• Lynn Tickner

Getting Real with Real Content for Real People

This post is approximately a 2-3 minute time investment.

And so it begins.

As I have pondered the last few months or so about how I could possibly provide valuable content to business owners, I've actually been pretty stumped.

I have two degrees, but they're in education, not journalism or business or marketing. I'm not writing this from a swanky office in a big city. I'm actually snuggled up in my comfy chair at home on a rainy Monday morning, with my trusty mug of Sumatra close at hand. (Sumatra not pictured since I drank it before I got up to snap this shot.)

Everyone else in my house is still asleep. I've got my workout clothes on, but I've learned that this doesn't necessarily mean that I'll actually get on the treadmill. Hopefully that will still happen this morning. Oh, and today is my 24th (!) wedding anniversary. How that many years have passed I'm not quite sure.

I have been consuming everything I possibly can on content marketing, content strategy and content marketing strategy for the last eight months or so. If you're curious what the difference is, here's an article from Content Marketing Institute that explains it well.

Presumably, the people within a business who are responsible for providing content for their target audience are our target audience. I've decided that if I'm ever going to provide any content for business owners that might actually be of real value to them, I'm going to have to get real. After all, there are real people behind the personas, right? If you're new to the term "persona," as it pertains to content marketing, here is a great article on buyer personas from Marketing Land.

I can't present myself to the world as someone that I'm not. But hopefully, the someone that I am, which is a 48-year-old* new business owner, learning as she goes, might actually end up being of interest to a few people out there who are doing the same thing.

I haven't actually "launched" Ink & Key just yet. I'm hoping for the end of June, if all these ducks will get in a row like they're supposed to.

Even if that little row of ducks isn't completely organized, though, I plan to launch anyway. I don't have unrealistic expectations that hundreds of new clients will magically show up on the day that I publish my blog and ask people to like my Facebook page. I'm quite sure that Ink & Key will be a work in progress, well, probably forever.

If a business isn't always a work in progress, this is probably a symptom of several serious underlying issues. The culprit at the root of these issues is more than likely a lack of humility, otherwise known as pride. Run away!

I'm hoping there are a few business owners out there who might like to follow along with me on this journey. If you're looking for articles like "5 Proven Methods to Boost Your SEO Rankings," you won't find them here. I love articles like that and read them daily, but I don't feel like I have the expertise to produce them.

I often wonder, though, when I read one of those articles, how the person who wrote it actually knows that those methods are "proven." Who proved them? Did the author try them out in real life and find that their SEO rankings improved? Probably some of them did.

There may also be some authors who are just going by what other people said were proven. What if the other people who said that these methods were proven didn't actually prove it either, but were going by what they read in another article where someone said that these methods were proven? You see where I'm going here, right?

In history, there are primary sources and secondary sources. (I have to say that there are tertiary sources, too, since my husband is a historian and will be reading this.) Primary sources are actual records that have survived from the past. For instance, if you were studying a guy who was born in 1867, and you had a letter about him written by his mother, this would be a primary source. A history textbook, with a mention of the guy in a couple of paragraphs would be considered a secondary source.

I'm hoping that following along with us at Ink & Key will be a primary source for some of you who are interested in learning how to effectively provide valuable content as a business. If I write an article about SEO methods, it will be to tell you what "proven method" we tried, whether or not it worked for us, and what we learned along the way.

I promise to stay real with you. I also give you full permission to let me know if it seems like I'm veering off that path towards know-it-all land.

That's all for this morning, since the treadmill has been patiently waiting for me all this time.

Sign up here if you'd like to follow along with us at Ink & Key, and I'll see you next time.

Oh, and by the way, I have an awesome team of writers who will be guest blogging from time to time, because I'd like for you to get to know them, and also because they're a lot more interesting than me anyway.

*(Free advice alert: If you are a person who is uncomfortable revealing your age, please rethink that for your own sake and celebrate yourself and every year you are blessed with a birthday.) Highlight to tweet or share @inkandkey

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