"Scott has consistently been one of our top authors at the Content Marketing Institute. His posts are timely, fact-driven and almost always drive a high-level of discussion. Scott’s "21 Types of Content We Crave" infographic post on CMI was one of our most popular posts of the year!"

Joe Pulizzi, the founder of ContentMarketingInstitute.com - one of the leading thought leaders behind the content marketing and social media movement

The Powerful, Unique Way Neil Patel Uses Content Curation to Create Irresistible, Viral Blog Posts

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Content Creation Tips, Content Marketing | 0 comments

I am about to tell you how Neil Patel went from reselling car parts to becoming one of the top names in content marketing.

And he did it by using an unusual hyrbid method that combines content marketing and content curation in a very unique and powerful way.

But first, I need to tell you an important story.

It’s a story I read in a great book called Curation Nation by Steven Rosenbaum.

It’s the story of how one magazine became the best-selling consumer magazine in the U.S.

And guess how they did this? They used content curation.

(If you don’t know what content curation is, then I’d encourage you to read Beth Kanter’s post Content Curation Primer .)

How Reader’s Digest Was Started

reader's digest first issue

Do you know the story of how Reader’s Digest got started?

The idea for the magazine was thought up by a guy DeWitt Wallace.

He came up with the idea while he was recovering from shrapnel wounds that he received in World War I.

His idea was to gather his favorite articles on many subjects from different monthly magazines.

He would then take these articles and condense or rewrite them and then combine them into one magazine.

His prototype for the first Reader’s Digest issue had 31 articles from magazines like Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic, and Ladies Home Journal.

He was really pleased with it so he showed a sample of his “magazine of magazines” to the sister of a college friend whose name was Lila Bell Acheson.

She loved the idea! And guess what? He ended up falling in love with HER! He proposed and they were married in 1921.

Together they began a husband-wife partnership that would become what some have said was one of the most successful and productive partnerships in publishing.


The Self-Publishing Route

12 publishers turned them down, so they decided to just produce the magazine on their own.

They mailed out several hundred circulars and then they went on their honeymoon.

When they returned from their honeymoon they were completely shocked!

The results of that first mailing gave them 1,300 subscribers (at $3 a year) for the magazine.

With those subscribers, Reader’s Digest was born.

By 1929, the magazine had 290,000 subscribers and had a gross income of $900,000 a year.

That’s was a lot of money in 1929!

By the 40th anniversary of Reader’s Digest, there were 40 international editions, in 13 languages and Braille, with a total international circulation of 23 million.

That shows you the power of content curation.


The Magazine’s Successful Format

The magazine’s format was used for decades and decades, because it proved to be so effective.

The basic format consisted of these sections:

  • 30 articles per issue – This was so there would be one per day.
  • vocabulary page
  • A page of “Amazing Anecdotes”
  • A “Personal Glimpses” section
  • 2 features of funny stories: “Humor in Uniform” and “Life in these United States
  • And a lengthier article that was usually presented at the end of the magazine (This article was usually condensed from a published book.)

How successful was this content curation format?

Well, you can judge for yourself…

Reader’s Digest was the best-selling consumer magazine in the United States up until 2009, when Better Homes and Gardens took that title.

What I want you to see is this.

If you use content curation correctly, it will allow you to produce content your audience loves.

And that leads us to Neil Patel.  Why?

Because just like DeWitt Wallace, Neil has figured out a way to harness the power of content curation, which has brought him great success.

Now pay attention closely and you’ll see what I mean.


Who is Neil Patel?

neil patel

If you haven’t heard of Neil, then let me first answer the “Who is this dude?” question for you.

Here is his bio on QuickSprout.com

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil has also been awarded Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives.

Neil has accomplished some really amazing things.

But the reason I want to talk to you about him today is NOT because of his accomplishments.

It’s because of the content he creates.

You see, Neil creates powerful content. How powerful?

He creates HUGE blog posts (2,000 or more words) that brings in a flood of traffic (he had over 80,000 visitors in July), a ton of comments, and his posts are shared widely (many have 1,000 shares or more).

When I first came across Neil’s writing I was impressed by how much information he packs into each blog post.

He has a great, conversational writing style that really draws you in.

He also really knows his stuff.

But the longer I read his posts, the more I began to notice the ingenious content curation method that he uses to help him create powerful content marketing.

If you have heard of content curation, then you’ve probably heard that it is smart to include it as a part of your overall content marketing strategy.

You can see in this graphic below called The Content Marketing Pyramid (from Curata.com) that content curation is something that can be used more regularly, because it takes much less effort than creating original content.


content marketing pyramid from curata

The typical ways that you’ve probably heard about using content curation might be in the form of weekly curated blog posts or weekly editorial email newsletters. 

Those are great ideas and they should definitely be implemented.

But I want you to realize that the way that Neil uses content curation is completely different from these methods.

He isn’t using it as a separate tool to create the above types of content. 

He is using it as an integrated content creation method.

Keep reading and I’ll explain what I mean.


How Neil Patel Uses a Hybrid of Content Curation and Content Creation to Create Blog Posts and Articles That People Love

neil patel cartoon

From QuickSprout.com

Instead of just using content curation as the primary way to put together a blog post (like most people do), Neil uses content curation as a part of his content creation process itself.

He has morphed the two together into a hybrid form of content curation and creation.

