The clock is ticking. 2013 is about to explode!
But before you let go of 2012, it’s important that you inventory the actions you took, to know whether you should implement them in the coming year.
As you already know, content marketing can give any website owner the needed edge.
I’ve so much content marketing lessons to share, but I’d do my best to make it as concise as possible.
Maybe you’ve written a New Year’s Resolution already, or have plans to write one.
It may be a good step, but the question is, did you follow through with your Resolutions for this year.
The goal you set for yourself and business, how many percent did you achieve?
Trust me; I hate to read New Year Resolutions, because I know it doesn’t produce results for 75% of bloggers who wrote them. I prefer real actions.
Having said that, here are 13 content marketing lessons you NEED to drive free traffic to your website in 2013. If you can abide by these simple lessons, you’d laugh louder. Let’s go:
1. Long-tail keywords are traffic drivers
Yes, I learnt that long-tail keywords can drive more targeted traffic than head-keywords. But it all boils down to the value you provide.
According to Marketing charts; a chart marketing firm, their research suggests that the people you’re targeting are now switching to search engines for solutions.
One would think that Google Panda and other subsequent algorithm updates can discourage web searchers.
But the reverse is the case. Moment-by-moment, millions of search queries are typed into Google search engine. And if your website is well optimized for such queries, you’d get free visitors from organic searches.
From every possible indication, social media isn’t going to dominate in 2013. When you write guest posts or update your blog, research and target three or more key phrases – they’re traffic drivers
2. You need to JOIN Power150 Marketing blogs
What’s Power150? If that term is strange to you, it means that you still have a long way to go in your blogging career.
Power150 is a collection of Marketing Blogs by Adage.com, which is updated daily to highlight the 5 latest posts.
Each blog’s update is pulled using a feed function, thereby driving hits to the blog.
If you look at the Power150 marketing blogs, you’ll find some of the top blogs (copyblogger, Johnchow, problogger, convert and convince and so on) with thousands of readers and twitter followers.
If you’ve BIG plans in 2013; like launching a membership site, releasing an e-book or building a premium email list, getting to know the industry experts behind those Power150 blogs are vital.
Networking and building relationships are the two secrets, pro bloggers use to sell their e-books, get a book deal and earn a living online.
If I must succeed online faster, I need to either qualify as a Power150 Blogger or connect with 5 – 10 of Power150 Bloggers.
3. Long posts (1000+ words) can rank better in Google
Should your posts be shorter than 1000 words or longer? It’s been a controversial topic in 2012. A lot of people believe that readers’ attention span is low.
That may be 67% true. And to buttress this truth, the famous copywriter, Sid Smith shared the 3 tips to handling today’s Short Attention Span.
But there are exceptions to this. Trust me; the quality of the post is what matters, not the length.
If you can compare two posts that are informative, practicable and simple to read, articles that exceed 1000 words would build up organic traffic quicker.
Interestingly, content marketers would rather link to a lengthy article and tweet it.
Crazy Egg’s founder clarifies that long form copy always convert better, than those 500 words sales copy. In 2013, if you want to build a profitable blog, reach your target audience and earn passive income, you need to increase the length of your articles.
As a content writer, give your all. Don’t hold back just to keep the post short. Say it as it is – it’d enhance your organic traffic.
4. You must be “YOU” or fail woefully at Blogging
This lesson can make or mar your blogging career if you ignore it. To achieve success in New Year, you must be “YOU.”
Don’t you think it’s high time you stop being a copycat or trailing someone’s shadow? Sure, you can learn from other pro bloggers, but don’t wish you were/are like them.
When you wish to be like someone else, a negative force will rise up from your inside and speak failure, defeat and inferiority complex to you.
That’s why most bloggers would continue to struggle in the coming years. The best person you can ever be is YOU.
You’ve the best talents, skills and potentials. If you can only think constructively, you’d recognize the good aspects of your life.
It doesn’t matter whether you actualized your goals for 2012 or not, the fact that you can take pride in “YOU” is the only way to win.
Before next year comes, make up your mind to be unique. It’s not easy to be you, which is the #1 reason why you can’t be replicated. Isn’t it great?
5. Create and launch your e-book in 2013
There are several benefits of writing your own e-book. It’s not for the money alone; the freedom it can bring in the future is immeasurable. I’ve learned that setting up multiple streams of income is the best way to escape financial mishap.
As a freelance writer, I’ve decided to write e-book and launch it in 2013. Even though I earn decently from writing alone, I desire to spend more time traveling the world. I need more time to network with intelligent bloggers and internet entrepreneurs.
I can’t successfully attend workshops, conferences or accept Speaking Engagements except I’ve the time to make it happen.
That’s why becoming an author of a digital product like e-book is necessary in your blogging business. I hope you’d take on, on this lesson – you’re more than qualified to author a digital book.
6. Website’s load-time affects ranking
You should have read this elsewhere. If your website’s load-time is low, you need to improve it or you’ll lose all your readers.
Google now regards speed as one of their requirements when ranking a page. You may have quality content and viable marketing plan, but without an optimum speed, you’ll lose out BIG time.
If your website loads in 7 seconds or less, it’s a good thing because it shows that your site is faster than 25% of the web.
As the year ties its knot, work on improving your site’s speed. I think the major reason why reader’s attention span is low is because of the speed of “the” site.
To get people interested in your content and product, deliver instantly on what you promised. Deactivate and delete unused plugins. Minimize banner ads on your sidebar, and use text link ads instead.
Users’ behaviors dictate how Google spider ranks a webpage. Why not give it a try? Go to Google and search for “content marketing.” Click the first 3 result pages.
If a site loads like a snail, it can’t make it to Google’s homepage, no matter the quality of content.
