By Joe Pulizzi published October 29, 2010

13 Content Marketing Commandments

I’ve had multiple versions of Mark Fletcher’s startup commandments on my wall for years now.  Whenever I get a little lost in our startup model, I review these.  It keeps me sane.

I’ve modified a few of these related to content marketing.  If you’re stuck on your content marketing strategy, I hope these new commandments will help.

  1. Your content isn’t new. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more. Do it better, in more channels where your customers are than anyone else.
  2. Stealth content sucks. You’re not working on the Manhattan project, Einstein. Get something out and promote the heck out of it (before creation, during creation, post creation).
  3. If you don’t have scaling problems with your content marketing, you’re not moving fast enough.
  4. People will tell you they know more than you do.  If that’s really the case, you shouldn’t be doing content marketing.
  5. Perfection is the enemy of good enough. Leonardo could paint the Mona Lisa only once. If you wait for perfection, you’ll never distribute content of any kind. Great content doesn’t have to be perfect. Frankly, there is no perfect.
  6. Being a content strategist will teach you what it’s like to be a manic depressive. They, at least, can take medication.
  7. Your content marketing isn’t working? You have two options: go home with your tail between your legs or do something about it. What’s it going to be?
  8. If you don’t pay attention to your competitors’ content marketing, they will turn out to be geniuses and will crush you. If you do pay attention to them, they will turn out to be idiots and you will have wasted your time. Which would you prefer?
  9. Content marketing is not a democracy. Want a democracy? Go run for class president, Bueller. Someone needs to be running the strategy (chief content officer).
  10. You will have at least one content catastrophe every three months.
  11. Outsource effectively or be effectively outsourced.
  12. People will think your content ideas suck. They might even be right. The only way to prove them wrong is to succeed.
  13. Content marketing requires complete attention and devotion. Thought your first love in high school was clingy? You can’t take out a restraining order on your content marketing. It never ends (content promise).

Now go get ’em tiger! For more, here’s 30 content marketing truths to live by.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Matt

    Great post.
    5. Especially online.
    9. Amen. With too many hands in the pot, content marketing efforts can quickly dilute a brand if not reined in.

  • Eddie Gear

    Great post! I’m taking a print out of these commandments and putting it up on my wall!
    I could relate a lot to point 5 on Perfection. Sometimes i get so obsessed with perfecting what I do, I never get the thing done!

  • Elise | Vertical Measures

    I love these! I might have to post these on my wall too. I tend to like to build concensus, and I need to remind myself of #9 every now and again. Much appreciated.

  • Adrian Grossett

    Great info – thanks for sharing I am passing it on immediately!

  • Jon Kidder

    I love this post!

  • Brendan

    Good Post Joe,

    You make content marketing sound like a war! Cant say I am the best or fastest writer but I do my best to get what needs to be done.