When I began this journey 22 days ago to update my blog daily for 30 days, I really didn’t think that I’d make it. Hell, I became pretty excited that I was able to blog for one week straight. Now I’m sitting on top of 3 weeks of active blogging and the finish line is in sight.
Yet I almost quit. Tonight.
This has been one of those weeks where everything fell apart. Thursday was actually a pretty productive day, but the rest of the week I couldn’t keep my shit together no matter how hard I tried. I battled crisis after crisis on both the work and the home front day after day. Sadly I discovered that my crisis management skills are as reliable as FEMA. If I get too overwhelmed, I shut down. Especially at home.
How I managed to continue writing is beyond me. I look back at the posts this week and seriously wonder where those words came from. If one thing, I’ve learned that I can really tackle a task if I can stay focused on it. Being able to focus, though, is usually the source of most of my problems.
I so desperately wanted to just drop into my bed tonight without even turning on this damned computer. I’m mad at it for reminding me to write every time I walked by. It nagged even. I swear. Stupid machine. I hate it right now, but I know I’ll be thanking it in a week. It’s just easier to place blame when you’re tired and grumpy.
One week left. So close. I can’t quit now.
In other news, I got my Ford Exploder back from the transmission shop today. Transmission works great. But now my A/C doesn’t blow anything but hot air. Just my luck. Doesn’t help that the Vegas air outside my car averages 105 degrees this time of year.
- Today is Day 23 out of 30 for My Own Thirty Day Challenge.
I’ve been posting blog posts consecutively for 21 days now. It was easy at first, then it became harder to try to find topics to write about. Often times it was the overall undertone of the day that became that day’s theme for an article. But most often I had to search for content that I felt comfortable writing.
When I Write
I think a small portion of my ability to consecutively come up with something, even if that something came in varying shades of quality, was the ability to write uninterrupted. At about 11 PM everynight, I’m able to spend an hour at the PC without any disturbance from kids, the wife (she’s watching Big Love or something), phone calls, emails, TXT messages, etc. This allows me to sit down and just write whatever is on my mind. As Michael Stelzner discussed in his tips for finding writing time, this means I have found my “productivity zone”. I only wish that it could happen earlier in the day because by the time I’m done writing, I’m wiped out. In fact, last night I fell asleep several times writing yesterday’s article. At least I know when my zone can occur.
Where Do The Ideas Come From?
But even after looking at those sites, I can come away empty handed without a subject matter. At that point, I recap the day with a quick mind map and try to remember if I learned anything that day. If I did I write down on scrap paper what it was , was it profound, did I take action on it, was it worth sharing, etc.
If even after all that, if I can’t think of something to write about, I force myself to write something. Even if it’s just rambling at first, I can always edit the document later. When I force myself to write, I generally can come up with something half way decent.
If you’re still struggling with ideas on what to write, you could always rely on telling a funny story. Storytelling is a lost art, and if you have the ability you should use it.
Aaron Wall also suggests we use lists. He has a post showing how you can come up with ideas for lists. Something odd about rasing our kids in the demand generation, they just don’t appreciate a good lengthy article. Luckily, lists are an acceptable answer for the ADHD in all of us.
I Showed You Mine…
What ways do you use to come up with content writing ideas?
- Today is Day 21 out of 30 for My Own Thirty Day Challenge.
It’s no secret that when it comes to search engines that celebrity searches bring in a lot of queries and a lot of traffic. Many SEOs have spent countless hours building landing pages and optimized sites to capture some of this traffic. What they are ultimately selling really depends on the marketer. Some of these sites sell related ringtones since it fits the same demographic. Others sell movies and albums that the celebrity may have been involved in. While others’ intentions might be a little more crude.
You see, when it comes to celebrities, the age old saying reigns true more than ever: sex sells. This is evidenced with the types of searches that users are looking for. For example, take any celebrity name and simply add “nude” to the end of it and you’ll be surprised by the amount of results (not to mention the varying difference between those results). This is a sad reality of the internet. Well, sad for some, maybe not for others.
