How Many Articles Can I Peruse in a Workday?

how many articles can i read in a dayAnd Can I Finish This Blog Post Before My Fiance Goes to Bed?

It seriously freaks me out when my fiance goes to bed before me. I have no idea why. He's just going to the next room and won't even completely close the day because the cat needs to be able to go in and out. But, I can't stand the notion of him asleep before me, with all of the lights out in the rest of the apartment. It's too much. I don't like it. When he shuts the light off by desk and I hear that 'click,' I start winding down as quickly as possible (not the right way to wind down, I know) so I can go to bed as soon as I can. It just feels late when he goes to bed before me and it feels like a sign I just shouldn't be up too much longer or else bad things will happen.

Anyway... Articles!

So, my first step to hustling is to get a record outside of our app and CMS of every article that we cover. We easily cover 400 stories a day: 20 to 30 stories per vertical plus another 100 or so for top news. No, I'm not going to read all 400 of those articles each day. That's not possible. But, a Google Sheet for each vertical with an easy glance at that day's 20 or 30 stories is much more digestible. With an easy glance of the source link and the description, I can pick out a couple of stories that look extra interesting or that look like they may have excellent facts, quotes or statistics that would make great social media content.

To build social media communities and, ultimately, fuel growth and get installs, our channels needs to present more online than what we're doing now. Our Twitter handles need to offer more than the lede sentence and the link to the update. The main handle needs to do more than tweet a lede and the original source link with the author tagged. All of that content is great, but because it's not much different from what's offered in the apps, there's little value in both downloading the app(s) and in following us on social media. Sure, someone may miss the story on the app and then catch on Twitter, or vice versa, but even that's kind of a poor value proposition. A major factor in making social media work for you is to have content tailored to the platform, where even though we're sharing the same story across Facebook, Twitter on our app, it should not look identical across the three platforms.

Separate Content for Our Newsletter

With the stories in a Google Sheet, I can avoid looking at the updates directly to have a fresh interpretation of the articles. A fresh interpretation is needed for our upcoming newsletter, although I do not know exactly the contents of this newsletter. I sent a survey to our mailing list since we haven't emailed them in over a year (hey, it wasn't my list to begin with, so I didn't have any idea who was on this list or why they were there). This survey asked how often they'd like the newsletter, what they would like it in and why they signed up in the first place. From the responses I've received, it's looking like this will be a weekly email that features summaries of our top stories. To be able to put such a newsletter together, I need to know everything we've covered for the week and then decide our top drones story, our top video games and a couple of our top breaking stories etc.

Getting this done shouldn't be a problem. The next step now is learning first-hand how many articles I can peruse in a given amount of time. Today, I'm going to give myself one hour and see how many articles I can get through. The day afterward, I may do 90 minutes or two hours, depending on my schedule and how well today goes. The goal is to see if this is a viable solution to a) finding great social media content in the stories we already cover and b) useful in finding ideas to cover for the upcoming newsletter.

If it doesn't work, then I'm not sure what I would do. At the moment, I need to be able to do this on my own.

Is The Doc Filled with News or Noise?

news or noise, determining news over noise,
news or noise, determining news over noise,

At work, the editorial team and I used to have a document called, well, "The Doc." The Doc was a Google Sheet where we placed all the stories we intended to cover and we simply went through the stories in order. We broke the order if an important story broke that needed to get into the app and into Top News right away, but besides that we went in chronological order. Stories first on the doc were first in the app, and we did our best to ensure that we placed stories on a wide variety of topics and from a wide variety of sources on the doc. It doesn't look good in the feed when there are too many stories in a row from one source or on one topic and we don't want to come across as an app that favors certain topics or sources.

Filling the Doc Was My Favorite Thing to Do

I thoroughly enjoyed "filling the doc," as the task was called when The Doc needed to be refilled and I was good at it. I could easily find 30 stories in 30 minutes for the doc, maybe more. One way I was able to do this was that, at all times, I was fully aware of 90 percent of the stories we covered in the past 24 hours. The knowledge meant I didn't have to spend as much time checking for duplicates, since I just knew whether or not we had the story. The only time I would check for a duplicate was if the story I found was an update to a previous story or is part of a developing story. With developing and ongoing stories, it's much harder to keep everything straight versus a one-time story. Another tactic that made me so efficient was that I utilized Google News to find stories from credible sources on specific topics. I would search terms like, "North Korea," "marijuana," "sex" and "space" to find stories on those particular topics. Using Google News in this fashion was much better way than searching Twitter or following specific hashtags to find stories on these specific topics.

