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E37 garrett moon coschedule write podcast

The Write Podcast, E37: Building a Content Marketing Empire and the 10% vs 10x Framework with Garrett Moon of CoSchedule

Today on The Write Podcast, the CEO of CoSchedule, Garrett Moon, joins me to talk about how he’s grown a massive content marketing empire with CoSchedule, and a framework for prioritizing opportunities that equal major business growth: he calls this the 10% versus 10x framework.

I’ve long been an avid reader, listener, and subscriber to CoSchedule. Their brand is close to my own heart, and their incredible success proves that they know content marketing. Currently, CoSchedule is the fastest-growing startup in North Dakota and the #1 scheduling tool for marketers. This marketing calendar software also has an impressive 8,000 customers and 225,000 blog subscribers, and they even host their own Academy with training courses, as well as a podcast, the Actionable Marketing Podcast.

(I’ve been honored to have been a guest on their podcast, as well as on a recent live CoSchedule webinar.)

There are so many great insights shared during this episode.

Sit down and listen to our chat, and be prepared to learn!

(P.S. Quick sidenote. My apologies for the former inconveniences with the Spreaker audio stream above. We figured out how to turn off those annoying ads that played right away. Whew! So sorry again that was happening – I wasn’t aware till a few episodes ago.)

E37 garrett moon coschedule write podcast

The Write Podcast, E37: Building a Content Marketing Empire with Garrett Moon of CoSchedule

  • 2:37 – The Story Behind CoSchedule. Garrett talks about how CoSchedule started. He and his co-founder were marketers who essentially “fell out of love” with the widespread tools they were using to plan and publish their content. There had to be a better way to pull all the various pieces together.
  • 5:38 – What Is the 10x vs. 10% Rule? (Hint: It’s A Major Growth Factor for CoSchedule). Garrett explains the framework they use at CoSchedule that helps them decide which content marketing projects are worth the time and effort.
  • 7:00 – Which Projects Fall into the 10% Category? Every action you take for your business can be categorized as either 10% or 10x. 10% projects increase your growth, but only incrementally. They’re good ideas, but take time to show results. There’s no huge impact once you implement them.
  • 7:48 – The 10x Category (The Big Guns). In contrast to 10% projects, 10x opportunities are ones that explode your growth. Garrett gives us an example: 10% opportunities may net you 100 clicks, while 10x opportunities will get 10x those results – 1,000 clicks.
  • 8:30 – Doing a Few Things with Great Results vs. Doing a Lot of Things with Lackluster Results. We discuss how having your hands in too many pots can add up to 10% results in everything. If you scale back, you will be able to put more time and effort into fewer things with BETTER results.
  • 10:07 – The 10x Marketing Formula. Garrett’s book dives into this topic in far more detail. Check out the “Links Mentioned” section to find where you can snag your copy (I highly recommend Garrett’s book).
  • 10:53 – How JOMO (“Joy of Missing Out”) Ties In. #JOMO strikes again! Trying to do “100 things 10% good” can hurt your business. FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”) can fuel this. Instead, try the antithesis to FOMO and embrace JOMO, and only shoot for what will rocket you to 10x growth.
  • 11:42 – Sometimes, a 10x Opportunity for Others Is a 10% Idea for You. Garrett talks about why CoSchedule decided not to jump on the video bandwagon a few years ago – a 10x opportunity for plenty of others, but not for them as a company.
  • 13:47 – The Framework for “Competition-Free” Content: Look, Research, Strategize. The content you publish is competing with other content. The marketing sea is a crowded place. To stand out and produce content that stands alone, Garrett talks about the three things you need to do (look, research, and strategize) and how that framework worked for CoSchedule.
  • 23:10 – Two Content Traps (The Traffic Trap and Promotional Trap) and How to Avoid Them by Focusing on a Content Core. Garrett talks about two common content pitfalls: Getting traffic that engages but doesn’t convert, and focusing too much on self-promotion, plus how to avoid both.
  • 26:10 – The Traffic Trap: How Do You Fix Blogs That Bring in Traffic, but Not Sales? Often, rewriting old content that falls into the traffic trap is a good way to refocus the traffic you may be getting from SEO into your sales funnel.
  • 29:06 – How to Buy The 10x Marketing Formula. Garrett’s book is available on Amazon, and you can read the first chapter on the CoSchedule website. Check “Links Mentioned” to find all the resources to buy this essential marketing read.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

