How Much Content Does Your Business Really Need?

As you may know, digital content marketing and SEO best practices are becoming ridiculously important for ALL businesses. If you don’t have an amazing website with high-quality information on it, you’re going to lose people very quickly. Why? Because the similar business next to you has a better website.

However, unless you have a huge content marketing team, it can be a challenge to keep up. You may ask yourself whether it makes sense to quickly push out as much content as possible, or to take your time crafting a few brilliant pieces.

Quality vs. Quantity

Ah, the age-old debate. I’ve seen businesses go back and forth on this a lot: Is it more important to have the most content or the best content? SEO specialists might say that you cannot be successful without having thousands of articles for your customers to find, but you should also know that both Google and your customers know the difference between clean, professional, thought-provoking content and a string of words you published in an hour.

As a writer, I’m a bit partial to quality over quantity because I believe my skill set should be highly valued. As someone who works full-time in digital marketing, I also see the strong value in pushing out multiple blogs in one day. Really, businesses need to find the perfect combination of both quality and quantity content both to help their websites rank well in Google searches and to attract more customers.

What Defines High-Quality Content?

Quality content is content that is at least 800 words (for a blog post) but preferably more, is 100% free of grammatical errors and typos, is relevant to your readers, and provides something new and beneficial. Everything you write isn’t going to necessarily be new information to the world, but you can word your messages in new ways.

A huge way to provide value is to always state “why.” Let’s take a business as seemingly simple as a clothing retail company for example. You can write as many posts about swimsuits as you want, but your piece about “which swimsuits give you the most bang for your buck” is going to perform a lot better than your piece about “which bikini color looks the cutest.”

How Much is too Much?

I hate this answer, but it really depends on your business. If you’re in the business of carpet cleaning, you probably don’t need more than one blog post per week. If you run an online magazine, then you probably do need to publish at least ten pieces per day. However, if your business falls somewhere in the middle – as in, you’re not an online publication, but you offer a good or service that everybody wants or needs, you’ll want to land somewhere in the middle and post about once per day. Most businesses can get away with posting every other day.

Now, this isn’t to say that carpet cleaning is not important, but, you also have to think about how much there is to say about your good or service. If the information is not new and is not interesting, there aren’t going to be people looking for it and you’re going to waste your time. If there were 100 different types of carpets that could be cleaned 100 different ways, then we’d be having a different conversation. Even online retail businesses (like that clothing company with the bikini blog) should be posting once per day. Anything from a blog about recent fashion trends to extended product reviews can do a business good for SEO and for social media attention.

Content Length

Don’t forget that your high-quality and quantity content cannot be ten 300-word blog posts. I mean, it can, but it’s not going to go very far. Readers will get bored, skim quickly, then leave your website, and Google will “ding” you. The Google “bots” will see your word count and assume that it’s not a high-quality blog. I mean, think about it – what’s gonna give you the best information? A 300-word post, or a 1,000-word post? Google knows.

How to Match High Quality with High Quantity

Now that you’ve realized how much web content your business actually needs, you might be getting stressed. It’s not as crazy as you think, though. One writer who really knows what he or she is doing should be able to write a blog for you in no more than two hours. If you hired one person to manage your content marketing, that person could write at least two blogs per day (more than most small businesses need), plus manage your other content needs, such as product descriptions and even email marketing. You could hire someone to write for you on a part-time basis, you can hunt for guest bloggers who will write for free in exchange for free products or links to their websites, or you could hire freelancers (like me, shameless plug).

A good freelancer will cost you about $100 per $ 1,000-word blog post. Or, I suppose you could hire some college students who are broke enough to charge you $25…just don’t expect that content to go anywhere for you.

Finding High-Quality Content

Too many people who haven’t written since their last college class seem to forget that writing is a unique skill. Well, writing WELL is, anyway. Too many businesses hand website content writing off to whoever is on the marketing team instead of finding a professional to write and optimize their content. Finding the right professional is not easy.  From a marketing standpoint, you have to find someone who really understands the messages your business needs to present to the world. Your writer needs to understand your business’ “why” just as much as the CEO does.

