Want to Learn It? Teach It.

Several times in my life, I’ve been in a position where I’ve been asked to teach something that I’m really not an expert at. It’s always a challenge, and usually ends up paying off in pretty good dividends.

I’ve always been bit of a computer geek. Not really when it comes to programming, but understanding apps. I had a spreadsheet application back in 1986 called Lotus 1-2-3 and then I learned Microsoft Excel.

I worked at a community college back then and knew a guy that ran the testing center. One day he asked me if I’d be…


Breaking Down "Cause" Blogging

It’s pretty simple. If you’re spearheading some kind of cause, and you’re blogging about that cause, that’s what I consider cause blogging. You’re typically not selling a product or service. You’re trying to increase awareness and maybe get some support through your blog.

As a non-profit organization, especially in blogging, you have two target audiences: the people you help and the people who support you through donations, volunteering and other types of service. Very often, the messages you’re sending to those two constituencies are very different.

Think of any kind of non-profit or charity that helps the…


Why Are Simple Things So Hard to Reproduce?

The simplest things are often the hardest to reproduce because there was usually a good amount of preparation, practice, and development that originally went into it.

I watched the Olympics this summer and, man, those gymnasts made flying through the air look so easy. But if I went for a run and hit a trampoline, we’d be calling an ambulance! (If I made it off the ground at all…)

The underlying idea here is that there’s often more than meets they eye when it comes to reproducing simple things. Consider our recording process: when we record videos, our…


Can You Copy Someone’s Blog Posts?

Copying someone else’s blog posts would be a bad idea. Wouldn’t it?

Google might penalize you for it; they might even de-list your site. And then you’ve got the whole ethical and moral aspect, because, yeah, you’d be stealing from someone.

But what I’m about to suggest doesn’t violate any of those boundaries. If someone in your category of business is writing good content and creating ongoing blog posts that are knocking it out of the park, don’t take their words, but definitely consider their topics.

If you’re a plumber and you come across another company’s blog…


Google Cares About Your Blog

Google wants to know you’re alive and kicking. It reminds me of Get Shorty, when Gene Hackman’s character asks his literary agent what kind of writing pays the best. The answer? Ransom notes. Consider your blog proof-of-life for Google.

Google sees any updates to your website as proof-of-life as well. If you keep your blog on a sub-domain, Google is going to treat them as two entirely different sites. So it might think your blog is alive, but your website isn’t.

Google doesn’t want to disappoint searchers by sending them to your site, if the…


What's the Purpose of Your Blog?

You probably won’t make money from your blog. But you might make money because of your blog. 

A lot of people think a blog is a sales tool- that they should constantly be talking about how great their products and services are. I think you’re better off using your blog to build your credibility.

Different blogs serve different purposes. Some blogs are only selling a product. But if you’re a small business trying to establish yourself as an authority in your market, what you’re really selling on your blog is your credibility.

By sharing stories about how you’ve…


Shortcut Content: Who? What? Why?

A few years ago, my business partner, Paul Boomer, and I were working with advertising clients who needed to be creating content for their websites and social media, but we couldn’t get them to do it. And we couldn’t write it for them. So we decided to create a boutique content production company called Shortcut Blogging.

We discovered that if we couldn’t get the business owners to write about their stories and expertise, we could get them to talk about it. We started recording those conversations and producing blogs from them. Paul has since moved on to other projects, but…


What’s the Difference Between Ghostwriting and Shortcut Content?

Working with a ghostwriter is usually a time consuming and rather intimate affair. You basically have to let them move into your home or office so they can follow you around 24/7. They become your ghost. They’re attempting to get a feel for you and to ultimately gather your stories.

At Shortcut Content, we make it a little easier. We don’t need to get as intimate with you to help you create blogs, podcasts, or even write a book. We know that your stories are all locked up inside your head and we don’t sit around waiting for them…


Create a Company Wiki

A wiki is just a place where you store a bunch of knowledge – back in the day we called it a knowledge base. After producing content for our customers for a few years, we realized that along with some legendary stories, we were collecting great training material for their companies.

We can help you collect company policies and procedures, but I think it’s important to also include some origin stories that only the founders or earliest company members may know about.

Every company has had a big event where someone saved the day by helping…