Content Strategy

How to Stop Making the Same Stupid Mistakes, Stupid

One time my three year-old niece and I were enjoying a quiet, sunny afternoon on the deck. Always looking to push the envelope, my niece was standing on top of a rickety, small plastic chair in order to see over the three-foot tall deck wall.

“That’s probably not a great idea, li’l lady.” I always speak in a southwestern accent to toddlers – anyone else?

I helped her down off the chair, but sure enough, she was climbing back up within 30 seconds.

Learning From the Near Misses

Being a copywriter, graphic designer or web developer means you’re involved in the constant flow of ideas – some good, some bad.

So you’ve probably avoided a couple costly and stupid mistakes in your day. No harm, no foul, right?

Consistently living on the edge of making stupid mistakes will slowly eat away at your ability to:

  • attract new clients
  • influence your audience
  • expand your social media presence
  • grow your business

Being content with content that narrowly avoids mistakes on a consistent basis is, frankly, a frightened way to go about your business. Don’t just avoid mistakes; DESTROY mistakes before they have a chance to see the light of day.

Dodging Bullets

Let’s take stock of your past for a minute; have you been lucky? In other words, how many times have you avoided a stupid mistake or potential fail? I’m sure some of that luck is owed to common sense, but still, screw luck. Depending on luck is like depending on Major League Baseball to tell the truth.

Fortunately, there’s something to be learned from dodging a potentially harmful bullet like falling off a chair and bonking your face.

Ask Yourself:

  1. Are the near-misses consistently caused by the same factors?
  2. What are the common denominators in these situations?
  3. How eager are you to accept responsibility?

Take a Step Back From Your Current Content Strategy

“Seriously Dyllin, please step down off the chair, because the chair is evil, and you’re likely to get hurt if the chair falls over. Please? Dyllin? Dyllin. DYLLIN.”

I’ve harped on ye olde Function Blog time and time again about continually seeking new heights and improving your content, so it pains me to say this, but in the interests of eliminating stupid mistakes, I must say it:


Stop creating. Stop working on projects. Stop searching for new clients. Stop pursuing your passion.

Not forever, mind you. Keep your life balanced, and your content will end up chasing you down. In a good way.

Sometimes the plateau you so desperately seek is just too high for your current level of ability. Like a three year-old with tiny li’l three year-old legs, sometimes it’s alright to just be aware that the future will always be there, and that in time you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle life places in your way.

Take Stock of Your Benefit

How have you made money from your company’s primary benefit? The road to future growth is paved with understanding the past.

  1. What are you good best at?
  2. Why do people pay you to work for them?
  3. What steps do you need to take to ensure future growth and success?

These are easy questions, but ones we, as content creators, forget to ask.

My answers:

  1. The thing I’m best at is writing, with coaching coming in a close second.
  2. People pay me to craft a message for their company so they can attract more clients or customers.
  3. I need to take my own advice, constantly scrutinize my work and take life one small, rickety plastic chair at a time.

These three questions should help connect the former successes and failures of your content with the unlimited potential of your future.

Your turn. Do you have the answers? Post ’em in the comments below!

Ps my niece totally fell off the chair.

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc

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