A lesson for content marketers:

Published on by in Articles, Blog, Copywriting, Productivity.

A tire company has the world’s best restaurant guide. Seriously.

One of the most effective rules of content marketing, at least for me, is telling interesting stories that have only a tangential connection (or even nothing to do with) your product or service. As long as they’re relevant and useful, they’re golden.

This is the epitome of reader-focused copy, but it’s also a helpful credo when you’ve written 50 similar blog posts and then run out of relevant ideas.

Want a great example? Go back 117 years, to famous tire company Michelin, which proved – even before content marketing...

Kill fees must die (31/10/2013).

Published on by in Articles, Blog, Freelancing.

Image credit: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

Oops. My bad.

Researching this was interesting, because I’d made assumptions. And you know what they say about assumptions…

I’d assumed there was only one black-and-white/for-and-against conundrum about kill fees. In other words, I thought I’d find some generous freelancers who allow clients to ‘strike’ (cancel) a job with a kill fee and some hard-asses, like me, who expect them to pay in full, regardless.

I didn’t anticipate 16 different degrees of acceptance/rejection, including three pieces of input – from colleagues I respect and admire – that laud the dreaded kill fee:

  • “Yes to kill fees...

Trolling: is it strong disagreement, snark or spite? (16/08/2013)

Published on by in Articles, Blog.

Freelancers spend a lot of time on social media. And why not? The soloist work-day can get lonely and there’s a lot of cool stuff to be learned, inspired and investigated online. But freelancers are often plagued by one of the down-sides of a working life lived online – trolls. So let’s look at three different types of ‘trolling’, shall we?

1. You write a blog post about something personal, like taking your baby with you to Home Affairs and being invited to jump the queue, or bathing with your 4-year-old. You expect comments – positive,...

12 Quick Ways to be a Better Corporate Presenter (30/10/2012)

Published on by in Articles, Blog.

Forget waterboarding. The quickest, most reliable way to bring an enemy to his knees is by subjecting him to a conference worth of boring, waffly, visually excruciating presentations.

I recently attended two whole days of presentations by eight unusually awful speakers and two unusually brilliant ones, and the former had me grinding my teeth into stumps. Life’s too short to take time off work to be bored stiff.

So, why would you torture the people you do like; i.e. your prospects and suspects? Here are some tips, none of which are rocket science but all of which will...

You know you’re a small business owner when… (12/10/2012)

Published on by in Articles, Blog, Freelancing.

You know you’re a small business owner when…

  1. A hard drive crash can rapidly ready you for a nice padded cell in a home for the criminally insane.
  2. You glibly speak about your dining room table, garage and/or study as ‘the office’, even if you’re wearing pink bunny slippers or working on your patio at the time.
  3. You were once able to go to a fancy dress party as a very convincing zebra, because you tried to use those awful refillable toner cartridges – you know, the ones that come with the syringe?
  4. Your daily mood is 100% proportional...