The 80-20 Rule for Content Marketing and Online Projects

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Rule 80 vs 20

Have you ever heard the so called “rule of 80 vs 20”? It was born as an economical and financial rule by Vilfredo Pareto while observing the economical dynamics of Italy and it simply said that “most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes” (Wikipedia docet). In small words the principle says that 20% of the input creates 80% of the output. A rule that can be adapted to different things, personally and professionally, and of course also to blogging and online projects.

How does the rule of rule of 80 vs 20 work when it comes to online projects?

It’s easy and simple: find a niche, write for the niche (or produce your things for the niche) and you’ll get what you’re looking for.

Let me be more practical:
* 20 is the “symbolical value” we use for indicating a niche. So 20 must be your niche, the target audience you want to reach when opening a blog or starting a new project;
* 80 is the “symbolical value” we use for indicating the reward. So 80 is going to be the final reward you’ll get from that 20 you’ve reached.

If you think straight this is what online advertising does (when they’re not creating new needs for the entire world):
* attack a market and a niche
* create ADV to make the target audience feel the need of buying that particular thing
* at least triple the ROI.

Nutribullet is a great example of a good strategy:
* They’ve attacked the niche of people interested in healthy and vegan food;
* They’ve created different campaigns for different media to reach those people;
* They’ve got 80% from just the 20% of the people interested in the market.

They’ve applied the rule of 80 vs 20 maximizing the impact of a campaign on a particular audience and giving this audience the opportunity to buy something they start feeling as necessary for themselves.

Clearly they’ve became so popular that today they’re seeing a growth also on other niches but this is just the long tail and the result of careful planning and management of the niche.


How to apply the 80-20 rule in the world of online content?

1. Identify your niche and be there for them

If you want to try and succeed than you should always have in mind, from the very beginning, who are you talking with. Once you’ve decided stick to this niche and make your online content consistent and relevant for these people.

2. Avoid expanding your niche just to try to have more visitors

Unless you’re a big group with a big plan and lots of contributors, you won’t get as much as you think you will in opening your world to tons and tons of topics. And, most of all, the random visitors to your site will only be readers and will probably never and never convert. At the end of the day, unless you’re living in an ideal world, the final goal is to convert and if you attract random visitors it’s really hard to get a good conversion (where conversion means not only money but anything related to what you do online!)

3. Choose something you know and love

There’s no worst thing than start doing something just because it’s trendy. You should always do about things you love and know very well because this will give you the opportunity to develop content you would like to read as well and to get attention from interested readers, your famous niche.

4. Basic of the basics: don’t pick a niche looking for freebies

The rule of 80 vs 20 doesn’t contemplate looking for a niche just to get freebies. No, the 80% you get from the 20% of your audience doesn’t include stuff you get for free for a simple reason: free doesn’t make anybody’s living and you should really get paid in cash for what you do. If you don’t, then it’s the company whoch is giving you free stuff that is using the rule of 80 vs 20 at the best… surely not you!

5. You don’t need tons of content but good ones!

In applying the 80-20 rule you’ve to remember that the number of content published is inversely proportional to the ROI. You don’t have to produce tons of content but produce good ones, the ones your niche will love… and so will Google. It’s clear that the number of content influences the authority of a site/project but if the contents are random their value drastically decreases.


So, how the rule of 80 vs 20 can be beneficial for you and your project?

1. It reduces the amount of time lost searching for topics;
2. It potentially improves the ROI of your project, both economically and not;
3. It makes you became an expert in a particular field!

In few words: it makes unique and in making you unique it gives you and your project an added value!

If you already have an online project analyze the statistics and you’ll see that, even without thinking about it and if you’ve worked in the right way, you already have applied the 80-20 rule!

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