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16 Bloggers Who Make Enough Money to Travel the World in Style

Hands up if you’ve ever seen headlines like these:

“Why I Quit My Job to Travel the World

“Man Who Quit 9-to-5 Job Makes $1 Million While Traveling the World”

“3 Ways to Quit Your Job and Travel the World Without Going Broke”

My guess is that you have, because I see these headlines around everywhere. I’ve even written a few of them (hint: the last one).

And let me guess …

When you see a headline like that, you’re a bit skeptical. You check Google Analytics and with your meager traffic, you can’t imagine ever being able to quit your day job to go on an epic adventure, let alone make money while doing it.

But I have news for you.

It’s possible.

Not only that, but more bloggers than ever are doing it.

They’re doing it without having to pinch pennies, without having to stay in cheap, bed-bug-ridden hostels, and without going broke.

In this article, we’ll meet 16 bloggers who  are doing this exact thing. We’ll take a look at how their blogs make money, where they’re choosing to spend their time, and even the downsides of building a location-independent lifestyle.

Let’s jump in.

Blogger #1: Paula Pant from Afford Anything


Paula Pant - Afford AnythingIf your bank account balance makes you shudder every time you look at it, you might not agree, but …

You can afford anything. Just not everything.

At least, that’s what Paula Pant thinks.

Paula went from an office job in Colorado, earning $25,000 per year, to a personal finance blogger earning a 6-figure income.

Her blog is focused on financial independence, and has helped her take 14 trips last year alone — 5 international and 7 within the US.

On a typical travel day, Paula spends about half of it working (maintaining hardcore focus), and the other half exploring with her partner, Will.  At the end of the day, she typically clocks almost 8 hours of productive work (and just to be clear, while the average office worker is at work for 8.8 hours per day, they’re only productive for 3), proving that bloggers don’t get a free pass to do nothing even when they’re traveling.

Let’s look at a few awesome-to-sucky ratios from the day:

  • Time Gawking at Gorgeous Mountains: 80 minutes
  • Time Cursing the Crappiness of Powerpoint: Constant

Here’s another one:

  • Time Spent in Hot Springs/Hiking: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Time Spent in Transit: 8 hours, 45 minutes   (includes work overlap)”

So make no mistake, blogging while traveling the world involves work. But those moments in the mountains and hot springs sure are worth it.

How she makes money: Paula allows her readers to book consulting sessions with her for $5/minute, takes on clients, and earns money through affiliate income and podcast sponsorships.

Her special blogging power: Paula’s special power is simple: producing less crap, and more massively useful content, publishing only when she has something amazing to put out.

Blogger #2: Nat Eliason from NatEliason.com


Nat EliasonYou may have heard rumors that the “riches are in the niches”, and that may be true … for some bloggers.

But not for Nat Eliason.

Nat runs the popular blog NatEliason.com, and his claim to fame is a lack of an overarching theme. He’s proving that you don’t have to be Tim Ferriss to blog about what you’re interested in, as long as you put in the work.

Nat moved to Argentina after a stint of digital nomading across the world: Paris, Austin, New York, Colombia, Florence, and even the Antarctic.

But it’s not all pretty.

There’s what he calls “the void.”

After he took his blog full-time and built his own four-hour work week, he found that he just wasn’t happy.

“As soon as you get that freedom, you realize that a fundamental part of being human is doing things, and once you have no things you need to do you can get listless and depressed.”

So while freedom is a worthwhile goal, keep in mind that you’ll need to fill that void somehow.

How he makes money: Nat monetized his blog through creating products: books, courses, even an app. He’s taken on consulting clients and works somewhere around 20 hours per week.

His special blogging power: Nat’s special power is his understanding of marketing. Without it, his blog wouldn’t have been successful and neither would his products.

Blogger #3: Michelle Schroeder from Making Sense of Cents


Michelle Schroeder - Making Sense of CentsWe’ve seen one example of a personal finance blogger already, but this personal finance blogger does things just a little differently.

Michelle Schroeder from Making Sense of Cents started her blog in 2011 and since then has grown it to become a massive success. She blogs with her husband and two dogs from the road, putting a whole new meaning to the term “location independent.”

Michelle and her husband travel from place to place in their RV, taking their dogs on adventures and exploring national parks.

That means that they explore in the daylight and work in the evening as much as possible.

Our final day in Yosemite!

A post shared by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner (@michelleschro) on

Michelle is in it for the long-term game. She knows blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It took her years to earn the income she does from her blog.