The way he has done this and the results that he’s gotten from this hybrid method are amazing.

Let me share some powerful ways that he is using content curation as a part of his content creation.


4 of Neil Patel’s Best Content Curation “Tricks”

Neil is extremely smart. He isn’t just randomly curating content. 

He is using content curation as a way to strategically building quality links to his content.

And the amazing thing is that he’s doing this without having to write 100%, fresh content.

If you keep reading, then I’ll show you how you can do the same thing by revealing four of the best techniques that he uses.

(*I’ve learned these things from observing his techniques in action and from reading posts he’s written about this.)


1. He links to other people’s infographics.

Neil says, “When you embed this HTML code on your web page, the infographic will appear as though you created it yourself. Now you’re ready to engage your target audience with a piece of graphical information that you didn’t labor over…Infographics are powerful link drivers.

Did you notice the parts I bolded?

He uses graphical information for three important reasons:

  • Because this provides information in a powerful form that his readers will like.
  • He doesn’t have to labor over creating these graphics.
  • He also uses them because they are powerful traffic generators.

In other words, he knows these will generate traffic to his site, because of these two truths about infographics:

  • If you use someone’s infographic, then the person or company that created the graphic will most likely share it.
  • If his readers like a particular graphic, then they will share the whole post that you’ve embeded the infographic in.


2) He mentions other people and businesses in all of his posts.

He doesn’t just use infographics. He also makes sure to mention many different people and/or businesses in each of his posts.

Take a second to look at the infographic below. 

And when you do, pay special attention to #6 on the list

10 steps to getting your content seen by neil patel

(NOTE: This infographic above is based on an interview that Neil did with Zentrepreneurs, which is a Business Mastermind designed by Mindvalley Founder, Vishen Lakhiani. You can watch video of the interview here.)

Did you notice the quote that gives the reason WHY he mentions other people in blog posts?

He says, “Let people know when you’ve mentioned them in your posts. 20-30%+ will retweet and share.”

Neil mentions people in his posts, because a good amount of them will share those posts and link to them.

This is a really ingenious method! 

In fact, I bet this is the same principle that Reader’s Digest harnessed when they published the lengthier article at the end of each issue.

What do I mean?

I guarantee that if I was an author and my book was featured as that article at the end of Reader’s Digest, I’d promote it everywhere and anywhere!


3) He focuses on curating viral content.

Neil doesn’t just curate any old content. He focuses on curating popular content.

Why does he do this? 

He does this to build trust.

Neil says it like this, “potential clients who regularly benefit from your content curation will come to trust you.”

He finds this information by going to Google and typing in the keyword(s) or headline that he wants to write about.

An example he uses is that if he wanted to write a post on “blogging for beginners”, then he’d search that phrase on Google.

Just by doing that, he’d be able to instantly find 4 great pieces of content that he could link to.



From NeilPatel.com

4) He wraps it all up in his own content and with his own personality.

No one would be reading or sharing Neil’s posts if all he was doing was randomly curating links into a boring generic blog post.

What makes Neil’s posts stand out is the fact that he always uses his personality and shares his own powerful ideas in his posts.

Content curation is only used as a supplement for the ideas and thoughts that he wants to share.

And he always weaves in any curated links, graphics or information into his own content in a really compelling way.

That’s what makes his content so powerful and shareable.


Patrick Armitage talks about the importance of personalization in an article on Hubspot.com called 11 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs.

He says…

“The personal touch creates a unique bond between curator and reader that aggregators haven’t figured out how to humanize or duplicate yet.”
– Patrick Armitage

If it wasn’t for this “personalization factor”, then Neil’s content curation wouldn’t be as powerful or effective.

If you are going to use his method, then remember that personalizing your content is the key to it working powerfully.


4 Great Examples of People and Companies That Are Using Content Curation in a Similar Way

I don’t want you to think that Neil got lucky using this hybrid method or that he is an exception to the rule.

There are plenty of others who also use content curation and creation together and have also seen some great results.

Let me give you four examples (two individuals and two companies) of others using his methods. You can then check out their work and see how they implement this content curation method in their own unique ways:



So do you see?

Neil’s method (combining content creation and curation together with your personality and ideas) is being used by others companies and they are all seeing success with it.

And if they can use this method, then so can you.

If you’d like a way to visualize this process, then check out this graphic from SocialBites.com


4 Tools You Can Use to Help You with Content Curation


1. Google Search

As you saw above, Neil uses Google search for content curation and it’s a great place for you to begin too.

2. Create a list of “Go to” sites

Michael Brenner has created a list of sites that he regularly visits to find great information. These include sites such as: The New York Times, Hubspot, and other top sites. He then uses them as his source for important information he can write about or link to.

This is a great idea! I have done the same thing and I’d encourage you to do the same too. If you need help getting your list started, then check out Michael’s list here: The 30 Best Content Curation Resources for Marketers and Business Pros.

3. Create a “Google Alert” for your keywords

Did you know that you can go to https://www.google.com/alerts and set up an alert for any keyword(s) you choose? Then Google will email you links to any content that uses these keywords.

Setting up a Google alert is easy:

I) Click on the Google Alert link above.

II) Type in your keyword(s). Let’s say they are “content curation”.

how to create a google alert


III) Click on “Show Options” next to the “Create Alert” button.

Google AlertsCIRCLECut


IV) Choose the options you’d like (Frequency, Sources, Languages, and Region).



