“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson
I bet you’re wondering why I started this post off with such a deep, sensitive quote. Well, there’s a method to my madness and always a reason to all my rambles. Hang tight with me…
When you’re in the thick of planning and creating content, do you find yourself dreading it and putting it off as long as possible? We’ve all been there once or twice – it happens. Some days we’re a bit more creative and productive, while others we struggle to find the motivation and originality to get just one sentence down. I was in a bit of a “writing rut” last week, and lemme tell ya, it was tough. However, I didn’t give up. And I let myself sit in the rut for a bit to let that feeling sink in…you know, that crappy one where you feel bad because you couldn’t get one thing done. Like I said, it happens. But it’s all part of the journey of a content marketer.
Just like with traveling, or even life, content marketing is not a linear path with the end goal of being “done.” If that were the case, we would be missing out on a lot of sights, memories, and of course, content. Instead, content marketing is more about the process, not the end goal. While it’s great to have goals and benchmarks to hold yourself accountable and keep you on track, if everything we did as content marketers was pre-determined by a specific posting date, our jobs wouldn’t be as fun as they are (most of the time, right?).
Like I said, content marketing is more than just an end goal. It starts with a lot of brainstorming, a good amount of planning, researching, and then you start to really get your hands dirty – writing, editing, rewriting, editing again, getting a second set of eyes, adding the final touches, and sending it off into the universe. So, with this entire journey, if we were focused on just clicking ‘send,’ it would make everything else that goes into content marketing drag – and it wouldn’t be fun anymore. It would be more of a chore and no one likes chores. But, have no fear – we’ve narrowed down a few tips from the Content Marketing Institute to help you be the best content marketer possible.
- Enjoy the ride. We hinted at this one above, but we’re talking about it again because it’s pretty darn important. If you’re constantly counting down to being done with every project, you will never be able to produce your best content, nor will you ever enjoy it – you’ll always be ticking something off your to-do list and moving on to the next. Train yourself to enjoy the process. You don’t have to love every part (we’re not that crazy), but you do have to find aspects of it that you truly enjoy and thrive off doing. Whether that be researching fun new topics, brainstorming ideas with your team, or sitting outside to get a few drafts done – find what works for researching fun new topics, brainstorming ideas with your team, or sitting outside to get a few drafts done – find what works for you.
- Quality and quantity…is it possible? We’ve emphasized the importance of sharing quality work before– we all know that the higher your quality, the more likely it is to get more clicks, shares, and returning readers. But can you have quality and quantity? Possibly. We’re not making any promises, but sometimes you find yourself in a groove and you’re able to bang out a few really good pieces that can set you up for a few weeks (or not…it all depends on your timeline). The reality is that if you hold yourself to higher standards, your work will reflect that. Everyone is average and mediocre – be extraordinary.
- Be your own toughest critic. While it’s easy to write one piece and move on to the next, a truly great content marketer completes their piece and goes back to it – over and over. Having another set of eyes read your material is great, but reading your own aloud and really going over what you have written will not only allow you to find mistakes and tweak it to be the best draft possible, it will also result in you becoming a better writer. People are usually too lazy to do this because they just want to be done. But taking part in this vital step will separate you from the mediocre content marketers. Happy reading!
If you have any questions about RenderTribe and what we do, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.