What books are you currently reading?
Do you prefer coffee or tea?
What’s the first thing you do at work each day?
I smile and pray.
Do you have a resource or website that you use every day?
I visit copyblogger every day, although I don’t always read their posts.
Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living Michael?
Thank you so much Eric. I’m Michael Chibuzor (not his full name). Although I have several names, all my clients see me as someone who genuinely cares for them, and wants to help their businesses grow through effective content marketing. At the core, I’m basically a content marketer. I earn my living online from writing and marketing.
You run a blog called contentmarketingup.com where you share tips on content marketing.
Why did you decide to create this blog and what’s been your biggest lesson from running it?
Yes, I decided to create a platform where potential customers can learn about content marketing, which happens to be a very popular field right now, even though it’s not exactly a new concept. Content marketing has always been around in some form, but it somehow became the most effective marketing system around today, bringing in a huge ROI.
One important lesson I’ve learned from running this blog and attending to my clients’ needs is that value is slowly disappearing from the online scene. Many bloggers today are no longer concerned with helping their customers and readers. Everyone just wants to make more money.
We simply need to create value–that’s the most important thing!
I understand guest blogging is a passion of yours, and I know you have well over 400 guest blog posts on sites such as Johnchow.com, Problogger, LifeHack, ZacJohnson.com, and many more. What my readers want to know is how you were able to break the ice and get your foot in the door with these A-list bloggers?
First of all, I have to say that I don’t really have a passion for guest blogging, as much as I do for writing. What I really wanted to do was write, but the need to have an effective system for reaching out to thousands of readers led me to get started in guest blogging. As you probably know, guest blogging has really taken off since 2011 and is still a hot time to this day–and for good reason. So I took the plunge and it’s been wonderful for me ever since. I’ve managed to attract thousands of loyal readers, earned more money, and gotten a significant credibility boost.
I love this job!
I think A-list bloggers are some of the friendliest and most humble people on earth. It is the upcoming bloggers that tend to be arrogant. I’m confident that if you spend time getting closer to John Chow, Zac Johnson, and all the other pro bloggers, you’ll fall in love with them. They’re all great people.
One thing that I found essential to getting your guest blog post accepted is to get all your facts together and craft an excellent title headline after you research your topic thoroughly. Most A-list bloggers are extremely busy as you can imagine, and many of them don’t even have enough time to write informative blog posts for their readers–that’s where we come in.
I recently read that Problogger is not accepting any more guest blog this year, and I continue to see this trend over the several blog sites that I have been following. Where do you feel the guest blogging field is headed? Do you see any promising new trends that will affect the future of content marketing?
Yes, Problogger is no longer accepting guest posts for good reasons. I myself am tired of waking up every morning to see yet another guest post on that industry blog. But Darren is not going to ignore guest blogging totally. Instead, he will solicit posts from certain authors when the need arises.
Guest blogging will continue to exist. But to get good results from every article you contribute elsewhere, you will have to research and write from your heart. Connect with the audience and have a strong call to action. The future of content marketing is “engagement.”
Any piece of content you create must engage people. In other words, it must keep them glued from start to finish, until they share, tweet, comment, and feel convinced to buy whatever you’re selling. If you don’t create engagement, content marketing might fail you.
Do you have any promotion/content marketing secrets that you could “snitch on” or share with the readers of Snitch IM blog?
I don’t really believe in secrets because what you call secret might be a child’s play for someone else. However, when I write or market my content, I use 3-part strategy that I learned from Eben Pagan.
It’s called “MIA”, which stands for Motivation + Information + Action = Success.
The procedure requires you to:
- Motivate readers with a catchy headline or title
- Share your best information to build up interest
- Initiate your call to action through storytelling and strive to persuade with love.
- Sit back, relax, drive free qualified traffic and make money.
I understand that you run a few other niche sites as well, just like I have done. Do you think my readers should branch out and create new blogs or focus on trying to make just a single really good one?
That’s a good question Eric. Yes, I do have few other niche sites as well. But contentmarketingup.com is my #1 business blog, and I spend quality time supporting my audience. I’d recommend that your readers stay focused. There is no need to create multiple
blogs when the first ones isn’t generating any income or bringing about any significant engagement. Channel your creative energy into one blog. Invest money, innovate, and have others help you grow it. They should make one good blog and build their expertise from there.
What advice would you give to my readers trying to provide great value to their own content?
They should be challenged to create valuable blog posts consistently. Without compelling content on their blogs, all their efforts will be wasted no matter how much guest blogging they do. Concentrate on your blog first, and then go out there and build formidable natural links.
Can you recommend any books or courses that you consider essential for this business?
Yes, a lot of books have really helped me out. Talking Down the Suicidal Blogger is one e-book that really kicked my ass. I hardly ever take online courses because I don’t think most of them are worth the prices tagged on them. But if you do have some money to invest, go for it. Try Corbett Carr’s Blog That Matters Course. I know that it’s supposed to be good because of all the reviews I’ve read about it, but I haven’t subscribed to it yet.
Running an online business gives you choices and the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Would you say that the “Internet Lifestyle” is for you?
Yes, the Internet Lifestyle is definitely for me. That’s one of the reasons why I started marketing online in the first place, and I’m gradually moving towards the point where I can earn on cruise mode, simply working from my laptop. It’s all about having a realistic goal and working hard today so that you can enjoy the benefits tomorrow.
What’s your personal view on outsourcing work?
Outsourcing is good; because it can reduce your work load considerably and help you stay productive. For my niche sites, I outsource content creation, keyword research, link building, and social media marketing to professionals. If you want to achieve online success sooner, you should be prepared to outsource certain tasks.
What would you say is the biggest single reason for your success?
Smart thinking is the biggest single reason for my success. I’m not really a big believer of working hard all the time because hard work by itself doesn’t usually result in success. I do believe in working smart however. When you think smart, weigh the options, and plan your climb up the ladder, you increase your chances of success while having fun doing it. I would advice most people to forget about working 8 hour days, everyday. Just map out your strategies and try to accomplish or goals with smart thinking, and you will be better off.
What has been the most important factor in terms of helping you get clients for your writing business?
The biggest factor has been marketing. I spend about 30% of my free time writing and the remaining 70% on marketing, which includes guest blogging and SEO. Through these marketing channels, I’ve gotten more clients in the past two years than I have ever gotten before.
If you had a time machine that could take you back to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself regarding your business?
I should have written a clear goal. When I started out, I didn’t write my goals down on paper, this often mislead me and hindered my success. I was marketing blindly and writing like a maniac without seeing any tangible results. When you get started with your own business, have an objective and work towards achieving it.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Build an email list of potential customers from the get-go.
Thanks very much for the interview! Do you have any personal or business plans for the future that you would like to leave us with?
My strategy from the previous year has brought me a lot of success, so, I’m going to stick to it. I don’t really have a goals or plans to make any significant changes in my approach. However, I do have a lifetime goal as a content marketer of building a membership site wherein business owners can exchange services with one another.