Content done for a year…
… or better yet… THREE years!
I see this message all over social, all the time.
Primarily in ads where someone is promising you that you can get your content planned and completed for the next year (or three years).
This is horrible advice and something I’ve ranted on for a while now but with the latest paid ad I saw I felt a strong pull to address this again. Especially as we grow this brand and connect with a new audience of creators…who are from all different types of businesses, not just the digital marketing space.
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Would you do that with paid traffic?
Think about how ridiculous that is.
You wouldn’t create ads, set a budget, and let them run for a year or three years regardless of performance would you? You would be broke or end up getting in the way of your own success because maybe you should be spending more.
“Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
– Seth Godin
Content marketing should be a regular part of your business that supports your business goals.
It needs to provide value to your audience, not be something you push out to different channels simply to have the appearance that you’re “everywhere.”
I know this is pretty ranty but the idea that you can create content now (today) that will serve your audience, be valuable and relevant a year from now when it’s not based on solid SEO principles is doing my head in.
It misleads the business owner who is new to this space and decides to start putting some effort into content marketing. They’re given the idea that they can just come up with a bunch of content quickly, plug it into automation tools and get back to more important things. This is setting them up for failure.
Not only will it not deliver the results they want, but it’s a colossal waste of time and money.
*I will say that there is plenty of ‘connection’ type content that you can create that is evergreen and doesn’t necessarily have to be based on SEO principles, but you can’t deploy the ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ mentality with that either.*
Since when is growing business all about ‘set it and forget it’?
I refuse to believe that people have become so lazy that they’re not willing to put in the time and energy required to grow a sustainable business. No course, product, or template is going to be the end-all for your business woes.
I’m about to hit my twelfth year with my online business.
I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, made my fair share of mistakes, and have bought into the hopes that a particular mentor, product, or course is going to be “the thing” that gets me to where I want to be.
On one hand, none of that has worked.
On the other hand, ALl of that has worked. Combined with consistently showing up, sticking with something, publishing when no one has paid attention, and mastering the fundamentals.
Before we get into something more tangible and less ranty, please know that I’m not saying I don’t buy courses, products, or mentoring.
I do… but I’ll also tell you that I have a handful of training that I’ve purchased and have yet to touch. Not because I want them to collect dust, but because I haven’t made the time for them. All are supportive of what I’m working on now and will be digging in once I get closer to that process… provided I schedule in the time to get it done.
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What this means for you
First, you have to make sure you have done the work to build a solid foundation.
What that looks like:
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- You know who your target audience is (suggestion: go through Donald Miller’s exercise on creating a Brand Script)
- You know the problem you solve for your audience/customers
- You’re in this for the long haul, meaning, you are building a long-term, sustainable business
- You believe that content is a way to provide value, connect with your audience, and build trust
- You measure what’s working: you check your stats, engagement, and conversions
- Your course correct if things are working and you adjust content strategy based on what you’ve measured
O.K., so let’s pivot and move towards the results we want (as opposed to me continuing to bark about what drives me crazy).
Obviously we believe that a 90-day content strategy is a good place to start.
You can absolutely plan more than 90-days, but I wouldn’t suggest creating any further out than 90 days (provided you have help or a team to create your content). There’s a great book called ‘The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran that helps you understand the power of using and implementing a 90-day plan and one we recommend.
We have a post on getting started with your content strategy which stems from deciding what your goals are. Read “Creating A Content Strategy that Sells for 2020” here.
One important thing you don’t want to forget when you’re creating your content strategy is to HAVE FUN!
There is a ton of content online today and the only differentiator you have with your content marketing is YOU.
This post is a perfect example…
It wasn’t part of our overall content marketing strategy. I was inspired to write it because I saw an ad for a product that to me, is sending the wrong message.
Not all content needs to be written for the search engines. In fact, I’d say that your content should be a mix… some written for search, some sharing and documenting, and some for storytelling and/or entertainment.
YOU get to decide what type of content you create.
If you enjoy creating it, it’s much more likely you can be consistent and keep it up.
Allow for flexibility with your content. When I think back to where I was a year ago (let alone 3 years ago), things were very different in my business and personal life. If I had created content a year ago it wouldn’t necessarily be relevant today (again, I’m not referring to content that is based on search and answers questions that have an evergreen element).
There’s another missing piece with the ‘set it and forget it’ attitude about bulk producing content (for the sake of not having to do it later).
You miss who you become in the process.
We often hear the term ‘imposter syndrome’ online when it comes to entrepreneurship.
The easiest way to get over imposter syndrome is to become a master of your craft and get better at what you do.
It’s also a lot easier to sell your products and services when you’re focusing on quality, consistency, and serve your audience.
I couldn’t agree more with this post. Every time I see those ads, I scroll on by. I don’t want to post about the latest odd calendar day, I want to create content that actually helps people, connects with my audience and I am passionate about. I just got your digital content calendar, excited to get into it and start planning my content around sales goals.
Yea, it’s a strange idea that there are generic things we can post that will have value. We’re excited to see how our planner helps you 😉 Let us know if you have any questions.