So, here’s my shameless plug: I can be that person. I know how important it is for the words on your web pages to reflect what your company stands for, so I will take the time to make sure I understand it before I start working. I price my work fairly and I get the job done quickly.

Ready to take your content marketing to the next level and hire Your Content Advisor? Click here to complete my content request form and I’ll get back to you within a few days to discuss the details of your project and make the necessary arrangements. I can’t wait to be your writer!

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee: Protecting Our Gentle Giants

Elephants are some of the most advanced creatures among us. They have incredibly complex physical and mental/emotional needs. Unfortunately, humans have used and abused wild animals (including elephants) for centuries.

Somehow, it was deemed acceptable to use animals for human entertainment. Animal entertainment puts both animal AND human lives at risk. From harmful training tactics including jabbing elephants with a sharp “bullhook” to insufficient living quarters, animals are being abused so that we can be entertained.

Thankfully, humans have gotten smarter and more sympathetic in recent years, with animal welfare associations, land preservations, and animal sanctuaries popping up worldwide. I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer for the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, a wonderful organization housing retired captive elephants.

Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
Pictured: Sukari, an African elephant who came to the sanctuary from the Nashville zoo

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN is one of very few environments where elephants are able to retire from the poor treatment that they receive and are encouraged to go back to a natural way of elephant life. There are only two elephant sanctuaries in the United States (the other being PAWS in California) and only a handful throughout the planet.

At the TN sanctuary, human contact is kept to a minimum while they are still physically and emotionally cared for. The elephants are encouraged to be elephants.

Can I Visit The Elephant Sanctuary in TN?

As a true sanctuary, visitors are not permitted. It is important to remember that the elephants that live there reside in habitats, not exhibits. They are not on display.

However, curious minds are welcome to watch the elecams on the sanctuary website ( where cameras are strategically placed to capture the elephants’ behavior. Elephant lovers can also visit the interactive Discovery Center in Hohenwald, TN.

How can I Contribute to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee?

Even though you can’t visit the sanctuary grounds, you can contribute by donating time or resources. You can:

Anyone can help by spreading the word about the sanctuary at any time. Talk to your friends about not visiting or giving money to any organizations that promote using animals for entertainment. Show people that there is a much better way to treat these animals by telling them about global sanctuaries. Explain what happens when wild animals are taken from the wild and expected to thrive in foreign environments and are trained with brute force and fear.

Becoming an eleAmbassador

Want to do MORE for the sanctuary? You can apply to become an eleAmbassador! EleAmbassadors are responsible for educating their local communities about the sanctuary.

As an eleAmbassador, I’ve spoken to kindergarten classes and retirement home groups, I’ve set up booths and tables at local community events, and I’ve told anyone who would listen about the sanctuary. Some eleAmbassadors have gone above and beyond the call of duty, hosting their own fundraising marathons and community gatherings.

The sanctuary equips its volunteers with the tools needed to thrive, such as powerpoint presentations, carefully selected media items, and a series of training programs that ensure we know what to say and how to say it so that the public can get on board.

Interested in becoming an eleAmbassador? Click here to submit your application!

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
Pictured: Asian elephants Shirley (L) and Tarra (R)

Visiting the Elephant Discovery Center and Hohenwald, TN

The Elephant Sanctuary, and subsequently the Elephant Discovery Center, are located in a tiny town in Tennessee – but it’s not actually THAT difficult to get to.

If you want to learn more about the sanctuary and ask your burning questions, the Discovery Center is a fantastic place to spend an hour or two (even though you can’t visit the sanctuary grounds).

What’s at the Elephant Discovery Center?

The Discovery Center offers a fully interactive learning experience. Kids and adults alike are given the opportunity to hear, feel, and see the way elephants live in the wild vs. the way they live in captivity. Take a look at a visual representation of how big these magnificent animals can get. Hear the sounds they use to communicate in the wild. Read and learn about the history of elephants coming to America.

The Elephant Discovery Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM and will always have at least one staff member on site who can answer your questions about the sanctuary and about elephant behavior.

Getting to Hohenwald, Tennessee

Hohenwald, Tennessee, is a tiny town located about 85 miles southwest of Nashville. Nashville is BOOMING right now and is a fantastic city to travel to. You could easily spend a week in Nashville with your family and friends. If you do that and feel like taking a day trip, it can be pretty cheap to rent a car for a day or two for a beautiful trip down to Hohenwald, TN.

Here’s the best part – the drive! Coming from Nashville to Hohenwald, you can take the Natchez Trace, a scenic drive that runs from Nashville all the way to Natchez, Mississippi (over 440 miles)! The trace starts a few miles south of Nashville, so depending on where you’re staying, it may be 10-15 minutes out of your way to take this route, but it’s 100% worth it for the views.

On your way to the Discovery Center (or on your way back), you can take your time stopping at various lookout points and small hikes along the trace!

Some of the most picture-perfect places to stop are:

Pro tip: don’t get stuck on the trace after dark. There are no lights, limited visibility, and there is abundant wildlife in the surrounding area!

Eating in Hohenwald, TN

Since the drive is a bit long (anywhere from 90-120 minutes depending on where you’re staying), you’ll probably want to grab a bite to eat in Hohenwald before you head back to Nashville.

There are ample fast food opportunities – McDonald’s, Subway, Taco Bell, etc., but there are also a handful of tasty restaurants. You might want to try Junkyard Dog Steakhouse (open Wednesday – Sunday and a 30 second walk from the Discovery Center) for a southern-cooked meal, or hop over to Rock House Coffee Company for coffee and a pastry.

Pictured: African elephant Tange exploring her large habitat!

Why Elephants Need Our Help

If you are not yet convinced that elephants need your help, get this: elephants are a keystone species. That means that several other species rely on elephants, and their extinction would change the entire ecosystem.

In the past 100 years, there has been a 90% decline in the Asian elephant population and a 75% decline in the African elephant population, which is split into two species: Savanna and Forest. Herds that once consisted of 80 or more females have dwindled down to 15-20 females.

A lot of this is the result of capture for breeding and entertainment, but even more of it is the result of hunting for sport and ivory. There is a strong ivory demand in Asia, especially China, for ornaments and jewelry made from ivory. Part of the problem with this is that ivory hunters look for the biggest tusks and end up killing alpha male bulls, which puts a huge damper on breeding. Killing that one elephant can end an entire herd.

You might have thoughts along the lines of, “it’s okay if she was born into captivity,” but zoo elephants have not evolved enough to be comfortable in a small zoo environment. They might become contentedly lazy and lose the desire to travel 50 miles a day, but that is going to hurt them. Their feet will be destroyed, they will likely become overweight, and their inability to socialize will send them mad.

At the sanctuary, the elephants are encouraged to live as they would in the wild. They are never fully in contact with humans; the only physical touch they may receive is from a highly trained caretaker who needs to file down their nails. Otherwise, they are allowed to roam the 2,700 acres as they please. They can play in the water, converse with each other in their special language, and do as elephants do with no constraints. They are never chained, trained, or forced into anything, and you can help these efforts.

What Can You Do For Elephants?

You can help spread awareness of the dangers of keeping elephants in captivity, and help fund the medical attention that the hurt girls at the sanctuary need.

Don’t take your kids to the circus. Don’t visit zoos that are not AZA-certified and don’t take care of their animals. Don’t support wild animal entertainment programs.

Here’s what you CAN do:

Click here to participate in the 2019 Year-End Campaign!

