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Content Jam 2016: Making it Great: Tactics for Great Content with Ian Lurie

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Strategy is crucial. Ideas are essential.
Once you have those, though, you have to create and publish. A few little things can completely change the audience’s experience. Attend this session for tips on writing, formatting and delivering content that’s polished.

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Content Jam 2016: Making it Great: Tactics for Great Content with Ian Lurie

  1. 1. Making it Great: Tactics for Amazing Content Ian Lurie Content Creation @portentint | #ContentJam
  2. 2. Facts about me
  3. 3. I run an agency: Portent, Inc. If you’re in Sea‫﬙‬le, look us up
  4. 4. I have no design skills Took 2 hours
  5. 5. Our first site
  6. 6. First content marketing ever
  7. 7. I have no photography skills My dog
  8. 8. I have no ‫﬚‬pography skills I used this font on corporate web sites
  9. 9. I can’t spell Philsophy
  10. 10. I don’t crap rainbows. I fail hard. A lot. 5-year timespan
  11. 11. All sales to my mom
  12. 12. I am not a narcissistic asshat I use my stuff because I have permission
  13. 13. But, I have learned: Content’s all about the tactics.
  14. 14. 1. Li‫﬙‬le things can erode the experience
  15. 15. 2. Li‫﬙‬le things can improve it
  16. 16. IAN, THAT IMAGE LOOKS LIKE !@## Owns me
  17. 17. HUFFINGTON POST 3. Li‫﬙‬le things become big things
  18. 18. Pardon impossible, to send to Siberia Pardon, impossible to send to Siberia Czarina Maria Fyodorovna
  19. 19. 4. We’re responsible for the outcome of a process “Hey, we need content!!!” Nervous breakdown Publish How many blog posts can write? Sorry, the CMS is down Actually, let’s do an infographic Our lawyers said… But we don’t control it
  20. 20. 5. But we do control the tactics
  21. 21. Great content starts with the ideas
  22. 22. But amazing content happens because of tactics @#$!@ Right
  23. 23. HUFFINGTON POST IT’S NOT CONTENT. IT’S AN APP. What probably happened
  24. 24. Content? GO WORK ON YOUR BLOG POSTS
  25. 25. Content? GO WORK ON YOUR BLOG POSTS
  26. 26. IT’S ALL CONTENT Oh my gods why is it so hard to get people to understand that it’s not just the blog
  27. 27. Content
  28. 28. Content
  29. 29. Content
  30. 30. Content
  31. 31. Content
  32. 32. Content
  33. 33. These tactics apply to all content
  34. 34. Authoring
  35. 35. Write in plain text
  36. 36. Geekery One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at The Brimming Tankard. The dwarf knows the PCs. They've spent time here during their training at Swords Cross. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar. The Convo Once the conversation starts, Angus will motion towards a table, where they all sit down. Angus lowers his brow as only a dwarf can. He then tells the characters his suspicions about digging under the city. Depending on plots already completed, his information may send them to Plot 2, 9 or further along Plot 1. 1. If the characters are receptive, he'll buy them an ale 2. If they're sarcastic, he'll slap the biggest one 3. If one of the party is an elf, Angus regards them with grudging respect and a little suspicion. Plain Text 100% cross-platform 100% future-proof
  37. 37. Plain Text Doesn’t do this shit Plain Text
  38. 38. No surprises
  39. 39. Plain Text Editing Mode YAY! Looks great! Visual from MS Word
  40. 40. Sonofa…
  41. 41. Surprise!!!!
