From the day I began affiliate marketing, I have used content marketing as my main strategy. Actually, when I first started out, I didn’t even realize that I was involved with content marketing. It all started out innocently enough back when I was a truck driver. I decided to start blogging about my trucking experience, simply because I wanted to, and I never expected to actually earn any money from it. After a while, though, I saw how many people I was reaching every single day and realized I could potentially make some money online, simply by blogging to a target audience. Alas, a business was born.
To this day, content marketing remains my biggest affiliate marketing strategy. This strategy has lead to exponential revenue and income increases. Every year I’ve been in business, with the exception of one year, my revenue has doubled. Before I get into why content marketing is the best affiliate marketing strategy to use, I’d like to get into some of the negatives of content marketing. No marketing strategy is without faults and content marketing is no exception.
Why Many Affiliate Marketers DON’T Like Content Marketing
There are a large number of affiliate marketers out there who do not like content marketing. What many affiliate marketers prefer to do is create small websites specifically created for PPC advertising, social media advertising, or other forms of traffic generation. Many of these affiliate marketers have been very successful and find other methods to be much more enjoyable and effective. I am not one of those affiliate marketers, but let’s examine why some affiliate marketers shy away form content marketing:
It’s a long term strategy – The wonderful thing about PPC and social media marketing is the results of your efforts can be seen almost immediately. For example, you could create a quick 10 page website in a day or two with several different landing pages designed specifically for Facebook advertising. Once those first 10 pages are created, all the marketer would have to do is fine tune Facebook ads in real-time until an ad combination with a positive ROI is found. At that point, the marketer would dump as much money into that positive ROI ad campaign as possible and rake in the money. Of course, this is all MUCH more difficult in practice, but many affiliate marketers enjoy real-time tweaking. By comparison, content marketing can take many months or even YEARS to work well.
Content marketing is expensive – There is a myth out there that even I’ve fallen for at times. Even if you create all your content by yourself, that content is not free. It takes up your time and since time is limited for us all, we must place some sort of value on that time. If it takes you 2 hours to write a good article for your blog, that came at a cost. On the other hand, for the past few years I have outsourced a lot of content creation, which of course, hits me directly in my bank account by raising expenses and reducing my overall net profit. There is no such thing as free marketing. Some forms of marketing may come at lower costs than others, but content marketing is far from being free.
It takes a lot of effort – We already know that content marketing takes a lot of time, but it also takes a lot of effort. Most affiliate marketers don’t have the funding to have others create awesome content for them. Creating content may seem easy to many new bloggers, but once 50 to 100 articles have been written, writers block and writers fatigue begin setting in. Some people simply do not enjoy writing and creating content, so they steer away from that type of business model.
Content marketing is getting more difficult – Back when I first got involved with building websites, it was very easy to rank highly in search engines even with very low quality content. After a while, Google’s algorithm began to get smarter, so people were forced to begin writing unique content. Many years ago, the recommended article length was just 300 or 400 words. That quickly became 700 words. These days, most of the pro’s out there, including myself, recommend articles be no shorter than 1,000 words in length for most niches and posts. This trend should be expected to continue.
Why I Love Content Marketing
With some of the negatives out of the way, let me be very clear about how I feel about content marketing… I absolutely love it. I love to write, I love to produce free information for people about topics I am interested in, I love how every time I add another piece of content it helps to further solidify my asset, and I love how the work I put in now will continue to help make me money for years to come. I have pages on sites that still earn me thousands per month, even though I wrote those pages YEARS ago!
Another reason I love content marketing is because the traffic I get on my websites are super targeted and traffic. Most of my sites receive thousands of visitors per day from search engines. One thing that makes search engine traffic much different from any other traffic source is how easy it is to convert. Nothing converts better than search engine traffic and all PPC platforms pail in comparison. If you use content marketing in the right way, you will be purposely attracting people who type in very specific search phrases into the search engine. Just by doing that, you can determine where someone is in the buying cycle and you also know exactly what they are searching for. All you have to do is offer the solution. That is one reason I love review sites so much. People already have their wallets out and are ready to buy, they just need some help making the final decision.
It’s also good to know that I am building a real asset. Instead of a 10 page site that loses all traffic if I stop paying for ads, my sites become platforms that I can use for any purpose I want. On this site, for example, I mostly monetize by promoting a service called Affilorama. But what if I created my own affiliate marketing course and wanted to sell it? I could easily replace Affilorama with my own product. I can also pick and chose other affiliates if I want or just sell ad space. The point is, I can do essentially whatever I want with this or any of my other websites by monetizing in any number of different ways. Those with 10 page websites can’t say the same.
How To Succeed With Content Marketing
Telling you how to succeed with content marketing is actually pretty straightforward. You don’t need to learn some secret system and there is no special technique that I use. I’ll tell you right here everything you need to know.
