When we first launched the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) back in 2007, we had little more than two nickels to rub together. Today, the site averages 130,00 unique visitors per month, almost 300,000 page views, and more than 50,000 email newsletter subscribers (both daily and weekly).
In each category, this is double our performance from 2012, and almost all of our revenue at CMI, in one way or another, can be traced to one CMI blog post.
I share these results with you because I believe any company can reproduce the same kind of results by being eternally focused and diligently consistent with the creation and distribution of exceptional content.
Below you’ll find the case study of how we did it.
With minimal resources and budget, we looked at all available options for creating content. After looking at the competitive landscape and audience need (our audience consists of marketing managers and directors in mostly enterprise organizations), we believed there was an opportunity for daily instructional posts about the practice of content marketing.
We started with a budget of $6,000 per month to cover five posts per week. (We didn’t start weekend posting until 2012. Today, we publish once per day, seven days a week.) Those funds needed to cover raw content costs, editing costs, proofreading, uploading into WordPress, and any images for individual posts. It goes without saying, but this was not much to work with. Most of our competition has 10 to 50 times this amount of budget.
The only feasible way we thought we could make this work was to reach out to outside contributors, without paying them, in exchange for promoting them on our site.