PCC 013: 4 Reasons You Might Want to Take a Step Back From Content Marketing



The Professional Content Creation PodcastThis particular podcast episode is a bit different in that it’s a solo show, and I speak pretty briefly about something that I’m going through right now myself and that is the need to take a step back from content marketing. Notice that I said take a step back, not quit. Sometimes it’s necessary to pause for a bit and evaluate where things are and make changes, and sometimes people simply need a break.

Since this episode is a rather short one, rather than provide a separate transcript, I’m going to use a cleaned up version of the transcript for my show notes. Enjoy!

Today, I want to talk about when you need to take a step back with your content marketing. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of content marketing. I think that any business, any ministry whether it’s a nonprofit or what have you should be doing content marketing. But there are times when you need to take a step back and evaluate what you’re doing and whether or not it’s the right thing for you and your business or your ministry, whether or not it’s working for you, and so on.

So today, I want to talk a little bit about that and the thing that brought this about is that I myself needed to take a little step back with my content marketing in order to make some positive changes. And for me, this came about as a result of a few different things which I’ll talk a little bit about during this episode.

 You Might Need to Take a Step Back From Content Marketing if the Content Marketing You’re Doing is Not Giving You the Results You Hoped For

The first reason why you might want to take a step back with your content marketing is that if the content marketing that you’re doing is not giving you the results that you had hoped for. We all have some reason why we’re using content to market our business. We obviously aren’t doing it just for the heck of it or at least, most of us aren’t. And if we are, then that’s probably not working very well.

So, you do it because you hope to accomplish something. Maybe you’re wanting to establish your authority, maybe you’re wanting to get more leads, more sales, increase your income, all of these different things. And perhaps you’re working at it but it just doesn’t seem to be working for you. If that’s the case, then it’s time to take a little step back and evaluate what you’re doing.

Evaluate Your Expectations

Now first of all, let me say that if you’re not getting the results that you’re hoping for, you need to first of all ask if what you hope for is realistic. Maybe you’ve only been doing content marketing for a month, maybe six months, maybe you’re in a very competitive industry, maybe you haven’t done a whole lot of it, or what have you. And you’re wondering why you’re not having thousands upon thousands of people come to your website every week or viewing your YouTube videos. So first of all, you need to determine if what you’re hoping for is realistic.

Determine if You’ve Allowed Enough Time for Results 

The second thing is if you’ve allowed enough time for the results. Again, maybe you’ve only been at it for a month or maybe you’re in a very competitive industry with a lot of content out there and it’s just going to take time. But if the results that you’re hoping for are realistic and you’ve been at it for a good period of time but it’s just not happening for you, it may be time to take a step back and evaluate why.

Perhaps you need to spend more time in social media. Maybe you need to change up the type of content that you’re creating, and perhaps you need to experiment with changing not only the type of content but the frequency or the links for example. Maybe you’ve been writing long blog posting. You need to experiment with shorter ones and so on. So, all of these things can impact the results and if you’re not getting the results that you’re hoping for, it may be time to take a step back with your content marketing and evaluate what you’re doing.

 You May Take a Break from Content Marketing if You’re Feeling Burned Out

The second reason is if you’re feeling burned out. We all go through periods of time where burn out is a problem. And we get burned out for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes it’s physical. It can be spiritual. It could be just a season and a month from now, you’ll feel differently.

So if that’s the case, maybe look at what is going on right now in your life that’s causing the burnout. Is it just that you’re in a crazy time with your particular industry, with your family, with something personal? And you can even look at the calendar and say, “OK. A month from now, things will ease up.” If that’s the case, then you know that this is a short-term problem and maybe you need to just press ahead, press through, keep going, keep working, or maybe you need to cut yourself some slack for that short period of time.

It could be that you’re pushing things to the limit and are in a really bad spot. So, evaluate that cause of the burn out and determine whether or not you need to make some changes in your personal life or in your content as a result of that. But burnout can also sometimes occur as a result of living someone else’s plan for your life or business. So perhaps, you have looked at some other blog or content marketer and they have a certain pace that they keep up and you’re trying to keep up with their pace. You’re trying to do what works for them and yet, you just can’t do it.

