Once my sister looked up pregnancy symptoms

And the article❋ she found was an article I wrote. I don't know what that means.

This was several years ago.

She thought she might be pregnant.

She searched the Google, as one does, for wisdom and insight. She clicked a link and read an article about pregnancy symptoms. At the bottom was the author’s name and bio: and it was me.

As it turns out, she was, indeed, pregnant.

I like to think I helped a little with that.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall. (I think of this meme at least once a day and laugh. Usually out loud.)


Things my children say

A new section we’ll all enjoy. Maybe me more than you, but it’s my newsletter, so…

This week, from Lily, age 7, when asked how old she is:

“I'm seven and eight quarters years old.”

And also from Lily, when relating how to grasp a nebulous memory:

“I didn't remember so I just scooted back in my mind until I found it and then I remembered.”

Scoot back in your mind, folks.

In related news, I wrote this informative and helpful article about how to meal plan for your family:

If you have a family, and they require food, you will want to read this.


3 thoughts I have about marketing which may or may not be helpful to anyone else

1. Marketing has a lot of definitions.

The simplest one, I think, is that marketing is the means and messaging that companies use to sell stuff. I do not love marketing in that definition.

But there are other ways to define marketing.

Like this:

  • marketing is communication.

  • marketing is the way you offer what you have/have made to people who care/might care.

  • “Marketing is not a function, it is the whole business seen from the customer’s point of view.” -Peter Drucker

Oh, wow, I like that last one. 😍

I like the idea of marketing as a means of making an offer, rather than coercing a sale. Semantics? Splitting hairs? Maybe. But the intent is different, and that’s important.

2. I seriously love and nerd out over some aspects of marketing…

…like setting up a marketing workflow, playing around and optimizing the workflow with cool tools, automating processes, thinking about the right language, figuring out what customers care about, distilling to the clearest message, so on.

Oh yeah, baby.

but some parts of marketing are vomit-inducing.

For example,

  • how easily it can be spammy and disconnected

  • how much of it becomes a repetitive, exaggerated sales pitch

  • how it often turns the focus from being helpful and sharing cool stuff and making connections to tracking numbers and clicks and so on

  • 98.5% of landing pages

  • and hype

  • and on a personal note, how marketing for myself carries the potential to annoy people I care about (and enjoy interacting with). I care about this deeply and as a result I don’t like to do much marketing for myself.

Do you?

I do a lot of content marketing for clients, but for myself: not so much. I’d rather read a book, or write one. Or write another list.

Physician, heal thyself. The shoemaker’s children have no shoes. Etc.

3. Marketing can be not awful.

If the focus is on making a clear offer rather than pushing a sale.

That’s the bottom line.

It’s all about clearly defining the offer and figuring out who’s going to be most interested in it.

Here’s how I try to do that:

  • Find the right people. Not everybody is interested.

  • Make consistent offers.

  • Keep it simple, keep it real, and keep it to a minimum. We’ve all got better things to do.


When is an article not an article? When it’s a blog post.

Technically, they’re both short-form, non-fiction written works. (Or pieces of content. Gag.)

So are the terms article and post interchangeable? Is article the old-fashioned way to say post? Is a post a kind of pseudo-article, missing some undefinable but important feature that articles have but posts do not have?

Here’s what Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing lists as the differences between blog posts and articles:

Ok, cool, that’s clear enough, now we all know the differences between an article and a post.

Yay!

Except… No. Not so fast.

As Carol points out, those clear differentiators (yes, that’s a word, though it probably shouldn’t be) became less clear:

Then something happened, and over the past couple of years, the lines started blurring.

Blog posts started to get more and more like articles. As a bazillion blogs crowded the Internet, the bar began to raise.

On the article-writing side, there was also movement. Many print magazines began posting copies of their articles online.

To sum up, the two types of writing began to merge into one. Definitions got squishy, and now there’s a lot of confusion.

Hmmm.

Carol points out the one remaining differentiator: pay for blog posts tends to be lower than pay for articles.

But that was in 2015, and I’d say there’s much less disparity between blog post pay rates and articles pay rates. In my writing, I don’t distinguish between the two; I have a baseline rate for “blog posts and short-form articles” and I set the actual price depending on the topic, research required, and desired length of the piece.