This Content Marketing strategy playbook aims to give you the most actionable, concise, process to scale your business sales through digital marketing.
Mach 1 Design’s proprietary framework has enabled us to help over a hundred businesses of all sizes exponentially grow their customer base. We’ve made this guide as concise as possible so you can skim through it in 10-15 minutes and walk away with our proven framework for scaling your content marketing ROI.
Here’s an overview of below:
- How to find a niche topic to write about
- How to find your first 3 months of blog topics (in under 1 hour)
- How to write your first blog post
- How to skyrocket the visibility of your first blog post
- Reviewing your progress and scaling what worked
Content marketing is not going to make you rich in a week. If you’re looking for a way to get rich quickly without putting in any effort, then content marketing isn’t the right investment for you. If you’re looking for a proven method to scale your business, then you’ve come to the right place.
In the early days of the Internet, website owners could launch a brand-new website and get it to rank for valuable search terms by publishing a couple of 500-word articles. Today’s internet is much more competitive. Getting found by your customers requires writing exceptional content and extensively promoting that content. More importantly, getting found requires having a laser-focused niche. The essential first step to content marketing is finding your niche—the topic that you will consistently write about on your site.
Finding your niche allows you to:
- Write about more granular topics that will be easier to rank in Google for.
- Turns your blog into a resource that readers can look to about a specific topic.
How to Find Your Niche
Start with a brain dump of topic themes. List out all of the topics that you’re passionate about (focus on those ideas that relate to what you sell).
Now you have a list of potential topic themes, get Mach 1 Design to look up your topics and get keywords associated with the search of those topics and the total search volume for each. This will give you a sense of how many people are searching for the overarching topic theme on a monthly basis. Mach 1 Design can then rank your topic ideas from highest to lowest search volume.
Next, get Mach 1 Design to research how difficult it will be to rank for each of these topic themes. We’ll spare you the details of getting into granular keyword research—this can take years to master. Instead, here’s a really easy way to figure out keyword difficulty. If the first page of search results is completely taken up by sites like Amazon and Wikipedia, it’s probably time to choose a new topic theme.
If the first page of search results is full of other blogs, then look at the number of domain backlinks that each website has. If the average site has 100 backlinks, then you probably need to build 100 backlinks to outrank them. Once you’ve found a topic theme with a high search volume and low level of competition, it’s time to find your first 3 months of blog topics.
Ask Mach 1 Design to research and analyze the top-performing content that your competitors have written. Type your first topic theme into Google Use either of the above SEO toolbars to assess the sites that appear on the first page of search results.
Finding Your First 3 Months of Blog Topics
You’ve found your niche. Now the big question: what topics should you write about?
Most businesses sit down in a conference room and brainstorm ideas. The team comes up with a massive list of blog topics and randomly writes about those topics over the next 3-6 months.
This approach is alright, but it has 2 major issues:
1. Getting an entire team to sit down and “brainstorm” for 1-2 hours is expensive.
2. What’s to say that these topic ideas will drive any ROI?
When all is said and done, each article that you publish will take 5 hours to 2 days for your team to produce. Can you really afford to roll the dice on the next 12 months of content and hope that these articles will perform well? When we build editorial calendars, we don’t have brainstorming sessions. We don’t wait for the “aha” moment to come up with great blog ideas.
We analyze data. We find blog topics that our customers are actively searching for. Then we write the most robust guide on the internet about each of these topics.
Then we pull up any of these articles that list the “Top 10 [Topic] Blogs of 2021”. We pull the list of every one of these blogs and research them utilizing our proprietary “Pages” tool to find the top-performing blog articles on each of these websites. Want to know how we do this? We analyze the top-performing content that our competitors have written. We go to Google and type in “best [insert our industry] blogs”.
We look at 2 primary metrics:
- Word count
- Root domain backlinks
These are our top priority articles.
If the ranking article is less than 1000 words, there may be an opportunity to rank higher with a 2000 word guide. If the ranking article only has links to 2 different websites, there is a good chance that we could outrank the competitor’s article by getting links from 4-5 different websites. We rank these priorities based on their likelihood for success and ROI potential.
Then we start writing.
Before writing your first blog post, there are 3 things that you need to take care of:
- Identify your brand voice
- Identify your audience
- Identify your goals in writing
But how do you write a valuable blog post? Start by seeing what has already worked. Once you’ve solidified the topic of your first article, search Google and sites like Reddit and Quora to see what content about your specific topic is already performing well.
