e22 advanced blogging

The Write Podcast, E22: Advanced Blogging Tactics with SmartBlogger’s Glen Long

Listen to “E22 Advanced Blogging Tactics with SmartBlogger’s Glen Long” on Spreaker.

Welcome to Episode 22 of the Write Podcast! Today, I’m beyond thrilled to publish an episode with Glen Long, the Managing Editor of Smart Blogger, as my guest. (Smart Blogger was created by the amazing Jon Morrow, and it’s one of my favorite online blogs – ever. Jon has written some of the most-read blogs in the world. Here’s his story on Copyblogger.)

Before coming to Smart Blogger, Glen went to school for computer science and spent the first ten years of his career in programming and team leadership. As the internet started to go mainstream, Glen worked with companies building their first websites and launching their first blogs.

He wrote dozens of pages of marketing copy and developed a passion for comedy writing, which he eventually transitioned into, holding positions for the BBC and writing online sketches for them. He also wrote wedding speeches, professionally, before stumbling across Jon Morrow, randomly sending in his resume, and immediately getting a job as an instructor with his team.

Today, Glen calls himself the “Chief Content Monkey” of Smart Blogger. (We talk about the story behind the title in today’s episode.) And he’s an extremely intelligent one! Under his guidance, Smart Blogger gets hundreds of comments per blog, and stands out as one of the best online resources for content writers and marketers.

e22 advanced blogging

The Write Podcast, E22: Advanced Blogging Tactics with SmartBlogger’s Glen Long

Glen and I cover a wide variety of points in this blogging-focused conversation, so hold onto your hats! From what he does at Smart Blogger to how bloggers can stand out in a world that publishes more than 2 million blogs each day, Glen provides tips on everything from avoiding burnout to new blogger mistakes. Here’s a recap of what to expect in the show, time-stamped:

  • 3:40 – 5:00: How he got involved in blogging. From a background in programming to master blogger, Glen provides some insights on how he got here from there. Also, why/how England doesn’t have a typical “lemonade stand” that many American entrepreneurs start out with at age 12 – and how it’s “biscuits” instead.
  • 9:40 – 14:00: Tips for bloggers who are just starting out. Learn why Glen believes the first step is knowing exactly why you’re blogging and going from there.
  • 14:07 – 20:00: The blog writing process. Glen talks about how he balances SEO, keyword inclusion, etc., with the process of writing for the reader.
  • 20:00 – 21:00: How he defines “success” for different types of posts. Glen talks about the difference between a successful social post and a successful SEO post.
  • 21:04 –22:40: The importance of topic selection. How he and Jon decide which topics to target and which to bypass.
  • 22:30 – 26:00: His balance between SEO and social and the 4 Ds. How he and Jon go about driving traffic to their posts and the 4 D’s: you either need to be better in design, detail, data, and drama than the rest of the traffic ranking #1 in Google.
  • 27:00 – 28:00: How to capture traffic driven by blogging leads. Glen talks about improving the ROI of your blog, and ensuring your efforts aren’t wasted.
  • 28:22 -32:00: His biggest success stories. What he’s learned from working with Jon and how he and his team leverage attitude, topics, and terms to engage their audience.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“At some point, you need to put something out there and see what comes back. Otherwise, it’s just speculation.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“If you can combine good testing with a strong sense of what you want to achieve, you’ll reach your goals faster.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“If you’re only focusing on the people you’ve already got, it’s difficult to grow your audience.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“For something to do well on social, it has to be appealing outside of your niche.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“You need to find the aspects of your topic that have broader appeal.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Know your audience for each post, and know what success looks like.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“A very poorly written post with the right topic will do better than a brilliant post with a poor topic.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Look at the competition that’s ranking in the top 3, 5, or 10, and ask yourself if you can do better.” @JuliaEMcCoy @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Once you’ve built up enough content people like, blogging can be a very powerful strategy.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Don’t write off a post just because it doesn’t bring immediate traffic.” @glenlong @writepodcastClick To Tweet
“Have confidence in your convictions. If you thought the post was a good idea at the time, it probably was.” @glenlong @writepodcast Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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write podcast E21 sujan patel content marketing

The Write Podcast, E21: Why Content Marketing Isn’t An Overnight Success, & How to Be Productive in Yours with Sujan Patel

Listen to “E21 Why Content Marketing Isn’t An Overnight Success & How to Be Productive & Create High ROI Content with Sujan Patel” on Spreaker.

Welcome to Episode 21 of the Write Podcast. I’m thrilled to have Sujan Patel back on the show today! He was on my top-shared episode of all-time, back in Episode 6. Sujan is known as a leading internet marketer. He’s also the Co-Founder of Web Profits, a blogger and contributor to Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur, and is a prominent speaker at marketing and tech conferences around the globe.

