Content marketing is a long game.
In one way, that’s excellent — because all of your lazy or undisciplined competitors are going to drop out.
In another way, it sucks, because we all have days when we’re lazy and undisciplined.
In the early days, we can get by on adrenaline and enthusiasm. But as the months pass, we need some strategies to stay in love with that blog, video channel, or podcast.
Here are 10 strategies I’ve found helpful when you don’t want to quit, but you need to get a little bit of the magic back.
1. Read outside your topic
When you’re mastering a new subject, it’s only natural to immerse yourself in it. You’ll read, watch, and listen to content obsessively while you pick up nuances and new ideas.
It’s a bit of a honeymoon with your topic … you can’t keep your hands off of it.
But honeymoons don’t last forever, and an obsessive focus on only your topic will quickly become boring for you … and for your audience.
Recognize when it’s time to turn your attention outside your topic. In the past year, I got a bit obsessed with urban sketching — and that sparked hundreds of insights about creativity and the artist’s mindset.
We recently decided to add a puppy to our household, and my obsessive immersion in research on puppy training is already giving me ideas about persuasion and shaping audience behavior.
Focusing outside your topic will make you smarter inside your topic.
It will also keep you interested and engaged.
2. Incorporate a new medium
Reading outside your primary topic will give you all kinds of new ideas to create content around.
But you can also create content in a new medium or format. If you’re a terrific writer, have you ever thought about launching a podcast or video channel?
Shaping your ideas to a new format will make you look at your topic with fresh eyes — and that keeps things more interesting for everyone.
3. Keep a “sketchbook”
Remember my urban sketching obsession?
Lots of visual artists keep sketchbooks handy all the time. They can capture a compelling face or gesture, an entrancing cityscape, or just an interesting collection of shapes and lines in a group of coffee pots.
I’d advise any content marketer to keep a journal for capturing ideas on the fly, scraps of dialogue, names or URLs of content you want to check out, and even the occasional doodle.
It’s our job as creative people to “make something out of nothing.” And that, of course, is an illusion. We create content out of our observations and the connections we make between them.
It’s a lot easier to do that when you make a consistent habit of capturing those observations.
4. Get a new outfit
For most of us, our site design should be clean and classic … but that doesn’t mean (at all) that it needs to be boring.
Sometimes, sprucing up your site with a new design can make you see it with completely fresh eyes.
If your site design is looking a little tired, or you just want to spice things up, a new premium WordPress theme can give you the fun of a makeover, without draining your bank account or taking up every minute of your free time to make the switch.
5. Let go of the tedious stuff
Sometimes it’s not your topic you’re tired of … it’s all of the boring work that goes into keeping your site running.
WordPress updates, security patches, theme updates, plugin updates … every one of those offers that wonderful combination of stressful and boring.
Once you’ve been spoiled by the ease of a solution like StudioPress Sites to handle that stuff for you, you won’t want to go back. Fortunately, StudioPress Sites includes a lot of functional power for a super reasonable price, so you won’t have to.
6. Hold a Q