So you’re blogging because some guy (like me) told you to. You just pick a topic and go for it. You post your link on Facebook. Your mom and neighbor like the post. A day goes by and you get 3 page views. This doesn’t seem worth the effort?

Is this what blogging is?

Content marketing (or blogging) can be full of disappointment and wasted effort…if you don’t have a goal and strategy in place.

What’s My Content Marketing Goal?

All businesses are different so this might not apply to you.

As a brand new web design business, I had the following struggles:

  • Branding – no one knew I existed
  • Budget – I wasn’t able to throw tons of money into advertising
  • Content – I didn’t have brochures, years of internal documents, photos, or videos to use
  • Employees – I am working alone and only have my 40-hours to get things done

I bet a lot of startup businesses know my struggle. 

So how do we compete in the land of the giants with these problems? My solution was content marketing (and a little SEO).

My Content Marketing Strategy – Quantity

I was not going to land in a pile of money so I could hire help or advertise. Instead, I took what I did have – time and knowledge. I’m not a great writer by any means, but that doesn’t stop our Facebook warriors and it wasn’t going to stop me.

In fact, my secret was deleting Facebook from my phone.

Comments on Social Media

Whenever I thought to pull out my phone and scroll, I replaced that with the Notepad app. You would be surprised how many blogs you can write when you replace Facebook browsing.

My goal was to hammer out as much content as I could to let Google know that I was here.

Whenever I had a spare moment, no matter where I was, I was writing. I continue that practice to this very day.

My Content Marketing Strategy – Quality

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not winning any awards for my writing. However, you should walk away with some nuggets with everything I post. I rarely, if ever, just post because. Some topics might be a little biographical, but ultimately it’s my way of explaining my knowledge and history on a topic. There are a great handful of articles that really deep-dive into a topic that no one has ever covered (Ohio Valley Keyword, Research or The Ohio Valley’s Best Restaurant Websites).

The Ohio Valley's Best Restaurant Websites - Caine the Brain

Not every blog is going to be fit for everyone, but there is at least a target audience in mind for every post.

Making Life Easier with Consistency

My wife is in the television industry. We have discussions about shows and seasons. Each year she rolls out similar promotional efforts. This makes it easy for clients to know what to buy and how much to budget. These sponsored segments can be slightly altered and still provide the same value.

I wanted some sponsored segments.

So I created my Focus of the Month. I knew that I needed to produce clusters of content focused on one topic (keyword) to get Google’s attention. By the end of each month, search engines would figure out that I am an expert in a new topic.

So I drafted out 12 topics that I wanted to cover.

Focus Topics for Year One

Focus of the Month
  • October 2019 – Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • November 2019 – Local SEO
  • December 2019 – Podcasting
  • January 2020 – Email Marketing
  • February 2020 – Google Analytics
  • March 2020 – Website Audits
  • April 2020 – eCommerce
  • May 2020 – Passive Online Income
  • June 2020 – Website Speed
  • July 2020 – YouTube
  • August 2020 – Schema
  • September 2020 – Branding

As you can see, I hit a wide variety of topics. All of these topics were dealing with questions I answer for clients. All of these topics were categories I would love to rank for on search engines.

Shows for My Network

If my Focus topic was the Channel, I wanted some shows to fill up my programming. I realized that I listened to way too many podcasts. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of this research?

I created the Listen of the Week segment where I write an article based off a suggested podcast. I have a similar format for each article:

  • Tell a Story or explain the concept in my words
  • Reveal the Premise of the Podcast I’m recommending
  • Explain why the topic or keyword is important
  • Let you listen to the podcast for all of the details and nuggets
Listen to Me and Listen to These Podcasts

This format made it really easy for me to mass produce helpful blogs. I wasn’t stealing the original podcasters content, but simply being a hype man – urging you to download and listen.

Instead of one or two original blogs about my Focused Topic, I would add four/five additional podcast recommendations.

Here is a full list of all of my recommended podcasts.

Employee Training By Accident

I will be talking about repurposing content later this month. It wasn’t until months after the fact that I realized I was creating an employee handbook by featuring my recommended podcasts. Instead of randomly selecting topics, I try to tell the story about a specific topic. For instance, this month I am talking about Content Marketing. I answer these questions:

  • What is Content Marketing? – Blog Week 1
  • What is a Content Marketing Strategy? – Blog Week 2
  • Content Ideas – Blog Week 3
  • Repurposing Content – Blog Week 4
  • Social Media Content – Blog Week 5

This is 3-5 hours worth of audio training. If I want to hire a new person, have them go through November 2020 to learn Content Marketing.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, you need a goal and a way to get your customers attention.

My goal was to gain Google’s attention for specific topics. Once I had Google’s attention, I would get my customers attention on Search.

A year later, I’m sitting pretty for many of my targeted keywords. I also wrote some pretty fun blogs (looking at you Justin Benline).

The Justin Benline Project

The Podcast: “What is Content Marketing Strategy”

Brands on Brands on Brands is a pretty fun podcast name. Brandon does a great job breaking it all down and giving a strategy to follow when creating and distributing content. Enjoy.