122 Content Marketing Strategies + 11 Monetization Ideas (With Free Printable)

122 content marketing strategies (3)

Something separates successful bloggers from the novice—and the down-trodden intermediate.

It’s something that gets a lot of bloggers stuck.

Then they get doubtful.

If you’re either burned out or you’ve built your site and are asking yourself now what? it’s what you’re probably missing.

It’s traffic.

Without it you can’t grow.

It’s the number one way to build a list and eventually earn from your blog and that doesn’t have to be 100,000 subscribers. Depending on your niche, even one thousand subscribers might support your goals. Especially if they’re loyal. No point counting abandoned email accounts and ghost subscriptions.

Lucky for us, there are proven ways to direct more traffic to your site.

If your blogging goals are to:

  • grow your subscription list
  • extend your reach
  • build a book platform
  • direct more traffic to your site
  • increase social media connections
  • foster an engaged community
  • reach financial milestones

You can turn your goals into action with content marketing strategy.

Strategy means understanding and then being clear about your goals and what it will take to reach them.

You need to know what results to expect from different methods, then employ the ones that meet your needs.

I hope that this guide to 122 Content Marketing Strategies inspires new ideas, for beginners and veterans alike.

When you’re ready to sit down and plan your strategy or so you have a handy copy by your desk:

Get The 122 Content Marketing Strategies Printable

The 122 Content Marketing Strategies printable includes a bonus 11 Quick-and-Dirty Monetization Strategies and is hosted on Dropbox—so you can download it or print a copy for easy reference. Bookmark it, if you like.

Of course, you can tweet the checklist out to your blogging buddies from here. 🙂

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A HUGE thanks to those who do!

Get Started

In this section I’m going to assume you’re new to blogging or just built a site since some of the strategies here will also apply to launching a new blog. To get set up and rolling you don’t have to have business cards and all the bells and whistles (though they do help when your blog comes up in conversation) but you do need solid plans.

But first, you need a blog.

The first stage blogging is a lot of designing, signing up for services, brainstorming, and planning. Those plans might change, hell they probably will, as you set up the skeleton of your site and all of its behind-the-scenes capabilities but you’ll need a vision.

Mixing-and-matching styles, unnecessary elements, and designs without overall vision and direction only creates chaos.

In addition to all the technical stuff, it’s usual for this stage to be full of ideas and inspiration. Dedicate some time to brainstorming. Get a new notebook or legal pad and write down all of your ideas until you run dry: possible blog names and corresponding urls, page structure, design elements, social media extensions, content and series ideas, everything. Write everything down.

Make sure you’re using a theme that supports your brand and content format—will your site be visual or text-driven? I’ve picked horrible themes before because I liked them, not because they were best for the content. Then get started with these 11 ideas:

  1. Tell your friends and family about your website.

  2. Share it across your current social media accounts.

  3. Create social media profiles and add your blog to your existing accounts.

  4. Invite friends to follow your blog on social media.

  5. Print business cards and hand them out.

  6. Brainstorm, create, and implement a subscription incentive/freebie/download.

  7. Sign up with subscription list service like MailChimp or AWeber.

  8. Set up and design your site’s newsletter or email schedule.

  9. Create a content plan and editorial posting/writing calendar.

  10. Create a growth (marketing) plan.

  11. Set a regular posting schedule for your blog.

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Design Elements that Optimize for Traffic

Once your blog has its bones (or once you’re ready to take the next step) there are things you can do to solidify your blog in the real world and optimize it to draw traffic from day one.

  1. Spruce up your sidebar with a photo of you, a subscription box that allows readers to enter their email in the sidebar, and your current subscription incentive/freebie/download.

  2. Add Click-to-Tweet text boxes to your blog content.

  3. Register a P.O. Box to replace your home address for your subscription list service.

  4. Register a DBA (doing business as, assumed name) with your local clerk’s office.

  5. Get an email for your domain. Imagine: [your name]@[your blog] dot com.

  6. Hire a photographer friend to take a headshot, then use your new photo across all of your social media, gravatar, and blog sidebar so readers can identify you easily and consistently.

