Content marketing is defined as a marketing format that involves "the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer base." With more and more publications moving online, or developing an online presence, and with more and more businesses publishing content for marketing purposes (whether it's in the form of a blog, white paper, ebook, or case study), it's become vital for freelancers to understand content marketing and how to write content for marketing purposes. Previously, marketing content was more of the copy writing stuff such brochures, direct mail and ad copy. Nowadays, more businesses want to market by being less salesy and more informative. After all, people don't like to be sold to, but people do like finding and receiving valuable information on the things they want and need. This is where content marketing comes in. If someone is in the market for a car, for example, providing valuable information on car maintenance, which types of cars are best for snowy weather, and on how to buy car insurance, would be great. Only talking about the car sales your having and the newest models you have isn't exactly helpful, as the person looking to buy a car isn't any more knowledgeable about these models and about what type of car would best suit him or her.
True, magazines and trade publications may still be great places for freelancers to earn money, but don't overlook content marketing and this new style of corporate communications. Over 50 percent of blog readers say that blogs are useful in providing purchasing information. Meaning, blogs are influential in consumer behavior. Every minute, 60 new blogs are created. With growth like that, if a business doesn't have a blog, it's very likely a competitor will. If you're in the market for a car, and one dealership has a blog and is offering valuable information, and the other is just putting ads on the television, which one would you think is more knowledgeable about their product and their customers needs? Which one would you rather purchase from?
If you're a freelancer who hasn't considered content marketing as a great way to make money (and to market your services) then you should give it shot. Offer these services to a few small businesses in town and see what happens. Target a few who may already have a blog running, but could use a bit of help. You'd be surprised by the results.