She inspires her readers to persevere and stick with their own goals so they can reach the success she has.

How she makes money: Michelle earns money from her blog through sources like affiliate income, courses, and advertising.

Her special blogging power: Consistency and transparency. She’s been writing on her blog for six years and has maintained massive consistency. Since she’s publishing regularly, she’s developed a massive audience.

Blogger #4: Amber Fillerup from Barefoot Blonde


Amber Fillerup - Barefoot BlondeThink that most bloggers who are able to travel the world have the privilege of little responsibility?

This next blogger might change your mind.

Amber Fillerup Clark is the blogger behind the massively popular lifestyle blog, Barefoot Blonde.

She lives in Hawaii when she’s not traveling to places like Paris, Australia, and Japan, and she runs her blog and social media accounts from wherever she happens to be at the time.

And also takes care of her one- and two-year-old children, Rosie and Atticus.

She started her blog with a very different focus: to document a service trip to Fiji. When she returned to the US, she continued updating her blog from school, having to borrow her dad’s digital camera to take pictures.

???

A post shared by AMBER FILLERUP CLARK (@amberfillerup) on

After getting a couple of brand sponsorships, she decided to take her blog more seriously and focus on it full-time.

Now, her husband works with her on their blog business, managing photography logistics, and they spend much of their days taking photos for Barefoot Blonde’s Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

How she makes money: She turned her blog into a business with her own hair extensions line and also engages in brand sponsorships on social media.

Her special blogging power: Amber’s special power is visual content and social media. She and her husband pour their energy into creating a visually appealing brand to inspire readers through photography.

Blogger #5: James Clear from JamesClear.com


James ClearLet me guess.

Building the freedom to travel into your career wasn’t the only reason you wanted to start blogging.

You probably also wanted to start blogging to make an impact. Right?

If you’re nodding along, I have good news: this next blogger proves that both of these outcomes are possible.

James Clear is the blogger behind JamesClear.com, a self improvement blog that helps his readers lead better lives through habit change. He’s a weightlifter, photographer, and international traveller.

At the beginning of his blogging career, he published articles every Monday and Thursday, and his consistency paid off. He amassed an email list cult following of over 400,000 people.

He did this while traveling to places like the Bahamas, Iceland, Peru, Scotland, and Vietnam … all in one year.

How he makes money: James sells his products (online courses and books) through his email newsletter. He doesn’t sell anything directly from his blog.

His special blogging power: His special power is simplicity and massive productivity. James doesn’t get distracted by the million things he could be doing. He focuses on what’s working and does more of it.

Blogger #6: Brandon & Dan from Zen Dude Fitness


Brandon & Dan - Zen Dude FitnessLet’s say you wanted to start a blog about fitness.

But you weren’t sure how to monetize it in a way that would still give you that sense of freedom and flexibility you crave. After all, personal training isn’t exactly location-independent.

Enter Zen Dude Fitness.

Zen Dude Fitness is run by Brandon and Dan, two friends who lost 130 lbs. combined after years of struggling to do so.

They’re the type of location-independent bloggers who aren’t always on the move. They packed up their life in the US to move to Colombia, where they create YouTube videos to inspire their audience to get fit.

If you don’t value always being on the go and want to explore one place more deeply while also living a location-independent lifestyle, look to Brandon and Dan for inspiration.

How they make money: They monetize their blog through courses and even physical products (like jump ropes) and enjoy freedom and flexibility to do what they love while enjoying the world.

Their special blogging power: Their special power is executing. Even if they have to push past their limiting beliefs to do so.

Blogger #7: Benny Lewis from Fluent in 3 Months


Benny Lewis - Fluent in 3 MonthsBenny Lewis, blogger at the popular language learning blog Fluent in 3 Months, is a “full time globetrotter”, traveling to exotic places like Brazil, Belgium, Taiwan and China.

He travels cheaply, blogging from the road and holding events in whatever locale he ends up in.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Benny started his blog after six years of full-time travel. His main motivation for starting his blog? A challenge he made for himself: learn Czech in 3 months. He began to blog for accountability, with the intention of growing his readership.

Just got into São Paulo, or as locals call it, "Sampa". It's great to be back in my favourite country, and speaking Portuguese again. Here for a friend's wedding and to enjoy life! ?????????????? This is a view of the iconic Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge over the Pinheiros river.?

