What I really, really want this year is admittedly huge and will have the longest-lasting impact on my writing life: I want to define my writing brand and orient my work toward that end.
Before you ick out over the word "brand" when it's applied to a creative craft, let me share how I'm defining this: I want to figure out who I am as a writer, what my voice sounds like, the type of stories I want to tell, the messages I want to impart. Phew, that's a big one. But I think it's time. Read More
Selling a product no longer looks like pushing out ad after ad. Instead, it's about building relationships, even friendships, with your consumers -- relating to them and reminding them that you aren't just a company but real people and personalities who exist behind the company and relate to their customers.
This is why, as writers, we need to know the difference between writing to sell and writing to build community -- and the benefits to prioritizing the latter. Read More
Consumers are looking to build relationships with brands they trust, and that requires an ongoing conversation -- one that continues on your company blog, in your social feed, over email and beyond.
Many businesses and marketers struggle to keep up with the demand for new content. Outsourcing that content's creation is one solution to continue building customer relationships while keeping your wits about you. Read More
While most of my clients are pinch-myself-fantastic, I've had my share of unpleasant collaborations. Rather than grumbling on sites where others share the dumb, rude, thoughtless sentences their know-nothing clients have uttered, I've tried to make it a learning opportunity to help attract well-meaning, knowledgeable clients moving forward.
That's why I reached out to five established writers and marketers to get their take on what makes for a positive client relationship. Read More
In marketing, not every leap of faith has an easy landing. Sometimes you make the wrong call, people take offense to your well-intentioned quip or you simply share incorrect information. Pretend it never happened, and let it blow over?
Cute. No. Read More
Journalists know the most important part of their writing process -- which is separate from finding subjects, scheduling interviews, asking the hard questions and researching -- is crafting a gripping lead. The beginning of a creative non-fiction piece should be enticing, provocative, a teaser, a foreshadowing and, so importantly, able to be supported by what's to come in your piece.
Once the lead is discovered, the rest of the story writes itself. Read More
Part of the work I do to pay the bills (gasp, creative writing pays peanuts?!) is content marketing. This is when I craft website content, blog posts, marketing emails and advertising copy for another company. It's fascinating to tell a brand's story in their own voice, much like we creative writers develop our characters' unique voices.
What I won't do, though, is stick someone else's name onto my product. Read More
Scientists have debunked the widely touted theory that 10,000 hours of practice make you an expert in a skill. Experienced writers everywhere sighed in relief because we continue finding ourselves boxed in by the passive voice and sapped by anemic vocabulary.
Let's talk about those weak words that pepper our writing when we aren't confident and make us doubt our creative aptitude. Read More
If you find that your marketing content is performing so low you can't even do the limbo beneath it, let me show you what's missing. Read More
The first hurdle to jump in content marketing is knowing your audience, even before you have a product to sell, and it doesn't have to be a mystery: Outright asking them what you want to know is the simple solution, and you can do so with a signup form.
Here's how to make sure your signup form isn't turning people off. Read More