Chazz Hirschfeld

Joined April 2020
Hey Content Managers,
I'm working on a new lesson for IMPACT + and I would love some input from you all.
The lesson will be about how to proofread and edit blog content before publishing.

I want to hear some of your tips and suggestions for a smooth process that helps your content go from the messy first draft to the polished, educational gem that wows your audience.
Here are a few questions I have: What does your process look like between your first and final draft? How many sets of eyes typically review your content before it’s finalized? What is your biggest challenge in the editing and proofreading stage? What is one hack you can share that will make others’ lives easier when it comes to editing and proofreading? What are your favorite... See More
Chazz Hirschfeld
4. What is one hack you can share that will make others’ lives easier when it comes to editing and proofreading?

Print it out. Don't just proof and edit on the computer screen. You're going to see things in print that you won't see on the screen. 

For me, it was a close photo disaster. I had to take a photo OF a photo that was in a frame of my boss and his wife.
This is NOT that photo, but the one originally used as the feature photo for this post included a reflection of “yours truly.” Yep, right on my bosses’ black jacket—there was my reflection! Ha!

I actually didn’t find it until I published the post. But… I quickly went back and picked another photo and edited the post and inserted the new feature photo. You may still be able to see an image, but the one before was VERY noticeable.

For safety’s sake, I always have someone else read my blog posts. I never thought to ask them to check the photos…

It’s a good idea to always have a second set of eyes. I usually ask my... See More
Hey all!

I'm writing an article that will provide actionable steps for new Content Managers to take within their first 90 days in order to set themselves up for success (and wow their boss!).

What advice would you give to someone stepping into the Content Manager role at a new company?

Let me know, thanks!!

Please note: I will use answers within my article and cite your name, title and company See More
Chazz Hirschfeld
First off, ditto on everything already said here. Secondly, get to know the name “Liz Moorehead” and read/watch/listen to everything she says. And then DO IT. 😊 And subscribe to “THE LATEST,” join IMPACT Elite on Facebook, and become part of IMPACT+. 

My personal contribution (although I do not need any credit) is below:

When interviewing your subject matter experts, take a voice recorder with you. No matter how fast you write, you may not be able to keep up with every word. 

Plus, by using a recorder, you can actually focus on the interview subject, jot down a few notes for yourself, or even add a new question that comes to mind during the process.

Yes, this does take a long time to transcribe. But a recorder allows for more flexibility on the front end and enables you to capture more of their tone and exact wording to add nuance later. You’ll also feel more comfortable if you ever pull a quote out of the copy to emphasize.

Also, have a list of questions prepared beforehand on a notepad. As the interview proceeds, you can easily find the next topic to address.

But don’t be afraid to let the subject matter expert wander a little in their answers and explanations. Sometimes they’ll bring up something you never expected. Go ahead and “go down that rabbit hole” for a few moments.

You may discover a fresh perspective on what you’re writing about or even a new topic for a later blog post. 

If possible, consider having the interview videoed, too. Segments can be edited later for use in multiple ways.

NOTES: Let them know you’re using a recorder, then set it to the side and ignore it—they will, too. There are transcription services available, if your budget allows. And if you use video, you may be able to use that audio as your recording instead.

ALSO: Listen to this Content Lab Podcast with Liz and John Becker on “How to Interview Subject Matter Experts.”

This is something I've gone back and forth about for a while now.

We have a number of blog posts written by folks that are no longer with our company.

The way I've currently navigated that is with the following rough guidelines but I'm not sure if that's the best way to go about it:

If it was "written" by someone who is still notable in the industry and they actually wrote it or heavily contributed to it, I leave it in their name.

If it was "written" by someone who isn't notable in the industry and they contributed to the writing of it a bit but not entirely (perhaps answered a few questions for more info in an interview but wasn't involved in editing or approval), I've typically absorbed it into a general company-named generic author... See More
Chazz Hirschfeld
Hi Adam,

It looks like you have some good input from Liz and Kevin, and perhaps you'll get even more great advice. 

This is not that. This is probably just silly, but I can't help thinking of Alan Smithee. His name may be familiar to you. He's a famous movie director. Except he's not.

