In the first part of this interview series, I asked some of the most respected online entrepreneurs about the role of content in their business. Across the board, content plaid a vital role in their success. But what content played the biggest role? Find out below, where I ask…
“What piece of content had the greatest business results for you? What were those results?”
My eBook has been downloaded more than a million times since originally published in 2006:
The New Rules of PR: How to Create a Press Release Strategy for Reaching Buyers Directly.
“One of the most read business white papers in history” Anne Holland, MarketingSherpa.
I think it is hard to point to a single piece of content … it’s all integrated. Certainly the blog has had a big impact on people, but would people know about it without Twitter? I’ve also had good networking results from posting in LinkedIn Groups. And all of this content and connection led to writing The Tao of Twitter, which has helped a lot of people … and that led to my new book Return on Influence. So it builds, connects, intertwines!
I wrote a piece last year called The Backlinking Strategy that Works , which has been read over 100,000 times and has nearly 1,500 comments. Within that post, in addition to having extremely detailed content that outlines the exact process I used to rank and earn money with a brand new niche site, it also includes several videos and inforgraphics to further solidify my points and explain my process.
There are a few affiliate links within that post and even a year later that post continues to drive sales for various products and services that I’ve used and had success with.
It wasn’t one piece of content that helped me… it was one TYPE of content that helped. Back when I launched Social Triggers, I focused on creating site reviews (they were videos where I showed popular bloggers how to increase their conversion rates). That type of content is what took Social Triggers from a brand-new site to a site with well over 10,000 subscribers in just a few months.
And that makes sense… The content truly helps people increase their blog conversion rates, which is why they were such a hit.
There are actually two pieces. One is called 19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business. It’s consistently shared and keeps on growing. It brings new readers into my site, generates new comments every week and introduces people to my in-your-face, irreverent style with a message that’s universal.
The second piece is Is Facebook Hiding Your Messages? It caught the eye of people over on Lifehacker, ZDNet, Mashable and various other blogs and was shared over 16,000 times in 3 days. Kinda crazy! What’s funny is that it was written out of my own frustration and it turns out that I wasn’t the only person with this problem. Quite the contrary, in fact. My site subscribers and Facebook fan page members went WAY up as a result of this piece and also resulted in a ton of ripoff articles – which is the sincerest form of flattery.
The best piece of content I have published in terms of results is my post on how to build Facebook tabs using iFrames. Of course in the front-end you can see the Tweets and Facebook shares in the thousands but behind the scenes that post is responsible for more than 180K pageviews, it seats nicely in Google’s 3rd spot for “Facebook iFrames” only after Facebook’s own posts.
More importantly is the business generated from leads coming from that post alone. Other than 20 emails/week with questions regarding iFrames, that piece of content triggered two new relationships that ended up as clients last year and a few medium projects. Funny thing is these projects had nothing to do with building Facebook Tabs…
My recent 2011 Annual Report, the book trailer for Uncertainty and my Truth About Book Marketing manifesto available when you subscribe to TribalAuthor.com.
Marcus Sheridan Speaker, coach and inbound marketing specialist. Find him at TheSalesLion.com.
In the swimming pool industry (and many others), most companies do not address the subject of pricing on their website. Notwithstanding, this is the first question every person wants to know when they start the buying process. Realizing this, one of the first articles I ever wrote on my webpage had to do with the keyword phrase ‘fiberglass pool cost’. To this day, that page has been read well over 100k times, generated hundreds of inbound links, and lead to hundreds of thousands in total sales. [Read it Here]
This is the power of content. One simple article can be a literal ‘cash cow’, a gift that keeps on giving.
I wrote a guest post for Social Media Examiner. Dan Cristo, my business partner in Triberr, left a comment which was the very beginning of the bromance that resulted in many podcasts, a business partnership, and a building of our common legacy that is Triberr.
The content that describes the entire history of Triberr, from day one to the end of 2011, has been committed to paper and is available for all to see.
The blog is our biggest driver of results, from a content standpoint (my speaking is the best driver). Every time we have a webinar, SmartTalk, our newsletter, drives registration.
Corbett Barr Founder of ThinkTraffic and creator of How to Start a Blog that Matters.
This depends on what you mean by “business results.” Some might consider that to be monetary results. For us, it’s always about helping our readers and customers first, knowing that the money will follow if we do that well. We have produced 100s of pieces of content over the past three years. Our business results come from the total value delivered by that content in aggregate, not from any single piece of content.
I suppose I have to say an article that I wrote for US News & World Report. Yahoo Finance picked it up and then it landed on the Yahoo homepage as well. I added about 6,000 people to my email list just because of that one article.
[You Can See It Here]
On my tech blog, I created a tutorial on how to build a PC (found here). That tutorial continues to be the #1 attractor of traffic to my site, several years after it was originally written. Even after all this time, it is on page 1 or 2 of Google for “build a PC”.
I can not pin point one at the moment, because the results are different and I can’t name one favorite. Sure there is a page that makes most money, but there is also some other one that establishes me as a person knowledgeable in my niche which in some cases is better, and then there is some that gets me most clients, which again can be better.