This post was originally published on November 29, 2016, and updated on November 3, 2019. Please visit for the most up-to-date information and news about The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

OPINION: The Real Reason why Ageism is Damaging the Modern Workplace

I recently got into a debate with a group of older adults within the comments of a LinkedIn post. I thought that sort of drama was reserved for Facebook, but regardless, it got me thinking.

The post I commented on was from a business leader who was upset by what she was seeing in the hiring process regarding ageism. She mentioned that older adults have a hard time finding new jobs because companies are looking for young talent. What struck me is that she said older adults are hearing that they are “over-experienced” for the roles they apply for but that “over-experienced” is really just a code word for “too old.”

I was thrown off guard because I have turned down candidates for legitimately being over-experienced. It is 100% reasonable to turn down someone who is genuinely too experienced for what the role calls for. At the very least, it is reasonable to pose a question to the interviewee, “You seem overqualified for this role. Why does it interest you?”

Why “Over-qualified” Candidates Apply

If the candidate is aware of her overqualifications but wants the job anyway, one of two things are at play: either she is desperate for a job and will leave your company once she finds something better, or she wants to reduce her responsibilities.

Both of those “excuses” are reasons I might not want to hire someone (depending on the role). I don’t want to hire someone who I am not going to be able to pay fairly or give enough responsibility to because they will eventually leave and I am in the business of long-term careers. If I am expecting the position I’m hiring for to grow, I don’t want to hire someone who is looking for a job with fewer responsibilities. I’m looking for someone who is looking for a career advancement move, not just a job.

Unpopular opinion: the real reason ageism is damaging the modern workplace is that people are afraid of it. No business wants to be the one who only hires computer savvy twenty-somethings, or only hires people with 20+ years of experience because they don’t want to be called ageist. However, you still have to hire the right people.

Let’s pretend that you are looking around and noticing that your marketing team is filled with twenty-something ladies. Then, you start hiring for a role and your top candidates are a 50-year-old man who has great experience but has been unemployed for five months and a 22-year-old female recent college graduate. Technically, the 50-year-old has more experience, but he was paid six figures at his last job and you are only able to pay 40k. He’s desperate enough to take the 40k. You have to consider the fact that if you hire that older man, unless he proves otherwise, he is not going to be happy in his role and will likely only stay around until he finds something better. If you hire that young woman, she’ll be operating at the proper pay range and will grow into her new career. You won’t have to hire for that role again for a long time.

Job Interview | Your Content Advisor
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Employee Longevity

Some companies may worry about hiring older people because they expect employee longevity. A company who is looking for candidates who want to develop entire 20+ year careers with the company won’t hire people who are within a few years of retirement age.

It may be worth your company’s time and money to hire that person who plans on retiring in five years for the sake of learning from them. Someone who is five years from retirement but looking for a career advancement move likely has a wealth of knowledge to share. However, it is just as understandable and should not be frowned upon for a company to say, “someone who is preparing to retire is not what we want for this role – we are looking for a long-term dedication.”

Reasons to Turn Down an Older Candidate

“Being old” is never a good reason to not hire someone, but there are reasons to not hire someone that may relate to their age. For instance, an elderly person who does not own a computer and is looking for a job will not be considered all that hireable in 2019. However, if a company turns her down, they will be labeled as ageist, when in reality, they cannot afford to hire a candidate who can’t use a computer.

The important distinction to make is that hiring managers can’t turn down an application simply due to age. If it is not clear from that same woman’s application that she cannot use a computer, the company needs to give her the same fair chance as every other candidate, regardless of age. If during the interview process it becomes clear that the older candidate doesn’t know your systems, but the younger candidate does, you should not be shamed for choosing the younger candidate.

Older adults who are looking for jobs in 2019 need to be adaptable. You need to know that there are certain systems in your field that hiring managers look for. Even if those systems didn’t exist when you were interviewing for jobs 15 years ago, you have to learn them now to make yourself hireable.

Youthful Replacements

False ageism accusations can rise to the surface when young hires appear to be replacing older employees. I believe it is worth stating that there may be times when a younger replacement is simply coincidental.

