You wake up in the morning.
You power up the kettle, you grind the finest Indonesian blend of coffee.
You set the grinds in your Chemex pour-over.
You take your steaming cup of joe over to your computer.
You open up your Stripe and PayPal accounts and see you've made hundreds of dollars while you were sleeping the night prior.
It's a dream that's being advertised to millions of people on various internet platforms. It's the idea of generating income from the sale of digital products and courses and the syndication of your online content.
Many people balk at the idea of this when they read or see it.
This article isn't for them.
This article is for the believers — the believers in themselves, as well as an idea.
And that population of believers is growing. In fact, Statista notes that the amount of bloggers in the United States who updated their blog at least once a month rose from 27.4 million in 2014 to 31.7 million in 2020 and the predictions indicate that number will keep rising into the next decade.
A lot of this upward trend is indicative of another industry that keeps growing handily year after year. That industry is the elearning industry. According to elearningNC.gov elearning is, "learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online."
Furthermore — this industry is attracting a lot of attention as well as a lot of new entrants. The industry was valued at 107 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to 325 billion by 2025.
Now many blogs, videos and articles have been written about how to capitalize on this growing trend.
There are fewer articles that tackle a preliminary question in order to start the actual practice of exchanging digital educational products and courses for income.
That question is — how do you generate enough organic traffic so you can sell your digital education products and online courses to an audience?
That is what this article is about. In this article, we'll go over:
- How you can target existing platforms and interrupt and educate their audience
- How to test the viability and reception of your content on those platforms
- How to repurpose that content on other existing platforms to further increase your reach
So without further adieu, let's take a look…
How to target existing platforms and interrupt and capture their audience
Many new entrants into the online entrepreneurship and content creator arena believe that just because they create content and publish it live on a WordPress site or Facebook group that the world will come flocking in droves to absorb the work.
This couldn't be farther from the truth, however.
So you've created content — that's amazing!
But that's the first step in a series of steps necessary in order to get your content in front of the eyes looking for it.
Back in the day — perhaps a hundred years ago or so, advertising took a big leap forward with the introduction of the radio and syndication of radio ads. Fast forward a few decades and television took the torch. Fast forward again and internet retargeting ads are now the pinnacle (this is because it can customize the experience and "wants" for its audience).
A company needs to let their audience know their product or service exists. Even the newest Nike shoes don't attract attention unless their advertised and shared with the audience. Of course these companies do with via paid advertising.
You have the opportunity for something different. You have the ability to organically advertise your content. If you can do this adequately, you can generate hundreds of thousands — if not millions of impressions.
A few years back, I discovered an avenue how this can be done. Take note of figure 1.1. In the image, you see that I was able to capitalize on generating over 3.5 million views on a widely popular platform known as Quora.
If you're unfamiliar with Quora, it is essentially the legitimate version of Yahoo Answers.
Users will either submit questions or users can answer the questions already submitted on the platform.
If you're able to answer these questions adequately and with proper conversion-focused article strategy, you can reach a certain level of awareness with your content (see figure 1.2) known as Most Viewed Writer.
I don't tell you this to bask in my own ego. I tell you this as pure strategy.
What exactly do I mean by this?
Say you're an expert in some area (also known as your niche) you can target individuals within topics on Quora and provide them with the valuable information that your content contains.
This is a far better strategy that creating and publishing content on your WordPress site and hoping people see the content by "advertising" (I put it in quotes because you're not paying for it but rather sharing it) on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
How to test the viability and reception of your content on those platforms
If you can target the right questions (by checking how many views they've already gotten), you will start to see your content viewership rise. Figure 1.3 notes how high one article's viewership can rise.
Now, it's important when you're creating your content on this platform that you specifically target questions that are already seeing traffic (you can check that in the analytics section of the question) and that you're of course answering questions within your niche (reconciling this by following specific topics). For instance:
- You're an expert in health and fitness you you're answering questions in the health and fitness niche.
- You're answering questions that are seeing minimum 500,000 answer views already (this notes that it's a popular and viable question that an audience is interested in).
The good thing about Quora — especially for writers just starting out that don't have a large following is that the Quora algorithm doesn't put an emphasis on your profile and notoriety. It puts an emphasis on engagement.
You can create an article on Quora and it will show up in thousands — if not millions — of users' newsfeeds who follow the respective topic being answered.
The algorithm recognizes quality content by "upvotes" think of this like "likes" with Facebook and thus rewards the article with more exposure.
So why go through all of this rigmarole with Quora and the testing of content when you cannot generate any type of income with the content (i.e. they don't have a metered paywall similar to platforms like Medium.com).
Well, there are many writers and content creators out there that come on paid platforms like Medium all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, guns-a-blazing. They produce content and get disgruntled when they don't see any traction with their content.
This is because they're creating content in a vacuum.
What is meant by that?
