The Four C’s of Beginner Content Marketing

beginner content marketing

Beginner content marketing techniques create the foundation of our online presence. Advanced tactics and strategies are great but for many marketers and business owners implementing these strategies is like chasing chickens, success is always just out of arm’s reach.

Think of your online presence as a building. Before we can do the fancy trim work, we must first dig a hole and put in a foundation.

Before we can put in the foundation of our online presence, we must understand the beginner content marketing techniques and concepts that guide our work.

Four C’s of Beginner Content Marketing

Before we effectively execute the “How” of professional content marketing we must first understand the “Why.” The great content marketers of our time, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan all have a deep understanding of why they’re doing what they do. It’s the “Why” that dictates the how.

If you want more on the “Why,” beyond what you get from this post, check out my No BS Guide to a Successful Blog, you’ll love it.

The four C’s of beginner content marketing are very simple, not easy, but simple:

  • Create
  • Captivate
  • Community
  • Convert

If you can harness all four, even at this very basic level, you will find success online. You will find success online because you’ll actually understand “Why” you’re doing all the little tips and tactics and tricks and strategies that Master Guru content marketers tell you to do.


The first C is create and with good reason.

We MUST create our own content.

Have to… no way around it… no short cut… no excuses… We have to create our own content (the only caveat to this is hiring a GREAT copywriter or freelancer, but this person has to be excellent).

Our website, our blog, our social media outposts must all contain original content.

Most of us did not start our businesses to become publishers. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s become increasingly difficult to buy the attention our business needs to survive. We must publish. We must create original content.

This is where the idea of Content Warfare (learn more here) came from. We’re not curating content, we’re not regurgitating content and we’re certainly not stealing content.

We publish original content… we publish original content so when our audience needs the expertise we have they have no place else to look… then us.


The content we create must captivate our audience’s attention. This is an incredibly simple idea that can be incredibly difficult to master.

Let’s start by talking about what captivating our audience is NOT…

…it’s not cat videos.

…it’s not political rants.

…it’s not puking out advertising messages.

The simplest way to captivate your audience is be human.

Be a vulnerable, humble, honest human being. Then focus on publishing original, valuable content about your business, your clients or your community as often as you can.

Tell stories, provide case studies and share testimonials… Tell your clients stories, market your client’s business and share testimonials of your client’s work.

Captivate your audience by being human in the digital world. You’ll build trust, you’ll build relationships, you’ll build a never ending stream of attention.


Community building is as vital to the long-term success of your content marketing strategy as your ability to breathe air. I’m serious.

We can generate attention in bursts. Create a new product with some compelling sales copy and pay for ads that attract attention… Do this and you will move product. You’ll make sales no doubt.

But it’s a burst of attention… You get a huge run up and then… crickets… back to nothing. As quickly as your “Audience” showed up their gone to the next guy or gal shouting about the next product.

Unless you build a community… Unless to introduce your captivated audience to one another and give them a reason and way to congregate… to network.

You and your ideas are the rallying point for your audience’s success.

You’re not the success itself, you’re the facilitator, the spark… your ideas are the gasoline and your community is the engine.

When you build a community, you’re manufacturing repeat customers and brand evangelists. You’re building your own personal marketplace for the products and services you sell.

Community is what keeps your content marketing thriving, forever.


Conversion is the easy the part…

…if you’ve created original content that captivates your audience and built that audience into a community.

Conversion is easy because you’ve already put in all the work. You don’t have to sell your community. You don’t have to sell your audience. If you’ve put in the work, if you’ve done the first three C’s then your community is going to tell you what they want.

All you need to do is provide it.

Sure there are schemes and designs and tactics that will help you maximize conversions (Leadpages is great for this). This stuff is important, no doubt.

But for beginner content marketing to produce results, for those schemes and designs and tactics to help in any way we must have done the work.

Conversion works when your audience trusts you.

It’s that simple and that hard.

The Rub

The four C’s of beginner content marketing are theory in so much as I’m not telling you how many times a day you should post to Facebook or Twitter. These are derivatives of your ability to create original content, captivate your audience and build a community.

Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something.

Don’t overinvest in platforms or tools.

Submerse yourself in creation. Whatever it takes for you publish valuable content. Do that thing. Read that book. Be in that place…

…and you won’t be a beginner for long.

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley.

P.S. If you enjoyed this article and want more, I encourage you to Subscribe to my Newsletter 

Drop Some Knowledge

What advice would you add to beginner content marketing? What part of this process doesn’t work or make sense to you?

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  • Ryan Hanley


    I saw the video… Amazing, thank you so much. And I loved your breakdown. You’re doing some very good work and I’m glad we’re connected now.


  • Wayne

    The 4Cs break it down so basic that even a beginner like myself can understand. Finding fresh content to relate to all your social outlets seems to trouble me from time to time.

    • Ryan Hanley


      I find that subscribing by RSS using a free tool like Feedly is a great way to find and distribute quality content to your audience… Then mix in your own content and you’re on your way to becoming a thought-leader.



      • Wayne

        I have been researching more on web 2.0 and have found it is a beast of its own in the ability to find new content for yourself. So many people sharing. I have made the mistake in the past of only sharing my content instead of contributing overall. This has really opened my eyes. Thanks for the response.

  • Ashley

    Great 4 Cs there Ryan, and I seem to have not problem with Create. But the last 3 take a bit more time. Community is especially tough and takes a long time. Getting to know people, gaining trust and keeping them coming back. The convert often takes place as a result of that as well all know! Nice work

    • Ryan Hanley

      Thanks Ashley,

      You are 100% correct in saying that last 3 C’s take time… That’s why they are so important. Most of the people we’re competing against for attention are NOT going to willing to put in that time creating a HUGE opportunity for anyone who is.

      All the best!


  • Gaurav Heera

    creating own content is really very important to get success. visitors as well as search engines loves unique and informative content. nice article and thanks for sharing.

    • Ryan Hanley

      Thanks for stopping by Gaurav!

  • Jeevan Jacob John

    Hey Ryan,

    Great tips you have got here (By the way, I love the font 😀 Did you install it recently? Or did I miss the last time?).

    The thing I used to struggle with is conversion.I never put some effort into email marketing and conversion, and when I realized the importance of it, it was already too late.

    But, I have already planned a strategy for my new blog, when I start it.

    The hardest part is capturing our audience; we certainly have to put a lot of effort into that. Crafting attention grabbing headlines and headings, starting off with a superb introduction and finishing off with a questions that compels the readers to comment.

    Anyways, thank you for the reminder on content marketing. Since I was on a long vacation, I certainly feel like beginner 😀

    • Ryan Hanley


      I actually upgraded my Genesis theme to Minimum Pro and this is the default Font out of the box… I love it.

      I find that taking a stand on things helps to get your audience thinking. It’s important to remember that your audience shouldn’t ALWAYS agree with you.


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  • Brent Kelly

    Great tips for beginners and those who have been at this for a while. I think sometimes we get stuck on the last 3 c’s and forget the most important one, create. Keep up the awesome info.

    • Ryan Hanley

      Thanks Brent and I completely agree with you… we look past step #1… Great insight dude.


  • Aaron Beaudette

    I couldn’t agree more Ryan. Regurgitating and summarizing another article is ok but it is best to create your own ideas.

    • Ryan Hanley


      If you regurgitate or summarize you’re simply never going to get the traction you’re looking for.

      Create first and always.



  • Atul Puri

    Nice post. Unique idea of coming with Cs. My content marketing lacks in terms of first C (which i think is the most important) but i will try to recover this.
    Thanks for this useful article.

  • John Stahl

    Ryan, great stuff. But could it be that simple? Just create rock’n content? I began blogging a month or two ago with minimal success so far. My impatience has always been an Achilles heel for me. Any tips on getting your blog found?

    • Ryan Hanley


      A month or two is definitely not enough time to see real significant results… Google needs time to index your site… It takes time to captivate people and build a community.

      Do you have an email list of any sort?