  7. Start collecting subscribers, with or without a freebie download or incentive.

  8. Back-up your blog and make sure you have a service or plan to keep your back-ups current in case of disaster.

  9. Optimize your site for speed.

  10. Optimize for mobile.

  11. Check, repair, and update broken links.

  12. Customize your 404 page.

  13. Streamline your SEO slugs and permastructure.

  14. Optimize for SEO with easy-to-crawl site structure.

  15. Customize feeds to offer partial content instead of full articles.

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Use Your Content

Now that you’re posting content regularly and are set up to capitalize on the traffic you draw to your site, you can use your content strategy to kill two birds. Branching out to different formats can bring new readers, strengthen your brand, and grow your social media. Plus, your content is your property. So make a bunch of it, then later you can repackage it, reformat it, add it to a library, offer it as a bonus, whatever. Sky’s the limit.

Make your content work for you with these 36 ways to optimize it to build traffic and grow your blog:

  1. Plan a series of blog posts on a category of your blog. For lifestylists, this could be a challenge or 30-day change/learn-something.

  2. Offer a subscription incentive/freebie/download/eBook to readers in exchange for their email address.

  3. Mix up your content styles, formats, and platforms. This can be anything from writing more high word count posts to creating videos for your site and sharing them via a You Tube channel.

  4. Delve into video. Screen capture tutorials and slideshows can keep you behind the camera.

  5. Slideshows and edited shorts are great for social media. These can be anything from inspiring stories to cooking demonstrations.

  6. Consider adding a live component to your video efforts.

  7. Create simple slideshows using the headings and sub-headings from your blog posts.

  8. Write an opinion post for your blog and turn the text into a slideshow.

  9. Craft the series you wrote (or related content you’ve already written) into an eBook.

  10. Design sharable printables (templates/worksheets/checklists) to enhance your content.

  11. Create a workbook.

  12. Write a tear sheet or a giant list. For inspiration, Jon Morrow created a viral tear sheet with his 317 Power Words.

  13. Outsource some of the content load by accepting guest posts and compensate your writers for this service. Even a small amount—they’re helping you meet your content goals. You’ll get exposure by being included in all the blogs that pay directories plus you can ask writers to share their posts on social media and respond to comments on your blog.

  14. Add strategically placed social media share and subscribe buttons to your blog posts.

  15. Add a slideshow, header or promo boxes to your home page.

  16. Use your sidebar to showcase your most successful social media account.

  17. Vary your post length. If you usually go long, mix in some short posts. If your posts are usually short, plan and create some long content.

  18. Google likes a certain post length…and Quick Sprout has a printable cheat sheet.

  19. Build a resource library on your blog of guides, templates, eBooks, infographics, worksheets, and podcasts.

  20. Write an FAQ page to answer readers’ common questions.

  21. Offer cheatsheet downloads of your posts, especially the long ones with lots of sub-headings.

  22. Write a series of how-tos that help readers accomplish a bigger goal.

  23. Conduct a case study. In other words, do something cool and then relay the steps you took and your results in a blog post, series, or report.

  24. Interview an expert in your field. Chances are they’ll share your post, too.

  25. Link out to other sites in your posts, then use trackbacks to send an excerpt and an alert that you’ve linked to their content.

  26. Create an external link-heavy round-up to use as an outreach initiator.

  27. Tie current events, seasons, and holidays to your content calendar.

  28. If it suits your niche, share your financial reports and growth in a special annual report.

  29. Improve your headlines, blog tagline, and sub-headings.

  30. Go through and add relevant internal links to old blog posts.

  31. Add related links to the end of blog posts for further reading.

  32. Repackage content into eBooks, podcasts, videos, checklists, workbooks, guides, interactive infographics, courses, bootcamps, challenges, reports, or an email series.

  33. Publish a 101 list.

  34. Research your keywords and tags.

  35. Allow for RSS snippets instead of full articles.

  36. Use your most viewed/popular posts to pin-point what your readers are interested in.

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Paid Advertising

Straight-forward but powerful, the obvious drawback is the cost. Depending on whether you intend to invest in paid advertising before your blog earns enough to absorb the price, this might be something you’ll save for later. If you’re ready to launch a paid campaign, you can try these markets:

  1. Buy advertising from Reddit.

  2. Or Facebook.

  3. Or Twitter.

  4. Or StumbleUpon.

  5. Or AdWords.

  6. Or print magazines.

  7. Purchase ad and marketing space from other bloggers.

  8. Write an interesting advertorial—or sponsored post.

Social Media

Social media makes content marketing possible in so many ways. The key to using social media to promote your blog is to know your goals.

