10 ‘Content Rules’ That Will Help Your Business Rule The World

by Marcus Sheridan

Tcontent ruleshe universe works in some amazingly powerful ways. Such was the case about 10 months ago when I was cruising home from a sales appointment and contemplating all of the amazing things that were happening in my life. As most of you already know, my swimming pool blog had reached the pinnacle of the industry, and my company was thriving because of our inbound marketing and content production efforts.

But as I sat in my car with a little smile on my face while attempting to grasp the beauties of small business marketing done right, my cell phone rang and showed an out of state number. Not expecting anything, I answered the phone, and no sooner was welcomed on the other end by a lady’s soft voice who told me her name was Ann Handley.

To make a long story short, Ann explained to me how she was writing a book and had heard talk about my inbound marketing success, and the fact that blogging and content marketing had skyrocketed my company’s sales success. Always up for a good marketing conversation, Ann and I spoke for the next 20 minutes or so and had a great dialogue in terms of what content meant to my company and the future of content in general. Before we got off the phone, I asked Ann one simple question:

Me: Tell me Ann, what’s the name of your book?

Ann: Content Rules.

Me: That’s freaking awesome.

You see, those two words had basically summed up my entire feeling and relationship with content in general. Say what you may, but content rules the world of business as we know it. It’s what makes sales. It’s what drives business. It’s what’s on the News. It’s all over—and it sure as heck rules.

When Ann told me the title, I knew she was onto something special.

Fast forward about 8 months and a smile came to my face as I received my copy of Content Rules, written by the kind lady on the phone, Ann Handley of the very well known MarketingProfs, and also co-authored by C.C. Chapman, founder of Digital Dads.

I’ve since read the book twice over and without question, it did not disappoint. In fact, I think it’s one of the most important books a business (big or small) can own in this amazing age of content and information—assuming its precepts are actually followed.

But instead of me yapping off about how great the book is, I want to give you a brief glimpse into some of the powerful, thought-provoking nuggets found within its pages (Note: Because Ann and CC compiled so many case studies and interviews with marketing superstars to formulate the book, some of the below statements are made by some familiar faces).  Here goes:

10 ‘Content Rules’ that Will Help Your Business Rule the World

1. The notion of marketing to your customers by interrupting them repeatedly with advertising or other marketing messages is simply not enough any more.

(My take: Don’t be an idiot and keep wasting your money on dumb, old-school advertising)

2. Advertising is a luxury, but content is survival. (Joe Pulizzi of Junta42)

3. Just as a person is more than flesh and bones and hair and teeth, good content, too, is more than text and graphics and video. It’s an embodiment of your brand. It’s designed to inspire people to read more, or view more, or get to know and love your company a little more. Good content can quickly become the soul of your brand to the online world.

(My take: The ‘Soul’ of your brand. Wow, I’m diggin that.)

4. You don’t have to create everything and publish everywhere; you don’t have to do it all inclusively—create killer blog and podcasts and white papers and webinars and ebooks and puppet shows and whatever else you imagine. You don’t have to do all of that. But you do have to do some things—and, at the very least, one thing—really, really well.

5. Words matter. Write differently. The language you use and tone of your voice provide an untapped, powerful way to forge a distinctive identity. (John Simmons)

6. Our web site represents who we are as a company, and its voice says we are down-to-earth. No smoke and mirrors. Conversational. Approachable. And no ego, because the site isn’t about us. It’s about our customers. (Katie Martell of Netprospex)

7. Don’t be afraid to polarize people. Most companies want to create the holy grail of products that appeal to every demographic, social-economic background, and geographic location. To attempt to do so guarantees mediocrity. (Guy Kawasaki)

8. Words we’d like to ban from marketing: Impactful, Leverage, Synergy, Revolutionary, Proactive, Solution, almost any word that ends in –ize (monetize, utilize, optimize, etc)

(My take: This was a really funny and informative part of the book, as the authors were explaining some of the worst business ‘buzzwords’ that have basically been abused to death.)

