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The Easiest Tips EVER for Better Writing

A few months back, I wrote a post on how to be a better blogger. Today, I bring you some advice on how to be a better writer.

THIS ISN’T JUST FOR BLOGGERS!

Everyone has to write during their day to day life:

  • Emails
  • Reports
  • Papers
  • Stories
  • Tweets and Facebook statuses

The list goes on.

So this is advice for writing as a whole from a guy who happens to have a college degree in writing. I mean, I should really be charging for this. Instead, you get it for FREE!

 I bring you some advice on how to be a better writer The Easiest Tips EVER for Better Writing

“But I hate words and the process of combining said words into sentences!” you say. Don’t worry, this list honestly could not be easier.

And it will work!

1. Read It Out Loud

When you read through your writing, read it out load. You don’t have to do this in front of anyone. Just read it to yourself. It’s amazing how many errors you can catch simply by vocalizing your words.

Also, if what you wrote is stupid, it will sound stupid when you read it out loud. If it’s good, it will sound good.

2. Change or Remove Overly Repeated Words

I truly hope that you grasp the true meaning of what I am truly attempting to say here.

See how I managed to cram some form of “true” into that sentence THREE TIMES? Yeah, that’s bad. Don’t do that. Avoiding word repetition is one of the easiest things people can do to make their writing better.

When someone overuses a word they:

  • Lessen the impact of that word
  • Make their writing feel repetitive and lame
  • Give the impression that their vocabulary is worthless
  • Leave the reader with an odd sense of déjà-vu

You’d be surprised how often you repeat things like “suddenly”, “in fact”, “however”, “of course”, etc. When you finish writing something, scan through it and make note of certain words (especially descriptors) you used multiple times.

Then change those words.

3. Keep Your Sentences Short

This is especially true if you aren’t the most articulate person out there. It’s easy to ramble. In the world of writing, rambling is BAD.

Precision is king!

Get to the point. If you have a sentence that is really long, read over it, single out every word that is not needed, and remove those words.

4. Talk Like a Real Person

Don’t try to sound smarter than you are. It’s obvious, awkward, and can make your writing completely nonsensical. At the same time, write like an adult.

I once had to grade a college student’s paper that included sentences such as “Um, well, I guess if I like had to pick something…”

Don’t write like that. Ever.

5. Remove Unnecessary Jokes and References

Everyone wants to be funny and relevant, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to insert random jokes and references in your writing that have nothing to do with the subject. It’s great that you love Star Wars, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk about it in the middle of a paper on leadership.

As for irrelevant jokes, just remove them. They probably weren’t that funny to begin with.

6. Avoid Excessive Punctuation (Mostly Just Commas)

Nothing, throws off a sentence like, the odd placement of commas (see what I did there?).

For some reason, people like to throw in commas just about everywhere. I think it’s a defensive reaction sprung from grammatical doubt. If you have a hard time remembering what sort of clauses and phrases get commas placed after them, think of it this way:

A comma is simply a moment of pause, a breathing spot for the reader. If you have a comma placed in a spot where it feels completely unnatural to pause at, get rid of the comma. This is one of those areas where reading out loud really helps.

7. Don’t Confuse Words

There are a lot of words that are pronounced the same but are NOT actually the same. It’s a little embarrassing when someone writes something like “This is are house”. So in case you aren’t clear….

“Your” is a possessive. “You’re” means “you are”.

“There” is a place. “Their” is a possessive. “They’re” means “they are”.

“Its” is a possessive form of “it”. “It’s” is a contraction of “it is”.

“Affect” is typically used as a verb. “Effect” is typically used as a noun.

That last example can actually get a bit tricky. The English language as a whole is known for having a lot of weird rules which brings me to my final tip:

8. When in Doubt, Google It

This solution works for pretty much everything these days, but it’s especially great for grammar. Any question you might have has already been Googled by thousands of people. Seriously, go type “Affect vs. Effect” into Google.

You have no excuse to be wrong.

And now that you know these things, you are one step closer to being a writing master. Welcome to the Matrix.

