James Daugherty's Posts

Three Things I Learned from my Favorite Manager

My favorite manager was a man named Matt who ran the sporting goods store I worked at during college. Even though Matt was young and a fresh university grad, he had already been a store manager for a few years. He had an insane work ethic and could usually be found working open-to-close, even on his days off.

Manager Matt was an employee favorite because he actually spent time on the sales floor helping all his employees rather than in his office analyzing stuff like unit per transaction figures. He was my favorite manager not only because we got along great, but because he actually seemed to value what came out of my mouth. He always asked for my opinion on merchandising (in retail speak, merchandising is organizing items in a pleasing way and creating unique displays), which was something I quite enjoyed at the time.


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How to Stay Motivated and Avoid Work Ruts

I’ve been a part of Distilled’s Outreach team for nearly two years, and during my time here I’ve built some awesome relationships, worked with some great clients, and had a lot of personal success.

I love my managers and my team. My projects are pretty awesome too, BUT every now and then, I find myself hitting a brick wall in terms of motivation. Staying motivated can be a real challenge; anyone who has been part of a long outreach project or has had to target a difficult niche knows what I mean. Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the last couple years that have helped me stay on track and get out of a motivational rut.

This is how I feel when I'm stuck in a rut. This is how I feel when I’m stuck in a rut.

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Creating and Managing Deadlines for Outreachers

Looking back on my greenhorn Outreach days, I was a bright-eyed and spiky-haired marketer who learned as I went.

In my last two posts, The Scouting Report for Link Building Rookies and Think Beyond the Link – The Right Way to Conduct Reviews for Outreach, I shared some insights I’ve picked up along the way.

Looking back on how my outreach methods have evolved, there is one lesson I wish I would’ve learned sooner - how to manage deadlines.

I took deadlines for granted, and maybe you do to.

Capture3Clients, coworkers, and leads have at one time or another have asked the status of a guest post/review/creative piece/etc., and on more occasions than I’d like to admit, my response was “...umm, I dunno.

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Think Beyond the Link – The Right Way to Conduct Reviews for Outreach

In my first blog post, The Scouting Report for Link Building Rookies, I discussed the ins and outs of blogger niches for outreach noobs.

As a rookie outreacher, my natural curiosity was a HUGE asset when prospecting for potential guest posts and pitching infographics.  As time passed, new clients brought new challenges. Guest posting for exact match keywords made outreach life more challenging and I found prospecting to be more difficult. Creating guest posts around keywords like language learning software, toilet paper, and flowers can tough. Especially if you’re trying to stay informative, non-branded, and educate readers.

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The Scouting Report for Link Building Rookies

When I first started with Distilled a year ago I was a bright eyed and bushy tailed link builder. I thought I could score a win on ANY site I wanted. Mashable? Sure. New York Times? Why not. I’ll be on Buzzfeed like every day <cue Rick Ross background music>.

I was hustlin’, prospecting day and night for the best blogs in the biz.

Then outreach began and a design blogger had the nerve to ask me for my portfolio. Excuse me?  Then I inserted a link into an article I wrote for a travel blogger and suddenly it became a sponsored post. Pardon me good sir? I’m not going to fake a wedding (again) just to get featured on a DA 83 wedding blog. Trust me, it is not worth the time and effort.

If someone had only given me a scouting report, breaking down which blog niches are challenging to break into, it would have saved me a lot of time and heartbreak.

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