Hope you're having a great week. Here are a few things I've been reading, writing and pondering lately. Enjoy!
The Information writes articles about the technology industry that you won't find anywhere else (like how Evan Spiegel fumbled Snap's redesign and how Netflix is shaking up Hollywood with its unique org structure).
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1. How QuickBooks Nearly Doubled Traffic by Deleting Half Its Content
My friend and former colleague Will Waggoner is a great SEO. Last year, he decided to delete 2,000 blog posts from the QuickBooks Resource Center to fight off a slow decline in organic traffic.
And while you might expect that traffic dropped—it didn’t. In fact, traffic was up 20% within a few weeks. And by the time peak season rolled around—tax prep creates a surge in search volume between January and May—traffic was up 44%. That extra traffic contributed to a 72% increase in signups as well.
Will has plenty of thoughts on content pruning and was kind enough to share them in this post.
2. How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet
Another great article from Farhad Manjoo’s State of the Art column. Check out the I Like To Make Stuff YouTube channel if want to get lost in this heathlier, saner version of the internet.
I speak of the hobbyist internet. These days, any pastime worth pursuing — pottery, cooking, gardening, quilting, woodworking and beyond — attracts a constellation of blogs, message boards, Facebook groups, Amazon reviewers, Instagram and Etsy influencers, and many hundreds of YouTube stars. Collectively, they form the online social structure around any hobby, a group of folks who are only too happy to help you learn whatever you are trying to master.
It is here, in the hobbyist internet’s daily collective struggle to make the best hamburger or grow the perfect tomato, that you can glimpse a healthier relationship with your digital devices.
3. Why You Should Run Without Music
When you preselect a soundtrack for your run, you are trying to tacitly control your experience. And in many cases, that is precisely the point: pump-me-up music to get you through those painful final miles, for instance. But, as that example illustrates, so much of our music comes loaded with preconceived mental associations; we already know how a certain song is going to make us feel.
One of the great things about running is that it can provide a chance to get away from all that, if only for an hour or so.
4. Tweet of the Week
Here is an OPEN SECRET ABOUT GETTING PROMOTED.— Amazing Rando (@amazingrando) July 20, 2018
Learn to write well. The higher you go the MORE YOU WILL WRITE. Emails. Proposals. Memos. Instructions.
WRITING IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS.
5. Random Links
- I thought this was really interesting: Tearing Down Evernote’s Pricing (Teaser: Evernote is underpriced.)
- An updated list from Rand Fishkin: 117 Examples of 10X Content
- I’m a sucker for posts like this: The 25 Best Productivity Apps for Mac in 2018
- Worth re-reading now and then: Goals vs. Systems
- Have something you’d like to share? Let me know and I’ll try to include it a future issue.
Have a great weekend!
PS - I’m looking to partner with a few great businesses to sponsor this newsletter. It reaches a bunch of smart folks from places like Google, Apple, Spotify, New York Times, Marriott and Harvard. Shoot me an email if you're interested in working together.