Freelance Content Marketing Consultant For Hire: Mihael D. Cacic
Hi, my name is Mihael D. Cacic.
I’m a freelance content marketing consultant, strategist, writer, and the CEO of 21writers.
After graduating from theoretical physics in late 2020, I decided to ditch the real world and become a blogger…
So since I only started with the whole content marketing shenanigans back in January 2021, I don’t have a crazy portfolio (just yet)…
But I’ve nevertheless managed to land a few high-profile clients like Sujan Patel, Useinsider, Mailshake, VoilaNorbert, Rightinbox, etc. and got them pretty awesome results
… I grew this blog from 19 to over 174 monthly signups after a 3-year stalemate.
Note: we’re talking direct traffic-to-product-trial signups here; which directly translates to additional $78,120 in revenue for this client.
Now I know what you’re thinking…
How was I able to achieve this as a brand new content marketing consultant?
1) Awesome Mentors
First, I was lucky enough to have found really awesome mentors very early on…
They were there for me anytime I had questions about content strategy or whenever I needed feedback on my writing. You’d be surprised how much you can progress after a year of learning like this.
2) My Competition Sucks
And the second reason is simply because my competition sucks.
There are no good SEO content marketing agencies out there. It boggles me that they all want to focus on “traffic” and “awareness” when that’s the last thing you need if you want more revenue from your blog…
(But I know why it happens — it’s because traffic and impressions are easier to measure in Google Analytics. Oftentimes agencies hope their client doesn’t track conversions with the first-click attribution model so they can keep bullshitting how “some of the traffic must be converting“…
It’s frustrating having an marketing agency like that dig in your digital marketing budget only to hear the old “trust me bro, it’s working you just can’t measure it” excuses and not see the needle move. After all, that money could be better spent on more profitable channels and campaigns that would drive actual growth and make you and your team excited.)
Principle: Traffic Doesn’t Mean Revenue
The truth is that traffic alone doesn’t translate into extra revenue because a vast majority of people either don’t need your product or aren’t ready to buy just yet…
So what you need to grow revenue is QUALIFIED traffic…
And the best way to track qualified traffic is by measuring blog conversions, because qualified traffic by default means that these people are ready to take the next step in becoming your customers.
That can either be:
- Newsletter signups
- Product order placements
- Software demo or trial registrations
That’s what drives REAL growth.
And that’s the reason why you must always insist that the key metric is blog conversions… Doesn’t matter who you’re working with.
But attracting qualified traffic to your blog is really, really difficult…
And right now I’m going to give you my two secret strategies that I use to get awesome results for my clients.
Listen, I’m about to give you the keys to the castle…
During the past year I’ve developed two signature processes for how I do content marketing. I’m proud to say that after a lot of trial and error, these two processes solve two biggest challenges in content marketing in 2021:
1.) Content Strategy Challenge: how to pick topics that attract wallet-ready customers to your business (and not ask-holes, struggle bunnies, or tire kickers).
2.) Content Writing Challenge: How to write advanced, specialized articles that rank high on Google and show visitors that your company is the industry leader on the topic.
I offer both of these signature strategies as part of my content marketing consulting offer, but before I make my pitch I want to talk more about them so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
(Note: the third challenge in content marketing is the challenge of content distribution: either through link building, ad buying, or audience sharing… This is something I’m currently dabbling with but I can’t claim I’ve developed any signature strategies around this just yet. Although I do offer classic white-hat link building as part of my consulting offer but more on that later.)
Signature Process #1:
How to pick topics that attract traffic that’s ready to buy at the drop of a hat
The “Lean Content” Strategy
The “Lean Content” Strategy is a collection of principles and mental models that I use to find high-converting article topics for my clients.
I’ve developed this content marketing strategy because I was following the generic advice of targeting “high-volume, low-KD” keywords… Sure, I was getting traffic, but nearly no one was converting.
That’s because I was focusing on top-of-the-funnel content…
And top-of-the-funnel content has very low buying intent.
