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Interview with David Leonhardt - The Happy Guy

I am happy to introduce David Leonhardt a.k.a.The Happy Guy Marketing - journalist, writer, blogger, social media marketer, etc... Successful professional, well recognized in his field, in addition good friend of WebmaisterPro.


David, would you introduce yourself with few sentences?


David LeonhardtMy background is in public affairs - media relations and consumer advocacy - but I've been a freelance writer and promoter for the past decade. I run The Happy Guy Marketing.


Dave, without stepping into your personal space, would you share what drives your creativity?


Electricity, of a sort...

What I mean is, when I can put ideas together, I feel a charge and I get motivated and passionate. That applies equally when planning an article or blog post, or when I am planning a promotional campaign.

Sort of like Dr. Who, just not as cocky.


Does it require courage to be article writer, blogger and Internet marketer?


It takes courage or stupidity or both to take a leap of faith and jump out on your own. The fact is that when I did it, my goal was actually to become a motivational speaker. I had my book and I had become a DTM (the highest designation awarded by Toastmasters International). Sadly, I discovered that I sucked at selling myself.

Moving into writing for others and promoting for others, almost fell into my lap by accident, so I can't take credit for any grand strategic design.


Would you share link to your book?


Climb Your Stairway to Heaven: The 9 habits of maximum happiness
A related story, my daughter delivered a speech in her class today. She had to speak on “The Good Side of Me". The whole process from the beginning was so stressful for her, because she couldn't stand feeling like she would be bragging. It is not easy to sell oneself, even if one can sell other things.


You've made analogy with Dr. Who, as AI is not yet invented, how would you define quality content? Is "Content a King" or it is just a cliché?


I have always believed that substance is what counts, long before Bill Gates made that famous statement. But it's not just the content; it's also how it's presented. That's the old PR guy in me talking.


How many own web projects in addition to writing do you run?


That depends on how you define “run” and what day it is today. I have four of my own active blogs. I help others with their websites, some on a contingency basis and some on and off. And some of my writing team gets involved in blogging from time to time, while others stick only to books. It's complicated.


Probably some links to your own blogs?




Two of them is plenty, right?

So, even while we have been in this interview, a post I ghost-wrote published on a blog where some of the posts are written by the blogger, some by me and some by one of the members of my team at THGM. Like I said, it's complicated.


Dave, you are very active in social media, well recognizes as “The Happy Guy”. Do you think that social media is taking over web search?


I don't think social media is taking over web search. If I want to find out about something I overheard on the bus, or if I need to know more about how to remove a stain or if I want to buy something, I won't search on YouTube or FaceBook. I'll go to Google or Bing or Duck Duck Go.

Traditional search is still massively important.


Would you share something about your typical day routine?


Well, my wife drives one of my daughters into the city with her, so I take charge of the younger one while seeing what went on overnight - the Internet is global, and so much happens while I sleep!

When I settle in, I usually focus ongoing through social media accounts and tribes on Skype and FaceBook and elsewhere to catch up, read and share blog posts, etc.

If I plan to publish a blog post that day, I usually do that early.

Then I check emails and what I do from there depends on what clients and prospects have sent in.

On occasion, I just block a day out for writing.

My own blog posts I usually write in the evening, while my daughters are dancing, since I can bring my laptop into the waiting room for writing, but there is no Internet there.


How do you manage work-life balance?


Occasionally, I remember to eat lunch. I have found that when you work from home, there is no “free time" and there is no "work time". I work the oddest hours, but I also get things done for home sometimes during the day.


Excellent statement, that I can back you up completely


Everybody is different, but I suspect this is how 99 percent of home-based freelancers operate.

It's not a lack of discipline; it's probably too much discipline.


Dave, your top 3 tips for article writers, that you would like to share?


  1. It's all in the idea. “Unique content" isn't really unique if you are just rewording the same idea that 55 other blogger have written last week.

  2. Pay attention to what people are talking about. Look what they are sharing most on Twitter and Google Plus, especially people in your niche. Then find what twigs an emotion in you - and write how you feel and what you think. That are you unique and original take on something that interests everybody.

  3. Illustrate. The Internet (and off-line, too) is saturated with information, and people need pics to keep from getting cross-eyed. But they need interesting pics to share. Stock photography is better than nothing, but your own pics with a message on them is much better.


Following the conversation, do you think that today's writers need to be all rounders in SEO, web development and social media?

If they are writing for the Internet, I think they should know the basics. The problem is that for SEO, there are so many mixed signals, and doing too much of the right thing can land you in jail. And with web development, sometimes WordPress strips out perfectly good code. And social media is necessary, but you don't need to be an expert if you also have some tribes to work with.


What services do you offer and how people can get in touch with you?


We write almost anything - books, speeches, blogs, press releases, screenplays, but mostly books and blogs. We write and edit and translate - we work in English, French and Spanish. We also promote on-line content through SEO and social media. If I was to leave one self-promotional message with readers, I am offering $1000 for a successful book-writing referral. More info is at https://thgmwriters.com/blog/make-1000-by-not-writing/

Thanks for reaching out to me for this interview. It has been fun. :)


Thank you very much, Dave!

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