 I bring you some advice on how to be a better writer The Easiest Tips EVER for Better Writing

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blogging Inside Radiate Digital

Working in a World of Distractions

Do you remember when Starbucks didn’t have free Wi-Fi?  It was only about three years ago.

I’m not talking about Barnes & Noble Starbucks or Target Starbucks.  I’m talking standalone Starbucks.  They had some set up with AT&T that required you to pay or already be a member.  I’m not sure how it worked because I never used it.

It seemed ridiculous that Wi-Fi wasn’t free.  Even McDonald’s had free Wi-Fi.  But throughout my entire college career, Starbucks and its little sea goddess held strong.

T that required you to pay or already be a member Working in a World of Distractions

Which meant that if you had homework to do that required an internet connection, you went to Caribou Coffee (or pretty much any other coffee shop) to do it.  Actually, even if you had a textbook to read, you went elsewhere so you could take internet breaks between reading.

But There was a Silver Lining to This

I discovered a distinct advantage to Starbucks lack of connectivity.  It removed a significant amount of distractions.  This was, after all, before I had a smartphone.

By sitting down on my computer and putting headphones in, I was cut off from everything except the task at hand.  At the time, I was working on my 60 page senior project, a fictional story that required no research.

All I needed to do was write.

I would lock myself into a Starbucks for three or more hours, not allowing myself to leave until I had reached a certain point of progress.  It was incredible.  I attained a level of productivity I have struggled to reach since.

Because times have changed…

Starbucks now has free Wi-Fi.

I have a smartphone that is always connected.

I work a job that can’t be done without the internet.

And as great as the internet is, there is no greater detractor to productivity in this day and age.  In other words…

I Work in a Box of Distractions

This isn’t unique to me.  Essentially anyone who works in an office or from a computer these days faces the same problem.  The internet is always there, trying to woo us away from the task at hand.  We try our best to resist.

But it’s like going to an amusement park and not letting yourself go on any rides.

Or at least that’s what it feels like.  Even when you’re on the internet just to get work done, sidebars and footers are filled with links to websites that sound really interesting but have nothing to do with your job.

Ads pop up with the latest movie trailers embedded in them.

Your phone notifies you that someone just wrote on your Facebook wall or retweeted you or liked your Instagram.

T that required you to pay or already be a member Working in a World of Distractions

Suddenly you’ve been engulfed by the digital world and have completely forgotten what you were working on in the first place.  This is the daily battle that many of us face.  the temptation is even greater on days you don’t feel well or the day before vacation or pretty much every Friday.

And you can’t just unplug.  You can’t put yourself in a room with no external connections.

After all, you need the internet.  You need your phone.  Some of us would like to pretend we don’t, but as far as our job is concerned, we do.  So what options are there?  How do you stay on task when you work amongst distractions?

Well, the first step is simple…but it’s always easier said than done.

You Choose to Stay on Task

No one is making you check your Facebook or read some funny article.  You are making a conscious decision to go there.  Life in itself is filled with distractions.  Usually, the successful people are the ones who choose to ignore them.

You have to decide to get work done.  You have to want it.  Which means…

You Have to Get Excited About Your Work

Crazy thought, right?  But, if you’re more excited about the latest thing Justin Beiber tweeted than you are about your own job, you’re probably not going to get much done at the office.  A little passion goes a long way in the work place.

When I write for work, I’m excited about the idea of people reading the things I’ve written.  The fact that they type a handful of words into Google and it brings up an article I wrote is crazy.

Find something to drive you through each work day.

Save it For Later

Your Facebook notifications will be there when you’re done with work.  If you find a YouTube video you want to watch, there’s this lovely little button called “Watch Later” that you can click so you can, well, watch it later.

I have a bookmark folder in my web browser called “For Laters”.  When I find something I want to read, but don’t have time for, I put it in there.  Once I get around to reading it, I remove it.

It’s that easy.

When it comes to distractions, sometimes you have to be smarter than yourself.  For a lot of us, our work hours are precious.  There’s always something that we could or should be doing.  Save the personal stuff for your personal time.

