Why I Write a Newsletter

I've been sending a weekly email newsletter for nearly two years. I pay Mailchimp $67.50 out of my own pocket every month to do that and sometimes wonder if it's worth it when my credit card gets dinged. A two year anniversary seems like the right time for a…

Blogs Are Libraries, Not Publications

I've written before that content marketers should not make the mistake of treating their blog like a true editorial publication.   Content marketing teams usually don't have the people or the resources to operate like the New York Times, nor should they attempt it. Publications have missions. Blogs—at least…

The Content Promotion Lie

"Promotion" and "distribution" are the two most distracting words in content marketing for two important reasons: They put the focus on the business, not the reader. (The truth is that content is useful to far fewer people than your CMO thinks it should be, and that's…

Good Work Habits Are the Key to Less Stress

Technology is stressing you out. But don't worry, it's not just you. The tools we use at work are engineered to keep us engaged. Our phones keep work just a few feet away 24 hours a day. All of us are susceptible to the tractor beam that is the modern…

Graduate from Analogies

Analogies are a powerful way to communicate ideas, but they are also a crutch. We need to be able to explain ideas to readers without analogies and cliches. Relying on someone else's words means we don't fully understand the concept we're trying to explain or that we didn't spend nearly…

The Difference Between a First Draft and Second Draft

"Most first drafts can be cut by 50 percent without losing any information or losing the author’s voice." — William Zinsser Intercom's recent post In Praise of Editing has me thinking a lot about how to improve the articles I work on. One common mistake I make is…

The Work Habits Manifesto

Isn't it interesting that the Internet simultaneously makes our work more and less efficient? On one hand, we can video chat with remote coworkers all over the world. On the other, buzzing notifications, Facebook, emails, Slack, Google Docs, Trello, etc. Each helps and hurts in its own way. It's harder…

Workplace communication is lazy and broken

Technology kind of sucks. Seriously, how many tools or software products have actually made your life better recently? I'll bet almost none. In fact, I'll bet at least a few made your life considerably worse. In the 1930s, economist John Maynard Keynes was worried that things would fall apart when…