Google Photos

@dottotech talks about Google Photos — a must have tool for business and personal images…

Blogging Statistics and Trends: The 2018 Survey of 1000+ Bloggers

We’ve asked 1000 bloggers to tell us how they do it. How long is a typical blog post? What does it include? How is it promoted? Here is the complete report of blogging statistics, trends and insights, showing what bloggers are doing and what works now.

Source: Blogging Statistics and Trends: The 2018 Survey of 1000+ Bloggers | Orbit Media Studios

How to create a style guide for your SEO content writers

To get the most out of your content writers, you need to set them on the right track from the start. How to develop guidelines and reduce the required editing time: How to create a style guide for your SEO content writers – Search Engine Land

What Is The Purpose Of Your Website?

website ideas

What is the purpose of your website is a great question to ask yourself from time to time…

How do you begin to shape a purposeful… website? Old or new, your best bet is to keep it simple. Basically, you have three strategic options:

  1. Sell products and services
  2. Generate leads
  3. Establish credentials

Option 1, an e-commerce site, requires the biggest development and marketing budgets. It produces direct revenue and measurable profit, as well as sales leads.

Option 2, a lead-generation site, can be developed and marketed for less (generally speaking), but still requires a hefty investment. It produces qualified, trackable sales leads.

Option 3, a credentials site, is the simplest and least expensive option. It makes a good impression on people who know who you are, but won’t help you find new leads or customers.

How do you know which option is right for you? A lot of factors go into that decision, with budget being one of the most important….  For now, suffice to say that many companies have lead-generation ambitions but only a credentials budget.

Source: What Is The Purpose Of Your Website? – Forbes

Why are we doing this and what will it get us are both great questions to back up and ask yourself from time to time…

Feedly; processing and publishing content on the go…



First off, this series is going to be a little like Star Wars in that I’m starting the story kind of in the middle. I was most inspired to start my new set of mobile screen casts focusing on Feedly which to me may be the single most important tool in the content marketers toolbox.

First a little bit of review. I said earlier other places that if you want to be a thought leader on the Internet you have to be able to manage all of your personal information well. By this I mean you’ll never be a big dog out on the Internet if you can’t get off the porch of your inbox. In other posts I’ve talked about how the single most important thought for me is to get newsletters and other just in case information out of my inbox into a feed reader. Feedly is the only feed reader that meets my five criteria for recommended application. I’ve included that list again here:


In his classic book Getting Things Done David Allen recommends that we use exactly as many containers as we need and not a single one more. Feedly is the container that I use and recommend both for processing and producing content to drive my content marketing campaigns. In the video below I’ll take you through the process of configuring Feedly for mobile use and take you through the processing, producing, and postproduction phases of using Feedly define the content you need to feed YOUR content marketing campaigns.

Where would you like me to go with this? What topics did I miss? Please let me know in the comments below…

Why YouTube Rocks!

Is it the ability to create engaging content like this that gets your message across in an unforgettable way?

Or, is it because it’s a place where people actually go to get brand messaging?


You tell me!

Looking ahead to 2014!

English: Google Plus logo

Looking ahead to 2014!? Is it too early to think about that already? Not if you’re a content marketer! I mean think about it — most of your competition will spend the month of December partying like the Grasshopper in the classic fable. It’s time to think now about being more intentional with your search engine marketing and social media and decide if you’ll be an Ant or a Grasshopper…

Looking ahead to 2014 I think the content marketing world will fall into two categories; those who are dominating search through effective use of Google Plus and those who are scratching their heads. In which category would you like to be? Don’t get me wrong! All of the basics still apply but now is a great time to review what you’re currently doing and thinking about adding Google Plus to the mix. Here are some thoughts I have on the subject:

Here’s the link to the Traphagan article — and sorry, it was Search Engine Land. By the way, I may turn this into a series depending on the feedback I receive so let me know what you think in the comments!

Which blogging tool should I use; or tumblr?