A post shared by Benny Lewis (@irishpolyglot) on

Benny admits to not getting much sleep, waking up early to work and staying out late to enjoy the city he’s in. But, there’s no “normal” for a traveling blogger:

“In Rio I worked most of the day from a penthouse apartment with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and in India I had a hut with no hot water or kitchen where the power would go out several times a day. There is no typical for a traveling blogger!”

From struggling to find Wifi to traveling to cities with power outages and unreliable transportation, it’s not always a walk in the park, but the pros outweigh the cons.

How he makes money: He initially monetized by writing a “Language Hacking Guide” and offering Skype consultations. He then launched his best-selling book and language learning courses.

His special blogging power: Benny’s special blogging power is mastery. He’s done exactly what he teaches his readers to do on his blog, and his deep knowledge of language learning helps him create compelling and useful content for his readers.

Blogger #8: Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness


Steve Kamb - Nerd FitnessSome people build a business from their blogs and find themselves in the fortunate position  of being able to live a location-independent lifestyle.

Others, like Steve Kamb from Nerd Fitness start their blogs with the intention of building a location-independent career in hopes of fulfilling their travel dreams.

After reading Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek, Steve started building his now-popular fitness blog so he could achieve more freedom and flexibility in his career.

By 2011, Steve had built his blog up enough that he was able to take off on a round-the-world trip, visiting 4 continents, 9 countries and 15 cities over the span of 35,000 miles.

I see you Copenhagen.

A post shared by Steve Kamb (@stevekamb) on

The downside?

Steve was traveling alone during that initial trip, and while he enjoyed it, he found it to be lonely. Not only that, but the limited amount of work he did on the road (while following the 4-Hour Workweek model) taught him that he actually enjoys working on his blog … and wanted to do more of it.

How he makes money:  Steve afforded his travels through his blog, monetizing with merchandise, his online fitness course, and ebooks.

His special blogging power: Steve’s special power is uniqueness. Steve saw a need in the blogosphere for something that didn’t exist when he was looking for it: information on getting fit that could be communicated in a way that it could be understood by anybody.

Blogger #9: Anthony Metivier of Magnetic Memory Method


Anthony Metivier - Magnetic Memory MethodIf you’ve ever wondered whether you niched down a bit too much, Anthony Metivier’s blog might put those fears to rest.

Unlike many of the other bloggers I’ve mentioned who run blogs in popular niches, Anthony Metivier took a different path.

Anthony is the blogger behind Magnetic Memory Method, which teaches people how to improve their memories.

Not exactly your run-of-the-mill blog topic, but Anthony has turned his blog into a massive success.

Anthony Metivier - Magnetic Memory Method

Originally from Canada, his blog has helped him move to Germany and then travel to places like Israel, Egypt, Australia, and more.

How he makes money: Anthony uses his blog to sell his books and programs about memory improvement and language learning.

His special blogging power: Anthony’s special power is masterful productivity. He never stops producing; from blog content to books and courses, he doesn’t rest on his laurels.

Blogger #10: Cait Flanders from CaitFlanders.com


Cait FlandersIn 2011, Cait Flanders was deep in credit card debt, and had one goal: to get herself out.

She started her blog to keep herself accountable to paying it off, and since then it’s evolved from a debt blog to a minimalism and slow living blog.

Cait took off on a road trip across Canada and the US in 2016, covering over 17 States and 6,900 miles, and and has been exploring North America since she quit her job in 2015.

The first thing I noticed when I crossed the state line was how green Minnesota is. Everywhere I look, there's more green green green. My first night here was perfect: @anthonyongaro @amy.ongaro and I went to @birchwoodcafe (where I had the best turkey burger of my life) then walked around the falls for a bit, where we ran into friends who gave me a list of things I must do when I'm in Colorado. Little did they know, I never want to leave here. ? #simpleyear #day236 #greatamericanroadtrip #roadtrip #minnesota #minneapolis #mpls #onlyinmn #citybynature #solotravel #campercait

A post shared by Cait Flanders (@caitflanders) on

As far as what life looks like for Cait while she’s traveling, it’s not all glamorous.

Conflicted between working and exploring the cities she found herself in, she quickly found that nobody talks about the difficulties of the location-independent lifestyle.

“I couldn’t have gone on this road trip at all, if I still had a full-time job. But working for yourself is still a job — and trying to work on the road is even harder than working at home.”

Still, if you’re willing to make some sacrifices and put in the work, you can do it, too.