9. Your awesome site isn’t awesome. Getting your stories into the hands of people who need them is awesome. (Chris Brogan)

(My take: And you, Chris Brogan, are awesome.)

10. Content is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving (some guy named Marcus Sheridan ;-) )

Content-Rules-BookThose were just 10 quotes of about 100 or so I specifically underlined in the book that I thought were excellent. As you can see, the amount of information, or should I say ‘content’, that Handley and Chapman gathered here from great minds and successful companies is unmatched by any book I’ve seen produced on this subject thus far. In fact, I’d compare its scope to a 2011 version of the best selling business book ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins that was written 10 years ago—it’s that important.

So do yourself, your employees, and your customers a big favor and purchase this book. Just go to the Content Rules website and they’ll take you from there. And no, the link is not affiliate, as that ain’t my bag. My only goal here is to change your company forever, and this book, if followed, will do just that and put you at the very top of your niche– throughout the world.

Your turn: OK, time for some comments from our awesome community. Was there a quote in the list above that you have found to be true with your business? Also, what ‘content rules’ would you add if you could write a book on this subject? And finally, if you’ve read the actual book, give us your thoughts, as I’d love to hear them.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Jens P. Berget February 17, 2011 at

I actually haven’t heard of this book. But now it’s on my wish list at Barnes & Noble. Thanks a lot for sharing.

It’s a great feeling to be included in such a great book. I remember when I was included with two of my blog posts for a book called “I’m on Facebook – now what?” I couldn’t believe it, I was so proud and humble :-)

I really like the quote by Chris Brogan (well, yours as well, of course). The reason that that particular quote is interesting is that a lot of people (well, almost most of the people I know) just keep focusing on their website without doing anything in order to focus on people. As long as they have a cool website (with an awesome design), they’re satisfied. It doesn’t matter what their customers think, it doesn’t matter if they connect with real people as long as they like their own website.

PS. I am doing my best to get a ticket to a marketing conference in Norway where Chris Brogan is going to be a speaker. It would be awesome to see him live.

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Marcus Sheridan February 17, 2011 at

Hey Jens, and thanks for the kind words. It has been an interesting experience being in the book. In fact, the first chapter talks a lot about my swimming pool company’s success–something that really surprised me when I read it.

It will be worth it if you catch up with Brogan. I met him in Boston this past year (just Google ‘Sales Lion Chris Brogan’ to read the full story) and it was a tremendous experience. The guy is as real as they come, and I was really amazed how much interest he showed in me, which is a sign of someone who is a life-long learner. After that experience, my appreciation for Chris grew that much more.

Anyway, thanks for your constant support Jens. Your article today was amazing, as I mentioned on the post. Really got me thinking.

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Jk Allen February 17, 2011 at

Marucs – I was unfamiliar with Content Rules up until I saw it on a blog that listed this book as a “must read to succeed” just earlier this week. And as I listed in my comment there, Comment Rules was the first book that I added to my Amazon cart. I take this post as an added sign that I really need to get this book!

“Your awesome site isn’t awesome. Getting your stories into the hands of people who need them is awesome.” There have been times in my short blogging career that I spent as much or more time working on the “appearance” of my blog and completely disregarded the content. Boy was I fooled! A nice looking site will not build an audience. Content really does Rule! Once I started to focus on my content, making sure that I was producing as high of quality as I could, is when I started to see the subscriptions and community grow.

And this leads me to the point that I build off of this quote…purpose. We don’t create blogs and spend hours upon hours to show off our pretty little sites – we do it for a specific reason: which maybe to teach, to help, to learn, to sale, etc. Focusing on the wrong thing is a sure way to NOT fulfill set goals, and it may be a natural evaluation in itself. When I was spending all that time working on the design aspect of my site – I had to ask myself: “what in the heck am I in this for”…I was excusing my own content creation because “[I thought] I HAD TO work on my design so people liked my site”. I’ve since awaken from that dreadful false reality. I still work on the design, because it’s fun, and I love putting my creativity to work – but I know my purpose in having a blog and that’s the sharing of content…because Content Rules!

