4 Rules for Creating the Perfect Content Marketing Strategy — A SPN Exclusive

You hear statements like these all the time — “Content is king,” “Google’s looking for quality content,” “Potential customers are judging you by your content.” So, obviously, you need a great content marketing strategy if you want to succeed on the web.

But how do you go about creating it?

Sadly, most of the website owners out there don’t know how to come up with a successful content marketing strategy. They fall victim to bad advice, bad writers, and bad promises from people pushing “shiny objects” (you know, the gurus who claim to have a push-button solution for everything). In the end, they wind up blending in with their competitors — or, worse, their content stands out in a BAD way.

The truth is — creating the perfect content marketing strategy isn’t tough, as long as you follow these 4 rules:

1. You Get What You Pay For

You wouldn’t expect to cook a gourmet dinner with Ramen noodles and canned asparagus, would you? Then why do you expect to build a “gourmet” content marketing strategy around cheap articles and blog posts that skimp on research, that were written by sub-par writers? Sure, that content may only cost you a couple bucks, but since it’s not doing anything to get you ahead, you’re simply wasting your money.

If you’re hiring a writer, you need think of it as renting their time. If your writer thinks that their services are only worth a $2/hour “rental fee,” is that really the person you want in charge of writing your content? I guarantee you that the people who have the expertise and credentials you need to publish awesome content aren’t going to let you “rent” an hour of their time for just a couple of bucks.

2. Content Marketing is All About a Return on Your Investment

Let’s say you spend $25 on a well-written article, and that article winds up getting published on an authority website in your niche. As a result, a business owner reads it, likes it, and decides to do business with you. For the sake of argument, let’s say the business owner pays you $250. You just netted yourself $225!

And who knows how many orders he’s going to place with you in the future — or how many colleagues he’s going to pass your name onto. It’s not unrealistic to think that $25 article could wind up making you thousands of dollars!

Think it doesn’t really happen like that? Think again! Personally, I’ve gotten some of my biggest and most loyal clients just by publishing quality articles on websites like this one. Trust me, people are definitely reading — and they’ll definitely respond if you can impress them!

But let’s say you went the cheap route and spent $5 on an article that had some grammar issues, didn’t really “hook” anyone, and seemed to focus more on keyword density than on legitimate research. Guess what? No authoritative website is going to publish it! So, that business owner is never going to see it. He’ll never know you exist, so he’ll never be able to place an order or pass your name along to anyone.

In the end, is it worth saving $20?

3. You Don’t Have to Break Your Budget

Before you think I’m trying to get you to spend un-godly amounts of money on content, it’s important to understand that you can have a great content marketing strategy and stick to your budget. The key is to prioritize.

Let’s say you only have $100 to spend right now. What’s the most important thing you need to take care of? If your web copy is a disaster or your blog is blank, that’s way more urgent than starting a press release campaign or creating a bunch of videos.

In order to have a successful content marketing strategy, you have to look like an expert from top to bottom. It won’t do you any good to publish a bunch of awesome guest posts if your website is chock full of terrible content. When people arrive on your site, they’ll immediately stop taking you seriously, and all of the expertise you established in your guest post will be gone.

Bottom line — address your most urgent content needs first. Then, branch out from there. If you’ve got the right content marketing strategy, you’ll start to see an increase in traffic and sales. It shouldn’t take long for your content efforts to pay for themselves!

4. Learn the Difference Between Syndication and Duplicate Content

If you don’t know what makes these two terms different, your content marketing strategy will never succeed. It’s as simple as that.

Syndication involves getting your content published on authoritative, relevant sites all over the web. When you see a news story written by the Associated Press pop up on 50 different websites, it has been “syndicated.” Or, when you read “Dear Abby” in your local newspaper, you’re reading a column that has been “syndicated” — meaning it appears in different newspapers all over the world. As a former news anchor, I can tell you that there’s nothing more prestigious in the news biz than getting your work syndicated!

From an internet marketing perspective, syndication is the reason article directories like Ezine Articles were first created. The idea was (and still is) to give website owners a place to go where they can find free, quality content to publish on their own sites. In exchange, the author gets a link back to his own website in a resource box.

Yes, you’ll get plenty of quality links through syndication, but you’ll also get something much more valuable — targeted traffic. By having your content published on authoritative, relevant sites, you’re getting your name and your expertise out in front of your target audience. Without great content, you may never have been able to get out in front of these people!

As you can see, syndication isn’t “duplicate content.” You won’t be “punished” for taking advantage of it. Instead, you’ll be able to show people that you’re an expert, get more exposure than you ever thought possible, and generate traffic that doesn’t depend on Google. Now THAT’S a powerful content marketing strategy!

Nicole Beckett understands the power that good web content can give you. As the owner of Premier Content Source, she has helped countless business owners succeed through a variety of content writing services.

About the author


Nicole Beckett

Nicole Beckett knows that content marketing will always play a huge role on the web.  That's why she spends her time helping business owners come up with the very best strategies.  Find out how she can take your web content to the next level by visiting Nicole and the team of journalists at Premier Content Source.


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  • Wow very inspiring! “Now THAT’S a powerful content marketing strategy!” I agree.

