Media Shower writer Michelle Tio is well-known for her work in health, careers, and education. You can follow her on Twitter.

The Story

I sat in my room in bewilderment, incredibly scared for my future. My back had just gone out. I was scared of sitting, standing, and walking. I brought cushions everywhere I went, and wore not just one, but two braces for my back 24/7. The only safe place for me was my bed. I didn’t have money for my medical treatments, but I knew I had to do something. In that moment, I decided that I would fundraise $3,000 in three months.

lots of cash

Cutting up your cash is not recommended.

In order to help with my fundraising efforts, I decided to create a blog and titled it “My Story: A Journey to Health and Happiness.” I wrote in detail about my daily life (for example, once writing about how I’d collapsed on my way to the kitchen because of shooting nerve pain), doctor’s appointments, and my progress. Despite the fact that I was in so much pain, I made sure to keep my posts as positive as possible – always ending on a note of hope. I wrote two blog posts each week, and after I wrote each post, I published it to my personal Facebook page and linked it to my close friends’ pages.

Because of the power of my story and my social media strategy, my website was viewed more than 3,500 times within the first month. By the end of the 3rd month, I’d had 1,683 visitors, 6,513 views, and raised $3,000.

reading a book

Words have power.

The Most Valuable Content Marketing Lessons I Learned While Fundraising

While my experience with debilitating pain was one of the most difficult times of my life, I learned many valuable skills, including content marketing. Here are a few of the many lessons I learned about content marketing:

Write for your audience. Content marketing is about the reader, not the writer. Ask yourself this: What is something that my targeted audience will want to read that aligns with my goals?

Create a strategy. I was successful with my fundraising efforts because I strategized from the start. I set a goal of $3,000; decided to start a blog to (1) generate and maintain interest in my cause, (2) keep my supporters updated on my progress, and (3) to entice people to donate; made sure I updated my blog regularly; and posted via multiple social media outlets to create a buzz around my cause.

Tell a story. Knowing that readers are more likely to engage with stories than with numbers, I made sure that my fundraiser focused on telling my story, even titling it “My Story: A Journey to Health and Happiness”.

Promote via social media. My posts were well read because I utilized social media to my advantage. By posting my blogs to my Facebook, tagging friends in them, and asking them to write a personal note about me on their social media, I was able to get thousands of views.

Utilize pictures. I noticed that posts not paired with pictures were barely engaged with, but those with nice pictures got a lot of views. People also commented on how they liked that I included pictures to help them understand the science behind my injury and treatments.

End with a call to action. I ended every blog with a call to action: a link to donate to my medical expense fund.

Hopefully my story has helped you learned some of the basics of content marketing! If you’d like to learn more, please visit our Content Marketing Academy.