Well too many writers are writing for themselves and they don't even know it. They write articles that they conjure up. Generally, these articles are ideas that have been on their mind, complaints about situations that have plagued them, or hypotheticals that may sound cool and interesting. However, your audience doesn't care about that.
Instead — why not create content that addresses specific issues that people (your audience) is asking for? You can achieve this exact pursuit by targeting your content with the questions you find on Quora — a platform that sees 300 million unique monthly users. After a thorough search, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how many questions are asked on Quora daily, however estimates range from 3.5k to 47k questions asked daily depending on the method of deduction.
Regardless of how many there are — there is no excuse for you not to find a question worth answering to test your content.
Once you've tested your content and seen if it's gaining any traction, it's time to further syndicate that content on platforms that can help you generate revenue and further increase your reach.
How to repurpose that content on other existing platforms to further increase your reach
So now that you've been writing actual guided and strategized content, what should you do with it?
You should keep expanding your reach!
How do you do that?
By repurposing your content on platforms that again have an audience specifically looking for the content.
The two biggest platforms that call for this are:
- Medium (with approximately 60 million unique monthly users as of 2018)
- Linkedin (with 675 million unique monthly users)
Now the two platforms are a bit different in terms of the strategy you should follow to get the most exposure.
First, we'll put Linkedin under the microscope.
Contrary to what you might believe, Linkedin is a digital content watering hole. People are looking for industry-related content and the users of the platform do share content often.
Furthermore, there are agencies and businesses looking for content creators for their businesses (I've secured paying freelance clients from syndicating my content on Linkedin — they found me, I didn't search).
For syndication of your content on Linkedin, you can simply publish a your articles from Quora on the platform. Don't worry too much as to being punished by SEO ranking as you aren't necessarily looking for external viewership (that is viewership coming from Google).
TL;DR — it doesn't hurt to take the exact content from Quora and "double-dip" the exposure by posting it on Linkedin.
Now if we we're to address repurposing that content on Medium — there may be a couple more steps you're going to need to consider. This is especially true if you're going to publish with Medium Publications.
The extra step that needs to be considered when dealing with repurposing content with Medium Publications is when the publication requires the work to be already unpublished — that is, Medium Publications often require the work to be original.
Now you may be telling yourself,
"But Jon — my work is original. I mean, I listed to what you said and wrote content on Quora; content that was created by me — mind you."
I understand what you're thinking. However, "original" content takes a bit of a different meaning in this case.
Publications understand the importance of SEO rankings (and the consideration those rankings take when content is un-duplicated). This is because many Medium stories still receive a significant amount of external views — views coming from outside the Medium platform via SEO. So, publications want original work.
So what does this mean for your content creation?
It's advised that you take the content that you've created on Quora and edit the content to make it original. this doesn't have to be overly in depth. Just a handful of edits that can help make the article unique in the eyes of the publication as well as Google's algorithms.
There are plenty of "plagiarism" tools out there that you can use that help match the content of your work to that of existing content already published on the web (of course I put plagiarism in quotation marks because you aren't plagiarizing at all — you're just making sure the content is unique in the eyes of the algorithms).
Once you've done this, you can pitch your work to niche-related publications to further your content's reach.
Plus — the added bonus when you go this route is you are subjecting your content (that you know resonates with an audience) to the ability to monetize through the Medium Partner Program.
Even if you're just starting out with the online content writing pursuit that you hope will lead you to online entrepreneurialism, you can actualize a strategy that gives you not only direction, but will help you with a short cut that other content writers may not be using.
In order to generate 3.5 million views with your content (or more) you should do a number of things.
First, you should target your content that addresses niche-related pain points (or questions) that are presented on a platform that sees 300 million unique monthly users.
That platform is Quora.
You can follow "topics" and then search for questions that are already seeing ample traffic (over half a million views is recommended). What this does is help you identify talking points your audience is interested.
This strategy helps you identify what is working and it also helps you practice creating content that is conversion-focused and actionable within your niche.
You don't need to create content in vacuum and create content that you think is valuable for your audience. Instead, you are directly targeting and creating content that your audience is looking for!
When you do this, you get a handle of what works and what doesn't which will help you hone your content writing skills down the road.
It will also help with the next step of generating 3.5 million views with your content.
And that is repurposing it on other platforms that are asking for it. Those platforms primarily being:
One thing to note when repurposing your content is making it original for publications when working with Medium. This means changing and editing a few things so it isn't duplicated somewhere else on the internet.
When you can do all of this, you'll start to see an uptick in the exposure of your content.
And in a world that is seeing an expansion in the amount of valuable content being produced on the internet — you deserve to get yours front and center.
Because when you are producing valuable content — your audience should see it.
It will help them out.
- The world needs your content.
- The world needs your help.
- The world needs your value.
So get out there and start producing.
Ready to Make More?
If you want to excel and earn more than what you’re currently making by doing what you love, check out my guide.