My Pseudo Writing Sabbatical, or, Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

It’s been one year since I’ve stopped by my own stomping ground to gain ground on my blogging. Perhaps you didn’t notice the cupboard was bare. A good hostess still leaves snacks out, but* I’ve been the good kind of busy. The working hard, securing new clients, co-launcing new businesses, completing trainings, honing new skills, documenting adventures, making new friends kind of busy. Do I get a hallway pass?

There will be two camps.

Ode to Camp Unforgiving: I appreciate the hard line drawn. If I were a better man, I’d have drawn it myself. I’ll reiterate that I don’t live right. Why bother with the if’s, but’s and whoops’s. It would have been simple to set aside a few minutes each morning and send word from me to you. Recording my lessons these last 365 days in business and life might have made for a reliable if not interesting read. Aren’t you like me? Don’t you sometimes find it difficult to write unless you make it a habit? If not daily, then regular at least? And what if you’re not so sure there’s value to share when the timer goes off?  Hapless musings to satisfy a self-imposed deadline. Yuck for all involved. Then again. Practice makes closer to perfect. The more you write, I’ve heard it said, the faster the good ideas flow. I’m down with that. I’m working on it. Be patient with me. No, don’t. I’ll get my act together and make you proud.

Ode to Camp Forgiving: That’s what I’m talking about. A little lightness. Fewer restrictions, fresh air, sunshine and time spent away from the screen is equally important as communicating the two-dimensional way. Magic has been happening whether I’m touting it or not. I haven’t had the time to write**, because I’ve been so busy doing all the things I promise to do for prospective and current clients and collaborators. Besides, since writing is ingrained in me, I can bust it out anytime.*** You knew I’d get back in the saddle someday. No hard feelings. We have plenty of time to catch up.

What’s left to do except share a peace offering and deflect the awkward attention I’ve drawn to myself by wearing the hat of Most Noble Content Curator. Look, these guys are doing well:

You Are Not So Smart

Brain Pickings


Creative Rehab

The Grommet


Bonus track: ProBlogger analyzes posting frequencies with a round-up of bloggers and why their style–frequent or not–works for them and their audience.

There. Are we even?

Procrastinators and writing wizards, share your comments below, on Facebook or on Instagram and name the super blog I forgot to mention.

*excuse ** hogwash ***be very, very careful

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The Art of Asking: Building Newsletter Lists

One brain-breaking bootstrap endeavor, particularly for small businesses, is authentically building newsletter lists. It’s a speedy world, yet the need to grow doesn’t trump etiquette. Few like receiving a newsletter they didn’t agree to. Read: backfire.

It’s a speedy world, yet the need to grow doesn’t trump etiquette.
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Pickle: a campaign to launch alas short on folks at the receiving end. Deadline looming, we went the “old-fashioned” route: informing colleagues about the newsletter, inviting them to opt-in or opt-out, one personalized email at a time. Arduous? Yes. Worth it? Tenfold. The campaign was a hit. A few said “Nah” while others appreciated the approach, wishing us success while taking a vested interest in our campaign. One colleague responded, “Thanks for the most wonderful opt-in email I ever received.” The “Nah’s” welcomed the power to say No. Regardless of in or out, the back-and-forth dialogue paved an exchange for what’s in our respective hoppers these days. An impromptu catch up.


Newsletters provide a great digest of our work, though they won’t trump the tailored “Hello.” Often as possible, ditch robotics. Send a note, make a call or meet for coffee. Ain’t nothin’ like the personal touch.

Often as possible, ditch robotics. Send a note, make a call or meet for coffee.
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–Offer to mention your recipient’s work if this aligns with your company culture. Sharing is caring.
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–Specify newsletter topics along with preparation schedule. Fishing for content reduces with an inbox full of fodder.
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–Share direct contact information. Better than a bubble.
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–Request feedback. Criticism and comments could build your best campaigns.
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Tips to add? Let us know in our comments section.

Here’s a template best peppered with a personal touch. Reference the 5k or the article that made you laugh.

Dear Name,

I’m launching my newsletter featuring interesting insights into the industry we share, and would very much like to add you to my recipient list. I believe you’ll find our campaigns valuable which is why I’m personally inviting your closer look. Of course, you may unsubscribe at any time. Though in lieu of leaving our list, we’d mutually benefit from your insight. How can we best serve you? With respect to your time, our newsletter is prepared on [specify day] and arrives [specify sending schedule]. Keep us posted on your projects; we are happy to spread the word about companies doing good work.
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Virtue of Small: What Might CEO Piglet Say?

“To my mind the old masters are not art; their value is in their scarcity.” ~ Thomas Edison
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Image courtesy of HubSpot

Do you milk re-purpose bygone posts written when there was time to create content for your website? Cobbler with no shoes sighs. Bloggers, companies, marketers, PR experts, social media strategists and finger-on-the pulse peeps often conclude content wears the crown: dishing up data, insights and generally good information propels us to sharable status on social media platforms, provides important resources for current and would-be clients and keeps us in the industry A List.

Agreed. And Ruh Ro. What if you buy into aforementioned perks yet find it difficult to churn out blog brilliance on the regs due to Smallness?

Imagine Mr. Edison duking it out with Gates.* “Hooray!” I exclaim as the former wields a powerful upper cut. But my eyes drop as I sniff out smarminess.

Comeback kid retorts “But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.” Thanks for bringing attention to this Bill Gates snippet Craig Bailey.

Small. And harumph.

Wait! Consider The Te of Piglet. In a land of Big Everything, why not capitalize on the Virtue of Small. Potential includes:

  • Precision
  • Expertise
  • Tailored attention
  • Depth
In a land of Big Everything, why not capitalize on the Virtue of Small.
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Being Small allows the luxury of capitalizing on extreme pin-pointedness, far reach into a client’s objectives, experimenting under-the-radar and tremendous opportunity for growth. All this and more applies to delivering business results as well as adventures in blogging.

Image courtesy of All Free Vectors

“You haven’t the time!” exclaimed Rabbit rushing to his next appointment.
“You’re barely noticeable anyway.” said Owl on his lunch break.
“I know! Isn’t it great?” cheered Piglet.

As always, your comments are king. Please feel free to share.

*I’d pay money to watch that fight. Not very Zen, I know.

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