WriteOn! – Week of January 19, 2015 – This Week’s Picks:

Your Sales Teams Can Build on Content Marketing to Get More Revenue…

infographicAre your sales teams “as ‘hip’ to the content movement as their marketing colleagues?” @Hubspot shared this helpful infographic from @knowledgetree in a post last week (“Content Selling: The Next Evolution of Content Marketing”) . Check it out: http://exprt.co/1y8oXgx

Hire a ‘Combination of Right-Brain and Left-Brain Types’ for Your Marketing Team

On the Silverpop blog, Bryan Brown writes, “Companies lack the cross-channel customer insights they need to deliver relevant, timely, personalized content.” He offers recommendations for “transitioning your marketing team” this year. I especially like recommendation #1: “Shift Your Hiring” and hire “a combination of right-brain and left-brain types to thrive in a new marketing landscape…” Read more: http://bit.ly/1CqgUcg

WriteOn! – Week of January 12, 2015 – This Week’s Picks:

What’s YOUR favorite social media site?…

The Pew Research Center says Facebook is the most popular social media site, but its growth has slowed. my twitter page At the same time, however, other social media platforms saw “significant increases” in popularity and usage. (I’m on several social media platforms, but my personal favorite is still Twitter — and I’ve been happily tweeting since 2009! Follow me on Twitter @kathymagrino.) Here’s the report released last week: http://pewrsr.ch/1ANX79T

In B2B content marketing, let’s get busier — and better!

According to the “B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America” report, ONLY 8% of B2B marketers rate the effectiveness of their organization’s use of content marketing as “very effective.” (This means there’s a lot of room for improvement! :) ) You’ll find a lot of interesting and helpful info about B2B content marketing in this report from Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute and Ann Handley of MarketingProfs: http://slidesha.re/1tY68pa

 

 

WriteOn! – Week of January 5th, 2015 – This Week’s Picks:

Let’s start the year being positive about business — and everything!

Happy New Year! Let’s start the year being positive about business – and life, in general! Here are some valuable lessons from Richard Newton (@richnewton) via the @Virgin blog:  http://bit.ly/1wPNDTU

How do YOU define PR?

Does anyone really know what “public relations” is…?! How do you define #PR? I found this piece from John D. Wagner in the New York Times, and John’s honesty is very refreshing: “Learning a Foreign Language Called Public Relations” – http://nyti.ms/145ZRRB

 

Introducing a new feature on this blog: WriteOn!

Each week, I’ll be posting a “WriteOn!” mini-post here on my blog where you’ll find two or three links to blogs, articles and posts that I’ve discovered online during the previous week. WriteOn3-carrotHonestly, I’m not sure what the specific topics will be – I’m open to learning about anything and everything that can help keep us positive, focused, motivated and moving forward in today’s sometimes-crazy, often-distracting world.

I’ll be looking for writing that somehow catches my attention. (For those of you who already follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn, you know my interests are wide-ranging and somewhat scattered: business, writing, teaching, learning, entrepreneurship, social media, communicating, etc.) In determining my picks for each week, I’ll be focused on sharing writing that’s somehow eye-opening, thought-provoking or just plain interesting – something that makes me (and hopefully you) think or react or take action.

Let’s face it: There’s so much good writing that’s going on right now, it’s impossible to read it all. Today, it seems we’re all writers – and we’re writing more than ever before: texting, emailing, blogging and expressing ourselves on social and online media… The reality is that humanity, as a whole, is communicating on a global scale and we’re linked together now more than we’ve ever been before.

This new blog feature – WriteOn! – will be my attempt to simplify and filter through all the writing and communicating that’s going on online today. I’m doing this for myself and for my like-minded friends and followers. Hope it helps us all! Look for my first WriteOn! post this Monday, January 5, 2015. Let me know what you think by commenting or tweeting to me. Thanks!

Bring On Your ‘Writing Mojo’!

The summer session of my COM107-Writing for the Media class at Rider University starts today. It’s a short term (only 6 weeks). Packing a full semester into 6 weeks isn’t easy, but we’ll be starting off with a bang! Right away, we’ll be diving in and discovering ways to “bring on our writing mojo” — that magical feeling when the words just seem to endlessly and easily flow from our brain to our fingertips as we write.  writing mojo

Find Your Writing Mojo

From time to time, we all need a little help to overcome “writer’s block” or to just get started on a writing project. When we’re “blocked” or we’re finding it difficult to focus on our writing efforts, we need to tap into our “writing mojo” to get things done.

Here’s some advice — excerpts from my first class assignment, “Bring On Your Writing Mojo!”:

What inspires you to write?… Do you like to write?… Do you ever suffer from “writer’s block”?… Let’s share our personal thoughts and ideas about the writing process and discuss ways we can bring on our “writing mojo.” Also, please read the following blog posts to discover some of the ways writers become motivated and get ready to write:

You also might want to do some additional research on your own…

The assignment: Write one or two paragraphs answering the following questions:

  • Do you like to write?
  • Why or why not?
  • If you do like to write, what do you like to write about, or what type of writing do you enjoy the most?
  • After hearing and reading about what motivates people to write, what idea(s) or suggestion(s) do you believe would be the most helpful to you to help you “bring on your writing mojo”? Tell us why.