V) Now click “Create Alert”. You’re ready to go!



You’ll now automatically be sent articles on the keywords that you chose. 

(NOTE: You can do this for content you always want to search for and/or for content you know you will be writing about in the next month.)

4. You can also use other tools to search for content for you.

Google Alerts isn’t the only tool you can use to automatically find content for you to curate.

Here are a few of the other tools you can use: Spundge.com, Kuratur.com, and NetVibes.com.

If you want to know about more tools, then check out Susan GuneliusForbes article called 5 Ways to Use Content Curation for Marketing and Tools to Do It.


Just Make Sure You Use Content Curation in an Ethical Way

Using content curation is an important tool that can allow you to create powerful content that helps people and is widely shared.

But please make sure that you use it ethically.

If you want some great tips on how to curate content in an ethical way, then check out this guest post that Pawan Deshpande (CEO of Curata) wrote for ContentMarketingInstitute.com called Is Your Content Curation Ethical? A 10-Step Checklist.


2 Key Ways to Use Content Curation in an Ethical Way 

If you want to use content curation ethically, here are two things to keep in mind:

1. Make sure that you always give the original content creator credit.

You can do this in multiple ways: mention the name of the author of the original content, mention the title of the original content, or mention the site that the content is from.

Just make sure that no matter which one of these ways that you use that you always provide a link back to the original piece of content!

2. Never use all of their content in your post.

Using a snippet of their content is fine. Using their whole blog post with your name on it isn’t!

The purpose of content curation is not to steal content from others.

It’s to bring to the attention of your audience some valuable information that can help them.

(They can’t find it all on their own. There’s too much content out there! That’s how you as a content curator become an asset to them.)


The Problem with Formulas

In  my book 51 Content Marketing Hacks, in a chapter called The 12 Most Effective Ways to Create Irresistible Content (originally written for 12Most.com), I mention the problem with formulas such as the one I’ve revealed today.

I say, “There is a common problem with formulas. The problem is that people learn the elements of the formula, but they don’t learn the right implementation of the formula.”

Not only is that a problem, but the other problem is that people don’t practice any formula long enough to make it their own.

Later I say, “Keep practicing and perfecting the implementation of this formula. Make it your own. And who knows? Maybe one day someone will ask you to reveal your formula!”

I am showing you Neil’s method, so that you can learn from it and figure out ways to implement it in your own creative way.

Creativity is the key to standing out in any niche.

You will want to take this idea, practice implementing it, and then tweak it and make it your own!

Speaking of creatively using content curation… 

I used a curation method to produce my book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. You see, I took blog posts that I’d written on my own site and other sites and I curated them all together in this book under the “Content Marketing Hacks” theme.

If I can use content curation like this – utilizing my own content – then you are only limited by your own imagination.

By the way, if you want to see one final example of how to use Neil’s method, then read through this post again.

In case you didn’t notice, I implemented all four of his “tricks” in this post! (See if you can see where/how I implemented each of his methods.)

  • How many of the four “tricks” can you find in this post (and where are they)?
  • What other methods of Neil’s have you noticed him use? Have you tried any of his other techniques?

Leave your answers in the comments below.


My Latest Posts on RecessionSolution.com and Other Sites


One Way You Can Work with Me



Free “Content Marketing Kick-Start” Session: How to Get Started Harnessing the Power of Content Marketing for Your Business

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Can Your Prospects “Hear” Your Content Over All the Commotion in Their Lives?

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Business Tips, Content Creation Tips, Content Marketing | 0 comments

I came across a great story about Cecil B. DeMille, one of the great movie makers of the early years in Hollywood.

And this story reveals a problem that all of us have.

It’s the problem we have with communicating to our prospects in a way that they actually “hear” us.

Listen to the story and then I’ll explain…


The Hard Lesson the Founding Father of Hollywood Had to Learn

Cecil B. DeMille is acknowledged as a founding father of the Hollywood film industry, the most commercially successful producer-director in cinema history.

Between 1913 and 1956, he made 70 features, both silent and sound films.

Some of his blockbuster were:

  • The Ten Commadments
  • The King of Kings
  • The Greatest Show on Earth
  • And many, many others

Once DeMille was making one of his great epic movies.

He had six cameras at different spots who were ready to catch the overall action.

He had five other cameras set up to film plot developments involving the major characters.

To say this was a serious undertaking would be an understatement.

The large cast had been rehearsing their scene since 6 a.m.

They went through the scene four times and it was now late afternoon.

The sun was setting and there was just enough light to get the shot done.

That is when DeMille looked over the whole large set and saw that everything was perfect.

That’s when he gave the command, “Action!”

That simple, forceful command set off a chain of events:

  •  100 extras charged up the hill.
  • Another hundred came storming down the same hill to do mock battle.
  • In another location, Roman centurions lashed and shouted at two hundred slaves who labored to move a huge stone monument toward its resting place.
  • Meanwhile the main characters acted out, in close-up, their reactions to the battle on the hill.

The only thing that might have seemed wrong to you was that their words were drowned out by the noise around them.

But, that was ok. DeMille had planned for this.

The dialogue would be dubbed in later.

The whole scene took fifteen minutes to complete.

When it was finally over, DeMille yelled, “Cut!

He then turned to his assistant and with a smile said, “That was great!

The assistant yelled back, “It was, C.B.! It was fantastic! Everything went off perfectly!”

