There is a lot of constant talk about content marketing. I am doing it right now. But please ask yourself the following questions before you kick start a blog or outsource your words to a content army. I have asked myself these questions because I have made the mistake of giving birth to a mediocre blog:
Do I have something to say?
Most blogs or publications provide tips, advice and/or opinions. If you are providing any of the above, ensure that you are presenting your experience. Your true experience is valuable but a collation of generic facts found online is not. Folks are being flooded with more and more articles online and if they start to read the same, it is a disservice to the reader.
Will my words help the reader in any way?
Usually, the blogs that I learn from have a combination of an experienced author with a lot of deep research. By experience, I mean the author is an industry expert or leader that has several years of execution under their belt. The research is analysis that they have gathered over a period of time. Such information is bound to be helpful to a certain set of readers. Are you providing the same value?
Why am I doing this?
Do you want to maintain and share a regular blog to increase traffic to your site? This is a totally valid reason. But there might be other ways of increasing traffic which are more in sync with your strengths. You do not have to start giving out tips just because there are many other examples out there. Listing your sites in the right places and doing the occasional guest blog might be more rewarding than pushing yourself to produce content every day.
I want to talk to my target audience
Good content increases engagement with your relevant audience. This is proven. So if you are bent on taking on the challenge of maintaining a blog – find the right people. Another author on this site, Lisa Barone, writes a lot of stuff through observations and research. Her former company helps folks build content that is right for them. You can get professional help from such companies to get the right content around your product and business. It does not have to be everyday – you could do a deeply researched piece once a week.
Through this approach readers will look forward to your content every week.
Content Photo via Shutterstock
Re-thinking an approach to content marketing by outsourcing to a qualified expert (either in the underlying field or a professional business writer who will do quality research and present a value-added piece), may make sense but is still content marketing. I couldn’t agree more that a collection of generic facts does not meet the threshold of quality content, but many business owners fail to recognize that professional content is a service worth paying for, much like any other professional service (web design, payroll management, tax advice, etc.). In fact, when someone’s online presence hangs in the balance, an argument could be made that investment in quality content is even a higher priority. I like your advice about considering why you are doing it; a daily blog post is not necessary, and guest posting may offer just as much value for some.
You raise good points Raj.Content like all tactics does need to be in line with what you want to achieve and that means finding a way to differentiate the content from others. One thing I would add is if you are going to hire someone or a company you need to set the direction and keep track of the results.
Nice article Raj. We sell clothing hangers online http://www.onlyhangers.com and have had a blog on the site for about 5 years now. We always try to give our readers valuable content related to our niche. But we have found that after writing so many well researched and informative articles on our topic for so long that we have completely covered everything there is to say about our product line. What advice would you give to someone in our situation to still provide meaningful content to our readers without regurgitating the same information?
Hi Ron – I am sending you an email. Thanks for your comment.