You’ve heard that blogging is easy and people are making money from it, yet you are creating content and publishing it on your blog but you feel as if nothing is working. Sales of affiliate products aren’t increasing, signups for your newsletter are slow at best and it just feels like you’re wasting your time. If this sounds like you, with your content marketing take heart because you can ascertain where you are now and start over anytime.

Determine Your Why

When you are creating any piece of content, do you know what the purpose of the content is? Each piece of content that you create must have a reason from being in other to be successful. Is the content there to inform your audience about a problem? Is the point of the content to get more subscribers? Is it to position you as an authority in your niche? Perhaps its purpose is to sell products and services? If you don’t know what the purpose of each piece of content is, it’ll be hard to get your audience to take action.

Understand Your Audience

If you don’t know who your audience is how can you create content that speaks directly to them, for instance let’s assume you audience are vegetarians yet your content speaks more to carnivores. This is why it’s imperative to know who you’re creating content for, try developing buyer personas and write your content to meet the needs of one of these, instead of creating it for a nameless person that you don’t know. This helps you to develop some really personalized content that really engages your audience and generates results.

Know Your Niche

You may think that you know your area of expertise but the fact is, a niche might change little by little over time as technology improves and changes. Keep up to date in your industry so that you’re ready for changes and trends that may develop, that way you are always ready to take advantage of any opportunities as they present themselves.

Follow Your Competition

If you want to differentiate your content marketing efforts from your competition you need to know what your competition is doing, join your competitions mailing lists and study the content that they are sending out. Can you determine if it’s working well for them or not? Can you decide which pieces of content work better than others? Can you decide how to do a things a little bit better?

Know Your Audiences Buying Process

There is a set buying process that your audience will take part in, even if they don’t realize it, and it’s important to realize where people are in the buying process, oh and this is sometimes called the sales funnel. Typically it works something like this: Awareness, information search, evaluation, decision and purchase. Plus, after purchase your customer will evaluate again on whether or not to buy from you again and to recommend you to their friends.

When creating content you should aim to create content for people in the different stages of the buying process, in this way your content starts to market for you and push people towards being customers rather than simply audience members.

Refine Your Content Marketing Strategy

If you have no strategy, or you feel as if what you’re doing isn’t working, take the time to work on refining your strategy to make it work better. Base this on the information you’ve gathered about your customers, your niche, your products and services as well as the buying process.

Make Content Marketing a Priority

I cannot stress this enough but to succeed at content marketing you have to make it a priority, this means that you have to do it on a consistent basis. It means you have to hire the right people if you aren’t doing it yourself, you have to ensure all content speaks with the same voice and you have to keep going when it starts to get tough.

Promote the Content You Create

It’s a hard game to succeed in if all you do is create content and wait for the search engines to send you traffic, which is one of the fundamentals of content marketing however even to achieve this you need to pay attention to good SEO. It’s also beneficial to promote your content using social media sharing, LinkedIn long form publishing, email newsletters and other means to ensure your audiences sees your content.

Create Compelling Interesting Content

Are you interested in boring same old, same old content? Of course you aren’t and neither is your audience. Ensure that you share your opinion and vision as this is what makes content uniquely yours when you are creating content. Just ensure that your content matches the needs of your audience, speaks to them on their terms and provides value in and of itself to your audience.

Finally, content marketing is about the long haul. Results aren’t going to happen overnight, continue to produce high quality, relevant, consistent content that has a purpose and provides value and you will see the results you desire in the end, all you have to do is keep hitting that publish button.

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