The answer is yes! While I normally advise clients, students and readers to “never use two tools were one will do” here is a case here is a case where using both is not only acceptable but desirable. Here’s why:

  • is great at Search Engine Optimization [SEO] but it does not allow JavaScript or iframes amongst other things
  • Tumblr is not as good at Search Engine Optimization [SEO] but it does allow JavaScript and iframes amongst other things
  • For whatever reason — technical or political – tumblr is available as a sharing option where is not so you can pick the best tool for the job
  • ‘Curation’ via tumblr’s bookmarklet is a little easier than’s ‘Press This’…
  • They can be linked together from a technical perspective in a way that makes them appear to be one website to Google
  • They can both be scripted by
  • Both have great – but different – fans [which will give you more exposure]
  • You can have a unified WordPress/tumblr site for less that $20 per year

…and I’m sure there are some other reasons that I’ve overlooked!

Let me talk you through some of the issues here:


How to Cope with the Death of Google Reader

Sonia Simone at CopyBlogger has a post worth your attention on the death of Google Reader:

You know the stages.

First, denial. “No way, dude, that’s got to be a rumor.”

Then anger. “Don’t Be Evil my $%&! How could they do this to me?”

Bargaining. “Could a new version of Google Reader really save Digg?”

Depression. “I can haz no more LOLz.”

And finally, we come to acceptance. Yes, it’s true. Google Reader really is going away on July 1. So if you haven’t rustled up an alternative yet, it’s time.

If you’re a Google Reader user, obviously you need a new tool to read your subscriptions. We have a few thoughts for you on that.

But if you’re a content publisher, you’ll also need to make sure that your audience has a way to continue tuning in for everything you do.

Feel free to point your audience to this post, or you may want to craft a message of your own with more individualized suggestions for your audience’s needs. But be sure you send out a clear, specific call to action and keep those subscribers on board — no one wants to lose a big chunk of their audience just because a tool goes away.

via How to Cope with the Death of Google Reader | Copyblogger.

Frankly, I went through all these stages a month or so ago and happily shifted my attention to feedly which I had used as an alternative to Google Reader since 2009. I’m happy to say that the folks at feedly have really shone in stepping up as the only logical choice to replace Google Reader…

  • It syncs flawlessly in the cloud
  • You can automate it with now
  • It has better features and is more eye appealing than Google Reader

Take a look;

So, Google Reader — good riddance! feedly rocks…

PS I do NOT agree with Simone that email is a replacement for Google Reader! Email should be preserved for ‘just in time’ information; send the just in case stuff to feedly!

5 Cool Tools for Archiving Social Media Posts


Tammy Kahn Fennell has a nice post here:

Whether you’re actively posting or just browsing through your social streams, things move pretty fast.  A post is often there one minute and gone the next. With hundreds of millions of status updates and tweets sent every day, finding them later is next to impossible. Here are 5 tools to help you hang on to those updates through archiving social media posts you’d like to save.

Do check out her original post here: 5 Cool Tools for Archiving Social Media Posts.

I’d like to suggest that the best of them all is a tool that did not make her list. It’s a tool with a name so silly I fear that many will not take it seriously, but it’s called RebelMouse… Continue reading “5 Cool Tools for Archiving Social Media Posts”

Thinking about thinking about transformational thought leadership…

The title is not a typo. Watch the first video and you’ll know what I mean!

Some thoughts on searching for the ‘middle way’ and attempting to apply it to transformational thought leadership. Some very rough thinking along the perilous path of ‘becoming known’…

5/10/2013; apparently I blew the first video. I’ve been informed that there’s no sound but I won’t be able to redo it until Monday. Enjoy the rest of the post…

Here’s the version WITH audio;


How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes

My friend Eric Kim at Twylah shared this most excellent TEDTalk with me yesterday. Watch it!

Here are the 5 questions that Adam Leipzig offers…

The 5 Questions...