There also may be times where a company can no longer afford to pay six figures to an older employee, so he is let go and replaced with a recent college graduate at a fraction of the cost. AND, there are certainly times where older employees refuse to adapt to new technologies and companies are forced to replace them with adaptable young hires.

Those are the sorts of cases where companies are labeled as ageist, but really they are just making decisions for the business and not for the sake of “being nice” for their employees.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Think Before you Argue

All I’m saying is that I think LinkedIn professionals should think before arguing in the comments section. There’s a side to every argument that you don’t see, and it doesn’t pay to be stubborn and to make assumptions. Just because a company is looking for someone who is planning to spend 10+ years at a company and who will accept a starting salary of 40k does not mean that they are ageist. It works backwards, too. Just because a company is looking for someone with 20+ years of experience and expects to pay six figures does not mean they are ageist.

Chances are that in the first scenario, the company will hire a recent college grad, while in the second, they will hire someone in their 40’s or 50’s. Why should that require an ageism lawsuit?

Boost Your Productivity in the Workplace

You know those days when you have so much to do that you decide to watch 30 episodes of The Office instead?

The Office Gif | Your Content Advisor
Michael & Dwight PUMP IT UP!

Yeah, I get it.

Productivity is a cycle. The more you allow yourself to be unproductive, the less likely you are to improve on your productivity. You have to have your own momentum. Start now!

How to Boost Your Productivity

If you haven’t figured it out already, you will figure out very quickly what routine and what working style works for you. Some people can be very productive while sitting on the couch with their feet up, while others need to be in a traditional office setting. Regardless of how and where you’re working, here are a few ways you can boost your productivity:

Take Breaks

I used to have the hardest time with this. I skipped over all my lunch breaks and plowed through the day because I thought my breaks were slowing me down. In reality, the lack of a break made my afternoons move much slower than they do now. Take at least a half hour for lunch, and take a few ten-minute breaks throughout the day to chat with your coworkers or play with your dog, if you’re lucky enough to work from home. Breaks give your mind a chance to refresh and your body a chance to re-energize.

Avoid Isolation

I’m very introverted, so normally I’d be the last person to say that it’s important to surround yourself with great people – but it’s true! If you work in an office, make sure you say hello to your coworkers, grab lunch with them once in a while, and engage in casual banter in the break room. It’ll force you to enjoy your office and your work a lot more. If you work from home, try working from a coffee shop! Even if you don’t speak to anyone other than the barista, the environment of people talking around you and mugs clinking on plates can encourage you to work full-speed ahead for a few hours. It invites a change of scenery and a change of pace, and change can actually be very good for productivity.

Go List-Crazy

This may seem like an obvious one for my fellow type-A-ers out there, but you have to use more than your Google Calendar. Start every day by pulling out a fresh sheet of paper or opening up the Notes app on your computer. Type out a list of everything you want to get done for the day, and not only high-level/big picture items. “Work on content calendar” is not going to convince you to get it done, but “Assign content projects for the month of May” just might. Think about S.M.A.R.T. goals are you’re writing your list. Are the items on your list measurable and attainable? Are you giving yourself a reasonable deadline to work towards? The more “SMART” items you have on your list, the more likely you are to work hard to cross them off.  Plus – there’s nothing better than the feeling of dramatically crossing an item off of your to-do list.

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers for help on projects or even outsource certain items. This is especially important for intricate projects that require a variety of skills. Content writing is a fantastic example. High-level managers who have never worked in creative departments tend to not realize how difficult it can actually be to produce quality content. You can quickly write some “decent” content, or you can hand it off to someone who knows what they’re doing. It may cost you a bit extra, but it will probably be best for your business in the long-run.

Interested in enlisting in MY help? I am fully aware that $100 per blog post can seem like a HUGE cost for a small business. I am offering discounted, customized business solutions for those in need of long-term projects. Reach out and we’ll see what Your Content Advisor can do!