To compensate for that, most content marketers create complex email marketing systems on top of their blogs. The idea is that they’ll attract a huge audience with top-of-the-funnel content, collect their emails, and slowly nurture them to become customers.
Don’t get me wrong, this approach works…
IF you’re willing to invest 2-3 years into content marketing, be very aggressive with link building, and develop a complex email marketing system on top of your blog.
And even if you do, realize that you’ll be playing the “double waiting game”.
First, you”ll wait months (or years) for your content to rank…
Then you’ll wait months for your email leads to warm up and convert into customers.
That’s a lot of time before you see any money.
(And even then it’s a big IF… After all, you can’t know before hand that your content is good enough to rank or that your email sequence is good enough to convert.)
Instead, I prefer to stay “lean” and write only bottom and middle-of-the-funnel articles that I know for sure will get organic traffic with a very high buying intent and convert right from the blog.
Sure, they don’t have as many organic searches…
But they also have little competition since everyone is focusing on the high-volume keywords. And because there’s little competition, these articles attract very few passive backlinks so they rank muuuuch faster than top-of-the-funnel content.
“But doesn’t my customer need nurturing?”
Yeah, but you don’t have to be the one doing the nurturing. We can let other companies nurture the market for us. After all, the customers don’t care where they get their education, they just want a great offer to appear in front of them when they’re ready to buy.
Here’s an example of the “lean content” strategy in action:
The articles underlined with purple are top-of-the-funnel content produced by my client before they got me as their freelance content marketer. The articles marked with red were made by me. Notice the insane conversion rate. Again, these are direct blog-to-free-trial conversions so no need for any kind of email marketing here.
Sure, after I’m done writing all bottom and middle-of-the-funnel content for this client I’ll start focusing on top-of-the-funnel content and start building an email system on top. But by the time that happens, this client will get enough passive blog conversions to more than cover my monthly consulting fees.
If you want to learn how to apply the “lean content” strategy to your business, I’ve written a 5000-word behemoth of an article right here. Read it and do it yourself — you don’t need me if you just put in the time…
But if you have other stuff to do, then send me an email to [email protected] and I’ll help you out 🙂
“Increased our blog conversions by 220%”
“Mihael completely transformed our blog and optimized it for conversions. His eye for detail is incredible and knows exactly how to create a blog that attracts customers. Highly recommend working with him.”
Marketing Strategist — Right Inbox
“He solved our whole marketing problem.”
“Not only has Mihael written impressive texts, he is also a remarkable visionary, planner and strategist. Through analysis, he quickly created a comprehensive content plan and started solving our problems one by one and step by step. I can only talk in superlatives about him.”
CEO — Illuspire
“He is smart, honest, thorough, and very easy to work with.”
“We love working with Mihael. As a startup, we needed it all: strategy, content, style, and everything in between. Mihael is smart, honest, thorough, and very easy to work with. A perfect mix of listening and advising — without him, we would be lost!”
Founder — GrantPuma
“I couldn’t recommend him enough!”
“Mihael’s insights on content strategy is a breath of fresh air. He is very articulate and passionate about what he does and it shows in the quality of his work. After just a few strategy calls, I had a clear content marketing plan of how to market my agency. I couldn’t recommend him enough!”
Founder — Copywriters Corner
“21writers is a one-stop if you’re looking for marketing help!”
“Mihael is an amazing guy and a great content specialist! I’m so happy to work with him and really impressed by his knowledge and expertise in content strategy, planning and writing. 21writers is a one-stop if you’re looking for professional content marketing help!”
Growth Marketing Lead — Mailtrap
How are you liking the signature strategy thus far? Let me know! [email protected]
Signature Process #2:
How to write advanced, specialized articles that rank high on Google and show visitors that your company is the industry leader on the topic.
The “9-step” Writing Framework
Next, besides having a signature process for identifying high-converting topic ideas, I also have a signature process for writing highly specialized and advanced articles.
