18 Sep Content Optimization: How to Turn Readers Into Revenue
How do you turn readers into revenue?
It’s the question content marketers around the world ask themselves. It’s the question ecommerce marketers and entrepreneurs ask themselves before starting a blog.
Let’s deconstruct the question and work backwards from the money. Here’s your step-by-step guide to turning your current (or future) readers into cold, hard cash.
How much money did your content make you in 2016?
If you know the answer to this question, congratulations! You’re likely within the top 10% of content marketers in the world. If you’re like most people, though, you weren’t able to answer the question confidently.
You might know the number of pageviews you racked up or how rapidly your email list grew, but those are not monetary measures of success.
After talking to countless frustrated content marketers, in the ecommerce space and beyond, about how difficult it is to measure revenue generated through content marketing, I’ve invented a formula.
Wait. Inch away from that Close button. I promise this won’t involve any confusing math; I was an English major.
This formula serves two different purposes:
- Convince stakeholders to invest more in content or fully staff your content team.
- Shift content from a long-term branding effort to a measurable marketing activity.
Why the 80/20 rule of content is total BS.
Ok, let’s back up a bit. Let me take you back to 2006-2007.
Content marketing was starting to be taken seriously because of the success of what we called “SEO articles”. Basically, we chose a keyword and used it as many times as we possibly could in a 500 word article. Then we submitted that article to a site with tens of thousands of other SEO articles. Repeat.
Very advanced stuff, I know. But it worked. Like, it really worked.
After a while, a debate broke out about what’s known as the 80/20 rule. Essentially, people started arguing because SEO articles weren’t working anymore and we needed to rethink content.
Some people said content marketing was 80% content creation, 20% content promotion. They wanted to put a focus on crafting content people actually wanted to read. Others argued content marketing was 80% content promotion, 20% content creation. They still believed the promotion method was everything.
Long story short? Everyone was wrong.
Neither side of the 80/20 coin takes money into account at all. 10 years later, you’ll still find people arguing about the 80/20 rule of content at conferences. And money is still not taken into account by most.
Why does this matter?
Because money matters a lot to every business, especially in the ecommerce space. Pageviews don’t pay the rent.
People know content works in the sense that it seems to fuel growth, but it’s a big time commitment. Ecommerce entrepreneurs and marketers want to know they’re getting a return right away and exactly how to scale that return.
All they get is a whimsical, “Play the long game, the value will come.”
So content marketing gets overlooked in ecommerce a lot.