Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.


But, of course, this high conversion isn’t achievable if you’re making some common content marketing mistakes.

Fortunately, these are some blunders that are quite easy to avoid.

So, let’s jump right into it.

most common content marketing mistakes to avoid

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Here are the biggest and most common content marketing mistakes:

1. Believing that it is just about creating content

It’s a widespread belief.

In reality, content marketing is more than just that.

It includes everything, right FROM drawing a buyer persona TO distributing the contents on the right platforms TO measuring the results.

2. Being thoughtless about distribution channels

For the majority, their website’s blog is the foremost (and only) distribution platform for their articles. They don’t look beyond it.

It’s a mistake!

To maximize the output of your content marketing efforts, you need to be thoughtful about where you’re distributing your content.

Social media platforms, Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, Quora, Reddit, Slideshare, Tumblr, HubPages, and more – there are many and many content distribution platforms.

3. Manually posting on social media platforms

You’re wasting an awful lot of time if you’re manually and individually posting on social media platforms.

Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sendible to manage all your social media under a single roof…

Use these tools to automate all your social media posts on one site.

Some of these tools, in their basic and free plans, offer sufficient features to get you started.

4. Publishing keywords-less content

Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand.

You must optimize all your content with relevant and targeted keywords.

It improves content’s discoverability, helping it rank higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Recommended Read: How to do keywords research for free in 11 minutes?

5. Not creating enough content

Unsurprisingly, content is the heart and soul of content marketing.

If there isn’t enough content, there isn’t much of marketing to do, right?!

Sadly, many marketers get so hung up on “quality” and the other parts of the process, they don’t produce enough content in the first place.

This is perhaps one of the biggest content marketing mistakes.

Recommended Read: How To Create Content Fast - 23 Tips That Will Change Everything

6. Promoting the content insufficiently

“Why would you create something if not to promote it.”

This quote from Larry Kim very well sums it up just how important is it to actively promote the contents you publish.

Remember, your blog posts won’t magically get organic and referral views if you don’t put them out in front of the target audience.

This also means, just posting the links on social media once in a blue moon won’t help you much.

You need to do it regularly… at least when it comes to pillar contents whose lifetime value is high.

7. Publishing with no link building strategy

This is another area where content marketing and SEO directly overlap.

When you publish a fresh and high-quality piece of content, you must link it in popular (and relevant) pages on your website.

This passes the SEO juice, helping the newly-published URL gain good link equity quickly.

Similarly, when you’re planning new content, you must have a proper strategy to get backlinks to this about-to-be published post from good websites.

For example, say you just published “Coding 101: A Beginner’s Guide From Pros” on your blog. Following, you can guest blog on the high-authority websites something like “7 Tips to Learn How to Code” and there link back to the post you just published on your own blog.

Such tactics improve the SEO-power of your content, which makes your efforts on content marketing more effective.

Sadly, so many content marketers do not think about this.

8. Not positioning content on the sales funnel

Your primary digital marketing goal is to sell. And for that, it’s essential to have a well-thought sales funnel for your products.

Now, when you create content, they must be positioned properly at the right stage of the sales funnel.

They must help funnel-down the target audience from one stage to another, towards conversion and retention.

9. Creating content without buyers persona

Who are you writing for? What are their problems? What kind of solutions are they looking for? What kind of content do they prefer to consume?

Having a buyer persona helps you answer these questions.

It helps improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your content.

10. Publishing with no purpose

It’s not difficult to find bloggers/marketers who publish new content for the sake of it, with no defined purpose.

(I was one of them!)

Why are you creating and publishing this blog post? If you don’t have an outlined goal for it, you’re wasting your time and energy.

11. Rushing to “Publish” without sufficient research work

Making opinionated and blanket statements in your content won’t bring much value to your target audience.

You need to include sufficient quotes, facts, and stats to make what you’re saying more reliable and trustworthy.

Many content writers and marketers rush to hit that “Publish” button without backing their content with the required research work.

This negatively affects the quality and effectiveness of their content, pushing their goals/purpose further away.

Recommended Read: 11 Magical Ingredients to Make Your Blog Post Trustworthy

12. Being clueless about the basic SEO steps

There’s a handful of SEO steps you must follow through the course of creating, publishing and distributing your content.

Like, using H1, H2, H3 tags carefully. Including sufficient images. Linking other pages on the site. And so much more.

This also means, having basic knowledge about search engine optimization is almost essential.

Many content marketers lag in this department. Their articles and posts are barely optimized.

Recommended Read:

13. Creating boring, static content

Nobody wants to engage with boring content… contents with no conversational and visual appeal.

No matter what value you’re dropping, your audience will eventually get bored and leave. They have many better alternatives out there.

14. Not using multimedia elements

Content marketing isn’t just about texts.

It’s just as much about images, videos, Infographics, slideshows, and other multimedia contents.

Obsessing just the texts is a common content marketing mistake. You’re leaving plenty of opportunities on the table.

