The content marketing industry is growing faster than ever before and will continue to do so. While many new trends come in and old trends fade out, it is important to stick to those which align with your business goals.
As important it is to stay updated and in sync with the trends, it is just as important to weed out the ones which are not particularly good for your business.
Here are a few such content marketing practices, more like bad habits if you will, to keep away from:
1. Trying to be omnipresent
There is so much excitement going on around social media platforms that everyone wants to build a thriving presence on every platform they can spot.
As swell as it might seem to be able to master every social platform and become an omnipresent marketing force, it can result in wasted efforts and diminished focus on the avenues which will actually bring you real results.
Don’t be the jack of all platforms, be the master of some instead. This is where measuring ROI can come in handy if you see that promotion on Facebook is not bringing you as good results, time to cut it out.
In fact, a great thing to do would be to sit down and design a digital marketing mix for your company. Figure out how much effort should go into each marketing platform, and also make a list of social media tools that can help you automate the process and save time – this can channelize your efforts and increase your effectiveness.
2. Focusing on a few well-optimized marketing tactics
Most content marketers stick to what worked for them in the past; they live by the notion – figure out some tactics that work best for you and do them well.
Given that content marketing is ever changing, you are not really playing it safe by playing it safe!
Agile marketing tactics and ‘test and learn’ models have made it incredibly easy to experiment and reformulate strategies when necessary.
According to Marketing Prof’s content marketing trends, most B2B businesses average over 12 marketing tactics and top 5 in them include social media, articles, blogs, case studies.
If you want to stand out from the rest of the businesses then experimenting with new tactics such as ebooks, webcasts, podcasts, screencasts, etc.
The crux is: experiment a little.
3. Trying to convey your point of view through content
True, thought-provoking opinion pieces can establish your expertise in your niche and add value to your business. But focusing too much on opinion pieces is not a good way to go, because let’s admit it, people are not always interested in your opinions. It really doesn’t add much value to them.
Marketers say that engaging audience is the second biggest challenge they face and writing opinionated content doesn’t really address this problem. Instead, provoking interaction through live polls, contests, giveaways, surveys etc may be a better strategy to boost reader engagement.
These techniques help you push the user to take some sort of action instead of just reading your content and moving on.
4. Working as if content has an expiry date
Despite content topic trends, your content can stay relevant for a long long time. Sure, you may have to find new creative ways to express the same old content, but the content remains valid for a long time.
For example, you may have to repurpose one of your old articles on ‘content writing mistakes to avoid’ into a video to stay in trend, but the original content needn’t change.
So, don’t publish content and forget all about it; it would be such a waste because you can derive value from it for a long time to come.
5. Broadcasting your content
Don’t make your webinars and other live events broadcasts; this may have been an okay thing to do a few years back, but not anymore. Now people expect you to facilitate conversations. People prefer to interact, ask questions and give opinions in events such as webcasts.
Of course, in situations like these, keeping the conversation on track and relevant can sometimes become a challenge, but nonetheless, the trend is shifting towards two-way interactions, now more than ever.
Also, provoking conversations can be a great way to keep the audience engaged and involved throughout the event.
6. Swift publishing without much strategising
Maybe you just started out on content marketing and technically are at the infant stage. In situations such as these, it’s easy to make the mistake of focusing on getting content published instead of working on formulating a strategy.
Kicking off content marketing without deciding on a strategy is equivalent to walking in blind. Having a well-laid documented strategy can help you align your efforts with your goals, thereby preventing wastage of time and effort.
Only 32% of B2B marketers had a documented content strategy in 2015, which is 3% less than last year. Investing in a strategy has shown to maximize the ROI and is, hence a golden rule to live by for content marketers.
ROI is the key. Every effort you make should be measured across the results and you must take decisions based on these results. For example, after trying out a new social media platform for a few months track the results and see if it’s working for you and then make a call.
While your content has to offer value to readers, it also has to offer value to you. Marketing trends must not be the sole factor in your decision-making process, you must factor in results and performance as well.
Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend
Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.
Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.
All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.
Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.
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Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!
Practice in private. Shine in public.
Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!
Do You Assume too Much?
One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.
These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.
This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.
A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.
Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice
Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.
For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.
I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.
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I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.
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