How she makes money: Her product offerings include physical products like her Mindful Budgeting planner, as well as  a digital budgeting program.  She also does freelance writing to round out her business, using her blog as a portfolio.

Her special blogging power: Cait’s special power is authenticity and genuine connection. She listened to her audience to build products that they really wanted.

Blogger #11: Colin Wright from Exile Lifestyle


Colin Wright - Exile LifestyleIn 2009, Colin Wright sold everything he owned that wouldn’t fit in his suitcase, scaled down his business, and started his blog, Exile Lifestyle.

This was a drastic change from the corporate career and consumerism excess he left behind.

Since then, Colin has traveled full-time, spending a few months in each country before moving onto the next destination.

Railay Beach in Thailand. #railay #beach #krabi #thailand #asia #travel #island #ocean #sky

A post shared by Colin Wright (@colinismyname) on

He’s visited over 60 countries, and lived in 8, all while running his businesses from the road.

Exile Lifestyle is where he publishes articles about his life and businesses.

How he makes money: Colin earns money from his blog through books, speaking engagements and newsletter sponsors. He also runs the podcast Let’s Know Things, which he monetizes through sponsorships.

His special blogging power: Colin incorporates his personal strengths into his blog for his special blogging power — simplicity. Colin doesn’t complicate blogging; even his blog design is simple, attracting a strong readership.

Blogger #12: Jodi Ettenberg from Legal Nomads


Jodi Ettenberg - Legal NomadsEver want to visit Siberia?

Yeah, me neither, but Jodi Ettenberg from the popular travel and food blog Legal Nomads did — so much so that she quit her six-figure job as a lawyer to do so, turning her blog into her new career so she could travel as much as she wants.

She used to live on the road, living out of a backpack and traveling to locations like Italy, Japan, Vietnam, and Spain while working on her blog. Now she lives in Mexico and travels for just 4-6 months of the year.

Jodi lives and works where she wants, enjoying the flexibility she built into her blog business. That’s not to say there are no challenges with living the lifestyle she does; she just deals with them as they come.

How she makes money: Jodi is all about full disclosure, citing the many ways she earns money through her blog, from hand-drawn food maps to freelance writing, speaking, books, consulting, courses, and even food walks in the cities she visits.

Her special blogging power: Jodi’s special power is storytelling. Jodi’s commitment to storytelling in blogging allows her readers to feel as if they can build a deeper connection with her.

Blogger #13: Matthew Kepnes from Nomadic Matt


Matthew Kepnes - Nomadic MattIn 2006, Matt Kepnes quit his cubicle job and took off on a round-the-world trip.

A round-the-world trip that he’s still on to this day.

Matt is the blogger behind the ultra-popular travel blog, Nomadic Matt, where he blogs about his travels across 80 countries and territories, helping his readers travel more for less money.

His corporate escape plan included starting his blog, finishing his MBA, and booking a one-way ticket to an adventure around the world.

So pretty! #uae #abudhabi #grandmosque

A post shared by Nomadic Matt (@nomadicmatt) on

When he’s on the road, he works in the morning and early evening to leave time for him to sightsee during the afternoon and after dinner.

How he makes money: Matt doesn’t monetize his blog like other travel blogs. Instead of doing sponsored trips and posts, he monetizes by adding value through ebooks, courses, and  affiliate marketing. This allows him to maintain the laptop lifestyle without having to return to that cubicle job he so successfully left.

His special blogging power: Matt’s special powers, as you can easily tell from the testimonials on his site, is his ability to inspire. Just like he was inspired by five backpackers he met in Chiang Mai to fulfill his dreams of full-time travel, he pays it forward by inspiring his readers and helping them realize their own travel dreams.

Blogger #14: Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists


Josh & Ryan - The MinimalistsMost of the bloggers in this guide travel because their blog businesses allow them to have built a location-independent career.

Josh and Ryan from The Minimalists travel because their blog business requires them to.

What do I mean?

Well, the two friends who started the popular minimalism blog together in 2011 have monetized their blog by writing a book — one that required them to go on 100-city book tours across the country.

They also tour America to host events (live versions of their podcast, The Minimalist), and plan to take their tours overseas.

