OK, I’m just going to say it.
In today’s world, publishing second-rate content is a total waste of time.
There’s no point in contributing to the growing pile of mediocrity. It wastes your time, and, worse, it wastes your audience’s time.
Sometimes I’ll see a marketer complaining that:
“I spent two years doing all of that blogging and email stuff and I never saw anything out of it.”
And every time I’ve taken a closer look at their content, I’ve quickly seen why they never got traction.
So much content suffers from little professionalism “leaks.” Errors that undermine the content’s authority, squander audience interest, and detract from business goals.
It doesn’t take a very big leak to make it impossible to fill a bucket.
And most of the time, these problems are completely fixable.
You don’t need to be perfect
Now, it would be a mistake to think you have to be some kind of prize-winning author in order to create solid, interesting, highly engaging content.
Whether you’re creating text, audio, video, or any other format, there are a handful of key elements you need to hit consistently. The elements that prevent those annoying “leaks.”
Of course, as you build skill, your content will keep getting even more effective. But sometimes, even great writing misses the mark.
Ever wonder why some wonderful writers don’t see success with their content?
You may have run across delightfully written content that doesn’t seem to get the writer any closer to their goals.
Solid, strong writing is important for a content marketer.
But solid, strong strategy is even more important.
When you can put both of them together, you’ll be unstoppable.
If for some weird reason you had to pick just one to get started, choose strategy.
Smart strategy, consistently implemented, is the fastest way to get where you want to go.
And wonderful writing with weak strategy too often becomes a frustrating waste of time.
It’s one thing to be able to produce a good piece of content.
It’s another to keep producing quality material, week after week and month after month.
You could try to rely on your own instincts or talent, but some days, those things are in short supply. It’s smarter to develop a simple, reliable process.
Your process shouldn’t be so complicated that you won’t do it.
(Anyone remember David Allen’s 43-folders system from Getting Things Done? The one that could be replaced by … Google calendar?)
And it can’t be so simple that you miss important parts.
Ideally, you want a process that can be distilled into a discrete set of steps. Then you can simply create a checklist and efficiently tick each item off as you work.