How Entrepreneurs Fool Themselves Everyday about Content Strategy

We are told “less is more” so often, but I feel like so few people actually put this maxim into practice in their daily lives or in their professional endeavors. Part of that is cultural: We’re a country built on excess and the celebration of it. If you don’t believe me, watch what happens during Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Back-to-back, we celebrate what we’re thankful for and then trample our fellow man to get the latest shiny doohickey.

It manifests itself in entrepreneurship when business folks talk about what my main trade is: content. Affiliate marketing, black hat vs. white hat SEO and so and so on. But the prevailing thing I hear people talk about is “we always need more content.” I talk about it, too, but that’s because it’s my job at NBC. Inc. Well provides a service to the community, so it makes sense for us to produce a certain amount of it daily.

The distinction is that NBC Chicago is a business, but Inc. Well is not. So the rules I follow don’t apply for you or your business. If you’re producing content for your site to attract readers you want to turn into conversions, I posit that most of you are probably making far too much of it.

John Jantsch, the author of the very excellent “The Referral Engine,” did a post somewhat about this topic in early April over at Duct Tape Marketing. He completely nails it when he writes:

“In an attempt to feed the content beast many marketers have lost focus on the narrative of who they are, why they do what they do and why their customers are attracted to their brands. In effect, we’re attempting to write about everything and in doing so connecting with nothing. Before content will truly serve as an effective community attracting and building mechanism, it must be laced with a potent dose of focus.”

Focus is the key word here, obviously.

Jantsch suggests several ways you can focus your content strategy in the aforementioned link. I’d suggest it might help if you do persona marketing, an approach where you literally draw a picture of your target customer and list out the things that are relevant to them.

If you aren’t focusing, you’re just wasting your time. Few things in life are literally a waste, but you have no game plan and so are basically biding time until you burn out.

And that’s bad. 

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

Contact Us