Doing so will ultimately make your work time more productive and leave you with more free time in the long run.

And who doesn’t want that?

(If you agree or at least found this to be a nice little distraction, please share!)

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Inside Radiate Digital

Crafting The Perfect Brain-Storm

Let’s be real, brainstorming is an overused buzzword.

Really, what does it even mean?  When someone says “let’s brainstorm”, I take it as “let’s sit here in awkward silence for a few minutes and then run with whatever idea I had in my head in the first place”.

Because no one can come up with anything better.

It’s as if we think by focusing really hard on one specific thing for a few moments, we can turn air into gold when, for all intents and purposes, that’s impossible.

Great ideas take time, energy, and thinking out loud rather sitting in silence.  It involves speaking your mind even at the risk of sounding like an idiot.  So here at Radiate Digital, we’re redefining our methods of brainstorming.

In doing so, we’re finding that good brainstorming has more a little more structure than you might think.

s sit here in awkward silence for a few minutes and then run with whatever idea I had in m Crafting The Perfect Brain-Storm

The single greatest purchase we have ever made

Radiate Digital’s Tips for Brainstorming

1. Set a Time

Give some advanced noticed to the people involved.  That way they can get their minds ready for what’s going to be discussed.  Tell them what you’re trying to figure out and have them ready to share something.

Also, have an end time set.  Aimless brainstorming can go on forever.  If you force people to think within a given time frame, they’ll be more efficient in what they say and less likely to wait around for other ideas first.

2. Make it Special

Don’t have the session at your desk or at your employees desk.  The desk is a place of rigorous (sometimes almost robotic) work.  It isn’t typically freeing or thought provoking.  Get everyone up and away from their stations.  The point of brainstorming is to come up with new ideas.  A new environment is more likely to make this happen.

3. Keep it Relevant

You don’t need to involve every staff member in every meeting.  If you’re bringing over people from other projects/departments, you’re likely to lose time explaining basic information and telling them what you can/can’t do, not to mention increasing chances of serious distraction.

That said, more heads can certainly equal more ideas.  In a brainstorming session, quantity outweighs quality.  It’s up to you to decide who needs to be there and who doesn’t.

4. Be Bold (Make it Safe)

When brainstorming, you don’t want people afraid to share.  The bolder and crazier the ideas, the more likely you’ll have a breakthrough.  After all, most breakthroughs come from ideas others thought were too crazy.

In order to make this happen, you have to establish initial brainstorming sessions as a safe zone.  People won’t be made fun of or told that they’re an idiot.  It’s a situation where there’s no such thing as a stupid idea.

5. Write it Down. Draw it Out.

Words are heard and forgotten.  It’s not till their actually inscribed that they gain physical presence.  This is way meetings have someone taking notes and courtrooms have court reporters.  But why have just one person keeping track when you can have everyone?

In our offices, we’ve recently added what will surely become our most prized possession:

The white board table!

Seriously, it’s amazing.  Did you see that picture up there?  It’s a white board that everyone can sit around and write on simultaneously.  We have full confidence this will revolutionize the way we plan and discuss almost everything.  Even if you don’t have an awesome table like us, it’s good to write down your ideas and draw out your thoughts.

6. Let it Simmer

Who say’s brainstorming has to happen in one day?  Dumb people, that’s who.  Once you’ve reached the end of your session, leave it all on the table and walk away.

Then come back to it.

I used to draw a lot.  As weird as this may sound, I could rarely tell if a picture was any good while I drew it.  Usually, it wasn’t until I returned to the drawing that I realized either “wow, this is fantastic” or “oh my Lord, this is ugly”.

It’s the same with your ideas.  When you’re mid thought, you lack perspective.  It’s not until you return with your mind reset that you see things as they truly are.  Don’t be afraid to stop and come back to your ideas.

And Once You Have Your Awesome Ideas….