Marcus – thanks for the recommendation of this book. I’ll get it read in the next month.
PEACE

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

This was a typical JK Allen comment—simply the best my friend.

Speaking of content, I don’t think anyone on the web (and that’s, ohhh, a few million people a day) comment on blogs w the quality ‘content’ anywhere near you Mr. Allen. That, my friend, is just another form of the magic ‘C’ word and how you’re leveraging it to kick some serious online butt.

Anyway man, loved the story about your shift in focus–from quality looks to quality content— and I’m sure it has made a huge difference.

Thanks for your constant support here on TSL JK, you’re one of the best my friend. :-)

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Ann Handley February 17, 2011 at

Marcus: Thanks so much for the review and your kind words! It was totally random how we connected — I think you were one of many results that came up in my good alerts for “content marketing” during the book’s research phase, and for some reason I felt compelled to reach out to you.

I love how you pulled out your own rules here, too. THANKS so much!

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

Well I’m just glad google was kind enough to give me the mention then Ann ;-)

Great job on the book, all the words here are very merited, you guys are on fire!

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Lori Gosselin February 17, 2011 at

Marcus,
Of COURSE content rules – it’s the hardest part, isn’t it!?!? How long did it take you to find your voice/formula/recipe for content?

I’m going to check out the book, I want to read about the buzzwords (I’m fairly sure I used “synergy” lately – it used to be a NEW word!)

Lori

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Thanks for asking Lori. It took me about 3 months to really start learning my voice….and then another 6 to really get ‘application’ of that voice…But now I’m in such a groove it seems…kinda hard to explain but writing these days is never forced. It’s always fun…and with a smile…kinda like that pretty smile on that avatar of yours Lori ;-)

Thanks for the support and comment, it’s very much appreciated.

Oh, and good luck with those buzzwords, I’ll be needing it too!!

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paul wolfe February 17, 2011 at

Marcus

That sounds like a cool book to check out – wonder if it’s published in the UK yet. Will check out later tonight.

I liked Katie’s quote about your website being about the customer – that’s a really powerful statement. How many websites have you seen out there that are just HTML versions of glossy brochures that say: me…me…me…look at me…look at what I know….look at me.

That’s why content marketing is so powerful – because it gives the customer information that can empower them, or make them think about the world in a different place, or just help them solve a problem they’re having.

If I was writing a book on ‘Content Rules’ here’s my number one rule.

1. Set a time every day to write. (Or podcast. Or video blog. Or make webinars). Apply seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. And do it.

Paul

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Tristan February 18, 2011 at

I’m always interested in other people’s writing habits, Paul, so mind if I ask what yours are? When do you write every day? Or is it something that varies and you plan on a day-to-day basis?

I’ve tried the blog-at-the-same-time-every-day without fail thing and I can’t do it. As the appointed time approaches, I get more and more uneasy because I’m not necessarily in the mood to write then. I think I don’t like the feeling of being forced to do something, even if I’m the one doing the forcing.

I end up doing most of my miscellaneous blog-related things (reading, commenting, replying to comments, Twitter, etc.) from mid-day to evening, but I write best late at night (some time between 9 and 3).

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paul wolfe February 18, 2011 at

Tristan

Good questions. I could write a full length post on this – but I won’t so as not to disrupt the conversation!

Basically I don’t have the luxery of writing when I choose – my schedule is too full (I run an offline business and another online business as well as getting One Spoon At A Time off the ground). So I make a small window of time to write – usually at night when the kids have gone to bed – and I write then. Usually it’s about 8.30 PM.

Some stuff that really helps – knowing what I’m going to write before I sit down. I’ve got an ‘Idea Bank’ and during the day I’ll often have a 10 minute look at it, select a topic, and quickly outline that topic on a new word processor doc – that way when I come to sit down I’m not faced with a blank piece of paper.

And I never wait for inspiration to strike – I don’t have the time for that. One of my favourite writing quotes was from a writer called Peter DeVries who was asked if he only wrote when he was inspired. He said something like: “I write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9.00AM when I sit down to work.”