'The 10% vs. 10x framework is a way to look at what types of projects and ideas you should take action on, versus the projects and ideas you leave on the backburner.' @garrett_moon of @coschedule Click To Tweet 'In that start-up phase, if you're not producing results with the work you're doing, you're doing yourself a disservice. Your time is too limited and the risks are too high to be working on things that don't maximize your growth.'… Click To Tweet '10x opportunities are the types that could potentially multiply your results by 10 times. For instance, 100 clicks become 1,000 clicks.' @garrett_moon of @coschedule Click To Tweet 'The challenge is to figure out how to de-prioritize those 10% items and put as much energy and effort as you can into those 10x opportunities.' @garrett_moon of @coschedule Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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online content strategy

The 6 Steps You Need to Build a Rock-Solid, Lucrative Online Content Strategy Framework

Want to know the #1 way I grew Express Writers?

Two words, five syllables:

Content marketing.

Or, more specifically, consistent, strategic content marketing.

Online content strategy, a real, firm strategy, became my best friend to get to the “serious growth” phase.

The thing is, it took YEARS to figure out and perfect.

All the pieces had to come together, and I had to test, re-test, and test again to find out what worked (and, what didn’t).

When I figured it out, things snowballed.

Our income from Express Writers boomed to six-figures, and then to seven-figures ARR, inside just two years.

Here’s the story, and how I used my experience to get clear on EXACTLY what I needed to reach bigger, better, bolder success.

After that, I’m going to share the 6 steps I used to hone my online content strategy to a razor-sharp edge: the exact same system you can use to get crystal-clear on your own content and start seeing real results.

(What you’re about to read is a sneak peek into the six pillars of content success that I discuss and teach at length in my intensive content strategy & marketing book and course.)

online content strategy

Online Content Strategy Clarity Equals Success: From Near-Failure to Six-Figures after Getting Strategic

I started my business, Express Writers, from basically nothing – I was a college dropout with a dream and a mere $75 of pocket cash.

The beginning was hard. Here’s what that looked like, 2 years into the game:

By that time I had published 215 blogs, had 141 keywords ranking on Google, about 500 visitors/day to my site from organic traffic, and was earning around $29K/month.

I was creating content, but the results were lackluster.

I was doing a few things wrong:

  • My content quality wasn’t consistently high
  • I often published content just to “get it out there”
  • I was trying to push out TOO MUCH content (at least one blog post a day)
  • I was doing cold outreach to get more clients – and not earning any ROI for my time spent (read: the cold emails I sent out turned up nothing but crickets chirping)
  • I was trying to boost growth on every channel possible

In short, growth from content marketing was slow. I was hustling every day, snatching at leads wherever I could. And, the leads I did get from my content weren’t that good.

And, all of this was happening while I was a wife, a mom of a two-year-old, and had an understandably busy family life.

Bottom line: I was overworked and not seeing the results I dreamed of from my content.

The Turning Point: Enter Content Strategy

The turning point came in 2016. Our low-profit, high-expense months were not sustainable. We were making an average of $65K/month, but were lucky to take home 35% of that total.

Then, in May 2016, I discovered my two managers had been embezzling from the company for months.

I fired them. After that, some reassessing happened. I had to rebuild my business and my team.

It wasn’t until a few months later, while we were still slowly recovering, that I finally started implementing a content strategy.

With the combination of that strategy and better members on the EW team, we started seeing returns, slowly but surely.

We even started setting records for our monthly gross income.

  • Before using content strategy, I was publishing an average of 4 blogs/week. We had about 3,900 keywords indexed on Google, and we were making $65K/month, with some lower months after the embezzling fiasco.
  • One year later, and only a few months after implementing a content strategy, we hit our first $71K month in income. We also reached 6,000 keywords indexed on Google, which was nearly double the amount from the previous year.

And that momentum kept building as I refined my content strategy.

We continued having record months. Our Google presence kept building, and our online visibility skyrocketed. We started ranking #1 for hot keywords, and our traffic jumped to thousands of visitors per day.

Today, our content marketing continues to work and build on itself.

Without the strategy, though, none of it would be possible.

By now, you’re probably dying to know what that strategy looks like.

Listen up, because I’m sharing the 6 steps to my content strategy framework next. These steps build out the foundation of a rock-solid strategy.

6 Steps to Build an Unstoppable Content Strategy Framework

This is how you do content marketing that wins.

1. Understand the Basic Fundamentals of a Content Strategy

Content strategy defines as:

content strategy definition

If you don’t understand what a content strategy is, go back and get clear on this. It’s the only way you’ll also understand how content strategy fits into content marketing, and why the two cannot exist without each other.