Known for being a risk-taker that pushes the limits, Sujan has spent his life focusing on finding smart ways to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and make serious impact online. He specializes in helping founders and entrepreneurs learn to create killer content – be it a videos, blog, or a long-form guide.

Today, I’m exploring with Sujan a topic that virtually all content marketers struggle with: productivity and making ROI happen. As we all know, content marketing is a long haul, and Sujan and I talk a lot about how he stays focused and avoids burnout. We also talk about the nature of marketing itself: How long is the long haul? How do you create content that’s worth publishing for your audience? How do you give them the information they want to know?

write podcast E21 sujan patel

The Write Podcast, E21: Why Content Marketing Isn’t An Overnight Success, & How to Be Productive in Yours with Sujan Patel

Here are a few of the winners from this episode: 

  • 6:00-7:00: How to apply repetition after success for the best results in your content. Instead of coming up with a weekly cadence and trying to make it successful, Sujan recommends attacking it the other way around.
  • 7:00 – 8:00 : Why you need to say “no” more than “yes” with your content. And how this can help you stay focused in your content.
  • 12:00 – 15:00: Several ways that Sujan involves the questions of his audience and customers and creates content around them. TIP: Sujan looks for questions that repeat constantly in conversations with clients in sales or support threads. Questions that are repeated 3, 4, 5x are high value to his audience. He has a spreadsheet going.
  • 15:30 – 18:00: I talk about AnswerthePublic.com and what a fantastic tool it is for discovering audience questions, plus how to use it. Sujan adds what his team does to find questions that will make great content and discusses what phase to use Answerthepublic.com in.
  • 16:45: Content isn’t a one-person task anymore! If you want it to work, you’ll need more involved to help you scale it.
  • 18:10 – 20:00: Sujan discusses his favorite tools in content marketing! He categorizes his favorite tools by what helps him with research and creation. A great section for curious marketers.
  • 20:55 – 22:00: Sujan talks about how he creates content, and what his editing and ideation process looks like.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

Content marketing is like a savings account. You don't get rich overnight but if you keep at it, it pays off. @sujanpatelClick To Tweet
#Contentmarketing: At the end of the day, it’s all about consistency. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
If you’re looking for results today, content marketing isn’t for you. But next year, you’re gonna wish you started it last year. @sujanpatelClick To Tweet
Say no more than yes when creating content, and focus on quality. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
On #contentmarketing: if you can’t hang, don’t do it. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
To appeal to your audience, make sure to create content that’s talked about. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Next year, you’re gonna wish you started content last year. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
The difference between you and your closest competitor determines the success. @sujanpatel via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
It’s not just about volume, it’s about quality in content marketing. @JuliaEMcCoy via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
We launched #authoritycontent last year to answer the need of content marketers. @JuliaEMcCoy via @writepodcastClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

Tools Sujan Recommends: 

Follow Sujan on Twitter & visit Sujan’s site.

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e20 write podcast

The Write Podcast, E20: Influencer Marketing – Why it Matters Today More than Ever & How to Become Known Online with Mark Schaefer

Listen to “E20 Influencer Marketing- Why it Matters Today More than Ever & How to Become Known with Mark Schaefer” on Spreaker.

Welcome to Episode 20 of the Write Podcast! I’m thrilled to have on my show today the amazing Mark Schaefer, a globally-recognized social media keynote speaker, consultant, and the author of five six best-selling marketing books. (Listen to the first few minutes to catch that joke.)

As a blogger, I’ve been inspired for a long time by Mark—he actually runs one of the top five marketing blogs in the world! He also runs the Marketing Companion podcast, and is a college educator who enjoys teaching social media marketing courses.

e20 write podcast

The Write Podcast, E20: Influencer Marketing – Why it Matters Today More than Ever & How to Become Known Online with Mark Schaefer

Mark is a “celebrity” online in every sense of that word, and I’m honored he came on my show! Here’s what we discuss in this episode:

  • How Mark got into marketing. A nutshell telling of his story.
  • The process he went through to start his own company 9 years ago. And how he knew he wanted to leap out on his own.
  • How his podcast came to be, and how that was a pivotal point in content creation. For a couple years, Mark focused on growing his audience instead of adding a new channels just because he could.
  • What influencer marketing is. A great explanation by Mark!
  • How connecting with influencers can overhaul brand marketing. Influencer marketing is one of the hottest things in content marketing right now, and Mark has some great tips about how to access and capitalize on it.
  • How small businesses can access influencer marketing without going broke. Mark offers some great tips for small businesses and individual marketers who don’t have huge budgets.
  • How marketers can get known and in front of their audiences. Mark offers actionable tips on how you can still build a following without the traditional model and trappings of publishing,
  • …And more! Listen in to catch it all.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

It’s not about broadcasting, it’s about building relationships. - @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Through social media, we have a historically important opportunity to connect. - @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Pick one social platform and do it well for a period before moving onto something else. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
You have to become known. You have to do it yourself. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
Brands become people that we love. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
People have always wanted to buy from who they know, like, and trust. @markwschaefer via @writepodcastClick To Tweet
There is an interrelationship between branding, connecting, influence, and becoming known. @markwschaefer via @writepodcast Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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express writers write podcast e19

The Write Podcast, E19: From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper

Listen to “E19 From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper ” on Spreaker.

Can you believe we’re almost at Episode 20?!

In today’s episode, I sit down with Tara Clapper, the Content Development Specialist here at Express Writers – yes, I have the honor of employing this wonderful woman! Tara has an impressive background in content marketing. She’s the founder and senior editor of The Geek Initiative, a community for women in geek culture, and worked as the Blog Editor at SEMrush before she joined my team last September. Tara knows it all when it comes to creating great content and the industry of content marketing. She’s edited, written hundreds to thousands of articles, hosted webinars, and even Twitter chats, to name a few things.

Today, Tara and I are talking about brand storytelling, and how you can weave the elements of story into your content marketing to create impactful, audience-engaging brand content. (Learn more about Tara’s storytelling process in her recent blog on LARPing!)

express writers write podcast e19

The Write Podcast, Episode 18: From Freelancer to Content Development Specialist- Talking Life, LARPing and Practical Brand Storytelling with Tara Clapper Show Notes

Tara started her career in content marketing just after graduating college. She struggled through the experience of getting started in the industry in a tough economy. In fact, she persevered through having the same job outsourced from underneath her…twice! At 35 years old, Tara says she “grew up when the internet did,” and learned to create a web presence from the ground up early on. One of the first pieces of content she created was an email newsletter for a community of Beatles fans in an online community. She went on to work in various agencies, write hundreds of content pieces, and worked at SEMrush as their primary Blog Editor before finding a home working in my agency, Express Writers.

Tara’s unique skillset for today’s discussion actually comes through LARPing, or Live Action Role Playing. She’s even created her own LARP game and started writing and marketing it on her own, which became a foundation for her career, rooted deeply in content marketing and collaborative storytelling.

In this episode, we discuss the following:

  • How Tara started The Geek Initiative. And how her experience working as an independent contractor with sites like Yahoo! helped her hone her skills and develop her voice.
  • Why it’s so critical for marketers to understand that content is a long haul. While it’s tough for some marketers to see why content is a long-game approach, understanding this is critical. Tara talks about how long it took her to achieve her own marketing goals.
  • How to find a story, mold it, and tell it in their content. Tara says you should practice storytelling without thinking about your brand or company. When it comes naturally, it feels more authentic.
  • Why it’s so critical to tell the stories you want to tell. And how marketers can make their brand storytelling stronger by practicing creative writing and developing stories with other people.
  • The importance of routine for freelancers. Freelancers seldom have solid, set schedules. Tara talks about how routine can help freelancers keep their work, quality, creativity, and storytelling strong.
  • Why Tara advocates working on the idea as soon as you get it. Tara talks about her process of bullet-pointing content, and then sitting down and writing it. This keeps ideas and content fresh.
  • Which brands she thinks tell amazing stories.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

Once all the content mills folded, all I had left was my site. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
Four years later, thousands of hours invested, my site has just started to turn a profit. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
Sometimes the investment in content, although it’s worth it, is SO long term. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
Content marketing is a long haul. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
The Geek Initiative is finally getting ad requests. Four years later, I am getting paid for my work. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
The only way I can do sales is to help people find the content they’re looking for. @irishtaraClick To Tweet
With content marketing, you’re not going to get a paycheck next week, but you’ll see results later. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
'I didn’t see real results in links to my podcast till twelve months after it launched.' @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
It can be hard for brands to see the long-term vision with content marketing. @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
'I go for the 80/20 rule: 80% evergreen, 20% somewhat newsworthy content.' @irishtaraClick To Tweet
'My biggest tip for storytelling is to practice it without thinking of your brand.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Work on the idea as soon as you get it.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“I love that @irishtara truly cares about what she’s selling to our clients.” -@JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“If you want to be innovative in your career, be on the ground floor.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Be on the ground level of innovation. You’ll get a heads-up about what’s coming down the pike.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Get right there next to the people creating things that inspire big companies.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“If you’re first in the ground floor, your content will be indexed.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet
“Trust from brand to consumer is hugely important.” @irishtaraClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

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write podcast new look

The Write Podcast Update February 2017: New Look, Updated Schedule, & Favorite Recording Tools

The Write Podcast got a (minor) facelift this February! New cover design and style, now live in iTunes, Spreaker, and Soundcloud!

