We started to write the Chop Dawg content calendar. And then we scrapped it. So what’s next?
Mason Carter wrote this article
To the readers of the Chop Dawg blog,
2016 was the year of content investment and consistency for Chop Dawg. It was the year of writing content that mattered to us.
Inbound marketing blogs will always tell you that content is king.
But what does that really mean?
Let’s be honest with each other: we are a business, and we do love bringing in new clients.
But most company blogs write for the hope of a sale. And that is really, really boring.
Finding new business through content writing has been great for us and it allows for stronger relationships out of the gate.
But writing content has not been the most efficient way to bring in new business. But if we didn’t write, we’d be missing something.
There’s no thrill in standing still. And what’s a surefire way to stand still?
Talking at people.
Writing content is not just an opportunity to create impact for people BUT FOR THE CHOP DAWG TEAM TO LEARN FROM YOU. Positively impacting lives creates a ripple effect that will eventually reach our business and make us better at what we do.
And if you’re not using content as a way to communicate with people at scale, you’re missing an opportunity.
What content marketing gets wrong a lot of the time is that it is not interested in starting a discussion.
Chop Dawg is a people business. We are a team, we have our resources/tools, and we have our clients. That’s it when you break it down to the nuts and bolts.
If we don’t talk to people, our business will wither away.
Just talk is cheap, our relationships with you need to be impactful.
So to move ahead and have an impact, it can’t be understated how important it is to create content that people feel like they have a hand in.
The question for 2017 is, what will it take for us to talk and understand each other? The means need to have more impact than the ends.
We’ll consider our new approach to content a failure if we don’t achieve the above.
Our end goal in writing content is to offer you a service. But the end service that you get depends on how your needs and how much you want to engage.
We hope that some of our readers will turn to clients, but just because you don’t become a client doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have a relationship.
Yes, we are a company. And a company’s presence on social media seems unnatural. But let’s really try to be friends. Let’s teach each other something first, then get down to business if we both decide we want to.
An ineffective way to reach our readers: brainstorm with each other and keep the conversations isolated to Slack messages. It’s not that it’s bad to brainstorm together, but groupthink happens when you only talk to one another.
And then the cardinal sin: planning content in advance without talking to other people outside of the company about it.
This is why we scrapped the content calendar.
Writing a bunch of essays in advance without discussing it with you first just isn’t the best way to start a dialogue or utilizing our readers
The problem arises when you don’t take community building far enough on social and assume what people want to read.
Never, never, ever, EVER assume that what is important to us is automatically important to you.
Now that we’ve scrapped creating our content calendar, what’s next?
I’m a new face to the Chop Dawg team. As the company’s Marketing Director, one of my many ambitions is to evolve Chop Dawg’s blog into an online publication that you think about reading when you aren’t even reading it. You tell your friends to watch our videos. Our content makes you want to talk to us.
But most important of all, the blog is not a tool to make sales. It is about the means instead of the ends. We are starting a dialogue because we still have a lot to learn too.
So how do we do this?
Our new approach to content. 2017 is going to be the year of reciprocity.
We are bringing you into our content marketing fold so that we can work together to make some amazing content. Below are some ways that you can get involved in building content with us.
1. We want to collaborate on our content calendar with you. So at the beginning of each week, we’ll be sending you our plan on the topics that we have planned.
Where these posts go is dependent on the dialogue that we share on building out each post. Each
Each week, we’ll send you our content plan for the week. You’ll get insight into our planning process, how we think, and then be able to contribute so that we write about what you’re interested in learning. We’ll take everyone’s suggestions, see what works (we’ll be transparent with you if something works or not) and then blast ahead.
How to get in on this: Sign up to be a part of the Weekly Chop Dawg Content Plan. Have your say in what we write about and also get quoted.
2. We’re also furthering our team’s experimental mindset this year. The key here is transparency and honesty. These are the real experiments that we’ll be doing to improve our company and our lives.
We’ll show you how we do it. And if you want to know how you can do it yourself, remember that we will always respond to your comments and emails as long as you put thought and effort into them.
How to get in on this: Sign up for the Chop Dawg Weekly Experiments Digest.
3. We are going in a new direction with guest posting. Since we want our content to fit with the theme and voice of Chop Dawg, we’ll be writing collaborative posts instead, working together on the content.
And that doesn’t mean you have to be famous, either. We are interested in collaborating with people who great ideas and experiences. We’re going to get started by reaching out to people on our own, but we’ll open this up to the Chop Dawg reading community as the year goes on (probably around summer)
4. We want to write posts that ask open ended questions. Let’s start a dialogue together.
So these posts will be less about pieces that we are writing ourselves but about introducing a concept so that we can open the flow to the discussion.
For example, we may ask a question like this:
What makes you comment on a post?
Then we’ll provide some background, add some opinions of seasoned writers, and then open the floor. You’ll have an opportunity to reflect on your psychological process when reading, which may be beneficial to your own writing (it’ll also help us with our own process!)
As more comments come in, we’ll expand the post to include your insights.
How to get in on this: Sign up for our Weekly Discussions Mailing List.
Finally, we are acknowledging that there is never an absolute way to do anything. Our content approach will evolve over the next year, and we’re looking forward to working with everyone on this. Who is “everyone”? We are excited to find out and hope to find out through the power of content.
Let’s ready for one hell of a year!
All of the best for 2017,
Mason North Carter (Chop Dawg’s Marketing Director)