For content that delivers results, do this…

Make it as good as you possibly can

Don’t say ‘That will do’ about a piece of content because almost certainly it will not do.

Your communication and marketing content has to attract, and then convert, your target audience to take action. For this to happen every piece of content created by, or for, you needs to focus exclusively on client needs. You have to be able to say ‘This is the best we can do’ about every single piece of content you publish.


All content starts with a script; make yours great

That script must be well-written, which means no typos or grammatical errors. Unless it is easy-to-read, factually correct and contextually accurate, it will fail to some degree. As an example, let’s say you’re in the health advice and well-being sector, is it better to be the NHS or the Daily Mail? Quite so…


Tricks are no treat

Never add keywords just for fake SEO results. You will annoy those people who find you while looking for something or someone completely different. The search wizards of Google and Bing are weary with fake SEO and punish its users. They stress again and again that appropriate, fresh and relevant content will work best. Leave tricks to scammers who measure success by clicks rather than sales engagement.


Reflect your values accurately

All of the above is neatly summed up by one word: quality.

Ask yourself this: does the content on your website, and in your marketing collateral, properly reflect your quality standards? If not, please give us a call for an informal chat.

You think you are in control. Wrong: you are under control


When M Zuckerberg appeared in front of Congress, his distress was almost palpable. What, his tense body language seemed to be saying, can you elected legislators not understand about the obvious fact that technical genius always trumps (no pun intended) your human wit, intelligence, experience and, well, humanity.

I was reminded of this by a joke and by the training lesson given to me by a car.

First the joke.

A computer programmer’s partner said please go to the shop and buy a loaf of bread.

Oh, if they have eggs, bring back a dozen.

The programmer came back with … a dozen loaves of bread.

I agree it’s not up there with Micky Flanagan or Katherine Ryan, though I’m certain Dara O Briain would get it immediately, chuckle, and improve it.

It makes a good point though.

This week I have been driving a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and what a spiffing vehicle it is; quiet, comfortable and exceptionally fuel-frugal. Yet it too, in most of its operating systems follows the remorseless logic of our programmer friend. It is not entirely autonomous, merely nearly.

‘If this, then that’ is how digital systems across the machine spectrum function. And if you try to use human means to achieve what you wish, this may not be permitted by the machine in question.

Aeons ago, when people used either their fingers or a pocket calculator to do sums, the smarter and faster of these invaluable devices used something called Reverse Polish Notation also called Reverse Polish Logic to work their magic. It’s not complicated, it just saves machine time.

To add three and four you would input <3 4 +> rather than <3 + 4 =>. For simple calculations such as this, it makes no difference. For vastly complicated ones using binary notation, it does. Especially with financial trades (faster is better) or, back to Mr Zee, data scraping and selling access to both it and its owners.

Why is this important?

Well it depends: do you want one loaf of bread and a dozen eggs, or a dozen loaves of bread? And no eggs.

If the former, you are no longer able to trust Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, other platforms, and some cars, to look after your interests in a human and mostly sane way. To take that path is to confirm that you are no longer in full control of your daily life processes.

There is an alternative though. Grasp the control as Stone Age man grasped the flint; if we make technology our tool in the same way, all will be well. But perhaps we need to restore balance in the power we have given the platforms which govern our lives. It is now pretty clear that they are not owned by folk who are smart enough to rule or manage us.

There are thoughtful alternatives and options outlined in this book

Who had the fish?


Who had the fish?

Three people at lunch. It’s a ‘getting to know each other’ event, from which, all parties fondly hope, new business will flow and flourish.

All went well. One person from one company; two from the other.

When the bill arrived, it was automatically split into two by one of the pair which meant, effectively, that the solo person paid more than their fair share.

Does this matter, even slightly? Everyone hates those people who calculate ‘who had what’ at a group dining event. Of course it doesn’t matter, per se. But that brief moment at the end of the meal was significant. It was what is known in poker circles, as a ‘tell’.

What it told the solo person was this: the pair from the other company, or at least one of them, cannot be relied upon to be entirely straightforward about money and does not naturally consider the equal rights of others.

Can a proper business relationship be well founded and be made to thrive and prosper in such circumstances? Of course it can – so long as the party likely to be the loser is aware of the motives of the others.

From recognising and remembering little signs like this, poker players can win great sums or, by ignoring them, they can lose everything. And business is, at all times, nothing more than a gamble – unless you’re an undertaker or tax inspector.

A bright light has been extinguished, yet continues to illuminate those who see it

The man who created this equation is dead. We groundlings are inestimably poorer by this long-expected failure of his body, and that it can no longer maintain the magnificent output of his extraordinary intellect.

Have you read ‘A Brief History of Time’? Neither have I. There is a copy on my bookshelf and I prize it for its impenetrable thought and the clarity of his text. I hold the mistaken belief that somehow, just somehow, possibly by osmosis, I may understand some of the wonders between its covers. We are, most of us, undersupplied with the equipment required to grasp just what this man achieved in his life and its meaning for us and our descendants.

Prof Hawking’s quotes are important to me because we live, I believe, in a time when thinking, empathy, understanding and communication have been overwhelmed by personal entitlement, anger, arrogance, greed and hate. These thrive because way too many entitled, angry, arrogant, greedy and hating humans find it too easy to exploit a too easily exploited humanity.

Stephen Hawking was significantly more clever than us. When the clever people are gone and the stupid remain and rule, the human race will be, effectively, over. The winner will be a machine.

Some of the things he has said resonate with me and, with your permission, I share them below. You will find them all over the press and media today which has to be a good thing.

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.’

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

“I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny”.

“People who boast about their IQ are losers.”

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”


How much? It’s just a blog…


When you examine the golden egg that has just plopped out from the rear end of your rather special goose, you have to know whether it has value, do you not?

It’s the same when your content writer hands over the latest blog. What’s it worth?

In the digital space, your blog can be a golden egg only if it delivers active engagement from your desired audience. If it fails to do that, its value decreases and dwindles to nothing, and its cost is lost.

So, for the non-editorial person and company, what’s the best means to price and buy a blog-writing and editing service? By the word? The size of the space that needs to be filled? The week’s egg market price stats?

None of the above, actually.

The best way to buy a blog is to buy the services of a writing expert who takes the time to find out what you want to achieve; who spends time getting to know the person whose voice will be reflected in the blog; who researches your company’s vision and mission to be fully up-to-speed with your tone of voice, your product and your market.

If you want your blog to work and deliver the engagement that you need, you need to pay for a highly qualified person’s time, knowledge and experience.

The alternative is to confuse cheapness and quantity with cost and value. And if you fall for the cheap and poor quality end of the blog-scribbling market, it doesn’t matter what your blog is about, no-one will read it to the end – or want to say hello and buy your product.

Sometimes it’s worth measuring your company against a shop brand.

Are you Fortnum and Mason? M&S, John Lewis or Poundland?

A good blog writer will charge exactly the same for each of those brands … so will a crap one.

The question you have to ask yourself is this: do you want a good blog or a crap one?