The Most Common Pitfall in Content Marketing (And How to Avoid It)

Content marketing is the practice of delivering valuable content to your target audience to build trust and nurture them so that they develop interest in your brand over time and move further down in your sales funnel.

The primary goal of content marketing is not to close the deal, but rather to make your cold leads warm enough so that they will be more likely to convert.

Now, what can one go wrong with content marketing?

Thinking that one great article is going to change your business.

Why is this the most common mistake people make?

Reason #1: You Never Start Selling Without Building Relationships First (Give Your Readers Value First Before Asking Them to Buy)

I’ve been working as a freelance content writer for different types of businesses. Some only require me to work on an article milestone, others book a series of blog posts to help them improve their SEO effort.

Eight-figure businesses are those that always check for me long-term availability and they want to know if I’m available for on-going collaboration (at least two articles a week) in the long run. While five-figure businesses only seek a per-article contract for that particular occasion they think their content marketing strategy needs a push.

Content marketing isn’t designed to rocket your sales overnight. Its goal is to build brand awareness, authority, and a relationship between your company and your ideal customer. You can’t expect one article to rocket your business to the sky unless you plan to spend a lion’s share of your ad budget promoting that article for the next year. And that is what it actually takes to be successful in content marketing.

If you’re looking for direct sales, it is copywriting that can help you, not content marketing.

Reason #2: People are not going to buy from a single ad/article

When was the last time you watched a sponsored YouTube video and immediately bought that product? Have you ever seen a sponsored post on Instagram, then you clicked on the product, and bought it instantly without prior knowledge of that product/service?

The answer is no. People nowadays are so bombarded with ads on almost every channel that it becomes their habit to skip through the clusters or even block it from the beginning. That’s what happens when you post one blog article and hope that it’s going to catapult your business. People see it, skip through it, and then move on.

The reason eight-figure businesses keep posting content is that they don’t want these people to move on. They want them to come back for more. They know that this is the start of a relationship, the start that will evolve into this person becoming a customer.

In this industry, there’s a big discussion about how parallel marketing is to dating. Basic social dating norms set the foundation that you can’t just walk up to a random person on the street and ask, “Do you want to go on a date with me?” First, you need to create small talk and show them that you’re worth going on a date with.

You have to do the same with your content marketing.

Posting one blog article is like asking somebody to date you within the first five seconds of them meeting you. Most people are going to say no and even worse, they’ll be turned off because you broke a social norm.

Providing them with valuable and consistent content first. It shows that you are being serious about engaging in a long-term relationship with them, and that you are not trying to ghost them after only one single interaction.


Eight-figure businesses showcase their thought leadership by consistently publishing content that ranks them in the searches and creates brand ambassadors of loyal followers who love the content they post. All of their content points to their current CTA, and it always highlights other useful content that they’ve posted before through internal links.

If you want to spend money on a content strategy that works, you need to write more than one blog article. Because that’s what will build a connection between you and your customers, and that’s what will motivate them to buy from you.

About The Author

Nguyen Cao
I'm Nguyen, a digital enthusiast and a freelance copywriter. I have 3 years experience in the marketing and communication landscape. I'm a life-long learner and I love sharing my journey and experiences with you.
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