Boston! We just confirmed our first tour stop of 2017: "The Minimalists Live" in Boston on April 15th at the historic Wilbur Theatre, where we'll present an in-depth talk about minimalism and host a live version of our podcast. Presale tickets will be available in two days, starting this Wednesday, January 18th, at noon EST, which means our audience gets first access to the best seats in the house. Simply visit our tour page at Minimalists.com/Tour and use the code “boston” during the presale window to get your tickets before they go on sale to the general public. (Note: 100% of the profits from this pre-sale go toward building an orphanage. It's also worth noting that last year's Boston event sold out fairly quickly, so get your tickets ASAP.) #LessIsNow #LessIsNowTour

A post shared by The Minimalists (@theminimalists) on

Packing everything they need in a carry-on bag, with the 20/20 rule in mind where they “don’t bring anything [they] think [they] might need that can be replaced for $20 in less than 20 minutes,” they hop in their car and take off.

But in 2010, their lives looked different. Instead of having a thriving blog that allowed them to spread a message they were passionate about and travel while doing it, they both worked in traditional careers where they scaled the corporate ladder, accumulating “stuff” as status symbols.

But when Ryan was laid off and Joshua quit, each from a six-figure career, they banded together to build a better life for themselves.

How they make money: They turned their blog into a business through selling books, podcast sponsorships, one-on-one mentoring, and even writing classes.

Their special blogging power: Clearly, their special power is the face-to-face connection that live events provide.

Blogger #15: Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Nonconformity


Chris Guillebeau - The Art of NonconformityYou may have already heard of Chris Guillebeau.

He’s the best-selling author behind The $100 Startup, Born for This and The Happiness of Pursuit.

He’s also the mastermind behind some of the digital world’s best conferences, like the World Domination Summit and The Art of Nonconformity.

He’s travelled to every single country in the world, launched several online businesses, and has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, The Globe and Mail, and on NPR (to name a few).

But before the books, the conferences, and the Internet fame, there was his blog.

Chris started The Art of Nonconformity in 2009 as an experiment: could he become a full-time writer online in under a year?

It turns out he could — it took him 279 days to become an “overnight success.”

How he makes money: Chris spun his blog into many best-selling books, conferences, courses, ebooks, and digital products, not to mention a daily podcast.

His special blogging power: Chris’ special power is his approachability. From responding to reader emails no matter how full his inbox may be, to featuring reader stories on his blog, he makes sure he’s accessible for his readers.

Blogger #16: Sean Ogle from Location Rebel


Sean Ogle - Location RebelEight years ago after going on a trip, Sean Ogle decided he wanted to travel more.

So after a lot of research, he worked up the nerve to ask his boss at his financial analyst job to work remotely. But despite asking nicely, Sean’s boss shot down his request.

So he did what any sane person would do:

Quit his job, sold his car, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand from which he spent the next seven months traveling Southeast Asia, building his blog, and earning money through freelance SEO as he travelled.

Sean’s story proves that you don’t have to have an already-successful suite of product offerings on your blog to make this lifestyle work.

Hey, YOU! Checked out Location Rebel yet? Better get on it or you're gonna miss out on epic skydiving adventures (or really good blog posts) … ? ????

A post shared by Sean Ogle (@locationrebel) on

He started with the lowest-hanging fruit: finding freelance clients and working one-on-one with them while he built his blog business on the side.

Now he teaches his readers how to do the same (from wherever he is in the world) on Location Rebel.

How he makes money: This is made possible by Sean’s online courses, programs, and products, so he can travel the world in style without having to sacrifice on comfort. Sean’s also built up niche sites such as his golf blog, Breaking Eighty, which brings in extra income to fund his lifestyle.

His special blogging power: Sean’s special blogging power is cohesiveness. Sean’s brand is focused, clear, and cohesive, attracting a strong readership that’s never left confused.

Blogger #17: You


Traveling the world while you blog isn’t a privilege specific to these 17 bloggers.

They weren’t born with the successful-blogger gene, and most of them started exactly where you are now: with an idea, a few articles under their belt, and a passion for their topic.

It doesn’t matter if you started your blog last week, last year, or in 2010.

It’s not always glitz and glamor, but if you focus on building an audience, choose the right model to make money from your blog, and maintain massive discipline, you can earn enough money with your blog to become a digital nomad and travel the world in style, too.

Just make sure your passport is up to date!

