5 Tips for Creating Truly Lovable Content


Over the years, I’ve picked up on a few universal truths about what makes irresistible content that are not often mentioned in "Top #" lists across the blogosphere. What follows are five of my personal favorite tips for creating content that your audience/prospects are sure to love.

  1. Connection is king. Not content.
    Your content is worthless if it doesn't align with your audiences' interests, needs, goals, or values. Making an effort to offer truly original and meaningful content will help you build a relationship with your audience. And it's the kindest thing you can do for people who are constantly bombarded with clickbait and other empty distractions.
  2. Skip the gimmicks. (You know the ones.)
    Even if you get a few more clicks or opens, the benefits stop there. They can make your brand look bad and a good reputation is hard to get back once it's lost.
  3. Focus on quality over quantity.
    Don’t rush to create a bunch of "meh" content that's asking to be scrolled past. Give me one long-form blog post that goes viral over 100 memes that fall flat. Take your time creating each piece of content with tip #1 one in mind.
  4. Take calculated risks.
    Just because something is working or has worked in the past, doesn't mean it can't be improved upon or refreshed. Constantly aim to try new things to keep people's interest. And A/B test everything to ensure you get the outcomes you want.
  5. It's okay to have fun!
    Remember the kids who were most popular in school? They were usually the ones having the most fun, right?! The same applies to brands. Consumers want to like the brands they buy from. So relax and be playful with your content.

These aren't groundbreaking ideas, but they're ones that often get lost in the hustle of day-to-day marketing. So show some love this Valentine's season by giving your audience something extra thoughtful.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash



6 Shady Marketing Tactics to Give Up This New Year


Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope. That's what I think every time I see an email with "RE:" in the subject line but it's clearly not from someone I've emailed. Tricking people into opening your email is NEVER a good idea. It might get you more opens, but you've also made your prospect feel like a boob and potentially wasted their time.

Here's a list of similarly slimy habits that marketers need to quit this year:

  1. Trick Subject Lines/Clickbait Headlines:
    Your aim with email or content is not just to get the recipient to open/click. Hopefully, you have a clear message and call-to-action that aligns with your campaign goal. If your prospects aren't engaging, you might need a re-write to draw them in. If it still doesn't get people's interest, then it's time to completely rethink your topic and messaging.
  2. Usurping Socially Motivated Hashtags:
    Shame on you if you're even thinking about taking advantage of the hashtag that's trending because of a natural disaster or social awareness campaign. Unless you're contributing something of value to the conversation, back away from the keyboard.
  3. Fudging Numbers:
    If you fabricate stats about the quality of your product or service, your customers will find out eventually. And creating an expectation that you can't meet leads to unhappy and disloyal customers.
  4. Denying Mistakes:
    Brands are made up of people, and people make mistakes. It's better to admit when you've made an error than risk that the public will think you had bad intentions all along.
  5. Impossible Pop-Ups:
    Banners that look like part of a UX, pop-ups that you can't easily close, ads that persistantly cover a portion of your content - all of these things are sure to irritate your audience and inspire them to go elsewhere to find what they're looking for.
  6. Autoplay:
    It's never not annoying.

Photo by Mann Chhabra on Unsplash



The SMB Gifts That Keep Giving: No and Low-Cost Marketing Tools & Resources


Some of the best gifts I've received are ones that didn't look like much at first, but they ultimately saved me a lot of precious time or money. I was admittedly underwhelmed when I opened a measurement magnet from my work secret santa a few years back, but I've used that thing more than any of the fancy, expensive kitchen gadgets that are currently collecting dust in my cupboards.

In the spirit of the holiday season, here are some free and low-cost marketing tools and resources that will give back all year round. (I also added a few stocking stuffers - my favorite blogs and podcast for life in general.)


HubSpot - Blog & Tools
Even if you're not running their automation software, HubSpot is an essential resource for anyone working in marketing. In addition to their extensive informative blogs, they also produce useful tools and templates, like the on-site SEO grader for quick SEO health check-ups.

Marketo - Blog
Another marketing automation software with a killer blog series. I love the simplicity of their cheat sheets - they're like CliffsNotes for marketing professionals!

Moz - Blog & Forum
Handy blog for the latest SEO news, tips, and tricks. If you're looking for a place to share your own marketing insights and tutorials, also check out their popular forum, YouMoz.

Contetly - Blog & Newsletter
A great resource that covers everything from design to strategy. Their newsletter is one of the few that I haven't unsubscribed from since discovering the content aggregator, Feedly


Canva - Online Tool
Even if you have top-notch Photoshop skills, Canva should be in your toolbox. It's essential for design novices and a great mockup tool for all skill levels. Plus, their templates are always optimized to keep up with constant social media platform changes.

PlaceIt - Online Tool
No more fussing to place screenshots of your site onto images of mobile phones and laptops. PlaceIt does everything for you, including properly skewing the image, adding glares, and making it look professional and realistic. It does video too!


Trello - Online Tool
A kanban style project management tool that's perfect for recording and tracking marketing campaigns. For more complex projects, there's a variety of genius add-ons - check out Harvest for your time and resource management needs.

Slack - Online Tool
I'm guilty of jumping between a few different tools for day-to-day chatting, but I prefer Slack for its more robust functionality. Thanks to its file sharing capabilities, it almost eliminates the need to send email. It also integrates easily with Google Apps and allows you to track conversation topics using hashtags.

Google Apps - Online Tools
I rely heavily on Google Apps. I use Drive to store all of my digital assets, Sheets to record budgets and campaign data, Calendar to schedule meetings, and Hangouts to stay connected with my global colleagues.


The School of Life - Videos
It's like Schoolhouse Rock but for curious grown-ups! The brainchild of the modern philosopher, Alain de Botton, The School of Life is a video series that explores everything from pop-culture to the meaning of life in small insightful doses.

TED Radio Hour - Podcast
It's hard to find someone alive today who hasn't had their minds blown or been emotionally moved by a TED talk. I prefer the podcast because I can listen during my commute. Check out their episode on the power of branding. It's a must-listen for marketers.

You Are Not So Smart - Book & Podcast
I loved David McRaney's book so much I thought of gifting all of my friends with a copy this Christmas but didn't want to insult them with the title. Turns out, we humans are terrible at understanding ourselves. With his books, blog, and podcast, David attempts to set us straight by analyzing things like how we're fooled by the clothes we wear and how we behave differently when in big groups.

Wait, But Why? - Blog
Have you ever wondered what a quadrillion Sour Patch Kids would like? Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. Lucky for us, Tim Urban has dedicated himself to asking these absurd questions, and somehow through their explanations, helps us better understand what it means to be human.

If there are any tools or resources not included here that you can't imagine living without, please share in the comments!

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash