Myths about content are older than the internet itself. Today there are blogs about blogging and content about content, so it can be difficult to know what to believe, from whom to believe it, and whether what sounds good is actually good advice IRL.
In short: it’s easy to get stressed about content marketing! How do you even know you’re doing it right?
The core of a content marketer’s job is, of course, creating content that gets liked, shared, and clicked through. But since the ultimate goal of creating content online is (often and ultimately) to get customers, it’s easy to latch onto the most memorable or, at least, persistent myths — basically, anything to get an edge in a crowded marketplace.
We’ve uncovered four of the most common and persistent of these content myths to rid your content marketing strategy of right now. We picked the ones that keep marketers from writing better, smarter, and more relatable/valuable content.
1.You have to be a content-generating machine.
This myth gets top billing because it’s a big overwhelm point for content marketers. The thinking goes like this: You need to be creating TONS of content — right now and every single day, forever and ever — if you want to have effective content marketing.
It’s super easy to fall into the trap of thinking that writing for the sake of writing is the solution for your ranking woes — just remember that content is a long-term marketing strategy. While it’s true that volume of content is important, longevity is actually MORE important. Here’s what we mean:
“Longevity” when it comes to content is basically the same idea as longevity in investing: The time your money spends in the market is more valuable than trying to use your money to “play” the market. In essence, compounding returns > crossing your fingers for a bigger payoff.
Replace “market” with “web” and “money” with “content” and the idea works exactly the same way: The longer a piece of content exists on the web, the more search engine love it gets, and the better it will perform overall.
Longevity is how one “compounding” blog post can create as much traffic as six “spiky” posts (that is, posts that get a lot of buzz — or “spikes” in web traffic — when they’re published tend to experience similarly drastic drops in traffic not long after their publish date). It’s also how the compounding returns of your content can 2X traffic to your site — all you gotta do is give it some time.
Great! But what if you don’t have any content yet?
Start with a sustainable writing schedule. So start writing, but write thoughtfully — with your target audience in mind. It’s easy to get excited and bite off more than you can chew, and it’s easy to burn out, so stick to a writing schedule that works for you and… write what you know.
2. If you repost old content, people will think you’re annoying.
While you might be hesitant about repeating yourself or sharing the same update more than once, you probably don’t realize that a lot of the stuff you see on social isn’t being posted for the first time! Reposting is extremely common, and here’s why:
Facebook algorithms change all the time, and that alone can prevent updates from being seen by the vast majority of your followers. The half-life of a tweet is a mere 24 minutes. So, it’s WAY more likely that people don’t see your posts than are being “annoyed” by your posts!
Probably the best content marketing “hack” that nobody uses is content recycling – that is, reposting “evergreen” content you’ve already written, over and over. It’s an underutilized hack because we’re all so hyper-sensitive towards spam, clickbait — whatever you want to call the stuff that you never, ever click on — that we are all overly worried about being seen as spammers.
So stop worrying and start recycling/reposting your best content! If you’ve got older content that does well but may no longer be relevant… update it! Give those popular posts some fresh info – you never know what’s going to bring you loads of traffic once it hits the right eyeballs!
3. If you use timesaving “shortcuts” or automation software, people will think you’re a spammer.
There’s everything from AI life coaches to AI bff’s these days. So while it’s true that artificial intelligence is getting smarter/better/slightly less creepy, AI as a substitute for a real, live person creating thoughtful, quality content is a long, long way off.
The TL;DR of this myth is this: Content automation software is not the same thing as a spambot. In other words: automation doesn’t make you a spammer. Automation just helps you get the most “bang” for your blogging. It helps you to take everything you’re already writing and get in front of more eyeballs – which means potentially more clicks, more fans, and more customers. (And if you can find a tool that combines automation with reposting your old content… even better!)
You still have to be patient – and you still need to write content that people want to read, like, and share — but automation can help you get real results out of your content marketing in far less time.
4. SEO matters more than what you actually write.
Keyword stuffing is so five years ago. And even though plugging in keywords and maxing them out in a “natural way” has been the backbone of content marketing for years, there’s not a lot of proof this method of SEO actually works!
The reasons for this are many, but they all come back to the fact that Google changes their algorithms at least 500 times a year. That’s a lot to keep up with!
So instead of cramming a blog post with keywords, focus instead on writing quality stuff.
To start, create user personas and write content that you (and they) find useful, interesting, and sharable. Because let’s face it – if you’re not writing stuff people actually want to read, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. (Especially yours.)
Creating timely and relevant content is a no-brainer. Having a content strategy that’s a mix of the latest news or trends in tandem with evergreen content – like thought leadership posts or best practices that you can recycle (see Myth #3 above) – will get you more search engine love.
From a small business/entrepreneurial perspective, it’s more important to share what you write in the right places. This gives more people a chance to read your content, and gives you a chance to outrank the competition who have a head start on you, SEO-wise.
Creating content isn’t easy, but don’t panic! If nothing else, remember these key points as you’re developing your content strategy:
- Don’t worry about “tips and tricks” to get noticed by search engines — focus on building a library of quality content
- Write what you know and write for your audience — make it relatable and useful.
- Be patient, but do what you can to maximize the number of people who see your content through social media by automating and repeating your posts..
Remember: Without content, the internet would be empty. So worry less and write more!