Hardest Part of Online Marketing

CCarter

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I'm thinking there is a missing puzzle piece that most don't get so, I wanted to ask the audience: As an SEO or Marketer doing this online thing, what's the most challenging part of the equation for you? Here are some bullet-points that I came up with off the top of my head - assuming you have a niche, a website already up & running, or an online business that is growing:

  • Targeting Audience - Figuring out who your target audience is.
  • Brainstorming Content - coming up with ideas that will hit home with your audience.
  • Creating Content - actually writing the content pieces out.
  • Implementing Content - putting the content up on the site and on-page optimizing it.
  • Promoting Content - beyond SEO and simple social media, to get traction so the industry and audience is aware it exists.

Out of those 5, which ones do you have the most trouble with?
 
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Definitely promoting content.
 
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For me, I would say the thing I have most trouble with is actually creating the content.

It's not 'hard' for me to write content. I can do it, and often do it well if I set my mind to it, however it is not the most enjoyable part of internet marketing. Out of everything on that list, I would say it is the hardest, because it takes a lot of will power to do it. Often if I'm exhausted, it will be left on the backburners.

I'm taking this into account for my next website. It should be easier because the subject matter I'm writing about is something I personally enjoy. However, after I have discovered the "voice" I want to use for the site, I will likely outsource the writing.
 

Jitsiereveld

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Definitely creating the content for me, but I've never really liked writing.
 

CCarter

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For those that say promotion isn't the problem, how are you guys currently promotion your content outside of SEO and dropping links on social media? And are you getting desired results? (Can you give me an idea of results you are getting)
 
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I struggle to promote content.

Although as I improve with the other four steps, I'm finding the promotion gets easier (funny that :smile:)
 
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Definitely promoting content.
Agree this is the most difficult for me - especially if you have multiple sites + an offline business + clients. For social I use Hootsuite but I don't just like to do text updates. I like to find graphics, video, etc. to add to the post so that's where I really get stuck.

Luckily for me, writing is the easiest part - when I have time to fit it in between everything else. What I do now is use my phone as my writing journal. I use the phone dictation to capture my thoughts and let's me speak in a natural speaking language that turns out to be good for human readers (not bots). I do this while I'm driving, in between meetings, etc. and before you know it you've got a lot of text you can refine into a good, 500+ word article.
 
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The problem is that I see all of @CCarter 's points as connected. They all impact the decision of how the other point is executed.

Finding the middle ground between all of these is what gets me high.
 

Jitsiereveld

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I agree @Raymond Luo, I didn't say my promotion was the worst but it hasn't been going that great either. Since I don't like writing, creating the content the hardest part for me which has left me with very little great content to promote in the first place. I love building stuff and figuring things out, I just wish I could learn or figure out how to enjoy and become a better writer.
 

CCarter

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I just wish I could learn or figure out how to enjoy and become a better writer.
Why do you think YOU have to be a writer? Why not just bulletpoint the ideas, get source material supporting your ideas that you want written about and then send it off to a person that enjoys writing? Wouldn't you writing slow down the whole process of generating revenue if it requires you to write 100% of the content?
 

Jitsiereveld

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@CCarter Yeah, you're right, I need to spend more time focusing on the things I'm good at and have someone else do those other things for me. It totally slows down the process having to write everything myself.
 
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I struggle with promotion - mainly because I don't know how to outsource it.
 

RiverStyx

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brainstorming the content is where I get hung up - working alone on projects without anyone to bounce ideas off of seems to make it really difficult for me, if I can talk with someone for about 20 mins then I can figure it out no problem.

Sometimes it seems that all the articles have already been written and I don't want to just rehash old crap so I'm always trying to think of something new and unique and I think that may be the wrong approach because then nothing ends up happening. I suffer from some perfectionism that I'm trying to get over.
 

ari

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For those that say promotion isn't the problem, how are you guys currently promotion your content outside of SEO and dropping links on social media? And are you getting desired results? (Can you give me an idea of results you are getting)
Start treating it like the pr that it's supposed to be, figure out what your target audience wants to hear about (not what you want to tell them) and away we go.

Ryan holiday's trust me I'm lying is good. Peter Shankman's can we do that is also not bad.
 
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Out of those 5, which ones do you have the most trouble with?
Hate to cop out, but I think it's niche dependent.

In boring niches, it's, by a mile, promotion.

But in fast, news-related niches, it's speed and quality of content.

In entertainment, expectations for fun/exciting/engaging content is so much higher.

Bit of a loaded question, tbh.
 

