What I REALLY Do
The best content marketers are seriously badass. While some may think that being a professional blogger sounds like a whole lot of unicorns kisses and cupcake sparkles, there are some serious occupational hazards. Like carpal tunnel syndrome, faded keyboards, and the very real phenomenon of “sore rear end.” I digress, but it’s a legitimate profession and it’s darn hard work.
75% of organizations cite their biggest challenge as finding enough time to create content. Many experts believe that there’s a serious shortage of qualified individuals with inbound marketing skills, and people who can crank out quality content, day in and day out are definitely in demand. UK news source The Guardian recently bemoaned the fact that few professionals are content marketers who bring both serious journalism chops and marketing knowledge to the table. As both B2B and B2C organizations increasingly turn to creating custom content for prospects, the value of quality content marketing is exploding.
Without further ado, here’s my no-bull-guide to being a content marketing badass, alternatively known as why content marketers are really much more than writers:
1. You Can’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
64% of content marketers struggle to produce enough content. The continual struggle to find the sweet spot between quality and quantity is a real challenge that many of us face on a day-to-day basis. I’m definitely not suggesting that anyone start churning out terrible content, but many content marketers could certainly benefit from taking themselves a little less seriously and just putting their fingers to the keyboard.
I have a feeling that I might regret sharing this fact, but one of the most effective ways I beat writers block is simply writing in someone else’s voice. How would my culinary hero Guy Fieri blog about inbound marketing strategy? He’d ride in on a flaming motorcycle and throw down some words, of course.
2. You Need a Walrus-Thick Skin
This probably won’t surprise anyone, but there are some critical people and mean trolls on the Internet. Once your blog starts gaining steam on social media, you’re going to get personal insults, criticism, and advertisements for knock-off Louis Vuitton purses in your comments. You can’t take it personally. Examine their comments for truth, improve, and thank them for their feedback. Then return to banging out content.
3. You Need to Be Ridiculously Creative
I’m not going to gloss over the fact that it’s incredibly tough to blog for months and months about a boring topic. Most of us would rather create content for a cosmetics or coffee company than an industrial parts manufacturer. While content curation and buyer persona-relevant topics should play some role in your content marketing strategy, you’ve got to approach your content calendar with an endless well of creativity. Otherwise, the writing process won’t get any better.
4. You Need to Be Super Organized and Motivated
Unless your organization has a month of content scheduled in advance and a team of 10 talented bloggers, there’s really no calling in sick. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had to create content while feeling kind of crummy, because you can’t call in sick to your blog subscribers. There’s a number of tools to keep content marketers organized. We use TeamWork PM, a project management subscription software to track the progress of writing, editing, and scheduling content and offers.
5. You Need to Be Nimble Like Usain Bolt
Newsjacking is a fantastic tool for gaining viral social media shares, but only if you’re really fast: Would you click through to read a company’s recap of the 2012 presidential election at this point in the game? I wouldn’t either, unless they took a ridiculously creative approach to covering the topic. The best content marketers are ready to stop, drop, and newsjack at a moment’s notice, with the help of Google alerts and a nimble nature.
Don’t get me wrong—content marketing is an amazing profession and I consider myself blessed beyond a shadow of a doubt to make a living spinning words. But it’s not easy, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Go hug a content marketer.
What do you feel are critical skills for content marketing professionals?