About Understanding Content

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At Understanding Content, our goal is to help you understand how to use content to advance your goals, whether you want to increase sales for your business, improve relations with existing customers, or simply build up an audience.

Millions of new pages are published on the web every single day; if you want to stand out, then you need to know how to make yourself into an authority your users know, like, and trust. If you can become their trusted advisor, when they’re ready to make a decision, you’re the one they’re going to turn to.

It’s not something you can do in an afternoon, but it’s not rocket science, either.  If you’re passionate about something, you can do this. All you need is the willingness to put yourself out there, and we’re going to show you how to do it. We’ll explain the concepts that you need to know, such as sales funnels and audience temperatures, and show you ways to organize your content efforts for maximum effectiveness. We’ll also talk to you about more nebulous subjects, such as finding your voice.

And we’ll do it all with straightforward articles, webinars, tutorials, and classes that won’t make your head spin.

Why you need content

So why bother with content at all? Why not just jump in and start trying to sell?

You can, as Ryan Diess suggests, think of it like a normal relationship. You wouldn’t ask someone out for a cup of coffee, then start talking about marriage and children. Even if you’re sure they’re perfect for you, you’d want them to get to know you better first.

Statistics bear out that common sense notion, as well.  Salesforce, which tracks leads and customers for companies, says that on average, it takes 6 to 8 touch points to create a lead. That means that a user who’s never heard of you has to actually interact with you — not just read an ad, or even an article — 6 to 8 times before they’re going to be willing to give you their information, much less their credit card.

“Content marketing” is a pretty popular buzzword these days, but that’s because it works; it provides a way for you to have those interactions, and it provides a way for you to become an authority that they can trust.

Cast your content upon the waters

Sometimes — especially if you are thinking of selling your expertise — it seems crazy to give away your knowledge for free, but it’s not. In fact, the more uncomfortable you are with the amount of expertise you’re giving away, the more value you’re likely providing to your audience — and the more likely they are going to see value in what you want them to pay for.  After all, if they got all this for free, how great must the paid stuff be?

At Understanding Content we’re going to show you how to be the expert you are. You need to make your content matter, and we’re going to show you how to make it great, so you can shine.

We’ve been where you are

We’ve been doing one form of content marketing or another for more than 15 years — since long before it was cool. Nick started by doing literally hundreds of tutorials for IBM’s developerWorks site, armed with a basic instinct that by teaching people how to use the technologies behind its products, IBM was increasing the size of its potential market. But that was about all he knew back then.

When Nick took his first job officially doing content marketing, it was for a growing startup, and he still had just that basic knowledge. “Oh, how I wish I’d known then what I know now!”

We’ve spent years learning the concepts of marketing and sales that you need to know to do effective content marketing — and digital marketing in general — and now we’re going to share that knowledge with you so you don’t have to learn it the hard way.

So now it’s your turn. What do you want to learn? Let us know in the comments.