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Nothing But the Ruth!

Are Your Personal Marketing Goals Scary Enough?

By Ruth Carter

Every September for the past four years, I’ve had the privilege of attending and speaking at Content Marketing World. I attend this conference to level up my online marketing game with new skills and tactics.

This year, one keynote speech particularly inspired me to step way outside my comfort zone in regard to charting my personal marketing goals for the coming year. Author Joe Pulizzi, a father of modern content marketing, challenged his listeners to document our desires. As for marketing efforts, he told us to “set big and unreasonable goals” and focus on serving our audience.

If Content Marketing Is on Your Goal List …

Whether you use blogs, videos or a social media platform like LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, the aim of your content should always be helping your audience. If the purpose of your posts is to tell your audience how great you are, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, create quality content and let your audience come to that conclusion themselves.

Pulizzi said there are two common reasons content marketing goals fail:

1. Your goal isn’t big enough.

If your goal doesn’t scare you, you’re not thinking big enough. It should be scary enough to motivate, but not paralyze you.

2. You don’t deliver consistently.

It’s important to publish your content on a schedule. Your audience will come to look forward to it. I’m making myself return to weekly blogging on both my sites in 2019 and will dedicate part of December to writing evergreen content so I’ll have a “bank” of blog posts to pull from. Robert Rose, of The Content Advisory, recommends creating a year’s worth of content for your blog before releasing the first post. That’s too challenging of a task to accomplish and practice law, though I see value in the idea of thinking that far ahead in my content creation strategy.

Be Patient, Be Persistent

Likewise, it takes time to achieve these goals. Lawyers are notorious for being impatient (and often ask how long it takes between starting a blog and ranking on page one of Google results). According to Pulizzi, it will take at least nine months to achieve your content marketing goal, but the average is 18 months or longer.

If you have a goal of creating more and higher quality content for your firm, be sure to schedule enough time to work on it. Make appointments with yourself to think, write and create. I’ve been out of the habit of blogging every week for about a year, and I’ve noticed that I’ve forgotten how much energy can go into developing an idea into a quality post.

Pulizzi noted that it takes about 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic, so I suspect I’ll be slogging through my first few weeks of writing once I get back to doing it on a regular basis. I’ve already started a spreadsheet to capture blog post ideas for Carter Law Firm and The Undeniable Ruth.

Try This Strategy

No matter what’s on your personal marketing goal list for 2019, Pulizzi recommends this strategy: Do one thing well first.

For example, if content marketing is your goal, focus on creating one type of quality content, such as blog posts or videos. Don’t try to do everything and be on every platform. Start with one, set an unreasonable goal, deliver consistently, and do it well.

What’s your top marketing goal for 2019?

Make sure it’s scary enough.

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Ruth Carter Ruth Carter

Ruth Carter — lawyer, writer and professional speaker — is Of Counsel with Venjuris, focusing on intellectual property, business, internet and flash mob law. Named an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, Ruth is the author of “The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers,” as well as “Flash Mob Law: The Legal Side of Planning and Participating in Pillow Fights, No Pants Rides, and Other Shenanigans.” Ruth blogs at and

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