Where's the Rigor?

Schools all over the United States undergo accreditation reviews every six or so years. In preparation, our high school staff assembled around our Zoom screens to define the three adjectives which WASC, the accrediting commission for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, uses to describe a successful curriculum -- “rigorous,  relevant,  and  coherent.” 

And while my colleagues struggled over what was meant by “coherent,” I asked quietly, “What about rigor?” 

I knew I’d get affirmation, support, and perhaps a pat on the back. After all, our school just eliminated all summer work for honors and AP classes and did away with honors English classes altogether. We teachers get frequent pushback from students, parents, and administrators regarding late work, test questions that don’t match the study guide verbatim, and how we should find other ways to assess students who are “just not good at taking...

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Keyword Research: Fast, Free and Simple


Whether you’re launching a new site or figuring out what to write about that will bring a flood of perfect clients to your site, keyword research can help. And I’m not talking about the type of keyword research that requires a monthly subscription, or the top SEO (search engine optimization) minds to scientifically pinpoint. 

Rather, let’s make it simple and fast, so that we can spend our time producing content rather than “planning to” produce content.

Here’s my fast, free and simple keyword research method to figure out what to write about that your perfect customers are looking for.

  1. Go to Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest 


I used branding as my keyword.  Press “Search.”

We find out that the keyword “branding” word has a monthly search volume of 90500, an SEO difficulty of 65 (where zero is the easiest and 100 is the most difficult to rank), a paid difficulty of 21 which means it's pretty easy to...

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What Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Brian Dean Taught Me about Creating Viral Content

Getting your stuff to go viral is the holy grail of content marketing. And, just like the holy grail, it eludes most of us. Still, scientists research it, marketers analyze it, and the rest of us spend hours, weeks or even months fine-tuning our content so that it checks off all the virality boxes.

What makes content go viral? To answer this, I’ve brought in (figuratively) four guru-level content marketers to share their thoughts. At the end of the article, I’ll boil this all down into 5 easy-to-follow steps. Deal?

Neil Patel teaches that, in order to write viral content, begin with what’s currently trending. To do so, type in your niche’s keyword into Google Trends. Writing articles on trending topics, especially as the trend is just starting, is a good way to get more eyes on your content. 

Patel’s second suggestion is to mimic what’s already working, but deliver above and beyond. Go over to Buzzsumo.com (not a free option), and search...

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Are You Expecting Too Much from Your Content - Or Not Enough?


It used to be that you could put a post up in your blog that would magically attract visitors. Now, posting an article on your blog might get you get a trickle of visitors if you’re lucky.

And that really sucks. Because you worked so hard on your article. Heck, you even turned off your phone and missed watching one of your favorite YouTube channels go live.

You try this maybe two more times at the most, and, after getting virtually nothing in return for the hours you spent searching Thesaurus.com for just the right word, you throw in the towel. After all, when it comes to the internet, it’s no longer the wild, wild west.

My question to you is, are you expecting too much from your content?

Or not enough?

3.5 billion people worldwide search Google each day. And most of what they’re searching for are solutions to their problems.

It makes perfect sense that, to reach these 3.5 billion people (or the 100,000 people or so searching in your niche), you should write...

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