5 Smart Content Strategies from a Stellar Marketer of Ideas

Quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson -- 'We should all build libraries of thought for ourselves, not knowing how we might use them in the future'

Marketers tend to get very caught up in thinking about how to persuade people to buy a product or service. Which makes sense … but it’s often jumping the gun.

Because it’s quite common (and perhaps increasingly so) that we have to market our ideas — and connect our beliefs with those of our audience — before we can do any business.

Which is why, for my money, one of the greatest content marketers working today is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

You think your product or service is a hard sell? Try astrophysics. (So many science, so many math.)

Or even worse, scientific literacy. Challenging your own confirmation biases and saying good-bye to certainty. Yeah, that’s a door-buster.

Read More…

Are You a Talented Professional Writer? Read This …

the difference is strategy, perception, and a higher pay grade

Copyblogger loves writers. We always have.

For more than nine years now, the writer has been the most important person we write for. Week in, week out.

I’ve written about making a living as a professional writer.

And I elaborated a bit on that, unpacking some of what it takes to move from “good writer” to “smart, well-paid content marketer.”

It’s why we created our list of Certified Content Marketers.

And it’s why we open that program periodically to new writer applicants.

Read More…

What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer?

the difference is strategy, perception, and a higher pay grade

I’ve been a writer for a long, long time. I’ve written something every day for around 30 years now. (Okay, I took about a week off when I had a C-section.)

I’ve been a content marketer since 2004, even though we didn’t call it that back then.

These days, I’m a Chief Content Officer — a job title that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

I love and respect writers, and I know a lot of them. Some are successful, some are struggling.

And I have some thoughts on what can make the difference.

Read More…

The Cure for Impostor Syndrome and Other Crises of Confidence

Image of flying books

Ever suffer from Impostor Syndrome? This is the feeling that no matter what external results you see, no matter how “expert” you become, you constantly doubt your own authority and ability.

It’s funny, because the people I know who have the worst time with it are often the ones who are the best qualified. (While Impostor Syndrome classically hits more women than men, I have to say that I know an awful lot of smart men who struggle with it as well.)

In small doses, Impostor Syndrome pushes us to keep working on our skills. To keep stretching, to fill in the gaps, and to focus almost obsessively on improving ourselves. In moderation, it keeps us honest and makes us better.

But it quickly goes from being motivating to being a force that keeps people stuck. Stuck in their businesses or careers, stuck accepting their own distorted self-image, while less-qualified people leapfrog past them.

I’ve been there. And it’s just a hideous drag.

Read More…

5 Ways to Get More of the Online Attention You Crave

image of Elvis Presley toy

Listen — I remember what it was like.

Working hard on writing the best content I could. Content that solved reader problems, was interesting to read, showed some personality, and furthered my business goals.

Spending hours on posts that got nice attention from my small audience — but having trouble getting traction with a larger crowd.

It was working, but it was slow. And that’s frustrating. It’s hard to know you’re on the right path if only a few people are paying attention to you.

Over the months (and years), I learned some things about how to get that traction and grow my audience. Here are some of the most important ones I found.

Read More…

On Pink Hair, Marketing, and Business on Your Own Terms

image of Copyblogger CCO Sonia Simone

It’s always interesting being in an airport as a person with pink hair — especially when I’m traveling for business.

Pink hair is a little more mainstream these days (curse you, Nicki Minaj), but it still gets attention.

Small children think I’m some kind of live-action muppet, which I enjoy very much.

TSA security officials look at the combination of the pink hair and the business jacket, and give me a puzzled smile. My fellow business travelers give me confused looks … mixed, sometimes, maybe with a tiny bit of jealousy as well.

Anything you do that’s visibly different will get people telling stories in their own heads. Pink hair seems to inspire stories about freedom from arbitrary rules, about navigating the economic changes of the 21st century, about 4-hour workweeks.

The 4-hour workweek part is bogus, but the rest of it has some merit.

Read More…