• Buffer
  • While putting your finger on just one piece of content that will work miracles for your business is pretty difficult to do (bordering impossible), I decided to ask the question anyway…

    “What is the one piece of content that any business owner needs to create in order to have a successful online business presence?”


    David Meerman Scott Best-selling author, speaker and coach. Find him at DavidMeermanScott.com.

    Do not just talk about your damned products and calling it content marketing. You’ve got to think like a publisher and create content that is valuable for your buyers, not create for your own ego. Nobody cares about your products – they care about themselves and solving problems.


    Mark Schaefer Author, consultant and college educator who blogs at {grow}.

    I’m a big believer in blogs as the content engine of the social web. I was recently quoted in the New York Times by a reporter who found one of my blog posts. That connection and opportunity would not have come through a Facebook update or a tweet.  Blogs drive so much of the important content on the web.


    Pat FlynnPat Flynn Blogs about creating online income streams at Smart Passive Income.

    It’s hard to pick just one. There are several pieces to an overall content strategy – all important, and each site and business will be different and should tailor their message to their audience.

    I guess the one thing I can suggest is to figure out exactly what your audience wants to read, and just blow them away with amazing content that gives that to them in ways beyond their imagination, going above and beyond without asking for anything in return. Maybe this happens in one piece of content, or several over time, but that’s how you build trust and loyalty with your audience, which, as I said before, must be in place before any type of monetization and growth can take place.


    Derek HalpernDerek Halpern Blogs about leveraging human psychology to get traffic, leads and sales at Social Triggers.

    As I mentioned earlier, the type of content people should focus on creating is Contagious content. That’s the content that works. That’s the content that generates traffic.


    Erika NapoletanoErika Napoletano Online strategy consultant, and Head Redhead at her blog, Redhead Writing.

    Maybe some people don’t think of it as “content” per se, but you have to have a personality. A distinct, inarguable three-dimensional personality. Sure – people subscribe to blogs purely based on newsworthiness and the fact that you know what you’re talking about, but what makes any online presence sticky – one that keeps coming back – is the humanity and personality behind that presence. Two of my colleagues say it best, perhaps. Elaine Ellis - a PR and marketing pro in the startup world, says that no one remembers vanilla. Merredith Branscombe – a 20-year Silicon Valley tech and startup PR pro – says that the middle of the road is where you get run over. We all have thoughts, feelings, and opinions – brands, companies and online presences should as well. That’s what makes them compelling!


    Francisco Rosales Coach, consultant and blogger at Social Mouths.

    Every business that is producing content for marketing purposes should have a few pieces of pillar content, carefully thought out, clear objectives, well written and highly focused on conversion. Those pieces of content are going to build the foundation of all your content marketing efforts in the future.


    Jonathan FieldsJonathan Fields Entrepreneur, author and speaker. Find him at JonathanFields.com.

    An ungated brand manifesto that clearly identifies a pervasive and deep pain point, offers lots of standalone educational value and the opportunity for more in exchange for permission to email. This can be text, video, audio or all of the above.


    Marcus Sheridan Speaker, coach and inbound marketing specialist. Find him at TheSalesLion.com.

    I think the smartest thing a business owner can do is take their best and most helpful blog posts, and then turn them into an eBook. I’ve done this with both of my companies and with a large portion of the companies I’ve worked with, and every time it pays big dividends.

    For example, when I produced my 230-page eBook, “Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy” on The Sales Lion, it lead to over 2000 downloads (and list subscribers) over the course of 3 months, and further lead to a mountain of consulting/coaching opportunities for those companies that had read the eBook and found what it said to be relevant.

    When it comes to lead generation and pushing prospects down the funnel through content, I don’ think there is anything better than a free eBook.


    Dino Dogan Co-founder of, and marketing genius behind, Triberr.

    I would encourage businesses to look beyond content. Content is important. Content is the minimum effort any business must make. The problem with content is that it’s easily replicated, presented better and marketed better by the competition.

    Think beyond content. Think platform.

    An easy way to bring-in customers is to identify the need they have that’s not being met. Or, identify the need that IS being met but they’re being charged for it. Or both.

    Then build a platform that meets their need and give it away for free. In marketing vernacular, what I’m describing here can be summed up by saying the following. Meet their need and move the free line.

    How will you make money? You’ll figure it out. The way to make money may not be obvious at first, but it will reveal itself as your community grows.

    The way to make money wasn’t obvious to Google. But eventually it revealed itself in the form of advertising.