Enormously pleased, DeMille then turned to face the head of his camera crew.

He wanted to find out if all of the cameras had picked up what they had been assigned to film.

With anticipation, DeMille waved to the camera crew supervisor.

And from the top of the hill, the camera supervisor waved back.

He then raised his megaphone, and called out, “Ready when you are, C.B.!”   

In the midst of all of that commotion, he and his crew had missed DeMille’s cue and missed the whole scene!


The 2 Requirements for Effective Communication

DeMille had to learn this hard lesson: just because you’re yelling out something to someone, it doesn’t mean you are actually communicating.

Communication only takes place when you have two things:

1. Someone speaking

2. Someone listening

Many businesses who are attempting to use content marketing don’t seem to have learned this lesson yet.

They still think that just because their shouting out their content at the top of their lungs that results should be happening.


Content Marketing Monologues?

“Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.”  – Margaret Millar 

The noise of this world is too loud for you to assume that your prospects are listening to you.

You have to ensure that they hear you.

To do that you must start by asking yourself:

“Is our content marketing a monologue? Or is it a dialogue?”

The world your prospects live in is too noisy to pay attention to everyone who is calling out to them.

If they tried to do that, they’d go crazy!

You’ve got to realize that they aren’t waiting around listening for you.

They are looking for answers to their questions.

They are tuning out all the screams from your competitors and they are scanning the “airwaves” for people who are providing the answers they want and need.

Those are the type of messages that they will hear above the roar of this loud world.


You need to realize this important truth…

Powerful content marketing is built on a dialogue.

It starts with listening and then moves to speaking aka creating content.
(Most content marketers skip the first part and move straight to the second step.)


Let’s be real.

To create content that no one ever “hears” (or wants to “hear”) is a waste of time.

It’s not something that I want to do and I don’t think you do either.

But to create content that comes through loud and clear – above the noise of life – that is the beginning of a very profitable endeavor.

I’d gladly spend my time doing this any and every day.

I’ll be honest with you, to create content that is “heard” by your prospects is not an easy task.

But it is a simple one.

It comes down simply to this: Create content that answers the questions that your prospects have.

If you can learn to do this effectively, then your prospects will tune into your channel and rip the knob off.


Photo from SensesofCinema.com


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The Law of the Tool: Why Some Struggle So Much with Their Content Marketing

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Content Marketing | 0 comments

question directed content marketing


The Reason I Am So Lame at Fixing Things

My dad was carpenter. He could build anything.

Not only was he good at building things., but he was also good at fixing cars.

These things made my dad the ultimate handyman.

Well, I guess those types of things aren’t something that can be passed on from a parent to their kid, because the sad fact is I am am UNhandyman.

I am just not good at fixing things or building things.

But it’s not just that.

I don’t even like doing these things!

When something breaks around my house, I need to either hire someone or ask a friend to come help me fix something.

And whenever I watch these people fix things, I am always amazed at how effectively and efficiently they can get things done.


Do you know why they are so much better at fixing things than I am?

One of the reasons is, because they have different tools than I do.

And because they have different tools, then they can do more than I can.

But there’s another reason.

Even if they happen to use the same tool that I actually have, they are still more effective than I am.

Why? It’s because they know how to use the tool in a way I don’t.

They have more experience using it.

For these simple reasons, they’re able to accomplish more than I can and do those things much more effectively.


The Real Truth About Tools

I’ve been thinking about these things and I’ve come to realize a very important truth about tools.

The truth is this: A tool is only as effective as the person using it.

If the person understands the tool and has experience with it, then they can accomplish amazing things.

If the person doesn’t understand how the tool works best, or they don’t have any experience using it, then they can’t accomplish very much.

I call this “The Law of the Tool.”


The Law of the Tool: Why Some Struggle So Much with Content Marketing

Because of my inability to effectively use a drill I could declare to you, “Drills are horrible tools!

But would you believe me and think that drills were horrible tools? No!

You would know that the problem doesn’t lie in the tool I am using.

The problem lies in the person trying to use it! 

I think this is the reason that some businesses and companies struggle so much to see their content marketing produce any worthwhile results.

It’s not that anything is wrong with the tool itself.

The problem is with the person (or team) using it.

The problem is that they don’t really understand the tool and/or they don’t have enough experience with it.

So before you toss out this tool called “content marketing,” because you believe it’s worthless, I would encourage you to learn more about the real purpose for content marketing and the best mindset and methods for using it.

That might be all it takes for you to see completely different results compared to the ones you’ve been getting from it.


Speaking of understanding the real purpose and using the best techniques, I have come up a new way to think of content marketing that I believe can really help business to answer these questions:

  • Why isn’t content marketing working for my company?
  • What are we doing wrong with our content marketing?
  • What is content marketing really all about anyway?

This new way to think about content marketing is something I am calling “Question Directed Content Marketing”.

Question Directed Content Marketing

I’ve put together a free video 12 minute video that explains a new way of thinking about the basic core purpose for all of the content you create.

In this video, you’ll discover:

  • The common quest we all are on
  • How the internet has changed that quest
  • How this creates an unprecedented opportunity for businesses
  • A new mindset and paradigm that will help you to begin using content marketing in a more effective way.
  • The 4 powerful things that will happen when you use it in this way
  • The common mistakes most businesses make with their content marketing
  • And finally you’ll discover how to begin creating content that will allow you to stand out from your competitors

If you’d like to watch this video, then all you have to do is sign-up below.

You can be watching it in just minutes from now…



Photo by 96dpi

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166 Year Old Bakery Reveals How to Consistently Produce Effective Content Marketing

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Content Creation Tips, Content Marketing | 0 comments

boudin bakery fisherman's warf

The Surprising Lesson From a Bakery

We recently had some friends visiting San Francisco from Washington, DC, so we went up to spend time with them.

We saw a lot of things I haven’t seen, even though I’d lived 30-40 minutes from San Francisco for most of my life.

One of the places we saw was the Boudin Bakery on Fisherman’s Wharf.

While we were there I learned some interesting things about the bakery that I didn’t know.

And in the process, I learned some important lessons that apply to content marketing.

Here are some of the things that I learned:

  • Boudin Bakery was started in 1849 by a French baker named Isadore Boudin.
  • He came to San Francisco and started his bakery in North Beach because of the Gold Rush population boom that had happened the year before.
  • It is the oldest bakery in the West.
  • It’s one of the oldest businesses in San Francisco.
  • He used a traditional European technique of capturing natural yeast found in the air for his “mother dough”.
  • They still use the same “mother dough” to this day!


The 166-Year-Old “Mother Dough”

boundin bakery and mother dough

Did you hear what I said?

Boudin still uses the same “Mother Dough” that they first used back in 1849.

Isidore captured the original yeast from the air 166 years ago and he was happy with it. It produced a flavor in the bread that was pleasing to him.

So instead of trying to capture the yeast again and trying to duplicate it, he did what bakers have done for thousands of years: he kept part of that original “mother dough” to use in the next batch.

That is how Boudin Bakery has continued to produce consistently delicious bread for all these years!

They don’t start completely from “scratch” with each new batch.

They always begin with a part of Isidore Boudin’s original dough.

The original dough is replenished daily with flour and water, so that the strains of yeast that he captured way back in the 1800s can continue to survive and can be used to make another loaf of bread today and tomorrow.


The Secret of Today’s Publishing Empires

Effective content marketing comes from two things.

It comes from using a powerful content marketing strategy and from utilizing great content.

What you need to realize is that people who produce great content and harness effective content marketing strategies hardly ever start from “scratch.”

They almost always have some sort of “mother dough” that they use as a “starter”.

Content Marketing Strategies

The “secret” of many of today’s publishing empires such as: HuffingtonPost.com, Mashable.com, ContentMarketingInstitute.com, CopyBlogger.com, and SocialMediaExaminer.com is that they are all using the same content marketing strategy based on the same “mother dough”. 

What do I mean?

They all began by using a portion of a content strategy “mother dough” that has been used for 214 years.

What is the strategy? It’s amazingly simple, but powerful

The basic strategy is made up of just two steps:

1. Create a content channel for your target market.

2. Invite leading authorities to create content for you.

(Want to learn more? I go into much more detail about this here and explain how I discovered this same strategy was used to establish a bookstore in France that began using the strategy way back in 1801.)


How to Unleash Your Content Marketing Creativity

But you need to understand that this doesn’t just apply to content marketing strategy.

It also applies to content marketing creativity.

That means that if you want to come up with new ideas for your content marketing, you don’t have to try to come up with them out of the blue.

Great Content

Let me explain by sharing with you a practice that copywriters have been using for decades.

Years and years ago copywriters learned a powerful secret to creativity.

Instead of starting from scratch every time they wrote an new ad, they discovered that it was better to use a previously written successful ad and use it for inspiration and ideas.

They created what became known as a “swipe file,” which was a file of copywriting that had already proven to be effective.

They would look over the samples that they gathered in this swipe file and use them to unlock ideas and inspiration for any and all new copywriting ideas.

(Want to learn more? I go into much more detail about this creativity secret here and I explain four ways to gain new ideas and insights for your content marketing.)

What I am trying to get you to see is that the way to come up with the best content marketing ideas is not to start from scratch every single time.

The best way to come up with content marketing ideas is to use some sort of “Content Marketing Swipe File” as your “mother dough.”


The Way That Leads to Effective and Consistent Results

The Boudin Bakery has successfully produced amazing sourdough bread for 166 years, because they use the same “mother dough” that produced the first amazing loaf.

If you want to produce effective content marketing, then you must do the same thing.

Don’t start completely from “scratch”. That’s too risky. 

Instead use a portion of the “mother dough” from a strategy or idea that has already proven itself to be effective.

Then add your own ingredients and twists to it.

That is how you consistently produce great content marketing.

Photos from BoundinBakery.com


My Latest Posts on RecessionSolution.com and Other Sites

– REMEMBER: No Matter How Crazy Life Is… These Are The Good Ol’ Days! (RecessionSolution.com)

– Could Building a “Content Network” Take Your Content to the Next Level?  (My Post on LinkedIn)

– This Content Marketing Principle Is Proven To Succeed (Guest Post on Curatti.com)


A Few Ways to Work with Me


Free “Business Breakthrough” Session: Breakthrough the Main Challenge Sabotaging Your Business Right Now


Free “Content Marketing Kick-Start” Session: How to Get Started Harnessing the Power of Content Marketing for Your Business



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REMEMBER: No Matter How Crazy Life Is… These Are The Good Ol’ Days!

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Content Creation Tips, Content Marketing | 0 comments

time management

I hope your summer is going well so far. 

Summer is in full swing at my house.

And that means chaos.


Well, two reasons:

  1. We have 3 sons ages 9 – 14 years old
  2. Both my wife and I work from home

That means there’s a lot of juggling between my wife and I between who is “holding down the fort” while working and who gets to just focus on working.

It’s a challenge, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

In fact, when things are especially crazy I try to remind my wife (and myself) of this truth, “These are the ‘good ol days!'”

One day we will look back on these days with fondness and wish that we could return to them.

One day my wife and I will want to go back to:

  • When the boys were still this age
  • When we were younger 
  • When we had the freedom to work from home and be around them so much

What all seems chaotic now will one day be missed!

My point for you is this…

I hope that no matter how chaotic your life is right now that you remember this truth: these ARE the good ol’ days!


Today, I wanted to share links to two posts that ask this important question:

Who is waiting around anxiously awaiting for your content?

How (and if) you can answer that question will make all the difference in the effectiveness of your content creation and content marketing.

Here is the first post that you should read…

The One Content Marketing Question You Need to Ask (That May Scare You) by Michele Linn – ContentMarketingInstitute.com

While this comment may seem problematic, I can’t think of a better compliment. Someone is missing the content we are publishing.

Today’s post is a short but important one.

How would you answer this question?

Would anyone miss your content if you did not publish it?

Read the rest of Michele’s post here.


The next post is one that I wrote yesterday and it reveals three ways that you can tap into “content anticipation” like Michelle talks about in the post above.


The 3 Content Forces You Need to Tap Into to Create Highly Anticipated Content – BayBusinessHelp.com

The Importance of Highly Anticipated Content

Three years ago, I came up with an idea that I ended up calling “21 Types of Content We Crave“.

I ended up getting an infographic created that listed the different kinds of content we all want to consume.

I then submitted it to ContentMarketingInstitute.com to see if they’d want to post it and they did. And I am glad I did!

Because they have a huge audience, it ended up being shared thousands of times and generated 102 comments on their site before they closed off the comments.

Anyway, the cool thing is that it was mentioned as a part yesterday’s post on ContentMarketingInstitute.com called The One Content Marketing Question You Need to Ask” by Michele Linn.

I mention this because I think that Michele brings up an important concept that we all should consider.

It’s a concept called “content anticipation“.

The way that Michele applies the concept, it means creating content that people are so excited about, so interested in, that they can’t wait to receive more of it.

I think there are three content forces you can tap into that will help you to create content that’s highly anticipated.

Let me go over each one for you…

Read the rest of my post here.


That’s it for today.

Enjoy the good ol days!

Photo by epSos.de


My Latest Posts on RecessionSolution.com and Other Sites

– Content Marketing Sighting: Jurassic World Wants You to Buy a Mercedes (RecessionSolution.com)

– The Legendary Violinist and the Surprising Reason You Should Delegate (My Post on LinkedIn)

 This Is the Real Secret to Unleash Your Content Marketing Creativity (Guest Post on B2BMarketingInsider.com)

– The Content Marketing Principle Top Podcaster John Lee Dumas Has Used to Achieve Success (RecessionSolution.com)


A Few Ways to Work with Me


Free “Business Breakthrough” Session: Breakthrough the Main Challenge Sabotaging Your Business Right Now


Free “Content Marketing Kick-Start” Session: How to Get Started Harnessing the Power of Content Marketing for Your Business




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Content Marketing Sighting: Jurassic World Wants You to Buy a Mercedes

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Content Creation Tips, Content Marketing | 0 comments

Jurassic World is content marketing for Mercedes



I have 3 sons between the ages of 9 – 14 years old.
Last year, AMC aired all of the old Jurassic Park movies and so I let them watch them.

And, of course, they loved them. (Come on! Dinosaurs, guns, and killing? It’s a formula for a movie boys would love!) 

When they saw that Jurassic World was coming out they all set their hearts on seeing it.

I, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure I wanted to see it. I was thinking, “Can there be anything else that they can possibly do with this film franchise that would make it interesting?”

Well, Monday I found out.

Spontaneously, I decided to take the boys to see it.

jurassic world

And to my surprise, it was a REALLY great movie! 

(It was funny, action-packed and had a creative twist to the formula they used in their past movies.) 

What I didn’t realize was going to happen was that I would discover that the movie was being used as powerful content marketing for Mercedes.


The Two Groups of People Who Will Especially Want to Read This Post

I think you’ll want to keep reading this, because what I am going to share with you will be especially helpful for two groups of people:

1. People who don’t have the time or talent to create content

If you have ever thought, “I (or we) don’t have any time or ability to make great content,” then you’ll like what you’re about to read.

2. Content creators who need more income

If you have the time and talent to create awesome content, but you’re stuck trying to figure out how to make more money from your skills, then you’ll definitely want to keep reading.


Why I Believe that Jurassic World is Content Marketing for Mercedes

I need to start by saying that Jurassic World is FULL of product placements. A few of the products you’ll see in the movie are: Beats by Dre headphones, StarbucksBrookstone and even Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.

They even make a joke about all of the product placements in the movie itself! 

As a Washington Post article pointed out, “The dinosaur park is strapped for funding and takes on corporate sponsors: Its star dinosaur exhibit becomes ‘Verizon Wireless Presents The Indominus Rex.’ A side character jokes they should have gone even further, naming a dinosaur ‘Pepsi-saurus.’”

But I think there is something different about the Mercedes relationship that goes BEYOND just regular product placement. Why?

Because it’s on the screen so much that it can almost be considered  co-star.

In fact, they didn’t just feature one model of Mercedes car.
I researched it and found out that ALL of the cars featured in the film were Mercedes cars!

Here are just two of the Mercedes models that they featured in the film:

The Mercedes GLE Coupe

Mercedes in Jurassic World

And they also featured the Mercedes-Benz AMG 6×6

Mercedes G63 6X6 in Jurassic World

If you’re still doubting that Jurassic World is content marketing for Mercedes, then watch this video clip “Mercedes-Benz JURASSIC WORLD Making-Of”

Did you catch what they said?
The Mercedes GLE Coupe came out the same day as Jurassic World did!

Not only that, but look at what I just found on the Mercedes website itself…

The partnership continues the relationship between Universal and Mercedes-Benz, first forged in 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, when Mercedes introduced the M‑Class vehicle.

“We are delighted to have been able to support this epic action-adventure with our vehicles,” said Dr. Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Communications forMercedes-Benz Cars. “Our wide range of SUVs in particular fit perfectly with JURASSIC WORLD’s various requirements, with the focus on our new trendsetter, the GLE Coupé.”

And listen to what the producer for Jurassic World said…

Unveiling the new GLE Coupé in JURASSIC WORLD was a natural fit as we continue our relationship with Mercedes,” said producer Frank Marshall. “Audiences will find that the vehicles featured in the film lend themselves perfectly as the transportation of choice in the fully functioning international theme park we have created at JURASSIC WORLD.”

The Content Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Jurassic World

There are two powerful lessons that we can learn from this and they help solve the problems of the two groups of people I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

1. If you don’t have the time or talent to create great content, then partner with someone who does.

There are many great content creators and content marketers who are out there these days.

They not only have the time and talent to create the content you need, they are ALREADY creating content that could be used for promoting your company or its products or services.

If you have been held back from using top content creators in the past, because you didn’t have the budget to hire them to be a full-time part of your company, then now you have a different paradigm to use.

You don’t have to hire them and make them a full-time part of your on your team. You can instead just pay them to feature your product or service in a particular piece of content or series of content.

The key is to find someone who has already gathered an audience made up of the people you’re trying to sell to.

2. If you need a better (or additional) source of income as a content creator or content marketer, then look for companies you can approach who need exposure to your audience.

In the same way that there are many content creators and content marketers out there, there are also many, many companies who need great content that they can use to spread the word about their products or services. 

If you haven’t been able to find, or haven’t wanted, a full-time job creating content for a company, then now you have another option.

You don’t have to find, or choose, a full-time position. You can now look for companies that you can forge a symbiotic relationship with.

The key is to figure out who wants access the audience you have gathered enough that they would be willing to pay to be put in front of them.

If the work you do has been for others, and you haven’t gathered your own audience, don’t worry. It could still work. How? 

The company might still be interested in working with you, if they have gathered their own audience.

Now don’t get stuck thinking, “But I’m not a movie studio! How can this work for me? I am just a content marketer,” or “I’m not a car maker! I don’t have a product people will want to promote in their content.”

This content marketing relationship that Universal Pictures has with Mercedes is a model that has been used in many ways and in many forms.

Walt Disney himself, TV-chef Martin “Yan Can Cook” Yan, and even the band OK Go all used this model.

MentalFloss.com even has an article that shows how the classic kids’ book series Little Golden Books used this same basic model with a book called Doctor Dan the Bandage Man and Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids.

If an animator, a chef, a band, and a book publisher can all use this model, then so can you.

You are only limited by your creativity!


Two Recent Posts

The Content Marketing Principle Top Podcaster John Lee Dumas Has Used to Achieve Success

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The Content Marketing Principle Top Podcaster John Lee Dumas Has Used to Achieve Success

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Content Creation Tips, Content Marketing | 1 comment


The Unbelievable Surprise on My Hook

I never expected it to happen, but it did.

It was a warm day in Alabama and I was fishing with my dad at a lake.

We both had a line in the water and we were waiting for a bite.

When all of a sudden it happened. My bobber started bobbing! 

I grabbed the pole and pulled hard.

Then I started reeling in the line.

When I got it in we found out that I had a pretty good size trout on the line.

For a 10-year-old, that was good in and of itself. I was happy.

And that’s when we discovered the unbelievable thing that had happened.


As we pulled the trout off of the hook, we found a small minnow on my hook.

When my Dad saw it he said, “Wait a minute. You used a worm right?” I said, “Yeah! I did.”

He then took the minnow off the hook.

And what did we find? A worm!

The minnow had taken the worm and then the trout chomped down on the minnow.

I couldn’t believe it! I had caught two fish one hook!

This a true story, but I’ll be really honest with you.

I have never done this again. And I probably never will.

I tell you that story because the best way to catch multiple fish has a lot in common with the best way to see multiplied results from your content marketing.


The Best Way to Catch More Than One Fish at a Time

I would never try to suggest to anyone else that if they’d like to catch two fish that they should try using one hook.

If someone really wanted to catch more than one fish at the same relative time, then I’d recommend:

  1. Using two hooks on the same line (See #6 here).
  2. Or better yet, I’d suggest using more than one pole. 

These ways are all much more effective than trying to catch multiple fish on one hook. They all work better because you have more than one place (or chance) to catch a fish.

Why don’t we think this way when we create content marketing?

john lee dumas podcast,

How Podcaster John Lee Dumas Uses Content Marketing

On Paul Colligan’s Podcast Report – Episode #40, I heard him mention John Lee Dumas’ 7-day a week podcast called “Entrepreneur on Fire“.

Paul said that he once asked John about his reason for doing his podcast so many days a week.

John told him that by posting a new episode 7 days a week, it gave people 7 opportunities to share his content.

Did you catch that?

John has 7 “poles” in the water! 

In case you haven’t realized it, John’s extremely successful podcast isn’t just designed to help you.

It’s content marketing! Now don’t get me wrong.

It’s full of awesome, powerful, and even helpful content that his listeners gobble up (and share).

But it’s content that’s meant to lead people to buy the products that will help them achieve their goals.

Here are some of the products that John offers:

You see, John is smart enough to realize that when it comes to content marketing the more hooks (or poles) in the water, the more fish!

The Content Marketing Principle John Uses: The more pieces of content that you put into the water, the more “fish” you have a chance to catch!

Why don’t more businesses think this way?

How Many Content Marketing “Hooks” Do You Have in the Water?

Somehow many businesses post up one blog post, one white paper, etc. and then expect that one piece of content to bring in all the prospects and customers that they’ll ever need.

And then, when they don’t see any results, they think content marketing is useless!

That’s like betting all your money on catching two fish on one hook.

Yeah, that’s not likely to happen.

Instead business owners need to think like a fisherman and like John Lee Dumas does. Many poles in the water increase the chance you’ll catch more (or at least some) fish.


How You Can Apply This “Many Poles in the Water” Principle

Now I am sure that by now some of you are thinking, “Well I don’t have time to podcast (blog, etc.) 7 days a week! I have a business to run!”

There are ways for you to follow this principle without having to write 7 days a week.

Here are two ways you can follow this principle without focusing all of your (or your staff’s) time on creating content.

1. Same bait different ponds

You need to realize that there are different sites that you can post your same content on. For example, a few months after you (or your team) post a blog post on your site, you can post the same post on LinkedIn.

That will allow a new group of people to get exposure to it. (I post old blog posts on LinkedIn and have gotten great exposure this way.)

Another thing you can do is have you (or your team) write a new post, but this time get it posted on some other website. Where? There are plenty of sites that are looking for content. You just need to look around.

There are many places you can look online:

  • Look for websites that accept guest posts (Peter Sandeen and EffectiveInboundMarketing.com both have great lists of sites that accept guest posts.)
  • Check your local newspaper websites and see if they’d like to republish one of your posts or have you (or your staff) write a new blog post for their site
  • Another thing you could do is search for other local businesses that have blogs. Look for businesses that sell to the same prospects, but offer non-competitive products or services. Then approach them and see if they’d like to republish one of your posts or have you (or your staff) write a new blog post for their site.

(NOTE: Your content needs to be good for any of this to work, but I am assuming that it is. Otherwise none of your content marketing will work anyway!)

2. Same pond different bait

You need to realize that some people are readers and others hate to read. Some people love to watch videos and others would rather read that same information.

Some people love podcasts and others don’t know what they are. That means that if you only provide your content in one format, then you are limiting who will consume it.

The people who hate reading will usually not read your blog posts. The people that prefer reading probably won’t watch your videos.

How do you create content for each of these types of people without taking too much of your time away from running your business?

One of the best ways to do that is by re-purposing content. You’ve heard of recycling right? Well, you can think of re-purposing content as recycling your content.

Here are some ideas for re-purposing your content:

  • Take a blog post and record it into audio format.
  • Take a bunch of blog posts and compile them into a book. (That’s what I did with my book “51 Content Marketing Hacks”.)
  • Take a white paper and record a video about the same ideas.
  • Or you can take your white paper and use it to create an app. (You just take the knowledge you shared in your white paper and create a “how-to” app.)

(BONUS TIP: It’s best to add to, or change, your re-purposed content some.  Why? So that the people who consume content in more than one format will still enjoy it, even if they consumed it in the original form.)


The Only Way to Build Momentum

To see momentum in any area of life takes repeated action.

To try something once is not much better than never trying it at all.

How many of you have seen any major results in your life from only doing something once?

You’re only going to see results from the things you focus on and keep doing!

It’s the same with content marketing.

I am not going to pretend that you aren’t going to have to create at least some additional content to see this principle really work. You will!

But if you apply the ideas I’ve given you in this post, then you’ll be able to maximize the content you do create and multiply its impact.

This will enable you to harness this principle without having to create as much content as other businesses.

But the truth is, once you start reeling in some more fish from harnessing this principle, you’ll be excited to put more poles in the water! You’ll finally understand the wisdom of John Lee Dumas’ 7-day-a-week podcasts.

Final Warning:
Every top fisherman knows that if you don’t use the right bait, then you’ll never catch the fish you are hoping for.

This principle I’ve shared with you is based on the assumption that you understand the content your prospects are hungry for. You must know this in order for any of this to work!

(NOTE: This isn’t the only thing that John has done that’s helped him achieve such great success. But it is one of the key principles that he’s tapped into.)


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