How To Be The “Smart Content Marketer” And Smile To The Bank

Content marketing smile
Flickr Source: eelssej

Well, I may not know what you’re doing right now with your content marketing career, but one truth is sure – you truly want to make a BIG difference; make money. Correct?

How possible is that? I’ve come to realize that content marketing all by itself can burn you out if you are not smart.

I’ll explain, read on…

You may not perform some magic arts to be addressed as a smart person, but when you challenge yourself to finally break out of the nightmares and begin to smile to the bank – that’s the point.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been earning decent income online.

Trust me; there is no one-off rule for generating income with a blog. But you must choose the one that’s suitable with you first, then suitable with your audience as well.

Yes, I know you’ve been advised to care for your readers SO much and it’s good because they’re the reason why your blog exist.

But you MUST have a plan for yourself first… then you can convince your readers to take you the way you are – providing that you can solve at least one specific problem for them.


Are you confused about “content marketing?”

While chatting with few blogger friends over the weekend, I discovered that so many people don’t even know the essence of content marketing.

If you’ve been writing articles, blog posts, guest posts, creating videos and podcasts, writing e-books and short reports and still don’t know why you’re doing those things, I wish I could spank you so badly – because you deserve it.

The essence of doing content marketing is to generate leads, and eventually make money from those prospects who found your content valuable. Take it or leave it.

Many bloggers are literally wasting time, waking up every day to write a new post and they wonder why they’re still broke.

If content marketing isn’t making you money, then I suggest you look for alternative marketing systems. Or go get a day job.

I’ve written and successfully published over 700 guest posts since 2011 and I’ve just one goal – to build up my credibility and attract high paying clients to my freelance writing services.

That’s what I do for a living with this blog. As a result of this, I don’t just write articles to sound so smart or prolific – I write because I want to get a reward.

Web hosting, email autoresponders, keyword research tools all costs money. They charge my credit card every day. I need to earn from my marketing efforts or risk losing my assets.

There is no such thing as a Free Lunch

content marketing Free Lunch
Source: USAgh

In case you don’t know yet, content marketing goes beyond creating free articles and giving it all away. In fact, if that’s the strategy you’ve been using, you’re making a mistake.

If you watch closely the lives of expert content marketers like Brian Clark, Chris Brogan and Danny Iny you’ll come to a conclusion that these entrepreneurs are smart.

You may think that they gave out their best information for free, but that’s a BIG lie. Don’t believe anyone who says ‘write article and give it all away to get free traffic.’

If you must succeed online and become an authority, stop looking for free lunch anywhere because it doesn’t exist.

When you write guest posts to help fellow entrepreneurs learn new tips from your years of experience and research work, don’t make it seem like a free giveaway. Attach a value to it.

But who is going to pay for your guest posts?

Well, you don’t have to sell your blog or guest articles, just make it exceptional and worth paying for.

That’s the only way prospective clients and blog readers can actually see you as someone who truly cares and wants to sustain his business. And that’s the only way you can persuade them to spend money on your products and services.


The problem with list building

As you already know, the money is the list (Actually not in the list, but in the relationship you’ve with them).

But the experts are so busy or they utterly forget to tell us that just capturing email leads without a definite objective isn’t going to yield results.

I do believe that an email list is much more powerful than social media fans. And if you nurture your list members well, you’d reap the rewards. Aha, there is a BIG problem here…

If someone subscribed to your email list because you were giving away a “FREE” report or e-book, I can assure you that converting that lead into a paying customer would be extremely difficult.

For this reason, don’t use free and crappy lead baits to build your list, attach a VALUE to it.

Did you spend 2 – 5 hours compiling the short report? Then how much is your time worth? For me, I’m worth more than $60/hr.

So, let’s multiply $60 x 4hours = $240. From this calculation, you can see how much I’m giving away.

On your squeeze or landing page copy, boldly write the value of the e-book or software you’re giving away at no cost. For instance: ($240 worth).

Enclose the value in a bracket and that would be fine. From that day onward, your subscribers would know that you LOVE them, because you’ve demonstrated how much you care by giving away so much value.

This is quite different from giving away free stuffs – please avoid that…


Content marketing dividends…

If you’re a shareholder in a company, you should get dividends (money) right? Now content marketing is so much like investing into your business for profit making.

I felt a strong urge in my spirit to write this post, after I spoke in a conference with 61 bloggers and website owners’ attendees.

Most of these internet marketers have heard so much about content marketing but didn’t know they’ve been doing it.

It’s so unfair how business owners are misled by marketing gurus. To a large extent, everyone is actually a content marketer except the get-rich-quick gurus.

Because if you create blog posts and leave comments one another blog, you’re practicing content marketing – at least the basics.

Creating quality and valuable content, tips and even titles that can motivate, educate, inform, help, lead and transform the life of your ideal customer/reader is what content marketing is all about.

There are no two definitions to it – although several persons have different variations of that.