  42. 42. <span style=”FONT-FAMILY: wtfbold”> One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at The Brimming Tankard. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes”> </span> The dwarf knows the PCs. They've spent time here during their training at Swords Cross. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar. <b style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal”> Once the conversation starts </b>, <i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal”>make this italics</i>, <u>underlines</u>, and <span style=”COLOR: red”>font colors</span> <p></p> </span></p> Pasted from Word to SiteCore 100% clusterf$#@ MS Word to Most CMSes
  43. 43. <span style=”FONT-FAMILY: wtfbold”> One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at The Brimming Tankard. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes”> </span> The dwarf knows the PCs. They've spent time here during their training at Swords Cross. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar. <b style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal”> Once the conversation starts </b>, <i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal”>make this italics</i>, <u>underlines</u>, and <span style=”COLOR: red”>font colors</span> <p></p> </span></p> Pasted from Word to SiteCore 100% clusterf$#@ LSD-Driven HTML
  44. 44. <p>One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at The Brimming Tankard. The dwarf knows the PCs. They've spent time here during their training at Swords Cross. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar.</p> <p>Once this conversation starts, make this <em>italics</em>, <u>underlines</u> and <span style=“color:red”>font colors</span></p> The Metamorphosis <span style=”FONT-FAMILY: wtfbold”> One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at The Brimming Tankard. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes”> </span> The dwarf knows the PCs. They've spent time here during their training at Swords Cross. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar. <b style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal”> Once the conversation starts </b>, <i style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal”>make this italics</i>, <u>underlines</u>, and <span style=”COLOR: red”>font colors</span> <p></p> </span></p> heeelllpppp meeeeee This became… …this.
  45. 45. Instead: Write In Plain Text Geekery One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at The Brimming Tankard. The dwarf knows the PCs. They've spent time here during their training at Swords Cross. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar. The Convo Once the conversation starts, Angus will motion towards a table, where they all sit down. Angus lowers his brow as only a dwarf can. He then tells the characters his suspicions about digging under the city. Depending on plots already completed, his information may send them to Plot 2, 9 or further along Plot 1. 1. If the characters are receptive, he'll buy them an ale 2. If they're sarcastic, he'll slap the biggest one 3. If one of the party is an elf, Angus regards them with grudging respect and a little suspicion. Clean Easily adapted to many formats Great for use on the web
  46. 46. Or, Cut-And-Paste MS Word Plain Text CMS
  47. 47. <h1></h1> <p></p> <ol></ol> <li></li> <a href=“”></a> &amp; &endash; &emdash; &rdquo; &rsquo; &ldquo; &lsquo; Learn Forma‫﬙‬ing In HTML
  48. 48. Chill. He’s kidding.
  49. 49. Learn Markdown
  50. 50. Write in plain text + Markdown # Heading ## Heading 2 ### Heading 3 1. Numbered 1 2. Numbered 2 3. Numbered 3 * Bullet 1
 * Bullet 2 
 **Bold** *Emphasis* [Link text](Link URL) Now, you know Markdown
  51. 51. Write in plain text + Markdown # Geekery One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at **The Brimming Tankard**. The dwarf knows the PCs. They’ve spent time here during their training at *Swords Cross*. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar. ## The Convo Once the conversation starts, Angus will motion towards a table, where they all sit down. Angus lowers his brow as only a dwarf can. He then tells the characters his suspicions about digging under the city. Depending on plots already completed, his information may send them to Plot 2, 9 or further along Plot 1. 1. If the characters are receptive, he'll buy them an ale 2. If they're sarcastic, he'll slap the biggest one 3. If one of the party is an elf, Angus regards them with grudging respect and a little suspicion. Elves helped save him during The Fall, in exchange for his help repairing their stone ships. From [a page on the internet](http://www.gibblegibbet.com). Heading Bold Heading 2 Numbered Link Paragraph
  52. 52. Copy From Preview Tool
