Writing

Avoid the Research Black Hole: Transform your Writing with a solid Research Stack and Method

We humans are seekers. We nurse an innate craving for experience, revelation, and value. We long to unearth diamonds in the rough, discover hidden treasure, or worse, to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, when you’re working on a deadline, “the need to know” can really screw you up! And if you’re “searching” rather than “researching” a story idea, an amorphous investigation can actually get your further away from a defined writing topic. I know the seduction of the search intimately. There’s…

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4 Reasons Taylor Swift is Actually a Content Marketing Guru

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Taylor Swift is everywhere, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that her success comes from more than her catchy music and winning personality. The young pop star clearly understands what her brand is and how to get her message across. Of course, as a marketer, I couldn’t help but notice how much attention her personal brand attracts and the ease with which she’s become adored by a…

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Ripping off the Experts: How to Write Stellar Blog Posts like a Bat out of Hell

About a year ago, Neil Patel posted an article with a big title, “How I write eight blog posts a week while running two companies.” Wow. Yeah, that seems like a lot to do. He’s not the only overachiever though. Not to be outdone, Buffer’s Kevan Lee wrote a story earlier this year that boldly stated, “We publish four posts per week on the Buffer blog, each post at least 1,500 words (and typically over 2,000). I write three of…

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Google’s News Lab: Making Reporters better Marketers and Marketers better Reporters

In a wired world, where everyone’s a content creator, and the commingling of traditional reporting, writing, blogging, and marketing is much discussed, Google is latest to blur the lines. Last month, the company introduced a complete suite of tools for journalists through an initiative they call News Lab. In a blog post introducing the initiative, Google explained that it wants to collaborate with journalists, citizen journalists, and entrepreneurs to help build the “future of media.” To ensure that they’re part…

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3 Ways to Supercharge your Content with Data

I haven’t been working in content marketing for very long, and yet I can already anticipate one of the reactions I’ll get when I tell people what my job is. A look of skepticism and curiosity, then: What do you write about? How often do you write? How do you come up with ideas? Or, if I’m dealing with a particularly shameless inquisitor… Are any of your stories true? At first, that last question baffled me. Why are my scruples…

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29 Simple Questions to Jumpstart Content Ideation

“It’s easy to write. Just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway Ever get stuck? Of course you have, you’re a writer. It’s never always easy. Luckily, writers from Leo Tolstoy to Stephanie Meyer have been in the same position and enough suffering over the years has yielded a few techniques likely to get you thinking. Curiosity is key. How do you get to know about other people? You ask them lots of questions. Treat yourself and…

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3 insights to unlock your creativity. Better content ideas now.

Writers are notorious for their punishing inner critics – tragically, those intimate bullies are impotent, having never successfully coerced creativity or muscled a great idea out of any terrified author. Luckily, a writer can nurture her creativity instead by developing skills like pattern identification, that help the brain get used to making connections. The result? Better content ideas. Why? It is “the habit of mind, which leads to a search for relationships between facts that becomes of the highest importance in the…

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Connect the Unexpected: Drive Content Engagement with this one Simple Tip

The rising demand for good ideas A whopping 99% of content marketers agree that a constant, steady stream of ideas is crucial to content marketing, unfortunately, “nearly 1 in every 2 marketers lack enough ideas to fuel their content marketing,” Kapost recently revealed in the first ever research on “content marketing ideation.”  Uh oh. How many ideas do you need?  Turns out the magic number for the  average marketer is 67—as in 67 good ideas per quarter. Luckily, the allure of the…

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