I loved "filling the doc." I loved encountering all sorts of different stories on all sorts of different topics. It certainly helped that I was pretty good at it too. It was especially thrilling to find a "gem," an interesting, well-written and/or very important story that hadn't yet become a big deal or that wasn't being covered by other/more mainstream outlets. Two "gems" that I personally found were the Ice Bucket Challenge and the first photos of Officer Darren Wilson in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. I ended up on the Ice Bucket Challenge early because Michelle Wie was one of the first celebrities to participate in the challenge, and since I'm originally from Hawaii, I care about everything Michelle Wie. I wish I could claim being on Michael Brown story before it turned into Ferguson and the subsequent movement, but I really don't recall coming across the story. The Darren Wilson photos I remember, since it took several days for the Ferguson Police Department to release his name, and photos were only uncovered on Facebook after the public had his name confirmed.

I Want to Bring This Back Somehow

I'm not quite sure how to bring back The Doc and in what capacity, but I think there is value in finding so many stories in such a short amount of time (more so than the fact that I enjoy the task). Part of that value is finding the "gems" before those stories become part of the mainstream conversation. Another part of the value is finding stories that wouldn't have become part of any conversation or wouldn't have come to the surface for exposure without The Doc and spending the time to find all sorts of stories. Typically, news sites showcase stories according to the same categories: World, U.S., Politics, Local, Weather, Business, Entertainment, Sports, Tech, Arts, Health, Science etc. Maybe Food, maybe Travel, maybe Cars, maybe Lifestyle to encompass several of the topics previously mentioned.

All news stories worth covering must fall into those categories. Very rarely is the Sports category segmented into football, baseball, basketball etc. unless you're a sports publication like ESPN, for example. Otherwise, it just gets filed under Sports. Only so many Sports stories can be covered or featured in a day. Because there are limits to everyone's time and attention regarding the number of stories to read and feature, only the most popular sports are going to be featured unless something really big, incredible or viral happens in a sport like lacrosse, climbing, rugby, ultimate frisbee etc, like rugby war goddess Georgia Page. Her bloody nose is awesome for a day, but the next time anyone is covering women's rugby and encouraging women to play the sport (which is what Page wants out of all of the media hype and exposure) is probably the next time another woman breaks her nose during an impressive tackle.

Let's Talk about What's Not Being Talked About Because Much of It is Probably Important or Interesting

Rugby is important and interesting to someone, and those someones aren't just people in the United Kingdom where rugby is a much more popular sport. Topics like design, books, social media, education, the environment, architecture and more don't have to be reserved for niche publications, in my opinion. There are plenty of stories that are worth discussing, worth knowing about and worth sharing in these topics. It seems like many topics only become important or only get covered when it easily comes with a salacious headline or an eye-catching photo or video.

Overall, news should be what you make of it and what you find important or interesting, not what the local television news says or what the mainstream media decides to cover or to air on primetime. It's only when the time is spent to scour the interwebs for those sorts of stories that the conversation can start on topics we don't normally talk about, for whatever reason.

Content for Readers, Local Search, and Other Online Media News Stories

online media newsIf it was just about writing the darn articles, then the online media business wouldn't be as tough as it is. However, because some think it's that simply, it makes the industry that much more competitive. This is why the stories in this online media news roundup are so important: they illustrate the nuances blogs and online publications need to think about to set the bar high and to be successful in digital content. Below are the latest and most important stories in digital content and online media:

It's Not Just Getting Positive Press, It's Amplifying It Too

In content marketing, the new trends that's working really well for brands is a combination of earned and paid media. This is when brands are paying specifically to amplify and to syndicate earned media, particularly earned media that's positive. Publishers are experimenting with this combination as well, purchasing paid promotions on social media to highlight content that they want to highlight. The New York Times is experimenting with allowing brands to place specific ads with specific articles, and then allowing those brands to share those articles.

