Over the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing a few trends when it comes to the current state of content marketing. The biggest of these is this: What got us here, won’t get you to the next level.

What I mean by that is that the advice that we’ve all been hearing (and, if you’re me, repeating) about blogging, social media, email, content in general is starting to become obsolete. For example

  • Used to be you were supposed to blog all the time — daily, or multiple times a day — to make an impact. Now the trend is for less content that has a bigger impact.
  • Used to be everybody and their dog preached the primacy of growing your email list. Today, some very smart people that I trust are saying that while an email list is still important… size really doesn’t matter.
  • Used to be there was kind of an unwritten rule that if you emailed “too much” you would alienate and lose subscribers. That’s out the window, with some marketers emailing daily — but providing excellent value in those emails.
  • Used to be that we were told not to just jump on the latest trend just because it was new and hot. Now I’m hearing smart marketers say, you need to be an early adopter if you want to make an impact.

And maybe most importantly, while it used to be very much standard practice to see articles that touted 10 simple steps and templates galore for succeeding with content marketing, I predict that you’re going to start seeing a lot less of that, for the simple reason that there is no template any more.

What works now is the anti-template; it’s people getting outside the box and being innovative. It’s hard to provide a template for innovation.

And while I can begin to glimpse the greater arc of how these things are all related, how and why things are changing, and where they might be headed, I’m betting you’re confused. And maybe even ready to throw in the towel.

My advice is: Don’t.

Don’t give up. Don’t let confusion and overwhelm derail you. And don’t get distracted by the noise.

In fact, if you stay tuned here, I’m going to try to continue to help make sense of it all for you — especially when it comes to breaking down what’s relevant for you, the owner of a small online business.

I’ve been doing some interviews with smart marketers this week for a new video series I’ll be launching in a few weeks, and they’ve got my gears turning in a big way. I was compelled to hop on Facebook live and share some of what I’ve been learning:

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