I call it the “9-step” writing framework and it helps my articles get a ton of conversions and rank super fast:
What you’re seeing here is an article I wrote for my client back in late June. This article started getting decent traffic (for a bottom-of-the-funnel blog post) after only one month. By month three, this article became the most profitable post on my client’s blog.
Now I suspect that this isn’t the case for you.
In fact, your experience with content marketing is better described like this:
You’ve taken a perfectly fine keyword and had someone write the article for you… but after a few months, all you get is crickets. The content isn’t ranking, and the tiny stream of traffic that you’re getting out of sheer luck isn’t reading the article from start to finish — and they definitely aren’t getting excited about your product. You don’t know what to do. It’s frustrating. Content marketing sucks. But you already invested so much. So you decide to invest some more: publish more long-form content, invest in expensive conversion rate optimization, and hope that everything will pay off in a couple of years… After all, SEO takes time. Right?
Well, yes and no.
If you’re convinced you’ve picked the right keywords for your business (according to my “lean content” strategy) but Google isn’t making any attempts at ranking your piece or you aren’t getting any conversions then the problem is in the articles you’re publishing.
And it’s not your fault.
It’s the fault of the content marketing agency that’s writing these fluff pieces for you.
They outsource article creation to content farms that have inexperienced writers read the top 10 Google results on the topic and basically write a 2000-word summary on what they learned that afternoon.
Now let me ask you two questions…
1.) Why would Google replace any of the top 10 articles with a summary on them?
An article like that adds nothing new to the web, so Google will ignore it. But even if it doesn’t, by the time your summary ranks, a dozen other companies will publish the same kinds of summaries making your article even more obsolete.
2.) Why would people trust you’re the expert when you’ve shown no expertise in the article?
The writers that content agencies employ aren’t real experts in your field.
(If they were, they wouldn’t be writers.)
That means the person who wrote your article has NO idea, no hands-on experience with the topic. An article like that doesn’t have the specific little details needed to make the reader think “oh shit, these people know what they’re talking about: only an expert would know these kinds of details… I better stick around and learn more.”
It’s like selling an enterprise CRM software to 20-year sales veterans… Or diet plans for bodybuilders… Or productivity consulting to poker players…
…and you’re having fresh-out-of-college newbies write content for you.
How can they possibly impress your ideal target audience and help you win the content marketing game?
They can’t, unless…
They follow my “9-step” Writing Framework.
With this framework, you can create expert-level articles even if you know nothing about the topic.
It works because of one major mindset shift: the writer takes on the role of a journalist.
So instead of forcing the writer to become an expert overnight, you get the writer to interview an actual expert on the topic and let his or her wisdom drive the piece.
It takes the pressure off the writer and let her focus on what she’s really good at… Putting a structure around information and shaping it into a compelling story.
That way, you can produce advanced, specialized content for any business in any industry… The kind of quality content that outranks fluff pieces and instills trust in visitors.
The 9-step framework goes beyond just that — in fact, interviewing an expert is only step #6. If you want to learn more about this process, I have an entire article written about it here. But I’ve included a summary of the 9 steps below so you can see the scope of it:
- Find high-converting topic ideas — we already discussed this in the previous section on the “lean content” strategy.
- SERP analysis — type your keyword in Google, read the top 10 results, and write down what they do good and what they do bad. This will give you a concrete idea about what you need to do to beat your competition. (30 minutes per article: 5-10 hours total)
- Topic ideation — after analyzing what’s on the market, think of an angle for your article that will be more unique and more interesting than what your competition wrote. (30-60 minutes)
- Brainstorm ways to create even better content — now find 20 more ways you can make your blog content unique based on your intuition for what your target audience wants. We can’t just be following what other companies are doing. We need to walk our own path. (1-2 hours)
- Outline the article — Take all your ideas and structure them in an outline. Explain exactly what you’ll write under each section. (1-2 hour)
- Interview an expert — Run your outline in a form of questions through an expert on the topic. Look for unique insights then tweak your outline to include this wisdom in your article. After this, re-do your outline. (2-4 hours)
- Write & Edit — Write the piece. Include the ideas you brainstormed and everything you’ve learned from the expert. For each claim that you make explain why, show how, give examples, and provide data. (1 hour per 250 words)
- Optimize for engagement & conversions — Design the article so that it pulls the reader in. Inclue CTAs in three different places across your article. (1-2 hours)
- Do on-page SEO and NLP optimization — Finally, optimize your article for search engines. Also, make sure your article has an “above average” score in any NLP optimization program: Frase, Clearscope, or SurferSEO. (1-2 hours)
Now doing this helps you create something that’s original, interesting, in-depth, and useful as hell.