7. SEO is 30% writing, 70% marketing
It’s been a wonderful year. I’ve learned that search engine optimization is more than quality content. In fact, it’s 30% writing and 70% marketing. You need to promote the heck out of your blog posts.
Links are vital and would remain the currency of the web for years to come. To rank highly in Google, drive organic traffic and build authority over time, you need people who can share your content.
And to reach these people, marketing has to come in. Yes, writing informative content is paramount, but don’t stop there. Take it a step further and syndicate your articles, video and slides, podcasts on good platforms.
Challenge yourself to promote the content you’ve written. Don’t just wait for other people to like you, trust you and help spread the word.
You need to reach out to gain traction. Afterward, your brand would work to grow your business the more.
8. Negative Criticism can discourage you, if you allow it
How would you feel if someone wrote a guest post and drop your name just to embarrass you? It’s never a good feeling, but you’ve a role to play to change that feeling.
Negative criticism once held me bound to my mistakes. But to overcome this, you need to understand that no one is perfect yet – or would ever be.
Even the best writers default at one point or the other. The grace to take criticisms and work on improving your life is the key.
No matter what someone writes, comments or quotes about you, don’t take it “TOO” personal. If you do, you may sabotage your blogging success.
The irony of life is that some people would hate you for being good. Some other people would criticize you for breaking the rules/myth. In all, focus on the few people who love you.
If 85 out of 100 people criticize you in a negative manner, don’t worry about the 85 people, focus on strengthening your relationship with the 15 people who love you. They should matter most to you in 2013.
9. Guest posting can hijack organic traffic easily
Guest posting is super-effective. I’ve used it to ‘steal’ free traffic from Google. He he!
There are better blogs that have good positions in Google’s first page. The owners are desperately looking for informative content for her audience. If you can write well, you can win their hearts.
It doesn’t matter whether your blog is 1 month old or 2 years old, guest blogging can help you dominate Google’s homepage easily.
It can’t happen overnight, but if you consistently publish fresh and quality content, you’ll drive organic traffic.
So far, I’ve written and published more than 610 quality guest posts on A-list blogs. And every single day, I attract organic traffic without lifting a finger. It’s all about working hard today, in order to reap the rewards tomorrow.
10. Without an email list, you’d regret in the future
A word of caution, the money is not actually in the list. Don’t buy into that awkward phrase. Those so-called internet experts may use it to sell you on their $97 coaching program.
The rewards of building a list can’t be measured. In fact, if you neglect to capture email leads for relationship marketing, you’d regret in the future. Slap me for all I care, baby.
You could ask successful bloggers how they felt, blogging without a mailing list. Allow me to paraphrase, “The money is in the relationship you’ve built with your list members.”
The last email I sent my email subscribers, regarding my upcoming e-book launch, I got 15 feedbacks and ideas to improve the product.
After all, it’s all about them and how the product can be of help to them, not me. In New Year, encourage your readers to join your email list to start receiving exclusive content from you.
When you start building a list, don’t bombard them with promotional offers – build the rapport first, the money would come gradually.
11. Twitter followers would rather retweet, than buy a product
A lesson I learned the hard way. I used to waste time on twitter, because I was advised to tweet, retweet and follow influential people.
But the thing is, twitter followers would rather retweet your campaign, than purchase whatever you’re selling. Take it or leave it!
Even though this is relative to what you’re selling, twitter followers may not be interested in buying at the moment. Social media users have a mindset.
They didn’t join twitter or Facebook to buy any product. They registered because they felt the urge to fulfill man’s primary assignment – communication.
That’s why email list building is much more profitable than amassing thousands of twitter followers.
Some desperate marketers have even gone the extra mile of buying automated tweets, retweets and followers. This totally defeats the “true essence of content marketing.”
I’m not telling you to ignore twitter and other social media networks. On the contrary, I want you to use twitter, facebook, Pinterest and Google+ to drive free traffic to your landing page for email marketing.
12. Value + consistency = blogging success
A vital lesson that has kept me going is this: value + consistency = success. That looks like a typical quadratic equation. Lol!
I’ve learned that successful bloggers have no special trait or extraordinary power, what they do on a daily basis is to abide by this formula.
In the offline world, you can’t find any other formula for success, than offering great value and being consistent at it. Be consistent with your posting schedule. Don’t look to the right or left when writing content for your readers.
Spend quality time listening and solving people’s problems. Don’t hoard vital information from your audience. Don’t think scarcity – because there is more than enough for everyone. Give, give and keep giving.
Your success would shine forth sooner than you had planned. I know this because it’s transformed my blogging business. I now blog when I want and my blog keep generating income easily.
But don’t forget, I worked my butt off in 2011 & 2012. Don’t be a hit-and-run blogger. Be consistent!
13. Think Big: you can earn what you’re worth
This is a delicate lesson for freelancers and service providers.
Too often, we undervalue ourselves, because of fear and what other people might say.
Well, who really cares about the 85% critics who don’t want to see you challenge the status quo?
In 2012, I experimented and became a BIG THINKER. To my utmost surprise, my freelance writing business grew exponentially.
Of course, you need to know what’s happening around the web, to avoid losing clients.
But be careful, don’t allow anyone exploit you. Instead of selling your e-book for $27, why not increase the price to $37 or $67 and see how it goes? You should dare to charge more!
If you don’t know what to say when a potential client asks for your rate – kindly ask him or her to state their budget for the project. You’d likely make more money if you negotiate like Donald Trump.
Are you grateful for 2012?
Tell me, what one lesson did you learn in 2012 that you CAN bring into 2013?
This post is a pretty long one, and my goal is to get it ranked highly in Google first page for this keyword (content marketing lessons).
Help me tweet, share and plus it. Leave a comment below – MERRY XMAS and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!