The 5 Words That Changed My Content Marketing Strategy

You know those times where you read a book and one line seems to stop you in your tracks and pierce your mind?

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” -The Road

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” -Breakfast At Tiffany’s

“Yer a wizard, Harry.” -Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Ok. Maybe not that last one (but I swear the goosebumps I got while reading it were real).

Point is, there are some lines that make us immediately stop and think about what we’ve done in life. But you expect that when you read — those authors
have years to think of sage-like one-liners.

You don’t expect those lines in real life. They seem surreal, like they couldn’t possibly come out of a person’s mouth. But when it happens, it sticks with
you for life.

That happened to me when I was 23 years old. My blog just received “Blog of the Year” honors from Travel + Leisure.

Ivanka Trump was even on the panel of judges (she thought the blog was tremendous, huuuuge, etc.).

A couple articles I’d written got so much traffic that they actually broke the city of Minneapolis’ website and got featured on the homepage of Sports
Illustrated.

Needless to say, I was freaking out.

Naturally, I celebrated this success by sharing it with a marketing mentor. I spoke a mile a minute, with that stupid smirk on my face young folks get when
think they’re hot shit.

But here’s the thing. Life decided to throw down one of those crazy, life-changing one-liners on me in the form of my mentor putting their phone down,
staring right at me and asking these five words:

“What did the traffic DO?”

He was asking what all the traffic from these wins actually helped me achieve.

THE TRAFFIC GOT ME AN AWARD! And…ah…lots of people came to the site! It’s traffic. You always want traffic. Right?

I stuttered and tried to poke holes in his simple question, but my mind shut down. It was sage wisdom straight out of a book, and I could only come to one
conclusion:

He was right.

I was doing nothing for the company with my traffic. Didn’t ask for emails, sales, calls, nothing. The traffic didn’t convert.

And traffic is worthless if it doesn’t do something. That traffic would visit the articles I worked so hard on, read them, and then leave. We’d never see
them again.

That’s a big mistake. I was letting that traffic slip through my fingers like a sieve.

If I had to guess, I bet that’s happening to you, too. Or maybe it feels like it. You have all these meetings about how to drive traffic to your blog, but there’s no goal outside of page views and shares.

If that’s the case, then take my advice and do what I did to grow countless blogs: use content upgrades.

A content upgrade is an additional piece of content that a reader accesses in exchange for an email address or money.

Generally, you put this behind a tool that collects something from the
reader in exchange for the content. That something should be their email address, so you can build your email list. These content upgrades — eBooks, videos, infographics, worksheets, etc — are ways to make sure that traffic you work hard to generate ends up meaning something for your bottom line.

Because who would you rather be? The person who thought they could give sage-like advice? Or the person who actually gives that advice?

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