As Bill Gates told the world in an essay from 1996, “content is king” on the Internet. Gates anticipated more than 20 years ago that content would drive profits on the web, and he was right.

For those getting into content marketing for their website, product or service, producing timely, relevant content is the first step toward success.

But the next steps are equally as important. Once you have quality content in hand, how it gets distributed and promoted is key.

Earned Content Distribution

This category essentially involves other relevant sites mentioning or featuring your content. That can happen in many different ways, including social media, through guest post on their site, by reviewing one of your products or by media coverage.

This can, but doesn’t have to, involve a direct link. Google’s search algorithms look for content topics in different ways. For example, co-occurrence is the search for similar keywords across different sites, looking for the presence, proximity and frequency of keywords.

Co-citation occurs when one brand or piece of content is mentioned by two separate, relevant websites.

An important factor to remember in this area is getting the attention of influencers, or those who write in a certain niche and have a big, dedicated following of readers. They also rank well in search engine results.

Owned Content Distribution

This category is where the content really needs to shine to make an impact. Owned content simply means content you publish on your own website, blog, email newsletter or social media site. The better the content, the more likely you are to have readers share and cite what you publish, leading to many more readers far beyond just those who visit your site.

Paid Content Distribution

While producing quality articles and promoting it on your own is the goal – or having others write about your product and service – paid distribution channels also can help a site quickly get recognition of their content.

Paid distribution channels have a big advantage over other methods in terms of timeliness. Getting quality, fresh content in front of large numbers of readers can lead to more sharing. The key here is measuring success, particularly with money involved. If a certain piece of content is not getting the snowball effective and picking up shares, then it’s time to move onto the next piece of content.

Keeping these areas in mind can help you form a content strategy that works. Another smart move is to hire seasoned internet marketers who understand the best methods of getting content in front of the most people in the most cost-efficient way. That free business owners up to focus on the most important aspect of their work – producing the best possible products and services.