But how do you intend to educate and transform someone’s life…?


You need a product or service

Trust me, if you’re a blogger or niche marketer and all you do is write articles, stumble on popular blogs and leave comments without a plan as to what your blog should achieve by the end of 2013, you’re a failure already.

For content marketing to be effective, you need a product or service of your own.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for getting your feet soaked in earning extra income online, but as time goes by, you’ll need to have your own product/service.

The beauty of content marketing is that you can own a product you didn’t labor for. In fact, you can become an expert even as an affiliate marketer with other people’s product. Sounds cool, huh?

To achieve this, make sure you capture email leads and begin to educate them with valuable content on how to build a sustainable business through affiliate marketing.

Gradually, you’re establishing yourself and you might even write an e-book that takes beginners by hand and reveals your journey so far as an affiliate agent and how they can replicate it.

As you create new blog posts every day, have ONE objective to profit from your efforts – because it’s worth paying for.

What’s your currency? Americans uses the Dollar, Europe the Euros, Japanese the Yen. Guess what, the currency of the earth is TIME. If you spend it wisely, you’ll earn so much money online.

Time is precious online, and if you don’t value your time, your readers will not. Forget blog readers and subscribers who hate it when you recommend a paid product/service to them.

This set of people doesn’t want you to be in business. In other words, they want you to fizzle out. And you don’t need them anyways – find few loyal persons and build a tribe.


Content marketing is all about EXCHANGE

What’s this whole noise about content marketing being so effective, when you can’t even make enough money to pay your bills? As the saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

So many bloggers have joined the press to make content marketing a buzzword, but it turned out that approximately 20% of bloggers are actually making a profit. Are you one of them? If you’re, then you’re the smart content marketer.

But if you’re not making any money despite all your hard work and ‘quality’ content, then I’d suggest you start from scratch. Yes, begin again because it’s not too late.

Do you really have a sales funnel that works?



When you write guest posts, do you send fresh readers to your blog homepage, latest posts on your blog, twitter profile or fan page? You don’t have to do it because everyone is doing it.

Use your author resource box to build your business. Link to your landing page, case study page, hire me page or special one-time-off (OTO) page where you can EXCHANGE a valuable product for your reader’s time.

Remember, time is precious and bloggers are the most workaholics I’ve ever met. Majority of them work like Elephants but feed like Ants. Don’t be like that…

When you create any type of content for your readers, make it the best you’ve ever produced. Change people’s perspective about you.

If you’re the type of blogger who writes generic articles that every blogger out there can write without looking at the keyboard, your time is worthless. Oops, did I just say that?


Stop working hard foolishly

Yes, I’m talking to you. Have you been working so hard on the wrong stuffs with the hope of having a breakthrough eventually?

Stop right there and think again. Stop spending 2 – 4 hours a day on twitter and facebook, not even Pinterest.

Those media platforms aren’t your real business – your blog is. Spend quality time on your blog; with your readers and do all you can to change their mindset about you.

If they’ve been addressing you as a blogger who gives away FREE stuffs so much because he cares, you’ve got to change that. Because you’ll soon go broke.

Blog readers and prospects should see you as a content entrepreneur first and foremost, before tagging you as a blogger.

This is because entrepreneurs are wired to profit with their business, whereas blogging might just be for fun…

When it comes to guest blogging, I wouldn’t tell you otherwise because it should be an integral part of growing your online business.

But don’t guest blog like a blind man. Ask yourself questions on what you really want to achieve with the articles you publish on other people’s blogs.

As for your own website/blog, stop slaving away trying to publish new posts every day. Instead, research more, and when you write a post, speak directly to your readers and dazzle them.

Remember, attach a value to the content you create, because if you don’t value your time, nobody born of a woman will.


I’m all ears, what do you say?

Did you know that I never planned to write this post? This is because I’ve already published a post on Sunday, but I’ve a strong feeling that the insights in this post are for you.

Now, what do you say to all those free blogs out there, creating free articles, free videos and free podcasts but never selling a product or service to their audiences?

Do you think that content marketing is all about creating free content or balancing it up with paid services occasionally? Please write a not-less-than 100 words comment in the box right below. I’ll reply you as soon as I can…You’re awesome!

42 thoughts on “How To Be The “Smart Content Marketer” And Smile To The Bank”

  1. Content is key of success. Your post is really detailed and brief you good explain how to use email and social media and networking sites. Some of great ideas you suggested. Thanks…

  2. I think there ought to be some serious discussion by smart people, really smart people, about whether or not proliferation of things like The Smoking Gun and TMZ and YouTube and the whole celebrity culture is healthy.In my opinion only smart persons will creat smart content marketing.

  3. I really appreciate posts, which might be of very useful for beginners in blogging as I am. I already have a small collection of blog posts and other articles, from which I step by step learn various aspects of life. Thank you for your resource.

