How to avoid having unrealistic expectations in content marketing

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Let’s publish and go for 1 million viewers… by tomorrow. 

That sounds like a good dream but not a realistic  goal for many brands and organizations who are just getting started in content marketing.

We all start at zero audience though some of us have an existing audience that helps us start a bit higher. That’s great if that’s possible and there certainly are ways to accelerate growth, including:

  • Social media advertising
  • Display advertising
  • SEO
  • Link building
  • Guest blogging
  • Organic social media
  • Influencer marketing
  • Other tactics not yet invented. (Things change, ya know!)

But, even when all current best practices are followed to the T, we likely won’t hit that 1 million viewer mark any time soon – or  even ever.

Of course, once numbers start going up, we can get greedy about continuing to build our audience and relevance.

This blog’s traffic, for example, has increased to over 10,000 visitors a month and every month I try to beat that by producing even more useful and relevant content to my audience – you! Thanks for stopping by. 


But it’s a slowish process and you might imagine how somewhat frustrating those early months were. My expectations were too high. I was trying to be the next <insert big name blogger.> Instead, I should just be the next me and offer as much relevant knowledge as possible to you.

Sometimes I do look at what can be expected. For example, I made the statement (based on experience) that a Periscope with 50-100 viewers is a success. As soon as I said that I had a Scope with almost 600 viewers. Huh?

First of, celebrate the succes and relevance. Then figure out what was so relevant about that Scope and do more of that.

Related reading: More Periscope stories 

But remember,  it’s a marathon and not a sprint. But sometimes even marathon runners sprint, but not for the whole race.

The best expectations are these:

  • Keep publishing useful and unique content that is not markety and is in line with your goals but focuses on the audience.
  • Expect steady increases in traffic, conversions and audience.

It works and you wouldn’t be the first one to make it work.