Usually we try to avoid limitations in life.
I’m sure most of us have taken two free samples in the grocery store when the sign said to take one.
Most of us would admit to going a little over the speed limit.
There is something about being limited that turns us off, but limitations can also be a good thing.
A good example is Twitter. The big hook with Twitter is that you only get 140 characters to share your update with your followers. Is it frustrating? Yes. But over time you learn to write really good updates within the limit. It forces you to learn to do better and instead of writing long, novel-length updates that would bore your audience, you’re writing concise, easy-to-understand updates.
Some of the best businesses also have limitations. In the book, Great By Choice, Southwest Airlines is discussed. One year, Southwest had the opportunity to expand into around 100 airports. Instead, Southwest expanded into 4. The company place limitations on their growth so they wouldn’t put the company in risk of being too leveraged should something unexpected happen.
Limitations can be good and it can be good with your content strategy too.
So we’ve put some limitations together that you can add to your content strategy. Changes are these limitations will improve your team’s focus and you’ll get better results.
1. Focus On One Main Form Of Content
First up is the form of content you create. There are a lot of different forms of content including blog posts, videos, slideshows, guides, etc., etc. The first way to limit yourself is to stick with one main form of content.
For us, it’s blogging. From there we repurpose the content into other things like ebooks, but the content is the same and the main focus remains blogging.
With each of these limitations, however, you always want to be on the look out for changing trends. Don’t chase every trend, but know when it’s time to make a change.
2. Stick To One Main Type Within That Form
Next up is the type of content you publish within your form. I’ve seen businesses that start with a solid blogging strategy that calls for weekly blog posts that are about 600 words with the posts being how-to posts or lists. That’s a solid strategy, but some business owners will want immediate traffic and when it doesn’t come after a couple weeks they’ll lurch to another form of content like guides or videos.
Experimenting is fine, but if you completely abandon one strategy for another and do it repeatedly you’re never going to become good at any of the strategies.
Stick to one and give it time to mature.
3. Limit Your Word Count Or Time Period
You could limit your word count. This is one I should probably look into for the blog posts here on the GBW Blog. Like Twitter, when you limit your word count you force yourself to cut out all the unneeded content. The same is true for videos. Keep your videos to a certain timeframe such as two minutes or five minutes.
If you go over, cut out the least important parts.
4. Limit The Time You Take To Create Content
This is an important one. I’ve read a few biographies about rock stars and musicians and they often that record labels would put time commitments in contracts. Back in the 70s, some rock bands were putting out two records every year and usually at least one record a year. It was crazy.
The limit is good. The labels wanted to keep the artists on track with a schedule while still fueling creativity. Sometimes the pressure of finishing is good for creativity and releasing something can be better than never releasing anything.
5. Limit Your Social Media Channels
This is one of my favorites. You might notice that we don’t have a Facebook page for Ghost Blog Writers. The reason is that Facebook really doesn’t suit our type of business, but we also don’t have time to focus on all the social networks out there.
We focus on Twitter and LinkedIn mostly. That’s where we see the most benefit and we limit our social activity to those channels.
6. Limit The Focus Of Your Content Promotion
This one is about limiting the promotion of your content to your best pieces of content. You want every piece to be great, but some will be better than others. When you’re emailing people, sending messages on Twitter and doing other forms of promotion it’s best to focus on your top content.
7. Limit The Calls-To-Action Within Your Content
Finally, limit the calls-to-action within your content. This is good practice for your website in general, but it’s good for blog posts, videos and everything else too. I’ve seen too many blog posts with calls-to-action all over the place.
Give people one option and they’re much more likely to pick it. They’ll just be confused if you have too many.
Try adding some limitations to your content strategy. There is so much talk about content marketing, blogging, videos and all of that stuff that it’s difficult to focus and really hone in on a strategy. When you start thinking about all kinds of different things you spread yourself too thin and nothing really works.
Add the limitations and you’re much more likely to find success with content.