Justin McKinley

Content Strategist, Developmental Editor, Editor, Photographer, Writer

Editorial chief with success in developing content and talent on a national scale. Passionate, egalitarian leader and manager who drives audience engagement, collaboration, and partnership strategy.

With more than 15 years of experience as an editor for major brands AOL, AT&T, and Yellow Pages, I’ve managed teams of writers and covered content for thousands of local businesses and events, specializing in travel, food, entertainment, and home improvement. I love my career and, above all, the amazing talented people I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate with along the way. I’ve traveled to every state except Alaska (getting there, Alaska), and have a special affinity for Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Europe.

On the marketing side, I’ve overseen national promotional campaigns, created social influencer partnerships, covered major trade shows, and launched editorial franchises. And with my years of focus on local content, I’ve developed a rare, keen perspective for local B2C and B2B marketing. Anyone in need of an objective, shrewd, yet fair assessment of their work… Well, I can lend my laser vision and wealth of market knowledge.

I welcome you to click through my portfolio of more recent work to learn more about each project.
Categories
Content Types
Article, Ebook, Guide, Script, Website Copy
More Information
Northwestern Univsersity, BSS
Location|English, Latin
Publications

Better Voices, Better Content: Driving Exponential Traffic Growth for ClearVoice

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Data Study: We Asked 1,000 Marketers: “What’s Your Biggest Challenge With Content?”
clearvoice.comBlog Post
Data Study: We Asked 1,000 Marketers: “What’s Your Biggest Challenge With Content?”

Whether you're a marketer or not, engaging in active listening can be one of the most important methods to broaden your learning. So we've done just that. In our latest survey, we asked 1,000 marketers seeking help with their content marketing one simple question: “What's your biggest challenge with content?"

January, 29 2018
Turning Time Into a 'How': Discover the Time Flow Method
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Blog Post
Turning Time Into a 'How': Discover the Time Flow Method

The Time Flow Method is my original paradigm: To get a better grasp on time management, you can begin by pushing your thinking beyond the common view that time is linear or absolute. Because it’s neither. Unlock a new 21st century approach to time management with the Time Flow Method and learn how to use the five flows of time to achieve your goals. Listen to a AI voice version of the article as well.

May, 23 2017
Directing the ClearVoice Blog and Resources
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Blog Post
Directing the ClearVoice Blog and Resources

Freelancers, publishers and marketers can wise up in our ClearVoice blog and resources, which I've reimagined and redirected with richer content that has more than quintupled traffic (since implementing the new strategy). Learn from industry experts on crafting better content that empowers and delights, on navigating the freelance economy, and on balancing the words, numbers and tools that drive the world of media. Enjoy articles, interviews, studies, tutorials and more to keep your content fresh: clearvoice.com/blog

March, 1 2017
SEO Ebook: What’s In, What’s Out for 2018 and Beyond
clearvoice.comEbook
SEO Ebook: What’s In, What’s Out for 2018 and Beyond

Is it a coincidence that we doubled our SEO traffic between the time we started this fantastic ebook and the time we published it? Of course not! We've been employing many of the tactics outlined in our ebook, to much success. I hope you can too.

January, 23 2018

Managing National Influencer Campaigns With Truly Inspiring Stars

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Make Every Day Local Campaign: YP Presents
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Video
Make Every Day Local Campaign: YP Presents

While I was Editorial Director at YP, I launched a content initiative to interview hundreds of celebs, experts, star chefs, and influencers for their local business recommendations. My team’s editorial efforts were so successful, YP took our lead and developed a national marketing campaign: Make Every Day Local. Small businesses are the engines that drive local communities and the American economy. By making every day local, consumers can do more to help their own neighbors and communities thrive. The Make Every Day Local campaign encapsulated the spirit of supporting local businesses and all the people who help us make our lives better along the way… that auto shop that fixed your car during your road trip… that veterinarian that saved your sick Sparky… that restaurant where you and your spouse had your first date. So many businesses. So many parts of so many lives. Stars who shared their local favorites in the national video campaign included country music star Jake Owen, ‘Top Chef’ host Padma Lakshmi, award-winning chef Hugh Acheson, comedian and actress Jane Lynch, and others, garnering millions of views on YouTube and other channels.

