The first blog where you talk about something you really care about and may divide opinion. The first video. The first Facebook live.
Did anyone else find it hard to hit publish? I know I did.
In this week’s guest post, CMA Member Alex Newton talks about how he overcame that fear and how he’s made the most out of joining a community of peers.
I’ve been writing content for over two years; the CMA made me realise how great it was!
Joining the Content Marketing Academy in October 2016 was the best thing I ever did.
Why? Because it made me realise how awesome my content is.
It was a journey over two years in the making, and at just 21 years-old I feel like I’ve already got a lifetime of experience thanks to the CMA.
Writing for myself
I’ve always had an interest in writing despite not being brilliant at it. As an avid football fan, during my teenage years, I’d often spend my nights locked away in my bedroom writing thousands of words. Articles, analysing tactics and more.
You’re probably wondering who I wrote for or where these articles were published.
The fact is, not one ever left the documents folder on my laptop. I was writing in-depth tactics articles that were taking me hours to research and piece together but doing nothing with them.
Because I was an idiot (I can happily say that now!).
The side hustle
August 2014 was the most poignant month of my short life so far and changed my life for the better. A single tweet from myself started my wonderful journey as a content writer, which shows the power of social media.
I replied to a tweet asking for West Bromwich Albion fans (long suffering) to write some articles for a new West Brom blog that was launching soon. My first article about a youth player at the time was noticed and praised by the player.
Looking back now, it’s clear that this is the exact moment I caught that ‘content bug’.
To cut a two-year long story short, three months into writing articles for the site the editor went on holiday for two weeks and asked me to take care of the site. He never came back. Working with the brilliant Fresh Press Media, we took the site from 50 views per article to at its peak hitting over 1 million views a month. Now rebranded the site runs under the Read network with around 50 other sites and goes from strength to strength.
With over 400 articles written for the site I knew something was going right but despite it giving me fantastic opportunities on TV, Radio and more, I still had a full-time job on checkouts at ASDA (other supermarkets are available).
The full-time gig
In September 2016, I knew it was time to make something of this content I was creating. So, I Googled for social media jobs (there isn’t a second in the day when I’m awake that I’m not involved with at least one of the big four social medias). I applied for only one job, and I’m currently writing this article from my desk at that job.
Superfast-IT hired me as their Digital Marketer (big thanks to James Cash) looking after the website, creating content and any other marketing measures. Two weeks later through the company, I was signed up to the Content Marketing Academy.
Proud to be amongst peers
A little overwhelmed at first it was hard to keep up with everything that’s going on! The way to get the most out of the CMA? Dive right in. Seriously, anything you feel like sharing, share it. Any content you create? Tell everyone! As one of the youngest members of the group I was a little apprehensive at how I might come across or be judged, it’s happened before, it will happen again. Not in the CMA though.
Welcomed with open arms, I quickly made new friends and received fantastic advice going through the hours and hours of informative webinars in the portal.
The biggest hurdle for me in the CMA was sharing my content. What if people hated it? What if I was laughed at? There’s plenty of laughs in the CMA, but they’re never aimed at anybody. You’ll receive constructive criticism, but you’re always praised at the same time.
It’s a great feeling when you feel part of a community and feel that you can openly share any problems you’re having. You can share your wins, moans, content, advice or even just drop in for a chat. Most importantly you’ll create better content while becoming a better person at the same time.
Based on my own experience, I’d encourage you to consider the below:
- As good as you think you are, you can ALWAYS improve, like-minded people will help fast track this.
- Surround yourself with people who have a passion for the same things as you!
- Throw yourself in at the deep end! The more you interact the more you will get out of it!
- As a younger marketer, it’s allowed me to talk with people who have been marketing all over the world for longer than I’ve been alive!
- Not only do you get to meet new people you’ll make new friends for life.
All that content I spent hours creating for years and years now doesn’t feel so worthless thanks to the Content Marketing Academy.
If you have a passion for something CHASE IT! Everybody has a talent!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too.
- Have you ever been worried or scared about hitting publish on your content? Did you overcome this and if so, how?
- Are you a member of a community? How has it benefited your content?
Please share your experiences below and feel free to ask if you have any questions.
About Alex Newton
Alex Newton is a Digital Marketer and Client Educator for Birmingham based Superfast IT who provide business grade IT support.
Alex also runs ReadWestBrom.com the highest viewed independent West Brom blog site in the world.