About the Author: Sarah Peterson writes insanely useful guides on marketing and entrepreneurship at Unsettle.org. Get her report, 10 Free Tools That Reveal the Product Your Audience Is Begging For to finally start making money from your blog … the right way.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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What Content Marketers Can Learn From an Adept Dungeon Master

Content Marketing Lessons from Dungeons & Dragons

Content Marketing Lessons from Dungeons & Dragons

It’s probably not news to you that 91% of B2B brands use content marketing to attract, engage, nurture, and convert their audience. However, it might be surprising to learn that only 9% of those brands rate their content marketing as “sophisticated.” Sophisticated meaning that their content marketing is successful, scales across the organization, and provides accurate measurement to the business. This puts a lot of pressure on content marketers to elevate their game and provide more worthwhile and valuable content experiences.

Patrick PinedaAs an adept Dungeon Master (DM) of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) games, TopRank Marketing’s Motion Graphic Designer, Patrick Pineda, can relate.

It might sound a little odd at first, but Dungeon Masters and content marketers are more alike than you think. Responsible for creating meaningful and memorable experiences through content that takes people on a journey, you can see the similarities arise. Just like content marketers need to help guide people through the buyer journey, the Dungeon Master needs to guide players through a journey of their own.

After serving his friends as the go-to Dungeon Master, Patrick has learned a thing or two from creating lengthy campaigns—some successful, some not—that are both engaging and challenging. Discover Patrick’s lessons from the dungeon and how you can apply them to your content marketing campaigns and programs down below.

What Is a Dungeon Master?

For the unfamiliar, a Dungeon Master is the organizer for the wildly popular, 40-year-old tabletop role-playing game, “Dungeons & Dragons.” Not only do DMs organize the game, but they are also responsible for the game rules, details, and challenges. According to Patrick, the player experience hinges on a DM’s ability to create meaningful content that’s fun to explore.

One thing Dungeon Masters are not responsible for, however, are the players’ actions.

Like the self-directed buyers of today, D&D players are able to choose their own paths. As a result, DMs are challenged to make sure players finish the game. And just like your audience won’t read every piece of content you put in front of them, the same happens in a D&D game. Certain story elements DMs put together will never see the light of day because every player has a different play style, completes tasks in different orders, and takes different actions.

“The best Dungeon Master doesn’t just create a good story, but they also help players reach their goals,” Patrick claims.

Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly resonated for me.

5 Content Marketing Lessons From the Dungeon

Having created D&D campaigns that ruled and bombed, here are Patricks top five tips for developing content that resonate with your audience.

#1 - Your audience values originality.

If Patrick creates a campaign that plays to common tropes like a damsel in distress or small town disappearances, the story becomes predictable. But worse than that, the players feel condescended to as the game starts to feel dumbed down.

“Cliches and stereotypes will make players groan. It’s important when creating a campaign that I shake it up and play against common conventions,” Patrick says.

When examining your content and the story you’re trying to tell, it’s just as important to stay original and play with your audience’s expectations. For example, listicles with social media tips are a dime a dozen. Your audience might be more interested if you flip the idea on its head with social media mistakes. In changing it up, you’re giving your audience something new that they haven’t read before, capturing their interest.

[bctt tweet="When examining your content & the story you’re trying to tell, it’s just as important to stay original & play with your audience’s expectations. - @aleuman4 #ContentMarketing" username="toprank"]

#2 - Appeal to curiosity.

When it comes to creating an adventure for players to navigate, the DM has a seemingly impossible job. They need to create a unique and compelling world that is able to hold players’ attention—something not easily done. In fact, campaigns have taken Patrick days to put together. But that doesn’t come without its drawbacks.

“I’ve spent hours upon hours creating content for a campaign. But 80% of what I create may never see any playtime. It’s ultimately the players’ choice as to what tasks they want to complete and what quests they want to go on,” Patrick points out.

While the D&D world needs to have a unique and compelling narrative, it also needs to appeal to a player’s curiosity to ensure they keep playing the game and play the parts of the game that you want them to.

How does this apply to content marketing? Well, as you know, just because you’re producing content, doesn’t mean that your audience will find it. To find the answers they’re looking for, they might scour the internet, social media, and trusted experts for more information. Having an integrated content strategy that has multiple touch points throughout the buyer journey and an omni-channel approach, helps ensure you’re reaching your target audience whenever and wherever they may be searching.

Weaving SEO, social media, and influencer marketing into your content marketing strategy helps improve the reach and engagement of the content you’re producing. Through SEO, your organic rankings and click-through-rates will start to rise, improving your organic traffic. Social media messages that are well written and value-based help attract larger audiences from their social feeds. And, finally, tapping into industry influencers exposes your content to a wider network of like-minded individuals, as well as adding authority and credibility.

