How to Create a High-Converting Content Marketing Strategy for Your Business

woman creating a content marketing strategy on her laptop

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly heard the term “content marketing” tossed around a few times. It’s become something of an industry buzzword in recent years. But what exactly IS content marketing, and how is it important to your business strategy?

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant content to your audience. The purpose of this content isn’t necessarily to sell your audience something. Rather, by providing valuable information and tools to help them solve problems, you’re building trust with your audience and establishing your brand as an authority in your field.

Why is that so important? Well, in today’s market, customers don’t really want to be advertised to. Just think about how quickly you hit the “Skip Ad” button when you’re watching a YouTube video. According to Stratabeat, “80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles, versus an advertisement.” And Content Marketing Institute reports that more than 70% of consumers surveyed would rather learn about a product or service through content than advertising.

Here’s the great part for you as a business owner: according to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% LESS than traditional marketing, and generates approximately 3 times as many leads per dollar spent. In other words, content marketing can yield some pretty big bang for your buck—if you do it right.

Is your strategy converting?

Ultimately, your content marketing should result in more conversions, increased sales and higher profits. But you won’t achieve those results by haphazardly throwing content pieces at your audience to see what sticks. If you really want results, you need to build a content marketing strategy that reaches your target audience, provides them value that is different than what your competition offers, and encourages them to become loyal customers.

So, how do you build a winning content marketing strategy? 

Set goals.

As with any marketing strategy, you want to create a plan that clearly defines your goals and outlines the steps you will take to reach those goals. Goals for your content marketing plan might include increasing your social media following, driving more traffic to your website, adding subscribers to your newsletter, and increasing leads. Whatever those goals are, make sure you write them down, and then—and this is super important!—track them. It does you no good to set goals for your content marketing strategy and then never measure them to see whether your strategy is actually working for you.

Know your audience.

I can’t stress this enough. Dig into your audience. Understand what they’re like, how they like to consume their content and what type of information appeals to them. Get a strong grasp on the problems they face that your business helps to solve. Then you can start to create content that directly addresses your target audience and offers them value.

Map out your content marketing strategy.

Instead of just jumping right into creating the content, map out your strategy first. Decide what topics you’re going to cover—and when. For instance, if you’re a life coach and you want to talk about the benefits of setting goals, that’s a message that might be best received around the beginning of the year. Being intentional about your content increases the probability of it having the desired effect for your business.

Optimize your content and share it where it counts.

You don’t want to spend the time and effort creating great content no one is going to see, so don’t neglect SEO. Do your keyword research and optimize your blog posts and website pages for search. Then be sure to share your content on the platforms that make the most sense for your business. Notice I’m not saying you should post your content everywhere. If you’re a small business owner with limited time and resources, being active on every social media platform is probably not the best use of your time. Instead, share your content in the places where you know your audience is active and engaged. And don’t worry about having to be everywhere.

Content marketing can work wonders for your business if you do it effectively. Just remember that it is a long-term strategy that will take time to implement and to test for ROI. And once you do have the data to determine your strategy’s effectiveness, you might have to make some tweaks. It’ll be worth it when you’re able to create content your audience loves—and then see that translate into better conversion rates and higher profits.

Need some help with your business’s content marketing strategy? Drop me a message in the comments or contact me to see how I can help.

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10 Ways to Bring More Peace into Your Life

woman standing on a calm pier

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15

I don’t think anyone wakes up and says, “Man, I hope today is chaotic.” But all too often, our lives seem to succumb to chaos, don’t they? Maybe it’s because of our job, our kids, our extended families. Maybe it’s—gasp—the consequences of our own actions. Whatever the reason, when the chaos kicks in, it tends to take over. Suddenly, peace seems completely unattainable, and it’s taking everything you have not to completely lose your cool.

Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 73% of Americans regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress. And 77% of them regularly experience physical symptoms as a result of stress. Nearly half of Americans say stress negatively impacts their personal and professional life, and 30% say they are often or always under stress at work.

Peace Isn’t Dependent on Your Circumstances

Whew. It would seem we are a stressed out bunch. If this is what we’re up against these days, it’s hard to see how we can hope to find peace in our lives.

But here’s the thing: true inner peace isn’t dependent on your circumstances. Sometimes life is wonderful and peace is easy to come by. Other times, life seems like a series of one terrible event after another. But you can learn to cultivate peace despite the situations life throws your way. That’s true peace, because it lasts regardless of circumstance.