CCarter

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Bit of a loaded question, tbh.
It has to be when there is an end goal and you are basing the experiment off a defined hypothesis - otherwise you get random answers that get no one anywhere and off on tangents that have nothing to do with the original purpose of the experiment nor help conclude the hypothesis.

Everything I've ever said was loaded - how else do you guide those without understanding? If it was opened ended you'd get responses like "making a logo". ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ That won't help with what's to come.

Your "cop out" clearly suggests you see the forest for the trees but the underlying reason for the question should hint it's not targeting someone who understands the trees make up the forest.

You know the solution. I know the solution. However it just struck me like a lightening bolt from Zeus that there is a larger segment of people that don't understand the problem - understand?

Sometimes it seems that all the articles have already been written and I don't want to just rehash old crap so I'm always trying to think of something new and unique and I think that may be the wrong approach because then nothing ends up happening. I suffer from some perfectionism that I'm trying to get over.
Why do you have to re-invent the wheel or come up with something that is "unique"? Most content pieces are rarely original, most are just a little "better" than the previous, and always built off something else that came before it. It's one big remix if you think about it.
 
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Seconded the loaded question bit... But only because I'd say point number 5 is the hardest, simply because if your brainstorming and creating is off just a bit, promoting just got much harder (or impossible if you missed the mark on any previous point!)

Sooooo, all 5? :smile:

But if narrowed, it's these two:
  • coming up with ideas that will hit home with your audience.
  • get traction so the industry and audience is aware it exists.
 
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Promoting content is the hardest part for me.

It is something I really want to get a lot better at so I am not as reliant on more mainstream traffic sources such as adwords and organic search.
 

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For me the hardest has been having enough health/energy to sit in front of the computer all day every day and feel inspired about the internet marketing. :D Do we work to live or live to work?

But out of the list of 5, the hardest is definitely promoting content. Although creating truly amazing content is equally hard. Really great content has to be not made up of regurgitated ideas, but something that pushes the whole niche forward, pushes humanity forward. So it is hard to do that, but chances are if you are on the cutting edge, you might need less promotion to grab audiences attention. People are hungry for real stuff, people are tired of another marketing-scheme.
 
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Kevin

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  • Targeting Audience - Figuring out who your target audience is.
  • Brainstorming Content - coming up with ideas that will hit home with your audience.
  • Creating Content - actually writing the content pieces out.
  • Implementing Content - putting the content up on the site and on-page optimizing it.
  • Promoting Content - beyond SEO and simple social media, to get traction so the industry and audience is aware it exists.
Current hardness-levels of your bullets for me:

1. Targeting audience: 1/10
2. Brainstorming Content: 2/10
3. Creating Content: 5/10 (more tedious than hard, though)
4. Implementing Content: 7/10 (more annoying than hard, though)
5. Promoting Content: 8/10 (this is less well-solved for me and my properties right now, but not technically 'hard')

I think the better word is actually annoying or tedious, because that signals that it's something you have to do but is below your per-hour worth for your highest value tasks. For me, implementing and promoting are must-do tasks that cost at least 2x less than what my time is worth for the highest-value output tasks I can do.
 

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Creating content which will be interesting enough to be shareable once I promote it.

Especially for less interesting niches. For exemple, it is easier for me to create a piece of content for a yoga studio client since I can look around the web what was shared and what I find interesting and build around those ideas.

However, when it comes to create content for a home inspector I have difficulty to find ways to create content which surround the services, but invite the leads to be captivated by the content in the way I present this content.

The best way I found to create content is go read or watch one channel and use those ideas on another channel.

Or market to market, for exemple i will go look around the alarm system market what kind of nice content was created and when it match some I could do for home inspections I will use formatting that may have struck me a great
 
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hardest part of the daily grind is recognizing when slippery mental slopes, time wasters and distractions start creeping / taking over the day.

One brain fart can lead to a shirt storm of unproductivity that can lasts days.
 

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None of the available options are what I consider the hardest part of IM, but out of the options presented, I would say defining your target audience is the most crucial component, and the hardest to nail correctly. If you intimately know who your audience is (and their needs, desires, likes/dislikes, pain points, etc..)and their favorite channels, everything else just kinda falls in place.

But delineating the various segments of your audience can be very time consuming and tricky at the beginning of a project (a bit easier once the ball is rolling and you can survey your users and gather more intimate data).

A system that listens to and filters your general audience's comments on Reddit, Quora, social pages, blog posts, product review pages, and forums, and helps you build personas/profiles for each segment would be very helpful.
 

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I think the hardest part of online marketing is staff retention.

The low barriers to entry, massive quantity of wide open opportunities, and all or nothing style competition adds up to rational people being strongly incentivized to strike out on their own. Often taking the first steps while collecting salary from someone else.