Think of it this way: It’s impossible to succeed at any activity without a thorough base knowledge to guide you. Content strategy is no different.

You should also know what you’re talking about, and how to branch out into topics your audience wants to hear about. Finding your topic area is a fundamental first step in a content strategy.

Along with that, know your CDF – your Content Differentiation Factor. What makes you different than all the other content voices out there?

CDF content differentiation factor

2. Know Your Audience and How to Lead Them to a Sale (Bridge the Gap)

Knowing your audience is one thing, but knowing how to turn your audience into customers is another.

If you don’t understand how to bridge that gap, you’re missing out on one of the biggest first steps involved in putting your content strategy in place.

Of course, before you can connect the dots, you must know who your REAL audience is – not your imagined audience (only research and having actual conversations can tell you this!).

Once you know your persona, you can create content that matches the lifecycle stages of awareness, in the sales cycle. Example:

sales cycle content marketing

3. Use SEO (and Understand Its Importance)

Want to get found online? Including SEO in your content strategy is a foolproof way to do it organically, without paying a cent for ads.

Using SEO to get all its associated benefits means:

  • Knowing how to find keywords that will bring you profitable traffic (people with buying intent)
  • Knowing which tools to use to do keyword research
  • Understanding Google’s ranking factors and making sure your content hits them

You need to know the right tools and methodologies to use when you’re working on improving your search engine rankings. Keyword research plays a big part in this.

4. Build Your Gravitas Online (Be an Authority)

Building your authority online can have a few different meanings.

It can mean:

  • Building your brand as a trusted source of information
  • Building your brand as an authority website by Google’s standards

Both are valuable to your content strategy, and you should do things that help boost your gravitas in both scenarios.

Just one way to build your domain as an authority in Google’s eyes is to focus on publishing content on YOUR platform, i.e. a domain that YOU own – not proprietary ones like Facebook, Instagram, or HuffingtonPost (which sadly discontinued their guest blogging platform not too long ago–I, along with many others, lost my content profile and login).

Focus on your 'content house' to get better online results, says @JuliaEMcCoy. #ContentMarketing #SEOContent Click To Tweet

content house julia mccoy

5. Create Content Strategically

When the times comes to create content, guess what?

This is what your content strategy is FOR.

Every previous step should lead you in the right direction for creating the right kind of content for your audience and brand.

Of course, there are a few extra steps involved, like putting a workable process in place for content creation (research, writing, editing, publishing); understanding what kind of formatting, tone of voice, and topics lead to high-ROI; and placing quality above quantity.

6. Maintain + Build Your Content Momentum (Budget, Audit, and Promote)

To maintain your forward progress with content marketing and strategy, you must budget wisely, audit strategically, and promote faithfully.

These three activities will keep your content marketing going. Instead of drifting aimlessly in a boat with no paddles, you’ll be riding the next wave with a motor at your back.

  • Budgeting content is about planning your expenses wisely and knowing where your dollars are going. I.e., know how much outsourcing content costs, and budget for high-quality.
  • Google loves fresh content. Do content audits of old posts and update anything outdated or thin.
  • Content promotion gets more eyes on your content assets, which can result in more leads + sales. Promotion doesn’t have to cost much, either.

Remember, a content strategy needs constant work to keep moving. Update, budget, plan, and promote so your content marketing never goes stale.

This 6-Step Content Strategy Framework Is Just the Beginning (Join My In-Depth 60-Minute Class for More)

Once you have the 6 steps down for building a profitable content strategy framework, your content marketing can grow, and grow, and grow…

But only because you’ve taken the time to lay a rock-solid foundation to stand on.

If you rush these steps or skip one or two, you’ll find yourself back at square one. The whole thing will collapse.

Don’t let that happen.

Know the framework inside-out, build your strategy with steel instead of straw, and you’ll be far more likely to succeed.

In short, make sure you have this stuff down!

Get a deeper explanation of each step, plus tips and advice, when you join my 60-minute 6-Step Framework to a Profitable Content Strategy masterclass that covers this framework from front-to-back. This is a FREE, on-demand webinar that dives into each step to a profitable content strategy in one, information-packed hour. Choose a time that fits your busy schedule, and ask your burning questions live. Don’t miss it!

(And, grab a copy of my book on this topic (each chapter is an in-depth look at the six steps in this framework): Practical Content Strategy & Marketing.)

free masterclass cta