Irritating, isn’t it?
You invest lots of time and money into content marketing, and still don’t get the results you want. So, you start to feel like you should give up on content marketing completely.
And that’s understandable, but don’t quit just yet. To learn what you might be doing wrong, take a look at what the following 5 successful bloggers are doing right. Along the way, I’ll give you some actionable advice you can implement as a part of your content marketing strategy.
1. Carol Tice of MakeaLivingWriting.com
Carol Tice is a freelance writer who runs a blog called Make a Living Writing.
On her blog, she offers no-nonsense advice to freelance writers about how to make good money, how to deal with clients, how to get out of content mills, and more. And there’s no doubt that her blog has become a go-to resource for freelance writers looking to build a sustainable career.
So, what makes her blog stand out from the rest?
Well, one of the main things is how often she posts helpful responses when people comment on her blog.
Check out how thorough she is when addressing her readers’ needs:
And she gets tons of comments, so you can imagine how time-consuming it must be for her to respond with that much information. But she makes it a priority anyway.
Because she knows that connecting with her target audience is key to building a profitable blog.
Every time she responds in a positive way to her readers, she builds trust with them. So, you can bet that when it’s time for them to buy something that will help them further their freelance writing career, they’re going to choose one of Carol’s products (she sells eBooks and memberships to her Freelance Writers Den).
If you want your readers to eventually become customers, be like Carol and take the time to respond to the comments left on your blog.
And don’t just write the same generic response over and over. Put some thought into every response and be as helpful as you can – your readers will appreciate the effort and begin to feel connected to your brand. They might even come back to read more of your content and eventually become paying customers!
Tip: Check out this blog post to learn how responding to blog comments can help you increase traffic and sales.
2. James Altucher of JamesAltucher.com
If you’ve ever read James Altucher’s blog posts, you know he’s not afraid to get personal. And I mean really personal.
Here are a few quotes from his blog posts:
- “I’m scared I didn’t spend enough time with my daughters when they were growing up. And now they are little women. Am I too late?”
- “One time I was so broke, and it felt so bad for me, that I wanted to kill myself. I thought my kids would do better with my life insurance policy than with me.”
- “From June 2000 until September, 2001 I probably lost $1 million a month. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to get back up to the peak. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to have $100 million so people would love me. Writing this now I even feel like slitting my wrists and stomach. I have 2 kids. “
Whew – heavy stuff, huh?
Not all of his posts are that dark, but he does tell interesting stories from his life pretty often.
And his stories are so refreshingly personal that his posts make him seem relatable.
That helps him stand out from the hundreds of thousands of bloggers who are too scared to be themselves online. You know what I’m talking about – the forgettable bloggers who write jargon-filled “top 10” lists in a robotic tone.
Now, I’m not saying that you must tell a story in every blog post you write, but I’d definitely encourage you to use storytelling whenever you can.
For example, let’s say you’re writing a blog post about how to effectively network at a business event when you have social anxiety. For the introduction of the post, you could talk about a time when social anxiety affected you personally. Then, you could transition into your main points from there.
That way, you’d be hooking the readers with a strong introduction right away and giving them the information they want too. And, revealing that you had struggled with social anxiety in the past would help you bond with your target audience (people who have social anxiety).
So, go ahead – try telling a personal story in your next blog post, and see how your readers respond.
Tip: Check out this blog post to learn more about how you can use storytelling to win more readers.
3. Erika Napoletano of ErikaNapoletano.com
The first thing you notice when you visit Erika’s site is that she’s got a strong personality and she’s not afraid to use it.
Just take a look at this recent blog post title, and you’ll see what I mean:
And, trust me – that’s one of the milder blog post titles she uses.
Now, I know what you might be thinking:
How can someone who swears all over her professional website ever hope to find clients?
But here’s the thing:
Clients want to work with her because of her fearless branding. They don’t just tolerate it – they love it.
Erika is simply herself online because she knows that doing so will allow her to attract clients who appreciate her for who she really is.
And yeah, she has probably offended some people in the process, but those people don’t really matter. They aren’t her ideal customers.
Like Erika, don’t be afraid to be yourself when you’re writing content. You might gain some haters in the process, but you’ll also gain loyal readers who can’t get enough of your authenticity. And those are the readers who’ll keep coming back for more of your content.
Tip: Check out Erika’s TED Talk to learn how you can attract more customers and build a stronger brand by embracing your unique qualities.
4. Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers
If you’ve ever worked in marketing (or if you just like to read about it), you’ve probably heard of the Copyhackers blog. Joanna Wiebe, one of the blog’s co-founders, writes posts there for people who are looking to improve their copywriting skills.
And these aren’t just any ol’ posts – they’re positively oozing with personality and useful data. So, she’s become pretty popular in the industry.
But one day, well-known copywriter Bob Bly decided that he didn’t appreciate Joanna’s writing tone. To be more specific, he criticized her use of the word “mofos.”
Check out the excerpt from the post Joanna wrote in response to his criticism:
Do you think she backed down just because an industry authority told her she was wrong?
Nope – not even a little bit. In fact, she stood up for herself and talked about the fact that “effective conversion copy doesn’t ‘please’ every visitor to your site.”
And that’s true. It doesn’t.
The takeaway here is that you shouldn’t immediately back down just because an authority figure tells you that you’re wrong.
Of course, you should double-check your logic if someone points out that it is flawed, but don’t ever give up on what you know to be true just because a well-known person in your industry says otherwise.
5. Seth Godin of sethgodin.typepad.com
Seth Godin has a pretty unique approach to blogging. Unlike many popular bloggers, he doesn’t write super-long, data-driven posts with tons of information.
Instead, he writes short posts, like these:
But I’m not going to tell you to write short blog posts like Seth. He’s one of the few people who can pull it off because he’s already well-respected in his industry.
What I will tell you is that Seth publishes a new post every day. And if you want to see content marketing success, you’ve got to be consistent, just like he is.
I’m not suggesting that you need to publish a new blog post every day – just create a content schedule and stick to it. That way, your readers know they can expect something new from you regularly.
That being said, don’t ever sacrifice the quality of your posts just for the sake of publishing new content. Be realistic when deciding how often you can publish new content, and give yourself enough time to write pieces that will resonate with your target audience.
While you can learn a lot from popular writers, you need to look inward too to achieve content marketing success. Think about your own unique qualities and how you can use them to connect with your target audience.
And remember – no one is a great writer when they first start out. It takes a lot of patience and practice.
But when you finally start to see a return on your investment in content marketing, you might just discover a love of writing that you never knew you had.
Who is your favorite blogger, and what have you learned from them? Share in the comments section!