Mar 25, 2013 by Aaron Rubman
In January, Dale Riehart wrote a great list of ways to prepare for working with a professional writer. One of his suggestions is that business clients prepare a positioning statement.
Of course, a positioning statement isn’t just important for a professional writer. It’s a valuable tool to have whenever you want to talk about your product or company. Think of it like an elevator pitch for copy - short and to the point. So how do you prepare a positioning statement?
Dale offers a proven and elegant solution: ad-libs.
Just fill in the blanks appropriately and …
Mar 12, 2013 by Lindsay Gower
Easy to Read is Easy to Understand
You might have a beautiful site design, and a powerful message. It’s little use to you if people have trouble reading the words. I’ve got five things you can do to be sure your paragraph content is easy for your site visitor to read.
Keep in mind, I’m talking about paragraph content, not your headings.
1. Use a single standard font.
Pick one font for your paragraph content and use it, and it only. You’re saying unprofessional loud and clear when you mix fonts from paragraph-to-paragraph or page-to-page.
Use a font that is unremarkable. Fancy type faces are …
Jan 14, 2013 by Janet Peischel
You know that thing about the pig—where you use everything except the squeal? That’s my philosophy when it comes to content. I repurpose everything because I’m just too busy and stingy not to be getting maximum mileage out of everything I write.
I’m a writer and manage digital media for my clients who are mostly small companies and solo practitioners. They’re generally overworked and overwhelmed by the constant assault of information about what they “should” be doing to market themselves. You know how this goes—“20 dashboard applications that you can’t live without.” No one needs 20 applications that do the same …
Jan 2, 2013 by Dale Riehart
So you need a copywriter to help craft your marketing message.
You’re not a writer, but you need to get your message out. So you call in a professional copywriter to help you craft your marketing messaging. To ensure the marketing materials best reflect your product or service, you need to provide your copywriter with all the information needed to write the most persuasive copy possible. This can be accomplished with an in-person meeting or conference call with email follow-ups.
Let’s start by reviewing what your copywriter will need from you:
Your business challenge: What is the market situation? Are there any unmet …
Dec 27, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
I’ve written before about the spoken word, because whether you’re writing it down or saying it out loud, it’s communication.
Today, I want to point out how sloppy habits of spoken language do not translate well when written down.
I was like, how can he? And he was like, well, that’s what I like. So, like, I’m suppose to like that he’s like, It’s soooo great!?
How many times did you have to read that to translate the “likes”? That is a snippet of conversation I heard at Starbuck’s last week. (I was not eavesdropping. The speaker was on her phone in line …
Nov 16, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
Writing to complain the need can arise for us all.
I recently had to write a letter of complaint to Kaiser’s billing agency to ask them to correct their statement that says I suffered a sprained neck in a car crash. I had a sprained ankle. I’d spoken to them on the phone and they’ve said yeah, sure they’d change that sprained neck to sprained ankle. They didn’t. The time came for me to put my complaint in writing.
Complaining in writing helps you:
- Marshal your thoughts and organize your argument
- Express yourself respectfully. When you take time to write and review, …
Aug 26, 2011 by Aaron Rubman
One of the largest mental hurdles to maintaining a consistent business blog is coming up with a topic week after week. It is easy to trap yourself with an artificial need for novelty instead of sticking to your strengths. But if you’re really unsure of your ability to come up with relevant topics, the following strategies help.
1. Follow the News
Whether you listen to the radio while you commute or read an industry magazine on the weekends, make sure you keep abreast of current events. The modern online reader is interested in relevant commentary.
Look for the stories that interest you as …
Aug 10, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
One of my favorite clothing stores had their big summer sale recently. They posted signs in their windows and throughout the store: End of Summer! Final Sale! 45% Off! Lucky me, I found a snazzy orange top which I was 90% sure would look great with my floral print skirt.
10% of uncertainty didn’t worry me, because the store has a decent return policy. I’ve often taken a garment home, found that it did not work with my wardrobe, and then brought it back. In fact, the salespeople often suggest doing so.
But as the sales clerk rang up my purchase, I …
Aug 8, 2011 by Aaron Rubman
A word of warning: If you produce blog posts regularly and without fail, this article is not for you.
This article offers approaches to writing, strategizing, using research, collaborating, and scheduling.
If you’re already on top of your blog, producing regular content on schedule and without impacting your other obligations, you will not gain anything from the suggestions it contains.
Where to Begin: Write First
Putting pen to paper is the most important part of any writing project. Without that crucial step, you will never generate any content.
First you must write.
Don’t worry about style.
Don’t worry about substance.
Jul 6, 2011 by Lindsay Gower
Ah, the good old days! When we could say “the 40s” or “the 90s” and the words flowed easily and everyone understood each other.
But now… what? This century is not only uncomfortable to live in, it isn’t easy to refer to.
How to Write It
If you want to abbreviate a year, let’s use 2006, you can write ‘06. Yes, there is only one apostrophe.
If you refer to the decade, for example, the first decade of the current century, or the decade just before ,do not place an apostrophe before the s. Write the ’00s and the ’90s or whatever. These sentences …