This time my post is about writing – and marketing (a bit). It started with just a title:
The neverending story of content
‘The neverending story’ refers to a story you may know. I watched the film (a long time ago, here’s a blog about movies you liked as a kid) on television and I read the book at some point. The book was originally written in German as “Die unendliche Geschichte”.
The film is actually just part 1: a boy who’s miserable in real life becomes a hero in the book he’s reading. His adventures in this fantasy world and his return to the real world take up the rest of the book. The main character spends a lot of time away from the real world – until he starts to forget it, and just about everything else. The last part of the book relates the struggle to get him back to his own reality.
Content is something a lot of people seem to spend all their time looking for and crafting. I’m busy doing pretty much that myself. It’s easy to forget why you wanted to blog when you first started – unless you wrote it down at the time. Along your blogging journey you need to remind yourself if you’re in it to write, or whether you had other goals in mind.
Is your blogging story about writing content or about content marketing?
Content creation and content marketing are two entirely different things. You don’t need to write a single blog post, or have produced a single video, to be a content marketer. It may help to have tried your hand at it so you know what it takes to create original, relevant content. And you may need to create content on a regular basis if no-one else is doing it.
The content marketing point of view
If you’re into content marketing, you won’t mind limiting the subjects you write about. You write only about subject X, which will get readers in and potential customers. If you want to write about anything else you do it elsewhere. If you lack inspiration to come up with relevant posts several times a week, you haul in guest bloggers to lower the pressure. Which is exactly what I see long-time bloggers like Jeff Bullas, Darren Rowse and others do. Of course they first put in a lot of work themselves.
Content as the result of your writing process
Like I stated in an earlier post, I started my blog because I wanted to write. So in marketing-style bloggers’ eyes I’m probably not a good blogger. That’s fine for now! I didn’t call this blog “Content Marketing Wiz” because I wasn’t expecting to take a marketing approach, even though I know a few things about marketing: I know a few things about a lot of things 🙂
Writing tip: If you want to practise your writing, start by writing about anything you are comfortable with – anything you know. It may be everyday life, or it may be SF because that’s what you read. Any topic will do when you start. Get used to the creative process and start to feel familiar with how it works. Explore any topic bit by bit. Share as you go along.
One blogger said by the time he was onto his third blog he knew more or less what he was doing, how he could get an audience and make a living through his blog.
So either take the business route from day one – or ramble along happily just like me. It won’t hurt – much 😉
To do (pick your own time): update your approach
At some point, you may find that your initial approach to blogging is no longer working for you. Think it over and then change it. Sometimes people just stop blogging – only to discover they can’t really not write any more. Not writing becomes an itch. It may take a while to happen, especially if you blogged til you ran dry. But it will happen – it will creep up on you eventually.
At some point, I may start a blog about art history. But the subject of art history is so far removed from where my career has brought me in the past 10-15 years it would take a lot of time and research to hit ‘Publish’ even once. I’d want to go out there and dig around in museums and archives. I’d need to take days off work. I must admit it sounds absolutely divine – but I’m not yet at the point where I’m willing to put the time and effort in. With a 3-year-old at home, I need my days off for family stuff and for ‘me-time’. Which may mean I take an extra nap to help me kick that flue-bug out the door. It’s that time of the year again!
More reading for writers
- Here’s a nice post about blogging for writers by Elizabeth S. Craig which I found in Gene Lempp’s post earlier this week.
- And Debra Johnson’s guest post on Jeff Bullas’ blog, which reminds me a lot of the tips I share in my earlier post about getting yourself to sit down and write.
Enjoy your writing experience! Share your thoughts about your blogging, content and other neverending stories in a comment.
This is great. You have a teacher’s style, I reckon. You lay it out simply & as you speak, you give the impression, ‘you can do this’.
Re the Neverending Story. I was an usherette at the cinema when that came out. I remember seeing it for free, and loving it.
Ah… I can’t hide 🙂 I’ve always loved making sense of so-called complicated stuff.
I loved watching the Neverending Story. The only way to not love it is by having one’s cynical ‘adult’ self comment on all the things that, in the end, don’t matter.