What do you think? Helpful? Overly simplistic? Tell me…

Here’s a bonus list of my ‘on purpose’ videos…

Related articles

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing, right? Here’s a minimalist workflow for content and thought leadership marketing that will help you get found when people are looking for you and what you do in the coming year…


The beautiful thing about this simple workflow is that you have to do the reading anyway in order to maintain your expert status — why not turn it into thought leadership marketing? Also every tool is free and completely cross platform and it could all be executed from a $199 Chromebook. I explain here:

How could I explain this more clearly or make this post better? Comment below or use the contact form above…

A 3-Step Process for Painless Keyword Research

Beth Hayden @ CopyBlogger has a great post I’d like to share with you…

Keyword research is one of the most important types of research you’ll do throughout your content marketing career. It’s also one of the most difficult.

In this series, we’ve already discussed the fact that research isn’t sexy, glamorous, or fun. We’ve also talked about how you need to do research consistently — just like you need to work out in a consistent manner in order to see the real physical fitness results you want.

But there’s something particularly arduous about conducting keyword research. Many of the tools available are confusing and counter-intuitive. We don’t know what we’re supposed to be looking for, and we often don’t have a system in place for how to do keyword research effectively.

But, in putting this series together, I took a very close look at the process of keyword research, and I realized that there’s a better way to find the keywords I needed for my work … without tears, gnashing of teeth, or the desire for hard alcohol.

I always seem to get lost in the data of keyword research. I feel like all of the information I find is incredibly important, and I can’t figure out what to focus on and what to ignore.

Sometimes I make a half-hearted effort to research the keywords I should use in my content, then get aggravated and toss my lists aside in favor of doing less frustrating work.

In the next two posts of this research series, I’m going to give you the solution to your keyword research woes. I’ll teach you …

  • How to stay focused when doing your research
  • How to avoid getting bogged down in the stuff that doesn’t matter
  • How to take a shortcut that will save you tons and time and energy

Let’s get started…

Get focused on your goal

Your goal when conducting keyword research is to identify the topics that matter most to your target audiences, and then discover the exact language they use when they search for information and discuss their questions on social networking sites.

To reach that goal, you need a simple, effective system for keyword research. Follow these three steps to clear up the fog of procrastination and confusion that surrounds the process of finding target keywords for your content.

Full story at: A 3-Step Process for Painless Keyword Research | Copyblogger

Discovering the exact language people are using is the key to aligning your writing with the value demands of your target audience. You may want to elevate your status by calling yourself a ‘purveyor of fine previously owned automobiles’ but the target audience is just looking for a good used car. If you don’t discover what people are looking for and bring your message into alignment, you’re whistling in the dark! Get a grip by following the link and reading the rest of Beth’s perspective. I’m always here to help, too! Comment below or connect with me so we can talk about how this applies to you and your situation…

Friend, mentor and client Nilofer Merchant posted recently about the problem of fragmentation:

It’s a fragmented world. And it’s only becoming more so. It used to be that when people wrote, they wrote more deeply. In the early days of the web (pre-twitter), I remember hand picking the few voices I would listen to and then putting them into my RSS feeder and checking for their essays. Essays, not tweets, were the way we shared what we were thinking. But as “content” has become more important to maintain a standing online, more and more people are entering into the fray. More and more people who may not even have a point of view to advocate but just want to participate in the conversation.

As content becomes more fragmented, you could try and compete with that by doing more and more, by curating other people’s content, by then running your content through Twylah, by having that “twitter magazine” come out which puts all your tweets and links in one place so that people can catch it if they missed each particular one.

Or you could do the opposite. You could go deep. You could be that voice that everyone listens to because when it speaks, it is so deep and rich that it’s worth slowing down to listen to. Sort of a Morgan Freeman voice, in the times of Justin Bieber bop. Maybe it will allow the light of an idea to be seen more clearly.” There’s more at the source: In a fragmented world, go deep – Nilofer Merchant

If I were talking with Nilofer, I’d gently push back on this one. ‘Going deep’ does not preclude using Twylah; rather, I think, the answer to fragmentation and ‘going deep’ is focus…