I could write more, but this is Marcus’s blog, not mine!

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Paul, that was great, don’t ever cut off awesomeness on TSL! After all, community is everything, and I frankly don’t care what the heck we talk about, as long as someone is benefiting. And believe me, this quote from Peter DeVries was down-right benefiting!

So great question Tristan and tremendous response Paul, so glad you took the time to teach this to everyone.

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Apply seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. And do it.

That’s such a sweet line Paul….I just had to repeat it.

I love what you said about company websites and the ‘Me, Me, Me’ syndrome…It’s pretty awful, and despite the fact that there are thousands of articles preaching the power of Web 2.0 and inbound/content marketing on the web right now, the problem is still EVERYWHERE….Like as in over 95% of businesses if I had to make a guess.

Great comment Paul, thanks bud.

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Tristan February 18, 2011 at

Dude. You’re legit. You’re like… in a book!

That’s really cool, man, and I’m sure you’ll be in a bunch more books int he future (your NYT bestsellers notwithstanding). I’ll have to pick up a copy for sure.

My favorite quote was this one: “The language you use and tone of your voice provide an untapped, powerful way to forge a distinctive identity.”

That’s the kind of thing that gives me goosebumps.

It’s so true, and it’s so sad that most bloggers just don’t get that. I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe they think it’s “professional” to remain anonymously on the other side of the internet? Whatever. It’s just boring.

Thanks for another great post, and congrats again on being in the book! That’s seriously hardcore.

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Aww shucks Tristan, you’re one cool cat brother :-)

Yeah, being in the book was kind of a surprise. After reading it and seeing all the quotes Ann put in there with regards to what I said was a cool feeling considering I really didn’t remember anything I’d told her….I just kinda yapped on and on (kinda like I do on this blog ) and I guess she just learned to write really fast a long time ago. ;-)

OH, and I know I told you this earlier Tristan, but just so everyone else knows how weird I am, I had a dream last night that you came over to my house and we ate Co-Co Puffs and talked about blogging. Looking back, it really gives me a laugh. But in the dream, boy were we sharing some killer blogging tips!

Finally, when I write my book Tristan, I’m including you in it bro (just in case you haven’t written one first) , that’s a deal. :-)

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Daniel M. Wood February 18, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,

That is so awesome. I recently added Content Rules to my amazon wish list and got it as a christmas present. I haven’t had time to read it yet though, but I plan on very soon.

I had no idea that you had been a, small, part of its creation!
Well done my friend, you are getting your finger in a lot of jars.

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Thanks D’, kind of you brother. When you read the book and get like 1000 ideas for your blog, make sure you let me know what they are ;-)

Thanks for stopping by bud.

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Patricia@lavender-oil February 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus

Congratulations and great that your successes are being recognised. Well deserved and well done :-)

Sounds like a great book. Will have to go check it out. Thanks for sharing Marcus. Appreciated.

Patricia Perth Australia

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Thank you Patricia. I was honored and surprised to be in the book, but I guess that’s how the universe rewards those that simply try to put themselves in a position to find great people and great things as they pass on by. (Which, btw, you’re one of those people I’m sure glad I found)

Thanks again for all your support Patricia!!

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rob white February 18, 2011 at

Indeed, I love that title. It says it all. You can’t fool people these days… they have been exposed to every gimmick and trick in the advertising book. Creating sincere, excellent content for the good of all concerned is priority #1 in this over-stimulated world.

Congratulations on all your well deserved success, Marcus.

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Yes, the title is dang good Rob. Honestly, I was jealous of the fact it was so good because I’d like to have had it for my book (that is currently being written in my mind but just waiting to hit the paper ;-) ).

Thanks for the kind words and congrats my friend.

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leon Noone February 18, 2011 at

G’Day Marcus,
Just one thing: any book that opposes the use of that most hideous, ugly and mouth-murdering word “monetize,” has gotta have a lot going for it.