Share Your Ideas…

My students will be writing their thoughts in a private discussion forum on Canvas, but feel free to share your thoughts and write your comments on this blog. I’ll respond to you as soon as possible. Thanks for reading — and good luck bringing on your “writing mojo”! :)

Does ‘Social Networking’ Continue After We Die?

Move over, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks! “The other side” is being touted as “the original social network”… and this presents an opportunity to view social networking and social media in a whole new way. sunburst

In an interview on the Hay House World Summit website, New York Times best-selling author and world-renowned psychic medium John Edward compares our relationships with loved ones who have died and “crossed over to the other side” to our social networking habits and relationships on the Internet. 

Mr. Edward says, “The way we’re tethered by energy on the Internet with Facebook” — how we’re aware of what’s going on in our friends’ lives and how we’re connected — is similar to how we’re connected and “tethered” to the people we love after we die. He adds, “The other side is really the original social network, and we’re tethered by love.”

I’ve heard and seen a lot of definitions and descriptions related to social networking and social media, through my work teaching writing and communication classes and through my own experience with social media. But John Edward’s analogy is different and it taps into our emotions.

The next time I update my status on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll be thinking about how my Dad checks in on my family’s “social network” from the other side to see how we’re all doing. For me, that’s a very comforting thought.

Photo by whologwhy via Flickr 

Are you getting ready to write?

At the start of my writing classes each semester we review how people prepare themselves to write. Everyone does this differently, of course, so, in addition to my own experiences, I like to share advice from different sources. Here’s a timely poster and blog post by Demian Farnworth from www.copyblogger.com that arrived in my email inbox today:
10 Rules for Writing First Drafts
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

I’ll be sharing it with my writing students in class next week. (Thanks, Demian!)

Rebuilding. So, Please Stay Tuned…

The sounds of the constant hammering going on around the corner from me this morning as neighbors build a new home has reminded me that I needed to share the news that this blog will no longer be silent, as it has been for the past eight months. construction2We’re rebuilding and fine-tuning a few things here at The Write Way — including this blog.

September — the start of the fall semester at Rider University — is the perfect time for a fresh start, don’t you think? Please stay tuned. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing information about communication media, creating and writing blogs, careers in the communication professions, and thoughts and ideas about the writing process, in general. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you again in September! :)

 

Inspiration From Everyone, Everywhere

Inspiration is a funny thing: You never know where it’s going to come from, or when it’s going to happen.

The last few weeks have been challenging for everyone impacted by a storm named Sandy, with its wild winds and overwhelming surge. My family was very fortunate. Yes, we were displaced for a few weeks, but that’s nothing compared to what was experienced by the people whose homes were flooded or washed away. I can only imagine how they’re feeling. Over the past few weeks, as I’ve driven by giant mounds of debris on the roads around me, and I’ve watched the news reports on TV, I’ve been inspired by the strength and bravery of people, in general. I’m inspired by their ability to look ahead to the future, their capacity to hold onto dreams. Everyone seems to have the determination to push forward and rebuild, despite the challenges they’re facing.

I’ve also been inspired by my students this semester. This week, they presented their final projects: “Zen-like” presentations of their plans for the future. Together, we looked ahead to 2022 and talked about our hopes and dreams. (I’m smiling as I’m writing this, remembering the wide variety of scenarios they envision… Most predictions are very positive and happy, except for the “zombie apocalypse” outlined by one student! :) )

This semester was also the first semester where I asked my students to create their own WordPress blogs. (See my previous blog post.) Yes, I was truly inspired by the way many of my students dedicated so much time and effort in creating and writing their blogs. But, I was also inspired by their overall enthusiasm for the project and the messages they conveyed. I’m inspired by their plans and dreams — and their determination to make these dreams come true.

So, on that note, I’m linking you to Crissy Glasser’s blog (with her permission). Listen to the song Crissy shares at the end of her post: “Dream Catcher” by the band Set It Off. I’m inspired by the messages in the song’s lyrics… I hope you’re inspired by the song’s messages too! “Cast your net… cast it out…”

Until next time, as Set It Off says, “Please believe you’ll be a dream catcher!” :)

Photo credit: Jack Newton – jdn – via Flickr/Creative Commons

Digital Natives (My Students) Are Natural Bloggers!

There’s a lot of talk these days about “digital natives” (a.k.a. “Generation Y” — people born between 1982 and 2002). Some of the talk is negative, but, I have a lot of great things to say about digital natives from my experience teaching in the college classroom. Overall, they’re friendly, playful and competitive — and they definitely love the gamification elements I include in some of my classes. But, this semester, I’ve learned something new about digital natives: They’re natural bloggers!

I’m teaching writing classes (no gamification this semester), and, for the first time, I asked each of my students to create/write a blog about anything they want to write about. They’re using WordPress (like I do) to publish to their posts. So far, I’ve graded the first of four blog post assignments due this semester, and I’ve been WOWED by the results!

I’m really not surprised by my students’ blogging talent… I guess growing up with digital technology in your hands (literally) makes you more at ease hitting that “publish” button when you blog/write?! Digital natives are totally at ease communicating through digital technology.

My students are natural bloggers, and I’ve got proof! :) I’ve included a few links below to show you some of their blogs. (The links are shared with my students’ permission, of course.) After you read their blogs, let me know if you agree with me. Do you think digital natives are natural bloggers too? Please tell us by commenting here or by tweeting me @kathymagrino. Thanks!