How to stop falling off the content marketing wagon

Unless you’re lucky enough to be focussing only on content marketing, chances are that creating new blogs, articles and other content falls squarely in the "important-but-not-urgent" category.

Your new content strategy probably started with a hiss and a roar – you’ve seen the traffic spikes when you share content and you know it’s an easy way to bring in new leads. You also know that fresh, shareable, readable content is the key to great search rankings – keywords are like, so 2019. So yes – this content marketing strategy is going to kill. Woo!

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But (and there’s always a but), a month or two in, blogs start to slip off the to-do list. You miss a deadline and then another until your News section is really more of an Olds section. It’s what I call the law of diminishing intent – the longer you leave a "not-urgent" project, the less likely it will happen.

Google marks down dormant sites  

We see this all the time – and this is with clients who aren’t even writing their own content. When you’re crazy busy, even taking the time to decide on a topic each month and then review our work seems almost impossible – especially when nothing really bad will happen if you let it slide. You won’t get any clients yelling down the phone that your article is late, and no one will refuse to pay, or fire you if you let your blog get dusty for a year.

But the damage is more subtle. Every time Google indexes your site and nothing’s changed, your site gets a little black mark – it assumes that sites left static are more likely to have old, out-of-date and lower-quality information (read more in our take on the 2023 Google content update). Every time someone connects with a competitor’s fresh content (and not yours) is an opportunity you’ve missed. Every time you miss that spike of traffic, your website slips just a little more in the rankings. Like most things in life, with SEO, if you’re doing nothing, you’re going backwards.

That’s a terrifying prospect, until you realise that this is actually an opportunity. Because very few companies – of any size –  are doing their content marketing well. It’s simply not a priority.  

That means that right now, you could stake a forward position simply by being consistent with your content.

Thanks, internet writer – tell me something I don’t know.

Ok, we’ve already established that getting blogs out is deceptively difficult – and totally worth doing. So, how do you sidestep the law of diminishing intent and get fresh content up on your site regularly? Here are my top strategies.

Plan topics ahead of time

Your heart sinks every Thursday because your copywriter is calling about a topic for next week’s blog. It’s a small, annoying frog you have to eat every week when you’ve got a million other, way more important things to do.

That’s why I always recommend planning ahead. Instead of haranguing clients for topics each week, we sit down twice a year and work out an overarching strategy. Then we boil it down into topics that go into a schedule. Hey presto: blogs appear, hot and fresh, each month. This makes for more efficient, more enjoyable work for us – but it’s even more amazing for our clients. Here’s why:

1. You only have to brief us once

2. You can build other marketing activities around your blog topics.

3. You can stop thinking about your blogs for most of the year. They just happen.

Plan content to support other business strategies

Our content planning sessions always start with one question – what do you want to achieve? These blogs aren’t just a chance to get your dynamic content up. They can and should support your other business activities too. Maybe you’ve just launched into a new market, or you’ve been dealing with the same problem over and over again and would like to educate people. Maybe you want to boost one part of your business or target a particular new audience or kind of project. Blogs can do that – we’ll just create content ideas around those goals.

Have a few spares

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but things change. What was true in business three months ago might not be quite as true now. Since we won’t be writing blogs about, say, the latest stock market prices, you can safely assume that most of your planned topics will still be relevant. But you might want to add an extra news article responding to an event, tweak a figure or pull a topic altogether because it suddenly doesn’t work. In those cases, we’ll always have a few spare topics waiting in the wings – that way we can swap them out without too much hassle.

Get on a roll with content and get ahead

So there it all is on paper – the easier way to get rolling with a content plan you’ll actually commit to. And like eating well or going to the gym, it’s about getting someone else to do the motivating for you. That’s us.

What to talk about how we can make sure your content happens? Get in touch.

Helen Steemson

The lead copywriter and creative director at Words for Breakfast. She spends much of her time working with the copy writing team across a variety of projects.