It was a big internal debate for a while about updating the look, since, you know, I have 18 episodes out that have the same exact image on all of them. But I did it.

It came down to which of two important questions I answered with a bigger “yes”:

  • Will this mess with my podcast “brand” too much?
  • On the other hand, will I benefit from updating the cover “image” to what I currently look like if you met me on the street today and align more with?

It’s no secret — I do change styles a lot, it’s the creative chameleon in me. I finally went with a “yes” on the latter question.

I haven’t changed the actual colors, but my designer changed up the overall style for me and added an updated headshot of me. It’s not a complete re-brand or re-haul, but rather an updated look. We went back and forth on ten revisions to get the final new images.

new itunes cover write podcast

Why I Went With a (Somewhat Scary) Near-Rebrand Decision for The Write Podcast

Sometimes, accommodating change and growth is more important than “staying in the lines” of branding. - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet

That’s a careful edge to work on, beyond a doubt, but when you evolve and grow, why not show that transparently, authentically to your audience? – instead of sticking with the stale look you launched with but don’t like or identify with anymore (yes, speaking of myself here). You know, I used to just hear this, but now I believe it. Showing up 100%, not 99 or 98%, to everything you do will result in your greatest success.

Showing up 100%, not 99 or 98%, to everything you do will make everything you do successful. - @JuliaMcCoyClick To Tweet

The evolution of the Write Podcast has been serious. I was a complete novice when I launched mine, and the picture was shot exactly a year ago – last February, 2016!

Fun fact, I was very, very sick when the picture in the suit was taken (let’s all just stop for a moment and appreciate what a lot of good makeup can do). I had a respiratory, stomach, and sinus infection, built up from a serious reaction to allergies in Austin. No one else knew that, but every time I looked at the picture, I sure did, and always sighed internally. The new picture, on the other hand, couldn’t be more opposite. It was taken in a photoshoot paid for by Mailchimp (more on that here) – I felt so strong, confident, and happy during that shoot! It aligns with the huge strides in progress I’ve made now in 2017, vs. where I was in early 2016.

Going with the updated image fits. It’s the current “me,” who has grown a ton from the last “me.”

My podcast has evolved this much since launch:

  • I’ve learned a lot about how to create a great podcast. I know exactly who I want on my show now (when I started, only three out of five guests actually made it live—I realized after recording a few that they weren’t a good fit for my audience).
  • Halfway through the last eighteen episodes, I ditched a cheap intro and went for premium music (purchased royalty-free) and recording my own intro. I feel it’s so much more authentic and resonates more with the audience.
  • I got my first sponsor in October, six months after launching!
  • I have re-occuring guests planned out that will add high value to the audience.
  • I have a backdated list of topics and guests now.
  • I’ve decreased my editing time greatly because I don’t have to cut as much. I’ve improved as a podcast host! Fun fact: 30 hours went into recording, editing, writing show notes for, and publishing the first 3 episodes. One episode now takes me two hours tops, from recording to editing and even publishing. Whew!

New Schedule for the Write Podcast

Due to a careful survey of my commitments, and a ton of over-commitments last year (read my Medium post about saying “yes” to opportunity for more about that), I’m changing the podcast schedule from my over-eager early promise of “1x/week” to “1x/month.” This is now reflected in my new intro.

Some of the things I’m working on day-to-day, besides podcasting:

  • Two books! (Life story and lessons for female entrepreneurs, and a second book which I can’t disclose just yet.)
  • Courses – for MarketingProfs (on invitation), and my first course ever for my own community here at Express Writers!
  • Inbound and content marketing – Guest blogging at Content Marketing Institute, Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, and of course, lots of blogging over at the Write Blog.
  • Internal Express Writers improvements – this can take up to 80% of my work week. We just launched new services like project management, involved copy editing, and more in the Content Shop, and my days are filled with Skype conversations, sales meetings, hiring, writing new standards and training, and much, much more.

I’m also excited to announce two re-occuring guests this year:

  • Sujan Patel, entrepreneur, content marketer, keynote speaker & serious online marketing genius.
  • Tara Clapper, my agency’s Content Development Specialist, Founder at The Geek Initiative, and a real content marketing gem.

Look for them to appear (and reappear this year!) The next episode out in a few days, E19, will feature Tara Clapper’s first appearance on the show.

