Position yourself as an expert – and SELL!
Marcus Sheridan began his career as a fiberglass pool salesman.
The company he was working for was spending more than $250.000 a year on paid advertising, which was bringing in about $4 million in sales.
Hit by recession, Marcus knew he had to do something to keep sales going. He started blogging, writing blog posts about what he knew, in a niche where people often didn’t talk about their expertise. He answered questions, talked about advantages and disadvantages of fiberglass pools. The result? Using Content Marketing and only $20.000 a year on paid advertising, he was making $5 million in sales.
Write for Users first
Positioning yourself as an expert means writing relevant content, focused on a pain point. How do you find your users’ pain points? Here are 5 ways:
- Use Google Keyword Planner. The free tool from Google allows your to read your customers’ minds. See what they’re looking for and what you could be writing about. Focus on ”how do I…”, ”how to…”, ”…tutorial”, ”advantages of…”, ”difference between…”. Use the keywords you’d normally associate with your niche in Keyword Planner and write the posts based on user queries.
- Join forums in your niche. You’d be surprised at how many resources there are out there, even in a small niche. Start by posting relevant content, being helpful and answering questions. Look at the common questions and write content specifically answering them.
- Follow blogs from competitors. There’s no shame in checking out what others are doing. Competition is there to drive you farther and faster. Look at the comments section, check out their blog and article structure and build upon those.
- Use your website as a survey box. Implement a basic survey tool like Google Forms, HotJar Insights or Qualaroo and poll your website visitors. Sweeten the deal by offering a gift or a discount in exchange for their answers.
- Listen to your gut. With all the technology and apps available, you’ll still be the one who knows your business better than anyone else. For that reason, your gut will sometimes be a good indication of what people are looking for and what form of content you should create.
Write for Google second
Google looks at a few things before deciding where your search result should be:
- Mention your main keyword – in the title of the article, in your first paragraph and a few more times later on.
- Write a great title – when sharing on social-media you want people clicking on the article. Google always looks at social interactions as a ranking signal.
- Find or create an amazing feature image for your article – on free stock sites or using tools like PicMonkey or Canva. This also helps users quickly identify what your article is about and they’ll stick around more on the page.
- Have links to outside resources – like other blogs, authoritative websites. Make your article a great, documented, resource for knowledge.
How to get started
The hardest step to take is usually the first one. You just have to build a blog and focus on users – what they want, what they need, what they’re struggling with. When they find your content online, they’ll want to connect with you, if you really do provide relevant content.
Take the first step and write your first blog post. Then keep on going and see where it takes you from there. You can also have a look at How to Start a Blog: 7 Simple Steps to make sure you have the basics down before starting.
Have you already started with content marketing for your business? If not, what’s stopping you?