Whatever your motivation in content marketing, you have probably studied some writing tips circulating the Internet. I have. The trouble with the Internet is, however, the original content is hard to find. The authors and bloggers copy each other’s texts and read the same books, and AI will not improve things. AI does the same as the lousy copywriter or bad blogger; it copies what it finds. It only works faster.
Thus, you may believe that some pieces of advice are genuine because everybody writes them. But no, some things are untrue, no matter how often you hear them.
In this article, I will bust some most annoying content marketing myths and make your life easier.
You sure have heard this one. Pick a day of the week and stick to it. It does not matter if you post once a week, once every two weeks, or twice a week. Just stick to the specific days of the week and be consistent. Although this advice works well for the human psyche and creates a strong incentive for you to stick to the schedule (you have made a commitment that motivates you), it does not matter to your readers.
Ask how you read your favorite blogs.
Do you check the page every Thursday because that is the day new posts appear? And if you don’t find a new post, does that make you angry, and do you swear never to reread the blog?
I guess not.
Personally, I check my favorite blogs when I have time to read them. I also subscribed to newsletters and receive news in my inbox. But rarely do I read the emails and the new articles as they come. I mark them with a star or save them into my reading list to read when I have time.
And consistency plays no role to me.
Yes, it is a little disappointing when no new articles are on the blog. And I may stop checking after a while. But when the new email comes, I read it happily, presuming that the writer was probably just as busy as I am.
The appeal to consistency builds one annoying habit: you write no matter what.
But, on the contrary, you should write when you have something to say!
And when you are in a mood and have enough time and energy to produce your best text.
That is way more important than consistency.
This content marketing myth is a little closer to the truth than the one above. Because on the socials, you don’t just communicate with your readers; you must count on the dreaded algorithms to complicate things. And the algorithms show no mercy. Unlike Google, which ranks your content in terms of quality and authority, unlike your readers who may or may not love your writing, algorithms want you to post often, spend time on the network and create content that people interact with. Thus, posting once in a while is not going to make it. You must post often; you must open the app, communicate with your followers, and check their content.
But consistency plays no role here.
Because you have to post precisely when your readers are online and interested in your topic.
Be it 11:00 on Monday and 17:00 on Tuesday.
If you are a paleontologist, it makes sense that when the new Jurassic Park arrives in the cinemas, you post more often than usual because suddenly, your obscure topic is trendy.
As a political blogger, you spend much time on social media amidst the election campaigns and go nearly silent during the summer.
React to the outside world, the real world, actually, and adjust the frequency of your posting to it.
Because that means that you post when you have something to say and your followers want to read it.
But apart from that, it is convenient to post as often as possible on social media as long as every post delivers value to your followers. Because once they interact with your content, the algorithms will push it further up on their wall, and no matter when you post it, they will see it.
On the contrary: use only the channels you can. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose the media that your customers use and those that you can use.
For example, I don’t produce videos and podcasts because I dislike showing my foreign accent as a non-native English writer.
But I am a writer, so I wrote other blogs on Substack to build links and connect with readers with different interests.
Choose what fits your skills, and pick social networks that you enjoy posting on.
Because just enough is not enough, and it is useless. You must stick around on the network, be social, interact, and get to know your followers. You can only do that if you become genuinely interested in them.
Paid ads definitely help. But as a small freelancer, a startup, or a blogger, you want to be careful with your budget. And paid ads can get very expensive on Google, Facebook, or any other channel. The worst you can do is spend a small budget on many media and much content.
If you spend just a few dollars, there will always be some giant with a considerably larger budget to outbid you, and those few dollars go in vain. And then another few, and another. And soon, you are ruined. Choose one piece of content that you know will succeed, and spend as big a budget as you can on it.
And remember, the effect of the ads lasts as long as you pay. Use your money to catch your customers into the funnel or build a relationship with them so that they come back when the ads disappear. If you don’t do that and rely only on the ads, you must have a wealthy sponsor behind you or sell your house.
But remember, you can build your way up without paid ads – if your content is excellent and if you create a brand and relationship with your customers. It just takes more time and more work. But it is considerably cheaper, and the effect lasts long. Paid ads should serve only to nudge the customers your way. And if you prefer to use the money to buy exquisite coffee to support your writing journey, do it.
You can almost hear me laughing here behind the keyboard. No, email is definitely not dead. Email is the most effective tool in marketing. The understatement of email is the most annoying content marketing myth there is. Especially if you are a blogger and read all the tutorials to get more traffic. Social media is overestimated. But every blogger can use email and build a small marketing funnel. Create a lead magnet, a short ebook, a checklist, a quiz, or whatever your readers desire. And make an email database. Then you have them. You can ensure that they will never miss another post.
If you are a marketer, a freelancer, or an e-shop owner, I hope you already know this.
Email is your trump.
You get into your client s inbox; no algorithms stand in your way; it is just you and them.
All it takes is your skill in email copywriting.
Or a good copywriter.
Have you heard this? The future lies in and TikTok. Only fossils and elders stay on Facebook; everybody leaves for Snapchat.
However, my YouTube channel is now trying to persuade me to install Tik Tok and Snapchat. Have you ever seen an ad inviting you to install the Facebook app? I haven’t. Why? Because unlike Tik Tok and Snapchat, Facebook does not need an ad. Facebook runs the ads. Everybody is on Facebook.
Contrary to what Instagram influencers say, even young people are on Facebook; most people check Facebook daily. So, stick to it, don’t leave. Utilize various channels if you like, but make sure to include Facebook even if some content marketing myths make you leave.
Well, no. Cry about it if you like, but writing is a skill. And, like every skill, you need talent and practice. Yes, if you have at least some talent, then with training, you can write unique texts.
If you want to avoid hiring a professional copywriter to generate content for your business, ask yourself if you have what it takes to write.
How do you find out?
Ask a simple question: do you read?
Well, it is a tricky one. My read books count is 1018 (counted in June 2023), and Dan Ariely’s brilliant book has been lying on my bookshelf for two weeks now. Because, you know, two kids, a copywriting business, four blogs, personal branding, a dog, a cat, a husband, and, well, life… Yes, I know the answer is not easy.
So, let me put it another way:
Did you use to read?
In high school, did you travel around with a nose stuck in a book and always carry a book in your backpack? Then, yes, you probably have what it takes, so, get out there to hone your skills.
But, if one book a semester was too difficult a task for you and you had to copy every literature assignment from your schoolmates, then you should probably hire a copywriter and forget the career of a blogger.
Reading is critical to writing.
Persistency is overrated or misunderstood.
Let me borrow a quote from Derek Sivers here:
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing and not persistently doing what’s not working. If you present your idea to the world and it is not a hit, don’t push it. Instead, go back to improving and inventing… Don’t waste years fighting uphill battles against locked doors.
If you have a brilliant idea for a blog or an online business, and after a year, you are still broke, then persistence won’t get you there. Either the idea was not good, or your performance was far from brilliant. You have to either look for a different way to push your idea or leave it altogether and invent another one.
You might have heard that you should “knock, and it will be opened to you,” but the saying comes from the bible. And in that case, it is God’s door that you should be knocking on. And contrary to what we believe sometimes, people are no gods. We have our vices, whims, and a limited budget for money and time and must think carefully about what to spend it on.
Don’t believe the marketing gurus promising you that with their funnel, you will succeed, whatever your idea or your original skill.
You will succeed if your idea is excellent, you are good at pushing it (or hire an expert), and then, yes, you persist.
But if after a year of you knocking on that door, it remains shut, then ask yourself if you chose the right door.
And that is it.
I could write two more content marketing myths to bust so that there is number 10 in the headline. Indeed, research says that number 10 works magic on the click-through rate.
But I don’t have more content to write.
Or do I?
You need to drive traffic to your website to raise the click-through rate, which will improve your SEO ranking. And anyway, once they are here, you will hook them somehow, right?
Clickbaits harm you more than you know because you betray your reader’s trust.
They get irrationally angry; you made a fool of them, tricked them, and lied. They will leave and never come back again. You would end up in a spam folder if you used clickbait in your subject lines.
What is clickbait? Any headline that does not relate to the content. You must deliver on your promise.
Yes, clickbait may improve your CTR (click-through rate) and increase your bounce rate (indicating how many people left without reading anything). And Google pays careful attention to that number because it wages constant war on clickbaity content.
Bur more than the trust of Google, you lose your customer’s trust.
Yes, you got them on the website, but hooking them with your content is difficult because they are angry and want to leave. And with negative emotions, they either won’t make a purchase or regret it afterward.
So, consistently deliver on your promise.
Thus, I can make it to number 10 because I now have the ten content marketing myths to write about.
No, to sum up, write when you have something to say.
You have heard these:
They all belong to the same category of content marketing myths.
Don’t trick your readers, ever.
Treat them as humans.
Because that’s what they are.
In the long term, any tricks, clickbaits, or useless content will diminish their trust in you, which is the worst thing that can happen in marketing.
Write if you have something to say.
And write only if you are a writer or are willing to learn to write.
You can start with my newsletter.
It is a small step that costs you nothing, and you can always take it back.