In this post, I will cover some of the biggest content marketing strategy blunders. You can also get exclusive access to a free worksheet that will help you plan, prepare and perfect your content so that your strategy kicks major butt, so be sure to sign up now to get access to this worksheet and many others in my resource centre.
Working as a freelance copywriter and content strategist, I see content plan fails happen on the regular. In fact, very often, I am called in to help fix mistakes that someone else has made. While many clients know what they want to say, they do not always know how to devise a clear, workable strategy that allows their message to come across in the best way possible.
There is also a fair amount of confusion between an editorial plan and a content strategy. Both deal with content, but they are still quite different. A planner typically outlines post ideas for a blog over any given time frame. A strategy, on the other hand, looks at the bigger picture, taking blog, website and social content into account along with factors such as audience, SEO, goals and content type.
So, with that in mind, it's not surprising that sometimes, mistakes happen. What exactly are some of the mistakes made most often? More importantly, how can you save yourself time (and effort) by avoiding them? Let's have a look.
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Top Content Strategy Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
In no particular order, here are some of the biggest content marketing strategy no-nos…
 No strategy. Seriously, this has got to be the biggest blunder of them all. Without a strategy, you will end up tirelessly slugging away without ever getting anywhere. You ALWAYS need a plan. Always.
 Forgetting the bigger picture. Over and beyond having a strategy, you need to be aware of your bigger picture. What are your goals? Where is your content going? What is the point to it all?
 Forgetting search engine optimisation. I could write a book on SEO copywriting, but until that happens, let me just say that content and SEO go hand in hand like a married couple. The happy kind though, not the fighty kind.
 Not thinking of your audience. If you are not thinking about the people who will be reading your content, how are you going to speak to them in a way that will make them want to buy your products/services?
 Not being realistic about timelines. It’s all very well to create a plan for daily content updates, social posts and rewritten category pages every Friday morning at 09h00 sharp. But it’s probably more realistic to start small with a plan that you know that you will stick to religiously.
 Trying to DIY everything. You may be good at what you do, but unless that is online copywriting and/or content planning, you may not have the best luck writing content for your entire website.
 Being inconsistent. Whether in tone, style or even format and design, you need to have a clear flow that is consistent with your brand. Otherwise, your website, social channels and blog will look messy and unprofessional.
 Resorting to dodgy practices. Spam, click bait, bought links and other nasty techniques have no place in your content plans, and will not get you anything besides penalised in the search engines.
 Focusing on ‘newsy’ content only. Sure, newsy content is popular. We all love reading about the latest thing/event/whatever. The problem with this content is that it has a shelf life. Once it is out there and the news is old, the content is dead.
 Being too stuck on evergreen content. On the flipside, being so rigid about the strategy that you miss out on potential hot topics that will get shares and engage readers is also not ideal. Ideally, you need a mixture of evergreen (content that is always relevant) and seasonal (content aligned to holidays and seasonal events), with the odd newsy bit thrown in now and then.
 Failing to adapt and refine. A major part of any strategy is adapting and growing as you go. It is impossible to predict how well certain posts will do, certain keywords will rank and certain content is consumed. Adapt, refine and continue to improve all the time.
 Not planning ahead. It takes more preparation than you may think to develop a winning strategy. There are a few steps you need to take before you get going – missing them may affect your strategy’s success.
 Focusing only on blog content. Your blog may be an important part of your business, but it is not the only part. You also have on-site content and social content to think of and include in your strategy.
 Skipping over blog content. On the other hand, ignoring your blog altogether as you focus on building those category pages and/or that Facebook page is also unwise. It’s all about balance, after all.
 Making it all up as you go along. It has to be said – some peeps think that making up ideas and hoping for the best is the same as a comprehensive, well thought out strategy. You may end up having some luck, but chances are better that you will flounder instead.
P.S. Battling to get that content strategy going? Sign up now to get the content blunders worksheet and other must-have resources!