My New Content Marketing Project and 2 Lessons Learned

My New Content Marketing Project and 2 Lessons Learned
Michele Linn - Thu May 27, 2010 @ 09:09AM
Comments: 32

Content Marketing InstituteDo you ever have one of have one of those weeks where everything comes together? Well, that's my week here. For the last few months, I have been working on a project that I am so very excited about, and this week it launched.

While I don't usually talk about specific projects I work on but rather share lessons learned from my experience, this is something that I think readers of Savvy will be really interested in, so indulge me for 20 seconds.

For the past few months, I've been working with Joe Pulizzi (from Junta42 and author of Get Content Get Customers) on a new site called the Content Marketing Institute. It's a site dedicated specifically to help marketers learn about the how-to of content marketing.

We've launched with a daily blog (you can sign up to get updates), and we have plans to offer much more, including what we're calling "bite-sized training" this summer.

While I would love for you to visit the site as I truly think it's a great source for content maketers, I wanted to share a couple of big lessons that I learned from working on this launch.

Have a core vision and stick to it

We have a very specific goal for the site: we provide how-to advice about content marketing. Everything we do needs to support this. This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but it can be difficult in practice. It's easy to get caught up in all of things that you could do.

For instance, as the Executive Editor of the site, my job is to oversee all of the content, including working with our awesome team of contributors for the blog. Writers have submitted posts that I have really enjoyed (and I think our reader would too), but if it doesn't provide how-to advice, I've asked the writer to re-work or write something new.

It's not a reflection on the author at all but rather how staunchly we hold to our core vision. If we start going in too many directions, it will be too easy to lose focus.

Actively solicit feedback

While we have a core vision that we won't deviate from, both Joe and I have known and professed from the start is that we don't have all of the answers when it comes to content marketing or launching this site.

I'm sure we have all worked with people who will create these grandiose plans in a vacuum, using all of these "best practice" ideas and theories. That's not our on mode of operation . . . at all.

Again, this may seem obvious, but ask people for their advice! We are actively looking for feedback on all aspects of the site and our future plans. We have a business plan that we have shared with many people, and I am often on the phone or trading emails with contributors to get ideas.

For instance, I was talking with someone about CMI yesterday, and she was asking a bunch of questions. I admitted that we haven't figured everything out yet, and her response was really telling: "I'm so glad. I would be worried if you thought you had!"

My point is this: as marketers, I think we know -- in theory -- that it's OK not to have all of the answers, but it can feel intimidating to ask questions becasue we don't want to appear like we don't know what we are talking about. But,things ar changing so fast in this space that no one can possibly know everything.

My experience has been people are very generous with their ideas and love to provide feedback. Not only will you learn something new, but you're also forging a connection with the person who is provding ideas.

So, the quick plug: If you like Savvy B2B, I think you are going to love CMI. Join us for what Joe calls our "great experiment" and, please, send me your feedback (post in the comments or send me an email directly at michele [at] Looking forward to seeing you there!

Related posts:

About the author: Michele is the Executive Editor of the Content Marketing Institute where where she works with a fabulous group of contributors who know a lot about content marketing. She's also a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.

Comments: 32


1. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Thu May 27, 2010 @ 10:41AM

Big congratulations to you and Joe for pulling together what promises to be a tremendous resource! And thanks for sharing your lessons learned. It's good to be reminded that many of us share similar experiences when pursuing opportunities and launching initiatives. And that help and valuable insights are often only a phone call, email, or tweet away.


2. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Thu May 27, 2010 @ 11:22AM

Congrats, Michele - and to Joe for having you in the mix. ;)

Grt lessons captured here, too. Thanks for sharing those. Keeping focus is always a tough one because there are so many wonderful diversions to distract us, but - stay the course & success will follow!

Good luck!

3. Graytuna  |  my website   |   Thu May 27, 2010 @ 11:28AM

Michele, I wish you good luck with the new project! I'm new to this site + new to the world of marketing so I am ,of course, very excited to be able to take part of content like this.

Keep up the good work! Even though I'm young, I do have a bunch of marketers in my network so this is probably exciting for them too :)

4. Michele Linn  |  my website   |   Fri May 28, 2010 @ 12:34AM

Thanks everyone for their nice words!

@Stephanie: I am constantly amazed at all of the truly generous and helpful people I meet every day. The B2B marketing community is awesome!

@Jamie: Focus can be tough, can't it? But, I have found that I am much happier (and produce much better work) when I can.

@Graytuna: Welcome to Savvy! It's great to have you here. Let me know if I can ever do anything to help!

5. Joe Pulizzi  |  my website   |   Fri May 28, 2010 @ 07:41AM

Michele...great roundup here. I can't tell you how awesome it is that you are CMI's executive editor. This "experiment" is going to be fun!


6. Michele Linn   |   Mon May 31, 2010 @ 02:54PM


I'm already having a blast, and we're only just getting started. I can't tell you how nice it has been working with you thus far. It's going to be fun!


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