Hi, I’m Todd A
Content creator, editor, strategist
My professional work is described below. Start scrolling.
My professional work is described below. Start scrolling.
My career began accidentally when I learned HTML in order to build my own web magazine. That led to jobs as a writer and a developer. Through the years, I've helped individuals start blogging; created a blogging initiative in an agency; been the first web content manager at a technology manufacturer; created strategies for small businesses; helped non-profits align their web tools and content; and written many stories about life, culture, and work.
What I have learned through a career at the intersection of content and code is that I feel most at home telling stories that impact me personally and I am most engaged when my work is helping create the structure for others to tell their stories.
Find hundreds of stories I've written on Contently and Medium.
Some case studies of my work follow.
I was the senior content strategist at PogoTec — a wearable technology start-up — as we launched our first product, PogoCam.
PogoTec received little press coverage and organic excitement around the product despite winning the 2017 CES Showstoppers - IHS Markit Innovation Award and other recognition. This was possibly due to repeated delays in the launch date.
We loaded the top of our sales funnel with a successful lead generation campaign across social media and other web marketing outlets. Through this we properly identified our demographic and were able to hone our efforts.
We created a social media strategy and email strategy based around exciting our followers with our upcoming launch.
Email open (37.16%) and click-through (7.51%) rates exceeded industry average (20.87% and 2.16% respectively).
We gained over 73k followers Facebook, over 160k email subscribers, and over 4k Instagram followers.
I was a freelance digital strategist for Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee as they brought in a new Communications Officer and changed their approach to their website and web content.
Christ Presbyterian was already doing a wonderful job producing content (podcasts and articles) and they had a clear goal (active congregants). Their tools prevented them from becoming successful.
Often podcasts would not appear on iTunes correctly, content on their website was poorly organized, and they had difficulties getting staff to understand how to make updates. They originally hired me to fix a few WordPress problems but I created a strategic plan for them to succeed into the future.
I moved their podcast operation to SoundCloud and implemented best practices. I migrated all their episodes, tagged them with the correct meta data, and created playlists to organize their content.
To solve their overall website technical and user adoption problems, I created a plan to move them away from WordPress and their private server. I moved all their content to Squarespace, created their initial content hierarchy, and made sure they understood how to maintain the site into the future.
SoundCloud provided them a solid content delivery network for their podcasts that relieved them of the home-brew solution their original developer had created in WordPress. The staff immediately took to the ease of Squarespace to rearrange their content and design.
The greatest result from this overhaul is that their results are now measurable. They were previously unable to measure listens and shares to their podcasts. Their website server often went offline leaving them unable to engage with their users. Squarespace has already given them a more stable platform through which they can easily measure progress towards their goals.
Justice Industries is a non-profit in Nashville, Tennessee that creates jobs for the unemployed and chronically under-employed. I volunteered my time to them during the run-up to a giving campaign called The Big Payback in 2016.
Like many small non-profits, Justice Industries relied on volunteers to set up much of their digital infrastructure. They had an email marketing platform but its content, lists, and templates weren't structured correctly. They had a website but it was not maintained well. They had some blog and social media content but no strategy or editorial calendar.
I reorganized their MailChimp account so that the lists were properly imported from their CRM, their templates modernized, and their content presented cleanly with recognizable calls-to-action. I re-organized pages of their website for better user engagement. I created a content strategy and schedule for sharing content across social media, their blog, and their email list.
Justice Industries more than doubled their donations and tripled their donors over the previous year. A related success was that the intense campaign raised community awarenesss of the Just.Glass service. During the Big Payback campaign, Just.Glass gained 13 new customers. This was a 5% increase in total subscribers. By comparison, the previous month only gained 1 subscriber.
I was hired as the first Web Content Manager at RED Digital in 2011 after they had launched a new website. I was promoted to Senior Web Content Manager and Web Content Team Lead in 2014.
When I came on-board, RED had a taxonomy for content but lacked the content. News was irregularly updated. Interviews were not being newly created.
I began creating new content regularly for each section of the website. To fill out the Interviews section, I began connecting with people inside and outside the company who could facilitate interviews. That helped us start the RED BTS series. I went on location to cover RED's appearances at conventions and education events. Eventually, when the content team grew and I was promoted, I was able to implement an editorial calendar and coordinate content across departments.
Pageviews on News grew ten times greater in my time at RED. Entrances to the News section grew four times greater. RED BTS continues as a series today.
I believe in transparency in the workplace so much that I've published a book about openness and a book opening my own work.
good.simple.open is a manifesto and a mission for doing good work. It expands on my little idea that the path to good work is paved with simplicity and openness. If your end is good, your means can't be bad.
Unconventional Website Advice is a short book of the "unconventional" advice I've given my freelance clients over the past several years. I urge them to stop wasting time and energy trying to reinvent a path to success on the web.
I joined PogoTec, Inc as the Senior Content Strategist in July 2017. PogoTec is a wearable technology manufacturer that was focused on the launch of its first product, PogoCam — a wearable camera that attaches to any eyeglasses or sunglasses. At PogoTec, I specialized in translating a complicated product experience into user-focused language.
In May 2016, I began a contract position as Alcatel's web copywriter and strategist. I was heavily involved in creating the content strategy for a website overhaul. Alcatel is the fourth largest handset manufacturer in North America. In December 2016, Alcatel announced a partnership with BlackBerry to produce their new mobile devices.
From March 2014 until May 2016, I was a full-time freelance content creator and strategist. I leveraged all of my skills to support my freelance business. I built websites from scratch. I interviewed stakeholders and ghost-wrote articles in their voice. I created content strategies for small business. I copy-edited content for clarity and accuracy.
In September 2011, I became RED Digital Cinema's first Web Content Manager. By March 2014, content had expanded to a three person team that I managed. I created the web content strategy; managed the editorial calendar; ran annual content audits; implemented content production process; and trained my team on content strategy and best practices. I edited the work of my teammates and provided editing support for Marketing. I helped create the RED:BTS video interview series and conducted the first interviews.
In 2008, I was hired by Golden Communications as a front-end developer. Leveraging my backgrounds in writing and devlopment, I helped created the blogging business for our clients. I managed the server, trained the overseas development team, taught clients best blogging practices, and created processes for the agency.
In 2007, I became a full-time front-end developer for echomusic in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to building full websites and assisting the maintenance of all client websites, I helped create a process and web template for our street team initiatives.
When my first web magazine gained the attention of the Nashville Scene (the local Voice Media alt-weekly), I was invited to contribute to the paper as a music reviewer and journalist. I also began contributing to the Tennessean and its weekly music paper, The Rage, as well as the defunct Nashville City Paper. Several of my articles were republished in other alt-weeklies in the Voice family and I sold pieces to a few national (and one English) publications.
I taught myself HTML in order to create a web magazine. When that magazine attracted attention, I landed gigs building weblogs and websites for clients. I was an early user of blogger.com in 1999. I later used GreyMatter, MovableType, and WordPress to build sites. I also learned PHP and MySQL in order to build my own content management system.