No matter what you’re trying to do, obstacles arise. The successful people anticipate these challenges and plan ahead properly, whether the goal (and its obstacles) is large or small. In content marketing, we see two major issues getting in the way again and again: the challenge of producing clean, well-written copy; and the challenge of navigating the technology necessary to post properly. So, what exactly is the problem, and how can you plan your way to a good solution (and a successful blog)?
1. Edit Your Content
Obviously, content marketing depends on having quality content. Now, we know you have a message to share—you have a story to tell. But your writing is not going to get the attention it deserves unless it is executed very well. The obstacle is that typos and other problems are basically inevitable. You could be the best writer in the world, and you’d still be too close to your own work to know what needs to change. You’d look at your content and see how it’s supposed to look, not how it actually does look.
The solution is to hire an editor, or to work with someone who has a team of editors. Editors can do everything from fixing typos and grammar, to making your writing sing. What exactly you hire an editor to do is up to you. The point is to get an unbiased point of view on your work. A good editor is key. Without an editor, I believe most blogs start out behind. It’s not about chasing perfection—in fact, even edited documents occasionally contain errors. Mistakes happen, and the great thing about online writing is you can go back in and correct problems after publication, if you need to (it’s easier with the right tech support. See below). But with an editor, the number of mistakes goes down and the overall quality of your writing goes way up.
Editing takes your content to the next level. Think of musicians today. As good as some songwriters are, they often collaborate with others. Or think about Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger—or Ben and Jerry. Most great achievements are collaborations. Editing is simply another form of collaboration, and your work will be much better for it.
2. Publishing Your Content
Posting content to your website sounds simple, but it often isn’t, not if you want to do it right. It’s not just a matter of cutting and pasting into an editing window. Your search engine ranking and the accessibility of your site depend in part on using the correct formatting. Inserting illustrations and other media and creating links are both multi-step processes that might have to be repeated four or five times for some articles. Then there’s posting the links to social media. If you’re posting several blog posts per week to two three different social networks, all of it on a tight, consistent schedule, then you’ll have to choose between investing hours of time, or setting up automatic posting. The obstacle here is that all of this is, at best, time-consuming. For some, the challenge seems more daunting than flying a plane.
The solution, again, is to hire someone to take care of it, a tech support person, an electronic communications specialist or a content marketer (these are relatively new fields, so you’ll see these same jobs under a lot of different titles). Some edit also, some don’t. You might hire an individual, or maybe you’ll contract with a group. The point is to get the help you need so you can get back to doing what you do best–while still maintaining a successful blog.
Whether you use WordPress, Squarespace, or hopefully not a custom coded website (where one person controls the fate of your internet life—more on that in a future article), content marketing (written blog in this specific example) will throw up plenty of obstacles for you. Your job is to plan in the solutions you need so you can reach your goals anyway. Editing and publishing don’t need to get in your way as a blogger. Writer’s block, now that’s a different story!