Niche and keyword research – The first thing you’ll need to learn is how to find an in-demand niche topic to build a website around. You’ll need a niche that has enough interest but without too much competition. Once you’ve found a good niche, you need to create a list of search phrases (also called keywords) that people frequently search for in the search engines related to your niche. That way, you can write pages on your site focusing on those keywords to attract search engines visitors. So, how do you learn about niche selection and keyword research? You can do that for free here (you need to set up a free account to watch the videos, but there is no charge).
Learn how to develop a website – I know this is the most intimidating part for many of you, but trust me, don’t be scared off by this. You don’t need to be a computer programmer, you don’t need to know computer code, and you don’t need to be a graphic designer. What you WILL need to do is have the patience to learn how to use WordPress. Yes, there is a learning curve to using WordPress and yes, you will need some help along the way, but you can easily learn everything you need to know in just a few days if you’re willing to put in the effort. There is a ton of free advice out there including videos on YouTube that walk you through step-by-step how to create a WordPress site, just as if you’re watching over someones shoulder. I’ve provided just one of those videos below as an example, but there are many, many others on YouTube. You can also use these free training videos to get your site up and running.
Have a monetization plan ready to go – Ok, so you’ve done your keyword research and you now know how to develop a WordPress site. That right there is further than most people ever get! Now it’s time to make sure your monetization plan is ready to go. Who will you be promoting? You’ll need to either develop your own product or service to promote, or you’ll need to find an affiliate program so you can earn commissions selling other peoples stuff. It’s important to know right away who you’ll be promoting so that you can begin linking to them in your articles and promoting them from day one. You won’t make anything at first, but later on when those pages are ranking, you want them to be monetized. You can learn how to develop a monetization strategy here.
Create content – Once you have a list of keywords related to the niche you want your site to be built around, and once you have a website, and once you have a monetization plan, the most grueling part begins. Creating lots and lots of high quality content. The vast majority of your time as a content marketer will obviously be creating content. This is the step where most people fizzle out after a few month. If you can withstand the test of time, only then can you move onto the last step.
Monetize! – Most people try to monetize first, and that’s why they fail. Monetizing should always come last. Fortunately, if you’ve performed the first steps properly, monetizing is the easiest part of all. By the time your site begins to really monetize, all that hard work and effort you already put in will become residual income streams. All you have to do from there is build upon what you’ve already created so it can earn you more. This is also the part where you earn money while you sleep and it’s a wonderful feeling.
How Long Does It Really Take To Succeed With Content Marketing?
I’m going to lose a lot of you here because you’re not going to like my answer. If you are a complete newbie to making money online or building websites, you have to realize that content marketing is a long term strategy. If you start a site today and write 3 to 5 new high quality and keyword focused articles per week for the site, you can expect to begin seeing some revenue in as little as 6 months or as many as 18 months. I hate to tell you that it is more likely to take you 18 months than 6 months.
This is the exact reason why there isn’t more competition among content marketers. New websites are being started all the time, but 99% of them go nowhere because content marketing is not quick, it’s not easy, and the money only comes in after you’ve already performed hours and hours and hours of hard work.
Be Honest: Is Content Marketing REALLY For You?
Many of you who read my site are people who are trying to escape the unsatisfying careers you’re already in. Others are disabled and are looking for a way to make money from home. Some of you are parents who are sick of not being around with your family. I, myself, was a freedom seeker. I wanted to earn money for me, on my time, and how I wanted to.
Ultimately, I have been successful with content marketing due the text I bolded. I can tell you everything you need to know about content marketing and lay out a simple step-by-step “formula” to follow, but ultimately, if you don’t enjoy creating content, this is NOT the path you want to take. You can’t become a content marketer because you want to make money online and quit your job. You can only succeed in content marketing if you truly enjoy it. Even if you do succeed, you would still be doing something you don’t enjoy. Isn’t that he entire purpose of trying to make a change in your life!?
For those who like to research, write, create videos, help spread education to other people, and desire to truly make a difference in others lives will succeed in the long run. Is content marketing a job? Absolutely, it’s a job just like any other. Most of my days are spend creating content for my many websites. However, it’s a job I love to do, so most content marketers have a very difficult time competing with me.
If you decide that being a content marketer is for you, by all means, there is plenty of room for more! This is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had and the paycheck sure is nice, too. I just want to make sure those of you considering getting involved with this are honest. If you don’t truly love to write and create content, you’ll never make it and you’ll be spending time missing out on the career path that is truly right for you.
And finally, if you are ready to become a content marketer, do not wait. Start today. The timing will never be “just right” and you’ll always find excuses to never get started. But what if you do start today. Imagine where you could be in just one year from now. There’s absolutely no reason to wait any longer.