My Favorite Podcasting Tools

Lastly, since several people have asked me, I thought I’d share this list.

My favorite podcast tools (this is all the equipment I use to podcast!) and the prices of each are below. It can be cost-effective to produce a high-quality podcast—together, all this equipment cost me less than $120!

Here’s my setup, in the office, with Audacity open…

julia's podcast setup

I’ve even packed it all up for an airplane trip and taken it to an Airbnb to record an episode!

podcast setup

Thanks to all of you who have subscribed and shown love for the Write Podcast! I appreciate each and every one of you – you’re the reason I do this and press forward.

Subscribe, follow and listen to the Write Podcast!

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E18 Keesa Schreane

The Write Podcast, Episode 18: The Secrets of Customer-Centric Content: How to Discover What Keeps Them Craving More with Keesa Schreane

Listen to “E18 The Secrets of Customer-Centric Content: How to Discover What Keeps Them Craving More with Keesa Schreane” on Spreaker.

I first listened to Keesa Schreane last November at the Search Engine Journal Summit in NYC, where she covered Inspired Marketing: How To Leverage Emotions In SEO. Her presentation was of so much value that I had to invite her onto my podcast! We connected on Twitter, then LinkedIn, and the rest is history. 🙂

Keesa, the API, platform and analytics content marketing head at Thomson Reuters, joined me today to discuss how online content works hand-in-hand with customer relationships and service. This is a unique topic to my podcast, and one to be sure to listen to all the way through.

If there’s one thing I think that’s not maximized enough in today’s content marketing world, it’s how to draw out super valuable content ideas from the very problems your own customers face daily. If you can uncover that, you’ll discover the hottest content topics to talk about to capture a motivated audience who will only enlarge your own customer base!

Win, win. Keesa is all about serving those you sell to–and her ideas are golden.

Enjoy this week’s episode!

E18 Keesa Schreane

The Write Podcast, Episode 18: The Secrets of Customer-Centric Content- How to Discover What Keeps Them Craving More with Keesa Schreane Show Notes

While Keesa’s background is in journalism, she’s spent years writing about personal finance, entrepreneurism, and careers. People describe her as “curious” and she believes deeply in maintaining this as a marketer, as well as a journalist.

This curiosity lead her into a career with entrepreneurs. In this podcast, Keesa talks about why she loves working with entrepreneurs so much, and how this dynamic group of innovators has led her to develop her own outlook on customer service, content, and digital relationships:

In our conversation, Keesa and I discuss the following:

  • Keesa’s role at Thomson Reuters. Keesa also gives us a glimpse into how she arrived at her dynamic role, and how her background influenced her decisions (and how curiosity is so important to content marketers!)
  • Why we build the things we build. Keesa talks about how great customer service and communication tie into great content. Keesa helps listeners understand how businesses can use customer service to develop great relationships while also incorporating the mission into the content they create, to create massively effective content!
  • Why it’s important to talk to your client ‘as if they were a 6-year old.’ While jargon can be tempting, Keesa describes why she thinks clarity and simplicity are central to shareable content–even with a high-level audience!
  • How businesses can start building a core message for their audiences. Plus, the importance of fleshing your customer personas out into real, semi-fictional people.
  • How to communicate and reach your target audience most effectively. Keesa talks about why it’s critical to read what your audience reads and visit the platforms they love.
  • How brands can provide the message of “great customer service” and show you care for your customers through content and branding. How building a “use case” can help set up your workflow and show your customer you understand their processes.
  • How to keep your audiences coming back once you have them hooked. And how finding out how your service and product is important to your clients will help you predict their future pain points.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“Be clear on why you do what you do, and why you serve what you serve, and marry that to a need in the marketplace.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
'Great customer service and communication ties into great content.' - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
'Businesses can build a great customer relationship while tying that in to the copy they create. Which will create massively effective relationships and keep them customers craving more.' -@JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“How to keep them coming back for more: know where your customer hangs out. Get to know X by knowing where X hangs out. Understand what motivates them, what’s important to them.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
'If you're not ahead of the trends, in content marketing, you're behind.' - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“How can we find out the best way to serve a customer if we’re not having one-on-one conversations with them?” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“Nurture a client relationship by talking to customers. Listen to them, but also ask them questions. Be right there with them on their next question.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
'I know it's old-school, but I use Excel as my editorial calendar.' - @JuliaEMcCoyClick To Tweet
“Sometimes old school is all you need.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“Reach out to a small trial group of customers, maybe a dozen, and ask: “hey, this is what I’m thinking about for next quarter blog. Does this resonate with you?” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“Look for topics that prompt more conversation.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“We want every point in the customer journey to be the best for that customer – to be tailor-made for that customer.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet
“If a writer sticks to the story, the readers are going to be drawn to the authenticity of the article.” - @KeesaCamilleClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned


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write podcast E17 Mark Traphagen

The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO

In this week’s episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with Mark Traphagen. He and I have “talked online” for a considerably long time, including hanging out back on Blab.im when it used to be the new coolest kid on the block.