But writing quality content like this takes time… About 20 to 40 hours per piece — and it definitely can’t be outsourced to a content farm.
So if you don’t have the time, patience, or expertise for doing this yourself, send me an email to [email protected] and I can help you out.
“Mihael always delivers value packed content”
“Most writers are garbage. Good thing Mihael isn’t most writers. He always delivers actionable, insightful, and value packed content making it a no-brainer to work with him. If you’re looking for a content writer or strategist, you’d be crazy to not give Mihael a call.”
Marketing Expert — Baremetrics
“Best agency work I’ve read!”
“I am so happy we got in touch with Mihael. He did a phenomenal job on our articles. He has a wonderful attitude and can-do spirit! Kudos! Here’s to a bright future together!”
VP of Content Marketing — Insider.
“His techniques actually work”
“Mihael is great. All his writing is top-notch and the link building techniques he employs actually work (unlike a lot of other link builders that don’t care if it looks spammy or is completely irrelevant). Quick, thorough, effective and very friendly – a solid recommendation for anybody looking to hire a content marketer.”
Brand Partnerships — Respona
“A true long-form master.”
“I’ve worked with Mihael on a number of projects and he always overdelivered. He’s a perfectionist that makes sure every word and sentence is in the right place and isn’t fluff. The real kind of stuff that attracts links and moves the needle. A true long-form master.”
Mentor — 500 Startups
“Mihael is a content writer extraordinaire!”
“Mihael is a content writer extraordinaire! He writes with clarity and ease, which makes it easy for his audience to understand what he’s talking about. Michael has the rare ability to take complicated topics and turn them into digestible chunks of advice that are actionable, insightful, and full of value. If you’re looking for someone who can take your business’ blog to new heights — then it sounds like Mihael might be just what you need!”
Content Manager — DigitalNovas
Be honest. Would ranking #1 for your core business keyword change your life? If so… [email protected]
Benefits of doing it yourself vs. benefits of working with a content marketing consultant
I always encourage companies to try content marketing themselves first. Heck, even try to follow one of my strategies and get results for themselves.
The reason for that is simple:
You get to appreciate content marketing.
You get to experience the frustrations when something goes against common sense and you get to experience the joys of hitting the first page of Google when your intuition is right…
It makes your writing better, your thinking clearer, and your soul more emphatic.
However, I realize not everyone has the time nor desire to spend 20+ hours writing a single blog post for their company…
In that case, you should consider hiring a freelance content marketer — like me 🙂
You can work with me if you want the following benefits:
- You want to get real results.
- You don’t have time to assemble a content marketing team.
- You want a proven system for projecting and achieving desired ROI from content marketing.
- You don’t want to risk it with “figuring things out” on your own and want someone who’s done this before for other companies.
My freelance content marketing services
Freelance content marketing consultants have flexible services, they can either be there as mentors and:
- Give you feedback on your writing, content, or SEO strategy.
- Coach you one-on-one until you’re ready to do content marketing solo.
- Consult you on what to do to improve your on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
- Educate you on content marketing in general and the deeper principles behind it.
- Give you tactical advice on what kind of link building campaigns to run
Or they can get their hands dirty and:
- Write monthly articles for you
- Do content strategy for you, write briefs for the writers, and oversee the content calendar.
- Build a set number of links for you every month
Whatever suits you best!
