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We’ve carved our pumpkins, stocked up on sweets and we’re ready for tonight’s trick or treaters. Happy Halloween to you!

Last month we asked you a question – what’s the biggest challenge you face when it comes to your content? The results are now in. Your replies were fascinating, and we’re really grateful to all of you who shared your thoughts and experiences with us. We’re writing a series of blog posts to answer the main questions in more detail, but wanted to share an overview of the big content challenges. 

See if they hit home with you too. 

Your five biggest content challenges
  1. How do I find the time? Time, time, time! This was the one that came up most frequently, and the one we’ve tackled first in today’s blog post. Carving out space to create content is a challenge for anyone running their own business, or anyone already stretched with the demands of life and work, but it is possible. ›› Here are our thoughts on how to find the time to write content.
  2. What do I say? The words people used to describe this challenge were interesting. We heard lots of variations on a theme - ‘What do our customers want?’ ‘What’s going to be valuable to our audience?’ ‘Which content should I prioritise?’ ‘Coming up with ideas’ 'How will I know if it is the right content?' - but the essence was the same. What exactly do I say?
  3. How do I say it? Responses here stretched from an overall lack of confidence in writing ability, with answers like ‘ the biggest obstacle is myself’ to more detailed questions of ‘Clever vs. straightforward’ ‘How do I make my writing engaging?’ ‘How controversial should I be?’ ‘How do I write for a very intelligent audience and not sound patronising? We’ve grouped the questions about format in this section too. Making the most of new techniques like short video vs. long article is all part of the bigger question  ‘How do I say it?’
  4. How do I get people to read it? Challenges were also phrased as ‘Getting enough exposure’ ‘How do I make my content stand out?’ ‘How do I get new readers through social media?’ There's definitely a challenge around getting your content in front of the right audience that you would like help with.
  5. How to build a team to create content? Getting other people in the business to realise the importance of content, engaging them in the task, and building their understanding of how to do it well. This is the challenge facing people in larger organisations.
Obvious really but as well as these groups of responses, we also noticed a pattern of the challenges facing people at different stages of their content marketing journey. Newbies asked us ‘How do I start?’ Established content marketers posed the most detailed questions about format and prioritisation, while old hands asked us ‘How do I keep the subject fresh – I’ve been writing about this every week since 2005 – how do I keep coming up with new ideas?”

The biggest challenge question could work for you too

The answers you gave us are proving really useful for helping us get the content right in the second edition of the Valuable Content Marketing book, and in helping us shape the way we’ll help you, our community in the future.  

The question ‘What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing?’ is a really valuable one to put to your clients and customers too. Our smart clients Freedman International have used it to great effect as they research the challenges facing global marketers

We really recommend this Biggest Challenge approach to you too. 

Keep the challenges coming

If you can’t see your challenge on the list and you want to have your say do reply to this email. We’d love to understand more so we can help better. 

See you next month.

Best wishes, 

Sonja and Sharon

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