Mark is the Senior Director of Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting – he got started in SEO “by inventing it!” (Just kidding, his next ingenious remark is that he isn’t the Al Gore of SEO.)

In today’s awesome podcast, I talk to Traphagen about his story and beginnings in SEO, and how he turned something he stumbled into to become one of the foremost content creators, marketers and digital experts in the industry today! It’s a story you won’t want to miss. Then, we dial it up to chat all things storytelling, SEO, and even selling online (“never push your product. Work to be at the forefront of your buyer’s minds”).

Ideal for anyone who wants to overhaul their SEO, publicize their brand, and rank better online, this far-reaching conversation is packed full of gems. Enjoy!

write podcast E17 Mark Traphagen

The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO

While Mark has held many jobs throughout his life, ranging from a salesman to a school administrator, he eventually found his way through grad school and went to work at a bookstore.

It wasn’t long before he realized the physical bookstore was dying due to digital competitors like Amazon, and his boss at the time asked him to take it online in an attempt to save it.

He dove in and learned his way through the process of digital marketing and e-commerce. Eventually, he found his way into Stone Temple Consulting, where he is currently creating some of the most unique video and text content on the web.

In today’s fun, enlightening conversation, we cover the following:

  • How Mark worked in sales, went into teaching, then went back to grad school and ended up working for a bookstore, where he learned how to setup an e-commerce store and actually conducted early influencer marketing with bloggers.
  • How he took inspiration from Rand Fishkin’s “Whiteboard Friday” videos. And how these led him to developing his own unique video content, “Here’s Why.”
  • How he learned to navigate his way around Facebook’s soundless auto-play feature. While these videos don’t typically offer much of an incentive to click, Traphagen discovered how to grab a user’s interest with visual material and captions first.
  • Why good SEO takes time. And how he and his team at Stone Temple Have learned to communicate this to their clients.
  • How to master the science of SEO. While things like ranking algorithms are difficult to get a handle on, Traphagen does a great job of explaining how ranking in SEO is a little bit like a scientist testing and developing a theory.
  • How you can build a successful platform by focusing on long-term SEO efforts. SEO isn’t an overnight game, and Traphagen helps listeners understand how to focus on cumulative efforts rather than one-off results.
  • How to create authority content that gets inbound links. When you write relevant, well-marketed content, people link to it and talk about it, which builds publicity and helps expand your business!
  • How you can become one of the few brands consumers look forward to hearing from. While many social media users say they don’t want branded content in their feeds, virtually everyone has a few brands they love. Traphagen talks about how you can learn to become one of those top-tier brands through trust, authenticity, and value.
  • Using guest blogging to build your brand. Through OPA (other people’s audience), you can build your brand massively. Traphagen talks about how to do this, and why (after creating content on your own site) it should be one of your main priorities.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

'I am not the Al Gore of SEO.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
'I went back to grad school and worked for a bookstore, where I learned how to use SEO.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“SEO is both a science and an art.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
'The most important thing we can do is to be trustworthy and useful to our audience.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
'We don't need to do a hard sell on people. Or push products. Be at the top of their mind by being the most helpful.' - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“Good, effective SEO is a cumulative effort.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“There is a vital link between SEO as we typically think of it, and the value of a brand.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet
“Never think of SEO as some sort of isolated practice.” - @marktraphagenClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

This Episode Is Sponsored By Search Engine Journal!

Get 15% off the November 2 SEJ Summit with coupon code EXWSEJ, at bit.ly/sejsavings!

Today’s episode is sponsored by Search Engine Journal! This is a one-day conference tailored for search marketers, featuring experts from Google and other industry experts in a full day of 11 sessions and 6 Q&As. Guess what? Mark himself will be speaking in one of the sessions! And, I’ll be there giving away 25 free copies of my bestseller So You Think You Can Write? Get your free copy, find me there, and I’ll sign it!

Grab 15% your tickets now using exclusive Write Podcast coupon code EXWSEJ at bit.ly/sejsavings.

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write podcast e16 tor refsland

The Write Podcast, Episode 16: How to Not Be an Annoying Content Marketer & Win the Notice of Influencers with Tor Refsland

This week, I sit down with Tor Refsland, an award-winning entrepreneur and blogger, and the creator of TimeManagementChef.com. Tor has caught my eye for a long time, and our episode was dynamic (as I knew it would be)!

