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Content Marketing 101: Have Something Meaningful to Say

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This is the kind of marketing that pays you back for years

I’d like to explain to you why I believe content marketing is the most effective form of marketing on the planet.

But first, I’d like you to know where my perspective comes from:

  • Content marketing is how I was able to quit my 9–5 working in advertising.
  • Content marketing is how I’ve accumulated tens of millions of organic views on my work online.
  • Content marketing is how I’ve become a 4x Top Writer on Quora, one of Inc. Magazine’s most popular columnists, and one of the most viral writers on Medium.
  • Content marketing is how I’ve been able to work with founders of some of the world’s most well-known companies, C-level executives of billion-dollar organizations, Silicon Valley investors, Grammy-winning musicians, acclaimed public speakers, and NYT best-selling authors.
  • Content marketing is how I’ve become one of the most sought after ghostwriters on the internet.
  • Content marketing is how I’ve built a seven-figure business called Digital Press (in less than 12 months) based exclusively on my unique approach to, you guessed it, content marketing.

What I’m about to share with you isn’t theory.

There is a very clear reason why I have been able to climb so quickly up the ladder of the business world (at the ripe young age of 28).

And that reason is effective content marketing.

Which, to be perfectly honest with you, I never actually call “content marketing.”

I call it writing. Because that’s what it is.

And writing is, well…

Writing Is Nothing More Than Saying Something of Value

That’s what “content marketing” truly is.

It’s this idea that if you share enough value with your target reader/customer, over time, they will trust you, see you as an authority, and ultimately be a “warmer” lead for your business’s product or service.

I have experienced this firsthand.

Just last week, I had someone send me an email.

“Hey! I just came across one of your articles, went down a rabbit hole, ended up reading dozens of them, then checked out the Digital Press website and I think this is exactly what our CEO has been looking for. Are you free to chat later this week?”

We hopped on the phone.

A few days later, they became a client.

And those articles the prospect had originally read?

…I wrote them two years ago.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, Is What’s Called a “Content Marketing Dividend”

Unfortunately, most content marketers don’t approach content marketing from this sort of long-term lens.

Instead, they mistake the second word of that phrase (“content marketing”) as the priority.

They talk about reach. And views. And backlinks. And SEO. And where on the page they should put their big “CLICK HERE TO BUY” button.

And, as a result, they spend almost zero time discussing what’s worth talking about in the first place.

They consider the “content” part an afterthought.

And as a result, they end up treating their entire content marketing strategy the same way they treat their other digital marketing efforts:

  • Each month, I spend $X.
  • By next month, I should immediately see that for every $X I spend, I’ll be making $X+Y in return.

And since content marketing is, metaphorically speaking, a dividend stock (and not a skyrocketing tech stock after a flurry of positive PR), they’re constantly let down.

They don’t believe it works.

“Content marketing isn’t the right fit for what we do.”

Well, Here’s Why It’s One of the Only Forms of Marketing I Invest In (and Continue to Invest in It Year After Year)

Let’s remove the word “marketing” for a second.

Content, in itself, is an asset.

Ads, however, are not.

If you spend $5,000 on ads, then those ads only survive the length of that budget.

Soon as your $5,000 runs out, the ad disappears.

*Behhhh* Game over. Please insert more coins to continue playing.

Content, however, is timeless.

It doesn’t have a shelf life.

This means if you spend $5,000 creating articles (or videos, or podcasts, or whatever the asset actually is), that’s $5,000 worth of value you’re placing out into the marketplace.

Someone might come across your article tomorrow, love it, reach out, and become a paying client 24 hours later.

I’ve Had That Happen More Times Than I Can Count

Or, someone might come across that same article three years later, love it, reach out, and then purchase your services (or product).

Now, consider how much you spend on creating content, and consider the fact that your “timeline” for measuring ROI is essentially infinite. Once that asset is out in the marketplace, on your website, published on a social platform, etc., it’s there. And unlike running ads (which have a very clear shelf life), you might “realize” that ROI tomorrow, a week from now, three months from now, or three years down the road.

Now, consider the fact that if you spend, say, $50,000 creating content that lives out in the marketplace, and your average client engagement is $10,000.

In this case, you might not “break-even” for the first two years.

But then right at the two-year mark, you cross five inbound clients.

That means every single paying client that walks through your door after that point is what I call a “content marketing dividend.” You’ve held the stock for so long that you’ve recouped your original investment, and are now receiving the same benefits as paying to run ads — without having to put up the money.

Now, consider if you continue investing in content marketing over the long-long-term, and you end up building a massive web of content that stretches across the internet.

Want to see what I mean?

Google “Nicolas Cole.”

You’ll see that I own a tremendous amount of real estate on the first several pages of the world’s largest search engine.

This is the tip of the iceberg, and the exponential result 99.9% of people don’t realize is the true goal of content marketing:


At scale, I’ve now written so much “content” about who I am, how I think, what I do, what my business does, and how I see the world, that every single encounter I now have with anyone in the business world starts with the same phrase:

“So I looked you up online, and I was really impressed.”

What does this mean?

This means I’ve now created a web of content so large that I have “scaled” who I am as a person.

…Which turns every single lead, email intro, or business development conversation from cold to warm.

They look me up before we chat (as we all do).

They immediately get a sense of who I am, what I do, and how I approach what I do.

They see credibility not just in the places I’ve been published, but in the sheer volume of my work.

And all those things, small as they might seem, dramatically increase the likelihood of the individual wanting to work together.

Ads can’t do that. Ads can only direct people to content that does that.

And content, as we’ve established, is nothing more than having something meaningful to say.

Content marketing, then, should be the easiest and most tactical part of the equation, which just means having an awareness for where you should be publishing your content based on that year’s digital landscape.

But it’s the voice of the individual that has to come first.

Nicolas Cole Author

Writer | Founder of Digital Press | 4x Top Writer on Quora | 50M+ Views |

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