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5 Content Marketing Websites You Should Probably Know About

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Written by Aaron Charlie– Thu 19 Nov 2015

Planning a content marketing strategy for 2016?

Looking for useful content marketing guides that hit the marketing spot?

There have been countless blog posts and guides written on the subject, and the list grows daily.  But the problem isn’t a lack of knowledge or how-to information. The problem is finding a content marketing guide that meets your needs at your level of expertise.  And dare I say who’s got the time to trawl through numerous guides. Isn’t it better to just get on with it?

While it’s tempting to get stuck in, one of the key things about content marketing is having a solid plan and editorial calendar. By investing the time to align your content marketing efforts to your business objectives you will reap the rewards - Google absolutely loves quality fresh content. There are loads of comprehensive guides but some are overwhelming for content marketing newbies. With this in mind we’ve produced a round up of the top 5 content marketing guides on the interwebs to save you time in planning your 2016 content marketing plan.  

#1: Moz - Beginners Guide to Content Marketing

If you read just one of these guides, it should be Moz’s fresh off the press ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing’. Divided into 9 chapters (see chapter list below), this guide is easy to digest, light-hearted but still perfectly thorough.

It was published on moz.com only a few days ago and has already got the thumbs up from loyal Moz fans and new readers alike. Described as a perfect ‘guide to those who are just starting out’, this guide is well worth a read.

  • What Is Content Marketing? Is It Right for My Business? – a breakdown of what content marketing is and why it is important
  • Content Strategy – An in-depth look at what keeps you aligned with your company’s goals
  • Content and the Marketing Funnel – this chapter shows you which types of content work across the whole spectrum of marketing
  • Building a Framework and a Content Team – Help with deciding who to work with on content, what tools you should use during the process, etc.
  • Content Ideation – how to get past that frustrating writers block
  • Content Creation – how to get the most of the time you have when creating your content
  • Content Promotion – you’ve created your piece, now here’s how to amplify it
  • Analysis and Reporting – looking at past content performance to measure your success
  • Iteration, Maintenance and Growth – pretty self-explanatory – on to bigger and better things!

Pros

  • Impressively thorough
  • Suitable for newbies
  • Easy to follow with amusing illustrations
  • More user friendly than most guides on the web

Cons

  • 9 chapters long may be too much reading for those wanting quick answers

Overall, if you want to speed up the process of going from zero to marketing hero, get studying.

#2: Content Marketing Institute Guides

The Content Marketing Institute (the big daddy of content strategy) have recently updated their popular How-To Guides which provide a content planning framework designed specifically for savvy marketers. The eight guides include:

  • Getting Started: Content Marketing 101
  • Planning: Building the fundamentals of your plan
  • Audience: Understand your target audience
  • Story: Brand story telling
  • Channels: Determining your distribution channels
  • Process: How to manage your team and tools
  • Conversation: Create your content and listening strategies
  • Measurement: How to prove effectiveness

“While there are no ‘silver bullets’ or one-size-fits-all plans that apply to every organization, there are some core, common elements across successful content marketing programs” Joe Pulizzi

The guides are very comprehensive and offer step by step advice but the best way to get started is to read the “Back to Basics” series. The Content Marketing Institute have become the bedrock of the content marketing world and are one of the leading global content marketing education and training organizations.

Pros

  • Expert advice
  • Downloadable template
  • Free exclusive e-book Content Marketing Program available to download

Cons

  • Time consuming to read through all the content available
  • Focus of strategy and less on actionable advice
  • Can be overwhelming for the beginner

#3: Hubspot Marketing Library

Hubspot is the ultimate resource for free marketing advice. If you want to stay up to date with the latest inbound marketing practices, you can access the complete HubSpot Marketing Library of ebooks, webinars, marketing kits, templates, and worksheets. The library is conveniently organized by topic so head for the content creation section. Here you will find everything from beginner’s guides, how to create images, stock photographs and much more…

Pros

  • Bite size advice
  • Downloadable templates and worksheets
  • Keep up to date by signing up for the newsletter

Cons

  • Difficult to fault their dedication to content marketing!
  • Time consuming to read through all the content available

#4: On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page - Backlinko

Coming in at four is an Infographic from Backlinko. While strictly not a ‘content marketing guide’ it refers to the Anatomy of a perfectly optimised web page or blog post. Follow this step by step advise and you will have perfectly optimised content which will delight search engines.

Brian Dean’s Backlinko has grown into one of the most popular SEO sites on the web for one simple reason. In Brian Deans own words ‘Everything I publish is super actionable and designed to help you get more traffic, leads and customers’.

His most popular articles include ’17 Untapped Backlink Sources’, ‘How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 days’, ‘Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide’ and my personal favourite, ‘On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page’.

Pros

  • Appealing to those who learn best visually
  • Best for people already familiar with SEO

Cons

  • Could be overwhelming to complete SEO beginners

#5: Quick Sprout - Advanced Guide to Content Marketing

In at position five (only last in the list as it’s a bit more comprehensive) is the Quick Sprout Advanced Guide to Content Marketing which includes everything from planning, writing to promoting your content all in one place! The guide is aimed at bloggers, business owners and ecommerce sites who want to take their blogging to the next level. This guide provides you with dozens of actionable tactics you can put to work today to begin engaging your ideal customers with fab content. It’s pretty big with 259 pages but it’s organised into bite size sections so you can as they say ‘eat the elephant one bite at a time’ rather than digest the entire guide in one sitting. Chapters include…

  • How to create a content marketing strategy
  • How to come up with content ideas
  • How to create a content marketing plan and editorial calendar
  • How to write content like a pro
  • The secrets of professional writers
  • Easy content creation templates
  • How to deal with content writers block
  • Optimising content for search
  • Ways to promote your content
  • Converting content into traffic and sales

If you take a chapter a week, in ten weeks you will become a content marketing ninja.

Pros

  • Easy to follow with good illustrations
  • Pdf version available to down load
  • Probably one of the most comprehensive guides available on the web

Cons

  • It’s 259 pages long so bring a flask and comfy cushion
  • Some knowledge of content marketing required
  • Other guides are more suitable for the beginner

Want to learn more about Content Marketing? Become a content marketing guru and book on our content marketing course on 21st January to kick start your content marketing strategy in 2016. That’s a lot of content marketing!

And finally ….last but not least you can download our popular FREE content marketing eBook.

 

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