How to Build a Profitable Blog in Any Industry

What if you could increase brand awareness in your industry, attract more leads with less effort, create new revenue opportunities, and work with a variety of fun people?

Welcome to content marketing! It’s one of the cheapest and most sustainable ways to grow a business in today’s marketplace.

However, content marketing is hard. Every day, thousands of content marketers and small business owners start a blog only to lose traction, get busy, and give up. And it makes sense, because if you’re not seeing high return on your investment, there’s no reason to continue.

And I’ll be completely honest—most of the advice you’ll read about blogging is completely wrong. This is because there are a lot of folks who make money helping other people start a blog. But what today’s bloggers and business owners actually need is not help picking a hosting platform or content management system.

They don’t need help starting a blog, they need help building one.

The world’s smartest content marketers know that starting a blog will get them nowhere fast without a solid foundation. They need a crystal clear roadmap to help them create effective, quality content to increase brand awareness, capture new leads, and increase their bottom line.

No matter which industry you’re in, this is that roadmap. Here are the two (yes, only two) essential steps to take when building a successful, profitable blog for your business.

1. Think like a media company

If you want to start a profitable blog for your business that gains momentum fast and shows positive ROI in months, not years, here’s step one:

Don’t start writing.

Think about it, if you visit Forbes.com or Oprah.com, you’re not going to see a single article written by Steve Forbes or Oprah Winfrey. Not a single one! And I know you’re not Steve Forbes or Oprah Winfrey—you’ll be operating on a much smaller scale. But the model still applies.

The most profitable blogs are not blogs at all. They’re media companies.

The way that successful media companies work is that they are the “go-to” place for their information on their topic or niche.

The trick is knowing that the world does not need more information. As I learned recently from Ryan Diess, Founder/CEO of Native Commerce, “what the world needs (and values) is a trusted authority who will organize and aggregate all the GOOD information that’s actually worth reading into one place.”

And that’s exactly what successful media companies do. They utilize effective methods of content creation like licensed and social content.

The fact that most well known media companies have very large advertising budgets or massive content distribution channels doesn’t matter. The main reason they have unlimited resources in the first place is because they started thinking about their blog, magazine, social media accounts, and other marketing channels like a true media company should.

If you’re looking to start or grow a business blog, stop writing and start thinking like a true media company.

2. Assemble the right team

If you’re going to create a profitable blog without writing any content, then who’s going to write the content? And, who’s going to edit it? Who’s thinking about images, data tracking, SEO best practices, and content distribution?

It’s not going to run itself. To be successful, you’ll need a team.

A successful blog needs at least seven roles and functions to perform properly. You’ll fill slot number one, but you’ll also need the right people for each of these positions:  

how to build a profitable content marketing strategy

Graphic provided by NewsCred.

Content Marketer / Editor

As the content marketer, you’re role is to oversee the blog’s daily processes. You’ll need to give direction into what kind of content needs to be created, and when, and how it’s shared, measured, positioned, syndicated, and more. You’re also in charge of the reviewing and editing everything on the content calendar, contributor schedules (who’s writing what, and when), and tending to the overall growth and profit of the blog.

Community Manager

Distributes content across social channels, engages online communities (Quora, Reddit, etc.) and contributes their expertise in all content projects.

Analytics Manager 

Defines the right metrics to measure the success of your blog. They’re also in charge of content optimization and measurement.

Graphic Designer 

Brings content to life with rich, engaging visual experiences.

Content Curator

Finds and repurposes the best content from your business, as well as re-creates and licenses quality content from around the web.

Contributor 

Is in charge of producing quality content for your blog. They could be a writer, photographer, designer, or videographer, depending on your project’s needs.

SEO/Paid Specialist 

Manages the paid distribution of content online.

This kind of team will help translate your unique brand voice and business goals into rich, engaging content experiences your audience will love. The worst thing you can do is go at blogging alone. Instead, assemble the right team and you’re bound to be successful no matter the industry you’re in.

Go build something worth talking about

If you think like a media company and assemble the right team, you’ll be able to build a profitable blog in any industry. Within months, you’ll see an increase in brand awareness, more leads, and new opportunities for revenue, and have the joy of working with a variety of fun people.

What do you think? Was this helpful to you and your work? What additional questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below.