“This isn’t a story about me. It’s a personal history of the internet and how content has matured over time.”
I got my first computer back when I was 10 years old. I still remember that Saturday morning playing Jazz Jackrabbit 1 on an Intel 486. I was supposed to be getting ready for the weekly extra curricular hours for math practice.
The whole experience was something entirely new, something that pulled me in with its story and characters and action. The whole time I was thinking: “Just one more level, just one last one”. Needless to say, my parents came home from work before I had the chance to lie that I hadn’t skipped math practice to play games. That’s when I realised stories could get me in trouble. That painting a great picture could get people hooked on an idea.
Content marketing the Cartoon Network style
Soon after that I joined forces with a colleague and we planned our first endeavour together: a weekly written overview about characters and stories from Cartoon Network (back when it was good, long logo and all). I was writing everything by hand and he was transcribing them using his parents’ typewriter. We even managed to use different colored text for some pages. We sold no copies to our colleagues and soon after, we had to quit. This taught me that good content should also spread. The context is also important.
Fast forward to high-school and I was writing poems and short plays. I had already decided I wanted to be a Journalist. Or some sort of Copywriter. Because collaboration always seemed like a fun idea, I recruited a female colleague and we created Gonzo – an anti-mainstream, black and white magazine. The gimmick? It cost -1 $. We had inserted 1 $ bills into each of the 20 or so copies of the magazine and gave them away. We thought that was exciting, as we were emulating Hunter S. Thompson, writing in the moment, without excessive editing, about things people don’t usually write about.
Storytelling in the startup world
Journalism University came and went for me. I was more and more focused on telling stories and creating content that was valuable, rather than in a set-time frame (as it goes with newspaper journalists). I continued writing self-help books, audiobooks and an ebook about the state of social-media (http://amzn.to/1rVB3RG ). I soon found a job as a Digital Marketing Specialist, a title I’ve been holding for the past 3 years.
I continued to create content for friends with startups (http://bit.ly/1u9zQgf) and as a paid freelance content creator (http://bit.ly/1wIj7gO). It still seems fun. No, scratch that. It’s even more fun creating valuable content for people. Knowing users will have a great experience thanks to me is a great reward. That’s one of the reasons I joined Udemy and started teaching real-life Marketing Classes.
Following writers online is must for me. Whether it’s Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris+Jimmy over at Vero, Noah Kagan or Bryan Harris at Videfruit. I love their hustle, their relentlessness and their transparency. The last one is especially important to me and one of the many reasons I’m a huge Buffer blog follower.
I soon found myself with increased skills, but decreased time. I wanted automation. I needed automation. That’s how I started experimenting with Twitter+Swayy and Scoop.it. The last one is a tool I couldn’t live without. Content Marketing through Scoop.it has helped me basically grow my Twitter following level from 0 and has helped me curate lots of stories.
I couldn’t talk about automation and social-media without Pocket and Buffer. Amazing support and blogs from Buffer and terribly useful functionality from Pocket (I have it setup on my phone and on my computers at home and at work). It allows me to be mobile, have access to all my bookmarked articles. I get ideas for stories, guides and newsletters.
So here it is. My story and our story. Of the internet and content and everything in between.
This article is a guest post by Sorin Amzu, Digital Marketing Specialist at W3 Marketing Technology. He’s written short stories, books on social media, screenplays and is currently focusing his efforts on marketing and growth articles for freelance clients.You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, LInkedIn or on StartupsRomania, a startup portal he handles.