Image Credit: Horia Varlan

So your company’s spent five (or maybe even six) figures on a shiny new website, with all the bells and whistles. Of course, you’ve made sure to include a blog, as per your website developer’s recommendation. But soon, months have gone by, and there’s no more than one or two lonely posts there, with a grand total of around 30 all-time visitors. (And 20 of them were your staff and their relatives.)

Sound familiar?

Most people don’t think they need help with content marketing. After all, anyone can write, can’t they?

But you may be missing the point that, even if you’re one of the world’s leading experts on your industry, it takes a certain skill to boil down your message into something that’s compelling and easily digestible for an external audience. And, even if you’ve got that skill, do you actually have enough time to put your thoughts on the page?

The benefits of content marketing are indisputable, but it’s not always a great DIY proposition. Here are some signs that you may need some help.

Your blog hasn’t been updated in months. (Or um, ever?)

“Build it and they will come” might apply to Field of Dreams, but not so much to websites. Just because you spent a lot of money on your site, that doesn’t mean you’ll get visitors (unless you really want to pay for every single one). Once your site is launched, your real marketing work is only just beginning—now it’s time to show your prospects what your brand is all about with clear, compelling content. If you’re not using your blog, you’re not likely to win any new followers or customers through your site.

Your content is all about the SEO.

It might have worked a decade ago, but these days, the almighty Google robots are not at all impressed with your keyword-stuffing efforts. That means writing blog posts that use variations on a few key phrases 50 times aren’t likely to win you any fans, bot or (especially) human. Superficial, keyword-focused content that doesn’t add anything new to the conversation will be ignored in favor of richer, more intelligent, and more engaged content. While it’s fine to lightly optimize headlines for SEO as relevant, the rulers of the web these days are the ones who are creating awesome content that no one’s ever seen before—not just content based on a spreadsheet of search terms.

You find yourself writing about the same old, tired topics over and over again.

If you’re actually managing to put out content regularly, congratulations—you’re a step ahead of the game. However, if you find yourself constantly retreading through the same territory with nothing new to add, it’s probably time to get a fresh set of eyes on your editorial calendar to see how you can liven up your content marketing strategy.

You’re writing really great content—but no one’s reading it.

Maybe you’re already doing everything right. What if you’re spending hours crafting each post, and sharing everything you know about your industry—but still, no one’s paying attention? You may not need a content creation team, but chances are, you’ll benefit greatly from having an agency or consultant come in and recommend strategies for engaging with your target channels and markets, so that you’ll finally start getting some eyeballs on your blog (and hopefully, some leads in your inbox as well).

You’re not getting the industry visibility and recognition that you want.

Finally, content marketing isn’t just about raising your site traffic or organic search results—it’s also a primary component of building a strong personal brand (and, by extension, a strong business brand). An external content marketing team can likely give you recommendations on how to raise your profile beyond your own website, through guest posting and syndicating content on highly relevant and high traffic sites, and engaging with industry leaders on Twitter and other forms of social media. Done right, you can use content marketing to catapult from unknown to industry luminary.

Are you grasping at straws when it comes to content marketing? No matter what your situation, choosing a reliable partner could be a great solution to help guide you in the right direction.