How to Become a Content Entrepreneur
Have you ever heard of a content entrepreneur, and do you know you can be one for a living?
Content entrepreneurship is simple. It’s everything I teach on this blog. It’s starting your own blog, developing your own mailing list, and growing your own online community. Every post I publish shows you how to accomplish this.
This post, however, goes a lot deeper into the topics I’m trying to push here. This one is your ultimate guide to becoming a content entrepreneur as quickly as possible. It’s so easy to start and earn maximum profit from this system.
Continue reading this guide and save it so that you have the knowledge to start your own content business today and turn it into your full-time job.
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Finding Your Content Entrepreneur Niche
The first step of becoming a content entrepreneur is understanding what your content will be about. To understand that, you’ll need to define your niche. You’ll also need to ensure that an audience exists for your niche. Luckily for you, finding out your niche and if an audience is present for the niche is a fairly simple task.
What are Your Passions?
The first step in finding your niche is identifying your biggest life passions.
Some people choose niches around topics that they don’t know anything about. They do it because the topics are currently trending. But the problem with that is that they don’t know anything about the topics, and those who do know a lot about them will always have the upper hand.
Choosing your passions as your niche is important because you know something about them. You like your passions enough to be able to do them daily. Your passions will be what you love to do the most.
Take note of all your passions. You’ll likely just choose one, but it’s important to have many different options to choose from.
Are your Passions Online?
After you determine your passions, you need to make sure they are online niches.
You find this out by researching the potential niche. Check on social media. Check for blogs, newsletters, and online communities, especially since that will be your core content products. Look everywhere you can for people who will enjoy your niche.
If there isn’t an online presence for your niche, it isn’t likely worth trying to create content for it. It’ll be harder to establish a niche that isn’t already online. Chances are, your niche is online, but sometimes they aren’t.
Try to do this for every passion that you listed, to begin with. Find the one with the biggest audience and consider how much you can dedicate yourself to creating content for that passion. It’s important to be able to spend a lot of time on the niche.
How to be an Expert
After deciding what passion will become your niche based on your level of interest and the amount of audience present online, you need to focus on becoming an expert in that niche.
You’ll not budge in the competition if you don’t become an expert in your niche. The more expertise you have, the more people will look to you for information from your content. Being a content entrepreneur means becoming an expert in your niche.
To become an expert in your niche, dive deeply into research. Take courses, read every book you can, watch every video you find, and read all articles about it. Do as much hands-on practice as possible and turn doing your niche into a daily habit. Network with others and start to get noticed in your niche as someone who knows what they’re doing.
You must become an expert in your niche if you want to become a content entrepreneur and actually make money doing it.
Learn Something New Daily
There is no such thing as being a know-it-all when it comes to mastering the knowledge and understanding of your niche.
You need to continuously learn something new about your niche. You need to learn something new daily. Once you get into the habit of daily education, you’ll be able to be seen as a greater expert at what you do than you would if you weren’t learning as much as you can.
The best way to accomplish this is to take some time from each day to learn something new about the niche. It can be for ten minutes or eight hours. Dedicate some days of the month to be nothing but learning days.
Become an expert in your niche that everyone knows through the knowledge of learning something new about the niche every day.
Content Entrepreneur Phase 1: Blogging
Now that you’ve determined your niche and have an idea of your basic audience, you can begin your journey into developing yourself as a content entrepreneur. A blog is the first phase of your journey. A blog will be your key to developing a name for yourself and your brand. Consider your blog a lifelong journey that will take you to places you’ve never thought about going.
How to Start a Blog
Starting a blog is pretty simple, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.
The right way to start your new blog is to purchase basic shared hosting, a domain name, and install WordPress software on your hosting service. All of this will cost around $100 to $200 a year, which isn’t very much. The wrong way of doing it is using a free blogging host because you won’t be able to make money with your blog, and it might be impossible to move it to your domain and hosting later.
Try to choose a domain name that matches your blog name. The best kind of domain name is a dot-com because everyone remembers that compared to the other domain names. Shared hosting is all you need to start out with, but eventually, you’ll have to get better hosting. Your goal should be to monetize long before that point, though.
After you get yourself a domain, host, and upload WordPress, installing it takes only a few clicks, and your blog will be ready to use.
