Why We Built Spokal

Consider this a precursor to the Spokal ‘mission statement’ – though we haven’t penned it into words – it’s what’s driven us through every decision we make here. It’s how we determine what goes in the product and what does not. It’s the heart of who we are.

It’s how we make choices between ease of use, and flexibility. Sometimes we find the best of both worlds. Sometimes we need to make a call. 

We built Spokal because online marketing is changing so fast – it’s hard for anyone but full-time online marketers to keep up. 

Because current marketing automation platforms have complex feature-sets, mandatory training, and expensive annual lock-ins. 

Because none of the current generation of platforms work for small business. I mean real small businesses – from freelancers to owner/operators with up to around 10 employees.

If You Can Master This, You’ll Never Need Content Marketing Again

We fail at the most obvious thing in our business.

If You Can Master This, You’ll Never Need Content Marketing Again - Proactive Customer Service

Photo courtesy of David Blackwell.(CC No Derivatives)

Our customers.

Specifically, keeping them happy when they don’t have problems.

Everyone talks about “delivering great service.” Which is why I cringe bringing this up. Especially since I’m sure many small businesses do.  

But what about delivering remarkable service when it’s not a reaction to a problem?

How many of us take the time to deliver proactive customer service?

How To Turn Your Inbox Nightmare Into A Content Marketing Machine

I know.

Emails suck.

Well, not really, but with more than 294 billion emails sent daily, your inbox can be one of the worst parts of your day.

Except maybe blogging.

Am I right?

Well, it’s time to put an end to that and kill two birds with one stone.

Every email is a piece of content, which is why it’s possible to turn your inbox nightmare into a content marketing machine.

I promise.

Simply follow these 5 things…

2 Of The Best – And Worst – Examples Of Old School Marketing I Saw Last Week

I saw 2 things last week.

One made me excited.

The other made me cringe.

Old School Marketing

Photo courtesy of eddiedangerous(CC Attribution)

Thing 1: How To Win A Customer’s Heart (And Wallet)

I was running on my usual route last week when I saw one ofthe best pieces of old school marketing that I’ve seen in a long time.

A flyer.

Yes, a flyer.

Let me explain.

How to Write Blog Posts That Are 10x Better

Want to learn how to write sticky blog posts? 

Let’s dive right in.

How To Write Blog Posts That Are 10x Better

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1. K.I.S.S.





Seriously, your blog isn’t the place to prove you’re smart. It’s the place to share what you know in an accessible manner.

It’s actually harder to condense your thoughts and speak simple. But it’s worth the challenge, as it’s an easy way to increase your readership.  

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

smart people throughout history

How To Cheat At Keyword Optimization And Get Away With It

The other day I was asked some questions about keyword optimization. They were questions that I’ve been asked before, so this time I decided to write a blog post about them.

Specifically the questions were:

  1. How many times show a keyword show up on a page to be effective?
  2. How many times is too many?
  3. Where should keywords appear – in titles, in the body, in the blog category list?


Photo courtesy of TiTaN Jad(CC No Derivatives)

He also positioned the questions:

I have been trying to put more focus on writing my blog — as per your advice. I enjoy writing and I want to produce quality writing. 

I don’t want to just create posts that are a bunch of keywords strung together with some transitional phrases. At the same time, I want people to be able to find my content when they do a search, so I understand that keywords are important.

I think this is a point we all come to, sooner rather than later.

Nobody wants to read content that’s stuffed with so many keywords that it sounds like something that came out of a robot.

But to really answer these questions we have to take a step back and look at keyword research, the process that happens before keyword optimization.

19 Tweetable Stats About Online Marketing That You Won’t Find on BuzzFeed

This isn’t your average list.

We’ve dug up 19 tidbits about online marketing that we think you’ll enjoy.

How will you know unless you continue reading?

Sticky Stats

1. The average small business spends less than $7 a day on marketing. (Search Engine Land)  << Click to Tweet >>

2. 11% of Americans think HTML is a sexually transmitted disease. (TIME Magazine) << Click to Tweet >>

Gary Vaynerchuck’s 3 Golden Rules To Creating Content

I’ll get right to the point.

Gary Vaynerchuck is one of the world’s best social media marketers.

Gary Vaynerchuck’s 3 Golden Rules To Creating Content

Photo courtesy of Bombardier(CC Attribution)

Chris and I had the opportunity to meet him in Vancouver two years ago and chat about Spokal.

His insights were invaluable.

I truly believe that if you’re having a problem online, Gary can solve it.

While his fees are geared toward the Fortune 500 clan, he recently published a book for small businesses, showing how anyone can use his tactics to stand out online.

From listening to Gary and reading his work, there are 3 golden rules that I’ve learned are essential to creating content.

Here they are.

3 Guys You’ve Never Heard Of – And How They Changed The Way You Market Your Business Forever

There are 3 people who made your business possible.

In fact, they’ve influenced the way almost everyone around the world markets and sells their products and services.

And chances are you don’t know them.


It’s time to meet the less well known fathers of modern marketing.

How to Write Relevant Content in 2 Easy Steps

I was writing at one of my favourite coffee shops on Vancouver Island when I came across this book.

Brown Gold: The Amazing Story Of Coffee

How To Write Relevant Content

What caught my eye was the selling feature.


Wow. Full color?!

Then I realized…

It was published in 1952.

In 1952, having 8 full colour images in a book was remarkable and highly relevant, as it would be a key decision criteria in deciding whether to buy the book. 

But, if you put that same message on the front cover of your book today as the main selling feature, you’d be laughed off the shelves.

When people say the secret to content marketing is relevance, this is what they mean.

So, here is a 2 step plan to help you write relevant content that will convert causal browsers into customers.