Have you ever considered creating and curating content for online consumption, but didn’t know where to start?
You’re in luck because we’ve compiled a list of some of the best online content marketing courses and training available, which will guide you in the right direction. From beginner’s to expert level, you will learn the basics – such as what content is – and then continue building your knowledge progressively.
What is Content Marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on creating and distributing useful, informative, and entertaining content to attract, engage, and educate potential customers (HubSpot Blog).
The world of content marketing can seem daunting because there are so many avenues available to pursue. However, if you find yourself asking “what is content marketing?”, you’re probably not doing it correctly. Truth is, you don’t need to be an expert marketer, copywriter, or content creator to do content marketing. You just need to have a genuine interest in creating and sharing content that helps people.
Why should you consider content marketing?
If you’re wondering why you should pursue content marketing, here are just a few reasons:
- It’s in demand. According to HubSpot Blog, 94% of businesses use content marketing, which makes it the most popular marketing channel among companies.
- It works. Marketers have known for ages that content marketing is a powerful tool, especially when used in combination with other marketing channels.
- It’s free. Content marketing doesn’t have to cost you a penny. You don’t need to hire expensive consultants or marketers to perform this function.
- It’s a long-term gainer. Just remember, you’re not creating and curating content to instantly monetize. You’re creating content for the good of your audience, which will ultimately benefit your bottom line.
- It gives you flexibility. You can perform content marketing anywhere, anytime. You don’t need to be bound to a physical office or require the co-ordination of other marketers.
- It brings in the customers. If you’re looking for a content marketing case study, look no further than HubSpot Blog. The marketing team there has compiled a comprehensive list of ways that content marketing helped them grow their business.
The Basics of Creating an Effective Business Blog
An effective business blog is a great place to start when you’re looking to expand your content marketing efforts. A business blog provides you with a great opportunity to create and curate content that is both useful and entertaining, while also establishing your expertise in the field.
To create an effective business blog, you need to do the following:
Identify your target audience.
Your target audience is the audience that you’re intending to serve with the blog content you’re creating. Just remember, not every post on your blog will be popular and engaging. You want to ensure that you’re regularly offering value to your audience, while also entertaining them. To achieve this, you need to ensure that you’re constantly thinking of new ideas and content that will keep your audience coming back for more.
To find your target audience, you need to consider the best platform for reaching them. That’s where you should start. From there, you can narrow your focus to a more specific audience by considering factors such as their location, gender, and age. You can also use marketing and research tools to gain deeper insights into who your target audience is and how to engage with them. For example, you might look at the types of content that your existing audience is engaging with and determine if there is a gap in the market for a more specialized blog post.
Choose a niche.
A niche is a “small market or segment” within the larger audience of your target audience. For example, “gym wear for women” is a niche within the general category of “fitness”. When you choose a niche, you are narrowing your target audience and tailoring your content to appeal to a more specific group of people. This ensures that your content will have a better chance of being relevant and interesting to your audience.
When choosing a niche, you need to consider the size of your target audience and if there is enough demand in your chosen niche for what you are offering. Smaller niches – such as trendy workout wear or vegan meal ideas – may not have the same demand as “traditional” niches such as “fitness” or “vegetarianism”. However, a niche that has not yet been exploited may still have great potential. For example, did you know that there is an abundance of untapped vegetarianism in the UK? According to HubSpot Blog, 62% of consumers in the country identify as vegetarian. That’s a lot of potential customers you could target with content about vegan food. Of course, it takes some research to determine if a niche is worth exploring. But, if you can’t find much information in your chosen search engine, it’s a good idea to take the time to explore a niche that seems less explored.
Pick a platform.
You’ve chosen a niche and you’ve identified your target audience. Now, it’s time to pick a platform and start blogging. There are a number of different platforms designed for business blogs, but not all of them are created equal. Some platforms are better suited for a business blog than others. When picking a platform, you need to consider the following factors:
- The cost – does the platform cost money to use?
- Personal blogging – is the platform better suited for personal blogging or business blogging?
- The experience – is it easy to use or does it require a lot of training?
- The SEO – will SEO be easy or difficult to master on this platform?
- The analytics – does the platform provide useful analytics tools?
- The community – is there a vibrant community on the platform that is engaged with other bloggers?
- Mobile compatibility – does the platform allow for easy mobile posting?
One of the most popular platforms with business blogs is WordPress.com. The cost of using WordPress.com is zero. Personal blogging functionality is available for free. Search engine optimization will be easy and there is a large community of both established and aspiring bloggers. Finally, mobile compatibility is great on WordPress.com as it is a mobile-first platform. From an SEO perspective, WordPress.com is one of the best platforms available for business blogs because of its popularity and easy integration with other online marketing channels.
Get a domain name.
A domain name is the address of your blog, much like a website is the address of a website. When picking a domain name, you need to consider the following factors:
- The.com domain – this is the most popular extension. Make sure you register your domain name with a reputable domain registrar such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com
- The.org domain – this extension is for non-profit organizations and universities. If you’re a non-profit organization or university, you can register your domain name with Namecheap.com
- The.me domain – this is the domain name extension for individuals and smaller businesses who want to take the reigns of their online presence one website at a time
- The.uk domain – this extension is the preferred choice for businesses and organizations headquartered or operating out of the United Kingdom. Use this extension if you’re also operating out of the UK or a country that uses the metric system (e.g., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand)
- The.co.uk domain – this extension is for United Kingdom businesses and organizations. If you’re located in the UK but your website is accessible to users worldwide, this is the preferred choice
- The.biz domain – this extension is for businesses, product or service-related websites that are targeted to a global audience
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, it’s time to set up your blog. You can use WordPress.com to set up your blog with limited customization, which takes only a few minutes. From there, you can start blogging with ease. Remember, as a blogger, you are responsible for maintaining the quality of your content. So, just keep that in mind as you write your blog posts.