Why you need to think first and write later – especially for business

“If you don’t know what you think, you can’t write it down,” said my longtime colleague and book co-author John Butman some years ago.

Yet how many of us take on a business writing exercise – email, blog post, even web page – without thoroughly thinking through the key issues needed to make that piece of writing work properly … before we write anything down?

Most of us fall victim to it. Even I do, and I’ve been a professional business writer since Madison Avenue was a dirt track with an Algonquian name.

Think before you write, especially for business

Think before you write. And think about the right things, so you write what works for your business.

It’s all part of our tendency not to engage brain before putting fingers into gear. Here is one classic symptom, with a suggestion on how to treat it… [Read more…]

How not to spam bloggers, by I. M. A. Spammerdick

If you have a blog, or a website with a blog, you may well get approached by kind souls offering to do anything from enhancing your content to transforming your life if only you include their totally unsuitable material within your blog content.

how not to spam a blogger

Do you ever stop to read the spam you receive? It certainly can open your eyes…

I have to admit it, though. I read a lot of my spam.

Why such a saddo? It’s because even though it’s spam I can learn from it. (And get some laughs from it.) Here are some of the more outrageous examples… [Read more…]

Network marketers, IFAs etc – yes, you CAN blog if you want to

If you are a network marketer, franchise owner, IFA or other profession working with a brand that controls your marketing communications, you may be under the impression that you can’t use independent blogging as a means to promote yourself to potential customers.

blogging for IFAs and franchise owners on How to Write Better
Often when I’m out at face-to-face networking events I speak to IFAs (Independent Financial Advisors), distributors/consultants for brands like Utility Warehouse, Forever Living, Mary Kay, Stella & Dot, Arbonne and more, franchise owners of “umbrella” real estate and other similar businesses. Often they say that they aren’t able to blog because of restrictions on what they can and can’t say according to their respective brands’ guidelines. However …

Unless your business’s restrictions forbid all social media communications, there  ARE ways you can use blogging and social media to enlarge your “tribe” without breaking the rules.

[Read more…]

Content writing: curated articles that aren’t vanilla sh*t

If you like to learn about creating better content BUT are fed up with the droves of boring, “vanilla,” repetitive, useless articles that fill up the internet, stick with me. Here are a few that I think are excellent: I’ve learned from them, and so will you. Your time reading them will NOT be wasted…

good articles on content creation on HTWB

…because no-one has time to waste on boring, vanilla, hot-air articles on content creation.

…and, we’ll be curating similarly good, powerful and useful articles on here in the future as they crop up. Does that work for you? If so please say so in the comments below. In the meantime…

Emails: what’s the best time to send them?

[Read more…]

How to optimize your blog’s images in 3 easy steps (and why you should)

Blog writers, in particular, often forget to optimize the images we use to illustrate our words – so losing some potentially valuable SEO traction. Yet with just a few simple key strokes you can benefit from greater Google visibility. To show us how, please welcome USA-based content marketer Owen Hunt

How to optimize your images and why it's important

We’ve all heard that images are important to add life to our content and spice up otherwise boring and bland content. What we haven’t discussed nearly enough, is how important optimizing images is for your overall SEO. We spend so much time on text and behind the scenes optimization that many of us forget our images.

Without properly optimizing your images, you could be leaving half of your SEO potential on the table. [Read more…]

How the SO WHAT? test can boost a lot of your business writing

Although the SO WHAT? test originally was written to test the content effectiveness of your elevator pitch, actually you can use it to test almost any promotional statement. Here’s how it works…So what test for all your marketing on HTWB

The basic idea behind the SO WHAT? test

[Read more…]

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