The planning begins.  For advice on that, I’ll give you this awesome guide to successful execution courtesy of Distilled Marketing.  Just substitute the “Excited SEOs” with whatever field you work in.  (PS. USP stands for “unique selling point”)

s sit here in awkward silence for a few minutes and then run with whatever idea I had in m Crafting The Perfect Brain-Storm

from Distilled Online Marketing

 

And if brainstorming fails, there’s always blamestorming….

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blogging Inside Radiate Digital

How to Be a Better Blog Writer

Blogging: It’s so easy, anyone with access to an internet connection can do it!  And many (probably too many) do just that.

They blog.

But to blog well, well,  that’s a different story.  Being a writer in the digital age, I’ve scoured many blogs.  And let me tell you, some are quite awful, and the majority are mediocre at best.

It’s not that all of these bloggers are terrible writers (though some definitely are), it’s just that they’re going about it wrong.  You may say “But Tim, I don’t think I can change.”  I’m here to tell you that you can, and you will…if you are willing to listen.

And if you’re not willing to listen, there’s a good chance nobody will be listening to what you say on your blog.

 anyone with access to an internet connection can do it How to Be a Better Blog Writer

(Adding pictures to a blog is a great idea)

Chop, Mix, and Don’t Repeat

Famed author William Faulker is known for many things.  One of these things is his ridiculously long sentences and paragraphs.  In his book Absalom, Absolum!, there is a particular sentence that contains 1287 words!

To give you perspective, that sentence is twice as long as this blog post.

While that may have been good and well in his day (and make no mistake, Faulkner is a great author), today’s internet audience isn’t exactly known for their attention span.

These are the people who skip six minute YouTube videos because “that’s too long“.  Even people who actively read books, magazines, etc. read differently when they are online.  It’s something that’s been known for a while.

The point I’m making is, people skim when they read online.  If you have a paragraph of 5-10 sentences, people aren’t reading it.

I wouldn’t.

Takes too much time and attention.

I have three-minute YouTube videos to watch.

And that’s the thing.  When you blog, you’re competing against the rest of the internet.  It’s not just about getting a person’s attention.  Anyone can do that.  It’s about keeping the person’s attention.  That’s hard.

It’s like you’re trying to instruct a  raccoon whilst standing in a room filled with shiny, sparkly objects.

YOU HAVE TO KEEP THEIR ATTENTION!

See how that last sentence jumped out at you?  I switched up the  typography to emphasize a point.  On top of chopping up the general information, you need to make your points stand out.

How you do that is up to you:

Make words bigger.

Make them bold.

CAPITALIZE THEM SO THAT PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE SHOUTING!!!!!

Most of us already employ such tactics in text messages, Facebook chat, and so on.  Take it to the next level.  Feel free to mix up different methods.  You’re an artist painting a picture with words.

An artist isn’t going to use just one color.

They won’t paint with just one brush.

Neither should you.  Just make sure to emphasize the right stuff or your sentences will read kind of weird and your points will be lost.  And once you made those points, MOVE ON.

This isn’t school where you had to reach so many words or pages in order to get a passing grade.  Be concise.  Don’t repeat yourself.  Don’t stretch things out.  Tell us what we need to know, highlight the main points, give us a cute little quote or “power sentence” to remember, and be done.

It’s Like Kool-Aid

Your message is the mix.

Your words are the water.

Your style is the stirrer.

The message by itself is too dry and overpowering.  So you use words to dilute it and make it easier to digest.  If you use too many words, the message is lost; we miss the full flavor.

And if you don’t mix it up with style, the message all just sinks beneath the words and gets lost.

Now go make some Kool-Aid!  Not literally.  Unless you’re thirsty.  Then by all means, go ahead.  Just make it right.  Okay?

One last thing, it’s good to end in a question or two so….

Did this post stand out to you?  If yes, do you see why it stood out to you? Do you think it would be easy for anyone to apply this advice to their own blog writing? Do you think internet-friendly style is making the average reader dumber?

(See those Facebook and Twitter icons to the left?  It’s great to share blog posts you found useful/thought-provoking/hilarious.  Go ahead and try it.  It feels good to share)

Other Posts You Might Like:

– Easy Tips for Better Writing

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Why Businesses Should Make Videos (Behind the Scenes)

Does your business do videos?

