Content marketing is the art of creating content (written or media) that will effectively attract large numbers of visitors and result in these visitors buying products and services. Content marketers make a living by earning commissions on products and services sold, revenues from advertising, by generating leads, or by selling their own products or services.
Content marketing is a subset of internet marketing which focuses on content creation as the main way to attract eyeballs. If you’re getting started, however, you may be wondering about the content marketing process and what’s involved in creating profitable websites.
There are countless ways to do content marketing and each marketer ends up having their own system that works for them. Well-known marketing gurus advocate different paths as the best way to build money-making websites.
One method we – and hundreds of others – have experimented with great success is Income School’s Project24 ™ approach. In this post, I will list some of the frequent questions newbie content marketers ask and what Project24 ™ recommends as the best answer.
Disclaimer: Project24 is a trademark of Income School. P24Dashboard is not affiliated with Income School. Some of the ideas mentioned in this post are drawn from Income School’s course which is their exclusive intellectual property. Check out their website to learn more about Jim & Ricky’s awesome content marketing approach.
How do you select a website niche?
Selecting your niche (market) is one of the most crucial aspects of building a profitable website. Here are some of the key points you need to focus on when choosing a niche:
- Enough demand and search volume
- Manageable competition levels
- Subject area you know well (or want to learn in-depth)
- Evergreen topics (not short-lived like gagdgets)
- Large number products or services to write about
- No excessive seasonality
The list of subjects that can succeed is very large – Project24 actually provides a very long list of suggestions. Some niches are best avoided unless you have a specific expertise, such as health-related topics.
Some niches are also harder to monetize that others, though they can attract traffic. Ad networks reject certain topics like firearms. Some niches have great affiliate programs. Some like personal finance have great monetization potential but are very competitive. Some niches are also better-suited than others for creating an info products.
How do you find post ideas for your niche site?
Finding post topics is also a key area an effective content marketing approach needs to cover. Unlike many other methods (who often get commissioned on those products), Project24 ™ doesn’t recommend using expensive keyword research tools, as Jim & Ricky consider their data estimates to be plain wrong.
Instead, the Project24 approach relies on common sense and smart analysis. The so-called “alphabet soup” method consists in searching for niche-related keywords and using Google auto-complete feature and Google related suggestions to dig up large numbers of popular keywords people search for.
Project24’s principle is that if a search term appears in Google’s auto-complete and suggested related searches, it means the term is searched for. The volume for that search can only be estimated based on common sense and knowledge of the topic.
Project24 also suggests other sources for topic ideas including forums and groups, Youtube, certain tools like answerthepublic, or popular magazines in the niche.
How do you select which topics to actually write about?
Having a list of potential topics is a good start, but actually deciding which ones to write about is yet another challenge. The Project24 content marketing approach addresses this aspect in great depth, something they refer to as search analysis.
Topic selection starts with competition analysis, which in the Project24 approach involves examining the search results for the topic and analyzing the top results in terms of content quality and relevance, content length, website size and authoritativeness. Posts with shorter content that don’t address the topic very well are easier to beat.
Learning to assess competition effectively requires practice and skills. Project24 has the concept of the Inverted Pyramid, which draws a relation between a topic’s search volume (and hence potential traffic) and competitiveness. Understanding this concept is a key part of the content marketing process.
How should you write your articles?
After picking a niche idea and performing the search analysis, the next challenge content marketers face is creating the content in an effective manner so it appeals to both Google and internet searchers.
The Project24 defines 3 post types which vary in terms of content depth and length. “Response posts” merely address a specific question frequently search for on Google. “Pillar posts” are large guides that dive deep into a fundamental topic in the niche. In between are “Staple posts” which address common topics and/or review products.
The Projet24 content marketing approach provides a highly valuable post recipe, a template that help marketers write posts that are very likely to rank high in Google over time – assuming the topic at hand is not unreasonably competitive.
How many articles should you write?
The number of posts a content marketer needs to publish to build a profitable website varies hugely depending on the niche. Some niches, like personal finance or travel, typically require a website to reach a certain size to be able to rank in Google.
Many niches, however, although competitive, still have “cracks” that allow a content marketer to make headway into it – finding such cracks is a key goal of Project24’s search analysis process. When such gaps are identified and targeted with solid content, traffic can sometimes be achieved sooner with fewer posts.
Project24 provides a timeline based on Jim & Ricky’s own experience, which serve as a reference for content marketers building a new content site following the approach. In general, new posts on a new website start seeing real traffic 8 to 12 months after creation – assuming the targeted topic has enough search volume.
The number of posts a content marketer will need to publish to achieve good traffic and start generating income also depends on the pace of content production and the monetization options available. Topic selection also plays a key part in the timeline and content quantity.
How do you track website performance?
When you create a new content website, you should immediately set up Google Analytics and Search Console as these tools allow you to monitor and analyze how well your content performs in terms of SERPs ranking and traffic.
The Project24 60-step process includes detailed instructions in the early steps for setting up your analytics. Once content marketers start producing and publishing content on their website, they typically use Analytics and Search Console on a daily basis for measuring content performance.
That said, the Project24 course does not put a lot of focus on using Analytics or other external data for making strategic content marketing decisions – the method primarily relies on analyzing Google SERP results.
Besides basic traffic metrics, however, Analytics and Search Console offer some valuable data for content marketers. Sorting through and interpreting that data can be tedious, however. The P24Dashboard content marketing app (not affiliated with Project24) provides valuable tools for viewing and acting on that in-depth data. See this post for more
How much traffic do you need to make money?
The ultimate goal of any content marketing approach is to generate revenue, and Project24™ is no exception – in fact, the name “Project24” refers to the ideal goal of achieving full-time income from website building in 24 months.
Just like the number of posts to achieve good traffic depends on several factors, the amount of traffic needed to achieve a given level of income varies. Some niches with solid affiliate programs or info product opportunities can generate decent income with as little as 10.000 monthly views, while others may require closer to 100K views.
That being said, some high-traffic niches (e.g. gaming, web marketing, pets etc) have the potential to grow very fast in traffic – if the search analysis is performed correctly and the content is spot on. For these high-growth niches, a combination of affiliate programs and advertising may create a nice income stream within a year or so.
The Project24 content marketing approach applies to most types of niches, and help marketers build income in the smartest way for their subject area. The Project24 community includes an impressive diversity of people in terms of experience and skills, walks of life, age groups, financial situations, and interests/niches. Many of them have found real success by following Jim & Ricky’s effective process.