  53. 53. Converts to… <h1 id="geekery">Geekery</h1> <p>One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at <strong>The Brimming Tankard</strong>. The dwarf knows the PCs. They’ve spent time here during their training at <em>Swords Cross</em>. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar.</p> <h2 id="theconvo">The Convo</h2> <p>Once the conversation starts, Angus will motion towards a table, where they all sit down. Angus lowers his brow as only a dwarf can. He then tells the characters his suspicions about digging under the city. Depending on plots already completed, his information may send them to Plot 2, 9 or further along Plot 1.</p> <ol> <li>If the characters are receptive, he’ll buy them an ale</li> <li>If they’re sarcastic, he’ll slap the biggest one</li> <li>If one of the party is an elf, Angus regards them with grudging respect and a little suspicion. Elves helped save him during The Fall, in exchange for his help repairing their stone ships.</li> </ol> <p>From <a href="http://www.gibblegibbet.com">a page on the internet</a>.</p> Heading Bold Heading 2 Numbered Link Paragraph
  54. 54. Converts to… <h1 id="geekery">Geekery</h1> <p>One way or another, the characters end up meeting with Angus Bloodstone at <strong>The Brimming Tankard</strong>. The dwarf knows the PCs. They’ve spent time here during their training at <em>Swords Cross</em>. He greets them heartily, immediately putting their favorite drinks up on the bar.</p> <h2 id="theconvo">The Convo</h2> <p>Once the conversation starts, Angus will motion towards a table, where they all sit down. Angus lowers his brow as only a dwarf can. He then tells the characters his suspicions about digging under the city. Depending on plots already completed, his information may send them to Plot 2, 9 or further along Plot 1.</p> <ol> <li>If the characters are receptive, he’ll buy them an ale</li> <li>If they’re sarcastic, he’ll slap the biggest one</li> <li>If one of the party is an elf, Angus regards them with grudging respect and a little suspicion. Elves helped save him during The Fall, in exchange for his help repairing their stone ships.</li> </ol> <p>From <a href="http://www.gibblegibbet.com">a page on the internet</a>.</p> Smart quotes
  55. 55. Paste into CMS Easy No surprises Super-clean Will adopt site forma‫﬙‬ing
  56. 56. Converts to… Heading Bold Heading 2 Numbered Link Paragraph Smart quotes
  57. 57. Some tools
  58. 58. dillinger.io Browser-based editing and forma‫﬙‬ing
  59. 59. Marked OS X preview tool
  60. 60. MarkdownPad Windows
  61. 61. Sublime Text Nerdvana
  62. 62. IA Writer
  63. 63. i am pumped
  64. 64. Get fast
  65. 65. TextExpander .sm [tab] social media hh2 [tab] ## | ##
  66. 66. TextExpander ;jewwatch [tab] Our first step is ge‫﬙‬ing links removed from sites that had no intention of helping Jew Watch rank. I've built a list of the 'unintentional boosters'. I need folks to contact these sites. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is: Please do the following: 1. Find out who to contact to remove the link from the above page(s). 2. Contact them and ask politely if they'd remove the link. You can use this message, or write your own:
  67. 67. Language
  68. 68. Make your text more brief Use fewer words Be concise
  69. 69. He was paid by the word. You are not.
  70. 70. Stop adverb abuse I am emphatically opposed to painfully overusing adverbs. They make it really hard to read even the most carefully wri‫﬙‬en text. I oppose overusing adverbs. They make it hard to read even the most carefully wri‫﬙‬en text.
  71. 71. Use active voice 99% of the time The product is manufactured by us. We manufacture the product.
  72. 72. Dump plague words Indeed, the end result was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, success. It was a success.
  73. 73. Dump plague words Obviously, I love chocolate. I love chocolate.
  74. 74. Dump plague words end result result indeed omit regardless omit simply put omit obviously omit beyond a shadow of a doubt definitely h‫﬙‬p://portent.co/plague-wordz
  75. 75. Get to the point
  76. 76. We’ve all been there “If you don’t rank, you won’t get much traffic from search engines” “200mph is fast” “Aſter 20 years, I’ve been doing this a long time” I’m trying to find the point, but I can’t.
  77. 77. Oy.
  78. 78. Use tools to edit & proofread (because you won’t have time)
  79. 79. Hemingway App
  80. 80. Grammarly
  81. 81. User Experience
  82. 82. Don’t use lame stock images
  83. 83. Matching water levels Blank pads All happy
  84. 84. Showing up everywhere
  85. 85. Showing up everywhere
  86. 86. Showing up everywhere
  87. 87. Lack of brand safe‫﬚‬
  88. 88. What’s so funny?
  89. 89. Sometimes you just have to use a stock image, I know
  90. 90. buuuuuurppp castle ain’t what it used to be. i’m crying in side. So own it if i look down, no one will know I’m high
  91. 91. Images must have a purpose (they’re not white space)
  92. 92. No
  93. 93. Yes
  94. 94. Well, OK
  95. 95. Great sources: Pexels.com Unsplash.com For annotating screen caps: Snagit Skitch
  96. 96. Site speed = UX Images = site speed
  97. 97. Load time goes up Engagement goes down if you’d listened to ian, i’d be alive right now
  98. 98. 700kb png 64kb jpg JPG for photos
  99. 99. 24kb jpg 4kb png 6kb jpg PNG for less photo-ish
  100. 100. 4kb png 6kb jpg Ewwww. Artifacts.
