Breathe Life Into Your Content Marketing

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By Tom Jelneck
CEO

What Drives Me to do What I do Every Day?

Today, we’re talking about inspiration. I got inspired yesterday by a Twitter hashtag. This sounds crazy. It was #MotivationMonday, pretty standard. But, I got to thinkin’: “What drives me to do what I do every day?” I’m a very driven and creative individual, but I’m also a very impatient individual. It’s both a blessing and a curse, for sure. But I got to thinking and reflecting back on the question: “How in the hell did I get where I got?”

I Sucked as a Student in High School.

I went to an Orlando Catholic high school called Bishop Moore. It’s the same school my daughter goes to today, which is surreal by the way. Anyway, I sucked. I was a terrible student. I wasn’t motivated or driven until about my junior year. I took a couple of classes in English with this lady named Mrs. Suzanne Groth. What an amazing woman! She loved English so much. She complimented the crap out of me and some of my creative writing. It really was a turning point in my life. I was so inspired by her and her kind words. Frankly, I had never been complimented on a damn thing academically, so, that planted a huge seed. I remember an assignment to write a parody of a novel; I think it was “A Separate Peace,” by John Knowles. I wrote this parody, turned it in, and she loved it. She gave me an A plus, plus, plus, plus! It was awesome! That started my creative writing career.

Creating Amazing Things for Others Became my Mission.

So, I went to this seminary out in the sticks with a bunch of Benedictine monks. The scenery was amazing — a lot of hills, cornfields, soy, and a lot of smelly air from Turkey crap. But, that place inspired me as a writer so much that I really got into poetry. I got into romanticism. I started reading Ralph Waldo Emerson and a lot of Neoplatonism stuff. I just became intrigued with, not only philosophy, but the English language and writing.

When I graduated and got into this digital marketing business, I struggled everyday with “we can’t keep writing just for SEO.” I knew we couldn’t just keep churning out crap. People don’t want to read crap. And we are just writing, essentially “game Google,” so that people’s rankings would go up. You know what? We were damn good at it. But over time (this is 12-13 years ago) the passion inside of me for writing amazing stuff, knowing what Google was doing, and knowing how users interact on the web started to drive me. I wanted to create amazing stuff for people. That’s exactly what I wanted to do. That became my mission.

Embrace the Passion That You Have.

The whole point of this is — you have to know where you came from. You have to know what drives you. You have to know what that passion is inside of you. If I wasn’t writing today, I’d be miserable. I have to do this; it’s a part of me. Whether I’m writing about mortgage loans, about health care, a telecom, or a white paper for the cable industry, that stuff has to come out of me, and it’s up to me to make it human.

I encourage you as a fellow content marketing professional to embrace the passion that you have. Start using it. Start putting it to work for you. You’ll find it to be so freeing. It’s such an amazing experience once you start focusing on your center and focus on your core. Just create amazing stuff.

Inspire Somebody Today!

On Target is an Orlando based Digital Marketing Agency that helps brands stand out and rise above the noise. Through great storytelling, On Target turns companies into thought leaders. Founded in 2005 as a search engine marketing (SEO) firm, we’ve evolved into Orlando’s only agency that specializes in creating remarkable online content. If you’re looking to refresh your marketing strategy, contact us today.

To listen to our original SmartAss Marketer podcast by Tom Jelneck, please click below.

About the Author:

Tom is the Chief coffee brewer, CEO, digital marketing strategist, and kickass content creator for brands across the globe at On Target. He loves nothing more than helping small to medium-sized businesses find their online voice and growing their leads, prospects, and sales.