Three Business Books You Need on Your Shelf

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   How many self-respecting marketers or entrepreneurs don't have at least one bookshelf full of business books? Few, I'd wager. Not all of them are worth the paper they're printed on, but every once in a while, you find a gem among the stones. I've found three. If you're looking for a few good books to add to your business reading list, give one or even all three of … [Read more...]

Three Reasons to Fire a Client—And One to Stick it Out

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   The first time you get stiffed by a client is almost a rite of passage into business, it's that common an occurrence. What entrepreneur doesn't have at least one story of putting in a lot of time and effort only to hand the work over, and then never hear from the client again? Those who don't are lucky—so far. And it's not just sole entrepreneurs or … [Read more...]

The Keyword Density Myth and Why it Must Die

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   I first started writing Web content in 2008. Although I'd been a writer for more than 20 years at that point, I'd never written specifically for the Web, and had definitely never written marketing copy. I secured a freelance position, and then began reading everything I could get my hands on to learn about writing Web copy. At that time, one bit of advice popped up … [Read more...]

Want More Engagement? Change the Way You Write.

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   It seems to me we're spending an awful lot of time and discussion trying to find new and ever-escalating ways to engage our audiences. Marketers are creating meta infographics about when and where to use images to grab and hold people's attention. … [Read more...]

What a 100-Year-Old Magazine Can Teach You About Audience Engagement

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   I saw a story about bowling a while back on an episode of CBS Sunday Morning. More specifically, it was about a bowling tournament, the participants, and the magazine that covers all that and much more: Bowler's Journal International. What caught my ear about Bowler's Journal wasn't the subject matter. I mean, I like to bowl, although I haven't been to a bowling … [Read more...]

How NOT to Create How-To Content

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   You're a talented person. You know how to do quite a few things well, and maybe people even come to you for advice or to "pick your brain." That's always fun, right? So you figure you'll just dispense with the back-and-forth, write a how-to post, and explain how to do what it is you do. Well, before you put fingers to keyboard, make sure you're actually going to be … [Read more...]

Should Your Online Business Join the Local Chamber of Commerce?

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   You already know the Internet has made a lot of things obsolete. After a long, slow downward spiral, Blockbuster Video finally closed all its stores because it could no longer compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. And newspapers have been struggling for the last several years as their readerships dwindle in favor of the immediacy and accessibility of … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Good Guest Blogging

  This post originally appeared on the now-defunct ISOOSI blog. It has been edited and updated for republishing.   To guest blog, or not to guest blog? It's a debate that's been raging for years now, and shows no signs of being resolved anytime soon. As Search Engine Land reported in October 2013, Matt Cutts posted a video answering a question about guest blogging and paid links. Matt's advice was basically to: guest blog in moderation not go overboard with optimized anchor … [Read more...]

Three Things Ira Glass Taught Me About Storytelling

  Note: This post originally appeared on the now-defunct BlueGlass blog on March 5, 2013. In December 2012, I was fortunate to see Ira Glass, host of National Public Radio's "This American Life," perform a live one-man show at the Troy Music Hall in Troy, New York. "This American Life" is one of my favorite radio programs, so I was pretty excited about the opportunity to hear Glass talk about it. I also knew that in addition to being entertained, I was probably going to hear some things … [Read more...]