Alan Smithee is the name film directors use when they don't want their own name attached to a project. Perhaps, for some reason, the project went south (i.e. bad) due to subpar acting or editing.

Of course, this is not the case for your blog posts. They're certainly above par due to your skills and talents, but perhaps you could choose a pseudonym like Alan Smithee and use that name for the "general company-named generic author profile" instead?

We did use our company name on a lot of our older blog posts, mostly because--at that time--that's what I'd been told was the best practice. I know much better now... I know a lot of better things now (Thanks, IMPACT!), but I still sometimes use that category of author if the blog post is a sort of "roundup" with input from multiple staff members.

I don't think you are wrong in your opinion. I believe the latest "best practice" is to use a personal name, not the company name. 

When I ghost-blogged for a national company for a few months, it was understood that another person's name would be used. Yes, it was a little weird to see my work under another name, but that was just part of the job.

When I worked for a newspaper and a staff member left, their work went under "From Staff Reports." 

So, different places have different policies.

I wish you the best of luck in making your decision on which policy to follow. If you go the Alan Smithee route, we'll be glad to help you choose a name, lol. And if you can--follow up with this later and let us know your final decision. We definitely learn from each other. Thank you!
I'm re-reading They Ask, You Answer, and I am challenging myself to do one new article for each section as I read. My side business is my needle felting art, not your typical TAYA audience. Here is a cost article I am working on: See More
Chazz Hirschfeld
Hi Kayleigh, I thought you did a great job with this article. I loved all the images. Your prices are great. And you explained the costs very clearly. I may have to buy one of your art pieces at some point in the future. Good Luck with your self-challenge!
Chazz Hirschfeld
Hi Chris - this is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for sharing! I love the video and those responses are amazing. You're a great role model for us all. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

This is a great example of "Show it, don't just say it!" :)

Morgan - I like your communication tips, too!
Thanks again, Chris! And thanks, IMPACT+
I'd love to know what books everyone is reading, even if they aren't super business-y! See More
Chazz Hirschfeld

Rob Hatch’s book, Attention! The Power of Simple Decisions in a Distracted World, was launched this week and became a #1 Best Selling Book in three separate categories on its first day on Amazon.

I’m a big fan of Rob’s work (and his business partner, Chris Brogan), so I bought the book the first day. And then I was so pulled in that I read half the book before I could tear myself away. Now, I’m taking it in smaller doses, because it is SO wonderful! And actionable! And I really don’t want it to end!

I’m probably going to gift this book to my son and my sister for Christmas. 

I believe this book is going to change the rest of my life for the better. I cannot more highly recommend any book I’ve read in the last five years. NOTE: I may add more to this review upon completion. 😊 

'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' -- E.L. Doctorow

It's not about content marketing, but I love the idea that you might not understand the whole journey when you start out, and that's okay. See More
Chazz Hirschfeld
"Writing is really quite simple; all you have to do is sit down at your typewriter and open a vein."

This quote has been attributed to Red Smith, Paul Gallico and Ernest Hemingway. And although we're probably not sitting down at typewriters to work, the "opening a vein" phrase was the first one to come to my mind on this topic. Great thread!
Hey all and Happy Monday!

Did you attend the Virtual Selling Summit last week? What were your biggest takeaways and what have you begun implementing since?

Also, feel free to share any questions you didn't get answered during sessions here :)

If you missed the virtual event, you can access the recordings here. See More
Chazz Hirschfeld
The IMPACT Team just keeps getting better and better at these virtual sessions and it's amazing to be able to obtain so much valuable information while engaging with some of the presenters during the taped sessions. It's also very enjoyable to watch the live sessions--which like live music--seem to have a unique energy. My takeaways--WAY too many to mention--I would bore you!!! I found something valuable in every single session! I do agree with Liz and Zach about how engaging and easy-to-listen-to (and understand) Will is. And Liz was SO popular among many of the attendees--I saw several remarks that she was their favorite, as she is also very personable. I probably attended more of Chris' sessions than anyone else's this time--all super fantastic! He put on some great "shows." His back-and-forth with Marcus was totally a highlight of the day and I'd love to see your entire crew engage in more of this style of teaching---showing us by example. But please know, EVERYONE did a great job, as always!!