Living Yellow With Justina Blakeney: Integrated Event
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Live Event
Living Yellow With Justina Blakeney: Integrated Event

While I was Editorial Director at YP, one of my contributors, design guru Justina Blakeney, teamed up with my YP team to transform a shipping container into a living space at Dwell on Design, America’s largest design event. The fully integrated event was a cap to a longer content partnership with Justina. Tour through our YP “Cube”, which highlights designer and vintage pieces from local shops in Los Angeles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf4u5xXtktQ. Special thanks to Dwell magazine, Justina, Danae, Faith, Altimese, Asif, and Leah (you know who you are). You also can join Justina's 1.2 million followers on Pinterest or check out www.thejungalow.com.

May, 30 2015
Star Chefs: Foodie Influencers Featured on YP.com
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Article
Star Chefs: Foodie Influencers Featured on YP.com

As the Editorial Director at YP/AT&T Interactive, my goal was to rise above the noise of other local review sites — and to bring the Yellow Pages into the new millennium. Along with countering the misconception that YP.com, the online evolution of AT&T’s Yellow Pages, was just a digital doorstop filled with numbers for plumbers and pizza delivery, I also had to differentiate YP’s content from its competitors. So I chose to take the high road and focus on quality and accountability, not on quantity and anonymity. In the age of fake reviews and monologuing Yelpers, consumers deserve qualified, vetted recommendations. And that’s what we gave them. During my time at YP, I launched an initiative to interview celebs, star chefs, experts, and influencers for their business recommendations and personal tips: Wolfgang Puck’s favorite restaurants, HGTV stars’ go-to pros and home stores, Suze Orman’s tips on finding a good financial planner, Eva Longoria’s efforts to empower minority women business owners, etc. My team interviewed hundreds of influencers, covering thousands of businesses in total. Each interview and article was promoted via related local business listings, and many were promoted via influencers’ social channels. Here is a selection my team produced to boost repeat engagement, online reservations and ordering, socialization, and SEO for a range of YP’s restaurant categories.

Spotlight: Mom Entrepreneurs Featured on YP.com
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Article
Spotlight: Mom Entrepreneurs Featured on YP.com

When I was the Editorial Director at YP/AT&T Interactive, I directed my team on several special projects, such as this initiative to honor women business owners, a group often underserved by male-dominated sales and marketing forces. The interview series not only anchored our Mother’s Day feature package, but also led to discussions internally in other divisions of the company about how to better address the growing segment of business owners. Note: Roughly one-third of YP’s audience is business owners.

1,000,000+ Pageviews Club: A Few of My Favorite Perennial Traffic-Drivers

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Travel Series: America's Fabulous Hotel Pools
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Article
Travel Series: America's Fabulous Hotel Pools

My series of America’s Fabulous Hotel Pools features, which included several iterations, formats and additional articles (Indoor Pools, Pools With a View, etc.), was perennially popular. Collectively, they swept in more than 3 million visitors via SEO, YP.com, the YP app, ATT.net, email newsletters, social, and Yahoo.com.

Home and Travel: Gorgeous and Stylish Hotel Suites
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Article
Home and Travel: Gorgeous and Stylish Hotel Suites

As the Editorial Director at YP/AT&T Interactive, I didn’t get as much time to produce my own articles, but this was one of my favorites. I love travel, hotels, and design. So this article was a perfect hybrid for our travel and home verticals — and it churned more than a million visits (in an aggregate of various formats) via SEO, YP.com, the YP app, and Yahoo.com. The tactic was broadened to a successful franchise including gorgeous hotel baths as well.

Halloween Hot Spots: Top Ghost Hunting Destinations
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Article
Halloween Hot Spots: Top Ghost Hunting Destinations

One of my favorite holiday-related travel articles. I not only had fun writing it, but I was enthralled by the history behind these spooky haunts. Yahoo featured a previous version formatted as a photo gallery for Halloween a while back, when the article garnered more than 100,000 visits in a period of a few days. The article currently lives on YP.com and in YP mobile apps in the following format.

Fall and Winter Travel: Cozy Cabin Getaways Across the U.S.
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Article
Fall and Winter Travel: Cozy Cabin Getaways Across the U.S.