  101. 101. 1.1 megabytes Compress!!!
  102. 102. 227kb Compress!!!
  103. 103. Imageoptim (mac) www.imageoptim.com
  104. 104. On the PC, try Caesium
  105. 105. Create a cool feature image
  106. 106. Pablo
  107. 107. Link with care
  108. 108. Will anyone click these links? This is the best dang bicycle you’ll ever ride. It pedals itself, but somehow burns calories at the same time! And it has a built-in umbrella! We wrote about the Capybara 200 and said it was the best. But it’s not. The Pangolin wins. As reported by Bicycling Magazine.
  109. 109. i will kick your ass
  110. 110. OK This is the best dang bicycle you’ll ever ride. It pedals itself, but somehow burns calories at the same time! And it has a built-in umbrella! We wrote about the Capybara 200 and said it was the best. But it’s not. The Pangolin wins. As reported by Bicycling Magazine.
  111. 111. No more than 4-5 lines/paragraph
  112. 112. No more than 13-15 words/line
  113. 113. 3-5 paragraphs between headings
  114. 114. Process
  115. 115. Stay off the format bandwagon
  116. 116. Stay off the bandwagon infographics infographics infographics infographics
  117. 117. Instructions should not be “infographics” Lists should not be “infographics” without a really good reason
  118. 118. Take the numbers. Present them graphically. Then this is a great infographic.
  119. 119. Longform of the longform so we can create some longform content with longform layouts and a parallax scroll so it’s really cool longform.
  120. 120. Use When Infographics High information densi‫﬚‬ Longform A long, interesting narrative Whitepapers Audience deserves punishment Blog posts Always, I guess Slides A progression of ideas
  121. 121. Use When Audio You have the resources Video Same Interactive content Same
  122. 122. Batch and chunk
  123. 123. One piece One editing run Five posts
  124. 124. Fewer trips through the process Higher efficiency
  125. 125. Repurpose
  126. 126. This worked
  127. 127. OK.
  128. 128. Check
  129. 129. Wait a second...
  130. 130. Up next
  131. 131. Do not duplicate! Each must build on the last.
  132. 132. If you used plain text, repurposing is easy
  133. 133. Why? Content’s already approved You know it works (Yeah, ok, it’s a cheesy stock photo
  134. 134. Rollup (h/t Michael Martinez @seo-theory)
  135. 135. Write about rutabagas
  136. 136. Write about carrots
  137. 137. Write about beef
  138. 138. 6 months later, pull relevant content from each piece and write about stew well, crap.
  139. 139. A less sick example 10 scary food additives 5 ways to keep your food nutritious Industrial farming: Pros and cons (traffic dies down) The Guide to The American Food Chain
  140. 140. Piggy-back
  141. 141. LinkedIn Quora Reddit Medium SlideShare
  142. 142. My audience Their audience
  143. 143. They’ve done the forma‫﬙‬ing
  144. 144. They’ve done the forma‫﬙‬ingThey’ve built the tools
  145. 145. The summary
  146. 146. IT’S ALL CONTENT Oh my gods why is it so hard to get people to understand that it’s not just the blog
  147. 147. Authoring Work in plain text Use Markdown to generate HTML Get fast
  148. 148. Language Less passive voice No plague words Get to the point Systematically edit & proofread
  149. 149. User experience No crappy stock photos Use the right image format Compress images Link when it’s helpful 13-15 words/line 3-5 lines/paragraph 3-5 paragraphs per heading
  150. 150. Process Stay off the format bandwagon Batch and chunk Rollup Repurpose
  151. 151. Amazing content happens (or doesn’t happen) because of tactics
  152. 152. The links: h‫﬙‬p://portent.co/amazecontent
  153. 153. Thank you! Ian Lurie @portentint | #ContentJam

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