Thinking Boxes and Bleeding Ears

thinking cats backgroundFingernails on a blackboard.

That sound foam makes when it’s just creaking and on the edge of snapping.

Gum smackers.

And anytime someone says “Let’s think outside of the box.”

These are all things that make my ears want to bleed.

Continue reading Thinking Boxes and Bleeding Ears

Fear of Writing – The Typo and the Typo Pointer-Outer

typo-assholesTypos (and grammar concerns) terrify folks into paralysis when it comes to writing. What if I make a mistake? Use the wrong word? I don’t know where the commas go. Semi-colons?!?!? OMFG, kill me.

This fear keeps many folks who would otherwise be fantastic contributors to blogs, social media sites, and elsewhere from sharing insights and knowledge that others would find useful. I’ve seen people who successfully started and then ran large IT implementations run in fear from the idea of writing a 500 word blog post about their experience.

In so far as you only get better writing by writing (a lesson I’ve lived this past 18 months), fear of making a mistake is bad enough.

Worse is some pedantic ass munch pointing it out to you. Continue reading Fear of Writing – The Typo and the Typo Pointer-Outer

The Problem With Great Content

Nearly every piece of advice you read about content and inbound marketing includes the words “great” and “content” in sequence or at least in close proximity. I am all for great content – great content whether whimsical or serious or funny or informative or entertaining or whatever is, well, great.

And great is good. It’s the goal. Right?

Well, I’m starting to think maybe not entirely.

Here’s the problem as I see it. Continue reading The Problem With Great Content

Keep Swimming Towards Content Marketing

Keep swimming towards content marketingOne of my favorite parts of Finding Nemo is when Dory and Marlin have to swim down into the dark of the trench to find the dive mask and Dory starts humming, “Keep swimming, keep swimming.” Coming from a cartoon fish with memory issues, that’s pretty damn good advice. I know I’ve hummed it to myself (along with running cadences picked up from various war movies) on long runs.

Recently, I’ve found myself humming “keep writing” as I freeze up (again!) trying to get the words out. I had half-watched Finding Nemo a few months ago and when I re-read Stephen King’s On Writing, advice from Dory and King melded.

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.

Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Continue reading Keep Swimming Towards Content Marketing

3 Things (2 That Bug Me) About Content Marketing

3.MagicNumberAbout 5 or 6 years ago, I had an idea to do a video series: 3 Things in 3 Minutes (yeah, rocket science, I know) to bring user-generated content in. While I might eventually pick back up on that idea again, started thinking to myself, “Self, why not do something like 3 things Thursday and just write about a few things each week.” Because, you know, 3, It’s a Magic Number.

For this first go ’round, I’ve been having a few thoughts about content marketing.  Continue reading 3 Things (2 That Bug Me) About Content Marketing

Embrace White Space to Improve Your Content Marketing

Spikey Katfish

Or How I learned to stop worrying and love the empty, white spaces in between.

I edited a print magazine for a decade. During that time, I drove our various designers slightly bonkers with my desire to cram words into every available nook and cranny of a page. “What do you mean, 800 words on a page is too many? Just make it fit.” There was some, let’s say, creative tension between cramming in a lot of information in a limited number of pages and their desire to exercise some design ethos.

I generally won the arguments. After all, they were contracting for us. Though, over time, I came to see their point and even admit that I had been wrong.

White space can be your friend, in a number of ways. Continue reading Embrace White Space to Improve Your Content Marketing

Lie To Me – The Essential Skill to Keep Your Content on Schedule

I tell my two girls all the time that, more than anything else, I hate a liar.

Lie to me. The ultimate secret to deadline success.

That’s a lie.

Kinda.

There is a time and place for lying in the workplace — deadlines.

Continue reading Lie To Me – The Essential Skill to Keep Your Content on Schedule