    Sometimes you have to take a leap and have faith the ground will appear when your feet touch down.

    We did this with Triberr. We gave bloggers a free service that is more powerful than paid variants like OnlyWire. And we continue to solve big problems for little bloggers. We’re introducing innovative features like Frictionless Guest Blogging, Spanable Comment System, and Accurate Sharing.

    We have monetized the platform 3 weeks into it by selling virtual currently called Bones, but Bones is not our ultimate monetization strategy. We have some ideas, but as our community grows, the right monetization path will appear before us. Of this I’m sure.


    Gini DietrichGini Dietrich Founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, and lead author at Spin Sucks.

    Blogging, by far, is the best way to use content to drive business. But it’s also the most time intense. We have clients whose email marketing and white paper and case study downloads are very effective. In fact, those three things combined generated $2.2MM for one client last year.


    Corbett Barr Founder of ThinkTraffic and creator of How to Start a Blog that Matters.

    The most important piece of content is one that clearly defines WHY your visitors/customers should be spending time with you. What makes you unique? How will you help your visitors? What are you trying to change about the world? Answer these questions well and you’ll build a following.


    James ClearJames Clear Blogs about earning more money at Passive Panda.

    Hmm, tough call here. I’m going to say an autoresponder series. If you have a killer autoresponder, then people will continue to care about you long after that first article. It gives you a chance to build a relationship and trust. Solid email marketing can lead to a really great business.



    David RisleyDavid Risley Professional blogger, entrepreneur and online marketer. Find him at DavidRisley.com.

    There is no one piece of magical content. It is about helping people. Communicate effectively to the right people the right message. And help them. That’s what’s important, not the mere fact that the content exists. And, what that will end up being will be different for every person reading this.


    Brankica UnderwoodBrankica Underwood Online business coach and blogger at BlogLikeAStar.com.

    Every business owner should have a page where he explains why is HE/SHE the go-to person. What makes him so special compared to others in the business. It can be a part of the About page but it needs to be there for everyone to see. What makes him the best (but without the hype, of course).


    John FalchettoJohn Falchetto Lifestyle and business coach. Find him at JohnFalchetto.com.

    I don’t think there is one single one, it’s important to create a body of work which clearly represents how you solve the problems your audience face.
    Danny Iny Author, strategist, serial-entrepreneur and co-founder of Firepole Marketing.

    There isn’t a single piece of content that any business owner can leverage to have a successful online business presence; the world of business (online or offline) isn’t that formulaic. The right pieces of content will depend on the strategy, which will depend on the circumstances. If I had to point to one key ingredient, though, it would be going in fully-baked and doing the work.


    Ian BrodieIan Brodie Small business marketing and sales coach. Find him at IanBrodie.com. 

    I can only really speak for the type of consulting, coaching, training or other professional business that I work with. For these sorts of business it’s important to have a core piece of content that encapsulates your point of view – the essence of what you – the way you solve problems for your clients – your particular approach to it.

    For example, for me it’s Pain Free Marketing and the principle of giving Value in Advance. Sure, I work on many different aspects of marketing and sales with my clients – but underlying all of it are the twin principles of focusing on doing marketing in a way that the professional will actually enjoy and won’t make them feel pushy or “salesy” and that will actually create value for their potential clients rather than have them be seen as a pest.

    My Pain Free Marketing Blueprint sets out in high level how I recommend they do this. It’s the one piece of content I can’t do without because not only does it give useful, practical advice to my target clients – but it highlights the philosophy I use in my work. If people reading the content buy into this philosophy, then we’d be a great fit for working together. Conversely, if they don’t agree with the principles, if they’re solely focused on their own needs and not on doing great things for their clients – then we wouldn’t get on.

    So I’d say that every professional advisor needs content like this. Content where the goal is not only to be incredibly useful and valuable to your target market – but also to help them self identify with the way you work and to qualify them in or out as potential clients.


    Christian HollingsworthChristian Hollingsworth Digital marketing and social media consultant, and blogger at SmartBoyDesigns.com.

    I don’t believe there’s one specific, fit-all piece of content that works for every company. It’s going to different depending on the products being promoted, demographics you’re trying to reach, what social sites you’re using to promote said content and more. If something simple needs to be identified, I always recommend a company spend time doing the following: networking on social sites (creating valuable content on Twitter, Facebook, etc…), producing valuable blog content (which in turn grow search traffic) and a solid business plan. Without that business plan, a company has no direction to focus efforts.