Another of my favorite travel articles. Previous versions in different formats, such as a photo gallery for ATT.net and Yahoo, collectively garnered more than 1,000,000 pageviews. The article currently lives on YP.com and in YP mobile apps in the following “Featured Collection” format, with integrated promos on corresponding business listings.

Wherever I May Roam: My Original Travel Photography

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Briefly Berlin: Architecture, Art and Memorials
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General Photo
Briefly Berlin: Architecture, Art and Memorials

Berlin has perhaps one of the darkest histories of any modern city. After all the horrors that happened here, it's inspiring to see how much Berlin has changed, for the good, today -- without denying its past. It gives me hope. Sites pictured from my last three-week trip to Berlin: Alexanderplatz, Altes Museum, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Berliner Dom, Bode Museum, Boros Collection, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Dali – The Exhibition at Potsdamer Platz, East Side Gallery – Berlin Wall, Fragrances at The Ritz Carlton, Gemäldegalerie, Großer Tiergarte, Hackescher Markt, KaDaWe, Mall of Berlin, Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, Museum Berggruen, Museum für Naturkunde, Neues Museum, Pergamon Museum, Potsdamer Platz, Reichstag Building, Schlossgarten Charlottenburg, Topography of Terror.

October, 15 2016
Epic America: 1,000+ Pit Stops and Counting
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General Photo
Epic America: 1,000+ Pit Stops and Counting

As a master of the American road trip, I’ve been around — 49 states, 100+ cities, 1,000+ pit stops, and counting. The places that have stayed with me the most have an epic appeal, from the grandeur of Yosemite to the stark serenity at the South Dakota state line. Here is only a small selection of sites I've visited over the years.

Oh, Hawaii: My Home Away From Home
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General Photo
Oh, Hawaii: My Home Away From Home

After visiting the Hawaiian islands more than a dozen times, enough for them to feel like home, I’ve ventured to more sites, nooks, and beaches to list. Below is a good portion of spots I covered for AOL and various outlets — well, minus the twenty or so hotels I stayed at over the years. Of all my Hawaiian excursions, my favorites are kayaking across Kaneohe Bay on Oahu (with the flu, no less), parasailing off Waikiki, and hiking the grunt-muddy Pihea Trail on Kauai into the Alakai Swamp. Due to timing and weather during my trips, the three top skitteroos I have yet to do in Hawaii include hiking the Haiku Stairs on Oahu (aka “The Stairway to Heaven”), seeing the sunrise from atop Haleakala on Maui, and driving the entire Road to Hana, also on Maui. I’ve never had luck with weather on Maui!

Briefly London: Sunny Days and Whatnots
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Briefly London: Sunny Days and Whatnots

Sites visited on my most recent trip: Big Ben, The British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Gardens, Harrods, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, London Bridge, London Eye, London Zoo, Millennium Bridge, Natural History Museum, Paddington Station, The Queen’s Gallery, Regent’s Park, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Warner Bros. Studio Leavesden – Harry Potter Tour, Westminster Abbey

September, 25 2016
Roadtripping: The Great Lakes Loop
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General Photo
Roadtripping: The Great Lakes Loop

Although I used to live in the Windy City, when I attended Northwestern University, I didn’t do the Lake Michigan loop road trip until a few years ago. Starting in Chicago, we meandered across Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minn., cruised along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to Mackinac Island, and then looped back down to Chi-Town again. Some pit stops along the way: Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, Northwestern University, Wisconsin State Capitol, University of Wisconson, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center, Mall of America, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Mackinac Island, Island House Hotel, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.

Briefly Amsterdam: Delightful Autumn
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General Photo
Briefly Amsterdam: Delightful Autumn

Sites visited on my most recent trip: Amsterdam Canal Cruises, Anne Frank House, The Heineken Experience Micropia, Museumplein, Rembrandt House Museum, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark.