Write First, Publish Later
The best advice I can give you in starting a new blog is to write a whole bunch of content and not publish it immediately.
That’s right! Spend a couple of months writing articles for your blog. Write as many articles as you can. Do make sure they’re great content and helpful for your readers. But your goal should be to write and edit as many articles as possible for the first few months of starting your blog.
After that, you can start scheduling your articles to post however many times a week or month you want articles to go live. This will allow you to stay ahead of schedule. If you write 52 articles and plan to post one a week, that’s a year’s worth of articles.
But make sure you keep writing when you can stay ahead of schedule after you’ve scheduled all of your content.
Content isn’t King without Value
Have you ever heard the expression that content is king? Well, that’s not all the way true in these times.
Content is your most important asset as a content entrepreneur, but it isn’t always king for your blog. It’s only king when you’ve added value to make it king. If your content lacks value, it’s not valuable and does nothing for you, your brand, or the sake of your blog.
You need to create a mindset for yourself to write articles that deliver value to everyone who reads them. Every article you create should give something to the reader to take with them after reading it. Value is the only way content can be king. And it’s the only way to compete with such a highly competitive and over-saturated internet.
If your blog content doesn’t improve a reader’s life after reading it, then maybe blogging isn’t for you. Value is king, not just Plain Jane content anymore.
Learn How to be Consistent
When creating content for your blog, consistency will be one of your greatest tools to have.
Consistency matters. Search engines and your audience will depend on your consistency. It signals both of these assets when you’ll be posting new content. This will help search engines index your new content, rank you, and help your audience know when to visit your blog for the latest posts.
Being consistent doesn’t mean you have to post a certain amount of articles in a certain amount of time. It just means you need to stick to a specific schedule. If you choose to post once a month or twice a week, you need to stick with that schedule to be consistent.
Another great thing about making a lot of content first is that it can help you determine your consistency and content schedule.
How to Market Your Blog
Marketing your blog is important if you want to be seen by those in your audience.
Marketing your blog isn’t as difficult as you might think. The first thing you need to do is understand keyword research and search engine optimization. Make these habitual to use every time you create new content, and you’ll start to notice a significant increase in traffic.
There are other important marketing strategies to also invest in. You should create a social media presence for your blog and develop a community on each platform you market on. You should make valued contributions in the form of comments on other blogs like yours and start to get noticed. You can join sites like Reddit and Quora and start answering difficult questions to gain more attention for your blog. You can become a guest blogger, interview on podcasts, and collaborate with other creators to get more traffic to your blog.
Whatever strategies you decide to use, just make sure you’re going about it in an ethical way and not using tactics that could very well get you banned from the internet.
How to Monetize a Blog
As a content entrepreneur, your ultimate goal should be to make money with your content, including monetizing your blog.
Monetizing your blog is easier when you have a lot of great content on it, and you’ve developed a well-known reputation and expertise within your niche. This is why I’ve put monetization as the last section of the blogging phase because you need to work up to the ability to make money with your blog.
Now, you can use Google Adsense to earn a percentage of revenue, as many bloggers do. But selling ads directly can earn you significantly more money, but it takes more work from you. You can also sell sponsored content and include affiliate links within your content. Ensure you’re following all the rules of your nation’s regulations and of the rules of big search engines that you want to rank for, such as Google.
Once you start making money with your blog, try to create a budget to be able to spend money to earn more than you spend, such as through paid advertising.
Content Entrepreneur Phase 2: Mailing List
Blogging is all about establishing yourself in your niche and gaining attention from your audience. The next step of being a content entrepreneur is to grasp your audience and be able to communicate with them without worrying about algorithms and AI working against you. This can be easily established with a mailing list and in this section, you’ll learn all amount starting and maintaining a mailing list.
When to Start a Newsletter
The best time to start a newsletter is write after you start your blog.
You should create and promote your mailing list from the start of your content entrepreneurship even if you don’t plan to send a newsletter right at that moment. At least attempt to collect as many subscribers as possible so that when you do start sending one, you’ll have a good subscription base readily available to you.
By establishing a newsletter from the start, you can retain your earliest of followers. You should even send a newsletter in the beginning, too. It could be something as simple as recapping your previous blog posts.
