Step-By-Step Guide to Starting a Content Marketing Business
So, you think you are ready to use your content marketing skills to help other businesses grow their audience? Or maybe you are an experienced editor and know a few fellow writers who would love to write articles for you?
In either case, you have a big chance of creating a viable content marketing business. The only problem is the competition – the market is pretty crowded already. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams. And if you follow the below tips, you stand a big chance of succeeding.
Find a Niche to Limit the Competition
What’s one of the easiest ways of avoiding the said competition? Finding a niche. Instead of going where everyone is and trying to sell your services to business owners who have already heard similar sales pitch tens of times, it’s better to create a unique value proposition that will be different from what others have to offer.
For example, you could focus on a specific topic – such as law or medical content. You could even dig deeper and focus just on civil law. Or you could go for sales content and charge for results. And if you don’t want to limit yourself to just one industry, think of offering a particular type of content – be it blog posts, sales pages, infographics or sales video scripts. Even though this might sound like you reduce the number of potential customers, it also means much lower competition – which makes getting started a lot easier.
Build a Website for Your Business
Once you have an idea for what you want to offer, it’s time to make your offer public. Since you will be creating online content, the best thing you can do here is building your own website, on which you will pitch your offer, present your portfolio, and even collect orders and payments.
The best is that you don’t need any coding skills or a huge budget to get started. All that’s required is a reliable shared hosting from a reputable company such as Hostinger which you can grab for just a few bucks, and WordPress (free – you can install it in the hosting control panel), which you will use as your content management system.
Write a Blog – But Don’t Just Rehash Content
A significant benefit of having a website is the fact that you can write a blog. As a content marketer you most likely understand its importance, but it’s worth mentioning that B2B marketers who have a blog receive 67% more leads.
Considering that you will be offering your services to other businesses, not having a blog could lead to missing out on many business opportunities. One thing you should keep in mind though – instead of blatantly copying what others have written, add your own spin to it. You could enhance the content with your opinions, comments or show how particular ideas can be used in action.
Look for Long-Tail Keywords
What’s more, having a blog is a must if you’re thinking about SEO traffic. It is estimated that websites with a blog have 434% more index pages compared to those that don’t have one. Sounds pretty obvious – in the end, blogs usually have lots of posts.
The good news is, contrary to what many people believe, SEO is neither dead nor hard. But if you want to attract organic visitors soon, you should start with long tail, low competition keywords. Naturally, don’t forget about quality content.
Smart keyword research can help you do more than just write posts that rank quickly. If you are still stuck at finding a niche, even simple Google keyword planner can help you uncover what your potential customers are looking for. Once you find it, all you need to do is offer them exactly that.
Reach Out to Fellow Content Marketers
Of course, SEO doesn’t bring results overnight. It might take weeks or even months before you start attracting organic traffic. Luckily, there are other great ways of bringing new visitors. One of them is reaching out to your… competitors.
But we won’t be reaching just to any of the companies that are competing with you. Instead, you want to get in touch with those who offer complimentary services, or work in different niches. Ask them to exchange leads with you, should they get any work in your niche. You can even offer them to split the profits with them. In fact, you might need to do that if you don’t have any traffic – but such a mutual cooperation can be extremely beneficial for both parties.
Look for a Mentor
Another reason why it’s worth reaching out to other content marketers is that one of them might become your mentor. Keep in mind that, no matter what you think right now, it’s very hard to build a sustainable company all on your own. Don’t worry – that doesn’t mean you should split ownership and invite others to run it with you.
Usually it’s enough to get in touch with someone who will share his personal experiences with you, help you overcome many obstacles, motivate you, and stop you from giving up or becoming complacent. In the end, a good mentor already been there and knows a lot about the things that are ahead of you.
Get Your Posts Published on Popular Industry Blogs
Coming back to your blog, unfortunately, the content that you publish on it is not enough – even if you start with low competition keywords, you might soon find it too hard to rank for any new phrases. But you most likely already know that – in the end, you are a content marketer ?.
Because of that, if you’re serious about attracting potential customers to your new business, you will need both quality backlinks, as well as referral traffic from other websites. The easiest way of achieving that is reaching out and publishing insightful posts on high-quality, respected industry blogs. The good news is, if you follow other points in this article, you shouldn’t have too many problems with convincing them to publish your work.
Build an Email List and Social Media Following
Google and Bing are not the only sources of potential customers. The truth is, you should never keep all your eggs in one basket. Instead, always diversify and look for multiple sources of traffic to your website. And when it comes to social media and email marketing, this diversification has multiple other benefits.
For example, if you start building your social media profiles and become active on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you will be able to network with people who are more experienced than you. This will give you a great opportunity to find a mentor. In fact, you don’t even need a fan page to do that. Instead, you could just look for one inside any of the many popular Facebook marketing groups.
And why is email marketing another recommended source of traffic? Remember that most people won’t contact you the first time they are on your website. But if you build a relationship with them, soon they might be more than happy to hand you their hard-earned dollars in exchange for your services.
A good relationship with your audience can be very rewarding – it’s no surprise that email marketing has an ROI (Return on Investment) of an astounding 3800%! This means that for every $1 invested in email marketing you can earn back as much as $38.
Moreover, if you play your cards right, you can become an authority for your own followers. They will respect and trust you and they might even recommend your company to their friends and colleagues, bringing you additional customers at no cost.
Create a Brand and Position Yourself as an Expert
If you do all the things mentioned in this article, you stand a great chance of building a strong brand in the business and positioning yourself as an expert in the field. And, as you probably know, branding plays a huge role in the growth and sustainability of every business.
By having a brand your customers trust, instead of fighting for every penny you can focus on doing a good work. Businesses that have a following and a good reputation can charge higher fees. Which means that you will have more time to deliver top-quality products. Of course, don’t try to charge sky-high fees for mediocre results – otherwise, your word-of-mouth can become so bad none of the mentioned ideas will help you.
Never Stop Learning
Whatever you do, always keep improving your work and learning new stuff. No matter if you are doing all the work manually or you’re just managing people – there is always room for improvement. Keep in mind that no matter how small a niche you chose, there is always someone who will try to compete with you. But that’s a good thing – this means that there is a demand for your services. So, keep learning, networking and growing!