Given that it’s the last Friday in March, I feel it’s time to stop being blown away by the fact that it’s 2015 (What!? When did this happen!?) and instead to just be thrilled by the fact that it’s Friday…Friday Fix Day!  There was music and strobe lighting in my head when I wrote “Friday…Friday Fix Day”…did it translate? No?  Hmmm…maybe it’s my storytelling?  Or, perhaps I’ll take a word of wisdom from the “37 Tips for Writers” we cover this week.   I definitely plan to apply the tips on getting into giving audiences what they want (hint: it’s not more cow bell) along with other essential wit and wisdom for standing out from the content crowd.

blogging for content marketing

When Does Blogging Become Content Marketing?
While Mark Hillary’s article, which is actually a book excerpt, has more of a pedagogical approach, the essence of the message is the same.  This (when blogging becomes content marketing) is important because we currently function in a climate where organizations have and use blogs as do bloggers but both seem to blur the lines and occasionally cross entirely over into content marketing.  So, where does the transition occur?  Read on to clear things up.

Steps for Successful Social Contests
Not only is Brad Kuenn advising on how to fill a void in content marketing staff capacity, he’s also providing clever insight on how to use contests to light a fire in your content marketing if you will.  Contests can be cheesy, but they can also be clever.  Here, Brad guides you on using hashtags, appropriate branded-prizes, and other things (what, I’m not giving away the whole article here) to create a contest that will simultaneously bolster your content marketing strategy. It’s a #winwin.

One Colossal Content Checklist: 37 Tips for Writers
I’m attracted to Mindy Weinstein’s article for two reasons: one is the stock image that kind of looks like Harry Potter being attacked by dementors through a tablet (can someone get J.K. on writing that short story for Pottermore?  Okay, thanks.); two is that it’s a list for writers that Mindy promises isn’t like other lists (“That’s what all of the lists say,” I cry as I slam my locker and run to Social Marketing 101).  Mindy’s list is the real deal as she implores real writers to do what they do best: be honest and dig deep. Obviously, the details provide better direction; this is a list that won’t break your heart or leave you two-stepping all alone at the prom.

How and Why Content Marketing Will Build Your Business
In this piece, Amy Power (great name!) goes beyond the typical list of what you must do to succeed or get started or reinvent the wheel in content marketing; she delves into the how and why of what works explaining how and why you can expect certain results with certain approaches.  For those who are new to content marketing and are learning the ropes or who aren’t quite sure of what outcomes they can expect with a given strategy, this piece is for you.

what is social listening

Social Listening and Analytics: The Key to Improving Content Marketing
I love that Jeff Zabin starts his piece with a quote.  He uses the quote, “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to describe the conundrum that occurs when content is produced, but it fails to satiate audiences’ thirst.  Jeff goes on to explore social media’s role in rectifying this situation, so everyone can eat, drink content, and be merry (hmm…I think I botched that quote a bit).

Ten Reasons Your Content Marketing Campaign Isn’t Working
So, I started running again to lose the last 1,500 lbs (not a typo), and I feel like despite my dedicated efforts to a regimen of coffee, exercise, and negative thoughts, I’m not getting anywhere.  If you feel about your content the way I feel about my abusive partner, the scale, then Adam Roseland’s incredibly well-spotted advice is for you.  Relative to content, he points out some common yet crippling flaws from a failure to outsource blog writing to overly broad content topics to a failure to post regularly.  Being as busy as you are, you might think these things aren’t hurting you (just as I feel that skimping on the Pilates isn’t hurting me), but they are.  Read Adam’s article for the details on where to tighten up.

Jeff Israely: Good Content Marketing Benefits from a Smart Publisher’s Touch
Former Time magazine foreign correspondent, Jeff Israely, continues what is apparently a series of commentaries on Nieman Lab’s startup.  In this piece, Jeff uses a few anecdotes to analyze and explore the publisher / advertiser relationship.  It’s a compelling read particularly as Jeff suggests that perhaps content marketing isn’t so new after all (just the modes in which we go about it).  Jeff concludes poignantly with the point that what’s novel in content marketing will work well for those who do it properly and will be detrimental to those who don’t.  

3 Paths to Involve Employees in Content Marketing
The majority of the rhetoric relative to content marketing in the workplace has been pertinent to getting senior company members on board; however, Jonathan Blank flips the coin and ponders the other side, which is getting employees involved in content marketing.  Among the challenges are getting employees to understand content marketing and what’s important such as the ability to identify audiences and goal planning (to name two).

A Decade of Content Marketing
You know when you are speaking to someone with a little grit under their nails; they’ve been in the trenches, and they know what they’re talking about.  In this piece, Peter Himler exudes the air of a wizened battle-worn trooper as he details his days from being a PR strategist and how that label and profession saw a sweeping transition into content marketing over the course of a decade.

You’ve Heard of Banner Blindness; Get Ready for Content Blindness
Mark Bergen brings the latest from Austin’s 4A Conference in which a topic of discussion was content blindness.  To explain, Mark compares to banner blindness, which is where consumers literally become blind to advertising banners.  It’s like living next to the airport or the train station.  Eventually, you don’t even notice when a 747 whizzes overhead or the F-train rattles your windows.  Well, the same thing is happening in terms of content.  As noted by other pundits, there’s an oversaturation of content, which leads to consumers overlooking it.  While Mark doesn’t attempt to resolve this complex issue, he does contribute positively on how to address it in this piece.

Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn