You’re asked to choose between BLOGGING and CONTENT MARKETING, What would you choose?
I’m sure it would be a tug of war choosing one out of the two. Especially down here in Nigeria. Because most people think both are one and the same thing.
But here’s what it is. Defining it loosely, Content marketing is an advanced form of blogging.
And as a blogger, in 2020, one powerful tool to use in building a more successful blog would be content marketing.
Now the question is, are you ready for this shift?
Today’s episode of 7 top skills to become a successful blogger in 2020, will be focused on how you can use content marketing to build a successful blog.
Here we go…
So most new bloggers think one can wake up any day and start blogging about anything and the audience would just come around.
This is a misconception that needs to be corrected if you really want to succeed with your blogging.
Now, first things first…
If you’re concerned about blogging and getting huge success with your blog, you must move from a mere blogger to a better content marketer… Because, blogging has evolved.
Now, here’s what it I mean…
Blogging is serious business. And bloggers are now using blogs to drive their business hence there is a big shift from what it used to be.
So unlike years back where anyone can come up with a mediocre news blog that gets rank with some black hat SEO tricks, today things have changed.
This is why you keep getting questions like, IS BLOGGING DEAD?
But the truth still remains, Blogging isn’t dead. Blogging has only evolved so if you’re yet to move with the trend, blogging could be dead to you.
Ok. Going back to our question…
As a blogger, how can you use content marketing to build a successful blog?
Why should you care to become a content marketer?
A Content marketer is responsible for researching, creating and sharing valuable content in order to yield a specific outcome.
A blogger on the other hand is responsible for updating a weblog. He/ she could update it for news information, personal experiences etc.
So at the end of the day, Blogging is more of the basic job while Content Marketing is more purposeful and directed at a more specific outcome.
As a blogger, you’ll have to move from blogging about anything just for blogging sake, to blogging about specific things, to a specific audience, and for a specific outcome…
This is where the concept of Content Marketing comes in… And also, the business part of blogging.
Moving from a mere Blogger to Content Marketer starts with a Mindset Shift. Meaning that when you get to this stage, you’ve moved from a hobby blogger to a professional, like an entrepreneur.
The implication of this is that you now have a well-defined goal for your blogging. And every other blogging activity is done with this goal in mind.
So at the end of the day you don’t just write stuff you feel like writing on the blog but as a content marketer, your goals now determines the kind of posts you update, the length of the post, your posting consistency and the platforms you’ll share each post.
How to become a Badass content marketer and take your blog to the next level
So you’ve seen reasons why you should up your game and become a Content Marketer if you really want to evolve a very successful blog…
Now, the following are specific steps you should take to become a better Content Marketer with your Blog:
1. Research your audience. All internet users are not your target audience.
This is the first thing you should know hence there’s need to define the kind of people that will most likely help you achieve your blogging goals then get them over to your blog.
This will help you ensure you’re creating the right content to the right audience and also in ensuring you’re able to create content that clearly connects your reader’s benefits to their needs.
So you can start this research by first understanding your blogging goals clearly and then asking yourself questions like:
What problem does my product or services solve?
Assuming you’re blogging to promote a product or service, you should be able to understand this clearly by relating the problem to the solution your product or services is providing.
Who is my competition?
This could be anyone in your own line of business. Understanding them clearly gives you an idea about your audience since they are already following and reading from this competitor. Especially where the competitor is well established.
What does my audience stand to benefit from choosing me above my competitor?
This is where a clear understanding of your unique selling point will be of great help in positioning your brand to attract a unique audience.
I’ll discus a lot about unique selling point in a later part of this series.
So when the above has been sorted out, you will now have a clearer understanding of the following:
Why your content exists
Who’s going to read your stuff
What your competitor is doing currently and how you can take it to the next level and finally,
Why your audience should choose you over your competition.
Now this takes us to the next step…[i][/i]
2. Get a blogging Calendar. After you’ve laid out your purpose and blogging goals, the next thing on your list is to set out a clear content marketing calendar in line with the goals you listed.
Your calendar could be yearly, quarterly or monthly. The goal is to cover everything necessary for your blogging success within that period.
For instance if you intend to launch a new product or service within a certain part of the year, this should be captured within your blogging calendar and suitable posts proposed for it.
Getting a blogging calendar would make your blogging a bit easier and more purpose driven.
3. Share on social media. [/b]Generally, not all social media attracts same audience demographics. Sometimes even within social media platforms, there are sub categories with more specific audiences.
Focus on finding social media and sub groups with your relevant target audience.
Find out how you can share your post to them in a way that will drive targeted traffic back to your blog.
[b]4. Create exceptional value. Now you could say the concept of creating exceptional value is almost over rated. But truth is, to attract a loyal audience, you must keep creating exceptional value consistently.
As someone looking at becoming an extremely successful blogger, there’s even an increasing need to create a very high value for your audience in a way that will not only distinguish you in your niche but keeps you as the go to person in that niche.
Here’s how far we can go today…
Remember, blogging has evolved. To become a successful blogger you’ll not just be a blogger, you’ll need to have great content marketing skills that will help you stand out.