How to Earn More Money (and Keep Your Sanity) by Developing a Professional Support Network

build your business on the strength of your network

My house was packed with more than 40 women, and we were all chowing down on casseroles, salads, and brownies.

In February 2012, I hosted a potluck dinner for my networking and professional group, the Boulder Media Women (BMW). BMW is a group of more than 400 female media professionals who get together on a regular basis for happy hour events, group coffee dates, and potluck dinners.

BMW members are all associated with media in some way — we’ve got content marketers, freelance writers, authors, magazine editors, and graphic designers in the group.

On the night of my potluck on Leap Day 2012, I was getting ready to make a big, exciting announcement. I took a deep breath, stood up on a chair, and clinked my glass to get everyone’s attention.

“I have an announcement to make, everyone,” I said. “I quit my day job today, and I’m striking out on my own!”

The roar of support and approval that came from the crowd still rings in my ears today. I will never forget it.

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A Lesson in Authority from a Wooden-Legged Civil War Soldier

rd-authority-101

Anybody out there know who Cyrus Trask is? Anyone?

You won’t find out who Cyrus Trask is if you eyeball a list of country singers. No. You can only find out who Cyrus Trask is by reading John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden.

John Steinbeck describes Cyrus Trask as the father of Adam and Charles Trask. Cyrus is the patriarch. The family stud.

He’s a daunting man who lies “so convincingly about his military heroics during the Civil War that the government appoints him to a powerful position in the Army administration.”

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Is Authority Earned or Bestowed?

authority-earned

Authority is essential for online success. There is no debating that.

But how do we acquire authority? That topic is up for debate in this episode of The Lede.

This is the first of a four-part series in which Jerod Morris and Demian Farnworth are going to take conventional content marketing ideas and debate their merits.

Because, hey, the generally accepted notion just might be wrong. And if it is, they want to find out.

Oh, and they want to bring some friends along with them.

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How to Conduct a Content Audit for Quality and Audience Experience

red, white, and blue candy that says yay audits and audits rock

However you may feel about New Year’s resolutions, January just seems to bring on the desire for fresh starts.

This month, the Copyblogger editorial team is tackling something we’ve had our eye on for awhile — a content audit.

Now I don’t know about you, but that word audit doesn’t really inspire me. In fact, the feeling it engenders is something more like phobia, or at least dread.

(If you have a friendlier term than audit, come swing by LinkedIn and make your suggestion — I’m all ears. Maybe a content makeover. Or a content cleanse. Hm, definitely needs work.)

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What to Look for in a Professional Content Writer

poodle with glasses sitting at a desk

Every business needs content. Not the bland, me-too nonsense that so often clutters up our in-boxes and feeds, but genuinely useful, interesting content.

Content that lets a business stand out amid the clutter and noise. Content that moves prospects closer to a sale. Content that can become a powerful differentiator for your company.

And increasingly, businesses are having a tough time finding the writers who know how to create that kind of content over time.

According to some recent research by Content Marketing Institute, the demand for content writers has grown by 320 percent … just over the past year.

And while in the past, about 10 percent of companies struggled to find qualified professionals, that’s risen to 32 percent this year.

One of the reasons I think organizations struggle is, they don’t always know what qualities will make for a genuinely productive, profitable hire. And as you might guess, I have a few strong opinions about that.

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Build Your List and Make Your Audience Love You with Recurring Content Events

family watching television

You know the drill: another day, another piece of content to connect with your audience.

You churn out post after post, social media update after social media update — typing, typing, typing all the way.

It reminds me a little of this classic Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.

We’ve all felt like Fred the Baker from time to time — dragging ourselves to our keyboards to create yet another readable, but forgettable, post.

What if you could break the “time to make the donuts” cycle with an information-packed piece of content that readers would line up (and sign up) to consume?

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