Gary Vaynerchuck (L) and Joe Apfelbaum (R) at an EO event.

How To Scale Content Creation To Your Advantage

Have you ever felt like quitting?

Have you ever just wanted to give up?

Some of you may have noticed — especially the ones I bombard with emails and Facebook messages — that I haven’t written in the last few weeks. Since I began contributing for Forbes this past April, I have averaged 5 posts a month and written 35 articles, but as a new writer who jumped straight into it, I was beginning to get a bit burnt out. I also learned what a challenging job that writers, bloggers and content creators face in trying to produce great content under weekly deadlines. Looking back at the past eight months, my outlook on content creation has shifted. I used to think Content was King, but it’s not. You are the King and Content is Queen.

Content Is More Important Than Ever

As advertising continues to evolve, the need for good content remains consistent. Yes, creating good content costs money and time, but it’s still free to post on the Internet, and unlike paid advertising, where your capital is spent and gone, investing in content is a long-term play.

The last fifteen years have brought entrepreneurs and small business owners some great marketing tools. First was PPC (Pay-Per Click) a massive interrupter in the marketing industry and maybe the greatest advertising avenue ever created for a small business. PPC was the secret sauce for launching my business, and I’m sure thousands — if not millions — of entrepreneurs feel the same way.

But the PPC party didn’t last long. As more and more small business owners began to use the tool, it became more expensive for everyone. Fortunately, as PPC was becoming more competitive and less effective, in came the next great marketing tool: social media.

For entrepreneurs, social media tools like Facebook Pages and Twitter were game changers. Yes, the Internet allowed entrepreneurs to get their products online, but finding an audience (or traffic) was difficult. To drive people to your website you needed to rely on PPC for real qualified leads. Advertising, as always, was tough and expensive, but social media tools now allowed entrepreneurs to get their business or products in front of anyone. Creating a Facebook page or Twitter account was free. You still needed to drive people to your page, but Facebook’s sharing tools made it easier to spread the message. If you created good content and engaged, social media provided a great platform for connecting with customers.

When Facebook introduced its own advertising tool, entrepreneurs had to begin paying to get their page in front of fans. Over the last two years, advertising tools piled up and algorithms changed, but the need for good content remains consistent. Whether you paid to post or posted for free, you still needed the content. Now, as TV advertising shifts to digital, bringing billions of dollars with it, digital advertising will soon become unaffordable for small business’s. Then the next trend or tool will pop up. I don’t know what it will be, but I am pretty sure the tool will revolve around content. Most small business owners would rather spend marketing dollars on something that shows direct CPA (cost-per acquisition) and quicker returns, but understand that Content lasts forever.

Content + Community Engagement = Social Media Success

As I built the Fresh Diet, I tried to make “Content” a part of our company culture. Whether it was producing a satire of “Undercover Boss,” or creating contests for our customers based on their own content creation, I emphasized the need for creating clever content to help build our brand. Twice a month, we printed a newsletter full of content — articles about our employees and customers, along with the latest company news — and sent it with our cooler bags to thousands of clients. As our client base grew our content grew along with it, so when social media began to change the world we were ready. Not only were we content focused, we also paired our content with constant community engagement. Our Facebook page manager interacted with our community of customers multiple times a day, constantly posting new content in the form of contests, articles, company updates and more . We used content like a Queen, A queen who engages with her people on behalf of the King and found that great content plus community engagement equaled social media success.

You Are King

Looking back at the last ten years is bittersweet for me. Tomorrow marks the ten-year anniversary of my first delivery of cooler bags to my first three customers. Since that day our company has served millions of meals to tens of thousands of people around the country. Our small business has helped change the lives of thousands of customers as well as the hundreds of employees that have worked for us. The successes have been great and the mistakes and failures have been plentiful, but as I reflected on the last ten years, the past eight months have stuck out. Since I began writing, entrepreneurs from all over the world have contacted me, and I have realized that the content I’ve created — encouragement, advice, and stories from my experience — has helped other entrepreneurs.

And reflecting has helped me realize how hard it is to create content. This month, as I stopped writing, I began to lose my motivation. I even considered stopping altogether. But then I went online and saw great Kings creating great Content. Content that motivated me. Kings like Gary Vaynerchuck and Joe Apfelbaum. Gary is what I would call an A-lister in the world of celebrity entrepreneur motivators. Joe (who is a friend of mine) is more a Gary wannabe, but they’re both kings. Watching the content these guys produce motivated me to continue writing.

For entrepreneurs, success comes when you believe you’re the king and have the confidence that comes with that. Every entrepreneur needs to look at himself or herself as the King. You are the leader of your nation — now go make Content your Queen.

See the video by Joe that motivated me to write this post here


You can find me on Twitter (@ZalmiD) and learn more about my work at www.ZalmiD.com

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Originally published at www.forbes.com on December 31, 2015.