Do you have questions about content marketing as an author? Whether you are a seasoned executive or just starting out on the path of self-publishing, it can be daunting trying to figure out how to build an audience and stand out in today’s crowded digital marketplace.
Authors often struggle to break through the noise in today’s online world. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for authors – both fiction and nonfiction – when it comes to successful content marketing strategies.
Read on as I answer some common FAQs about how content marketing works for authors and what best practices you should follow. With this information in hand, any author can boost their visibility online!

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a powerful tool for building relationships with your target audience and driving traffic to your website. And, it’s an essential part of modern marketing. Here’s a definition of the term:
Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action.
Let’s unpack that definition. At its heart, content marketing is not about selling. It is about providing content that your ideal clients find useful, informative, or entertaining so that they keep coming back for more. It is an engagement tool comprised of the following steps:

Define your target audience and the action you want them to take.


Identify the information your target audience is seeking related to that action


Create valuable and relevant content based on the results of that research. Include a compelling call to action.


Distribute the content so that potential readers can find it.


Repeat this process consistently over time.

In general, content marketing includes blogging, guest posting, video marketing, audio marketing, and social media. For the purposes of this page, I will limit my answers to article-style content marketing, including blogging and guest posting.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
Content marketing offers many benefits for authors. It helps increase brand awareness by reaching new audiences through the content. When you create quality content that provides value to your readers, they are more likely to share it with their networks – which increases the reach of your business. Additionally, content marketing can help you build trust with potential readers and clients by providing them with helpful information they can use in their everyday lives. This trust can be invaluable when it comes time to convert those potential clients into paying clients.

How do I find the time to write blog posts and guest posts?

This is a very common question. Writing takes time and I’ve faced this challenge to varying degrees of success. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in making room in my schedule for content writing.

Devote a single day or two to this task.

The thing with writing is, the more you do it the faster and better you become. If you devote a single day or weekend to doing nothing but writing articles that you will post over the next several weeks, months or even the year, you’ll be surprised at how many decent articles you can pump out.

With this method, applied about once a month, you can produce a month’s worth of blog posts and even re-purpose some of the content for social media.

Schedule 30-minutes to an hour each day for this task.

If you make a habit of writing articles for 30 to 60 minutes every day (or at least a few days a week), you’ll not only get better at writing articles, but you’ll also get faster. Once you’ve got your groove, you can write a 300-500 word article on a topic you know well in about 15 minutes.

If you use this method, I recommend scheduling it at least three times a week. So, for example, you’ve decided to set aside 30 minutes for this task on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Monday, you’ll do the set-up research. Do some keyword research and come up with some article titles, and maybe even find some resource material online. On Wednesday, you’ll write your articles. And, on Friday, you’ll proofread the articles and post them.

Hire someone else to write the first drafts.

I don’t use this method, but I do know business owners who do. The key here is that you will be proofing and editing what the hired writer writes. Since your name will be on the article, you’ll need to make sure that the writer gives you the right to do this. And you need to make sure that the article remains in your voice.

If you use this method, there are several ways you can do this.

  • You can purchase PLR (private label rights) articles. Be careful … most of the PLR articles out there are badly written and you’ll have to do a major re-write. Also, many websites will not accept PLR content, so you’ll have just to use it as an idea jumping-off point anyway.
  • Hire a writer through a service like You can find writers who will work for a very small fee and provide you with exclusive content. Again, you get what you pay for, so the writing may not be very good.
  • Hire a professional ghostwriter. This is the costliest option, but it will provide you with the best quality articles. And, after you’ve developed a relationship with this writer, you may not need to do as much proofing and editing as you did in the beginning.

Of course, you can also mix and match all of the above techniques!

Use AI Tools to Help You Write Faster

There are a number of artificial intelligence tools available that can help you write blog and guest posts. I use Jasper and QuickWrite. I find that they help me find topics and write content more quickly.

Can I use content marketing to grow my email list?

Absolutely! Here’s the process in a nutshell:

  1. Create an opt-in incentive on a topic that is related to what you do that you can also write a number of articles about.
  2. Publish the some of the articles on your blog and pitch the rest to be published on other websites.
  3. At the end of these articles, mention your related opt-in incentive. Read my answer to the question, “How do I write an author bio that will get readers to click through to my site?” for an example of how to do this.

If you implement this process correctly, you’ll grow your email list with subscribers that are interested in what you have to offer.

Although not a “build your list fast” technique, content marketing following this process can be a powerful way build your list and grow your perception as an expert over the long term. I’ve used it to build highly targeted lists for some of my websites and am always surprised at how well it works.

How do I write an author bio that will get readers to click through to my site?

