My Three Words for 2015

My Three Words for 2015I’ve been seeing a lot of people do something that’s pretty awesome: my three words.

Instead of posting New Year’s resolutions, people I really admire, like Jessica Lawlor, pick three words to define the big picture for the year ahead.

Started by Chris Brogan (someone else I mucho admire) in 2006, the “My Three Words” exercise focuses more on direction and theme for the next year’s activities. Where a resolution might be, “lose 15 pounds,” a corresponding word in the exercise might be “health.”

I have a long list of goals: some of them have deadlines, some of them are just things I want to do some day. I’ve picked out a few to make my “official” New Year’s resolutions, that I’ll put on the front page of my planner to remind myself of my goals, but others are just dreams.

I decided to look at that list and try to identify different themes that could be summed up in single words.

I decided to make my three words “simplify,” “move,” and “opportunity.”

Continue reading

get gutsy essay contest

My Get Gutsy Story: Small Wins and Book Blogs

Warning: This post is the result of word vomit. It’s my thoughts (mostly) unfiltered. They’re disorganized, ranty, and ridiculous. And I curse sometimes.

I’ve never moved (or even traveled) across the country. I haven’t started a business (yet…you never know :P). The only marathoning I do is of the Netflix variety, though I must say I think I have serious binge watching skills. So when Jessica Lawlor announced the first annual Get Gutsy essay contest last year, I couldn’t think of a single gutsy thing I’d done.

This year? I still haven’t done anything major. But the fact that I’m much more okay with that than last year is how I got gutsy. I came to terms with the fact that, at least for now, I need to focus on celebrating small wins; spending more time with hobbies and less time stressing about all that I wasn’t doing. The result? Book Bumblings.

Continue reading

Does Your To-Do List Have Any Verbs?

to-do list with verbsTake a look at your to-do list.

This may seem like an obvious question, but does it actually have anything you can do?

Verbs, people. I’m talkin’ bout verbs.

You can read all the lifehack posts you want about how to get your to-do list done, but they don’t address any problems with the list itself.

I understand the urge to sit down with your coffee (or in my case, chocolate milk) every morning and quickly jot down a list of what needs to get done. The sooner the list is made, the sooner you can start crossing things off it.

But that’s making things harder than they need to be. After all, what’s that saying about getting to the root of the problem? For us list-makers, it all starts with a good list.

Continue reading

My Toolkit for Effective Blogging

laptopHey, everyone! I’m doing something different today. Most of you don’t know this, but I also run a book blog. I’m hosting a month-long challenge over on that blog, and one of the topics fit perfectly with what I usually write about over here. So, I decided to repurpose it!

The prompt that this post answered was, “What’s in your blogging toolkit?”

Not all of these are specifically blogging tools, they range from WordPress plugins to productivity tools. But I wouldn’t be an effective blogger without them, and they deserve credit for that.

(P.S. I’m kind of nervous linking to my book blog here, since I’m somewhat embarrassed by my reading tastes. Don’t judge me!)

Continue reading

September in Writing

Hey there! So I’m going to try out something new. You come here, you see that I haven’t updated in a month, and think I haven’t been writing. But I write a lot, just not always here. But how are you supposed to know that?

I thought that to give you something to read, without writing a brand new post here, I’ll start letting you know about some of my other stuff.

So, here you go, here’s what I wrote in September (and the end of August):

Continue reading

Your Content Marketing Quarterback

content marketing quarterbackLast Sunday, surrounded my purple-clad family, I was watching the Ravens season opener when something clicked. The sportscaster said something that made me yell, “football is just like content marketing!”

I needed to leave five minutes ago in order to avoid getting caught in the “game’s over” traffic in Baltimore on my way back to Delaware, but I figured I’d remember the idea. So I came back to my apartment, opened up WordPress, and…blankness.

How many times has that happened to you?

All week, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure it out. I knew I wanted to relate content marketing and football, but I couldn’t remember where I was going to go with that. But a few hours ago I was reading the BoostSuite blog and came across this post, and it all came back to me! What’s funny is that there are only four words in that post about my idea, but that was enough to trigger the memory to come back. Thanks, Ryan!

Continue reading

The Best Email Marketing Providers for Bloggers

email marketing for bloggers

RSS is great. It will always be some people’s preferred method of reading content. It also makes a lot of awesome things possible. I mean, just look at how many Zapier zaps use RSS.

But from a marketing standpoint, RSS ain’t so hot. We’re in an age where tracking and analytics are going crazy, but the data available for RSS subscribers is stuck in the past.

Email marketing isn’t just for businesses promoting themselves anymore. We’re all obsessed with our inboxes, and anyone in it is at an advantage. Email marketing is for bloggers, too.

It doesn’t matter what kind of blog you have – personal, professional, or otherwise. It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging on behalf of a company or not. If you have marketing metrics to track, email is more useful to you than RSS.

Continue reading

HelloFlo Gets Periods – And Marketing – Right

helloflo marketing winHow often does a marketing video make you laugh out loud? How often do you watch it several times in a row because you laughed through some of the jokes the first few times around? For me, who can laugh at almost anything, it’s still not often.

But that’s just what happened with HelloFlo‘s latest viral video. And that humor extends throughout their entire marketing strategy. I. Love. It.

You may have seen their two videos that have gone viral – one last summer, and one a few days ago. But have you taken the time to really check them out? I did, and their branding matches the tone of the videos. I have to say that it’s perfect, especially when you consider what they’re selling.

Continue reading

I Demanded Success. It Was Awesome. (Part 3)

avinash demand success quotePhew. Part 1 and Part 2: done. More work than I thought they would be. Demand Success withdrawals are here in full force and today’s Vocus webinar didn’t help as much as I needed it to.

So this post will hopefully knock out two things: finish my series on my time at Vocus’s Demand Success PR and marketing conference (you got me, it will definitely do that), and fulfill some of my “I miss Vocus” sadness. Ready, set, go!

Continue reading