Include multimedia content in your blog posts and webpages.

15. Forgetting about the old content

Repurposing and republishing your old blog posts are a big part of an effective content marketing strategy.

Regularly revamp your old posts. Add more value to them. Optimize them better.

Change their dates to the latest and republish them.

Recommended Read: Revamp, Repurpose Your Old Content To Boost SEO

16. Coming up with boring headlines

Which one would you rather click on…
  • 38 Content Marketing Mistakes You Make (But Your Competitors Don’t)
  • Here are some common content marketing mistakes you make
Which one?

Likely the first headline.

If you aren’t coming up with magnetic headlines, no one would click on your links – on SERP, as well as social media.

This simple mistake would destroy your content marketing strategy.

17. Not having a content calendar

When are you going to publish next? What topic will you cover? What keywords will you target? Who will you target with this content? Which platform are you producing this content for?

Such questions are important. A thorough content calendar is their answer.

It is VERY, VERY, VERY important to have a content calendar. Unfortunately, many don’t! They have no proper plan.

Recommended Read: How to Create a Content Calendar? (A Quick Step-by-Step Process)

18. Scared of experimenting with the strategy

Your how-to articles are doing great. Have you tried list-based content though? It could perform even better.

Similarly, you must be open to experimenting with the rest of your content marketing strategy – right from the content type/format to distribution channel to promotion frequency.

The more you experiment, the better alternatives will you find.

19. Having a dead email list

Why did you build an email list if you weren’t going to use it to accomplish your marketing goals?

Run (automated) email campaigns. Send highly-valuable emails. Keep your subscribers engaged.

Recommended Read: A Complete Guide to Free Email Automation on Mailchimp

20. Writing poor quality content

This is quite an evident problem. Another one of the biggest content marketing mistakes.

If you aren’t producing good quality content, everything else will fail no matter how clever your strategy is.

21. Not being consistent and regular in publishing

Today, quantity matters just as much as quality.

You need to produce high-quality, relevant content in large volume.

This requires you to be very consistent and regular in creating content for your blog, social media, and other platforms.

The more content, the better your chances of achieving your goals.

22. Too arrogant to learn from others

When you’re new in the game, you don’t know the rules. Looking at other players would give you a fair idea.

Similarly, when you’re stuck, just looking at what others are doing can unlock you a great many ideas.

Successful competitors are your greatest source of learning.

In content marketing, you should look at what they are doing.

And if it makes sense and if it fits your own distinct need, you should do the same thing (only much better than them).

There’s no such thing as “copying them”. You’re drawing inspiration from their work.

And if you’re too arrogant to do that, you’re just missing a big opportunity to climb the ladder fast without too much of trials and errors.

23. Not guest blogging

It gets you backlinks. It gives exposure to your brand. It wins you more audience, which converts into leads and sales.

There’s no reason why writing for others’ websites should NOT be a part of your content marketing strategy.

24. Monetizing your ToFu and MoFu content

A successful content marketing strategy is all about providing real value to the target audience up front.

First, you provide them value, and then you ask for something in return.

In Gary Vaynerchuk’s (@GaryVee) words, it’s “jab, jab, jab, right hook”.

You offer them what they are looking for, and then offer them some more and some more.

In the end, you “right hook”. You pitch your products or do whatever you’re trying to achieve.

Since that person has received so much value, the chances of conversion are extremely high.

This means, do not monetize your Top of the Funnel (ToFu) and Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) contents.

Do not put up a paywall on your blog posts. Do not sell eBooks right at the entry of the sales funnel. Do not monetize your subscription emails.

Sure, in the short run, this may look counter-intuitive to revenue. But in the long run, it promises plenty of rewards…

Higher conversion, more retention, better brand value. And when you enjoy better brand value, it’s automatically going to attract you more customers.

25. Creating time-centric content

Unless your niche really demands it, a large part of your focus should be on the pillar contents.

They remain evergreen, providing equally high value to the readers even a year from now.

On the other hand, time-centric contents get outdated and become useless.

This demands you to produce even more content, which is not possible if you are already doing it enough, in large volume.

A digital asset is built of pillar content.

Recommended Read: What is Pillar Content (And How It Can Increase Your Traffic)

26. Not using existing content in different formats

I can re-format this article on common content marketing mistakes in slides and produce it on LinkedIn’s Slideshare.

I can create Instagram Stories Highlight with these points.

I can create a whiteboard video with these many points and produce it on YouTube.

You can maximize the output of your existing content by producing them on different channels in native formats.

27. Being very promotional in the content

This is a fatal mistake!

Yes, your ultimate goal is to sell. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to make all your blog posts a pitch for the product.

Almost all of your Top of the Funnel contents must be with NO promotion.

They shouldn’t even remotely be related to your sales pitch.

Or, you’re only going to chase away your audience who came to know about you only now and doesn’t yet trust your brand.