Because it should.

If YouTube has taught us anything, it’s that people will watch videos about anything.  From cute baby tigers meowing to commercials featuring three-armed people, the post internet world loves a solid video.

s that people will watch videos about anything Why Businesses Should Make Videos (Behind the Scenes)

It’s for this reason that Radiate Digital contracts with videographers.  Didn’t know that?  Contact us and we can make a great video happen for you.

Making the Video

Last week, we made a video for our client Rollx Vans.  It’s actually the second video we done for them.  It was a great experience for us because we got to go behind the scenes to see the inner workings of a wheelchair van company.

s that people will watch videos about anything Why Businesses Should Make Videos (Behind the Scenes)

It was great for Rollx Vans because it gives them a chance to directly communicate with people.  You may not have known this, but wheelchair vans are a very complex beast.  We could write about their various features all day and you still might not understand what we’re talking about.

But if you’re willing to give two minutes of your time, you can easily see what makes them work.

It’s the reason why the show How It’s Made has been running for 18 seasons.

Because people like to learn about new things.  They like to go behind the scenes.  And video makes it so easy.

Doing it Right

Ever heard of the company Blendtec?  They’re a blender company that has been around since 1975.  No one really cared about them much however till 2006 when they started a YouTube series called “Will it Blend?”  In this show, a host in a lab coat shoves objects such as golf clubs and iPods into a blender to see if it will, in fact, blend.

Today, Blendtec’s YouTube channel has over 100 million views and the company is doing cross promotions with brands such as Doritos.

Why?

Because they showed people just what their product can do.  And people love that stuff.

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We’re Taking Over Ohio (Is It Time to Go Multi-Site?)

Radiate Digital is going global!  Or at least we’ve gotten ourselves one step closer.  We are proud to announce the opening of our Dayton, Ohio offices.

As you may or may not know, our business currently operates out of the Twin Cities Minnesota area where it was founded.  For all of our Twin Cities clients, don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere.  We’re just expanding our reach a bit.

Not that having a single location stopped us before.

Though our roots are in the Midwest, our clients spread across the entire country.  That’s the beauty of being an online company.  The work we do is not bound by four walls, a desk, and a phone operating on a hard-line.

Truth is, an online marketing/design/SEO company doesn’t have to place themselves in any geographical location.  So why does Radiate Digital?

Because we believe in a more personal touch.

We love sitting down and talking with our clients.  It helps us understand each other, and ultimately, do a better job of working together.  Now that we’re also operating in the great city of Dayton, Ohio, we’ll be able to do more of that.

  We are proud to announce the opening of our Dayton We’re Taking Over Ohio (Is It Time to Go Multi-Site?)

How Do You Know When it’s Time to Go Multi-Site?

Maybe you’re thinking about adding a new location to your business.  Here’s a few simple questions you can ask yourself to help judge whether or not you’re ready:

-Is there a market you could better tap into if you had a physical presence there?

-Do you have people willing to go to that market?

-Will it be cost effective (i.e. will this maneuver make more money than you spend on it)?

-Can your business handle an increase in the work load?

-Will you be able to effectively communicate with the new location?

-Will the new location uphold the integrity upon which your business is built?

If you can answer yes to all of those questions, then by all means, begin the expansion.  Seriously, what are you waiting for?  Your business isn’t going to grow itself.

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Inside Radiate Digital Tech and Software

It’s Time to Abandon Internet Explorer (if You Haven’t Already)

Here at Radiate Digital, we’re big fans of the internet.  It’s where we work.  It’s where we live.

What we’re not such huge fans of is Internet Explorer, specifically 6, 7, and 8.  It’s not that we’re hating on Windows.  Well, my boss Steve does actually have a strong dislike for Windows.  I myself am actually writing this post on a Windows 7 laptop.

The main issue is that Internet Explorer (also known as IE) is inferior.  You may not know this.  I didn’t for a long while.  Then one day, that all changed.