So, that’s important to look at why you’re doing what you’re doing and evaluate it and get away from living up to somebody else’s expectations and figure out what works for you. And it’s also important to know that burnout can be temporary. It can just be that you do need to take a break for a period of time. Maybe give yourself a time like for a month you’re going to reduce, not quit, but reduce the amount of content that you create. That’s something to consider and then you can evaluate where things are after that period of time.

 You Might Want to Pause Your Content Marketing Efforts if You Have No Idea Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing

The third time when you might want to take a step back from your content marketing is when you have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing. Sometimes, people jump on the content marketing bandwagon because well, it’s what everybody else is doing. It’s what they’ve heard they need to do in order to market their business because well, after all, you’ve got to have a blog and maybe you know a lot of people who are starting podcast so you started a podcast but you don’t necessarily really have a plan for it.

So maybe you’re on every single social platform out there because you don’t want to miss out on anything. And after all, if you’re not on Pinterest, well, I mean Pinterest is the happening place so that’s kind of bad if you’re not on it. So you jump on it because you didn’t want to miss anything. You can do a bunch of stuff and have it be ineffective because it doesn’t really fit with what you need to do for your business.

So if you don’t have a plan, if you don’t know why you’re doing the content marketing that you’re doing, take a step back, evaluate what your goals are. If what you’re doing is what you need to do, evaluate that and make changes according.

 You Might Want to Take a Step Back From Content Marketing if Your Business is Changing Directions

Another time and this is something that is true for me is if your business is changing directions. If your business is changing some type of direction, then it’s very possible that you need to take a step back from the content marketing that you’re doing and evaluate whether or not what you’re doing is the right thing, what you have been doing is the right thing. It may be time to change things up quite a bit.

For myself, this is one example of why I am evaluating the content that I’m creating and I’m evaluating a lot of things such as frequency, the type of content, and so on. And the reason is that I have been inundated with clients and with request for my services which is a great problem to have. I mean I am not complaining about that at all.

But at one time, I had looked at my content as a way to get clients. And now that I have more clients than I can handle and I’m turning people away, and in fact, saying no to more things than I’m saying yes to, I need to stop and think about why am I creating content. What do I want to accomplish with the content that I’m creating because it’s no longer at least at this juncture, it’s no longer to bring in more customers, more clients, more leads. So I need to then change the direction of the content that I’m creating to accomplish something different than bringing in more clients.

 The Difference Between Taking a Step Back and Quitting

Now, I want to talk a little bit about the fact that taking a step back does not mean quitting. Taking a step back simply means slowing down enough to evaluate what is happening with your content. Taking a step back may mean slowing down for a little bit until you can figure out some of these issues.

So for me, I’m taking a step back, I took a step back really for about a month. I didn’t really do much of anything. Now, I would not recommend that. Personally, I was in the burnout stage that I talked about and also, just had a lot of personal things going on. And so, I took a step back by not doing much. And again, that’s not what I would recommend. It was necessary for that short period of time and then I needed to get right back on it. But the bottom line is that I couldn’t allow myself to stay in that position for long.

So, as you take a step back, have a plan for creating content at at least a minimal level while you’re evaluating what you’re doing or if you’re in a state of burnout, while you’re resting and recharging. Go ahead and maybe create some shorter pieces of content or less frequent content or what have you. But keep plodding forward.

I hope that this is helpful for you that there’s times when even though it’s important to be consistent with what we do, it’s important to be disciplined with the content we create, there are times when the best thing that you can do is to take a step back and evaluate why you’re doing what you’re doing and make changes accordingly. I hope this helps.

 Your Turn

What reasons have you had for taking a step back from content marketing? Do you think there are both valid and invalid reasons for doing so? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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About The Author

Rebecca Livermore

Rebecca Livermore is a blogger and content manager. If you need help developing the blogging habit, she invites you to sign up for her free eCourse, 5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging Habit,or to connect with her on Facebook.


  • Burnout is the main reason I take breaks. Creation is exhausting work no matter the genre and the brain needs time to recuperate so those creative juices can get flowing again.

  • Theresa, I totally agree with you on this. Even when life circumstances are fairly calm, we still need to take a break sometimes. I’m trying to be MUCH better about taking evenings and weekends off. I don’t know that I’ll ever do that completely — which works because I sometimes need to take some time off during the day — but it is amazing how much more refreshed I am when I take breaks!

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