They don’t want to be bombarded with “our product is the best….” “Purchase this”.

28. Not understanding the needs of the audience

Doing market research, creating a buyer persona and conducting competitive analysis – all these help here.

If you don’t understand the exact needs and preferences of your target audience, your content – no matter its high quality – is doomed to fail.

29. Falling victim to analysis paralysis

Thinking too much. Taking a lot of time in creating a well-defined strategy.

Trying to get everything perfect. Wasting too much time executing.

There are no “rules” for content marketing. With the fundamentals, you’ve got to figure out the rest yourself.

But you can’t do that if you’re thinking too much and not acting.

This is what happens to many marketers.

30. Short vs. long-form content: Choosing the wrong one

On different stages of the customer journey, the ideal length of your content must vary.

Because the need and intents of your consumers change over this journey.

For example, in the early stage, you might need to create long-form content to bring more value to the visitors and convince them about the solution. However, at the time of conversion and retention, relatively shorter content can do the trick.

This is just an example, of course.

Point is: You must recognize which is right for you and your content marketing goal – long or short form content.

Don’t blindly chase long-form content just because there is a pervasive belief that they rank higher on SERP.

Focus on bringing value to your audience.

And then be perceptive to the length of your contents accordingly, which should be native to your unique goals, buyer persona, and distribution platforms.

Recommended Read: The Myth of 1,890 Words Long Articles – Long Form Content And SEO

31. Not thinking about mobile users

The way mobile users consume online content is different vs. desktop users.

The kind of answers they are looking, the time they have, the call to action they want – these all vary.

So, unlike other content marketers, do not forget the distinct needs, requirements, and preferences of your mobile users.

Use analytics to know how many mobile users you get on your website. Find out about their browsing pattern and engagement with the contents.

And then improve your content marketing strategy keeping these metrics in mind.

(This is why I have a 2-minute read section here on Spell Out Marketing.)

32. Not providing substantial value

I know, I have talked about “value” a lot already. But it is something that cannot be said enough.

And it is something that marketers and business owners must realize. Sooner they realize, the better.

Remember, the most successful content marketing strategies are always consumer-centric. It is sales that’s business-centric.

Keep this vital distinction in mind when you’re struggling to draw a line between marketing and selling.

33. Having a voiceless brand

The content that you produce across all channels must have a unique and consistent voice.

It must have a uniform voice that appeals to your target audience – that defines your brand’s personality.

Your brand must have an inimitable voice…

Just like the voice (and tone, opinions, and ideas) that you have, which gives you an edge in connecting with people and winning over their trust.

34. Not deleting the old, bad content

It’s common to publish some irrelevant and bad-quality blog posts every once in a while. It’s common.

The simplest way to deal with this problem is to audit your website every few months. And then delete contents that you now don’t like.

Either they are poor in quality, irrelevant, or outdated.

Such contents are no less than a deadweight, hurting your digital presence in the long run.

The sooner you get rid of them, the better.

35. Inconsistent efforts; taking breaks

Content marketing is an on-going game.

Particularly in the starting stages, it demands all your energy and resources.

Being inconsistent in your content production and distribution efforts, even for a couple of days, can be fatal.

So, don’t take breaks in the execution process. It will take you so many steps backward.

36. Not actively improving your content strategy

You can never have a “perfect” content marketing strategy. You can only improve it day-by-day to maximize the returns.

The easiest way to improve is to listen to your audience.

You must check out important content marketing metrics that evidently voice your audience’s opinions.

You must check the emails, messages, and comments on social media posts to listen to their appreciation and complaints.

In addition, to actively improve your strategies, you can take surveys of your audience. Ask them important questions and then listen to what they have to say.

37. Not learning from past mistakes

Those content-formats aren’t bringing enough organic traffic. Those videos failed to generate the desired engagement. People didn’t like your last content series.

You are making (and have made) many mistakes over the course.

If you really want your content marketing strategy to slay all its goals, it’s essential that you learn from your past mistakes and move ahead accordingly.

38. Clueless about how to measure content marketing success

This is a problem of many.

In fact, 52 percent of B2B marketers believe measuring the ROI of their content marketing strategy is a big challenge.

Learn how to measure your content marketing ROI.

Recommended Read: How to Measure Content Marketing ROI (A Complete Process)


Content Marketing is the only marketing that’s left, believes Seth Godin.

...however, that doesn’t mean everyone really understands it properly. There are still many ends to it that leave marketers confused.

This makes making common content marketing mistakes quite a regular thing.

Hopefully, this post will help you find out the blunders you’re making in your strategies, and then go on to help you fix them.

If you liked this post, help others to find about it too. Please share it on the social media that you use the most! :)
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Asif Ali

The guy behind Spell Out Marketing. A certified content marketer and professional blogger with 5+ years experience in the domain. Find me on Medium here. Let's talk about inbound marketing, business and side-hustle on Twitter. (And oh, if you're on LinkedIn, let's connect!)

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