Readers Don't Like Gimmicky Content

It's unfortunate that something like this finds its way into the news roundup, but it bears repeating that an attractive headline on a crappy article will generate traffic while leaving your readers cheated and unsatisfied. Link baiting will hurt your brand in the long run, even though there is the short-term benefit of the traffic and the boost in advertising revenue. Readers don't like it, and without your readers, your blog/online publication is nothing. Also keep in mind that when blogs and online publications participate in this kind of content practices, it hurts the entire industry as well as the particular website. If one is willing to link bait and to cheat readers, then they will be suspicious of other websites. Also, put out one horrible piece of content and risk being labelled a link-baiter and publication just out to pull in advertising revenue.

Tailoring Blog Content for Local Search

Many blogs and online publications with a local twist, especially those starting out, often fail to include enough "local" into their content. This makes it tough for them to have their content rank for local search queries, to leverage local events, or to tie their niche to the local scene. This article from the Content Marketing Institute offers eight great tips on how a blog, online publication, or a local business can tailor their content toward local search. Two of these tips: using social media to promote posts (so many forget to do this, or don't do this enough/well) and nurturing your audience. You don't want to write just for the search engines!

Content Curators Aren't Without Impunity Either

Content curators and syndicates such as (which also employs a few writers and editors) typically don't create a lot of their own content. They find great work, and then share the great work. What's in that great work, and whether or not it's true or false, isn't the responsibility of the curator. However, a few hiccups with platform might be changing that perception. Several posts have gotten onto the site that have been misinformation or mindless rants, and something should be done to ensure that this doesn't happen again. It also means that companies like need to decide whether they are software companies or publishing companies, and ought to act accordingly.

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Google's 200 Ranking Factors, and Other Content Marketing News

content marketing newsIt's been a while since we did a content marketing news roundup, so we're coming back with it this month! We got a roundup of great content marketing and inbound marketing news articles for you, including 30 business blogging tips and the complete list of Google's ranking factors. There's something here for everyone.

Google's 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List - Backlinko - A big thanks to Brian Dean for this one! This is one of the most comprehensive lists and explanations we've come across when it comes to search engine rankings. We even learned a thing or two from this list, such as using a geographic ending such as .fr or .in can help you rank for that particular country, although it does not help for global rankings.

Why Partnering with a Content Marketing Agency Can Lead to a Better Business Blog - DigitalSherpa - A content marketing agency has a lot of offer a small or medium-sized business that at least has a business blog, but might want to try white papers, case studies, and other longer forms of content to market their business. An agency has the resources and expertise in place to get your business blog (or content marketing strategy) started right and to keep it going with the commitment necessary to make the strategy and effort successful.

20 Enlightening Pearls of Wisdom from Marketing Experts [SlideShare] - HubSpot - Want some tips on how to be a better marketer? Need a breath of fresh air on how to think about marketing? These 20 'enlightening pearls' are as refreshing as the visuals they come with.

Don't Waste Your Time on a Business Blog: 30+ Tips for Doing it Right - Business2Community - This is an incredible list of business blogging tips, and it includes several that we haven't covered in our own posts offering tips. Two of these include using excerpts for SEO value (not sure if all blogging platforms have an easy way to do this) and focusing on structure of the post, which includes an introduction, middle, and conclusion.

7 Lessons from 7 Years of Blogging - Small Business Search Marketing - Seven years of blogging is a long time! Can you imagine your business blog being seven years old, and what could be accomplished in that time? This posts has seven awesome lessons from all that time and experience. The toughest lesson here is that no one is going to read your business blog for several months. It is serious commitment, and one that does not see results overnight.

9 Questions to Help you Prioritize Your Content Creation - Content Marketing Institute - One of the most common challenges for businesses engaging in content marketing is creating enough content. So, when there's not enough time and/or not enough people to create content, how do you decide the content that you will spend your time and resources on? This article comes with a genius template that you can share within your company to determine needs, time, where it fits in the sales funnel etc.

Lead Generation Poses Biggest Challenge for B2Bs - eMarketer - No surprises here, as over 60 percent of B2B companies cite lead generation as their biggest challenge for the year. This is about the same as last year, and coming in second is the challenge of reaching more of your target audience. Content marketing, as it fits into all this, is the second most popular way for B2Bs to generate leads.