“Mihael in 3 words: Genius. Witty. Quick. Brilliant”
“That was actually 4 words, but it’s a pretty good way to describe my experience working with Mihael. I’ve worked with many content marketers/consultants over the years and seldom do I find someone who over-delivers and makes the process as easy and efficient as possible. Throw in a great sense of humor and it makes working with him a no-brainer.”
Founder — ByJessicaLa.com
“Took my writing to the next level…”
“Mihael is not only a masterful content strategist, but also extremely hardworking, honest, and fun to work with. During our time working together, he thoroughly critiqued my work and helped me take my writing to the next level. He’s a great mentor and a friend. If you need help with your content, go to him!”
Content Writer — Ramp Ventures
“His techniques actually work”
“I’ve been sitting on so much dormant potential that honestly, it’s embarrassing. It took Mihael hopping on a call with me and showing me step by step how to boost my website’s organic traffic with what I currently have, without having to produce a single new article, and without having to build a single new backlink. That you Mihael for straightening up my site and getting it ready for the exciting journey ahead. You saved me from a ton of headaches. Cheers!”
Founder — NikolaRoza: SEO for the poor and determined
“Hire him before he’s fully booked”
“Mihael is an excellent content writer. His in-depth research helps to produce engaging content for the right audience. Structuring long form content is tough and he’s one of the few who can do it right. Working with him will help you get your dream clients. Go hire him before his calendar gets fully booked.”
Content Marketer — SamuelNg.com
Everyone is saying I’m REALLY friendly… So why not stop by and say hi at [email protected]
My content marketing consulting process
With service-based businesses, there is no one-size-fits-all solution nor unified pricing. My process as a content marketing consultant is designed to create tailor-made solutions for your current situation, budget, and future goals. I’ll help you find the most efficient way to get the biggest returns with as little investment as possible.
1. Diagnostics Call
First and foremost, we’ll hop on a call to discover what your goals are and what’s the best way to achieve them.
In this phase, think of me as a doctor diagnosing an illness, not as a salesman pitching an offer. A good treatment follows a good prognosis. If I find out that I can’t help you, or that content marketing isn’t for you, or that your needs are beyond my expertise, I will refer you to my colleagues that I think can help you best.
Life is too short for non-ideal partnerships 🙂
2. Goal setting & Software setup
After we define the problem we set up reasonable goals for your project based on your budget and assets (like existing articles, content team, etc.).
If you don’t have the capacity to do it in-house, I’ll also help you set up tracking in Google Analytics, so we can track actual conversions and not just traffic.
After we’re both happy with our project roadmap I’ll get to work.
If it’s consulting, I’ll dive deep into your website and existing articles and spot opportunities for immediate and long-term growth. I’ll also consult you or your team on how to improve your strategy or article creation process.
If it’s content writing, I’ll take your keyword ideas and execute my “9-step” writing framework to create specialized content that’s outstanding, insightful, and interesting as hell.
If it’s content strategy, I’ll execute my “lean content” strategy to discover the best keywords and topic ideas to go after. I’ll optimize the strategy for direct blog-to-customer conversions, but volume and likelihood of ranking come right after.
If it’s link building, I’ll start writing guest posts for high-profile sites in your industry and make sure the articles include a do-follow backlink to your site. I’ll also make sure to diversify the anchor texts so they look natural but still positively impact your rankings.
4. Measuring, Reporting, and Fine-tuning
As time goes on I’ll take data from our campaigns and report back to you on what’s working, what’s not working, and how things are looking for us down the line.
With this data we’ll fine-tune our campaigns and move in a direction that have will have the biggest impact.
Not everyone can get our content marketing consultant services
As much as we’d love to help everyone, we can’t. We’re only taking on clients that:
- Have high-quality products or services.
- Have the decency to pay on time every month.
- Have a lighthearted attitude and decent English.
- Have 3-4 hours to spare every month to hop on a call and give us all the information we need to write specialized articles for you.
If this is you then send me an email at [email protected] and let’s have a chat.