Done correctly, content marketing can yield impressive results in terms of increased visibility, traffic and conversion rates for any business, but there are a lot of ways things can go wrong, especially when you’re first starting out. To help you get started, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share some of the most important things organizations should remember not do when developing a content strategy for the first time. Here’s what they advise:

1. Don’t Start If You Don’t Know Your Audience

If you want your content marketing efforts to bring results, know your audience. Understand why are you creating a particular piece of content and what’s in it for the person that will be seeing it. Does it solve their problem? Does it bring any value? Don’t blog and pray. Don’t post a video for the sake of posting. This will never work for business. Be mindful about every post that you share. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

2. Don’t Spend an Arm and a Leg

The biggest mistake a company can make when first attempting a content marketing campaign is to blow a lot of money on it and expect proportionate results. Your conversion rates are going to start small until you figure out exactly what copy, platform and technique are most effective. It’s important to take baby steps in order to avoid going bankrupt before you even make a sale! – Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam

3. Don’t Cut Corners

Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, both of which can be incredibly effective when done right, but both also require a lot of resources to execute on effectively. When starting out with content marketing, it’s imperative that you not look to cut corners by creating low-quality content or hiring inexperienced content creators and SEO talent — the best are much cheaper long term anyway. – Brandon Pindulic, OpGen Media

4. Don’t Focus Only on Selling

Don’t create content marketing with the sole purpose of trying to sell your products. Your content marketing needs to be engaging and useful to your audience. If you’re only trying to sell to them, they won’t pay attention. Instead, your content marketing should provide benefits to your audience while guiding them through the buying journey. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

5. Don’t Create Content Without a Strategy

So often, I see brands and companies creating content without any strategy. They are raring to get their content out there but don’t do the foundational steps. It’s critical to first understand your own brand and message, and second, get clear on your ideal target market — who is this content for? Work on branding, messaging and ideal target market before creating content. – Jean Ginzburg,

6. Don’t Ignore Distribution

If you know exactly what content you’re going to create but haven’t put much thought into its distribution, you’re off to a bad start already. Promotion is most of the battle when it comes to content marketing, and although planning your content is essential, so is figuring out how you’ll promote it to your target audience. Create a solid promotion strategy so your content gets recognition. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

7. Don’t Start Out With Outside Writers

First impressions are everything, and that includes in your content marketing strategy. You should try to use in-house writers or create the initial content yourself. When you make sure the content is coming from your business instead of an outsider you can make sure that you’re putting the best content possible on your website. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

8. Don’t Only Stick to Blogging

A lot of companies think that content marketing means blogging. While blogging is an effective and affordable content marketing strategy, you need to mix it up and provide a variety of content to your audience. Aside from blogging, your company can host webinars, create videos for YouTube, craft social media posts, start a podcast, create infographics, and much more. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. Don’t Post Too Many Articles at Once

I told a client who hasn’t posted anything on their website for a whole year about the importance of posting fresh content. He hired a writer and a week later he dumped 50 articles at once on his website. I told him it was a bad idea and it would have been much better to drip feed them gradually over the course of a couple of weeks. That way he can promote them one by one on his social media. – Amine Rahal, Little Dragon Media

10. Don’t Expect Miracles

Content marketing is a long-term game. Understand your audience, build the right following and do not take shortcuts. Be prepared to be consistent and earn the right to sell by providing value first. Diversify your content across multiple channels and be an active participant. In due time it will pay off. – Eugene Gold, WOW Payments LLC