It’s the second month of the year! OMG, this year is going fast already! Let’s make the most out of it!
Now that we took that out of the way 🙂 welcome to the first NutsPR Spotlight of 2018!
I’m very excited to continue this journey and bring to you fantastic people, for the third year in a row.
My guest for this month is someone I have the pleasure to work with at Spin Sucks. He is passionate about all things writing and content. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll read one of his books. 😉
Without further ado, please welcome Mike Connell.
When did you know writing and content marketing was what you wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I first picked up the Lord of the Rings, along with my favorite comics, I knew this was something I wanted to do. I went to journalism school to hone my craft more towards something I could use for my livelihood, but marketing wasn’t on my radar in those early stages.
I was working for print magazines in the late nineties and early 2000s. We were starting to play with what worked online.
Replicating/regurgitating the print offering on a website seemed pointless. What would get people coming back and checking in regularly? How should the content differ and complement the offline offering? These were the early conversations that really got me interested in developing content for an online audience.
From there, I focused almost only on online content. I positioned myself as a content strategist early on, when there were very few of us on LinkedIn 😉
How do you stay up to date? How do you like to learn?
I read a lot. Blogs like our own are hugely helpful, and I’m not just saying that. I’m working with Spin Sucks because I joined the PR Dream Team. I joined that because I needed the support and resources I couldn’t find on my own.
Apart from that, I love taking courses online. Love may be a strong word, but I do find it a great way to improve and keep up to date with tools and tactics.
Ours is an industry in flux. We need to keep up to date anyway we can. Sometimes I can do that by reading Medium, sometimes I have to bone up with a course.
I also like reading material from people who I know do it well. Gini Dietrich’s book, Andy Crestodina’s… these are basically manuals/handbooks on how to do it right.
What piece of advice do you have for anyone heading into the reality of content marketing?
Be prepared for everything you think you know to be turned upside down at any minute, on any day. It’s not wrong, but what you know about content, and how you should apply that in a strategy, will change from day to day.
Coming from a background in journalism, I have a strong foundation and sense of how to tell stories. That will never change. But where I can tell those stories, how I need to put those stories together, what tools I should use… these elements are constantly changing.
You can’t go into it thinking “that was the old way, and it’s wrong. This is the new way and it’s right.” Be fluid. Flexible. Always keep learning and never be afraid to question the way things are being done.
What would you like to change in content marketing?
Just to raise the bar. Anyone can publish anything. We are all storytellers. But the only way to ensure the standards for content and storytelling keep getting higher is by striving for those new heights ourselves.
Too many people try to game the system. Black hat SEO, click bait. Audiences see through those practices, eventually. We just need to keep creating good content to filter out the bad.
What’s next for Mike Connell?
Hm. Build on the success of Spin Sucks and the PRDT. I’m pretty proud to be a part of this team and want to make a difference in where we go.
I also want to write a book and a comic series. Both are underway, but it’s hard to commit to finishing them.
Want to know more about Mike? Connect with him on his blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.