Social media can:

  • Build brand awareness of you and your blog
  • Send traffic to your blog
  • Create a private space for group interaction
  • Give readers a way to stay updated
  • Help you fill virtual seats for a webinar, training, challenge or bootcamp
  • Be videos: lifestyle, tutorial or non-fiction
  • Connect you with the people you can help
  • Position you for affiliations, sponsorships, and freelance projects
  • Give you numerous ways to share your content using different platforms

Create pages, interact, and have fun with it. Make some memes. So far my two favorites of mine are:

http://paidwrite.com/2016/12/09/start-freelance-writer-career/paidwrite

Throwing spaghetti at the wall isn’t necessary. All of these strategies work. The spaghetti in this case will be you. What platforms come easy to you? Which do you enjoy using? Where is your audience already coming together to share and connect? Could you spend an extra hour a week sharing and repurposing your content across different platforms?

Dedicate time in your schedule, set some goals using this checklist, and see what works for you. After your blog’s social media is assembled, you should set up a social media dashboard where you can control and publish to all of these sites. I use Hootsuite (paid) but they also have a free version for up to three social media accounts. There are other services as well but what’s important is that the service you choose connects with the social media sites you’re using to promote your blog. These tools streamline posing and managing your outreach, promos, pages, groups, and accounts.

Eventually, I hope to get Meet Edgar, which curates and auto-posts awesome stuff (and recycles your old posts-there’s folders!) but it’s expensive. Dreamin’big. 🙂

My best advice is to interact, share what’s useful and contribute by being helpful. Oh, and these eighteen other ideas:

  1. Publish to LinkedIn and spruce up your profile with this guide from Big Interview while you’re at it.

  2. Create memes for your niche. Be sure to include your logo.

  3. Create a Facebook page or group for your blog and its readers.

  4. Decide which social media platforms best suit your content. Visual content might be best featured on Instagram and Pinterest.

  5. Create short videos or slideshows to share.

  6. Edit videos and slideshows to showcase quick, basic skills or evergreen topics in your niche. You can also use them to address current industry trends. Think about what is trending and sharable in your niche then add your digital logo. Overlay font to subtitle or give specifics (measurements for recipes, dimensions, etc.) to your video.

  7. Design pins for your posts.

  8. Use a big round-up (like this one, but yours) to create an infographic.

  9. Sign up for a social media scheduling service. Companies like Hootsuite allow you to schedule your posts from a single dashboard, putting all of your accounts in one place making it easy for you to see your calendar of posts. You’ll be able to schedule post promotions before the post publishes. Meet Edgar creates a categorized library of your social media posts, recycles older content, and curates a constant stream of targeted social media shares—but it’s more expensive.

  10. Set aside one day of each week or month to schedule social media posts for blog content, contests, giveaways, and offers. While you’re at it, schedule any recurring or promotional posts to your groups and pages.

  11. Create multiple content and marketing promotions using a variety of images.

  12. Experiment with live video feeds on social media. Facebook tends to push these out into news feeds to promote the new tool.

  13. Use hashtags for your brand name and to reach out with subject-related keywords.

  14. Host a Twitter party using a researched keyword or your brand name as your hashtag.

  15. Use Twitter to publicly thank and shout-out to other bloggers, readers, and social media supporters.

  16. Use LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook groups to reach more people with your amazing content!

  17. Write interesting social media snippets.

  18. Re-share old content across social media.

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Free Advertising

Some of these will overlap into social media but the sheer interactive power of the internet has more to offer than likes and shares. Step things up a notch and reach out (possibly out of your comfort zone) if you want to take advantage of the free advertising made possible via the net.

  1. Submit your blog posts to content curation sites like these, from Curata.

  2. Hold a contest that promotes reader interaction.

  3. Host a giveaway to boost social media likes and shares.

  4. Ask readers to contribute something (a survey response, quote, review or pro-tip) in exchange for a backlink or free product.

  5. Offer a %/$ off online orders to customers who share/subscribe.

  6. Propose a challenge to readers and offer to lead them with content, (scheduled) emails, webinar workshops and/or a social media group or hashtag.

  7. Swap marketing efforts with a fellow blogger. This could be a sidebar box or a mention to readers in the newsletter.

  8. Send guest post and print article pitches.

  9. Offer free virtual workshops to help readers with a specific problem. Depending on your niche you can address a topic, help others apply your advice to their own experiences, host constructive groups, or offer these as group consultation services.

  10. Comment on other blogs with useful and helpful contributions to the conversation.

  11. Join groups and forums in an effort to help others, too.

  12. Collect testimonials for your site, your work, and your products.

  13. Convert your content to PDF to share it on these 100 PDF sharing sites from Blog Chowk

  14. Hold a contest where entrants post their submission on their own blog with a link to your contest page.

  15. Contact an author or company about cross-promoting a giveaway. They supply the prize and you promote the giveaway (and their product) to readers and through social media.

  16. Join HARO (Help A Writer Out) and offer to answer questions and serve as a source.

  17. Offer to showcase reader contributions and their work on your blog.

  18. Submit to blog directories.

  19. Ask influencers to contribute a text box to your content.

Old-School Marketing

Of course some old-school marketing strategies cross over to the digital space, if only to get you talking about your blog with the real-world people you meet. Influence and expertise in your niche can lead to local opportunities, but only if your community knows how awesome you and your brand are! Plus, you get a t-shirt!

  1. Print t-shirts with your logo to offer in giveaways or sell on your blog. You get to wear them, too!

  2. Get a tattoo. Any excuse for some of us. 🙂

  3. Send a press release to local news outlets. Depending on your niche, you could find yourself giving a demonstration on the local morning show/news.

  4. Have your logo printed as a window decal for your vehicle.

  5. Carry business cards (these can be creative, too) to pass out anytime you find yourself explaining your blog to someone and how it could help them/why they’d be interested.

  6. Depending on your niche, attend local events (festivals, cook-offs, networking events, expos) with promo stuff (pens, goodie bags, frisbees, etc.) and/or marketing materials (fliers, business cards, brochures) and/or tangible products for sale. Rent a booth or network free-range.

  7. Sponsor a Little League or other local team.

  8. Take out an ad in a local outlet.

  9. Hang fliers on bulletin boards.

  10. Take advantage of college campuses (and micro-bars, newsstands, shops, and coffee shops) by leaving some sort of entertaining (yet promotional) reading material, if your niche allows.

  11. Enlist friends to participate in a parade wearing your blog’s gear, handing out bookmarks (or whatever), and tossing treats to spectators.

  12. Organize a food drive, walk or fundraiser, sponsored by your blog.

  13. Attend blogging, niche or WordPress meet-ups in your area.

  14. Research, plan, and save for an industry conference related to blogging or your niche.

  15. Plan and promote a webinar that offers value and introduces new fans to you and what you do.

Bonus: Monetization Motivation

Affiliates

  1. Create a resource/library/goodie page listing all the stuff you love that’s related to your blog—then inquire about affiliate programs for each one, using Amazon to cover the gaps.

Digital Product Sales

  1. Brainstorm your first (or next) product.

  2. Automate sales and marketing by designing a create-your-own-adventure collection of automatic emails to be sent to subscribers based on how they’ve interacted with you in the past.

  3. Write sales and promotional emails for any upcoming product launches and schedule them in your launch calendar.

  4. Create a membership-only area on your blog. This can be a free section but it can also generate a regular, steady monthly income.

Content Opportunities

  1. Resell your content to reprint markets, globally.

eBooks

  1. Brainstorm, research, plan, execute, market, and sell eBooks.

  2. Offer your eBook on Amazon and create an author page.

  3. Create a website and social media accounts for your eBook(s).

  4. Offer your own affiliate program for your products using eJunkie.

  5. Format your eBook into multiple file types to maximize markets and sales.

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Mouth Off

My goal for this year is three eBooks—one every four months. 🙂

What are your plans past the ‘what now?’ stage of blogging? How have you built traffic? What’s worked for you? What did I miss? I love stories of how bloggers have used social media creatively to bring people together—I’d love to hear yours!

I spent years working low-paying jobs. I’ve been a cashier. A line cook. I unloaded trucks. These days I support myself and my children with my writing. It’s a new and exciting life – and I want the same for you!
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