Guest Post: Content Marketing has to be a commitment, not a flirtation

Guest Post: Stuart Roberts - Future Content

You know your stuff. You could probably write 200 words about your business right now, so why plan it out? We know the difference between commitment and flirtation, but how does this apply to delivering content? In this article, we’ll have a look at the advantages to truly committing to the process, and then suggest some ways to manage your delivery.

Commitment to content creation suggests high risk factor with a lot of personal investment, whereas on the face of things a brief, commitment free flirtation with content creation might seem low risk. So you just dip your metaphorical toe into the blogosphere and see if you can get a bite. You don’t commit yourself to a schedule because you’re busy.

The bad news

Unless you; a) Possess some serious writing skills; b) Manage to tap into the cultural Zeitgeist perfectly with your first post; or c) Have struck the kind of secret deal with Google that we all dream of, then I’m sorry to say that this won’t work. You will decide that blogging is a waste of time and to abandon this particular flirtation.

What have you lost? On the face of it, just the time it took you to type those blog posts. In reality, you’ve just lost out on an excellent opportunity to build your brand and market yourself to the next wave of consumers. Why? Lack of commitment. By avoiding risk you have missed the opportunity to beat every business that is just flirting with blogging. Your misstep here is not one of risk management, but one of change management.

Change is essential

‘There a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you only do it when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results’ (Ken Blanchard

This quote refers to the process of refining something until it is perfect, through trial and error. This infers a degree of change in one’s behaviour. Refined content can only be delivered by those committed to making it happen.  If you want to start writing content, you will have to change your behaviour. And if you want to write a successful blog, you’ll have to commit to a lot more than that too. Look at Seth Godin. He writes a blog post every day. How many people have read every post? Probably not many. But he’s an exceptionally well known and successful blogger.

Seth sells: Seth Godin is the he archetypal committed blogger having produced a post a day for over 10 years.

It’s not the quantity here that’s important, but that he made the following commitments; To write; To provide his readers with constant content to read; To improve his writing; To develop his style and; To adhere to the schedule he set himself. Consider this:  Do you want to write a blog post every day? Probably not. Would you read one by the same guy every day? Probably not, but you’ve got to admit Seth sounds pretty interesting.

And that’s what we’re talking about. Only through committing to the regular creation and ongoing development of your content will you be able to stand out.

Standing out

  • Subject expertise – You have a business making cups. Don’t try writing a blog about trucks, Be relevant if you want to drive engagement.
  • Online tools – We live in a digital age where you can find free tools and software to help you manage your time. Look into software like Trello
  • Allocate a writing time – AND STICK TO IT. Schedule yourself appropriately. 5pm on  a Friday is not a good time to pick, but blogging with a coffee makes a nice start to the week, helping you to focus on your achievements as well as direction of travel.
  • Use your team – Don’t like writing? Just find the person in your company who does. Set them a brief and a deadline. Congratulations, you are now an editor, so think like one
  • Engage – ever tweeted someone to just get silence in return? How was that? The point in social media is to hold conversations, so hold them. Engage with your readers and listen to what they say.

Your content strategy is like a business plan for your blog.  Plan it, execute it, and let it evolve.  Most importantly of all, commit to it.

Photo credit:

Pennies – By Roman Oleinik (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0  or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bright Bulb – by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr under CC license 2.0