Thanks for the tip mate.
Regards

Leon

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Ha Leon!! Yes, yes, that dirty deed had to be called out by someone, and Ann and CC did it! :-)

You’re a blast my friend, thanks for all your support.

(ps– make sure you click the checkbox that says ‘comment luv’ and it will pick up your blog’s rss feed and thus show your most current article. You can also sign up at comment luv’s website as well.)

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Rhae Swisher February 18, 2011 at

As I sit here in my office and think back to the first time I met Ann Handley I have to laugh. The interaction was not not soft, at first. I was attending the the MarketingProfs.com B2B Forum in Boston, MA last year. I had just attended the extra Monday session which was 8 hours of intense Social Media training given by the hugely talented “CK” Kerley.

At the social hour that evening “CK” introduced me to Ann. Ann looked at me and asked if I was presenting the next day. Since this was the first time I had attended any kind of Social Media event my answer was a definite NO! Ann’s response was “So what are you doing here, just slumming?” I was speechless and that just does not happen!

“CK” bailed me out and explained why I was there. But, Ann had found a weakness in me and she managed to leave me speechless two more times before I left Boston. So there’s more Ann than meets the eye.

And that leads to my thoughts on content. There is or should always be more than meets the eye. When content is rich and deep it grabs our attention.

“Just as a person is more than flesh and bones and hair and teeth, good content, too, is more than text and graphics and video. It’s an embodiment of your brand.” That is so good. It’s kind of like the food you ate at TdB recently. You want to sit there and just savor it. That’s the way good content is.

“Your awesome site isn’t awesome. Getting your stories into the hands of people who need them is awesome.” (Chris Brogan) When I managed 10 desk adjusters at a large insurance company and later managing 12 remote adjusters, I always trained using stories. Fact and figures are like a skeleton. If that’s all it is it’s dead. But put facts and figures into a well crafted story (content) and it lives.

And your quote – well said Marcus, well said.

Rhae Swisher

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Rhae Swisher February 18, 2011 at

I bought the book – before the sun set.

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Marcus Sheridan February 18, 2011 at

Awesome story Rhae…I’ve not seen Ann’s snarky side yet, but hopefully I’ll have that opportunity in the future as I’ll be making more trips up to Boston in the coming months ;-)

Your comment: You want to sit there and just savor it. That’s the way good content is. …was incredibly well put. Content, when done right, is just like that perfect steak…(hmm, I better stop thinking about that, never good to eat after midnight ;-) )

Anyway, your thoughts here today were a blast Rhae….and thanks for buying the book, I’m sure Ann and CC will be grateful.

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Ann Handley February 19, 2011 at

LOL… totally forgot the specifics of our first meeting, Rhae. But I do remember liking you instantly, so I suppose that’s why I felt comfortable around you. ; )

Nice to see your name pop up here!

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Rhae Swisher February 18, 2011 at

I sort of forgot to finish my comments on Ann Handley. I don’t want people thinking Ann’s mean, she’s not. I had more fun at that MP’s B2B Forum than I have had in a long time.

Ann is genuine and she knew I was enjoying her comments. She went out of her way to introduce me to people I might not have ever had the opportunity to meet.

I don’t have the book yet, but if my local B&N has it in stock, I’ll have it before the sun goes down.

Rhae swisher

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Fran Aslam From Onlinewriter February 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus:

We meet again, it is about time you visit my site in person, though I know you read it sometimes. You know how did I come to your site today I was at Sheila Atwood’s site and I read your comment and you mentioned that you liked my header. Thank you for that. My blog is not a custom design, but a generic design. Any ways I like your post, your book title and read that you are or were in off lines sales too. Wow nice knowing you. Your book sounds awesome.

Keep up the good work. and enjoy the week end.

Fran A

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Fran Aslam From Onlinewriter February 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus

Correction needed here. Sometimes I start believing other people more. I read the full post before writing the comment and I know it is not your book, but coming down, I was reading comments and I am in a hurry too, I got all confused, and wrote it your book in the original comment. You were mentioned in the book by Chris Brogan. I like Chris Brogan and his blog has outstanding expression of his knowledge. Actually I like Guy too, and Guy mentioned me because of my
tweets.

