How Amanda Todorovich and the Cleveland Clinic Monetized Their Blog (And Why the Resulting Revenue is Just Gravy)

How Amanda Todorovich and the Cleveland Clinic Monetized Their Blog (And Why the Resulting Revenue is Just Gravy)

Todorovich, Content Marketing World’s 2016 Content Marketer of the Year, became Director of Content Marketing at the Cleveland Clinic in 2013, when their blog was only six months old and had roughly 200,000 views per month. Now, the Health Essentials blog gets six million views per month and is the number one most-viewed hospital blog. So, how do Todorovich and her team continue to grow their blog and turn that traffic into revenue? “You can’t think about the money first.” She stressed that creating content to answer the question, “what do we need to sell today?” is no way to decide what will be most valuable for your audience. Below are 5 steps that helped Amanda and her team grow and monetize the Health Essentials blog: #1 – Make Your Audience Your Universe Growing and monetizing a blog starts with amazing content that’s not about you, explained Todorovich. “Make them as real as possible to your team. But, you better believe that the Health Essentials blog is providing content for that audience. In a 50/50 revenue share partnership, Todorovich and her team provide the content while their partner manages and sells all of the advertising. The “small” goal that Todorovich and the team behind the Health Essentials blog focus on? Focus on your audience.” With a data-based knowledge of the audience, a commitment to valuable content, a brand-first approach to navigating obstacles, and the patience to always test new ways to beat yesterday’s score, you’ll be on your way to monetizing your blog.

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In a room overflowing with content marketers hungry to find out how to turn a blog audience into a monetizable asset, Amanda Todorovich delivered.

Todorovich, Content Marketing World’s 2016 Content Marketer of the Year, became Director of Content Marketing at the Cleveland Clinic in 2013, when their blog was only six months old and had roughly 200,000 views per month. Now, the Health Essentials blog gets six million views per month and is the number one most-viewed hospital blog.

So, how do Todorovich and her team continue to grow their blog and turn that traffic into revenue? “You can’t think about the money first.” She stressed that creating content to answer the question, “what do we need to sell today?” is no way to decide what will be most valuable for your audience.

Below are 5 steps that helped Amanda and her team grow and monetize the Health Essentials blog:

#1 – Make Your Audience Your Universe

Growing and monetizing a blog starts with amazing content that’s not about you, explained Todorovich. If you’re not considering the needs and wants of your audience, you won’t keep them coming back, much less be able to monetize the traffic. Providing content that’s “interesting, valuable, and useful above all else,” is a must, and requires content marketers to know and listen to your audience.

Todorovich recommends that content marketers to define the audience with as much data and detail as you can. “Make them as real as possible to your team. Give them a name. Give them a picture. What are their problems? How can you make decisions easier for them?” This important concept ran deep at #CMWorld this year, and jibes especially well with with the “Doris” callout from Ann Handley’s keynote. And no wonder the know-your-audience theme resonated; Once you you’ve made data-informed decisions about what your audience wants and can think of them as individuals with real questions, you’ll know what content will resonate and keep readers coming back. By letting their audience inform their content strategy, Todorovich grew the Health Essentials blog from 250,000 views per month to one million per month in just half a year after joining the team.

Take this example: Todorovich jokes that her team can keep track of the flu season—among other things—by their audience data. Sometime around October each year, search volume grows around influenza prevention tips, then treatment methods, then “clean-up.” Ick, right? But, you better believe that the Health Essentials blog is providing content for that audience. The flu-season breakdown that Todorovich describes may be niche, but her strategy of in-depth analysis and response is something that all of us content marketers should be providing for our audience before we even think about monetizing our blogs.

#2 – Know the Landscape

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