Interview With 3 Successful Content Marketers

Wow! I have for you three content marketing bloggers and entrepreneurs that really know how to get the ball rolling! You learn all kinds of tips and techniques from getting traffic to your blog to building relationships with your audience. Prepare to get your minds blown!

entrepreneur round up

Questions you need answers to:

Q. What and why are the essential tools that every pro content marketer needs?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

There are so many tools these days! I’d recommend:

  • Here are a few tools I’ve had most success with in terms of improving my traffic numbers: ViralContentBuzz, MyBlogU and Sumome. None of them is a magic button (they all require engagement and time) but they all work very well. The great thing is that they all work as a Swiss knife: There’s something for everyone.
  • Cyfe to keep everything organized. And probably Trello too. I use both (Cyfe to keep track of growth and stats and Trello to organize to-do lists and assign team members or freelancers to different tasks and whole boards)
  • Google Analytics or Piwik to monitor which content is doing better
  • Heatmap software (I use Sumome) to see which parts of content readers better interact with
  • Canva is great for visuals.
  • BuzzSumo is great for reputation management.
  • I could go on for ages! It shouldn’t be overwhelming though. Tools should be added moderately, otherwise they turn into a full-time commitment!

A. David Reimherr (Founder)

There are a plethora of tools/skills needed to be a content marketing pro and if you find one person who possesses all of these, give them a high five for me!

So basically, I feel a multi-person team or a person + the help of an outside agency are needed.

Some of tools/skills needed are strategy building, editorial skills (i.e. managing an editorial calendar), graphic design, advertising knowledge (Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn Advertising, Youtube etc….) & expert writing skills.

A pro needs to be able to identify the target market & then the persona they will be targeting.  From here, you will then need to build out the strategy with the content that will resonate best with this audience.  After this is identified, an editorial calendar will need to be built out and managed.

content marketing tools

Once the content starts to get written (&/or produced thru YouTube videos or podcasts etc…), you will need to lay it out with awesome images and approrpriate tagging for SEO purposes.

Then you will need to identify the platforms where your audience lives and distribute your content.  Unless you are a giant in your industry, you must be proactive in your outreach so a great understanding of the ad platforms is paramount so you can target with precision.

A. NiaSweetz (Entrepreneur Guru: The Branding Strategist)

A content marketer needs two sets of tools. The first set are mental tools: a rigid schedule, the ability to maneuver their time and adapt to rapid changes.

Every successful marketer has to train their mind to focus on the execution, rather than the planning. That’s what we do. We try, fail, learn, and plan… exactly in that order. The second set of tools are anything that cuts your work time in half is a good investment.

The faster you can get tasks done, automate, and move on, the more money you make. Most wantrepreneurs are OCD with being hands on in their business.

They want to do everything. Ultimately they learn that trying to do every single job all by yourself slows you down. Learn to use systems and programs that do the bulk of the work for you.

Finally, if you work from home, you need a personal office space. Don’t work exclusively from your couch or your bed – you’ll be far less productive. Keep an organized space where you can always find what you’re looking for.

Q. How did you get your start at blogging and/or content marketing?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

Long time ago (about 10 years I think) I was working at a small ecommerce site and my employer wanted me to help him with marketing.

I knew nothing about SEO and I don’t think social media existed beyond MySpace back then. I did like the idea and I started learning new things every day.

I thought I’d get more productive at my self education if I started a new blog where I’d be sharing my findings. That’s how seosmarty.com was born.

Soon I got known somehow. I started getting invites to contribute to other people’s blogs and feeling humbled I accepted every single invite. Sure enough, I started seeing people emailing me to ask if I provided any services and I started earning money even without advertising anything on my new blog.

Then I quite my day job and started working for myself. I have had much less time to sleep at night since then but it’s well worth it!

A. David Reimherr (Founder)

We had the ultimate pleasure of becoming friends with Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute.

He is the “Godfather of Content Marketing” and actually coined the term ‘content marketing‘ so I feel like we picked the right guy to learn from.

So about 8-10 years ago we took his advice and started to write on topics that were helpful to our target market which were magazine publishers for the printing company that we oversaw the marketing for.

At first, we made some mistakes, one of which was hording the content only for people that were clients of ours.

We then corrected these mistakes and started to make the content available for everyone and now we are pushing it out hard and far thru various social platforms in addition to weekly and monthly emails.

how they started content marketingWe definitely went thru a learning curve, but it made us better for having to figure it all out and now are offering the same services for various other companies.

A. NiaSweetz (Entrepreneur Guru: The Branding Strategist)

You give yourself the best chance of success when you start with learning the basics. Many blogging experts will say just jump in with two feet and you’ll figure it out because that’s the way they did it.

Important Notice: Learn my method to profit daily online –

Guess what, they started years ago when blogging wasn’t as popular as it is today. They started back when ads were a viable way to make money for a new blogger. They started when the internet’s standards and internet users’ standards were far lower.

They had time to get it right. Now, you don’t have that kind of time and luxury. Not if you want blogging to be successful for you.

Not if you want to leave your job behind and work exclusively from home. You have to understand how to write posts, headlines, how to promote and market your content, how to increase engagement and strategically use call-to-actions, your copy has to be irresistible and you have to know how to connect with your audience offline as well.

Q. How do you build a relationship with your subscribers?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

My forms are advertising an email course which consists of one actionable traffic generation tip a week. This way subscribers know they are going to hear from me regularly. Once they subscribe, they start receiving my email course automatically and get used to seeing me in their inbox weekly. This way relationships are being nurtured automatically.

Another tip: I am lucky to be branding a very memorable name. Many people in our niche remember “Ann Smarty”, even if they have heard it just once. My website has my name all over the place and so do my optin forms.

build trust with niche audience

So I make sure to mention “Ann Smarty” in each email subject line to catch the subscriber’s eye and easier bring up the idea why they are receiving this email. I’ve seen much better results since I started doing that.

That being said, there’s no single recipe: Experiment with branding and set-up until you like what you see!

Q. What’s your number one method to get FREE traffic to your site/funnel?

A. Ann Smarty (Founder of MyBlogU)

ViralContentBuzz is my primary way to build free natural traffic to my content.

It’s no easy way though, nor will it work for everyone. You should have good content and you should be there daily to engage daily.

I have shared my early experience with Viral Content Buzz here. The takeaways:

  • To see results from VCB, you need to have high-quality, social-media-friendly content
  • Think twice about the titles: Those go in tweets and Facebook shares. The better they are worded, the more organic shares and re-shares you’ll receive
  • Enable Pinterest and StumbleUpon: Those two are massive traffic drivers
  • Spend time to create great visuals for your content: Text-only content isn’t doing too well on social media
  • Change VCB categories and bump your project up at least once a week to see fresh shares coming in
  • If you see any of the networks doing well, invest into social media ads there to re-enforce the effect

build free traffic to your blog

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The Content Marketing Takeaways…

I just wanted to thank Ann, Nia and David for lending their ideas to this post. Unfortunately, the useful tips in this post are useless, unless you put them to action.

Nothing worth having is easy to get and that goes for everything; from being an awesome cello player to being a profitable stay-at-home content marketer.   You gotta work at it!

I recommend you set up a schedule for yourself that you can commit to. Start today, you have noting to lose. Did I or my guests miss anything? If so, please tell us about it in the comment’s section below.

  • NiaSweetz says:

    Thank you for including me in this wonderful post! I love that Ann reinforced the idea of experimenting. One size very rarely fits all!

  • well put, and I couldn’t agree more.

  • That was a great post David! Thanks so much for contributing. I hope to have you on again.