do some formatting and organization while you are writing, I don’t believe you should do any heavy editing. Sit down, get the thought out in 30 minutes or less, and then go back and edit. Even better is if you can have someone else on your team proof read it for you.
Pay close attention to numbers lists, indenting, and headings. A well formatted article will outperform the same content that is not formatted in an ideal manner. In a world of Twitter users, we are all used to short blocks of text.
Something that is short and stands alone will often get read more thoroughly than a long block of text.
Find some appropriate pictures and insert them at the head and throughout the document. A site like Deposit Photos offers a very affordable monthly subscription that gives you five images a day. That will be plenty to get you started.
6. Repurpose the Content:
Once you have this post written, you should publish it on your blog, but what else can you do with it? One of the very important keys to becoming a rockstar content marketer is finding ways to repurpose the content with low effort. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use the same post, or portions of it in an email newsletter
- Print it out and mail it to your VIP customer list on high quality full color paper
- Create an audio version and share the audio version on your website or through a podcast
- Create an infographic and publish it on your site and share it on social media
- Break the post down into social media friendly bite sized pieces, and post it over the course of a few days (You can do this using a tool like HootSuite)
- Combine 5-6 posts on the same topic into a short ebook and give it away when people sign up for your email marketing newsletter.
All of the above distribution methods can be accomplished via automated software, or with the help of a virtual assistant. If you need help finding a virtual assistant, I recommend that you start on Upwork.
7. Focus and You Can Accomplish Your Goal:
It might seem ambitious to you to do all this in 60 minutes, but I can tell you that I follow the same process on almost a daily basis, and during content creation periods in my business I am able to easily produce an article in 60 minutes or less (This article is 2,000 words plus, and only took 60 minutes to write). You can write 800-900 words in half the time.
So to recap, here are the steps:
- Choose a topic from your creative sources (10 minutes)
- Write a headline (5 minutes)
- Write the article (30 minutes)
- Edit the article (10 minutes)
- Delegate distribution to a virtual assistant (5 minutes)
You will need to take a little time to set up your process and hire a virtual assistant, but after you do that, you can become a content marketing rockstar.
The Two Words:
Now that I’ve given you the tools you need to promote and grow your business using content marketing, I want to share with you the two words that changed my life (remember I am teaching you to close the loops you open while writing).
The words that were sitting in notepad before my flashing cursor were “passive income.”
What do those two words have to do with content marketing you might ask? I have discovered that the more consistently I market my business online using content marketing, the more my passive income grows. And here’s why:
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, people are searching for solutions on the internet. The more that I can provide useful information and tools to those searching for help in my industry, the more that they will remember my name and my company and come to me when they need help implementing solutions.
Once I write an article and provide a solution, and in doing so pitch my services to the masses, it can stay out there forever, working hard for me even when I’m sleeping.
That is what’s so great about passive income and content marketing. They are things that can work for you every day if you invest in them wisely.
Here’s to your continued success in your content marketing efforts!
At Business Marketing Engine, we create customized marketing plans for businesses in various niches and industries, and we can do the same for you.
Contact us today and see your marketing results soar to new heights.