Great question! If the “About the Author” or “resource box” is not written well, you won’t get the traffic you are seeking.

The most common mistake is taking this piece of the article marketing puzzle at face value. Although you want to provide some biographic information, if you want to get clicks, you need to make this paragraph more about the reader than you. Readers don’t really care who you are as much as they care about what you can do for them. Tell them in the resource box!

Your “About the Author” section must grab the attention of the reader… just as the title and article did. It can contain your name as the author, and even a brief bio describing why you were the right person to write this article. But it must also include a brief description of the website you are sending them to and a link. To do this, you should make them a compelling free offer using keywords that speak to why they read your article in the first place. While the About the Author section takes up only a small space, including the right keywords and content will provide a more compelling reason for the reader to go to your site.

But I want to sell something, you say. Why a compelling free offer? Because you lure flies better with honey than with vinegar. Don’t go for the immediate sale. Offer something related to what you sell for free, capture the reader’s name and email address on your landing page and sell to them once they are on your list.

Your “About the Author” section is small… so use the space wisely. Capture the attention of your readers with words that promise desired benefits.

Be creative. You only get three to five sentences for this section so make the most of it. Try to catch the attention of your reader with content that makes them give it a second look. Unlike TV ads, you don’t have visual aids to drive your point home. But you do have the power of the reader’s imagination. With the right content, you can make them think and be intrigued.

This should go without saying, but your compelling offer, your keywords — your entire copy — has to be related to your landing page. Do not mislead your potential website visitors or your credibility will be destroyed. In other words, if your article is about the breeding habits of sea turtles, don’t send them to a freebie about the feeding habits of jackrabbits.


“Your brand is only one piece of your author platform,” says Carma Spence, an award-winning, bestselling author, and creator of the world’s first Author Diagnostic System. “But it is the foundation.” If you would like to gauge the health of your overall author platform, take the free “Is your Author Platform Healthy?” assessment at

Can I save time by re-using blog posts to submit as guest posts?

No, and yes.

Here’s what I mean by “no”: If you are pitching article ideas to other websites, they are expecting you to provide unique content (unless they say otherwise). Therefore, you can’t use the same content if it is verbatim or too similar.

However, what I mean by “yes” is that you can take the topic of a post you’ve written and give it a new perspective or twist. Use different stories. Make a new version that doesn’t read like a simple re-hashing or spinning of the same content.

For example, I could take my post 5 Author Branding Myths Busted as a leaping-off point for a guest article:

  • I could pitch guest posts about each of the 5 myths – that’s five ideas right there!
  • I could turn the concept around and pitch a story about the 5 branding mistakes that hold authors back
  • I could use the information to create an article about the 5 author branding concepts you must embrace for success
  • If the website has a specific niche audience, I could tailor the post for that audience. For example, perhaps the website targets writers of memoirs. I could then write an article called “5 Mistakes Memoirists Make with their Author Brands.”

None of those articles will be too similar to the original, but I am re-using the brain power I’ve already expended to create more content for different audiences.

How do I measure the success of my content marketing efforts?

The best way to measure the success of your content marketing efforts is to:

  1. Establish the goals you want to measure.
  2. Track the metrics of each piece of content to understand which ones are performing well.
  3. Analyze the results.
  4. Repeat what works.

Let’s dive into this a little deeper.

Establish Your Goals: What metrics will you measure?

The first step is to define what you want to accomplish and then identify how you would measure whether you reached that goal or not. The following table provides some potential goals and the metrics that would measure success for that goal.

Content Marketing Success Measure Table

Some metrics are easier to measure than others, but understanding the goal will help you not only identify what you need to measure, but also set up systems that will make that metric easier to measure.

Track Your Metrics

Once you’ve established what you will measure and how you will measure it, the next step is actually to measure it! Pay attention to metrics such as page views, bounce rate, time on site, average session duration, and social media engagement (likes, shares, and comments). These metrics will give you a better idea of how people are engaging with your content. You should also keep track of the number of conversions (sales) that can be directly attributed to the content that was created.

Analyze Your Results

Once you’ve tracked your analytics over a period of time—ideally 6 months or longer—it’s time to analyze the results. Are there any patterns in terms of which pieces of content were more successful than others? If so, why do you think that was? Was it due to the headline or call-to-action used in the piece? Were there any topics that resonated more than others with readers? Answering these questions will help inform future content creation decisions and ensure that each piece is tailored toward achieving specific goals.

Is Your Question Not Answered on this Page?

If you still have an unanswered question about content marketing as it related to articles posted on your or other people’s sites (blogging or guest posting), send your questions to so that it and my answer can be added to this page. You will be notified once it is added.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This