6 Lessons From A Content Empire: Meet Copyblogger

Statue ReadingHave you ever wanted to be the absolute authority in your field? You define the knowledge base. Your voice. Your style. Your ways of sharing. These are the qualities that keep audiences coming back time and again.

But there’s a gap between sharing your voice – starting a blog – and building a following that will help you become that go-to destination you dream of being.

Anyone who’s earned that go-to status has been right where you are today: wanting to reach the top. So why don’t we take a lesson (or six) from one of today’s go-to giants to help you along your path?

Copyblogger began back in 2006. Founder Brian Clark’s initial goals were to share the knowledge he had about how sharing information online worked, and in the process, build an audience and create a sustainable living. Eight years later, Copyblogger has become Copyblogger Media, a multi-million dollar company that’s the go-to for everything and anything related to content marketing. I sat down with Brian and asked him to share his six never-forget pieces of wisdom about building a content empire.

Teach

“When Copyblogger was created, we knew that by teaching, we could help our audience achieve a better understanding of what it is we do,” says Clark. From day one, Copyblogger offered detailed, actionable how-tos to help bloggers and online marketers navigate the rapidly evolving online world. They built an audience because they created a team of writers with distinct voices who could also offer practical advice to improve someone’s online business. As a result, people came back again and again for the next lesson.

Copyblogger teaches its readers about a huge swath of online marketing tactics.

Copyblogger teaches its readers about a huge swath of online marketing tactics.

Listen

“The biggest mistake I see emerging bloggers make is rigidly following their initial idea when their audience provides evidence to the contrary,” says Clark. Everything begins with that first spark, but the fire follows the path it wants to.”

Copyblogger rose up through the ranks with speed by listening to their audience members and shaping their lessons and advice around what the audience wanted to learn. They stuck with their initial overall theme – content marketing and doing better business online – and weren’t afraid to dig deeply into that niche as the audience demanded more and more.

What Sells

“Education is our sales process, “ says Clark. The Copyblogger team learned in the first few years that with every additional how-to blog post they published, the audience wanted more. By educating (their primary guiding principle), their audience began to line up and ask whether they had tools to help them accomplish what Copyblogger was teaching them to do. This laid the groundwork for Copyblogger’s entire suite of paid products specifically tailored for bloggers, from highly secure, and virtually hack-proof WordPress hosting to their latest incarnation – a full-service online marketing suite called Rainmaker. Oh, and they still offer a ton for free, too.

Trust

Copyblogger's Brian Clark

Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Copyblogger, says trust is an enormous part of building an effective business.

“Trust is what earns any blogger or company permission to make an offer,” says Clark. And if Copyblogger’s success is any testament, he’s 100% correct. Copyblogger earned the deep respect of their customers by having a highly engaged blog comments section and customer service that goes above and beyond. Writers are always active with commentators on their posts and customer service is a simple email away from all of their products. Copyblogger’s audience trusts the Copyblogger team to service what needs servicing, whether it’s being offered for free or not. You can’t ask your audience for something and expect any results if you haven’t put the time in to earn and then maintain their trust.

Steps

“We’ve always thought five steps ahead, asking ‘How will what we create today help our customers and our company be better tomorrow,’” says Clark. “When we have that answer, we take the first step.”

Not everything Copyblogger’s tried has worked. They even folded one of their more successful products, Premise (a landing page creation and optimization tool), because they recognized what it could become in the future. Instead of continuing to offer it as a standalone product, they took it off the shelves and set to work developing it further. The result? It’s now an integrated part of their new Rainmaker offering and better than ever. If you’re afraid to plan ahead and take steps today to work towards those goals, what exactly are you working for and why?

The Reason

“We’ve never forgotten that what we do – it’s about them, not us,” says Clark. When you’re of the mindset to build an audience and create a content empire, it can’t be about you and what you want. Sure, your vision can be the guide, but the smarter path is to let the audience tell you what they want and need. This way, you’re building something you and your audience love – and odds are, they’ll be willing to not just keep coming back, but also share you with everyone they know. And one day, they might even pay you for your brand of awesome.

 

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