How to Run a Side Project When You Don’t Have Time for Side Projects

I’m beyond thrilled to have had the chance to write for the Trello blog. Big thanks to Lauren and the team for letting me ramble on about how I approach side projects.

Content Tips for Busy People: 30 Content Marketing Tips You Can Implement in an Afternoon

I really wanted this to be a 30,000-word guide to content marketing.

#1 on Google.

1000s of social shares.

Linked to by Copyblogger’s Brian Clark!

And the more and more I thought about it — and the more and more I’ve been amazed at the 30,000-word content marketing resources currently out there — I came around to this one small thought:

What’s the best way I can help you have the biggest impact on your content today?

For me, I tend to get my best, most actionable insights in bite-sized snippets. One of my favorite newsletters is from 500 Distro, a newsletter called #DistroSnack where each daily email is bite-sized — 50 words or less, plus a GIF. So …

I would love to help you, today, in 50 words or less, plus a GIF.

It might not be an email newsletter series (yet), but it is a post that you can skim and grab a nugget, or bookmark and revisit. Actionable snacks galore. :)

Thanks for the chance to share these tips with you. Thanks for reading!

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7 Solid-Gold Copywriting Tips for Growth Hackers

Big thanks to Brian and the Autopilot team for letting me ramble a bit about my favorite copywriting tips. I’ve already found myself going back to this post for the info on customer development questions. Guest posting = Evernote!

You Want to Write Every Day? Try These 7 Easy Tips

You are a comet streaking through the sky, a firework, a home run, a standing ovation inside a volcano. You are hope and faith and love and courage  and everything good in the world.

You want to write every day?

Yes! Yes! Yes!


I’ve got just the seven-day course to get you going.


Get the Free Course

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How to Get the Content Marketing Job You’ve Always Wanted

It was impossible for me to dream of being in content marketing when I grew up because content marketing didn’t exist. Blogs didn’t exist. High speed Internet didn’t exist. (Yay, modems!)

All this came into being after I had already grown up and after I had walked down a career path (journalism!) or two (veterinarian!).

I came into content marketing thanks to the generosity, patience, and grace of others.

Looking back on it now, I feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position—and completely open to sharing every little detail of how I got there.

Are you interested in getting into content marketing? I hope you’ll find some helpful tips here.

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What Is Growth Hacking? Getting to Know the Elusive Growth Hacking Marketer

Ryan Holiday’s Growth Hacker Marketing  goes into great detail to describe what it is that a growth hacker actually does (my translation: he or she combines data with marketing and is able to ship, test, and analyze everything on his or her own).

What I found really useful was seeing what a growth hacker process might actually look like:

  • they merged marketing into their product development;
  • they kicked off growth with early adopters;
  • they added viral elements;
  • and then they relentlessly repeated these cycles, always guided by the data, with an eye toward optimization.

Cool! I can do that!

The book was super valuable for understanding the mindset of a growth hacker and also what growth hacking might look like in a startup or company. It feels much more attainable having read this. It feels right on point, too.

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How I Write a Tagline

We’re working on a lot of exciting new projects at Buffer, and with new projects come new marketing opportunities.

And with new marketing opportunities come new taglines.

It’s been so fun to work with teammates (Leo, Courtney, and others) and riff on possible taglines for products like Pablo (“Design engaging images for your social media posts in under 30 seconds”), new Buffer analytics (“Easily find your most popular social media posts”), and more (Buffer: “Powerful social media sharing and scheduling on the go”).

And the more chances I’ve had to participate in these exercises, the more I realize there is somewhat of an art and science to the way we approach things.

I’d love to share.

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How to Start a Newsletter From Scratch

So you want to start an email newsletter.

You want to build an audience, to reach people with a similar interest, to maybe some day turn all this Internet dreamin’ into a paying gig. Email’s the way to get it done, I’m told.

Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses.

When consumers were asked which medium they’d like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.

And if you’re into clickthroughs, email’s got that, too. Email clickthrough rates are 6x that of a tweet.

Why not send a newsletter, right?

I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with a brand new newsletter here on my site, and I’d love to let you behind the scenes on how it all came to be. My newsletter journey is an ongoing one (shameless plug: you can join the list here), and I feel even slightly odd sharing anything about it yet. I’m no expert, just an experimenter.

That being said, sharing stuff—every little tiny detail that might be helpful—is kind of why I got into the newsletter business.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s the gist of what I’ve learned so far about how to start a newsletter.

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How I Write a Listicle

1. Use an odd number

Gilad Lotan, data scientist at Betaworks, researched the benefits of odd-numbered lists compared to even-numbered ones. His findings, looking at Buzzfeed lists: Whenever possible, go with an odd number.

Calculating these tests, I observed a statistically significant difference in the performance of odd-length BuzzFeed listicles versus even ones.

To make a listicle odd, I like to remove the least valuable list item or split one item into two in order to make an even list odd. More on this tactic in #5, below.

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On Writing Well: Sound Advice for Writers of All Shapes and Sizes

One of the first books I ever read about writing was William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, and good thing too because it taught me that books on writing could be fascinating, gripping, informative, and deep in ways that go far beyond simple grammar and punctuation.

Zinsser, a teacher along with being a writer and editor, covers a lot of territory in the book, over a wide variety of writing styles. It was great to be able to pick and choose the pieces that meant the most to me in the moment—and to make plans to come back again later on to grab the new parts that resonate with me.

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