So, please disregard my statement that was in ignorance or hurry. It is an awesome honor to be mentioned like this. Congrats.

Fran A

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

No problem Fran, and thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Keep up the great work on your blog :-)

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Dave Marciniak February 18, 2011 at

Hey! Leave the word “revolutionary” alone. It’s half of my company name, after all. We can launch “synergy” into the sun, though.

Keep recommending books and I’m going to have to reinforce under my bookshelves!

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

Ha Dave! You crazy goof, I guess Ann has called you out as a ‘buzzword’ company…SWEET!!!! I’m laughing as I type this just thinking about it :-)

You’re the best man, thanks for all the support.

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Sheila Atwood February 18, 2011 at

Marcus,

This does sound like a really good book. I enjoyed the quotes you pulled out for us to look at.

I have a tendency to liken being on the Internet to successful brick and mortar businesses. You can have all the window dressing and advertising money can buy but when it comes down to it, what do you have to offer when someone walks into the door. My favorite furniture store happens to be a mom and pop joint down the street from where I use to work. Their window displays are very well done and grabbed my interest. The store has tons of quality content, decent prices and impeccable service.

The content (a couch) I bought is the “gift that keeps on giving.” We have enjoyed it for years. I love the fabric and the quality has withstood several grandkids.

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

Now that’s a dang good analogy Sheila….seriously….love it. Especially considering that every business does have a living, (and hopefully breathing) ‘store’ in 2011 with their website and all the merchandise (content) therein.

Btw, how many grandkids do you have Sheila? Must be fun. :-)

Appreciate all your support and kind tweets. I don’t deserve it, but I’ll certainly take it with gratitude.

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Keith Davis February 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus
As I opened my email I sensed that someone was prowling… it had to be TSL.

Short comment, a quote that I read 5 mins ago – spooky.

“Creating quality always leads to money, the desire of making money seldom leads to quality” – Ole J Carlson.

Another post right out of the top drawer.

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

Prowling I am Keith :-)

Love the quote….Think I’ll snatch that one for a future moment when I need to appear very witty ;-)

Thanks for the comment and support bud.

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Harriet February 18, 2011 at

These are really good and useful tips. Thanks for sharing. And the picture you’ve used is really neat too, I love the old fashioned ink pen!!!

I like the tip about not being afraid to polarize people. Thats an important thing to know in business I feel and even in everyday life.

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Ranjit J Perera February 19, 2011 at

Hi,

You guys have convinced me that I should read this book.

The rule that I’ve always tried to follow is ‘Write for the Reader’, with Reader as in ‘Target Audience’ or ‘Publics’ or receiver by any other name.

Too often content is derailed by the writer’s ego or emphasis on factors other than what the content should be about.

I’m also a fan of doing away with ‘buzzwords’ that often mean little or nothing.

Let me check out the book before I say any more.

Thank you.

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

Hi Ranjit, so kind of you to stop in and leave your thoughts—all of which I very much agree with.

You’re right—too many writers like to hear (or read) how smart they can sound. Their vernacular is too advanced for most common consumers and they, because of their desire to appear intelligent, end up losing touch with their base. We see it over and over again. Like you said, the writer’s ego needs to be left at the door.

Again, thanks for the comment Ranjit and I hope you stop in again. :-)

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Mark Harai February 19, 2011 at

Hi Marcus – and a big happy Saturday to you : )

Short and sweet: great content moves people. Great companies move people. Effective leaders move people. Move people with your speech, your actions, your life and you change the world. Is there anything more important than that?

Speaking for myself, I would love to see a billboard with your face and brand on it shouting “Content is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving!” I wouldn’t mind seeing your ad in magazines, newspapers, a TV commercial, or even roared out on my favorite radio program.

It would make your brand stand out even more in my mind, especially if I was a small business owner who needed help making my business more profitable.

These one-way ‘old school advertising’ shouts would potentially reach millions of small business owners who don’t participate in social media and could seriously use your help to figure things out.

Just saying…

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

great content moves people. Great companies move people. Effective leaders move people. Move people with your speech, your actions, your life and you change the world. Is there anything more important than that?

I do believe that would have made a fine entry in the book as well Mark….VERY well said.

Appreciate your kind words as always and support, have a tremendous weekend yourself.

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Martha Giffen February 19, 2011 at

The hardest advice on your list to follow? Don’t be afraid to polarize people. That is a tough one for me. Who doesn’t like to be liked? LOL
You have definitely made me want to go download this book immediately to my Kindle. Thanks!!

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Marcus Sheridan February 19, 2011 at

Hi Martha! I agree, we naturally want to please everyone, which in-turn causes content to be bland and ends up moving no one to action.

But if we truly look at the great authors of our time, the have opinions– and lots of them. And the thing is, many of their opinions are disagreeable…which sparks conversation…which is the greatest of all promotion. Seth Godin and Chris Brogan are just two examples of people whose first goal is not that of making their audience happy or feel good, they do what they do to make others think.

Continued excellence to you Martha, I sincerely hope to see your smile on here again. :-)

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Dia February 19, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

That’s a nice list. Number 6 stood out for me. This is one of the most important things in blogging is to be humble, approachable, and use simple language that the average person can understand. This what differentiates excellent blogs (like yours) from others. Thanks for sharing my friend :)

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Marcus Sheridan February 20, 2011 at

Simple language truly is a key Dia, no doubt. You excel at this I notice and thus you’re able to reach and impact a much larger audience. But not only that, and this may sound funny, but the search engines like Google appreciate simple language a lot more as well.

Thanks for comment and support Dia!

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Stuart February 20, 2011 at

Content rules, so it does. Content rules the land! Content is the king, the queen, and the overlord of what your career/business is all about! Content is….

I could go on, but needless to say I place my greatest importance on content. If we have the ultimate design, if we’ve told 1000 people who are willing to listen, we STILL won’t get anywhere unless our content is immense. Immense content is necessary for immense results.

And the crowning point of immense content? You. Your voice, your style, your personality. If people don’t associate you with your content, then they won’t remember you. They’ll just remember going to a great website once that could have been glorious. We need to speak up ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan February 20, 2011 at

Wow Stu, despite your little lay-off to see your French neighbors I see you haven’t lost your ability to leave rockin comments!

Immense content is necessary for immense results.

I could not have said that better myself. Go hard or go home, as my old football coach used to say.

Great to have you back bud and thanks for your support.

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Bryan Thompson February 21, 2011 at

Hi Marcus, better late than never, I guess. :) If there’s one thing I’ve learned about creating content, it’s to be authentic. There are already a million and one personal development blogs. Some are written by psychiatrists, and some by plumbers. And we could probably get some useful piece of info from their sites, but not if everyone’s writing the same perspective. Don’t just say what we think people want to hear, but say what is needed. If it’s authentic, and if you have enough conviction, it will beg for more attention. Thanks for posting!

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Marcus Sheridan February 27, 2011 at

Authentic=Awesome Bryan, you got that right brother. In fact, it’s getting to a point where consumers will expect an authentic voice.

Glad you liked the post my man. :-)

Thanks for all.

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Sarah Arrow February 27, 2011 at

A little late to the conversation this week Marcus, but it looks a terrific read and I’ll add it to my to buy and read list :)

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Marcus Sheridan February 27, 2011 at

Thanks Sarah, late works for me every time ;-)

Hope you enjoy the book!

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Danny @ Firepole Marketing March 5, 2011 at

So the book won’t help me to MONETIZE visitors by UTILIZING IMPACTFUL SYNERGIES with a REVOLUTIONARY SOLUTION? :D

Seriously, Marcus, this is a great post, and I’ve added the book to my Amazon shopping cart. Thanks!

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Marcus Sheridan March 7, 2011 at

Ha! That was very funny Danny :-) Well said bud.

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