If you're worried your first attempt at content marketing is going to bomb, don't worry, it will. Just hit the publish button on that crappy piece of content marketing and get rid of the first time jitters.
Your first time at content marketing is going to suck.
Your first time at writing content for content marketing is really going to suck.
So you’ve sat down and decided that you want to dive in head first into content marketing for your business. You’ve heard that it can help you land more clients, sell more products, and overall get more eyeballs on your business and help your business grow.
All of these things are true and have worked amazing well for many businesses out there.
But, let me let you in on a little secret: they all sucked at it before they figured it out.
So here I am, wanting to start doing content marketing for my design consultancy, January Creative. I’ve been pondering and tossing about ideas for articles for months (likey more than a year).
I’ve come up with these really great things to write about, ideas that I think people will really appreciate, and think of amazing ways to write about them.
Then I sit down right here at the computer, start writing, and it turns to crap.
What happened, Amber? Where did all those great ideas go? All those times you spent talking to yourself in your head while you were working on a client project, cooking, outside walking, on the phone with a client, running errands, or cleaning the house — what happened to those?
Oh, that’s right. They’re sitting right there in drafts in Medium.
I sit down to write about the great idea I had when I was on the phone with my client, start writing it, and the words that come out just aren’t that great.
They suck actually, to say the least.
How can the things I write on self-directed topics for content marketing for my own design firm be so terrible, when I’ve been paid to write sponsored content for The Next Web and others, and I have really great things to say and those articles are popular?
Why are all the things I’ve written for sponsors be so good, when my own stuff should really be taken out back and shot?
It’s because I haven’t taken that initial leap into content marketing.
It’s because I haven’t really officially “started” content marketing for myself.
It’s because I want to get the content just right for the very first initial piece of content that I plan to market to attract readers.
I’m so worried that the first piece of content I write for marketing purposes (my own marketing purposes, for my own business) is going to suck.
That no one will care to read it.
That no one will care to come back time and time again to see if something new has been published.
That someone might think it is too salesy or too pushy or not for them or underwhelmed or that they feel like they wasted their time reading it.
That I scammed them out of a click.
That once I write one crappy piece, someone will label me a crappy writer and even a crappier marketer and never click on another one of my links ever again.
It wasn’t until about five minutes before writing this particular article that it finally hit me:
Your first article is going to suck no matter what it is, so just hit the publish button on something crappy and get it over with.
So why not let the first piece of content I write for content marketing be a sucky piece about how I was worried my first piece of content marketing would suck so I can get the first piece of sucky content marketing out of the way so I can move on to writing slightly-less-than-sucky content marketing in hopes of one day writing somewhat good content marketing and then maybe possibly hopefully finally master content marketing.*
*If that wasn’t the suckiest sentence you’ve ever read, then I must be doing something right.
If you’re wanting to start content marketing for your business, then embrace that first sucky piece of content.
Your first piece of content for content marketing is going to suck. Unless you’ve been doing it for years and have that experience, then embrace the fact that your first pieces of content will suck.
That’s exactly what I’m doing here. I’m forcing myself to get unstuck and quit being scared that I’m going to publish and market a sucky piece of content. I’m getting those initial “gotta get it right from the start” jitters and worries out.
If you have ideas floating about, or started writing a few pieces of content marketing, finish writing one piece and just hit the damn publish button already, will ya?
While I’m new to the whole content marketing thing when it comes to my design firm, however, I’ve written content before that was used for content marketing, so I can say this pretty confidently:
Your first piece of content marketing is likely not the suckiest piece that has ever been written and published.
Content marketing requires taking risks, learning new things, trying things out, rinsing, and repeating with change to see if something new works better than the old. So if your first piece sucks, then you can only go up from there.
But you can’t actually start learning and mastering content marketing with a bunch of unpublished drafts in your draft folder, or a bunch of ideas scratched out on scraps of paper floating around your desk.
There are some people who are geniuses at content marketing. I’m not one of them.
There are some people who absolutely should not be doing any content marketing of any kind. Thankfully I’m not one of them, either.
For you and I, we fall in the middle.
We will have pieces that we are super proud of and get rave reviews and tons of retweets.
We will have pieces of content that should be taken out back and quickly put out of its misery.
We will have pieces that are our bread and butter and are true to our intentions and goals with our content marketing and help us consistently deliver value and grow our readership.
But in order to do any of those things, you have to actually start. You actually have to hit the publish button and actually share it and market it.
Even if that means publishing a really sucky piece of content your first time out.
So here’s to my first attempt at content marketing. And it sucks. And I’m ok with that.
At least this isn’t sitting in my drafts folder anymore.