Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be image oh no faceContent Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be“Content marketing.” An annoying little term, but one I’m finally getting used to. As one who’s seen the latest and greatest marketing strategies come full circle so many times with new names that us old-timers on that marketing wagon get woozy, I must confess… I’m sick to death of hearing about it.

When I started my first biz, it was simply called … “article writing.” Or “article marketing.” Yeah, yeah, I get it — “content” can be more than an article. It can be tips, it can be follow-up series, it can be in the form of blog posts, sales page content, and crossover media stuff, like video, now Pinterest pins, and tweets.

But no matter what you call article marketing, or content marketing (which I still hold is just another term someone coined to sound a little smarter as they “blog”)…

What it is is still what it simply IS:

Writing for income. Indirect income, or otherwise.

Don’t lose sight of this, as we continue.

Everybody, their mother, and their Uncle Jimbob is preaching about not only content marketing, but consistency in said marketing. “Because without it, you’re doomed to fail.”

Oh? Really…?

Fact: Your Content Strategy is More than a Calendar

In The Most Important Small Business Article You’ll Ever Read, I told a story about how the ezine I had a few years back got HUGE response for such a little list:

“There were ezine publishers who had readerships of 5- or 10- or 20,00 – or even 100,000 people in some cases. But even when my little ezine had just 1,200 readers, for instance, ads run in it brought markedly higher conversions than the ‘zines with readerships of 10 or 20 or 100,000 subscribers, many of which were published by industry ‘gurus.’

“It was incredible. (At least, to me.) How could mine bring more actions, more sales, better quality customers, and more responsiveness in general —consistently — than readerships in the tens of thousands?”

In fact, it often out-pulled, or ran neck and neck, with the mailing clickthrough and conversion rates of the big guns. (When I say “big,” I mean those 10 or so top names that everyone thought of then, in digital marketing.)

Now mind you, whether or not some people put my name on that “top 10″ list was irrelevant. Some people did (which always shocked me), but still more people knew of me; knew what I was semi-quietly over there building (the business, silly). However, whether or not I was one of “THE Top X-Number of Marketers in XYZ industry” was, yes, completely irrelevant.

And so it is for you.

Because your content strategy is more than a calendar.

Full Disclosure. Starting Now.

I need you to dump your brain right now of everything you’ve read and heard thus far in terms of article marketing, or content marketing, or whatever it pleases you to call it. And I definitely need you to stop stressing about this “consistency” requirement that everyone and their Auntie Zelda is preaching.

Remember that little list above?

The one that out-pulled subscriber lists many times its size?

My readers didn’t care how consistent I was. Literally. (That so shocked me, too.) They didn’t care if I wrote twice a week, weekly, monthly, or — gulp — skipped two months and finally reappeared, sheepishly, apologizing profusely.

They just cared that I did write, and they looked forward to it at all times because they knew it was going to be:

1) Straight to the point;
2) Tested;
3) Proven;
4) And REAL.

You see, I often went against the grain. I said what other people thought about, but dared not say. And not “for shock value” (which is super-annoying), but simply because it needed to be said.

Kind of like now.

I very often exposed, helped others expose, and actually enjoyed exposing businesses, and even the highest of top names, who screwed their customers over, who disappeared and offered no “service” after the sale, or who came quickly (no pun), made names for themselves, then took all of our money off the nightstand and ran. (Okay — little pun there.)

Yes, I got screwed a time or two myself. But even if I hadn’t, it wasn’t about ME; it was about the protection of others — of all of us. As hard as we work (I mean we “digital marketers” and small business owners), we simply don’t DESERVE to be screwed over when all we’re attempting to do is make a quiet, honest living.

And so, I wrote.

Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be image content marketing article marketing writing manContent Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be

I often blew the cover on deals that had gone south; marketers who had duped the good guys. And because they knew I was bringing real, undiluted “everything” to the table in the marketing game … my subscribers and customers listened.

And trusted.

And I never let them down — not once.

And that’s all you have to do.

You do not need to be “consistent.”

Realistically, creating consistency in your editorial calendar could make things a bit easier for you… but on the other hand, it may not.

(We’re nearly done here — please bear with me.)