Related Links:

How the Buying Process Affects Your Content Marketing

Importance of Content Marketing: The 2012 Digital Influencer Report

The 5 Ws (and H) of a Content Marketing Strategy

November Content Marketing and Business Blogging News Roundup

business blogging newsAnother month, another roundup of content marketing and business blogging news. Not much has been happening over the past 30 days or so, as we had trouble finding enough meaty content to share with you (perhaps everyone is caught up with holidays coming up. Today is Veterans Day after all). Nonetheless, there is still great business blogging and content marketing content out there, and below is just a small bit of it.

12 Things Most Business Owners Will Never Understand about Marketing - EverythingPR -Great, great article! Essentially, since business owners are inherently marketers (unless perhaps he or she starts a marketing agency), there's not much they really understand about marketing, except that it needs to be done. How it should be done, how to measure success, and why marketing should be done, are all things that need to be outlined and well-argued for business owners.

How to Leverage News for Conversions: Practical Tips - Business2Community -Sometimes, you may blog or want to blog about the latest news in your industry. Sometimes, you could be the first to report on a piece of news, which is great for a number of reasons. However, the hard part can be leveraging your news content in the right way. Offering news that someone else has already said, with little to no additional insight or value of your own, isn't really a good idea.

21 Business Blogging Tips from the Pros - Social Media Examiner -We've shared business blogging tips from time to time, but we certainly don't know everything. This article has a great list of tips. Some of our favorites include "show your personality" (folks like it when you show a human side to your business blog) and "produce your own media content" (this means videos and photos, not just words).

How to Optimize Your Site for Search Without Actually Doing SEO - Entrepreneur -SEO may seem tricky because it seems like what you need to do is work with "the Google" and appease it as much as possible. However, appeasing isn't natural, and this article offers four great tips on how to do SEO in a natural, less "I'm doing this to make the search engines happy", type of way. Those ways include great content and social media sharing buttons.

Reality Check: How to Tell if Your Content Marketing is Actually Valuable - HubSpot - Excellent wake up call article. Content marketing isn't going to work for you if potential customers don't find it valuable and relevant to them. This article explains how to tell if its valuable while also showing you how to make your content more valuable.

What is the Best Time of Day to Send an Email (Infographic)? - - Yes, there actually is a best time of day to send an email. It would seem that there wouldn't be one, since most email is worthless and just clutters the inbox. However, that's not true, and if you're sending emails that contain valuable content (read the previous article to double check that), then you either want to send it late in the day or early in the morning, according to the infographic.

Tweeting Copyrighted Content? Now Everyone Will Know - Technorati - On the one hand, most news articles (from the mainstream media at least) and even blog posts are copyrighted content. On the other hand, it's not likely that sharing that sort of stuff will get you in trouble. There has been a change to Twitter's policy over the last week, and it's something that businesses ought to be aware of. Not only could someone complain about you for tweeting some of their wonderful copyrighted content, but you could complain about someone doing it to you. On top of that, if there is a complaint, it goes in your Twitter feed for all to see.

October Business Blogging News Roundup

business blogging newsIt's halfway through October, and for a little change of pace, our monthly news roundup will focus more on business blogging and inbound marketing instead of content marketing. This is a direction that our target market is going, and we think it might be worthwhile to venture in this direction too, just to see what's there. Hope you learn a think or two from the latest inbound marketing and business blogging news, because we sure did! Enjoy!

Stop Writing for Google and Start Creating Content for Your Readers - Business 2 Community - Please, please, please just heed the advice of this headline! This is something we've been saying for a while, that a lot of marketing and business blogging folks have been saying for a while, and businesses still don't get it. Getting found is only half the story! The other half is what people will actually find!

How to Convert Casual Blog Visitors into Dedicated Subscribers - HubSpot Blog - There actually is a secret weapon to getting more blog subscribers. Yes, it involves telling people about your blog and encouraging subscriptions, but it's also about making it easy for readers to sign up. Introducing: the landing page. We just created one ourselves last we're already seeing some really good results.

Are You Still Making these Six Senseless SEO Mistakes? - Blueglass - SEO is a huge part of business blogging and inbound marketing. In fact, we've previously argued that business blogging is SEO. This articles outlines some myths and misconceptions people have about SEO, and they need to be cleared up so businesses can do SEO, inbound marketing, and business blogging right.

Six Ideas to Improve Your Business Blog - Spectate Blog - This article has some great ideas! Our particular favorite is revisiting older posts, since you can do a lot with those, such as updating them, writing a follow up, or doing a round up of your most popular blog posts!