This is an episode you won’t want to miss – it’s jam-packed with amazing, inspiring and fun lessons for every content marketer.

In the last year, Tor has won awards for his blogs and continues to stand out as a top performer in the world of blogging and entrepreneurship. In just eighteen months, he’s a shining star in the blogging world (an amazing feat to do nowadays, with the rise of bloggers everywhere)! Jon Morrow even awarded this guy “Most Epic Blog Post.” That’s a big deal: Jon Morrow is one of the top bloggers in the world. He’s a self-taught guru. One time, he learned how to be a SAP Consultant, then was immediately head-hunted to be a SAP Consultant for one of the largest companies in the country! Tor is even a public speaker, garnering an audience of 3,000 for one of his public sessions in Nice. (For more amazing feats by Tor, read here.)

How did Tor climb to such fame in less than two years? How did he build thousands of followers, organically? Listen in to find out!  Today’s episode is inspiring – and it’s perfect for any entrepreneur or content marketer who wants to learn to increase productivity and get the biggest possible ROI from all of your marketing efforts!

write podcast e16 tor refsland

The Write Podcast, Episode 16: How to Not Be an Annoying Content Marketer, Win the Notice of Influencers, & More with Tor Refsland Highlights

  • What is content marketing? In the words of Tor, Content Marketing is the desire to “provide awesome value.” Learn how he does it every single time.
  • How Tor left a six-figure company to find his purpose and get started in content marketing. After two decades of helping founders and CEOs build their dreams, he decided to jump in and start doing it for himself.
  • How he quadrupled his productivity at one of the largest companies in Norway. And how he applied what he learned to his first business, TimeManagementChef.com.
  • How he built 3,000 followers organically at his first company. And what steps he took to reposition himself and his brand for better results in just three days.
  • Tor’s “pre-free technique.” How to create an opt-in form and landing page to test your product, and how he used this tactic to drive over $6,000 in sales for his course.
  • How Tor won the respect and trust of his audience by being transparent about the content and offerings of his free and paid courses. And how you can apply this approach to your online marketing, as well.
  • How he created an MVP (minimum viable product). One of the most important things Tor learned is to survey his audience and deliver the content type based on what they wanted.
  • How audience differs. To be a good content marketer, Tor believes people must learn that it’s not about what you Tune in to learn about how audiences differ and how you can find out what format your audience wants!

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“The secret to growing your tribe fast is removing your ego ENTIRELY from the equation.” @TorRefslandClick To Tweet
“Over-deliver like CRAZY!” -@TorRefslandClick To Tweet
“It’s not about what you want to do for your audience, it’s about what they want from you.” -@TorRefslandClick To Tweet
'You’re just a caretaker for the blog. You’re there to serve THEM = your audience.' - @TorRefslandClick To Tweet
“Provide value again and again without expecting or asking for anything in return.” -@TorRefslandClick To Tweet

Links Mentioned

This Episode Is Sponsored By Search Engine Journal!

Get 15% off the November 2 SEJ Summit with coupon code EXWSEJ, at bit.ly/sejsavings!

Today’s episode is sponsored by Search Engine Journal! Meet me and five of my staff members from Express Writers this November 2, at the SEJ Summit in NYC! This is a one-day conference tailored for search marketers, featuring several experts from Google and other industry experts in a full day of 11 sessions and 6 Q&As. I’ll be there giving away 25 free copies of my bestseller So You Think You Can Write? Get your free copy, find me there, and I’ll sign it! Grab 15% your tickets now using exclusive Write Podcast coupon code EXWSEJ at bit.ly/sejsavings.


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write podcast episode 15

The Write Podcast, Episode 15: Tips on Balancing Entrepreneurship, Parenting, & Staying Productive with Business Coach Holly Diederich

I had so much fun connecting with Holly Diederich, a business coach I connected with a while back, in a podcast today! We met in mutual Facebook groups, and she quickly became a business friend who was there for me early on with solid advice on my big-ticket questions about publicizing the crazy embezzlement story.

We’d been trying to schedule this episode for weeks–well, it finally happened! In today’s episode, we talk about a lot of real-life stuff: the fun and busy world of parenthood while balancing being an entrepreneur, and Holly’s entire story, from leaving a comfortable corporate job to follow her dreams and how she made five figures fast (without a website)!

Before she started her current business, Holly was enjoying a managerial role at a publicly-traded Fortune 1000 company. She thought she was on top of the world, fulfilling her goals for herself, traveling and making big decisions.

