Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning


Have you ever seen a mistake in someone else’s blog or social media post?  Or maybe you’ve been a victim of this yourself?  It could be a simple typographical or grammatical error, a case of misattribution, or a more serious case of factual error.

Unfortunately, it happens far too often, for some very obvious reasons:

  1. Some content is dictated and the speech-t0-text software sometimes gets it wrong.
  2. Editing is done in a cursory fashion, or sometimes, not at all.
  3. Fact-checking, a staple of traditional publications, is rarely done for online content.  (And it is rarely done for traditionally published content either.)
  4. A post relies on a third party for facts, when, in fact, the third-party’s content may not be correct, or worse, the third party site may have relied on yet a different non-corroborated third-party source.

A few examples:

  • In a post entitled Six Top Thought Leadership Articles, there was some text that incorrectly said, “Here are sex posts that explore these concepts.”  The feedback was instantaneous (and a bit embarrassing).
  • In a recent Facebook post, I “quoted” the very prolific Albert Einstein, who said “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”  Unfortunately, Einstein actually never said this.  (Hat tip to Larry Goldberg and others who pointed this out.)  In this case, we relied on third-party sites, who relied on other third-party sites within the world web web echo chamber.

Mistake repair strategy:

  1. When quoting a person, whether they are alive or dead, double-check the accuracy beforehand. is a great place to start.
  2. Edit the post if possible.  If not, add a comment acknowledging the error.
  3. If the post is of lower value, and there are no comments attached to it, delete it entirely.
  4. As a courtesy, circle back to the source of the error and advise them of any necessary changes.

This week’s action plan:  The fact that errors do creep in begs the question of the quality of your content editing and review process.  This week, consider whether any of your errors were random or can be traced back to a systemic issue:  is it time to upgrade your editing process? Or add some fact-checking?

Can you find the error in this post?  Yes, there is an error in this post – did you happen to see it? Look for “speech-t0-text” within the post: the word “to” is spelled with a zero instead of an “o”.

Finally, a hat tip to the talented Daniel Wolgelerenter, a professional editor and copywriter, for going through earlier versions of this post.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders


Do your readers read beyond the first sentence or two?  And do they care enough about your ideas to actually act on them?  Writing is a critical engagement skill, so a small investment in time can make your words make a bigger impact.

Here are 14 great reads that can increase your effectiveness – and your influence:

  1. Link Bait Headlines:  The right and wrong way to get the reader’s attention.
  2. Choosing your Marketing VoiceImproving resonance with the reader:  four alternatives.
  3. Remember First, Second, Third:  Improving engagement by bringing the reader along for the journey.
  4. Weasel words have no weight:  Improving trust by writing with accountability.
  5. The Sharpest Point:  Removing “debris” from our communications to focus on the important.
  6. Three Blog Archetypes: Writing for Results:  Unpacking the structure of effective blog posts.
  7. Blog Post Magic Bullet: Another take on effective blog structure.
  8. Blog Content Creation: Idea seeding:  A clever way to generate ideas efficiently.
  9. Creative Time and Place: Ideas on where (or when) to be your most creative.
  10. Marketing Fluff: Increasing your value per word:  The title says it all: here are three strategies for doing it.
  11. 11 killer copywriting techniques: Learn from the world of professional writers – a must-read for all executives and professionals.
  12. 24 Branded Content IdeasImpact can be spread across many venues: here’s the list.
  13. Stealing Ideas and Social Media: Guidelines on attribution in Social Media.
  14. Viewpoint: Expert-writers and Writer-experts:  Insights into the new rules of the game for subject matter experts and leaders.

This week’s action plan:  While writing is important, so are presentations.  As you plan your next presentation, how might the concepts within these articles apply?  Hint:  start with  Remember First, Second, Third (which really should be called “involve your audience”), and then read 11 killer copywriting techniques (which should be called “influence your audience.”)

Action plan #2:  Who else needs to read this?  (Board members, leadership, marketers, etc.)  A strong organizational voice is only possible when each “choir member” is a strong singer.  This week, share this Tipsheet (songsheet?).

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders



Viewpoint: Spoiling the broth with a “bad” post?

by Randall Craig September 11, 2015

It’s amazing how a “different” perspective-type post generates a ton of feedback.   Two years ago I wrote a post on how to become invisible on the web.  The post described how to remove your footprint, guard your privacy, and generally how to avoid being digitally targeted. The post also generated a firestorm of comments […]

Read More

Three keys for a website that converts

by Randall Craig August 7, 2015

What makes a web site great? What might come to mind is great design, easy-to-find information, and intuitive functionality. These may have made the top of the list in 2003 (or even 2013) , but are, at best, merely sufficient today. Many professional marketers now understand where the web fits into the mix: it is […]

Read More

11 killer copywriting techniques

by Randall Craig July 17, 2015

Here’s a question you don’t get asked every day: how much do you really know about writing?  And more particularly, the craft of copywriting?  Unless you do this for a living or had extensive training , the answer is likely not very much. Yet no matter your particular role or responsibilities, copywriting is an exceptionally important skill: it educates, […]

Read More

Viewpoint: Expert-writers and Writer-experts

by Randall Craig June 19, 2015

While the internet has changed the world of publishing fundamentally, the world of writing has been fundamentally shifted as well. Consider who is actually doing the writing: Professional writers are educated in the craft of investigation and written expression, and spend an entire career learning how to convey complex concepts to their audiences. Over time, […]

Read More

Eight Video Strategies

by Randall Craig November 21, 2014

If you are reading this post, you very well may be in the minority. Some people just don’t enjoy reading. Others have difficulty without their reading glasses. And still others have challenges reading the English language. That YouTube is reportedly the world’s second most used search engine is evidence of this. As is the continuing […]

Read More

Four Tests for Auditioning your Posts

by Randall Craig September 19, 2014

Have you ever considered whether you should comment on a post that mentions you or your organization? As a leader, have you ever been concerned that someone in your organization might choose to respond inappropriately? If so, consider these four tests that a post needs to pass: Is the post legal? Many organizations operate under […]

Read More

Three Blog Archetypes: Writing for Results

by Randall Craig August 15, 2014

Have you noticed that each magazine, newspaper, and TV news show has its own style?  They do so because style builds brand equity with their target audience.  But look underneath the glitz of style, these pros have structured each story almost exactly the same. They understand the power of the archetype. If you haven’t thought […]

Read More

Blogging at the Intersection of Relevance

by Randall Craig May 9, 2014

How often do you read a blog post that was just not relevant?  Or from the blog writer’s perspective, how do you make sure that your content is relevant, makes a difference, and achieves its objectives? At a high level, there are three key steps that need to take place: Define the audience.  Who are […]

Read More

Blog Content Creation: Idea seeding

by Randall Craig March 7, 2014

Have you ever spent time staring at your blank screen, wondering what your next blog post should be about, then staring at the clock, stressing about the looming deadline.  While it’s tempting to think of this problem as writer’s block, it is really a question of process. Idea seeding is a process for blog content […]

Read More

Seven Reasons to Skip Social Media

by Randall Craig February 7, 2014

If you read anything, anywhere about marketing, sales, customer service, recruiting, IT, or executive leadership, you can’t help but notice that Social Media seems to have become mandatory – full stop.  But are there circumstances where it makes sense NOT to use Social Media?  Where turning down the volume on blogging and tweeting – sometimes […]

Read More

When Sharing is not a Good Idea

by Randall Craig July 19, 2013

If you have spent any time on Facebook (and now, sadly, LinkedIn), you may have been the victim of over-sharing. You are subjected to pointless, and often narcissistic postings, often from people and organizations that should know better. While the impact on you is wasted time, the posters often don’t consider the brand impact of […]

Read More

Blog Post Magic Bullet

by Randall Craig June 21, 2013

Are your blog posts really that effective? Do they grab the reader, and convince them to read on? And is there a magic bullet that can immediately make this so? Too often, a blog post is an outgrowth of “stream of consciousness” thinking, and rarely hits the mark.  Adding strategy and structure can make a […]

Read More

Blog Cluster Strategy

by Randall Craig June 14, 2013

“If you build it, he will come.”  This quote, from the movie Field of Dreams, captures the hopes of many marketers:  write great content on your blog, and an audience will be magically attracted to you.  Thanks to Google this is partially true, but are there things that you can do to help the process […]

Read More

Social Relevance: Improving Your Signal-to-Noise Ratio

by Randall Craig May 17, 2013

No one cares about you – they care about how you can solve their problems. Write for your readers. These two expressions epitomize the most important marketing (and social media) concept: relevance. How often have you seen a post, picture, tweet, or comment that adds zero value? Or where the signal-to-noise ratio is, well, noisy? […]

Read More

17 Ways to Great Social Engagement

by Randall Craig January 25, 2013

Have you ever been disappointed with the engagement level of your blog?  Have you decided that this year something “better happen”, to make it all worthwhile?  If so, you’re not alone.  Here are 17 ways drive more users to your blog, and increase their engagement with it: Write great content.  If you write poorly, or […]

Read More

What’s your 365?

by Randall Craig January 3, 2013

January 11, 2006 holds a special significance.  Over a decade before that date I had put the Toronto Star online, as well as completed substantive work with the Globe and Mail and several major book publishers.  I was at the vanguard of online publishing (blogging wasn’t invented then), yet I wasn’t publishing myself.  On January […]

Read More

Landing Pages

by Randall Craig September 28, 2012

$37 Billion:  This is the amount that Google earned in 2011, 97% from advertising. Google’s keyword-savvy Pay-per-click selling machine allows any organization (or person) to specify keywords, construct an ad, and specify how much they would pay for a click.  Google then puts the ad on a web page that contains the keywords. When a […]

Read More

Content Marketing and the Marketing Hierarchy of Trust

by Randall Craig September 21, 2012

“I am great!  Really.  Truly great!  Really!” How many people (or organizations) have marketing strategies that boil down to self-serving claims of greatness?  (Too many.)  How effective are these LinkedIn profiles, ads, websites, TV commercials, or billboards?  (Not effective at all.) There is a trust hierarchy of marketing strategies: the higher the trust, the more […]

Read More