  4. Trust me, if you’re a blogger or niche marketer and all you do is write articles, stumble on popular blogs and leave comments without a plan as to what your blog should achieve by the end of 2013, you’re a failure already.This is really true.What’s the value of doing and writing about things we don’t know!!What the use of it!!!

  5. If you ask me, I’d say that this article is all I’ve been searching for. The ability to be a smart content marketer who truly makes money online is what matters. It’s high time writers and bloggers stop struggling and begin to build real businesses around their passion. Thank you Michael for this insightful post.

  6. Hi Michael,

    I must say this is a real problem with many bloggers. Over the years I have discovered that bloggers are the biggest creators of really great content but unfortuantely they are among the least getting any good returns from their labors. All of these stems from the fact that many have not really been able to match their content creation as bloggers with their business goals.

    Thanks so much for this post. it’s really an eye opener.

  7. Well said! Much time is spent, by many people, writing content that isn’t popular in the first place. Then they go on to not promote it. It’s a wonder why they have low traffic and conversion. This is a great kick in the butt to get going in the right direction!

  8. I am looking some article which improve my site and I found this article which is really very helpful to me I hope you right more and more and I am waiting your next post thanks for sharing with me for this great information.

  9. Hi,
    Quality content is what everyone of us is truly looking for. You’ve done a great job with this post Michael. I’m so grateful to you and definitely, this tips will help me build a profitable blog.

  10. Nice post Iam also a content writer and I am very happy to see this post really the mentioned point is really awesome that’s why I tweet your post thanks for sharing with me I have no word to explain your content…………. thanks once again.

  11. I am glad I went to this site, these are great ideas you suggested. I belong to a few Article, but someone I never thought or heard of. I will join some of what you suggested. Thanks.I am still putting the pieces together. However, as mentioned in your post, i don’t want to fret my time on the blog to render charitable service and at the same time want to be sure I have a enough readers and followership before I get a product out there in the market.

  12. Hey Michael,

    This is such a fantastic post and you made me laugh when you stated you wanted to spank those who do not know why they are doing everything or just have no focus. But you are correct in saying that we need to have driven purpose!

    Though, I feel as and over all the internet “free” products continues to get somewhat of a black eye and the quality is so broad these days. Though, you have to really be able to help or teach someone else before making process in taking the next step within selling anything.

    This post is great, and actually coming up I will be running never different interviews that I am really excited about that talks a lot about this topic.

    Thanks again for sharing,


    P.S. I love and read your passion behind this post and it’s great!

  13. I am glad I went to this site, these are great ideas you suggested. I belong to a few Article, but someone I never thought or heard of. I will join some of what you suggested. Thanks.

  14. Entrepreneurs are meant to profit from their business. And if you look at it critically, blogging may not be the best way to make profit, because it takes more time to build a community and create a product. Although blogging is a tool, but I believe we all need a scalable business like niche marketing.

  15. Thank you Michael for yet again, a very informative post. There is more to learn from these posts than the Gurus would take time to share with us. Like the previous reader, I like to read your blogs, and would like to say are some of the best in the industry, although I dont always make a comment. Keep up the good work Michael!

  16. Excellent post – few points gave me something to think about! I am spending lots of time working on my blog but at this moment I dont see any results at all – I know it will eventually go away (I’ve been there, seen this before), but there’s always this moment that you think – “something is wrong, where are all the comments, where is traffic?” 😀
    Best Regards!

  17. This is what I call, exclusive content Michael. You’ve done it again and I so much appreciate the line you drew between offering free content and positioning yourself as an entrepreneur.

  18. Hello Chibuzor,

    Your post is a wake up call for me. I started a new blog that will reawaken the Nigerian investors’ confidence in the Nigerian Stock Market –

    I am still putting the pieces together. However, as mentioned in your post, i don’t want to fret my time on the blog to render charitable service and at the same time want to be sure I have a enough readers and followership before I get a product out there in the market.

    Thanks for your wonder articles. In truth i never miss any of your articles even though i dont always comment.

    • I visited your Stock Market Blog and I must say, it’s a nice place to learn about confidence and trading. Just work hard and smart to attract the right audience, then monetize as a smart content marketer you are. And thank you for always reading my posts. I’d also appreciate if you can spare 2 minutes of your time to read and comment on my posts – it makes me feel great, knowing that I’m touching lives in my own 9ja and the world also.

  19. Another great post. I remember when blogging was just a public journal. Blogging as sure come a long way. I think it is sometimes difficult for people to clearly define their blogging purpose because there is so much noise around. You have guru A telling you to do A and then guru B telling you B is the best way. Bringing all this information together can sometimes be very difficult. For me I know the reason I am blogging is to expand my practice by adding an online marketing component to my already established practice For more info see Thanks to people like you, I get greater clarity as to what to do online to build traffic.

    • You just nailed it Evelyn. Guru A and Guru B are always giving us ideas that are entirely different. And that’s the confusion in today’s marketing world. I think the best thing for us to do is to ditch all those advises and start to think like real entrepreneurs that we are.

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