Perhaps the most difficult challenge to creating great content is coming up with the idea, angle, hook...whatever you want to call it. It's why I always keep a small notebook in my pocket; I never know when a great idea is going to come and if I don't write it down, I'm nearly guaranteed to forget it.

But the next great challenge, after I have the angle, is making sure I've done the best kind of research I can. And by "best," here, I mean that I need to know everything similar that has been published.

I need to know everything similar that has been published for two reasons. First, it will make my piece that much more complete to round it out and fill in holes with the angles that other have taken. And second, I get to see the blank spots that others haven't taken and can choose to emphasize those more if it makes sense to do so.

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I've long believed that the two fundamental skills any great SEO must have are an understanding of psychology and an understanding of philosophy.

Psychology is necessary in order to communicate well to your market, to understand their desires and pains, and to understand how to present your product as a solution to those desires and pains.

The philosophical aspect of SEO is precisely for understanding how search engines move with their customers, how you move with your customers, and to discern the best ways for you to move with your customers in the space of search engine guidelines and preferences.

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It's a painful moment when you've completed a guest posting campaign, then later finding out that you missed an incredibly valuable opportunity you could have used for yourself or your client.

Perhaps the most important part of guest posting in a content marketing campaign is to ensure you've thoroughly researched for the most valuable guest post opportunities. The problem is, research takes time. It's tedious. It's easy to mess up and miss things. And, unless you're a nerd (nerd-alert here with six years of Science Fair under my belt), you probably don't enjoy culling through page after page, query after query, query permutation after query permutation (x guest post, x guest writer, x guest author, etc) in order to find the best guest post opportunities. Usually, you much prefer either writing, doing the actual outreach, or designing a campaign.

All that work just to find great guest posting opportunities? That's where Ontolo comes in.

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Nothing's worse than hitting "Publish," then later finding out that you missed an important piece of research in your content.

A critical step before writing any content piece is making sure you've effectively researched your topic. The problem is, research takes time. It's tedious. And, unless you're a nerd (nerd-alert here with six years of Science Fair under my belt), you probably don't enjoy culling through page after page, query after query, query permutation after query permutation (x research, x reports, x research data, etc), of research into the different types and uses for grizzly bear repellant.

That's where Ontolo comes in.

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One of the several major improvements we've made here at Ontolo this year is a focus more on using Ontolo for content marketing. We've taken our previously-link-building-focused tools and both expanded and simplified the key components into the Instant Prospector which is a research tool for content marketing, link building, PR, outreach, and more.

With the Instant Prospector, you can use Ontolo's predefined Templates of Prospecting Phrases to find link opportunities like guest posts and blogs, or you can use Ontolo's predefined templates for content research and outreach for things like compilations of tips, how-to content, and research-based content.

One thing you can also do is to create your own types of content to research, the define the Prospecting Phrases to be used in your own, custom Template.

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One of the newest abilities of Ontolo is to research various kinds of content for your content marketing efforts. With Ontolo, in just minutes, you can perform targeted research for content you are writing and/or promoting.

What we realized was that great content often requires great research. Since Ontolo is, first and foremost, a research tool, we put a lot of time and energy into making it as great of a content research tool as it is a link building tool.

Some kinds of content we help you research quickly:

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In middle school, around the same time my dad handed me his copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he told me a story about goal setting and success.

He told me that he had learned from his own mentors (informally, through books, tapes, etc) - Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, etc - about a Yale study that tracked business students over a few decades. Some of the students wrote their goals and kept them in their wallets. Some didn't.

Those students were surveyed again a couple/few decades later. The ones who had written down their goals accomplished those goals at a significantly higher percentage than those who didn't.

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You don't get paid for what you think, you get paid for what you do.

More precisely, you're valued for what you've done, not what you've thought or felt.

This applies if you're an agency, consultant, individual contributor, manager, etc. This also applies to friendships, family, and intimate relationships.

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"I'm trying this new diet and..."

I hear this all the time. Even more so here in Boulder, the city where world class athletes mingle with the common folk and an outsider would never be able to tell which is which. This is the town where, when I rock climbed in Raleigh, NC, I was one of the better in-shape guys in the gym. In Boulder, I'm the fat kid.

When I overheard this person briefly mention they were trying a new diet, it reminded me of the experiments I've done in fitness and nutrition. What I realized was this:

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In some way, shape, or form, I've studied "productivity" since reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in middle school.

A couple years ago, I was drinking no less than 12 shots of espresso every day. It helped me get more work done. Faster. I could stay up later and I could get working immediately after waking up.

Get more done. Faster. The key to productivity. The key to success. The key to great accomplishments. The key to a great life...

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