When creating content over and over again, it is really easy to get stuck in that rut of telling our audience what they should be doing. Hence, there are a bunch of articles, white papers, and podcasts with titles like “10 Ways to Write Awesome Content” and “The Super-Simple Method to Getting Better Content ROI.” Which can be totally useful.
However, what is arguably even more useful is strategies we should avoid. So, I decided this month’s round-up on content marketing will focus on what not to do.
Who says you have to make the mistake yourself to learn from it? Instead, let’s learn from other people’s mistakes.
7 Popular Blogging Tips That Don’t Always Apply by Larry Alton
It is shocking, I know, but not all tips apply to all situations, brands, or businesses. When giving advice, we tend to make is sound like it will apply to everyone, but you need to remember your situation might be different. In this article on ProBlogger, Larry delves into some of the most common blogging advice (write every day, stay in your niche, when something works stick to it), and discusses when it might not apply.
This information is fantastic advice for newbies, but it also helpful for more experienced content creators who are stuck in a rut.
Read This If: You are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of blogging ‘advice’ out there, or find yourself creating the same type of content over and over again.
7 Deadly Sins of Blog Post Writing by Janice Kersh
This article by Janice Kersh on jeffbullas.com offers helpful tips for newer writers and those who hare experienced, but maybe aren’t seeing the returns they would like. My favorite tip from her post is #6: Trying to Promote Yourself Instead of Your Ideas. Too many writers, particularly for company blogs, see blogging as straight up marketing, when it can also be used to establish your brand as a trusted source of information.
Read This If: You aren’t seeing good results from your blogging. Particularly good for small business owners or brand bloggers trying to establish a voice for their brand.
Danger Ahead: When Content Distribution Is On Auto-Pilot by Clare McDermott
This is actually in interview of Andy Crestodina, the co-founder of Orbit Media, but it is packed with tons things to avoid when it comes to creating and distributing your content. In this interview, he addresses how to avoid putting your content promotion plan on auto-pilot. Which he defines as writing a post, share it on Twitter, share it on Facebook and call it a day.
My favorite quote from the interview is: “The gap between good and great isn’t a quality gap; it’s a promotion gap.”
Read This If: You think you are writing high-quality content, but can’t seem to get the traction or reach all the online experts say you should. Or if the phrase “Just write good content!” has ever been part of your content promotion plan.
5 Things Companies Do That Ruin Storytelling Success by Kathy Klotz
Published on Convince and Convert earlier this month, this article addresses the main mistakes companies make when trying to tell their story. Kathy is a huge proponent of being human, which is a trait many companies struggle with. The most important mistake on her list, in my humble opinion, is “The Perfect Ending”, that is when you wrap up a piece of content by giving the customer an economic benefit, like how your product will save them time or money.
But wait – isn’t that what content should do? Kathy says you should instead be looking to fulfill an emotional need instead.
Read This If: Your brand is struggling to create real, human connections with your audience. Remember, content marketing isn’t just about marketing, it is about creating emotional connections with real people, not just buyer personas.
10 Time Wasters That Limit Your Blogging Productivity (And How to Avoid Them) by Danielle Irigoyen
This article on HubSpot’s marketing blog is a solid read if you are unable to find time to blog. Some people legitimately do not have time to write. Or, it may just be that your time is better spent on other tasks. If that is the case, there is no shame in hiring a good writer or delegating the task to someone who is better suited.
But, if you actually want to write, but can’t find the time, this is a good read. Ask yourself this: how often do you check Facebook for non-work related reasons? Or, how many meetings do you sit in a week that are a complete waste of your time?
Read This If: You want to write more, but can’t seem to find the time.
The point of focusing on what content creators shouldn’t be doing this month was to get those brain gears turning a little bit. It is pretty easy to get stuck in a rut, particularly if producing content is just one part of your whole job. After a while, you might find yourself churning out the same style of not-terrible content over and over again. It’s not bad, so what is the harm?
There is plenty of boring in the world. Don’t add to it. Instead, I challenge you to create content that is just a little bit more awesome than your last piece.
Featured Illustration: Created by Paulo Bobita
In-Post Image: Shutterstock|retrorocket