    Ana HoffmanAna Hoffman Blogs about free traffic generation methods at TrafficGenerationCafe.com.


    The kind of content your readers just have to bookmark and come back to.

    I know it’s easier said than done, but again that’s what separates the great from the marginal – and the choice is entirely yours.


    Paul Wolfe Teaches people how to play bass and blogger at One Spoon at a Time.

    I don’t think any one piece of content can do that.  I think you have to think of yourself as a TV Show that airs once or twice a week.  And make sure your audience gets to see their ‘show’ right on schedule every week.  If you do it right then over time your audience will grow and you will establish an online business presence.

    This doesn’t have to be video by the way.  It could be written posts.  Or podcasts.  Or Facebook.  What each online business has to find is the combination of (a) finding out where their potential audience hangs out and (b) what kind of information their audience like to consume, and then create that information and make sure you’re putting it in front of your potential audience.

    I don’t think you can build a business – or a presence – on one piece of content.  For sure you can try and create content that attracts a lot of eyeballs – e.g. Pillar articles or Tentpole Videos – but it’s the process of consistency that will yield the best results over time.


    Dov GordonDov Gordon Small business marketing and sales coach. Find him at DovGordon.net. 

    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.”

    It’s more important to be prolific than to get it right any one time.  You need to be able to write content that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to keep reading.  It needs to talk directly to their deepest desires and aspirations.  And you need to learn how to do this in 30 minutes a day or less because you probably have other things you must do as well.

    In the coming months, I’ll be teaching my subscribers more about how to do this.


    Steve Scott Affiliate marketing expert and blogger at SteveScottSite.

    Without a doubt – Offer a free report.

    Now, this is something that most people understand.  But for some reason they don’t implement it effectively in their Internet business.

    My advice is to find the biggest obstacle/challenge in your market.  Write a quality solution or step-by-step case study that you give away for free.  Then design a killer eCover with a headline that’s enticing to the average user.  Finally, give this report away in exchange for a person’s email address.

    Seriously…do what I just told you and you’ll have a very profitable Internet business.


    Murray Lunn Entrepreneur, freelance writer and founder of PLR Articles Now. 

    Hrm. Truthfully, I would say something along the lines “this is how our business works” which is a complete, behind-the-scenes look into the business. This gives readers so much more than just learning about a product – it gives them the insight into the real persona behind the company which helps builds trust.

    This type of content is actually really easy to make since all you truly need to do is get each person at the business to share their thoughts and experiences. Take a look at Google, people love reading about how they treat their employees and the general “day-to-day” operation – it’s fun, it’s entertaining and you start to identify with the company beyond just using their products.


    Tom RossTom Ross Entrepreneur, designer and blogger at FanExtra.

    Above all your content needs to add value. If you’re helping people, and helping people in a big way, then good things will come of it. My personal favorite type of content is a unique post series. This can take on many forms, but it’s the best way to build a readership, and ultimately business. I recently wrote an article discussing the benefits of hosting your own unique post series [see it here].

    6 Responses to Are You Missing This One Piece of Content?

    1. Morgan says:

      Whew! That’s a lot to take in! But it’s all great advice from true pros in the industry. I’ll have to come back and read it through a second time when I feel my blog is truly lacking (which it might be now). Thanks for collecting these awesome tips from awesome peeps!

      • Eugene says:

        My pleasure Morgan, I love doing these kind of group posts because there is so much information packed in one place. I actually turned the first group interview series I did here into an eBook because there was some REALLY great content there. There’s a link to it in the sidebar under Free Resources (shameless plug :) ).

    2. Mandy Kilinskis says:

      Dang. You rounded up all of my favorite people online and got some great advice. Lots to think about and try to implement – thanks, Eugene!

      • Eugene says:

        Thanks Mandy…I’m quite font of the “interviewees” as well. Let me know if you ever need any help with anything!

    3. Lowe Promotions says:

      Couldn’t agree with these statements more. You have to offer your reader something of value. Otherwise, why would they read? It’s all about the customer. Just because YOU think something is good doesn’t mean your audience does. Put yourself in their shoes. This is easier said than done but one of the most important things in marketing.

    4. Profitability, Productivity, and Infographics – Best of the Web! | Firepole Marketing Blog says:

      [...] in 25 Online Businesses You Know, The Most Effective Piece of Content (From 24 Experts), and Are You Missing This One Piece of Content? (Content Strategy [...]

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