Friday, April 11, 2014

Content Marketing Your Brand

In general, I don't do content marketing beyond what I do for myself. In case you are not familiar with this - "content" refers to the content you find on a website that is generally SEO ("search engine optimized" so that search engines will find it a place it higher in their rankings). The latest trend in content marketing is not to provide hype about a product but to write articles that are helpful to their customers and relevant to their product. Although I do not write content for content marketing as a general rule, I make exceptions when the project is interesting. For example, I wrote the country information here.

If you look at my example, this website uses relevant, helpful content to promote their car rental agency. That is good content marketing. Here is another example that I did not write. This blog post spurred me to write this article.

The blog post itself didn't contain anything I didn't know, but I wanted to reference it so you can learn a little more about content marketing if you want (or if you don't believe me). As much as I hate business, I stay pretty well on top of business trends for a few of my loyal freelancing customers. It also helps my business.
That's right - as a freelance writer, you have a business, and you really need to look at it that way. I am not telling you that you should spend 5 - 10 hours a week researching the latest in small business trends like I do, but there are plenty of articles out there for you to glean useful information from. I share what I can, but most of the time I am already writing an article under an NDA about it for Ty B. 
My NDA limits me, except when I find articles like the one on the blog above by Paige. Paige just connected with me through LinkedIn, so I don't know anything about her and I can't recommend or not recommend the course she is advertising. Since she only seems to be making one blog post a month, she doesn't seem to have that end of her own content marketing down.
(I do the minimum when it comes to blogging - about three posts per week. And I have let this lapse a few times which is a no-no. If you are blogging less than a post a week or constantly have lapses, you are defeating your purpose.) 
But Paige brings up an important point: Content marketing is the future of freelance writing. You can get paid to write meaningful content and blog posts because businesses (especially small businesses) that want to capture this section of the market do not have writers on their team who can produce good content. They cannot afford to spend the time updating their blogs and staying on top of things because they either do not have the time to do it themselves or they cannot afford to hire a full time writer to do it for them. They need freelancers. They need you.

If you really want to be a freelance writer and you are struggling to get jobs, find a niche and promote yourself as a content marketer for that niche. If for example, you like health and fitness, promote yourself as a health and fitness content marketing specialist. Write unique (no regurgitation is allowed for good content), interesting articles about health and wellness for businesses in that industry.

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