Then she had her first child, and she, like so many moms, realized that her priorities had shifted.

In this episode, we dig into how Holly made the leap from what she thought she should be doing, to what she wanted to do, and how she made a great life in the process. Listen on Spreaker or in iTunes.

write podcast episode 15

The Write Podcast Episode 15 with Holly Diederich, Talking Life, Entrepreneurship, Parenthood, and Staying Productive: Highlights

Ideal for anyone who struggles to juggle family life with entrepreneurship, this episode offers a wide selection of great tips on productivity, efficiency, and caring for yourself, first. Here are a few highlights:

  • How Holly left the corporate world to start a coaching business, and what influenced her decision.
  • How she started her first company (an online boutique) and grew it from an idea to $4,000 of revenue in just 3 months
  • When she realized that she could allocate her time and energy more effectively by outsourcing key responsibilities, and how you can, too
  • How her coaching business grew up out of her own entrepreneurial pursuit
  • How her coaching business reached $10,000 in revenue in five weeks, without a website, and how she used LeadPages to do it
  • What types of content she publishes to attract leads in her wildly successful Facebook group (more than 1,400 members!)
  • Which tricks Holly has learned to care for herself and avoid burnout
  • Why all entrepreneurs can benefit from putting themselves first
  • How she finds the best courses to continue her learning and growth
  • How the biggest gains come from intentionally relinquishing responsibility (and outsourcing!)

Relevant Links:

And don’t forget…


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The Write Podcast, Episode 14: Talking Twitter Strategy With Madalyn Sklar- Her Story, What #TwitterSmarter Is All About, & Ways to Rock Out Your Twitter

Today’s episode was a blast! I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with Madalyn Sklar, a huge Twitter influencer who I’ve respected for a long time.

Known around the web as a “social media power influencer,” Madalyn Sklar has made a name for herself for being one of the best Twitter marketers around with a solid knowledge of Twitter strategy and practices. With over twenty years of experience in social media (her roots were in starting GoGirlsMusic in 1996), she’s currently ranked the #1 Social Media Power Influencer in all of Houston. Madalyn keeps busy blogging, chatting and podcasting about all things technology and social media.

Over the years, she’s built a massively successful online business focused on helping her clients build buzz (and maintain it) on social media. She’s got the resume to back it up, too: the founder of GoGirlsMusic (the largest community of female musicians online), Madalyn has a long history of dominating Twitter strategy and social media and learning what it takes to be successful online.

The Brilliant Twitter Strategy of Madalyn Sklar: #TwitterSmarter

As if running a massive online business weren’t enough, Madalyn also runs the #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat and podcast – what a brilliant way to brand two different content styles and platforms under one umbrella! Her Twitter chat, #TwitterSmarter, happens on Thursdays at 1 PM CST on @MadalynSklar, and her podcast in iTunes, Twitter Smarter, specializes in offering Twitter tips and tricks to interested marketers.

Launched in June of 2015, the podcast has since featured some of the biggest names in online marketing, including Mari Smith and Tim Fargo. I’m also honored to announce that Madalyn will be scheduling me in soon for her podcast, so head to her website and subscribe!

Ep 14 Twitter strategies

The Write Podcast Episode 14 with Guest Madalyn Sklar, Talking Twitter Strategy: Highlights

  • Taking action is critical. When we join live Twitter chats, (and I’d even apply this to reading a blog or content piece online), we often enjoy learning new things. But Madalyn believes in taking action: this is “where the rubber meets the road” and is one of the most essential things a marketer can do. Don’t just talk about it – be about it!
  • You have to be on social media. Today’s marketers must have an online presence. It’s critical to getting found and building a following.
  • How Madalyn developed #TwitterSmarter as an online course in 2013, and what she did to grow it into the powerhouse it is today.
  • Why she loves short-form Twitter chats, and how she’s made short-form content work for her over the years.

Relevant Links:

Like my podcast? I would greatly appreciate your time to leave me a rating & review in iTunes! Click here to see the show in iTunes.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

“I like short, concise, to-the-point, and I really found my home with that on Twitter in 140-characters.” – MadalynClick To Tweet
“From day 1, I saw the power of Twitter. I saw that I could use it to connect with people who were like-minded.” –MadalynClick To Tweet
“My big thing is taking action…I tell people we’ve got to go take action. That’s where the rubber meets the road.” – MadalynClick To Tweet
“People are always saying, ‘what can I do to stand out?’ Doing video on Twitter is a great way to stand out because so few people are doing it.”-MadalynClick To Tweet
“Go back to the basics...you’ve got to have an amazing Twitter profile.” -MadalynClick To Tweet

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