Break It Down: Keeping your Blog Scope in Check

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We all get a little excited when it’s blog-writing time. (Well, I know I do.) You’re committed to providing fantastic value to your readers with every post, so it can be tempting to get carried away. Maybe you’ve found yourself saying, I know the title of this post is X, but everyone will be so happy if I give them X + Y + Z + The Kitchen Sink! A client recently brought me a blog post draft that suffered from this very problem. This single, 2-page post contained the entire rationale for purchasing their product. It had about 6 headers, and …

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When Copy Gets Too Cute — The User Experience of Snacks

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Last week I moved to beautiful, sunny San Diego with my partner for his awesome new job. Our two pampered cats demanded that we load all our earthly goods into a POD, and fly those highfalutin felines across the country in style. So that’s what we did. We flew Southwest because it gave us the best deal on checked baggage and pet fees. (Hold tight, I promise this story has to do with UX.) I had never flown Southwest before, so was delighted to find that a snack basket was headed my way, even in economy. Score. But then, in the …

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Guest Post with LadyBoss Social Club — Defining Your Personal Brand Voice

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I know a thing or two about small, woman-owned businesses (hey, that’s me!). When you’re the only employee, you’ve got a hundred thousand things on your plate. There are literally infinite ways you could spend your time and, short of hiring a business coach, nobody will tell you what’s right. With no boss and no personal assistant (boo) it’s easy to get overwhelmed by options. Do I work at the coffee shop, the coworking space, lounging in my hammock, or do I just sit paralyzed in my jammies? I know how tempting it is to ignore the parts of your business that …

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Content Strategy Case Study — DCCC

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Recently I volunteered to rebuild a website for a local organization, the DC Childcare Collective. They are a grassroots organization that provides free childcare to social justice organizations in the DC metro area. It’s awesome work that enables caregivers to participate in activism, so I was thrilled to partner with them. The problem? Their website needed help! The collective structure has a number of benefits, but the lack of hierarchy and oversight was clearly reflected in their website. It was a WordPress blog full of sprawling, outdated information, without clear CTAs. Collective members even admitted that before they joined, they …

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A Case Study Formula You Can’t Mess Up

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Are you in the B2B marketing space? You’re collecting case studies, right? Don’t tell me I just heard crickets. Case studies are like the ultimate social proof, they’re seriously great to have splashed across your website, blog, email campaigns and social media. There’s a lot to love about case studies done well. It’s all the most powerful marketing techniques combined into a gorgeous, irrefutable package with a bow on top. Here’s the formula (more or less). Powerful Storytelling + Testimonials + Cold, Hard Results = Awesome Case Study (I’m no math major, but this spells success.) If you’ve been avoiding …

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The best email subject line I’ve ever read

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I got a marketing email with a subject line that totally stopped me in my tracks. The email subject line was simply: UGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I actually, literally, for real laughed out loud. Then I opened it, of course! This cryptic AF message was from Caviar, a pretty sleek-looking online food delivery service that serves D.C. and a few other cities. Perhaps I had ordered from them once or twice, I hadn’t made it a regular thing. I hadn’t yet found their communication annoying enough to unsubscribe. But this email sure caught my attention. I don’t remember at all what was inside …

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How to Create 6 Months of Amazing Blog Topics in 30 Minutes

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I’ve decided to get a lot more serious about my blog. But coming up with topics felt like an absolute drag (perhaps you can relate?) I fell into the classic trap. I knew I wanted to create useful content on a weekly basis, but it was paralyzing. I had no plan. I would write about whatever came to mind. Sometimes I skipped weeks. And (sadly) that did not make for a super useful blog. Maybe I’d get lucky and say something important every once in awhile, but it was touch and go, to be sure. If I’m going to help …

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Dear tech bros: nobody gives a fuck about your code.

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Hey tech bros. You know that I’m here for you. I love you more than anything — except my cats. (Mama’s gotta keep the Fancy Feast coming…or else.) I’ve noticed a common thread among software companies. You’re hyped, you’ve got this fantastic technology that’s totally going to change the world. But here’s the problem — you think people give a shit. And I’ve got to break it to you: Nobody cares about your [AI/blockchain/algorithms/insert incredible advancement here]. And that’s a best case scenario. What with Elon Musk running his trap about how AI-powered machines are going to kill us all someday, you …

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How to Write a Delightful Job Post

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The job post genre is one of my faves, specifically because the vast majority of them are so horrible. They’re dry. Long. Repetitive. Oh, and they sound pretty boilerplate, too. There is so much ickiness out there, it’s hard to know where to start. A job post is your first opportunity to make an impression on applicants. Real superstars know that they need to customize every cover letter, do research, and spend significant time on each application. They’re unlikely to waste the effort on job posts that make them go: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So make it shine. Here’s how. Remember that a …

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Creativity & Me

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My mother told me a story that says a lot about my particular brand of creativity. I was 18 months old, more or less, and was strapped into a carseat in the back of our old Dodge Dart. Mom was driving, it was just her and me. We passed by a McDonalds restaurant. From the backseat, my mom heard me sing (apropos of nothing), “Ee-Eye-Ee-Eye-Oh.” That’s E-I-E-I-O, as in “Old MacDonald had a farm”. I was not extraordinarily verbal at that time, and yet I had just made a huge mental leap.  In an instant I had processed all this …

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