How to Skyrocket Your Online Presence With Content Marketing

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Apollo 11 Launch

Several years ago I began following a blog called Design Sponge. It's a blog that focuses on design, DIY projects, and other beautiful things that I like to daydream about. I love it for its inspiration, its helpful tutorials, its practical advice, and beautiful pictures that they use to show how people decorate their homes, business, and more. It's a wildly successful blog that has drawn in millions of followers due to it's amazing images, practical advice, and killer content. 

About two years ago the founder of the blog announced that she was releasing a book. When I read that I instantly pre-ordered a copy, as did every other die-hard Design Sponge follower. Her book is a hefty one (400+ pages!) and was a bit on the expensive side, but I knew that it was going to be an amazing book. And it was! Still is one of my all time favorites.

Now, I'm not one to plunk down $40 on a book (or really anything for that matter!) if I'm not completely convinced that I will love it. With the Design Sponge book, I knew that if the free content on her blog was amazing, the book that she was creating and we are paying for would be brilliant. And it was...

This is the power of content marketing. Here is how Robert Rose defines it: 

"Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you're a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one."

Content marketing is providing valuable and consistent information that speaks directly to the people you are trying to reach. It doesn't cost you anything and the return is invaluable. If you provide quality, useful, problem-solving, or entertaining content, it will draw fans to your site like bees to honey. Content is a way to let readers get to know you, soak up what you have to offer, and ultimately trust what you have to say and share. When a fan trusts that you provide amazing insight, advice, stories, etc., they will buy what you have to sell. 

In today's day and age you have to stand out online. If you have created helpful or entertaining content leading up to the release of your book, a reader will more likely choose your book over another because of the connection you made with your content. 

What Kind Of Content Can An Author Create? 

You might be thinking, "Aren't my books content enough?" Look at your book as an extended bonus to the free content you are creating on your website. Content marketing is the bread crumbs leading to the main meal. We will get into more detail later on in this series. 

1) Written articles 

Writers either embrace or run away from blogging for many reasons. But blogging is one of the best ways to not only draw in new fans but also engage with your current fan base in a deeper and more meaningful way. Connect with other writers within your genre on Facebook and Twitter to see if they would like to create a blogging circle where you all write for one another's blogs to keep content fresh and expand your audience. Guest blogging is also a great way to broaden your audience on bigger blogs.

2) Photos 

I think design bloggers are a fabulous example of how beautiful, quality images can draw in a loyal audience. Most of them are written by interior designers, graphic artists, and even writers who have a passion for design. They share this passion with their readers, grow a solid audience, and many of them rake in book deals because they already have a platform built. The images tell the story and draw readers in. 

Another way photos can build your audience is within how-to articles that you post. One of the best that I've seen is a blog called Young House Love. It's a couple who, along with their three year old daughter, buy an old house, gut it, remodel it, and show you exactly how they do everything through pictures and text. They are currently on their third house. They are another example of an incredibly popular blog that received a book deal based on the success of their blog.

3) Video

If you are too burnt out after a full day of writing, why not do a video? Video is a fantastic way to create content for your website, social media outlets, and more. Uploading it to YouTube (which is the second largest search engine in the world) will help broaden your audience as well.

4) Podcasts

Podcasts kind of went away for a while but are gaining popularity again in a major way. Podcasts are great because they are mobile and fans can download it to listen in the car, while they are running, doing things around the house, etc. They aren't tied to their computer to listen to you talk for 30 minutes. Your voice, your laugh, the way you interact with guests that you have on your show tells a lot about you. Joanna Penn from The Creative Pen wrote a great piece on how to create a podcast.

5) Webinars  

Webinars are a great way to interact personally with fans and allow them to participate in the content that you are providing. A webinar is a great way to show people what you have to offer that might lead to additional speaking events.

If you are looking for other ideas, click here!  

This is just the beginning of our content marketing series so stay tuned for more info!

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QUESTION: How have you used content marketing to grow your audience and sell more?Any other suggestions that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear! Let us know by leaving a comment below or on Facebook.

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Image courtesy of NASA.gov.