Blogging without content marketing is kind of like jumping into a sea of spiky rose briars.
It’s completely pointless.
It’s a major commitment with no positive payoff.
And it won’t take long before your journey comes to a painful, shitty halt.
For real though.
If you want your blog to grow – especially if you want to turn it into a business – learning content marketing is 100% necessary.
But before we talk about the reasons why this is the case, let’s answer this question…
Blogging vs. Content Marketing: Which Are You Doing?
First, basic definitions.
Blogging is, well… publishing any ol’ blog posts.
You don’t have to have a clear intent, strategy, or plan behind the posts.
Content marketing, on the other hand, means creating and promoting content strategically in a way that builds your audience/business.
Not sure which you’re doing right now?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a clear purpose behind every blog post I publish?
- Do I have SMART goals for my blog?
- What is my blog niche and USP?
- Who exactly is my target reader? Do I have a clear reader profile?
- How are my blog posts related to my blog monetization plan?
- Do I have an editorial calendar?
- Am I getting my blog posts in front of my target audience? Or do I have a clear plan to do so?
- Am I using SEO best practices in my posts?
- Am I using copywriting techniques to create crazy clickable headlines?
- Do I have a social media strategy?
- Do I write my blog posts in a way that prioritizes readability and clarity?
- Am I building an email list with my content?
- Are my blog posts helping me grow my business and online presence?
- Am I writing in a way that’s tailored to my ideal reader?
If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to these questions, you need to learn content marketing.
5 Reasons Your Blog is Screwed Without Content Marketing
1. You can’t monetize if your blog doesn’t build the right audience.
Every blog post you publish will set you up to attract a certain kind of reader.
For example, publishing a post called “How to Play Your First Song on Acoustic Guitar” means you’re going to attract newbie/aspiring guitar players.
Imagine you publish these kinds of newbie-attracting posts for 6 months.
Do you think that, when you launch your “advanced electric guitar techniques” online course, your audience is going to be interested in it?
You’ve built an audience of newbie acoustic guitar players. Not people who are ready to learn advanced electric guitar techniques.
My point is this:
If you want to make money from your blog, you have to build the right audience.
People who are going to be a perfect fit your services and/or products.
…Which is what a content marketing strategy will allow you to do.
Otherwise, you might just find that your products and services fall flat because they aren’t a good fit for the audience you’ve spent tons of time trying to build.
2. You can’t just publish and hope people find your posts.
If you’re just blogging and not using a clear content marketing strategy, you probably aren’t doing much to promote your posts.
(And no, publishing one Tweet and one Facebook post about your new blog post doesn’t count as a content marketing strategy.)
“Build it and they will come” doesn’t apply to blogging.
Even with stuff like SEO, it takes a LOT of time and effort to get your blog to the point where lots of people will randomly come across your posts online.
When you start blogging, you’ve got to bust your ass to find your audience and get your content in front of them.
And, just as important, you need to avoid using 23,458,234 different marketing strategies.
Instead, you want to hone in on the BEST marketing strategies for your blog niche / target readers, and focus your efforts on those.
3. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
No blog becomes successful on accident.
If you want to grow a blog audience fast, you need to be strategic.
Your blog posts should have a clear purpose in growing your business.
Even the ORDER you publish your posts in can affect how quickly you build an audience and become an industry authority.
…And how quickly you can monetize your blog and turn it into a source of serious income.
4. The most successful bloggers genuinely care about helping their readers.
But if you don’t have a clear content marketing strategy, you might not even know who your readers are.
In that case, how the heck are you supposed to empathize with or care about them?
How can you create the most helpful blog posts if you don’t even know who you’re helping?
Which is why defining your ideal readers is such a key step in creating your content strategy.
It’s not enough to know some vague stuff about them.
You need to be in tune with their struggles, their goals, and their motivations.
And you need to help them get motivated to overcome their struggles so they can reach their goals.
5. You need a well-defined niche to attract readers and a USP to become their #1 choice.
If you don’t have a clear blog niche, you’re going to have a hard time attracting readers.
And just choosing a random topic isn’t enough.
You need a well-defined niche. Something that aligns with your passions and skills/knowledge.
Ideally, you want to go narrow with your niche BEFORE you go broad (that is, IF you want to go broader at some point).
Once you’ve got a clear niche, you need to make sure you have your USP – Unique Selling Proposition – in place too.
In other words, what makes you/your blog different from others in the same niche? How are you going to stand out in a non-forced way?
Here’s an example of a blog with a niche:
“Vegan food blog”
Here’s an example of a blog with a narrower niche + USP:
“Affordable vegan food blog written in a witty, no-bullshit tone”
This is a suuuuuper basic example, but you get the point.
Your USP is a key part of your brand. It’s what makes you… you.
And it’s what’ll keep readers coming back to YOUR blog as opposed to other similar ones.
Because let’s face it – people can get a lot of the same information from multiple blogs.
You have to be intentional about the way you write and brand yourself online and give them a reason to come to yours – or they won’t.
Content marketing transforms your “just words on a page” blog posts into pieces of content that help you build an online presence and an audience that’s going to be interested in your products/services.
Are you ready to learn content marketing?
If you’re “just blogging” with no clear purpose or plan behind it, you can’t expect to grow an online presence quickly (or at all) – much less turn your blog into a profitable business anytime soon.
I’m saying this from experience.
Way back in the day, I started a “local to-dos” blog. I also had a psychology blog.
In both of these cases, I was excited to see the results and fully expecting the comments and engagement to pour in.
SMH. None of that happened.
All because I was writing just to write.
I didn’t have a clear content marketing strategy, and I wasn’t writing my posts from a marketing perspective.
So as you can imagine, those blogs didn’t last long.
And neither of them ever grew into anything. No audience. Nada.
This blog you’re reading right now, on the other hand, regularly brings in about $2,000-$7,000/mo (and started doing so within less than 1 year of me actively working to grow my audience + email list).
I don’t have a team or virtual assistant.
And I don’t work 1,232,475 hours per week.
I just use content marketing strategies that work. And I use them consistently.
Let me tell ya – this blog would never have grown if I had never taken the time to learn content marketing.
So, really stop and ask yourself:
Am I a content marketer? Or just a blogger?
Is the way I’m approaching blog post writing now going to help me reach my goals in the time frame I want to reach them?
If you’re sitting there having an “OH SHIT” moment and want to make a change, I’ve got a snazzy somethin’ for you.
My brand spankin’ new course, Conquer Content Marketing, is open for pre-sale enrollment for a limited time (doors close July 14th, and you save $100 if you enroll now as a founding student!)
This course is all about how to write blog posts that drive business RESULTS, like traffic, social shares, and email subscribers.
Here’s some of what you can expect to learn:
- How to pick the best blog niche (because it’s not as simple as choosing a topic!)
- How to define your target audience using reader profiles
- How to develop a unique brand voice that helps you stand out
- How to become an endless supply of amazing blog post topics (several step-by-step methods for coming up with ideas!)
- How to write killer headlines that attract clicks like crazy (without being that clickbait-y shit you see on Facebook all day long)
- How to promote / get your blog posts in front of your target audience
- How to set up lead magnets within your blog posts so you can build your email list
The course comes with a private, students-only Facebook community too, which I will personally be VERY active in.
Aaaaaand it comes with tech tutorials and group coaching calls to help you implement what you learn.
Can’t wait to teach you all about blog content marketing. 🙂