Hello and welcome to Corporate Charm.

Cat picture (for flavor)

Cat picture (for flavor)

Corporate Charm is a blog about:

  • SEO
  • Marketing
  • Business strategy
  • Business intelligence
  • Big companies
  • Some miscellaneous stuff

I aim to post somewhat advanced content, or at least intermediate content, because I really don’t want this to be a blog for beginners where I just re-state all the basics. That seems boring.

Also, I try to only blog about topics that aren’t covered anywhere else, or at least not a lot of places. Or at least not very well in a lot of places. Basically, I’m trying to be different.

All that said, occasionally I’ll write something up for a personal client and decide that it can also function as a blog post, even if it is a little basic.

Lastly, I like to use my own distinct voice. I use elaborate metaphors, talk about science a bunch, go on a lot of tangents, make dumb puns, and will occasionally swear. With older blog projects I tried too hard to sound generic and it turned out predictably awful, so no more of that. Hopefully you’ll recognize and get used to my tone pretty fast.

Who am I, personally? My name is Ethan. I’m a professional marketer with one of the big four ad agencies, an educational background in nuclear engineering and experimental film, and I’m also really good at getting cats to like me. I also have a science blog.

My contact information is below. Also, further below (under the kittens), is the draft of an article I wrote but decided not to “officially publish” about the current landscape of marketing blogs out there and where Corporate Charm fits in. It’s a little unpolished, but it sums up my thoughts.

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Cat picture (for flavor)

Kittens (for flavor)

The Three Types of Marketing Blogs

The vast majority of marketing and SEO blogs on the internet are basically variations on three types of websites.

Note that this is just my opinion – how I classify blogs in my head. The lines can get pretty blurry and blogs can fluctuate back and forth. This is not a hard and fast guide, just a very vague general idea.

I’m not going to link to any sites, because I’m going over pros and cons, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m insulting them. I’m not and that’s not the point of this article. Please don’t take it that way. Every format has good sides and bad sides, best features and worst features; if there’s a wholly bad marketing blog or blogger out there, I haven’t seen it.

Blogs For Beginners

First, you’ve got those for beginners – very often run by a single person. This person will be charismatic, geared towards folks who don’t know a lot yet, and love talking about all the best practices and white-hat methods. He or she will nab some media appearances, encourage people to start their projects, and provide valuable introductions to new channels or techniques that someone just starting will absolutely treasure.

After a year, you’ll notice that they’re not saying much new – they’re simply good at rephrasing and repackaging existing lessons to work in new climates. At this point you could probably recite their differentiating life story from memory. So you stop checking their blog every week, but check back now and then to say, “Oh, what’s ol’ so-and-so up to lately? Ah, still talking about ‘Intro to X’.”

They’re like elementary school teachers, in a way. Extremely valuable to those starting off learning. And some elementary teachers will occasionally do some of their own research into education and come up with some interesting findings.

I’m not trying to discount these bloggers, or elementary school teachers, of any respect. They’re vital and necessary and wonderful. But at some point, you do get tired of reading the same old things. You learn enough and no longer qualify for their target audience. You can’t stay in elementary school your whole life.

Blogs For Workers

The other type of SEO website is a little more professional, and usually run like a magazine, with senior editors, staff writers, columnists, and guest authors. These sites assume you have basic knowledge of the job (although nothing too advanced), and mostly talk about industry updates. Google did this! Bing did that! A new study shows the other!

Sometimes they’ll try to cater to the beginner audiences too, and this is where they can be aggravating – the more experienced audience sees it as an insult. Also, beginner SEO articles have been done to death. The next time I see another post called “How to be a Successful Content Marketer” on a blog supposedly for working professionals, I’m going to lose my fucking mind.

Another annoyance of these sites is how granular they can be about “news”. Reporting on Google’s changes is valuable, but only to a point. Google fixing a typo in its webmaster guidelines is not newsworthy for any industry, and only looks worse once it’s given a clickbait headline and used to speculate about the company’s business moves.

Those annoyances aside, these are the major news sources for the SEO industry, and they’re generally useful and informative. They’re vital for the working SEO to be able to keep up to date with what’s going on. Not every change matters, but plenty of them do.

The Expert’s Niche

I don’t see quite as many of these, and they’re a little more varied than the above. But these sites, if done right, have the most value for non-beginners. This is a site that picks one area, such as copywriting, or link-building, or site architecture, and really excels at it.

When done well, the articles are mostly advanced. A lot of times, I’ll see these sites starting to be more needy for content and start to branch out, or start to dumb-down their content and suddenly focus on beginner material instead. That’s probably great for traffic and business, but it dilutes the overall unique value of the blog. However, if a blog can mostly avoid this, then it becomes a true gem.

If a blog can’t avoid it and ends up posting way more introductory content, then it kinda just becomes more of the first kind of blog, for beginners. It’s a pretty common fluctuation and sometimes that can still be interesting, seeing an expert on the subject explain the basics.

These are by necessity the rarest of the bunch, since it takes someone who’s truly passionate, clever, and interested in sharing to run one of these. And while you eventually move on from the first category of blogs, and don’t need to read too many of the second category of blogs to get more than enough of your daily dose of news, you can never get enough of this blog.

Where Does Corporate Charm Fit?

I may be biased, as the owner of the site, but I’d say it generally fits in the last category – although not perfectly.

By process of elimination, though… I don’t usually post for beginners and actually try to avoid them as my target audience. I like to use terms without feeling the need to define them every time. Not that I’m not geared towards beginners at all, but I’m not targeting them. Also, I don’t report on SEO news. Nor will I ever be interested in doing so.

But I’m not really putting myself in a niche here. In fact, I allow myself the room to cover not just SEO, but other kinds of marketing, and even a lot more beyond just marketing too.

Mostly, I just want to be sure that I’m posting things more advanced than “beginner” level, and things that are different, unusual, or unique. I hope the stuff you find here will be mostly new. And I aim to use my personal tone as much as possible, so you’ll be able to recognize an article that’s my voice.

That’s where I’d like to fit.

Thanks for reading!