I think we can all agree that baby it’s cold outside.  What better way to keep warm than to sit inside with a hot, steamy cuppa your favorite something hot and steamy (we don’t judge) and read the Friday Fix, right?  And what a fix it is!  There’s something about the end of the year that gives cause to reflect and ponder what we did right and what we did wrong and what we can do better.  Thus, this week’s Friday Fix provides great insight on ways you can accidentally fail yourself and on why honesty really is the best policy. 

My Failed Attempt at Content Marketing and What I’ve Learned
Nobody likes to admit that they’ve failed, but Neil Patel mans up and conducts an honest exploration of where and why the ball got dropped in his attempt to add user-generated content to his website’s content marketing.   Considering there’s a constant stream of rhetoric in favor of user-generated content, this one is probably a good read for everyone (unless you’re just all about the spam).

Why Your Content Marketing Should be Insanely Honest
Speaking of honesty, not only should you be honest about your content marketing performance, you should be honest in your content marketing as well.  Graham Charlton sums up Doug Kessler’s wise words from the Festival of Marketing and explains why honesty is the best policy.  Not only is it the ethical choice, it’s also a way to make yourself relatable, real, and trustworthy to your audience; also, being honest about your weaknesses shows you’ve got balls of steel, which as it turns out, is really attractive for audiences.  Honestly.

5 Common Mistakes That Will Kill Your B2B Content Marketing Results in 2015
So, other than being a dirty rotten liar, there are a few other ways you can be your content marketing strategies worst saboteur.  Rachel Foster covers the top five ways to fail yourself, and if you’ve been following the Fix, we’re pretty sure you can guess at least one.  If you guessed storytelling, you’re on the money; if you guessed anything else; go directly to this article; do not pass go; do not collect $200.  (Um, even if you did guess storytelling, add a hotel to Boardwalk and read the article anyway.)

Ignoring Your Brand is the Only Way to Succeed at Content Marketing
Before you shake BritniMcCotter and tell her that she’s mad for suggesting you ignore your brand, listen to what the lady has to say because she makes several slapping good points about how too much attention on brand makes the content feel sales, which comes off as both dull and disingenuous.  So, take a page out of the cool kid’s playbook and be too real for your brand.  If you don’t know how, no worries; Britni explains how it’s done.

How Chanel Wins Social with Stylish Content Marketing & Storytelling
So, in the interest of not only telling how “ignoring” one’s brand will launch you to greater heights, we’re going to show you with Amanda Fayer’s analysis of how 100-plus year old style icon Chanel is just continuing to own it.  As you recall from Britni’s article, storytelling is a key piece to the success puzzle; Chanel delivers with a fabulous video narrative, INSIDE CHANEL, among other things.  Check it out.

The Virtue You Need to Become a Content Market Master
According to Christine Warner (and the wisdom of the Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing Master Class), the virtue we all need to succeed at content marketing is selflessness, which in a society where you have a type of photo (that people are dying to take as of late) called the selfie, being selfless is easier said than done (and we don’t recommend having a baby to figure it out because then you won’t have time for your content).  Instead, young Jedi, start implementing the five strategies outlined in this article and selfless your content marketing will become.

What Not to Write: How to Give Your Content Marketing Strategy a Makeover
Your content marketing strategy is like your own personal A-list actress.  If it’s not still turning heads, it’s time for a makeover.  Anastasia Dyakovskayacherry picks Ellen Gomes’ top five tips for keeping content fresh and attractive (Botox optional).

How a Chef is Owning Content Marketing
Jamie Oliver is a relatively recent cultural phenomenon; he’s a celebrity chef.  Hailing from England, Oliver is a successful restaurateur, television personality, and cookbook author among other things.  For the most part, everything Oliver touches turns to white truffles (the culinary equivalent to gold).  As one who loves to cook and explore digital media and technology in business, KaviGuppta analyzes what key ingredients give Oliver his content marketing approach such a winning flavor (spoiler: it’s education, entertainment, and empowerment, but you’ll have to read to discover the special seasonings he adds).

10 Free Content Marketing Tools You Should Be Using
Unless you’re in that mythological small part of the population who also doesn’t blink for some reason, you love free resources.  The problem with free stuff is that there’s a ton of it, and you have no idea what’s quality and what’s junk (really, just ask the rage monster that consumed by husband when he was trying to find a functional free home design program).  Thanks to Brad Kuenn who has done the pesky legwork and provides details on the best programs for measurement, promotion, content optimization, and more.

How to Start a Blog for Content Marketing Purposes
If you think starting and maintaining a blog is easy, then I’m going to assume you’ve never blogged.  If you’re like me and you find your blog is more difficult to maintain than a strict biannual haircut regimen, then your content marketing could be suffering (and your hair, but more importantly, your CM).  Steve Olenski says that 77% of Internet users read blogs.  He also acknowledges that blogs are both hard to start and can easily blunder, which is why he provides key tips for success in the blogosphere. 

Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn