You’ve Got to Read This: August 23, 2011

It’s a big week here at Reid All About It, I’ll tell you why later.

But enough about life for now, let’s get back to business. If you have trouble coming up with good content for your organization’s blog, you’ll like these 5 Sources for Great Blog Post Ideas by Joseph Wesley Putnam at Blogtweaks. Sources #1 and #4, concepts you explain and questions you answer, both rely on listening and capturing. Make it a habit to capture post ideas whenever and wherever you get them — in a computer file, on a notepad or in your phone. The more you train your mind to listen, the more ideas you’ll get.

Once you have a good topic, review The Ultimate 8-Point Checklist for Remarkable Content by Pamela Seiple on the Hubspot blog. There’s no use writing about something unless the topic is worthy of your readers’ time.

I love Twitter. It’s my favorite social media platform by far. However, many people on Twitter don’t know how to use it, don’t give a hoot about their followers or suffer from a combination of the two. Peter Shankman lists The Top 10 Things That Need to Die on Twitter. I don’t usually like “rules” posts that mandate how we should and shouldn’t tweet, but I agree with Shankman’s list, except for #6, Foursquare check-ins. I don’t mind seeing where my friends are, unless they’re checking in at the office (seriously, who cares). However, I stop following people if their twitter stream contains more check-ins than any other type of tweet.

Claire Celsi asks us to: “Challenge yourself never to send another standard press release again.” She wants us to use our skills and creativity instead to get our news in front of reporters, and gives Six Alternatives to Sending a Press Release. If you absolutely must send a press release, I wrote earlier this year about ways to improve a press release’s chances of piquing interest.

Gayle C. Thorsen shares Ten Time Management Tips for Nonprofit Communicators. Don’t pass her by because of the word “nonprofit.” Her tips apply to anyone whose plate is too full, to-do list is too long and schedule is too busy. I can vouch for #3, Monday morning me-time. Give it a try.

You’ve strategized, read how-to posts, made editorial calendars and stressed over it, but still you can’t find the time or talent to write your organization’s blog posts. Don’t worry, the folks at Calvert Creative explain how busy leaders can blog without really blogging in The Number One Way to Kill Your Business Blog. The number one killer is not writing at all, turning your blog into a ghost town. Their answer: get help. Agencies and freelance writers, like me (ahem), can help you get your blog up and running again.

I have a very big special birthday coming up on Thursday, so I’ve been more reflective than usual. A few younger friends also celebrate birthdays this week, so this morning I imagined what words of wisdom I’d share with them, if they asked. “Fly your freak flag,” that’s what I’d say. I can’t take credit for those wise words, they’re from Joe Gerstandt, who every Friday encourages his readers, followers, friends, acquaintances and friends-he-hasn’t-yet-met (like me) to let their freak flags fly. You’ll have to read the “love note” he wrote to us last Friday to find out what that means: Put It Up In The Air. Hoist it up, friends!

raleigh freelance writer blogging content copywriting
photo by nataliekbeats/flickr

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, journaling, cooking new recipes, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of craft beer or wine.

8 thoughts on “You’ve Got to Read This: August 23, 2011”

  1. Thanks for the pingback on my Calvert Creative post, Dierdre! It feels great to be included in such a well-considered summary of resources and ideas. (I personally loved the notion of “flying my freak flag”!)

    And since we two content writers are living in the same town we must get together soon and, and, and… have incredible ideas together! Fly flags. Shop at the oriental store. Share a margarita. You say when and we are on.

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    1. Lisa, you fly your freak flag well, and you know that’s a compliment of the highest order. Yes, it’s time to go shopping and sipping. I’ll send you an email about pinning down a date. I didn’t realize you were still the voice behind Calvert. Nice.

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  2. Hi Reid,

    Thanks for the shout out in this post. I’m glad you found my post on 5 Sources for Great Blog Post Ideas to be informative. And yes, listening to customers and paying attention to what you already tell people and then recording those thoughts on paper are an excellent way to come up with more blog post topics.

    Any chance that you’ll be switching to self-hosting and need a premium design anytime soon? I’d love to help out with that. 😉

    Keep up the great work! I look forward to keeping in touch.

    Joseph Putnam

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Joseph. I will be switching over to a big girl blog soon, but I like shopping local and throwing business to solopreneurs here in the Triangle. However, if I don’t have any luck, you’ll hear from me. Thanks!

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  3. Love the resources and I liked the post about ideas for blog posting, but a little voice inside me says if you find yourself struggling to compose a post, you might not have anything to say at the moment …. so don’t post.

    I know that’s heresy and Godin tells us to ship every single day, but other than the few people who do post every day, I don’t know that any of us have a presumed publication schedule from those reading our stuff.

    Or better yet, do an encore post (which I think of as a tad different than Joseph’s recycle an idea suggestion) and revisit a classic post worth bringing to people’s attention again, maybe with an update or refresh in the content.

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    1. I agree with you about not posting for the sake of posting. Man, there is a lot of crap out there and I’m sure it’s done in an attempt to just publish something. Spare us. I think a lot of organizations and businesses don’t even know where to start with topics. They don’t realize that they probably have lots to share if they get into the mind of their target reader. Thanks for adding your insight, Jeffrey. Completely off topic, I loved (and I mean really loved) the Wisdom video you tweeted about today. Thank you so much for sharing that. It’s especially meaningful on the eve of my 50th. Feeling reflective and mooshy today.

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