Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew


Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog. You’re getting ready to get started thinking about it. That is, right after you finish that new business plan for next year. And waxing the car. And don’t you also need to balance your checkbook again?

The secret to great content is to begin creating it. Maybe your writing isn’t perfect. Whose is? If you never start writing, you’ll never know. And great, original content on your blog helps your SEO with Google. Here are a few ideas that helped me get started with blogging.

Don’t procrastinate.

“Procrastination, quite frankly, is an epidemic,” declares Jeffery Combs, the author of “The Procrastination Cure,” says in an article “How to Stop Time,” via the New York Times. Don’t add to that epidemic.

An unfinished blog post

An unfinished blog post

Glue the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair.

Sit and start writing the first thing that pops into your head, and do that for 15 minutes. Can you do that? Sure you can! Now, you’ll probably go back and delete 90% of it, but there will be the glimmer of a good idea in there.

Write every day

Write every day

Write every day.

Write whether you feel like writing or not. Often you will not. That monkey brain of yours will want to do other things. Pinning banana recipes on Pinterest comes to mind. You will procrastinate on this important job. So get it over with. Once you get past that first 15 minutes, the rest will get easier. Jeff Goins, in his article “Why You Need To Write Every Day,” says: “If you want to get this writing thing down, you need to start writing every day.”

Talk, then write.

Speak your ideas, then write them down. Or have them written down by someone else. Or use Dragon Naturally. Whatever. Just get the words down. You can change them later. Because everyone can talk.

Don’t expect perfection.

Perfection will never happen. Just make sure to get something in writing. You can come back and insert some long, impressive-sounding words later.

Let it simmer

Let it simmer

Let it simmer.

Here’s the fun part. Go away. Get in your car and drive around. Go for a walk. Come back and everything will look different. When you return from your sojourn you can wear a different hat and edit your words.

Create five topics in your blog.

Today’s topic was one that I began months ago. It languished in my blog, along with some other unfinished work. But one day, you may not know what to write about. You’ll go to your website, and that half-written piece will start to take shape. By the way, here’s a post with some tips for blogging for startups.

Don't wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going.

It’s going to be work, but once you ‘re done, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. Your competition is already done. Don’t get left in the dust. And when you’re done, make sure to promote that blog, too.

Deflective Armor Online

Deflective Armor Online

Deflective Armor Online

Recently, I was in a Google Plus Hangout about “Deflective Armor,” and how we all encase ourselves sometimes to avoid difficult feelings. Sometimes this armor is a thin shell and sometimes we wear a mask to hide what we’re feeling. I can really get behind this topic. Online, as an introvert, I very often don’t want to share what I’m feeling. Sometimes describing how I’m feeling is too complicated, and it’s easier to just say “everything is fine.” Other times, I simply don’t want to share. As I get more followers, too, sharing with thousands of people is very different than sharing with just a tiny group of close-knit friends. I may not be close enough to the person to want to share, even though sharing would of course make me feel closer. In any event, it’s a lack of trust (in a stranger) that is often at the heart of why I might not want to share.

How Do You Really, Really Feel?

Sometimes knowing how we feel can be a complex puzzle in that it requires processing to get to the heart of the matter. It’s complicated enough to talk about our feelings–and what about those times when you don’t know what you’re feeling, or you haven’t decided how you feel? Sometimes I have to think through and process for some time before knowing–maybe that’s part of being an introvert.

Barriers Can be Physical or Psychological

Some of the physical barriers we might put up include a costume–anything from big shoes, to a wig, to fake eyelashes–all of which can hide who we really are to psychological barriers (being too busy to get into one’s real feelings). Although revealing our true selves can always make us closer to others, we might not want to make the leap of faith to get there, especially if you’ve ever been hurt by someone online.

Lead through Revelation

Let Some of Your Secrets Loose

Let Some of Your Secrets Loose

Often I’ve found that being the first one to reveal what you’re truly feeling gives everyone else permission to be honest. Sometimes people “trade” a piece of truth for another piece of truth. Revealing a secret makes someone else reveal a secret, like it’s a form of currency. As kids in school, we like to tell each others’ secrets. “Shh! Don’t tell anyone!” we’ll say, even while we are betraying someone else’s secret. But if it’s our own secret, is it a betrayal? But how about as leaders? Don’t we want to be able to lead by being honest? A full 40% of executives say that they are introverts, as reported by Forbes.

How Do You Choose What to Reveal?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers here. Being honest can be a difficult dilemma online. How do you choose what to reveal and what to hide? Please leave me a comment! I’d love to know what you think!


Six Amazing Social Media Startup Secrets!

Six Amazing Social Media Startup Secrets!

Six Amazing Social Media Startup Secrets!

Now, how many times have you heard that word “amazing” lately? I’d be willing to bet you’ve heard it a bunch of times this morning, before breakfast. What I really want to talk about is how people are misusing words, both in headlines and in posts on social media. So here’s my not-so-secret rant about amazing! And secrets! Heck, I’ll even throw in a cat video so you can get everything in one place and you won’t have to read another post all day. Now THAT is amazing!

There Are No Secrets

Disclaimer: There are no secrets here. All of the things I’m about to tell you are not amazing. They’re not even awesome. They are merely adequate.

Make the Headline Match the Content

If you’re promising something that’s amazing, we’d better read something amazing. As the comic Louis CK says, “We go right to the top shelf with our words.” “Really? You were amazed by your chicken wings?” If your chicken wings are amazing, what are you going to do for an encore?