Start collecting your subscribers now so that it can be easier to do it as you grow larger.
How to Start a Newsletter
Starting a newsletter is fairly easy but there are many options.
You can use a hosted newsletter option like Substack. But if the service ever goes belly under, you might lose your contacts. You can use an email service provider like MailChimp or ConvertKit so that you have easy access to your subscriber emails in case you have to move services. Just make sure you test the many service providers out to find which one is best for you and to meet the needs of your audience.
Try to create content that gives value to your audience who subscribes to your mailing list. Image high quality visuals and write for mobile users first. A newsletter should be a fast read. Save the longer content for your blog posts.
Most newsletters are free to start and you should start with the free plan. You can upgrade to a paid plan later on when you need the features it provides.
How to Market Your Newsletter
Marketing your newsletter is just as important as marketing your blog content.
With newsletter marketing, SEO is important but so is your copy. Copy is short for copywriting which is the sales speak that you add to your content to encourage your audience to act on something. You need to implement copy that encourages people to subscribe and leave them with value as a subscriber.
Extra marketing efforts include offering freebies for new subscribers, adding a popup to your blog pages with subscription options, and adding a dedicated landing page with SEO and copy that motivate people to subscribe.
You should try to promote your newsletter just as much as you promote your blog for the best possible results and increase in subscribers.
How to Improve Your OR, CTR, and Other Acronyms
There’s a lot of acronyms for newsletter analytics and many of them are important to watch and improve.
Two of the most important analytics are your OR and your CTR. OR stands for Open Rates which is the percentage of your subscribed audience that is actually opening your emails. CTRs stand for Click-Through Rates which is the percentage of your subscribers clicking the links within your newsletters. Other analytics to look at include bounce rates, subscriber rates, and unsubscribe rates.
To improve your newsletter analytics, you have to look at your content on the best newsletters in terms of great analytics and try to replicate that type of content. If you send out a newsletter and your stats reflect negatively, then you need to understand what content made it do that by comparing with older newsletters that got a better response.
Try to experiment with different tactics to improve your newsletter and watch your analytics to understand how it helps or does not help your newsletter analytics.
Repurposing Your Blog Content
One of the best types of content for your newsletter is content that you’ve always created.
Your blog posts are great for newsletter content. Repurpose your already existing content but in newsletter form when you need more ideas to improve your newsletter. Focus on the articles that have got the most traffic, shares, and comments.
Make sure you simplify your article and shorten them up for newsletters. A newsletter is meant to be read quickly. Most newsletters are created to be read in five minutes or less. You can paraphrase your blog content to create easy and fast articles for your newsletter.
Repurposing content is a strategy that has been used on many newsletter and social media pages. You do this sort of thing because it works.
Monetizing a Newsletter
Newsletters are a great way for a content entrepreneur to monetize their niche.
There are a few ways you can monetize your newsletter. You can sell sponsorships, use affiliate links, or even charge for newsletter subscriptions. You can also use a combination of these methods or even all of them if you wanted to try it.
Sponsorships can be in the form of text ads or sponsored content. Affiliate links are simply links in the content that lead to products and services. When readers buy the product or service from the affiliate link, you’ll usually earn some kind of commission. Selling newsletter subscriptions is a little more challenging because your content has to be good enough to want to buy. You usually have to have a very good reputation at that point. Alternatively, you could offer a free limited newsletter and a paid fully featured newsletter if you have the time to write for both.
As your newsletter grows in subscriptions, you’ll eventually have to pay for it. It’s ideal to start making money with them as soon as possible because of that.
Content Entrepreneur Phase 3: Online Community
To recap, you create a blog to start your content entrepreneur journey by establishing yourself as an authority in your industry or niche. Then you establish a mailing list to keep in touch with your most loyal followers and be able to retain their attention through your latest blog content. Now it’s time to create an online community to start making real money or two establish a wider following. The choice is yours at this point.
What is an Online Community?
An online community comes in many different shapes and sizes but they affectively have one purpose.
An online community is a gather of different people with the same interest in a specific topic or niche. An online community is formed on the internet but can consist of any community outlet whether it is self-hosted software, a Software as a Service, or a social-based community. An online community is about the people rather than what powers the community.
Building a community means you want to connect and network people who follow the same subject. A community is more about helping people rather than helping yourself as the expert. If you just want to promote yourself, you’d stick to a blog and a newsletter. A community requires the practice of putting people first and letting the people dictate the functionality of the community.
You should create an online community to give back to the people who follow you which will empower you as a creator and expert in your industry even more than before.
How to Start an Online Community
There are many ways to start your online community, but some choices must be considered first.
There are many solutions available for online community creation. You can use add-ons on your WordPress, such as MemberPress and others. You can use discussion software such as XenForo (paid), PhpBB (free), and other platforms. You can you cloud-hosted services such as Circle or Mighty Networks. And then there are completely free options like Facebook Groups.
Self-hosted software will give you more control over the community but often requires more hands-on maintenance and money for hosting. The service manages service-provided communities, but you only get control of the things they grant you control of. Social media-based communities are usually completely free, but you can lose your community over slight infractions or if the service no longer wishes to provide the service.
You should have a look around and demo most community options. Ask yourself and your audience what kind of community they would prefer to find the best option.
How to Add Value to the Community
Adding value to your online community will keep your members coming back repeatedly.
It’s important to create content that puts quality first and quantity last. You need to create content that engages with the reader and encourages participation. The content needs to give something significant to every member who consumes it. A really good post every day is better than ten posts a day that doesn’t really add any value to the community.
Try to add the benefit of networking in your community. Networking is the act of connecting members with one another with relatable interests in the niche or industry. Sometimes the best way to get members to network is to provide networking opportunities for them. Try to connect members together when newer members join the community with related interests to others.
Providing valuable content and valuable benefits to the community will continue to add value to your community.
How to Keep Members Coming Back
It’s important to keep your members returning to maintain an active community.
One way to keep your community active is to be active in the community. You should post at least one to three really interesting topics each day. Posting daily is your best bet for a community, as you would want daily activity from your members. You just have to be able to post interesting content, which often requires you to plan for the content.
Try to gamify your online community to keep things interesting. This is where members will earn points, get badges, win rewards, and be able to have some sort of progress tracking as they become more active in the community. Gamification is a great way to keep the community entertaining and keep people coming back to get better at the progress features you provide.
If you truly want to keep your membership returning, you must create a community with benefits worth returning to.
How to Promote an Online Community
Promoting an online community should be done proactively through your content and contact list.
You should be promoting your online community through the content that you create. This means that you should promote your blog posts by adding information about the community in each post. You should also create a page for it with copywriting techniques added. If you’re on social media, use that content source to also promote your online community. Most promotion sources should be free methods, but paying for ads is always good if you have a paid community because you know you’ll earn money back with profit.
Your contact list is another great way to promote your online community. You can include a Call-to-Action (CTA) in your newsletter each time you send it. You should also take advantage of sending out emails that are pure advertisements for joining your online community. It’s fine to include your community advertisement in every issue of your newsletter, but you should limit dedicated email ads so that you don’t annoy your contact list and force them to unsubscribe.
Use what you have already made available to promote your online community because your dedicated followers and subscribers will usually be happy to join your community.
Charging for Membership
Charging for membership in your online community can be a great way to create a product as a content entrepreneur.
The best way to create a paid online community is to charge for membership from the start of the community. You don’t want to add a bunch of members for free and then ask them to start paying for their account and feature access later down the road. It is better to charge for access from the start so that your members know what they’re getting into. Of course, you will lose many potential members this way because many people don’t want to pay.
Another option would be to create a premium plan for your free community. The plan could include extra features and even turn advertisements off for those who upgrade to it. The features and benefits should outweigh the cost you set. They should be so valuable that people flock to pay to access them. You need to make sure you create benefits that are worth paying for.
Managing a paid or partially paid online community is a great way to monetize your brand as a content entrepreneur.
And that concludes my strategy on how you can become a content entrepreneur using a three-step system. These steps are how most media and content companies get started. If you enjoyed this article and would like to support me in creating it, please share it with others who would find it useful. Be sure to follow me on X for more tips and resources like these.
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing. Learn more about Shawn Gossman by clicking here.
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