A Tale of Two Browsers

I was a young high school student, sitting at home in front of our family computer, chatting up a storm on MSN Messenger.  Suddenly, one of my friends told me to download this program called “Firefox”.

“Why?” I naively asked.  “I already have Internet Explorer.  Isn’t the internet going to still be the internet either way?”

“Trust me,” my friend said, “Firefox is better”.

A few minutes later and I had Mozilla Firefox installed onto the computer.  It didn’t take much longer to realize I had been missing out.

Not only was it faster, but IT HAD TABS!  Tabs are common place now, but at the time, I had never seen them before.  Until this point, I always had 4 or more internet windows at a time, juggling what I was doing.  Now everything was condensed.

It was one of those features that seemed so obvious, as if the internet was meant to have tabs since its inception.

There were more wonderful little differences between IE and Firefox, but my personal favorite was the “Save & Quit” feature.  I had a tendency to find articles and websites I didn’t have time to read or wanted to come back to later.  If I had ten tabs open, I could close up show and next time I returned, all ten tabs would be ready and waiting.

Brilliant.

Eyes Wide Open

I have since moved on from Firefox.  It tended to be a huge resource hog and always wanted to update far more often than anything should have to update (like iTunes).  These days, I use Google Chrome.  I dare say it’s the official browser of Radiate Digital.

It’s clean, it’s fast, it’s simple.  And who doesn’t love Google?

I mean, besides Apple and Facebook.

The important thing in all of this is that you move on from IE (especially 6, 7 and 8).  Not just because it lacks features, but because it might actually ruin your internet viewing.  See, if there is one group of people who truly hate IE, it’s web developers.

Don’t believe me?  Check out this shopping site called Kogan charges a 6.8% tax to people using Internet Explorer 7.  And they aren’t the only not bothering to support outdated IE browsers (just look here).

I don’t know all the technicalities, but essentially, IE 7 (and 8 ) ddoesn’t understand certain types of coding and do a poor job of handling them.

So Where Do I Go from Here?

If you’re using Internet Explorer and want to stick with it, make sure you’re at least using IE 9.  Word on the street it 9 actually isn’t too bad.  But honestly, if you want a better internet experience check out Firefox or Chrome (click here to get Chrome now!).

Or simply Google “best internet browser” and do a little exploring.  Let’s be real, we are continuously spending more time on the internet.  Using an cruddy, outdate browser is only going to cause you to waste time.

What browser do you use?

 

 

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Rhythms: Making the Workplace Work with You

Towards the end of my last job, I was involved in this leadership training program they offered.  Basically, you took a few months of classes, learned about the business, and your opportunities for advancement went up exponentially.

Each class revolved around a unit featured in this giant binder we were given.   One of these units was titled “Rhythms”.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t actually know what this section was about.  I never finished the leadership training.  Instead, Radiate Digital stole me away (a fact I am very greatful for).

But I can imagine.

Because lately, here at Radiate Digital, I’ve been seeing a change.  A beautiful evolution that into something that can best be described as this:

Rhythm

Growing Pains and Awkward Adolescence.

 I was involved in this leadership training program they offered Rhythms: Making the Workplace Work with You

This is how meetings with Steve generally go….

My position was the first of its kind at Radiate.  There was a lot of discussion, planning, training, and paperwork (which thankfully Steve had to do).  Sure, I had done many of the duties before(as a freelancer for Radiate Digital), but this was very different.

Not just for me, but also for Steve (aka “The Boss”)

New employees aren’t just affected by the work place, but directly affect the work place themselves.  It’s a symbiotic relationship that both parts must adjust too.

I had to learn how Steve wanted things done and how he reacted to different situations.

Steve had to figure out how much I could handle, and he had to learn how to let go of some responsibilities

In the beginning, things were a little off.  I would take on tasks one at a time, finish them, and then wait patiently for Steve to give me more work.  But overtime, the work flow grew more consistent, the objectives were much clearer, and I became considerably more independent.

Dancing to the Wrong Beat.