Startup Secrets to Awesome Social Media!

Do you really think a 300-word blogpost is going to give you all the secrets? The secret is that social media success for startups–or anyone, for that matter–is a combination of hard work, creating great content, and good timing. That’s it.

Look This Way

The Secret Is There Are No Secrets

The Secret Is There Are No Secrets

When you hear an incredible promise for a fantabulous post, and you actually get nothing, do you not feel cheated? We all see the same 20 articles, repurposed every month. It’s like that article about Super Fast Weight Loss or the Secret to Transforming Your Health! that gets recycled in every women’s magazine every month. The internet is no different than that women’s magazine.

Good Is Hard Enough

The moral of the story is that not every blogpost is going to be amazing. Some will be just barely adequate. Like this one.

Do You Disagree?

If you do have a secret, tell me all about it. Really.

Secrets of the Social Media Circus, Part II

Secrets of the Social Media Circus, Part II

Secrets of the Social Media Circus, Part II

You may have seen my first post, Secrets of the Social Media Circus, about some of the clowns you might see around on social media. Some of those clowns escaped from that first post in their tiny cars, but I’ve managed to recapture some here. Finally! Considering that they wear such big shoes, they can run (and drive) pretty fast!

Insane Clowns

The Insane Clown is a spammer. She is responsible for those Twitter Direct Messages that say “Have you seen this bad joke about you?” with viruses in links to phishing sites. Do not let this Krazy Klown spray you with social media seltzer water. And do not lean in to smell the squirting daisy on her lapel because that water is clowntaminated. Yes, the insane clown deserves a prominent role–in the Social Media Clown Hall of Fame, that is.

Rodeo Clowns

This clown does all kinds of fancy rope tricks, and will get you roped in, too. Don’t hire these clowns to do your social media because when the bull is charging, you’ll be all alone in the middle of the ring, while your “clownpadres” hide safely in their barrels. While they’re juggling you and their other clients, one of the pins often drops…and that’s when they do their grand finale–their disappearing act. Once the circus is over, you’ll be the one following the elephants with the shovel, if you get my drift.


Harlequins are the predecessors of modern clowns. The translation of harlequin is “demon or hellion.” His main purpose in life is to break laws, confuse people, and do tricks. Sounds like a pretty modern clown to me! And also like a few of the clowns you could meet on any social media platform.

The Nice, Kind Clown

The Nice, Kind Clown

The Nice, Kind Clown

Haha! Fooled you–there’s no such thing! In their hearts, all clowns are evil. There’s even a special psychological term for the fear of clowns: Coulrophobia. We all knew that. Wait a minute. Do you hear that faint honking sound in the distance and the pitter-patter of giant shoes? I was only kidding! Clowns can take a joke, right? RIGHT? AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!

Bad Social Media Manager Secrets


Bad Social Media Manager Secrets

Bad Social Media Manager Secrets

Your startup just got started up. Everything’s going great. The only problem is your social media has stalled. Or you have 3 Twitter followers and your avatar is still an egg! You spend all your time fixing software bugs, and by the end of the day, you’re exhausted. Who has time for Tweeter, Faceplant, and Pinteresting? Not to mention GooglePlex and Instacramp? Not you, that’s for sure!

Note: I’m exaggerating–most startup managers are knowledgeable about these platforms, just not all of them.

You already know the attributes of a good social media manager, but do you know how to find a terrible social media manager? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Cutting-Edge Technology

Ask your friends down at Bernie’s Bar if they know anyone who’s bought a computer lately, and more importantly, knows what a computer is.  Two thumbs up if the computer comes with a keyboard. Make sure they have a CompuServe account. Write them a letter and ask them to Fax them your resume.

Massive Followers

Make sure your new best friend claims they can get you 20,000 followers the first week. Never mind that they are bots they bought. Numbers are what matter for “social proof.”


Recruit People with Addictions

Recruit People with Addictions

Recruit people with active addictions because they’re so interesting! They’ve got the best stories, that’s for sure. Double points if your social media manager likes to “drunk tweet!”

Me, Me, Me

Ensure that your new manager only ever talks about himself. 98% of the posts should be about the business. This includes Direct Messages that say “FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK!” ALL IN CAPS.

Inflammatory Content

Your new manager should love political diatribes, sexist jokes, and be xenophobic: the trifecta of a bad manager!

Ask Favors

Get a manager who’s always asking others with good followings for favors–such as retweets, shares, and unfounded testimonials.

Many Internet Identities

Maintain Many Identities Across the Interwebz

Maintain Many Identities Across the Interwebz

Your manager should have lots of fake identities all over the interwebz, so all your “fans” can give you constant good reviews. There is no downside to this strategy, and it will never backfire!

Sporadic Posting

Your manager should post all at once one day a week and not spread out the posts throughout the week.

Never Thank Anyone

Good manners are prehistoric!  It goes without saying that people know you’re grateful. Your manager doesn’t actually have to thank anyone.

Huge Advance

Make sure that the person wants a huge advance before doing any work or explaining any strategy. Because what could go wrong?

Account Control

Your new friend should have absolute control over the passwords and domains. They never need to show you your passwords unless you give them a big pile of money. And be sure to give them your credit card number!

What Are Some of Your Favorite Worst Practices?

Have any secrets that I missed?

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