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Try These 10 Things to Bring More Peace into Your Life:

1. Meditate.

Spending just a few minutes each day in meditation can greatly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Meditation is simply a mental exercise in which you quiet the mind and focus on one thing—often breathing, or a simple mantra. Meditation helps cultivate awareness, improve focus and increase calm. It has dozens of proven medical and psychological benefits—from reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, to increasing emotional stability and intelligence. There are tons of blogs, podcasts and apps available to help you start a meditation practice, and it really only requires a few minutes of your time each day.

2. Start a gratitude practice.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melodie Beattie

Cultivating gratitude in your life is simple, free, and it can make a monumental difference in the way you view the world around you. Studies have shown that grateful people are healthier both physically and mentally. People who practice gratitude are also more empathetic and less aggressive, have higher self esteem, and are more mentally resilient. Practicing gratitude can be as simple as jotting down the things you’re grateful for in a journal, or in a note on your phone. You might even want to create a gratitude board with some of the major things you’re grateful for, which can serve as a reminder when you’re having a particular tough day.

Focusing on gratitude helps you hone in on what really matters in life, and offers perspective when you feel like things aren’t going well (for instance, did you really have a BAD day, or just one bad experience on an otherwise good day?).

3. Fill your brain with goodness.

There’s a lot happening in the world to be stressed about. Some days the news seems like an endless cycle of terrible events. And while it’s important to remain informed about what’s happening in the world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by bad news, and that can lead to feeling hopeless. If you start to feel that way, take a little break from the news cycle. Put on a motivating podcast or some uplifting music instead. Check out good news media, like the Goodnewspaper, where they celebrate the good happening in the world. Getting in touch with the good things happening, instead of constantly focusing on what’s going wrong, is a great way to shift your perspective and feel more at peace.

4. Declutter your space.

Your physical space can have a profound effect on how you feel. A cluttered and disorganized space can leave you feeling overwhelmed and can take away from your inner peace. I highly suggest the KonMari method if you’re ready to dive into the deep end. If you just want a quick and easy place to start, grab some trash bags or boxes and start separating out things that you can donate or throw away. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can declutter and how much better you’ll feel once you start.

5. Let go of the urge to compare.

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”

Galatians 6:4-5, NLT

It’s so tempting to compare our lives with the lives of those around us. But there’s a reason the Bible urges us to focus on our own work and quit comparing. For one, we are usually comparing our real lives with our assumption of what someone else’s life is like. And very often that is quite different from their reality. Comparison can also cause us to feel jealous of people, which can taint our relationships and stop us from seeing the good in our own lives. If, instead of feeling envy for what another person has, we can feel genuine happiness for them, we’ll feel much more at peace.

6. Get outside.

Spending even a few minutes outdoors has the power to uplift you and have you feeling more at peace. You can go for a walk or run, or simply stand outside and let the Vitamin D work its magic. No matter how busy you are, making a point to get outside for a little bit everyday will make a huge difference in how you feel.

7. Establish healthy boundaries.

Often, the difficult people in our lives seem like a roadblock to peace. Spending a lot of time around people who are unsafe or toxic can make our lives less peaceful. That’s why it’s so important to establish healthy boundaries that protect our peace and limit the influence these people have on us.

8. Don’t dwell on the past.

Ever meet someone who can recount every bad thing that’s ever happened to them, but can’t seem to find anything positive to say? Don’t be that person! Dwelling on the past, ruminating over ancient history, and holding grudges will do absolutely NOTHING to further your life or help you find inner peace. That doesn’t mean you allow people who’ve really hurt you to continue to do so. But it does mean you let go of the past and instead focus your energy on the present.

9. Turn off your notifications.

Our “always on” society certainly has its advantages. But being constantly subject to notifications from your devices can also make you feel less at peace. Most likely, the world will not stop turning if you take a few hours to disconnect from the constant chatter. You’ll also be amazed at how much more you can get done when you aren’t a slave to your notifications.

10. Stop worrying about what other people think of you.

Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.

Lao Tzu

You could be the most incredible person who ever lived, and there would still be people who criticized you. You simply can’t find peace if you’re constantly trying to live up to other people’s standards. Remember that your values won’t always align with everyone else’s, and that’s okay. Be confident in yourself and in your decisions, and don’t let the opinions of others disrupt your inner peace.

Peacemaking in Practice

Most of these suggestions are very simple things you can start doing right away. You might be surprised how quickly you see a difference in the way you feel and in your interactions with others. If you’ve already put some of these into practice in your own life, I’d love to hear about your experience! What methods of peacemaking have been the most effective for you? 

