Harriet Cummings's Posts

Why the “Fail Fast” Philosophy Doesn’t Work

This guest post is written by Dan McClure, the Innovation Design Lead at ThoughtWorks.

Sometimes it seems Eric Ries could have saved himself a lot of trouble when writing The Lean Startup by just printing the phrase “fail fast” on a stack of post-it notes and sending them out to innovation teams around the world.

The book has ample content worth studying, but almost every week I meet business leaders who have concluded that simply giving teams permission to “fail fast” is the secret to unlocking product innovation.

That’s too bad, because “fail fast” when taken literally is easily one of the least useful concepts for real life enterprise innovators.  The phrase “learn quickly and think well” is a far more powerful mantra for would-be innovation leaders.   


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How to Spot a Typo at Nine Yards

Proofreading is like writing’s less glamorous sister: it gets less time, attention and far fewer dates to the prom. Okay, so that comparison got away from me, but the point still stands.

Nobody ever gets that excited about the topic and yet proofreading is a crucial skill. While this has always been the case, it’s especially true these days given the emphasis on quality content in the world of search.

With that in mind, here are some tips I have cobbled together; feel free to leave your own in the comments section. And, of course, berate me if you see any typos – my only request is that your insults are properly spelt.

Realize that proofreading isn’t editing

Someone has asked you to ‘look over’ something they’ve written.

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Staying on Track: Best Practices for Managing Content Marketing Teams, Tasks, Time, and Budgets

This blog post comes from guest writer Fancy Morales, Content Lead at Contenido.

source: Canva.com

So much to publish, so little time. Am I right?

It’s no secret that we content marketing folk have got our hands chock-full. Publishing mass quantities of blog posts, white papers, landing pages, videos, and social media posts every year is no small feat.

But what’s often overlooked is that as we’re laboring to plan engaging content (often for multiple audiences), we’re also hustling to wrangle our production teams, manage our time, delegate tasks, analyze our content’s performance, and monitor our allocated portion of that coveted marketing budget.

The tasks seem unending and it’s plain rough trying to gauge the real cost of our latest best practices blog post - or worse, calculating the sunk costs after our CMO killed production because of a business objective pivot.

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Creating a Framework for Content Marketing Campaigns - Send Us Your Questions

On May 1st, we’ll be holding a panel discussion at our SearchLove conference in Boston. Read on for a sneak peek at what advice our experts will be giving, plus info on how you can get involved. (Tickets for the two-day conference are available here, but we also hope to live stream this particular talk for those who can’t make the event.)

The key topic we’ll be addressing is: how do you make sure your content marketing is relevant to your brand, audience and target media outlets? In doing so, we’ll give a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the framework we use at Distilled for such pieces as The Vocal Ranges of the World’s Greatest Singers.

We’ve written this post to get you guys thinking of any questions you’d like to ask either on the day or in advance.

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Don’t Change Your Mobile Plans For Google

There’s not long until Google rolls out its updated algorithm on the 21st of April. Factoring in ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a ranking signal, the algorithm has got some in the industry panicked. How will it affect rankings and what should us search marketers do to prepare? Here’s our CEO Will Critchlow and Head of R&D Tom Anthony with some advice on the likely impact.

Here are the two tools the guys mention in the video:

The mobile-friendly tool

The PageSpeed insights tool

You might also want to check out this Q&A from Moz.

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