When I first started blogging I was not confident in my own skillset and my focus was a mile wide and six inches deep. My tagline was “Marketing, Sales and Technology for small business, non-profits and academic institutions”. It makes me laugh now because there are no dozen websites that can cover THIS landscape effectively. I used to curate anything and everything related to those topics sometimes posting over 20 times a day! I got traffic but it wasn’t really relevant and it didn’t get me customers. Over time, Nilofer helped me go deep and realize my ‘onlyness’ was really helping thinkers to become thought leaders through the use of a minimal toolkit for content marketing. Now my tagline is “content marketing for thought leadership” and I help experts get found when people are looking for what they do. By going deeper, I may lose the opportunity to develop a small business website but I might gain the opportunity to work with a TED Fellow like Nina Tandon which is much more rewarding in the long run. Now, too, I’m more confident in my onlyness, I only post a couple of times per week…

Nilofer and I have had this discussion before and I think we both agree: If our thoughts are going to resonate with our target audience we need to understand the questions they are asking and align our answers with their queries. If we position ourselves as the obvious answer to the questions of the people we want to attract, we will get found when people are looking for ‘that one voice’. It’s not good enough however simply to think deep thoughts; we need to let people know that we are thinking them. Nilofer is a great thinker on strategy but I direct my energy toward ‘thoughts, tools and tactics’ for content marketing and ‘thought leadership’ marketing; I think the answer here is not either/or it’s both/and. I don’t think Nilofer’s saying that Twylah is a bad thing and I think she’d agree you need to go deep thoughtwise AND master ‘thought leadership’ marketing toolwise because the two go together like peanut butter and chocolate — it’s just that mindlessly tweeting and retweeting doesn’t do much to add value…

In closing, here are the 3 tools I recommend for ‘thought leadership’ marketing:

  • Google Reader
  • WordPress
  • Twylah

Ed. 2019: The current version of this list would be:

  • Google News or Inoreader
  • WordPress
  • Buffer

I posted about them here just last week. They are the tools that will help you get found when you decide to ‘go deep’ and become the one voice [because it doesn’t matter how deep you go if no one can find you]…

Sometimes, I think I post more about how much I love Twylah than the folks at Twylah do. Whether that’s true or not, I’m a huge fan and the main reason why is Twylah is the only social networking tool I know of that actually adds Search Engine Optimization [SEO] to your domain simply by tweeting. Still, if the DNS manager of your domain host is unfamiliar territory you may not be getting the maximum value out of Twylah and Twitter. I talk you through it here…

So, in summary, the three things you must do are:

  • Use Twylah
  • Add the Twylah widget to your WordPress sidebar
  • Host Twylah on your domain

Questions? Feedback? Comment below or connect with me so we can talk about how this applies to you and your situation…

Ever heard of the Pareto Principle? Mostly likely you have but may not know it by that name. “The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” In the ‘e1evation workflow‘, 80% of my results come from having mastered just three tools. Why is this important? My clients include thought leaders like author Nilofer Merchant, author and professor Philip Auerswald, author and professor Timothy Kastelle, consultant Gretchen Jahn and professor and TED Fellow Nina Tandon; people like that don’t have the time or patience to learn an infinite number of tools — they need to know the three that will yield the most effective results…

I teach them [and all my clients] that if I could only use three tools for effective content marketing there is no confusion in my mind as to what they would be:

Why? No other combination of tools covers the basics of content marketing better. Google Reader helps me find great content that deepens my expertise. WordPress and Twylah help me document my expertise by turning everything I create or curate into content marketing with Search Engine Optimization [SEO] value for my domain. Let me explain…

Here are all the tools I use in the ‘e1evation workflow’:

And here are the 20% that yield the 80% of my results:

Questions? Feedback? Comment or contact me to talk more about how this applies to you and your situation…

…This is going to be a long one – I had an epiphany this morning…

Brilliance can be found in many places — especially if you keep your mouth shut and your ears open! First, a bit of a story; six months ago I decided to get off my fat ass and start exercising. Thanks to Endomondo, I know that I walked and biked for a total of 16 hours in the month of March. Being the overachiever that I am by the month of July I had doubled that time. The net result? Tendinitis…

I’m now in physical therapy trying to get back on the exercise path again. This morning, I asked my physical therapist Lynn to recommend a knee brace to help me. I was looking at all the options in Google and had visions of the mother of all knee braces…

…when I shared my plan with Lynn, however, she had a different perspective and her advice was brilliant; get as much support as you need and nothing more. I was blown away by the wisdom of her simple statement. It echoes the wisdom of great thinkers like David Allen and Stephen Covey.

