About chatfielda

Thanks for reading my blog! I've been in the digital marketing industry since graduating college in 2006 as a writer and strategist. I have an incredible family, a son with more energy than I can fathom, and an undying love for baseball and board games.

Author Archive | chatfielda

Podio

A 1 Month Review of Podio

My business is growing right now – not exploding mind you, but growing pretty solidly and so I’ve been making a lot of changes. Reevaluating processes, hiring people to handle things I’m running out of time to do, rebuilding and rebranding our website. It’s been a busy few months.

One of my big TODO’s has been to figure out our CRM and project management systems. Don’t fall asleep yet, this gets more interesting.

I was using Basecamp and Highrise for a while – I love 37Signals products and the philosophy these guys use. It’s great.

But as they say in their book, people often outgrow it.… Read More

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On the Importance of Reading as a Freelance Writer

Our son is already showing the signs of being a little bookish. He sits and stares at his picture books for long periods of time (by toddler standards), and in the morning he’ll often rotate through his favorite five or six books, having us read them over and over (and over) again until he finally gets hungry or decides it’s time to go outside.

It got me thinking about my own reading habits and how they have fundamentally shaped who I am, and to a further degree, what I do for a living.

From what I’ve been told, I started reading when I was three.… Read More

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Writing with Form and Content in Mind – Or Why Everything I Write Has 7 Steps

My primary focus this week was on a series of 8 short guides about a variety of topics. I won’t get into detail because of the standard privacy stuff, but it was an eclectic mix of very interesting topics – needless to say I had fun with it.

About the time I reached the fifth or sixth guide, I realized that every single list I had created in these guides were either 3 or 7 items long.

At first, I thought it was a coincidence – the pointless kind you recognize when you’ve been staring at a computer screen for eight hours.… Read More

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The Problem with Holiday Advertising and Why Cheesy, Happy Ads Work

A couple days ago, I was sitting downstairs with my wife and mother in law and they were comparing car commercials.

You probably know exactly which ones I’m talking about – the Christmas-y luxury car commercials with families all in sweaters in fake snow marveling the giant bow attached to a bland looking silver sedan.

This year, though, the commercials seem a little different – as in meaner. One showed a family coming out of their home with gifts in hand, big smiles on their faces, then, as a flashy new car drove by, they turned and glared at their father before going back into the house.… Read More

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On Why Standing Desks Are Awesome

A couple years ago a client asked me to write an article about standing desks. I had never seen one before and thought it was a joke. Consider me sobered when I did some preliminary research and learned how many health problems are being attributed to constant sitting.

I knew sitting was bad – you eat more, exercise less and don’t move those muscles – but I had no idea how bad. Since then I was frequently forwarded articles about the horrible things sitting can do to the human body and why standing desks were not just a good investment but vital for good health.… Read More

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Balancing Weekend Tasks When You Work at Home

Last weekend, Margaret and I took our son to Sears to get family portraits. We did it last year when he was five months old and thought it would be nice to do it again this year – these family traditions have to start somehow, right?

Of course, the only thing I really remembered about last year was that the pictures turned out great:

Cute, right?

I forgot the day before hunting for appropriate clothes that would actually fit my massive child or the two hour dash to get dressed and coral everyone to the mall, or the fact that he’s now 17 months, not 5 months and is not nearly as entertained by the funny noises the photographer makes when trying to get him to smile.… Read More

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Book Review: Rework by the Founders of 37Signals

My Super Cool Weekly Review Column (This Week: ReWork)

A long long time ago (in a living room far far away) I used to write short reviews of some of the stuff I would read, watch, experience, etc. Along with the habit of blogging, my reviews disappeared.

Being as that I’m hoping to inject a little life into the blog and get some readers back (I have cake!) I thought the review column was ready for a come back. So, check back every week or so – or more accurately, whenever I happen to finish something I either like or dislike enough to write a review – and learn what I’m reading as a writer, freelancer or just plain geek.… Read More

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Marketing and Branding as Storytelling

Branding is an immensely powerful tool, but a lot of people ignore it entirely. So, to ensure you don’t do the same, I’m going to use a different term for it. The “B” word sounds too much like something a marketing department spits out when they want to reach “target demographics” or improve “ROI”.

Forget buzz words for a second and think about what this actually means. What we’re actually talking about is adding a face to your voice online. When you build a website or write a post as a freelancer, people think or see one of two things – either A) who the hell is this guy?!… Read More

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Setting Deadlines and Milestones

I have long been a fan of setting clear deadlines and milestones not only for myself but for the client. This started in my first year on the job when I was given an eBook project that turned into a bit of a nightmare. It was only 15,000 words – barely an eBook at all really, but the client provided no information other than “write an eBook” and so I did. But, there were back and forths about turnaround time, the final content was not what he had in mind and the revision process took twice as long as the writing of the eBook – all of which was ultimately my fault in his eyes.… Read More

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How Do I Cut Down on Time Spent Writing Email?

The other week, someone contacted me asking if I’d be part of an audio interview series he was doing about productivity. I had responded to a forum post he made at some point about productivity and mentioned how much I can write in a single day and he wanted to pick me brain about it.

While I have often bragged a bit about my work turnaround time (clients dig it) I never considered myself a guru in productivity. In my mind, productivity is finding a way to get more done in less time, not jamming as much stuff into your day as possible.… Read More

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