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Category Archives: The Magic Layer

How much content is too much?

By | May 29, 2017 |

Let’s Talk About Content Strategy and Consistency I attended the Palm Springs Photo Festival recently, and the one message that hit home with me — other than being a photographer is a dang competitive and soul-slapping profession — is the need for consistency. Consistency is one of those nebulous things like relationships and collaboration that I talk about in content strategy’s Magic Layer. It’s hard to pin down, but without it, your brand and user experience would fall apart. Consistency can mean different things. Consistent Means Frequency Create consistent work, specifically personal work Consistently reach out to influencers, buyers, and…

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What’s the secret to keeping creatives productive?

By | January 5, 2015 |

You’re flying down a hill on your bicycle in high gear, the wind in your face, and you see a left turn up ahead, and you know there’s an uphill climb just beyond the turn, and you make the turn fast and steady, then downshift to keep up the momentum and speed … but then it happens.

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How do I keep internal content from competing?

By | November 13, 2014 |

It’s possible — very likely in fact — that the content you are responsible for relies on the content that other people are responsible for (and visa versa). Especially if you are a large organization. But what happens when their content doesn’t have the quality, tone, or detail that you need?

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Can we start writing before the content strategy is complete?

By | March 13, 2014 |

Dear Client, You are awesome. Your deadlines are insane, and truly impossible to pull off with any sense of confidence. And yet still, awesome. You do know that one thing simply must come before the other, even with a team of five writers and editors and proofreaders, right? How can we write before the strategy is complete? How can one proofread — let alone ensure alignment with strategy — before the content is created?

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Our team is in a design and content rut! Help?

By | January 8, 2013 |

Last month I spoke to designers and developers at the Inspire Conference in Europe about how content strategy can make design shine. I focused on traditional web and digital design processes, but as the day moved along, new questions started to poke at me:
How can we, as creators, as creative problem-solvers, continue to evolve as we build walls of best practices around us?

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What is “The Magic Layer” of content strategy? (Confab Slides)

By | May 18, 2012 |

Confab 2012, the 2nd premier content strategy conference, is already a blur, and it was only a couple days ago. Months in advance, the conference was sold out to about 600 content strategy enthusiasts; it’s so awesome to see such focus on our industry! Here’s my presentation — though it doesn’t really work well without the talk itself. If you have any questions, please do comment below or contact me. The Magic Layer: The Secret to Every Successful Content Strategy from Shelly Bowen Here are a few key takeaways: The bottom line: The Magic Layer happens at the intersection of…

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Content Strategy: Can we just make it up?

By | October 11, 2011 |

“Just make it up,” I advised a client — actually the whole project team — when they were stuck and debating on how to proceed with part of their campaign. Silence. Uh-oh. The looks I got, I might as well have said, “Just throw your money out the window.” I laughed, but I couldn’t back down, because I meant it. I plunged on, “That’s what I do.” No Bibliography Required This fear or resistance of invention — of making something up — is holding a lot of us back. It’s as if we’re looking for a book or resource or…

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