To err is human. And content marketing is no exception.
All of us doing content marketing will of course screw up and make mistakes every now and again. I’ve experienced practically every one of these blunders in all my years of content marketing.
The important things to remember the next time you screw up are (a) you’re not alone; and (b) you’ll live to see another day, a.k.a. “put it in perspective”. (And if you never screw up, firstly, I don’t believe you; and secondly, congratulations on being the exception to the rule).
Of course, mistakes have benefits too. That’s how we learn, that’s the nature of experience. It’s how we learn to walk, talk, ride a bicycle, drive a car, and everything else in life. Mistakes are almost essential to the learning process, and is how wisdom is gained.
Learn from the mistakes of others though, and you can shortcut your way to success. You won’t avoid making mistakes yourself, you’ll just make fewer of them and reach your goals more quickly. After all, that’s largely why people pay often significant sums for training and mentoring.
One word I like to keep in mind (especially when I screw up) is kaizen. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s the process of continual improvement.
If you get something wrong, so be it, there’s often not much you can do about it afterwards. But learn from it, adjust your systems and processes so you minimize the chances of a repeat, and use the experience to improve.
Do this in all areas of your business, not just content marketing, and you create a business with ever-stronger foundations that becomes more effective and more efficient.
In contrast, those who don’t succeed will let the odd silly mistake – that after all anyone could make – derail their whole content marketing campaign.
Often the result is that they give up entirely, a bit like the kid who refuses to get back on the bike after falling off when first learning to ride.
That’s perhaps the biggest content marketing mistake you can make!
In this post, I’ll provide an outline of the 17 common content marketing mistakes I’ll be covering in this series. In future weeks, I’ll be periodically devoting a post to each mistake, going into each one in more depth (when I do so I’ll add an update here with a link).
Mistake #1 No consistent publishing process.
Mistake #2 Starting new content from scratch each time – not repurposing.
Mistake #3 Putting quantity before quality. (Update: See Content Quality Vs. Quantity: Some Answers On The Age-Old Debate)
Mistake #4 Creating content unrelated to your target market. (Update: See 57 Ways to Effortlessly Generate Engaging Ideas For New Content)
Mistake #5 No call to action. (Update: See Creating Effective CTAs In Your Content Marketing)
Mistake #6 Creating ineffective titles. (Update: See How to Create Blog Titles That Bring You Traffic)
Mistake #7 Creating salesy, promotional content rather than informational content.
Mistake #9 Expecting overnight success.
Mistake #10 Only publishing content in one place or on a single web site. (Update: See 25 Top Places To Publish Your Content And Market Your Business)
Mistake #11 Running out of topic ideas. (Update: See 57 Ways to Effortlessly Generate Engaging Ideas For New Content)
Mistake #12 Forgetting visuals and reader-friendly formatting. (Update: See 5 Ways to Nail Your Visual Storytelling Strategy)
Mistake #13 Using broken links. (Update: See How to Quick Fix Broken Links on Your WordPress Site)
Mistake #14 Not using social media – or using it ineffectively. (Update: See The Ultimate Guide To Social Meta Tags)
Mistake #15 Forgetting to proofread content.
Mistake #16 Trying to sell immediately … rather than just aiming to start the relationship (and no, this is different to #7! It refers more to your call to action, rather than the overall tone of the content). (Update: See How to Really Monetize a Blog (Easy 1-2-3 Blog Monetization Strategy))
Mistake #17 Creating content your target market can’t understand.
Don’t forget to download this checklist of content marketing mistakes to avoid making them yourself.