October, 22 2016

Selections From Covering *Thousands* of Local Businesses and Attractions

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Luxury Vacation Getaways in Puerto Rico
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Article
Luxury Vacation Getaways in Puerto Rico

My series of destination articles included in-depth themed packages, around 1,400 words a piece. As travel and local businesses are my expertise, I focused on local attractions, resorts, tours, and restaurants so readers could easily pick and choose locations for their personal itineraries. My series included: Aruba – Awesome Vacation Adventures; Aruba – Luxury Getaway Guide; Malta – Cultural Discoveries; Malta – Family Vacations; Malta – Romantic Getaways; Puerto Rico – Destination Guide; Puerto Rico – Amazing Adventures; Puerto Rico – Awesome Family Vacations; Puerto Rico – Gay and Lesbian Vacations; Puerto Rico – Luxury Vacation Getaways; Punta Cana – Cultural Tours and Attractions; Punta Cana – Family Getaway Guide; Punta Cana – Luxury Getaway Guide; Punta Cana – Vacation Adventures.

Don Wildman's Five Favorite Museums
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Interview
Don Wildman's Five Favorite Museums

As part of my ongoing influencer series at YP/AT&T Interactive, I briefly interviewed Don Wildman, the host of ‘Mysteries at the Museum’ and ‘Monumental Mysteries’ on the Travel Channel. He’s about as close as you’ll get to a real Indiana Jones. Brilliant man.

Winter Travel: Awesome Snow Adventures
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Article
Winter Travel: Awesome Snow Adventures

Originally written for an ATT.net syndication package during the 2014 Winter Olympics, this travel article was refreshed and repurposed on YP for the 2015 and 2016 winter seasons. The first version was formatted as a photo gallery and churned more than a half-million pageviews. Subsequent versions engaged more than 100,000 visitors. The article currently lives on YP.com and in YP mobile apps in the following “Featured Collection” format, with integrated promos on corresponding business listings. (Please note: Whoever repurposed my article for 2015-2016 obviously forgot to update the dates in the body of the intro copy. That occurred after I left YP, without my eagle eye to spot it.)

Bucket List of Bewilderness: National Park Guides
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Guide
Bucket List of Bewilderness: National Park Guides

One of more than a dozen guides I created for National Parks across America.

Awesome Vacation Adventures in Aruba
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Article
Awesome Vacation Adventures in Aruba

My series of destination articles included in-depth themed packages, around 1,400 words a piece. As travel and local businesses are my expertise, I focused on local attractions, resorts, tours, and restaurants so readers could easily pick and choose locations for their personal itineraries. My series included: Aruba – Awesome Vacation Adventures; Aruba – Luxury Getaway Guide; Malta – Cultural Discoveries; Malta – Family Vacations; Malta – Romantic Getaways; Puerto Rico – Destination Guide; Puerto Rico – Amazing Adventures; Puerto Rico – Awesome Family Vacations; Puerto Rico – Gay and Lesbian Vacations; Puerto Rico – Luxury Vacation Getaways; Punta Cana – Cultural Tours and Attractions; Punta Cana – Family Getaway Guide; Punta Cana – Luxury Getaway Guide; Punta Cana – Vacation Adventures.

'Top Chef' Eli Kirshtein's Favorite Restaurants
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Interview
'Top Chef' Eli Kirshtein's Favorite Restaurants

As part of my initiative to interview hundreds of celebs, experts, star chefs, and influencers while at YP, I interviewed ‘Top Chef’ Eli Kirshtein, the chef/owner of The Luminary in Atlanta, for one of our many market-specific influencer articles. We also partnered with Kirshtein for a VIP contest and experience at The Luminary. The article currently lives on YP.com and in YP mobile apps in the following “Featured Collection” format, with integrated promos on corresponding business listings.

Top Weeks to Save on Trips to Las Vegas and Laughlin
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Article
Top Weeks to Save on Trips to Las Vegas and Laughlin

As part of a “Top Weeks to Save” series on top vacation destinations in America, I cross-referenced tourism stats and hotel rates to flush out the least expensive times for travelers. My seasonal Vegas ditty garnered more than a 100,000 visits via SEO, YP.com, and Yahoo.com. By the way, the autumn pattern for Vegas holds up pretty consistently year to year.

Steven Satterfield's Favorite Restaurants in Atlanta
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Interview
Steven Satterfield's Favorite Restaurants in Atlanta

As part of my initiative to interview hundreds of celebs, experts, star chefs, and influencers while at YP, I interviewed chef Steven Satterfield in Atlanta, for one of our many market-specific influencer articles. The article currently lives on YP.com and in YP mobile apps in the following “Featured Collection” format, with integrated promos on corresponding business listings.

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