  • Though many say content is not the king, it’s been proven for many years that conversions done perfectly by employing great content. It’s not only about links…

  • It seems a bit harder if you work for Fortune 500 companies. Content has to go through so much legal drama that it takes days to weeks to get ONE page published on your site. So, no matter how good your content strategy is, it seems as there needs to be an education for the TOP-Level folks at large companies so that they don’t create barriers for your content to get published.

  • Great info. Can you tell us which content sydication sites you feel are the best and will help bring in more targeted traffic?

  • Ahmad — You’re so right! People are only going to do business with you if they think you’re the right expert for the job. If you’ve got so-so content, they’ll never see you as an expert, and you won’t get as many conversions.

    Evan — That’s a good point! If everyone at your company doesn’t understand the power of good content (at least everyone who’s in charge of dealing with the company website), you’re going to wind up having some trouble. Although, I’m sure it won’t take long for those higher-ups to wonder why their web presence isn’t as strong as they would like it to be! Even the “big guys” can’t get away with having the wrong content strategy!

    Vicki — There are 2 ways to approach syndication. You can take a more passive approach by submitting your articles to Ezine Articles and other top directories and waiting for publishers to find your content.

    Or, you can be more active by seeking out authoritative websites in your niche. Some websites will make it easy to submit quality articles to them (like here at Site Pro News, for example). For others, you might have to send an email to the webmaster and offer a great article you just wrote.

    If you want to take a more active approach, sites like the Directory of Ezines are a good resource. Or, if you don’t want to spend any money, you can simply start Googling for authoritative sites in your niche and strike up a relationship with them.

    Another good way to find syndication outlets is to Google your article titles, see which sites syndicated them, contact the webmaster, and offer to email other articles that you’ve written. That way, you can turn a passive approach into an active one! 🙂

    And don’t forget about email lists! Lots of marketers are happy to send quality articles out to their email subscribers. It’s a great way to get your content out in front of highly-targeted traffic!

  • I think $25 for an article is a little like ordering both Ramen noodles and canned asparagus. The amount to consider paying is dependent upon what is required as there are many different abilities needed For a really good article. A few of the abilities required is knowing how to write well (not just including spelling and grammar); knowledge of the subject matter and the ability to research; knowledge of search engine optimization; marketing knowledge; and many other abilities. I the write content for approximately 400 of my other websites. I don’t write content for other people’s websites and I could not afford to write content for even $300 per article/page of content. However, business owners should look for really qualified writers and consider paying at least that much for some of their website content.

    • I absolutely agree with you, Phillip. A $25 article isn’t a bargain — it’s a waste of money. If you’re a business owner who wants to demonstrate your authority in the marketplace, you don’t achieve it by putting your name to an article written by an amateur. If you only have $25 to invest in a piece of content, you’d be better off spending it on a case of Ramen noodles.

  • As a professional copywriter, I appreciate many of the points you brought up but you are misinformed when it comes to content vs. copy. I understand that you used the $25/article as an example but that is chump change to us professional writers. I absolutely agree with Philip. If you want professional copy for your site, then you need to make the investment. That’s what business owners/professionals don’t understand. Well-written copy is an investment. However, you can’t throw content into a general category. There is a HUGE difference between well-crafted marketing-focused copy vs. content and article writing. If you sell a product or service on your website, your site MUST have a sales and marketing focus, and that’s where a professional copywriter comes into play. We don’t just write pretty words, but we help companies/businesses develop a focused marketing strategy around your site. I really wish that content-focused articles would differentiate copy vs. content/article writing. They are two different beasts. As a copywriter, these content marketing articles sometimes do a disservice to my profession and craft. Copy is not content and content is not copy.

  • Therese, with all due respect, how can you possibly say that sales copy isn’t content?! Sure, it’s got a different twist than the average article or blog post, but it’s being judged the same way any other piece of content is — people are looking for the best. They want their questions answered and their problems solved. They want to know how YOU can help them.

    And, yes, I completely agree that business owners need to make an investment in their content if they want to succeed (see point #1 in this article)

    • With all due respect, Nicole, you are doing your clients a great disservice if you are writing $25 content for them and syndicating it on ezine and similar directories. You’re treating content like a pauper, not a king.

  • Great article…changed my whole strategy now to spend money on content writing

  • Is it considered duplicate content if you post the same article on multiple article sites?

  • Nice to hear from you here, too, Louie! 🙂 You’ve got a *really* common question. Most people think that syndicated content = duplicate content, but that’s not the case. You won’t get any type of “penalty” for publishing your articles on different websites.

    Remember, the goal is to get your articles out in front of as many targeted eyeballs as possible. The more websites you can get published on, the better!

  • It really is all about cost and the subsequent benefit. Even if the content cost $100, and brings you in $200 – you did good. But then you need good analytics to see and evaluate just how good your strategy is doing,

  • I agree with Nicole on the fact that the “big guys” must pay attention. I think a lot of “big guys” at Fortune 500 companies are not really up to date with technology and the impact it has. now when I say this, please understand I’m talking about non-tech companies.

  • Having good content is indeed king. As you say, the content needs to be able to get the reader to respond positively. One positive response could lead to many more.