The 3 Little Pigs Of Content Marketing

Blogging for brand awareness can be likened to building a house. If you want your house to withstand the tests of time, weather, or natural disaster, you’ll need planning, patience, and strong materials. Likewise, if you want your content marketing efforts — blogging and social media outreach — to deliver long-term ROI, you’ve got to think like an architect in earthquake country.

I like to compare blog strategy to The 3 Little Pigs. It’s not a perfect analogy, but bear with me.

In the story of The 3 Little Pigs, a trio of swine decide to build houses to escape their nemesis, The Big Bad Wolf. The first pig builds his house out of straw, which the wolf promptly blows down. The second pig builds a house of sticks, and the wolf easily destroys it. The third pig, whom the other two ridicule for taking so long to build his house while they are out playing, constructs a proper home out of bricks. The wolf can’t blow it down, and the pig is safe. The moral of the story: shortcuts waste more time than doing things right. That, and 2 out of 3 pigs are stupid.

How does this apply to blogging and content marketing? Here are the three biggest takeaways, in my opinion:

1. Don’t Skimp on Quality

Writing strictly for Google’s SEO robots is like building a house out of straw. Even if you follow a blueprint to the T, a big enough gust will bring your whole operation down. Furthermore, if you just churn out content for content’s sake, you’re not doing your readers much good, and therefore your brand isn’t winning over the kinds of fanatics who will help spread your message to the ends of the Internet.

That’s why writing with your readers in mind is so important. Write content that will help your audience solve their problems, not content that just “looks” like a real house.

2. ROI is in Durability

The size of your house doesn’t matter if it’s made of sticks. It may be cheaper to construct, in terms of both time and money, but content marketing is not about making a few bucks per post on Adsense. It’s about building a sustainable, recognizable brand, and an audience who keeps coming back for more, eventually becoming customers and advocates for you.

Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and inbound marketing guru at Hubspot, recently told me that his clients who blog for their businesses get something like six times as many customer leads as those who don’t. SIX TIMES. The return for those businesses on their blogging investment is much, much more than what the ads on their pages are making them.

3. Don’t Stop Building

Each great post you write is a brick in your house. Initially, you’ll spend a lot of time laying the foundation, but after a while an impressive structure will emerge. If you stop building once you get tired, or before you’ve got a roof overhead, you’re not going to get a lot of repeat guests. I’m milking the analogy, I know, but the more you build, the more people will come.

The great thing about blogging is you can build your house as big as you want, and you never have to stop. In fact, you never should stop.

The story of The 3 Little Pigs may not be a perfect analogy for content marketing, but I think the pigs are quite representative of the blogging industry. Many people cut corners when it comes to content, and it doesn’t pay. Those who regard content as a long-term endeavor, win, and live without fear of their houses being blown down by things like algorithm changes.

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