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5 Tips for Creating Evergreen Content

For entrepreneurs, creating valuable content is an important part of a strong marketing strategy. It’s also time-consuming. So, when you spend hours working on a blog post, article or video, and it doesn’t get the traffic you hoped for, it’s super disappointing. One way to avoid this problem is to focus on creating high-value evergreen content for your audience. Evergreen content is content that remains popular and continues to bring traffic to your website over a long period of time.

It’s not necessarily more difficult to create evergreen content than other types of content. It just requires that you approach your content with the intention of creating something that will remain popular and useful to your audience over the long haul.

What Kind of Content Isn’t Evergreen?

Before I get into the details about writing evergreen content, I want to point out that, most likely, this won’t apply to every piece of content you create. Sometimes content is only relevant during specific time frames. For instance, if you’re writing about breaking news, that article will probably spike in popularity when it’s published, and then lose appeal as the event gets further away. Or if you’re promoting a limited offer on your services, that promotional content won’t be evergreen. 

So, What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is content that stands the test of time. Its popularity isn’t dependent on proximity to recent news or pop culture. It continues to receive traffic over time, because audiences continue to find it when they search for the topic. This content doesn’t necessarily have the initial traction that “trending” topics will have, but it will garner steady traffic over time.

Give Your Content a Long Lifespan With These 5 Tips

So, how do you create evergreen content? Glad you asked! Here are 5 tips for creating content that doesn’t have an expiration date:

  1. Be very intentional about your topic. It probably goes without saying that in order to have a great piece of evergreen content, you’ll need to start by choosing a topic that will stand the test of time. Avoid subjects or angles that have a short lifespan—topics like the World Cup, or the “This Is Us” season finale. These topics will be surrounded by some hype for a short period of time, and capitalizing on them may give you a brief spike in traffic. But once the excitement has died down, so will your content’s popularity. Choose topics that are relevant to your audience—and that will remain relevant over time.
  2. Answer a question or solve a problem. What’s the first thing you do when you have a question you need answered, or a problem that needs solved? Back before the Internet, maybe your answer would have been “go to the library,” or “call my smart uncle.” But these days, we all know the answer: we Google. Content that provides clear, accurate answers to commonly asked questions can do extremely well as evergreen content. The key is to make sure you are providing relevant, well-sourced information in an engaging, easy-to-consume format.
  3. Create content that others can easily reference. You probably know that backlinks to your content can really help boost your SEO. Naturally, this also means they can help give your content a longer shelf life. One of the best ways to get those backlinks is to create content that others can easily reference. How do you do that? Focus on creating high quality, well-researched content that presents the information in a compelling way. And if you can provide a unique idea or tool for your audience to put into action, that’s even better. Let’s take a photography blog as an example. Instead of just writing a blog post with tips on how to dress for your photoshoot, you could create a checklist of pieces that make up a great photoshoot outfit. So you haven’t just written a blog post—you’ve created a free tool. Producing this type of unique content can help you get more backlinks, increasing the lifespan of your content.
  4. Write headlines that clearly communicate your evergreen topic. Writing a strong headline is crucial to creating evergreen content. Your headline is your content’s first impression on your audience. If it doesn’t plainly describe the information they’re going to be getting, you’ll lose people at the door. You also need to make sure your headline is specific enough that your content doesn’t get lost in the crowd. For instance, you don’t want to write an article on planting flowers and call it “How to Plant Flowers.” That’s way too generic, and it doesn’t give the audience a clear understanding of what they’ll be reading about. A better headline would be something like “5 Tips for Planting Flowers in Humid Climates.” That headline describes exactly what the audience will be getting, and indicates that the content will be relevant regardless of when it is accessed, as it is not tied to a specific season or year.
  5. Optimize your content for search engines. As with any other content, you want to optimize your evergreen content for search. Be sure to do your keyword research, and choose keywords that audiences are actually searching for. Then be sure to optimize your content for SEO so that it has a better chance of being found by your intended audience. 

Your evergreen content is the backbone of your content marketing strategy. It’s the content that you can continue to promote, time and again, because it remains relevant long after you first publish it. And if it’s well thought-out and optimized, it’s also content that will continue to go to work for you by bringing new visitors to your website.

Get More Tips on Creating Evergreen Content!

Want even more tips on creating evergreen content? Every other week, my newsletter subscribers get a deep dive into my creative content topics from the blog. This week, I’m sending my subscribers my tips on types of content that work best as evergreen content. You’ll also get a few bonus tips on how to create engaging content that stands the test of time. Want in? Sign up for the newsletter here!

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