Look at articles in Google search results that rank within the top 10 positions when you search for your topic. If your first article will be about how to write a blog post, then search Google for that exact phrase and see which posts are already performing well. Now, look at posts on Reddit and Quora about that topic with the most upvotes.
Read each of these top-performing posts. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which commonalities do I see in these?
- What follow-up questions are readers asking in the comments?
- What items would I personally add to these articles?
Compile all of these findings into a list. Write a one-sentence summary of what to talk about for each item on the list. Organize each of these items in chronological order of when they should appear in an article about this topic. You now have an outline of your future blog article. Write about each of these sections, keeping your audience’s goals and your brand voice at the front of your mind.
How to write an exceptional blog post:
- Make your article as detailed and actionable as possible.
- Go overboard with detail, especially in step by step processes. You’re an expert on your topic—what may seem obvious to you could be mind-blowing for your customers.
- Make it long-form. The average first-page Google result is 1,890 words. Sure, a short article can rank well. But writing a 500-word guide that is more useful than a 2,000-word guide is no easy feat.
Start by seeing what has already worked. Once you’ve solidified the topic of your first article, search Google and sites like Reddit and Quora to see what content about your specific topic is already performing well. Look at articles in Google search results that rank within the top 10 positions when you search for your topic. If your first article will be about how to write a blog post, then search Google for that exact phrase and see which posts are already performing well. Now, look at posts on Reddit and Quora about that topic with the most upvotes. Read each of these top-performing posts.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Identify your brand voice
- Identify your audience
- Identify your goals in writing
Getting Your Content Seen by your customers you just published your first article. You must be so excited to have THOUSANDS of readers on the article that you poured your heart and soul into! Unfortunately, the days go by and your article has still only been read by 10 people. So where did you go wrong? You didn’t spend nearly enough time on the promotion. Great content gets lost in the noise without proper promotion. With the frequency in which content is published daily, the only way to make your article stand out is to push it out to as many relevant readers as possible until it builds the momentum needed to rank in search results without additional direct promotion.
Share your article on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all of your other relevant social channels. Schedule each post to be published to each social network on the day that the article goes live, as well as 2-3 additional times over the course of the upcoming 2 months.
Next, search Google for any authors who have written about similar topics. Type the following into Google—this is a search parameter that will help eliminate a bunch of irrelevant results:
Open and read the top 20-30 articles. Start a conversation with the author of each of those articles. Share feedback on their article; ask them a follow-up question about their article. Share your article with them. If they enjoy it, encourage them to share it with their readers or link to the article in a relevant post. Next, reach out to any sites that you referenced in your guide. Mention that you gave them a shout-out and encourage them to share your post as well. From there, create an account on Quora and other niche social media communities. Answer questions that relate to your article with in-depth, actionable insights. Include a link to your article where relevant, but focus on providing value first. Keep on promoting your article until you reach 500 unique views on your post. Once your article has received 500 unique views, move on to the next article. Bump up the expectations to 1,000 unique views.
Add UTM tracking codes whenever promoting content to new communities. These will help you to see what drove the best ROI down the road.
Research Top Campaigns
Review Top Pages Campaigns Google Analytics Rinse and Repeat Open up Google Analytics and look at which sources generated the most traffic for your site since you kicked off these new blogging efforts. Start by looking at all traffic by channel. See which channels drove the highest conversion rate, had the lowest bounce rate and had the highest average session duration. Those who set up UTM tracking codes can take this one step further to see the performance of each individual campaign that they ran.
Delve deeper into each of these to see which pages saw the greatest success with each channel. Next, view the performance of each individual blog article on your site.
Last Content Marketing Step Step
Identify the Top Pages to Revamp in Google Search Console Log into Google Search Console. Select “Search Traffic” and “Search Analytics.” Sort the queries that you’ve appeared in search results based on the number of impressions to see the pages with the most potential visibility. Analyze the top 10 keywords that you rank for. Are you actively targeting these keywords on your site? If not, revamp the post that ranks for that keyword to even better target the keyword Your business is unique. This playbook was designed to help you start scaling your online presence. But even the best marketers can’t create an end-all, be-all guide that applies to all businesses. How many blog articles do you need to write? How long does each article need to be? How many backlinks do you need? The short answer is “it depends.” Mach 1 Design is here to guide you