The fact that millions of users are searching for nude (and other variations of the type) celebrities is a daunting nightmare for PR agencies and image consultants. If you are a Hollywood agent, keeping your talent’s bits and pieces under wraps is simply protecting your investment. It’s often said that when a Hollywood starlet gives the press a little eyeful that that actress’ career is now officially on the decline. “Jumped the Shark“, as they say. Maybe they have run out of ideas or feel they have nothing else to offer. Public nudity is often associated with a desperate attempt to save a career by working the gossip buzz machine. Think Brittney, Tara Reid, Lindsay Lohan, and to some extent Halle Berry.
When Posing Nude Makes Perfect Business Sense
Let’s say you’re a rising star on a TV show that started as a cult following but has grown into a primetime phenomenon. You’re being booked for talk show circuits, special appearances, photoshoots, and other press sightings. You’re starting to pick up small movie roles and your agent is trying to help you decide what your first feature role will be. You’re very much on the way to becoming a supa-stah!
But fame and stardom comes with a price. Paparazzi are starting to follow you everywhere. You and your manager worry about a photographer being at the wrong place at the wrong time, just to snap an image that will make him thousands of dollars on the tabloid market. You want to be sexy for your fans, but you don’t want the horror of waking up one morning to find your name and picture on page three.
So what do you do?
If you’re Jenna Fischer, you beat the paparazzi at their own game. A few months ago Jenna posed nude for the cover shoot of Wired Magazine, one of the most popular technology and culture magazines in the country. Yes, nude!
This was for an edition of the magazine that focused on transparency in the media and corporate America. What better way to precursor the opinions associated with transparency than by being naked?
Obviously, Jenna had full control of the terms in which she appeared “transparent”. She remained adequately covered to protect her image and her photo was safe for family viewing. This also helped keep a common workplace magazine from being labeled NSFW (Not Safe For Work – a term used when sending potentially inappropriate website links to others during office hours).
What happened next is truly remarkable.
Thousands of bloggers and celeb columnists wrote about Jenna’s photoshoot using titles crafted to generate attention from readers. Titles such as “Jenna Fischer Naked!” and “Jenna Fischer Nude!”. Ironic how the most effective titles are little more than a few keywords, isn’t it? Those article titles then started appearing in the search indexes, often with an associated picture of the event. Searches for “Jenna Fischer nude” and “Jenna Fischer naked” started getting hundreds of thousands of potential result listings. And 99.9% of those result listings would take the user to a page with a picture of Jenna’s controlled photo shoot or some geek blogging about the coolest magazine cover ever. Perhaps not exactly what the user expected, but it was exactly relevant to their search.
What was potentially a reputation nightmare was now a image consultants dream come true!
Nudity Isn’t Just For Hollywood
Another example of using this level of reputation management and transparency comes from the corporate world. Vanessa Fox, once a director for Google’s webmaster tools teams who is now working for Zillow, was fairly popular in search engine and webmaster circles. Someone noticed that one SEO was ranking within Google for her nude name and clued her in. There weren’t any pictures, just a link and a short paragraph. It was just enough for the search engines to grab hold of.
So she played along and went off and took it a step further. She registered VanessaFoxNude.com. Vanessa didn’t post any pictures that one might expect to see on such a domain, but rather offered a personal blog of her own thoughts and opinions. She explains a little more on her about page.
Now she has the number one ranking for the term Vanessa Fox Nude. Since most searchers for that term will end up on her domain, she has the ability to control the content they will see.
Basics of Reputation Management
There are two elements to effective reputation management. The first is the preemptive strike. By creating a solid reputation that you have full control over BEFORE any potential brand damage happens, you have the ability to maintain your message during the reputation crisis and will be able to manage the crisis on all fronts.
The second element is to take prompt and immediate action. If you are facing a reputation crisis don’t wait for the outcome. Strike now and strike hard. Your response needs to be twice as powerful as what they are throwing at you. The sooner our respond, the minimal your damage may be.
In my eyes, both Jenna and Vanessa are a perfect 10 when it comes to reputation management. Well done, Ladies!
- Today is Day 20 out of 30 for My Own Thirty Day Challenge.