Did You Forget Something In Your Content Marketing?

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courtesy Digital Ralph at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphpaglia
courtesy Digital Ralph at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphpaglia

Ah. Content marketing. One of those things you can’t “do business on the internet” without. One of those things all the marketing “gurus” throw into their training packages and webinars.

Write it and they will come.

Create it and they will come.

Content is supposed to solve all your traffic problems. All your sales problems. All your audience and authority and building an online presence.

Problem is – it doesn’t. Why? Just because you create it, doesn’t guarantee “they” will come. Doesn’t guarantee that “they” will ever find it. And it also doesn’t guarantee that you have created anything “they” will want to consume if they DO find it.

Content marketing gurus tend to make one big mistake when teaching, discussing, and soapboxing about content marketing.

They forget the MARKETING part of the equation.

They teach you to crank out content – blog posts, podcasts, videos, you name it – but they don’t tell you what to do with them.

They tell you to create content to create an audience – but they never teach you how to find that audience.

They discuss using content to inform, to entertain, to build relationships with that audience – but they never teach you how to do that.

And this isn’t something new. I recently heard from a professional who has been blogging for 15 years. YEARS. And no one ever really taught her, in all that time, what to do with her content. Another fellow said that he’s been cranking out content for over a year, and never knew it had to have a purpose. That it should serve some function in his business.

It’s been all about the content, and not about the marketing.

And that’s sad. And frustrating. And causes many to think that content marketing doesn’t work. Or that it’s “dead” and outdated.

It never has been and it isn’t now. The problem is the focus. The focus on simply CREATING all that content.

So what do you do? How can you fix it? How can you change your content marketing so that it actually works, and “they” actually DO come? So that when “they” get there, there’s something of value to both them and you?

Follow along, Blooms…….

1.) Create a strategy. NEVER write a single word, record a single sentence, without knowing BEFOREHAND what its purpose is. Never create content without intent. The “field of dreams” strategy of “write it and they will come” doesn’t work. Know what you are doing and why you are doing it before you begin.

2.) Do some market research. Know WHO your “they” is. Know WHAT they need to know. Know who else they read, follow, listen to every week. Do they prefer audio or video? Text to images? All of the above? Once you know who they are, what they need, and how they like to get that info, you can approach your tribe. Then, simply offer them something that both meets their needs and yours.

3.) Create a marketing plan. Now that you know who you want to reach, find out where they are. Do they hangout on Facebook? Or are they part of the Twitter crowd? Maybe they are all those suits on LinkedIn. Wherever they are, that’s where you need to be, too. You can create a paid ad campaign to lure them in, or you can start offering up bits of useful info and help, while drawing them back to your main content hoard.

4.) Create the content. Now that you know WHAT purpose your content will serve, WHO it will serve, WHERE you can find them, and HOW you will best bring them to you, you can actually begin content marketing. Write those blog posts, record those audios, film those vids. You can do it with confidence and courage, not simply throwing darts in the dark hoping something pops.

It sounds a lot easier than it is, but believe me, it’s a lot harder doing it the “field of dreams” way. And hey, if you need help creating that content, or figuring out what to do with it, that’s alright.

That’s what I’m here for. Set up a call or drop me an email. I’ll be happy to help you with all your content marketing “stuff”.

Together, if we build it right, they WILL come.

Everything I Need to Know About Blogging, I Learned from “Lord of the Rings”

blogging with LOTR
I’ll come clean right here and right now….I’m a huge Tolkien fan. I’ve read his books since high school. I reread at least The Lord of the Rings every year. Sometimes The Hobbit, too. I also own The Similrillion and The Children of Hurin and others. There are many lessons in Tolkien’s books – lessons on friendship, loyalty, Orc hunting. But there are other lessons, too, if you look at them from a blogger’s point of view. That’s why I like to say that everything I ever needed to know about blogging, I learned from reading Lord of the Rings. Don’t believe me? Read on!

  • You need a fellowship. You CAN blog in a vacuum, but what’s the point? You need readers, you need followers, you need friends. You also need other bloggers, to both guest post for you, and to return the favor of allowing you a spot on their blog.. While ultimately, the job is yours and yours alone, you need the support of others to truly make the journey.
  • Never forget the One Thing. Your blog should have a purpose, and that purpose should be your main focus when blogging. (And no, that purpose shouldn’t be selling, but that’s a different post altogether.) Frodo had the One Ring, and that made all the difference. Without it, we’d just have a nice fairy story full of elves and hobbits and wizards. With it, we have a grand adventure that determines the future of Middle Earth. Your blog can determine the future of your business. Keeping your One Thing front and center will help you produce quality killer content that keeps your readers coming back to your blog time after time.
  • Second breakfast is always a good thing. Take time away from your blog, and from writing, to let the thing breathe and grow and develop. A good post once a week is better than a lousy post every day. Stop and refuel by reading others’ blogs, as well. You may find information, inspiration, or just a good laugh. Remember the fellowship? Yeah, take time to dine with them on a regular basis.
  • There will be mountains. And orcs. And battles to fight. Blogging, especially blogging for business purposes, is fraught with dangers. You can write too often. Not write enough. Write content that sucks. Lose readers. Not have any readers. Deal with real life trolls. There will be days when the blinking cursor just sits there, taunting you and turning your brain to mush, even though you’ve GOT to publish a post today. Yes, there will be mountains, but you can get over them.
  • Not all heroes are perfect, and not all bloggers are, either. Frodo had difficulty throwing the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. Aragorn didn’t want to be king. Boromir was perhaps the most perfectly flawed hero since Lancelot. And you aren’t perfect, either. Don’t be tempted to only show your readers the good stuff, the best days, the fake smiles. Let them in on your trials and troubles and pitfalls and problems. Be real. Have a real voice. They’ll appreciate it and so will you.
  • Use a little magic every now and then. Do something different. Post something out of the ordinary. Start a conversation on a controversial topic. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or different. Bloggers can get into a rut, and then the blog gets boring and blah. A few fireworks now and then can add some zip and flash. Use it wisely though, young hobbit. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Just ask Merry and Pip.
  • Lambas bread is good food. Feed your readers good stuff. Offer up good content. No, killer content, that they can really sink their teeth into and get a satisfied feeling once they leave. And make sure your content has lasting power, too. Nothing worse than a blog post that’s completely irrelevant and useless less than a week after it’s written. Trendy is one kind of magic, a steady diet of it leaves you wanting more. Serve them the good stuff, always. It’ll keep them coming back.

There, that’s it. A few blogging lessons from Lord of the Rings. Take what you need, traveler. Use what you can. The road goes ever onward, and so does the blogging!

If you need hep with blog posts for your blog, check out my blog post writing services. I bake some really good Lambas. I got the recipe from the elves themselves!

PS No dwarves, orcs, elves or hobbits were injured in the making of this blog post.