Content Marketing Can Help You MMO
If you are a writer or involved with a traditional newspaper or magazine of some sort, you have probably heard the cry of doom: “There is no money in content!” It is easy to take heed of this sentiment when news and information seem to be so readily available for free on the Internet. However, if you understand how content marketing works online, there is no reason you cannot make good money with your content.
Content marketing is the process of using quality content, such as articles, videos, pictures, and any other form of multimedia, to drive traffic to a website or social media page. Once there, a combination of affiliate links paid advertisements, and secondary products can help you monetize your website or page.
To be successful with content marketing, you must also understand search engine optimization (SEO) and how to build a following on social media pages. With the sheer quantity of content available online, yours must rise to the top of the heap to have a chance of success. However, once it does, your income possibilities are limitless, as there is no cap to the number of people who can visit your online space.
How Content Marketing Helps You Make Money
Marketing, by definition, is anything that facilitates exchange. When consumers see marketing material, it is supposed to prompt them to make a purchase.
Traditional marketing techniques used offline, such as billboards, newspaper inserts, television commercials, etc., reach about 10% of the population. However, a good portion of that 10% has no interest in the product or service being offered, making the advertisement feel like spam. As such, the actual exchange induced by some marketing efforts can be very low.
In addition to being significantly cheaper to create, online content marketing crushes traditional marketing on several facets, leading to a much higher conversion rate and eye-popping return on investment.
Online content marketing works on the premise that there are billions of people across the world, always searching for answers and entertainment on the Internet. If you have content that sufficiently satisfies these search efforts, then those searching online will be directed toward
The power in content marketing is that if people are searching for specific content on the Internet, then they are at least mildly interested in making a purchase in that realm.
Furthermore, with the ability to reach anyone in the world with an Internet connection, your content can be satisfying a vast audience—a vast audience that is the right audience.
To help demonstrate how content marketing makes you money online, let’s create a hypothetical software-as-a-service (SAAS) website that discusses the various software subscription offerings that can help small businesses.
This is the most common way to make money through content marketing. Essentially, you create enticing content that draws searchers to your site.
Once at your site, the searcher then follows links to make purchases, with the owner of the site getting a percentage of the purchase as a sort of referral fee, which can be as little as 1% for low-margin products such as books, to 20% or more for high-margin products, such as the
aforementioned exercise equipment.
Using our hypothetical example, you think of SAAS-related questions that people might search for. For instance, you think that “What is a software subscription that all small businesses must have?” is a question many people might want to be answered. You do your research on SAAS, small business, and software subscriptions for small businesses and make an informative blog post that answers this and similar questions. Within the post, you include a couple of links to software options that your research has found to be extremely helpful for small businesses.
If a reader likes your article, follows your link, and purchases the recommended software subscription, then you will get a percentage of the sale directed back to you. Say the company is offering a referral bonus of 20%, and the software product sold for $300, then you captured $60 thanks to your content.
The good news about affiliate revenue is that virtually anyone can do it. While it helps to be an expert in an area, or to create content that directs sales back to your own business, if you are willing to do research and partner with affiliate marketing companies, there is no limit to the products you can create content for.
Paid advertisements are pretty straightforward; this is when a company or business pays you a direct fee for posting ads on your page.
In our hypothetical example, a SAAS provider may see your post, like it, and offer $XXX to post a banner ad on the page to try and get those reading the post to choose their specific offering.
It may be challenging to get paid advertisements in the early stages of your website, but once your content starts consistently moving to the top of searches and is known to have a vast amount of traffic, companies will likely start lining up and paying good money to advertise on your page.
This will likely occur once you have established a strong online presence and become a trusted source of information.
One idea is creating a book or how-to guide for purchase that compiles all of your content and can serve as a reference for those extremely interested in your content area. Another idea, if you are indeed an expert in the area you create content on, is to offer talks and seminars for a fee that goes into greater, more specific detail than what is available for free on your site.
Best Practices for Monetizing Content Marketing
While the income possibilities for online content marketing are limitless, many will never get their efforts off the ground. The following best practices are critical for those who want to make a serious push toward monetizing their content:
SEO is Key
Putting content out there is not enough. You have to be putting out the right content. The bottom line is that people are only going to click on the top handful of results on any search, so if your content is buried ten pages deep, there is no chance of you ever making money.
Fortunately, there are many SEO analytics tools out there that can help you identify trending keywords and areas of focus. If SEO remains confusing to you, and you want to focus strictly on creating content, then it will be worth your time to consider consulting with a digital marketing professional to help you build your online presence.
Quality Over Quantity
This old cliché holds true, even in the game of online content marketing. Poor content that is unhelpful, rambling, and littered with grammar/spelling errors will quickly make your content irrelevant. Furthermore, particularly strong and/or helpful posts stand a much higher chance of getting shared online, enhancing the likelihood of viral growth.
However, when writing for the Internet, you also want to be mindful of writing too well. Content that is too arcane and academic will quickly scare off readers, while creative descriptions of setting or minor details are best left for the novels.
A good rule of thumb when creating online content is to be 75% professional, 25% casual/personal/conversational.
But Quantity, Too
While quality is more important than quantity, quantity is definitely very important in the content marketing game. Simply put, the more quality posts you make, the higher likelihood that someone will find your page and start clicking around.
Furthermore, as posting online content is virtually free, there should be nothing limiting you from posting as often as possible.
The power of content marketing is that it quickly connects you to the right worldwide audience. Therefore, if you are making a website about a specific software category, stick to writing about it. If you post one day about software subscriptions and then follow that up with an unrelated post about pop culture, you will quickly confuse both the search engines and your target audience.
Content marketing is a powerful way to connect with a worldwide audience by creating content that satisfies its needs. As traffic to your website and/or social media pages grows, you can monetize your content through affiliate revenues, paid advertisements, and secondary products, creating potentially limitless income potential if executed correctly.