There’s a cliche in business that rings true for Content Marketing:
It only takes 10 years to become an overnight success.
In other words, there are no shortcuts – you need to put in time to build things, sometimes for years, and then all of a sudden – BAM! You’ve rocketed to the top.
But without the previous time laying the groundwork, that success would never have come.
The same can be said of Content Marketing. Rarely does success come overnight. But if you put in the time, lay the groundwork, and build an audience, success when it does come, may come quickly.
The Lesson of the Chinese Bamboo Tree
Back in the 90s (seems so long ago), I was in the Amway business (hey, don’t knock it – network marketing DOES work – but that’s another story), and I vividly remember a conference where the speaker used an analogy of the Chinese bamboo tree.
You plant the sprout, and then you gently take care of it – regularly watering it, fertilizing it, and giving it care. For the next five years, nothing really happens.
But after about 5 years of tender care where nothing happens, the plant will then shoot up 90 feet in just 6 weeks!!
He asked a question – did the plant grow 90 feet in 6 weeks? Or 5 years?
Without the previous 5 years of work, the explosive growth would never have happened. You have to lay the foundation, put in the time, carefully and consistently care for the plant (or the process – see the connection?).
Content Marketing Takes Time
To reiterate – there are NO shortcuts.
To be an overnight success, you have to put in the time. Sometimes that’s five years – or even ten.
But if you are doing the right work, that work will pay off in the end.
Andy Crestodina writes in his book “Content Chemistry” that success takes time – especially in Content Marketing.
You have to put in the time building the audience, building the content, building the links. Watering, fertilizing, tending.
Then one day, your bamboo grows 90 feet.
Don’t give up. Keep at it. Success is the reward for consistency.