Abridged with the author’s permission from Marketing Profs Daily Fix.
This year, my husband and are getting some yard work done, and the landscaper offered plant a garden for me. I really considered this as I thought, “Hey this is my opportunity! Getting started is always the tough part, right?” But then I got realistic. Even though the garden would be planted, it would need daily care and more time than I have to commit right now.
My experience with thinking through the vegetable garden is very similar to what I think marketers should do when considering any content project that requires constant feed and care, such as a blog, e-newsletter, website, social media presence, etc.
I’m sure we’ve all been on websites where the blog hasn’t been updated in months. It looks worse to have an out-of-date blog than no blog at all.
Or perhaps you have gotten random emails from a vaguely familiar company. Maybe you downloaded a white paper from them a few months ago? Without context, though, these random emails from companies are largely meaningless.
So what is a marketer to do? Here are my four things to think about before deciding if you should take on a new content marketing project. I’m using blogging in this example, but it applies to any type of marketing activity that needs constant care.
1. Start small.
Do you think you want to blog? Instead of setting up your own blog and getting a few posts out there, try guest posting on other blogs. Or write your first 10 posts. Not only will you understand if this is something that you like to you like to do and get a better idea of how long it takes, but you’ll also have an arsenal of posts ready for times when the unexpected happens (and yes, the unexpected always happens).
2. Realize that every project has an opportunity cost.
If you want to blog, that’s great! But recognize that it’s quite a time commitment, and you’ll likely have to give up doing something else. That’s not a bad thing, but when you think about your projects in that light, it can sometimes clarify what you should be focusing on.
3. Enlist the help of others.
One of the best ways to maintain a project such as a blog is to work with others. I was very fortunate to join forces with five other marketers last year who are now known as my “Savvy Sisters” to start the blog Savvy B2B Marketing. I’m a huge proponent of the group blog where you can spread out the workload and rely on each other’s strengths to figure out most issues that arise.
Here’s the most important thing: Once you decide you are going to do something, quite simply, you need to do it—and do it consistently. Joe Pulizzi calls this your content promise, but it means that you need to deliver when you say you are going to deliver. To help you commit, create a schedule, and stick to it. And if you can’t commit, wait until you can.
I’m certainly not suggesting that you never start a new project, but be realistic about the ongoing maintenance and care that is required before diving in.
Michele is the Executive Editor of the Content Marketing Institute and a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B Marketing.