Originally published in Medium.

Love it or hate it, content marketing is king. And not in the King Henry VIII sort of way. I’m talking King Kong — destroyer of all in its path.

Yep — whether you think you need it or not, content marketing is the King Kong of the take-your-business-to-the-next-level game. With a serious reputation of shattering competitors and naysayers with a mere swing of its wide-reaching arm, content marketing will do for your business what nothing else can.

Unfortunately for many of you solopreneurs and small-business friends of mine, you’re still wondering if that King Kong costume is worth the money or not. You have yet to bite the bullet and put some muscle (or capital) into working with a marketing agency that can transform how the public views your brand.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

But the cold, hard, truth of the matter is this: if you’re not prepared to put the cart before the horse, as in, plunk down the cash and put your trust in the hands of a creative and strategic marketing professional, you must also be prepared to not get as far as you dreamed.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

Listen, I feel for you. I really do. And because I was once scared of the notion of having to spend money in order to make money, I’m going to throw you a bone here. I am going to share with you the three things you can do to boost the content marketing strategy for your business (or at the very least, fake the marketing funk until you put on your grown-up pants and get your act together).

1. Work your email list.

Create an account with Mailchimp (by far the most user-friendly email marketing tool on the planet). Dig up those business cards you’ve collected along the way. Import those emails, create a simple template with your business logo, and get ready for a return on your investment like you’ve never imagined. That’s right, email marketing is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketersSend weekly emails educating your network on everything you know about your industry. Share business wins. Create passive income strategies. I don’t really care what it is you use that list for — but I know this: if you’re using your email marketing tool the right way, and on a regular basis, you’re going to be making money.

*Pro-tip: Create a pop-up on your website’s landing page asking visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Boom.

2. Get over the fear of annoying people.

Not a fan of self-promotion? Sounds like a personal problem. Seriously. If you’re not prepared to self-promote — whether it’s yourself, your brand, your product or your services — don’t come crying to me when you’re not making any money. I’ve been known to push the envelope when it comes to self-promotion. I don’t shy away from putting myself out there. I don’t want to know how many people have unfollowed me on Facebook or unsubscribed from my newsletter. But that’s the thing — I don’t care. Because I know for each person who rolls their eyes at my next business win, published article, or newsletter promotion, there will be a handful more that want to work with me, learn from me, or collaborate. Until you can afford a billboard in Times Square, self-promotion needs to become a daily part of your marketing strategy — STAT.

3. Blog.

Want to drive traffic to your website without having to spend money on an SEO company? Blog. Want to position yourself as a subject matter expert in your industry? Blog. Want to get people to click back to your website from your newsletter and see how much information you have to share with them? Blog. Blog. Blog. And be consistent. Google loves consistency (and a minimum 350 words per page).

Need more help? Click here, I’ve got a strategy for that.

Michelle Dempsey is an entrepreneur, speaker, radio host, internationally published writer, and content marketing-obsessed mommy of 1 brilliant and beautiful little girl.

Michelle Dempsey

Michelle Dempsey

Internationally Published, Universally Awesome A Native-New Yorker with a heart as big as her personality, Michelle has recently made South Florida her home. Michelle studied Journalism at American University, Communications at Hofstra University and worked in the Public Relations industry in New York City before taking a leap into teaching, upon which she received a double Masters degree from Adelphi University. Michelle founded her business, Michelle Dempsey: Very Well-Written after continued interest in her copywriting and blogging services. She now offers a full scope of web content and blog development options to businesses of all kinds. Michelle has been published by Forbes and is a contributing writer for Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Creative Child Magazine, BabyMaternity Magazine and mindbodygreen, as well as multiple publications around the globe. She describes herself as many things – a mommy to her one-year-old daughter, Bella and 8-year-old Dog-baby, Blue, a daughter, a sister, and a best friend. She needs coffee, wine and cardio to function (not usually at the same time), and loves the beach, binge-watching Netflix shows, going into Target for one thing and leaving with 15, Mexican food, sushi and sleep.

Very Well Written