At one time, I tried desperately to embrace “consistency.” I was still fairly new to business. Inevitably then, I listened to what people were saying, and I felt horrible that I just didn’t seem WIRED to freaking write as consistently as they admonished. And even now, just as then, I simply hate time schedules. (Funny, then, that I started a transcription company, one of THE most time- and schedule-dependent professions in the world! Ha, I digress.)

I don’t like having to write an article on THIS weekday, and publish it at THAT hour, every. single. frigging. week.

Simply at the thought of it, I die a little inside.

So what would happen is that I would end up pushing something out just to push it out… writing without anything hard-hitting to impart. But I just don’t do “average.” It feels (and felt) all oogey. I don’t do “good enough.” I never have. (I’m getting better at “letting go,” though… but that’s a whole ‘nother issue. I’m a recovering perfectionist; so sue me. [Don't really, please!])

And so, those forced-out weekly issues seemed (to me) to be watered down. Very soon, therefore, I stopped them. And I simply vowed from then on that I would only write when I had something of value to say.

And so it was.

And this, they loved.

Our. Schedule. Did. Not. MATTER.

Are you with me…?

So sure, you’ll continue to view the beautiful charts, colorful graphs, and extensive studies that wax on about how all of our article marketing must be published on a certain, exact @$%#ing schedule, or our response will plummet by 1,347,398.33347%.

But you must remember that this is not all of the story.

These studies have not stated that they are exclusively (or even primarily) studying response rates of the TRULY UNIQUE, HIGHLY-VALUED and SOUGHT-AFTER content that most people simply don’t produce.

Of course they haven’t.

What we all know — and what all of those study-makers will agree — is that there’s so much “content” floating around that it has lost much of its value.

So you don’t have to be “the most consistent.”

“Consistency” Is But One (Small) Piece of the Puzzle.

While helpful, don’t blow it out of context. (Tweet this.)

You don’t have to yell the loudest.

You don’t have to have the largest following.

You don’t have to get the most likes, tweets, pins, nudges, pokes, stomps, stabs, skids, or farts.

No. You simply have to be the best at what YOU do — whatever that is — and simply do the best you can with whatever you’ve got.

Related Hint: You do realize, don’t you, that having any “content strategy” at all simply… may not be your bag? And that would be okay.

Maybe what you do best isn’t content creation at all; maybe it’s radio advertising, postcard marketing, networking with business cards, building relationships through follow-up calls, social media marketing (which many argue is a form of content marketing), constantly coming up with ways to keep clients overjoyed so that you perpetuate strong word of month… or anything else under the sun.

Just because “they” say you “must” do one thing does not make it so.

Fact:

I know people who have grown wildly successful in their fields without having EVER written one word publicly, much less embraced “content creation.”

And “article marketing?” El-oh-El! Not hardly. They don’t even know what it is!

So Don’t Stress. Find What Works for YOU.

Real talk:

Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be image pretty hispanic businesswoman with too much to do e1362124082462Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be

Sometimes (especially when just starting out), we simply don’t have it in us to produce content like clockwork. Often, we’re wearing too many hats.

Some days, it can be all it takes just to make all of our clients happy, process all the orders, finish all the callbacks, enter in all the expenses, train all the contractors, recruit the new ones, continue writing on that product we’ve been trying to get out for ages, do our article marketing, network through social media, curate content for later use, perfect our content strategy, create a content strategy to begin with, update our website, hunt down those past due invoices, respond to all blog comments… and more. And more. And more.

Some of this, you can outsource right away. Some, you can’t.

I can be a bit long-winded with a bee in my proverbial bonnet, so in case it is still necessary, I’ll make it even more plain:

A Consistent “Content Strategy” is Not a Mandatory Thing.

Your business is supposed to be enjoyable. If you had wanted to be a frazzled, jittery, stressed out bundle of unhappy nerves … you could have done that quite easily, working for the man. (sorry. he deserves no uppercase.)

Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be image content marketing article marketing why so serious wide1Content Marketing “Consistency” – Not All Its Cracked Up To Be

So simply…

Do the best you can, work with what you’ve got, don’t take on more than you can handle, “Trust and Believe,” keep testing to see what works best for your business … and the rest will fall into place. (Even the eventual “consistency” in your content marketing. ;)

Guaranteed.

Now get out there and produce excellence … on however haphazard a schedule. I dare you.

Double-dog.

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