How does this relate to thought leadership and getting found? Most likely you’ve heard me say before that, in the words of the immortal Albert Einstein “things must be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”. The thought occurred to me this morning that in order to be recognized as a thought leader, or the obvious expert in your field you only need to think about three things:

  1. Passion
  2. Purpose
  3. Plan

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on number one; Confucius said find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. If you don’t have passion for your “onlyness” you need to find it or move on…

Regarding number 2, it’s great to have a purpose but in order to be profitable your purpose has to solve a problem [reference Tim Kastelle’s classic post on The Underpants Gnomes]. Now call me Captain Obvious, but the best way to see what problems people are trying to solve is to see what problems people are trying to solve. That is not a typo. Read it again. “How do I do that?” you might say. Google is not only great for finding things, but it also happily shares the things people are looking for. Again with the Captain Obvious, but if I want to be found it seems to me that I should write about what people are looking for. If I understand my unique value proposition and can link it to what people are looking for I will be found as a solution.

The following screencast shows three different ways — ranked in order of complexity — of finding what people are looking for;

If you consistently find and share good information that effectively solves problems for which people are searching for solutions, over time you will be found and recognized as the expert in your field.

The short answer to number 3, is to consistently find and communicate that information that documents your expertise in your field. Again in the spirit of Einstein’s razor, I think there are only three tools you need to master in order to deepen and document your expertise:

  1. Google Alerts and/or Google Reader
  2. WordPress
  3. Twitter using Twylah’s Power Tweet

I have written many times about the power of Google Reader but not so much about the power of Google Alerts. To me a Google Alert is a kind of a virtual intern that will scour the Internet 24x7x365 to find and deliver to you exactly what you’re looking for. Sometimes the art of being an expert is to stay a page ahead of your followers; what better way then to search what people are searching for and put the answers all in one place? Captain Obvious again; why not take the most popular searches you find and turn them into Google Alerts? When you find good content in Google Reader using Google Alerts and either curate the content in the form of a blog post or tweet it using Twyla’s Power Tweet you attach that content to your domain on the Internet. Here’s how I do it [you may have a better solution]:

I may be wrong about this [I was actually wrong once back in the 80’s] but in my mind there is no simpler, faster, cheaper way to get found when people are looking for YOU. Comment below or connect with me so we can talk about how this applies to you and your situation…

PS Here are two bonus Power Tools:

The folks at PRWeb have a great infographic I want to share with you:

There are many types of content that businesses can use for content marketing. Which types are best for promoting your small business could vary depending on the products or services offered and the consumers targeted.

PRWeb has created this matrix to show how different types of content can appeal to different consumers and offers facts or suggestions about each. The top shows the the different types of content, while the bottom explains how those pieces of content can be used.

via [Infographic] The Content Marketing Matrix for Small Businesses.

When I’m not doing ‘internet plumbing’ — website development and social media optimization — I’m working on the problem of getting found in what Google calls the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’. The big issue I’m trying to solve my clients and myself is “when people are searching for what I do will they find me”? It’s a difficult problem to solve and I rant about it here…

By the way, here is a list of the top 10 tools that I have found in my quest…

[listly id=”1Tz” layout=”full”]

In order to be found in the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’, there are two main activities you need to master; FINDING and SHARING great content. Another way of putting it is…

  • Deepening your expertise
  • Documenting your expertise

Here’s how I do it [By the way,  there is a Mac version at about 17:00 but you need to understand the principles in the Windows version. Sorry, Mac boys and girls!]:

Here is the mindmap of my screencast:

Here are the direct links to the tools I use in the screencast:

By the way,  this post and this post might also give you some insight as to how I apply Getting Things Done [GTD] principles to this process. Comment below or connect with me so we can talk about how this applies to you and your situation…

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