Business | Content Marketing | Grow to Market

Case Study: Content Marketing & The Million Dollar Funnel

Eight months ago, I published a blog post about the 9 experiments to take you from $0 in revenue to building the understanding and fundamentals of a million-dollar funnel.

Since then, it’s earned me $250,000.

That’s kind of interesting, but what’s more interesting than that it has made that much money despite only getting 1,300 impressions since I launched it.

That means I’ve earned nearly $200 per visitor to this page. And that speaks to both the power of niching down and the power of iterating through your value prop.

This post, by itself, didn’t do all the work, of course.

It was the result of decades of acquiring skills and years of refining positioning. Once I understood what I had to offer, how to communicate it to the right people, and how to build a team to execute on it, only then was I able to document the steps simply, clearly, and in a manner compelling enough.

How this post generates so much revenue per visitor comes from 3 different key rules for content marketing.

Know your audience

Niche down, yes.

But more than that, you need to know how to speak to that niche. If you’ve got experience working in that niche, it’s easier to do, of course, but I’ll admit that my blog has dozens of high-quality posts that don’t hit the mark nearly the same.

The Million Dollar Funnel is my #1 blog post. It gets 6x the traffic of my #2 blog post.

Part of that is definitely down to how I’m distributing my content—more on that later—but it’s also the fact that I finally explained what brand positioning is and how to execute it in a manner that a founder who doesn’t understand marketing and positioning clearly can still grasp what this process is and how it provides value.

It’s color by numbers painting.

And you can believe, looking at the original of the painting (on the left here) that you could maybe the results on the right when someone lays them out for you in the middle, but maybe sometimes you just want to pay the artist to paint for you instead.

Getting the image across Vision → Process → Result is a very powerful way to show immense complexity in an approachable way.

Find your own version of this simple tactic and explain it to your audience in their language—not yours—and you’re building content that will drive immense value for you.

Bat .100

That’s a baseball saying, which maybe makes no sense to most folks. The best batter in the world averaged .366, which means Ty Cobb hit 37% of the swings he took at bat.

The best in the world could barely manage to hit 1/3rd of the time.

When you’re starting out, you’re not the best in the world. Sorry.

So don’t take one swing at bat. Take 100. Hit 1 or 2 or 10.

A hit, in this case, means content that resonates. That performs. That helps your audience understand what you do, the value you provide, and makes them want to know more.

For every Million Dollar Funnel blog post I’ve written, there’s 20 Growth Marketer’s Guide to Conventions, (published 4 months before COVID lockdown and generating 29 visits this year to date).

You’ll never succeed at writing impactful content unless you keep at it.

Distribution matters more than creation

This blog post has generated a respectable average number of visits every week, but there are also distinct jumps.

The first was on launch. I had a hell of a Twitter thread that I launched the blog post with, backed with eye-grabbing $1 million dollars, and had lined up a number of Twitter friends to help push the post the day I launched it. It’s my second biggest Twitter post ever.

The second jump came when I was invited to do an AMA on IndieHackers; I linked to that blog post as a clear explanation of how to position your brand and your startup to indie hackers who knew enough about marketing to be worried about it.

That last lift, though, it’s sticking around longer, and there’s another peak coming after it quite closely.

That’s because I’ve been building a process (and soon a team) to manage distribution. How to get the word out.

You see, this blog post provides long-term value to entrepreneurs who are trying to tackle go to market. I can find 2 – 4 posts on Facebook or Reddit or LinkedIn every day where it’s a valuable contribution to someone’s question.

How to build and scale social media listening and distribution is a separate question for another day, but seeing how well it has worked for this blog post over the last 5 weeks (and several other posts over several months) shows how you can direct quality traffic to your best content.

It looks like this:

  1. Join a number of groups.
  2. Engage in authentic conversations.
  3. About 1/3rd of the time when it’s relevant in a given channel, don’t just answer the question. Answer it and drop a link to your blog
  4. Get hundreds of visits to that post every month, despite getting almost 0 Google search traffic.
  5. Profit!

Just be careful you don’t have a team member do something like this

Because communities don’t welcome link dumping and spam, and you will quickly discover the result.

Questions? Comments? Hit me up @crowdtamers on Twitter and let’s chat. 🙂

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