Depends on what you mean by results. If you mean leads, some posts resonate more than others with different people.
Without a doubt, the piece of content that has led to the greatest business results for us have been my book Engagement from Scratch!, featuring contributions from 30 engagement-building superstars including Brian Clark, Guy Kawasaki, and many others, and which I made available as a free download. In just a couple of months, it has led to many thousands of subscribers, dozens of interviews, and a successful product launch (and this is just the beginning).
Actually, I don’t think there’s a single piece of content that’s had a massive impact. There’s been the odd boost – for example when sales legend Zig Ziglar’s team reprinted an article of mine and I had a rush of subscribers. And I’ve had potential clients call me and tell me about a specific article that hit the bullseye for them.
But generally, I’ve found that the most important thing is not one single piece that “hits it out of the park”. It’s the steady drip, drip, drip of high quality content that builds your reputation and authority in the marketplace. It’s the weight of good content on my site that typically impresses people, not one individual piece.
There have been many valuable pieces of content within my career online. In some cases it’s been that lynchpin campaign I’ve spearheaded for company in order to promote their brand through “pillar content” posts. Recently, last summer, I believe a turning point for my own business blog was a post where I asked for support in voting for me in the 2011 Small Business Influencer Awards (found here). It was beautiful to see content become that igniter for action across the social web.
There are two types of posts that have always done especially well at Traffic Generation Cafe:
2. Enormous benefit to my readers.
The first type of posts – “transparency” posts – is where I chose to disclose something to my readers (good or bad) that showed that I was willing to tell all vs just put up a facade.
Examples of such posts include my recent income reports, where I exposed myself to potential criticism and reader fallout by disclosing how much I REALLY made online, or more personal posts like Baa, Baa, Black Sheep…, where I revealed some personal struggles my family recently went through.
The second type of posts – “enormous benefits” posts – should be self-explanatory. After all, shouldn’t all our content be beneficial to our readers?
True, but we can always go a step further, like I did with my Promote Yourself and Your Business post, where I allow all my readers to talk about their businesses, whatever the niche.
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and I saw many subsequent “Promote Yourself” pages on many blogs – glad to see that many bloggers don’t just talk, but listen and implement as well.
There’s no one single piece of content that I would say drives the greatest traffic….instead it’s the accumulation of videos that does it. As of this writing I have 170 Videos live on YouTube. That’s 170 different search times that beginners looking for bass guitar information can find me. My most popular video has 140,00 views on it – but I don’t view it as any more valuable than my latest video which has less than a 1,000 views. The cumulative effect of all of the videos is what is important.
What clued me into how effective video could be was when I posted my first video. Which you can see here and see how bad it is:
Prior to this I’d written 30 pages of pretty good content and was getting about 3 to 4 unique visitors a day (and the website had been live for 6 months). And in that 6 months I’d attracted the grand total of 18 subscribers. I posted this video – and a few others in the series it became part of – and by the end of the month I was getting 20 unique visitors a day and had gone from 18 subscribers to over a 100.
And with the addition of new videos those numbers kept climbing. Now I get on average 20 to 25 new subscribers every day…all part of the cumulative effect of those 170 videos.
That would have to be my teleseminar called “How to Build A Step by Step Selling System that Brings You All the Customers You Want.”
Entrepreneurs are overwhelmed and confused by all the marketing “experts” out there. When you look closely, you realize that nearly all of them are what I call “marketing plumbers.” They’re experts in a particular tactic. A method. A piece of the puzzle. (Facebook. Twitter. Adwords. SEO. Networking. Cold calling. Etc.) And every expert claims their piece is the most important one.
But where’s the architect? Where’s the big picture? In that seminar I show you how to go from working hard with little to show for it to a simple, repeatable system that brings a consistent flow of customer and clients.
The singular most important piece of content I’ve created is a free report for my niche. It includes fifty tips that people can use to solve many problems they have in this market.
This free report helped build the six-figure income I’ve had for the last few years. It’s the perfect example of how free content can build an audience. I give away a free eBook in exchange for someone’s email. And once they join my email list they continue to get great content while receiving the occasional affiliate product recommendation.
Murray Lunn Entrepreneur, freelance writer and founder of PLR Articles Now.
For those that don’t know, I have multiple websites and blogs. I would say, from what I can tell you, that the “breakout” piece on my business blog, Murlu, has been one on finding niche topics (found here).
This was shared by a great deal of people and started pulling in a load of links – it started to put me on the map. Once I had the attention of people, I was able to finally share some of my other ventures such as PLRArticlesNow.com and some of the small niche projects I work on.
Although the article, in itself, doesn’t necessarily earn direct income – it’s the recognition and branding that allowed for me to use it as a platform for bigger and better things.
In terms of financial benefit I guess our Photoshop tutorials are the greatest business asset at our network. They are what got PSD.FanExtra off the ground, generated a large chunk of our millions of views and contributed to our collection of members only resources. If I had to choose a tutorial that was particularly crucial to our early success it would probably be: Design a Professional Laptop Advert.
In terms of networking, community interaction and furthering our personal brand (which I see as incredibly important aspects of business) our aforementioned 30 minute redesign series has done wonders for us.