Unf*ck Your Content Marketing

A Serial Strategist’s Guide to Getting on Track

Confession time: I’m a bit of a pack rat. I’m not talking hoarder-level, but there always seems to be too much stuff in my house.

Last year, to get myself on track to declutter, I started listening to the audiobook Unf*ck your Habitat. I loved the chapters I made it through (before being distracted by the latest thriller) because the author gave me hope that I could clean up my sh*t.

Aside from the domestic practicalities, two overarching concepts stuck with me.

First was the idea of unf*cking something. This isn’t merely fixing a problem but finding its root and addressing it to prevent future f*ck-ups.

The second concept, breaking things down into manageable pieces, focuses on making progress through baby steps.

These concepts are simple but powerful when applied diligently.

And, you know what? They can be applied to more than just personal goals, like content marketing.

Why it’s okay to f*ck up your content marketing

The good news is that to f*ck up your content marketing means you need to have content in the first place.

Having some content, even if it’s not performing as you’d like, is way better than having zero content. Why? Because content gives you a place to begin measuring, understanding what works, and improving.

Without any content, you have to start from scratch, then wait until you have enough data to understand what’s working, then adjust, then wait, and, oh, by the way, continue to push out more content to make sure you’re feeding the Google machine and keeping your audience engaged…

Get the idea?

But, by having some content, you’re already primed for taking it to the next level.

So, if you’ve got some content, buck up. You’re already in the game.

There a few steps to take to begin unf*cking your content. We’ll explore each in turn.

1. Understand Current Performance

How do you know what’s working and what’s not?

Or, put differently, why do you think your content isn’t working?

Is it because you haven’t gotten the traffic you want? Or that you’ve invested some serious cash into your content and haven’t seen much ROI?

Perhaps the biggest misconception I’ve seen with my own clients has been unrealistic expectations about how quickly it will take to rank for content.

One of my clients asked me what it would cost to “own” the organic rankings for a few keywords. This client is an incredibly sharp businessperson but didn’t understand that content marketing isn’t like advertising strategies that allow you to pay to play.

Content can take months or even years to begin to drive desired results. BUT, once you start to gain traction, your content will work its magic.

Take a peek at your traffic and the time people spend on your site and their behavior flow and all the other metrics that Google throws at you.

But spend more time understanding the conversion value of your content. It doesn’t matter if 10 million people visit your site unless enough of those people sign up or reach out or buy from you.

By establishing your content’s current baseline, you’ll get a fuller picture of how well new efforts to improve your content’s performance are working.

2. Create/Realign Goals

Once you understand your content’s current performance, you need to figure out what successful content looks like. What’s the point of your content marketing? What do you want content marketing to do for your business?

If you haven’t created goals for your content, how will you know if it’s performing well?

By defining clear, reachable goals, you’ll have a tangible method for tracking your content’s performance and where adjustments need to be made.

Maybe you want your content to drive lots of traffic to your site. Figure out how much traffic you want and align your strategy (see below) accordingly.

Or perhaps you want to close $10k/month in business with leads you get from your content. Determine which content pieces you have that support that goal and what’s missing.

Ultimately, without delineating goals for your content, you won’t know if the content you have is doing anything but taking up space on your website.

3. Develop/Adjust Your Content Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve established goals, you need a strategy for reaching them. Content strategy boils down to one question:

How are you using your content to achieve your goals?

A lot of content marketers get so hung up on ensuring that their content is SEO-friendly, optimized for social, and distributed far and wide without realizing that without strategy, any success will be dumb luck.

For a win to be a success it has to be repeatable.

So, what’s your strategy for using your content to reach your goals?

Maybe you need to create more evergreen content to reach your goal of increasing website traffic to your site.

Or maybe you need some lead-gen resources to offer to convert your visitors into clients.

Whatever your content goals are, they need a solid strategy for how to use the content you have (and the content you need to develop) to meet those goals.

The Bottom Line

No matter where you are with your content and its performance, cut yourself some slack. Content marketing isn’t a strictly scientific endeavor. There are a lot of moving parts behind successful content.

The most important part of content marketing, by far, is putting material out there that offers value to your target audience.

The rest can be unf*cked whenever you’re ready.