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Back to School: 5 Lessons Content Marketers Can Learn from Teachers

In 2014, I made the leap from an academic career to one in content marketing. This shift followed five years of teaching college composition courses and working as a writing tutor. After doing some freelance copywriting for an agency, I was offered a full-time, in-house position and said goodbye to academia. (For now!)

English 101 may not sound like the place to learn about content creation. Yet I realized years later that that’s precisely what I did. So much of content marketing is about educating an audience. That’s not so different from being in the classroom.

As the 2019 – 2020 academic year begins, marketers can approach their work with a “back-to-school” mentality, too. The five lessons below are what my teaching experience taught me about content marketing — and why all content marketers should think of themselves as teachers.

Read the rest on LinkedIn

 

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So Many Wonderful Things

On a Thursday morning in June, I drifted in and out of sleep. The last dream I had came to me as the sun rose.

In my dream, my husband Joe and I were getting our house ready for a visitor. My grandfather would arrive at any moment.

When my grandfather pulled his car into the driveway, Joe and I went outside to greet him. My grandfather got out of the car and stood in the driveway. It was autumn outside and just a bit chilly. He wore a suit and coat; the coat was tailored, but the suit hung a bit loose on him. He looked like he’d lost a bit of weight. He was never heavy, but I never knew him to be quite as slender.

I was becoming more lucid in my dream. I stood in the driveway, seeing him as if for the first time. He had a full head of silver hair–the way it had looked when I was young. He smiled at me, eyes shining behind an old pair of glasses I can remember him having when I was young.

A sudden realization hit me. He wasn’t supposed to be there, standing in my driveway. He passed away 12 years ago. Continue reading “So Many Wonderful Things”

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Just Out of View

Happy new year! I intend to post short stories to my blog when the mood strikes. This is the first in a series of magical realms, strange creatures, and unsettling situations.

(All photos used in this post are my own.)


Annie was five years old when she discovered she could make objects disappear into thin air.

One late summer afternoon, Annie sat on the living room floor with her Mama. Her grandmother smiled down at her from the couch.

“Show me what you can do, Annie,” Gramma said.

Annie picked up the penny in front of her. A dark stain covered the face of the copper coin. She had found this one, like the other three she’d vanished, between the couch cushions. Annie placed the penny between her index and middle fingers and flicked her wrist.

The penny disappeared from sight. Continue reading “Just Out of View”

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5 Ways I Set Yearly Goals (and See Results)

For about a decade now, I’ve set goals for myself at the beginning of each year. Ambition has no expiration date, of course, but I’ve found that yearly goals are a good timeframe if I really want to get things done.

Getting my master’s degree, following my chosen career path, learning how to read tarot, traveling to retreats on my own, vacationing in Sweden, and starting a business were all things that happened for me because I set out to accomplish them. And sure, these aren’t earth-shattering things, but we can’t learn and grow from our experiences without planting those initial seeds.

Yet in order to make things happen for myself, I’ve found that I first need to be in the right mindset. In the past, I’ve struggled with depression, had a one-time dream career fizzle, and dealt with unemployment.

Story time: I used to work as an adjunct lecturer at a couple of local colleges. Honestly, I loved working with students, but the pay was very low and the workload was heavy. As a part-time employee with no benefits or job security, I didn’t feel respected, and some semesters the work just wasn’t available.

I didn’t think there was much I could do with my degree, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing. I thought teaching was my only option–and the one I wanted most of all–even if it did mean a very unsteady paycheck.

Today, I work as a content marketer. I’ve also begun Words & Wands as a freelance writer, editor, and consultant (and for a time as a tarot reader, too). And I’m working toward writing and publishing my own fictional work, too.

What changed? I stopped trying to pursue something that no longer brought me happiness. Continue reading “5 Ways I Set Yearly Goals (and See Results)”

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Why the Name Words & Wands?

You might be wondering what the phrase Words & Wands means. The name came to me on a chilly October day in the heart of the Catskills.

Continue reading “Why the Name Words & Wands?”

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40 Things to Do Before I Turn 40

This July, I celebrated my 32nd birthday. Although I’ve set my annual goals each January for years, I sometimes find it challenging to focus on the long term.

The last time I remember coming up with as much as a five-year plan was, perhaps oddly, in the middle of a job interview many years ago. I was fresh out of college and in need of work to begin paying back all those student loans. I snagged an interview at a call center for a payroll and benefits company – something I was, as a creative, not so enthused about!

Pro tip: when an employer asks you where you see yourself in five years, the answer they’re usually looking for is something along the lines of “Working for your company” or “Moving up the ladder in your industry.” The answer I gave during this interview was nothing of the sort.

“In five years,” I’d said, thinking big, “I’d like to have my master’s degree in English, and I want to teach college-level writing classes.”

It probably goes without saying that I did not get that job. Continue reading “40 Things to Do Before I Turn 40”