Hope you're having a great week. Here are a few things I've been reading, writing and pondering lately. Enjoy!
1. How to Grow a Blog the Hard Way
Intercom is a household name largely because their content marketing is so effective. I sat down with senior editor Geoffrey Keating to talk about how they’re able to get a steady stream of subject matter experts contributing to their blog.
"I don’t deal with writers on a daily basis. I deal with subject matter experts who are not professional writers. A huge part of our job is actually brainstorming, coaching people and holding their hand through the process, rather than jumping into a doc and chopping and changing their words. I think something that editors probably underplay quite a lot."
2. What Is the MECE Principle? A Powerful, Problem Structuring Framework
This helpful in the context of content marketing (which is where I find myself applying it), but can be used to solve a wide variety of complex problems.
MECE is a fundamental, problem structuring framework that stands for Mutually Exclusive, Completely Exhaustive. Why is it so popular with management consultants? Well, management consultants essentially spend all day solving problems - it's a huge part of their job. As a result, the better consultants get at quickly decomposing problems and bucketing them into key issues, the better they get at their job.
3. The Origin Story of Marie Kondo’s Decluttering Empire
Marie Kondo is the author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I’m always curious where authors come from and what inspires them to write. I found this piece to be really interesting.
In 2010, Kondo’s book proposal won first prize in a publishing training course called “How to write bestsellers that will be loved for ten years.” One of the judges was Tomohiro Takahashi, an editor at Sunmark, which is a Tokyo self-help and business publisher remarkable for its best-sellers and its hands-on editorial approach. Takahashi made the winning bid for Kondo’s book-to-be, of which she had not yet written a jot. She was a writing novice, but Takahashi told himself, “She’s going to be on TV and become famous.”
4. Tweet of the Week
I LOVE this lesson from @monzo about how to spot the passive voice. pic.twitter.com/SosA8myqPF— Olly Percival (@ollypercival) May 1, 2018
5. Random Links
- I thought this was fascinating: Pricing Page Teardown - Xero vs QuickBooks Online
- I dig this: Keep Things Simple For A Healthy, Long Life
- An old but relevant post from Jason Fried: Tiny projects keep it new
- Any runners out there who have run 50 miles and beyond? I’d love to pick your brain. :)
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.
PPS - I created an email course called 5 Days to Better Content Marketing. More than 300 people have already taken it. You should check it out too.