#3 - Avoid corraling your audience.

Nobody likes to be told what to do, including D&D players. While the DM writes the game and serves as a referee, they cannot influence a player’s actions. And if a DM attempts to, they could quickly lose a player’s interest.

“As a DM, it can be tempting to intervene and make sure that your players are playing the game the way you intended. But this is the one thing you cannot do.” Patrick emphasizes.

This is true in content marketing, too, as making calls to action (CTAs) with zero context can be a turn-off for your audience. If you insert a CTA before your audience can learn what’s in it for them, whether it’s downloading an eBook, listening to a podcast, or subscribing to your blog, they’re less likely to do it. In fact, QuickSprout found that placing a CTA above the fold on a page decreased their conversion rate by 17% and attributed it to their audience not fully understanding why they should complete the action.

Instead, make sure that your CTAs have plenty of context and explain what the audience will gain by filling out your form, reading another blog post, etc. This helps ensure that your content satisfies your audience’s quest for knowledge.

#4 - Customize content for your audience, not the other way around.

As we mentioned previously, the players are in charge of their actions and how they choose to play the game, making it impossible for DMs to have control over the game experience. This makes it important for DMs to know their audience ahead of time, so they can include important sought-after details into different game components.

“I’ll ask players before we start what they hope to get out of the game, whether it’s take down an enemy or just to have fun. Knowing this ahead of time, I can tailor the game to what each player wants to have happen,” Patrick says.

For content marketers, this lesson should hit close to home. You need to know your audience well in advance in order to deliver personalized content. If you create content and worry about your audience later, chances are you aren’t engaging the right people.

After taking a look at your own audience’s characteristics and interests in Google Analytics, create unique personas for each of your audience members. This allows you to create content that is tailored for each person you hope to attract and engage. For example, if one of your target personas is a Director of Business Development, creating custom content that addresses a unique pain points like identifying new business opportunities or tips from the experts on how to strengthen their existing client relationships.

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#5 - Chart your course.

There is a lot going on in a D&D game. And for the DM, that number is amplified as you have to remember every detail about your players, what’s been completed, and what could come next.

“To make sure I’m on top of the game and can portray characters well, I chart the game’s relationships instead of story elements. If I focus on the story, it could quickly become useless as players might do things out of order or in a non-linear fashion. By focusing on the relationships and where they fit in the narrative, the game becomes more fluid and flexible for the players and I can keep track of their journey,” Patrick says.

Tracking the journey isn’t the only thing Patrick notes, however. He also documents player strengths, weaknesses, and stats as the game progresses.

“I keep a character sheet that details each player’s play style. For example, if a player is investing their skill points in intelligence, I can tailor future encounters in the game to focus on problem-solving instead of combat. The opposite is true for a player who invests in raw strength,” Patrick notes.

Through detailed charts, maps, and grids, Patrick is able to make sure that his players have a personalized, seamless experience for every campaign they play, regardless of how they play it.

Customer Journey & Dungeons and Dragons Journey

By taking the same approach with your content marketing, you can identify opportunities for customization and develop a strategy for weaving your content into the buyer’s journey. For example, by knowing which pieces of content attract a larger audience or drive more conversions, you can use that information to inform your content development and map your content to different stages of the funnel (see below).

Grid Assigning Content to Buyer Stages

To collect this data on your content and audience, review your Google Analytics behavior and conversion dashboards to find our which pieces of content excel at attracting, engaging, or converting your audience. Metrics like page views and entrances are good indicators for attraction, whereas time on page or number of pages per session can help you understand engagement. And, finally, the number of conversions through conversion tracking is the best way to find your top converting content. Armed with this knowledge you can create content plans that are tailored for your audience’s unique buyer journey.

Your Audience Is the Hero

A good Dungeon Master enables players to become the hero of the story through a personalized game with a compelling, original narrative. As a content marketer, it’s your responsibility to create content that transforms your audience into heroes as well, helping them solve seemingly impossible problems with your expert, best-answer advice.

Through an integrated content strategy with originality, personalization, and “best answer” content that’s mapped to the buyer journey, you can become the perfect Content Master for your audience.

For more ideas on how to become a masterful content marketer, check out these 25 content marketing tips, including how to tackle writer’s block, repurpose content, utilize storytelling, and more.

The post What Content Marketers Can Learn From an Adept Dungeon Master appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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