With so many free, inexpensive and simple-to-use marketing tools, the job of the do-it-yourself marketer has never been easier.

It’s easy to set up an email newsletter with free trials from Constant Contact, AddressTwo or Mail Chimp. You can get your first newsletter out the door in no time flat.

It’s easy to set up a blog using WordPress or Blogger and begin sharing your views and content with people all over the world.

And social media? That’s easy too. Getting your social media profile started isn’t much harder than turning on your computer.

It’s easy to get started, but it is hard to keep it going.

Consistency is a huge problem for small business owners. We get excited about each shiny new toy.  Last week it was Twitter, this week it’s Pinterest. We think we need to do everything to keep up. But let’s face it, there are only so many hours in a day, and you have to actually work with clients occasionally.

But it is the consistent effort that delivers results.You don’t build a loyal following on Twitter or Facebook in just a few weeks. And so how do you find a balance? Well, you can hire someone like Roundpeg to help (ok, so that was a shameless plug) or you can be selective. Pick one activity. Develop a process to create content and when you have that vehicle mastered, expand to another.

We have had an eNewsletter for more than nine years. We have a standard template, and a loose editorial calendar. We pull the most popular posts from our blog and mix in a bit of original content to keep it interesting. The process is so simple, even our interns can produce newsletters after a few weeks with us.

Once we got that down to a science, it was easy to expand to a podcast. We are finally finding a rhythm with our weekly podcast “More than a Few Words,” and so maybe this summer we will expand to a video series and monthly webinars. The point? Even though we do this for a living, we didn’t try to do everything at once. And neither should you. Don’t be lured in by how easy it is to get started, think about how hard it will be to keep it going, and then choose wisely.

In marketing, it’s not about the first burst. The payoff is when you do it consistently over time.