Blake Cormier

IT Nerd Turned Content Writer

Joined July 2020


Hi there! I'm Blake, and I'm the content manager for E-N Computers. We're a regional IT service provider serving Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. I used to be an IT guy, but I decided that writing about it was more fun. So here we are!
I've found making templates for folders in Finder, and Premiere/AE templates have saved me a lot of set up time.I have a template folder that has all the parts of post production I need, along with a premiere file already loaded with commonly used assets.Do you guys have any other tricks for templates/repetitive tasks for post-production?
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Blake Cormier
Similar idea... In DaVinci Resolve, I set up a Power Bin with our slidein, title card, lower third, logo, and other reusable assets. This shows up across all projects for easy drag n' drop onto the timeline.
Hey everyone! In our last Content Manager Mastermind, I mentioned that I'm getting buy-in around conducting monthly interviews with our (regional MSP) service team of about 13 engineers and technicians to drum up some more content ideas. I took Liz's excellent content brainstorm cheat sheet and adapted some of the questions to try to pull some ideas out of those in a more customer service and technical role. I'll be trying it out soon, but...
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Hey there Content peeps!

I'm excited to show off our brand-new Learning Center at E-N Computers:

We've had a "learning center" button on our menu bar since our website relaunch last year, but it was pretty terrible - basically just links to our blog archive and some other random pages. Our category/tag structure was a mess too, with tons of duplicates, meaningless categories, and everything else...
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WOW! Talk about a shift in industries. I know with They Ask, You Answer in place we preach taking work in-house but it's fascinating how quickly things have shifted over the last calendar year or so.

A couple of quotes that stood out to me (and Liz Murphy ) -

“‘Albeit a small dip from 23.7% in 2020 to 23% in 2021, this continual change indicates significant in-housing activity, as CMOs reimagine the capabilities that can be supported by...
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Blake Cormier
I think it reflects the broader trend toward inbound marketing as the norm. Big B2B brands, or those with big aspirations, are expected to be thought leaders and educators in their space, especially in the tech market. These CMOs are probably figuring out that TAYA-esque insourcing produces more genuine content more economically than outsourcing :)
Hey everyone!We've started using ClickUp here at IMPACT, and we're also fans of Trello. What do you use to get your work done and make sure nothing falls through the cracks?Thanks!
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Blake Cormier
We're on Office 365, so I use the Planner app. It's basically a Trello clone, but we can use it without needing to juggle more accounts/passwords.
I use it for my content calendar. Everything starts in the Ideas column and then moves through the planning/writing/editing/approval stages until complete. It also supports due dates, assigning tasks, priorities, and tags to further refine our workflow.
Holy moly there's a new HubSpot hub! A few things I'm excited about:
  • Custom coded workflow actions (if you know JS, you could pretty much make HubSpot doanything)
  • Better data syncing to other platforms
Check it out here.What do you all think?? Is this something you think you'll use?
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Blake Cormier
I'm excited! We used PieSync to move our contact data over from ConnectWise when we first started with HubSpot. We were trying to make do without a continuous sync, but the rest of the company basically lives in ConnectWise, so there really does need to be a sync there. Going to give this a try ASAP!
Hi everyone!I posted recently about expanding our in-house marketing team. As part of that, it looks like we'll have the opportunity to add a part-time graphic designer sooner rather than later -- which is great news for our content marketing efforts. My plan is to have her work on layouts and designs for premium content, as well as things like infographics for blog articles and web pages. I'm sure having better visuals will help our content...
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Hi IMPACTers!I'm looking for some ideas or information on where to start with hiring some additional help for the marketing team.The Background: I work for a regional IT company (managed service provider) based in Virginia. My title is "content manager", but I'm more of a one-man marketing department at this point. I work closely with the CEO to develop content and execute our inbound + TAYA strategy. Right now I do nearly all of the content...
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Good morning everyone,

I was hoping you could provide some insight on a blog we recently wrote. We caught backlash from the competitor featured in the article, which made my shareholders nervous about the entire strategy. HELP!

Can you provide your honest feedback about how well the comparison is written and whether the concern is warranted? Thank you in advance!

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Blake Cormier
That does sound a bit more serious than just sparking some controversy.

Not a lawyer, but this gets into issues of copyright and fair use -- not to mention the patent and trade secret issue. These are three different areas of intellectual property law, and are just as messy as you think they are.

The long story short long is that you may have violated their copyright by posting a screenshot of their product, as both the screen output of the software program [ref] and the YouTube video would be copyrighted works. But... under the doctrine of fair use, your use of the screenshot might be OK, since the law specifically allows "purposes such as criticism, comment..." and so on. BUT it could be argued that since your use was commercial (marketing material), it's not fair use.

That being said, merely writing about their product and even using their trademarks does not generally constitute any kind of IP violation -- no matter how much they huff and puff about it. Which can and will happen, especially for critical reviews.

Hey, I said it was messy... and that's before we even got any real lawyers involved.

The potentially bigger problem is the way they responded. Just like Mom taught us, two wrongs don't make a right.

The remedy for a potential copyright violation is usually to get a lawyer to send a strongly worded letter, at which point your company (or their lawyers) would decide whether the claim has merit (aka, not worth fighting) and tell you to take down the picture. Or your company could send a strongly worded reply explaining that you believe it to be fair use and you're not taking it down. At which point the other company, if they wanted to keep pursuing it, would at some point have to take it to court. Now we're really getting messy!

What they shouldn't have done is commit their own IP infringement by leaking your unreleased product photos. Whether your company has any recourse for that will depend on lots more lawyer-y things -- for example, how did they get the photos in the first place? Were they covered by an NDA or other binding contract?

So, to wrap this up before it gets any longer: How to handle the situation is ultimately a business decision for company leadership. As you can see, it gets messy fast and they'll have to decide what's worth fighting or not, and how they'll handle future upset competitors. But I don't think it's your fault or a reason to not pursue TAYA as a strategy.

(Again, I'm not a lawyer. I just read too many Slashdot articles and Cory Doctorow essays during my formative years.)
Hey content writers!

I imagine some of us out here are armies of one — serving as both writer and editor in our organizations

What are your tips for editing your own work? How do you bring a fresh set of eyes to something you yourself have written?

Liz Murphy ? ? Ramona Sukhraj ? Jennifer Barrell ? Stephanie Hurd ? A penny for your thoughts.
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Blake Cormier
Hey! "Army of one" content manager here too. I've done a couple of things to try to get a fresh look at the content that I write.

One is to wait at least 24 hours after I'm done writing before reading it again -- there's been plenty of times where some clunky phrasing or other problem jumps out at me.

I also like to re-read the content after it has been formatted and put into its final form. So for a blog post, I'll put it into WordPress and open it up in preview mode before hitting "publish". Something about the change in font, colors, and background tricks my brain into thinking I'm reading something totally new. It's also a good opportunity to make sure I didn't miss any links or images that I should have included.

Finally, if a piece of content was requested or suggested by another member of our team, or I used them as a SME resource, I'll have them read it over before publishing. I'll ask them if it makes sense, if I hit all of the important points, and that I didn't take (too many) creative liberties with the facts of the subject. I mostly work with tech people who don't fancy themselves writers, so usually I get a "Yep looks good!", but it's a good sanity check before publishing. (Bonus hint: make sure to get them to use the Track Changes or Comments feature in Word or Google Docs to specify exactly what needs to be changed or re-worked. Saves lots of back and forth.)