Steve and I have known each other for a while now.  We got along very well before I started this job, and thankfully, it hasn’t made us hate each other.  The risk is (and we had a long discussion about it when he hired me) we could easily fall into the wrong rhythm.

Steve loves to share stories.  I love to talk about movies.  Both of these things can eat away the work day.  Having a good relationship with your coworkers is great.  Being able to talk to them and have fun makes work so much better.

But there comes a time when you simply have to get work done.  It’s hard to finish anything when you’re cracking jokes every ten minutes.  If this situation isn’t dealt with, it will only become worse and the work places changes from a job to a hangout spot.

You may love your place of employment (as I do), but never forget that it is where you get your work done.  That is the primary function.

Plugging into the Matrix

How do you cut out the excess chatter and get work done?  That is up to you (and it’s all a part of finding your rhythm).  For me, I turn to my computer screens, put the headphones on, and crank up the Spotify.

Sure, Steve has to basically throw things at my head to get my attention, but that’s just a part of how we do.  It’s a piece of our rhythm, and it works.  We refer to it as being plugged into the Matrix or being “wired in” Social Network style (the movie references are abundant at Radiate Digital).

Finding the Rhythm that Works for You

Different business do not operate the same. That’s why a lot of the corporate America, cubicle, boiler-room environment sort of imploded.  Everyone was trying to operate in the exact same cookie-cutter way, and it made everyone miserable.

I think each place has to find their own way, their own rhythm that works and makes other people jealous of how well it works.  Look at Google or Zappos or Pixar.  The way they do a lot of things seems crazy.

But it works.

And you can’t argue with results.

Do you feel like a cohesive part of your job?  Has your business found its rhythm?

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Being an SEO: It’s like Baskin Robbins

Confession time:  I’ve never been to Baskin Robbins.

Does that make me a bad person?  I’m not sure.  It’s really not my fault.  See, I came from a small town in the corner of Iowa.  We didn’t have Baskin Robbins.  We had Dairy Dandy (more commonly referred to as Dirty Dandy).

 I came from a small town in the corner of Iowa Being an SEO: It’s like Baskin Robbins

She even has a mini golf course out back!

Regardless, the cool hipsters I hang with now have informed me that Baskin Robbins’ thing is their signature “31 flavors”. Back in the day, they started offering 31 flavors which was more than any other major chain offered at the time.  The reason they chose 31 was to provide a different flavor for every day of the month.

It promoted variety and adventure.  Since then, other places have topped the amount of ice-cream flavors (I believe Dirty Dandy had 52 flavors), but the idea remains genius.  Something different for every day.

And as I begin my journey into the world of SEO, I’m starting to think this job is a lot like Baskin Robbins (but friendlier to those who struggle with lactose).

The Ever Widening World Web

I have just been brought on as the “Web Content Specialist” at Radiate Digital here.

Everyone keeps asking me what exactly I do.  It’s a hard question because I’ve honestly done something different every day.  I’ve gone from content writing to web design to link building and everything in between.

It’s like the first day was very vanilla, the second was a bit chocolatey, the third was strawberry, which of course would make day number four Neapolitan.

Much like Baskin Robins, there is continuously something different to try.  Sure,  parts of the cycle will repeat.  Different tasks carry shades of previous tasks.  They tie to the same idea: to guide web traffic to a destination.

Still, it’s a box-of-chocolates type job (you know…”you never know what you’re going to get”).

And that’s kind of why I dig it.

More than Just Vanilla

Some folks need a tight structure in the work place.  They like knowing what to expect during the work day.  They’re trained in, and then they go.  They’re like a machine, occasionally receiving upgrades, but ultimately doing the same task over and over.

They found their favorite flavor, and they don’t need the other 30.

Personally, I kind of love the mystery of each day.  I like it when someone goes “okay, here’s what I need you to do.  I know you’ve never done it before.  Do it anyway.”

My job as it stands right now is the Baskin Robins of jobs.  I’ve had the one flavor jobs.  I’ve maybe even had a 5-10 flavor job.  But right now, I’ve got all 31 flavors.

And that’s the way I like it.