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I’ll admit that I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolution guy. I used to make a few early in the year but I never took it very seriously and by the end of January I’d forgotten all about them.

Despite my stubbornness, I realize that New Year’s Resolutions can be very useful. So here are 5 Content Marketing New Year’s Resolutions that can help jump start your content marketing initiatives this year.

1. Create a Strategic Plan

Creating content is the easy part, relatively speaking. Devising and executing a comprehensive content marketing strategy takes a lot more time and effort. It takes strategy to bridge the gap between the creating and publishing part of content marketing and the lead generation and sale closing part.

A strategic content marketing plan usually includes steps like: performing keyword research, generating topics that incorporate keywords, creating and promoting the content, and measuring and monitoring the results of your campaigns (see #5 below).

2. Commit to a Consistent Schedule

In my opinion, publishing content inconsistently or haphazardly is worse than not publishing content at all. To me, this shows a lack of commitment and follow-through on the part of the business, which is more likely to turn customers away than attract them.

The ideal frequency for publishing content depends on several different factors, including the type of content. Take blogging, for example. In the financial services industry where I specialize, my clients tend to publish between two and four blogs per month. But other industries like retail or B2B might need to publish more or less frequently.

3. Repurpose Your Content Strategically

There’s nothing more wasteful than putting the time and resources into creating great content and then only using it once. Instead, look for ways to recycle or repurpose your content in different media and across different platforms.

There are lots of ways to do this. One of my favorites is to break long whitepapers up into shorter blogs. Another is to reuse blogs as newsletter articles and vice versa. That’s what I do each month by slightly tweaking this blog and sending it out as an e-newsletter, which you can sign up for on my blog main page.

4. Improve Your Writing Chops

Stating the obvious, creating great content requires strong writing skills. I have been a professional writer for nearly 40 years and still look for ways to improve my writing. I’ve written a number of blogs with tips on how to improve your writing — check these out to learn more:

7 Tips for Writing Stronger Marketing Content

7 Tips to Improve Your Copywriting

5 Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts

10 Tips for Writing Better B2B Marketing Copy

7 Tips for Writing Great Website Copy

6 Tips for Writing Great E-newsletter Articles

5. Measure and Monitor Results

One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is how easy it is to measure results and gauge return on investment. Google Analytics is usually a good place to start — this will show you the actual traffic numbers for your content. There are also automated tracking tools that monitor your rankings over time and send you reports.

If you publish an e-newsletter, the newsletter platform offers a ton of great data. With Constant Contact, which I use, this includes opens, bounces, clicks, unsubscribes and the percentage of desktop vs. mobile opens. You can also compare your results to industry averages.

Just Do It

All of these resolutions assume that you are doing some sort of content marketing now. If you aren’t, then your resolution should simply be (apologies to Nike) to Just Do It!

Getting a content marketing program going from scratch can be intimidating. I suggest you start off slow by simply publishing a blog — this is kind of Content Marketing 101. From here you could launch an e-newsletter like this one and then branch into social media and other platforms as you gain more experience and comfort.