Top 10 Ways to Fail Miserably with Your Blogging Efforts - Whole Brain Marketing Blog - Another great article, and you can consider this one having 10 more ways to improve your blog (by, of course, making sure you don't fail). Most of the time blogging efforts fail before they are even given enough time to succeed, and part of that is do to committing these mistakes instead of businesses taking the time to figure out what's wrong and doing something different or better. Before you drop business blogging and think it doesn't work, make sure that you're committing business blogging best practices and doing everything right.

5 Reasons Your Blog Isn't Attracting Inbound Links - Inbound Marketing Agents -  Attracting is the key word here. Too many folks want to get inbound links the easy way, instead of earning them. Anyway, we digress. Earning the links is hard, but not impossible, and here are five reasons why you might not be earning those inbound links. We'd also argue that it's not the end of the world if you dont' have inbound links. Simply creating great content will not only allow you to rank high, but in time, will get you those links you desire.

The Guide to Developing a Content Strategy for "Boring" Industries - SEOMoz - Okay, we couldn't resist with this piece of content marketing news, primarily because we don't think "boring" industries are all that boring. In fact, these sorts of industries are our favorite industries to work with, primarily because that "boring" mentally seems to hold a lot of these businesses and industries back from engaging in really good content marketing and business blogging. Here's how to do it well, and why it's so awesome.



September Business Blogging and Content Marketing News

content marketing newsWow! It's halfway through September already! Almost three-fourths through the year! How's your content marketing and business blogging going? Do you have goals to hit before 2013, or maybe aspirations in where you want to go with your content marketing or business blogging? If so, then this news roundup may help.

OMG! How NOT to write business web content - Success Works - It may just be coincidence, but it seems like there's been a lot of blog posts recently about how to write online. This article specifically talks about text and corporate communications, the creeping of shorthand and acronyms into business language, as well as those pesky common grammar mistakes that we all know, but make anyway.

4 Must See Content Marketing Resources - Content Marketing Institute - The title caught our eye on this one, and they really are must see content marketing resources. On the list is Red Bull Media House, the content marketing engine behind Red Bull. We know Red Bull does a great job with content marketing, particularly with their magazine "The Red Bulletin." The magazine covers topics like music, fashion, and lifestyle without the barrage of energy drink advertising.

40 Ways to Get Banned from the Top 5 Social Networks - HubSpot - This article didn't seem like it would be a worthwhile read, but then we read it, and learned a few things. For example, posting copyrighted content (anything that you don't have the authorization to share) on Pinterest or LinkedIn could get you kicked off. Also, with Pinterest, once you're kicked off you can never be let back on, so it makes you be a little bit more cautious and thoughtful as to what you pin and post online.

Direct Mail: Gateway to the Internet - TMR Direct - Direct mail may seem like a thing of the past, but it could be making a comeback. Email is getting cluttered, even overwhelming, and technology like QR codes make a seamless transition between the offline and the online worlds. It's something to consider, especially if your target demographic isn't tech-savvy or doesn't congregate on social media.

Marketers Still Can't Tie Social to Bottom Line - eMarketer - This was always an issue, even at the initial onset of using social media for business. It seems like a free way to advertise, but how do you know if it's working by generating leads, increasing revenue, and positively impacting other marketing efforts? Although this survey outlines different ways that businesses can measure social, it doens't provide any tools as to how. However, one tool that goes into those deep metrics, and that is HubSpot (which we use and find to be the biggest asset we have).

What to Do When Your Content is Ripped Off - Business2Community - Hey, it happens (and Copyscape won't catch it all)! It's not fun when your content is ripped off, but this article outlines some great steps on what needs to be done about it. Make sure to bookmark this, as it could easily happen to you, especially in the case in the article, where the content was pulled from a book and not a website or blog, which is much easier to detect.

17 Reasons Why No One Links to Your Content - RankPop - Another sad thing that happens: no one links to your latest blog post or lead gen content. As this article points out, it's not always because the content itself is really horrible. Perhaps the title doesn't stick out, or the content is really hard to find on your site, or maybe the topic is too obscure or too overdone. Whatever the case may be, don't count yourself out as a bad content creator without looking at one of these 17 reasons first.