Gender pronouns: let’s start writing solutions

Once again the issue of non-binary pronouns has been highlighted with the recent declaration of pop star Sam Smith asking followers to drop the he/him and write/speak about ‘them’ and its derivatives.

An understandable and increasingly important issue we, in the writing world, need to contend with. But…

New pronouns

It’s evident that we need new thinking about gender and how we write about it. Here are a couple of ideas to get us started. Please join in and share your views!

Is the new shift already working?

[Read more…]

Well, hello again, article writing spinners!

Whaddya know – the article spinners are back in town! Here’s a lovely missive that lurked in my inbox the other day courtesy of two handsome young brothers in Pakistan who would appear to be launching a long-awaited comeback of this irritating and frivolous scam…

spinning articles

Did you think article writing spinners had been nixed by Google? Seems not…

Hi,
Hope you are doing well. Friend, Recently I have visit your site. All the articles you have published here are so informative and user’s oriented.  I would love to post a guest post on your site. I will provide you

  • 1000+ words Article
  • 100% plagiarism free and valuable to your readers
  • Related images and we want only one do-follow link

I assure you, our article will not only be the best, but also appear on some high CPC keywords in the search results.
Please, let me know your thoughts.

Gee thanks, guys. But what we’re looking at here is ‘article spinning,’ surely? And assuming we, er, looked at that issue more than 8 years ago, didn’t you get the hint then? [Read more…]

Writing for sales: so maybe we DO need a few features…

It had to happen, didn’t it. We stretched the elastic band so tight on heart-centred sales and conversational copywriting and benefits-only wording that the other day, it snapped.

It was someone on LinkedIn who made the point that sharing the benefits of a product or service is all fine and dandy, but what if your prospect asks how you make those benefit promises come true? Not with smoke and mirrors, presumably. So here we must turn to corroborating features. Snap!

article on features

OK, but how do you make it Texas’ best bread?

I’m sending myself up here because I’ve been bleating on about “benefits sell, features smell” since the Dark Ages of my former career as a copywriter. (NB: I still deal with features and benefits in the planning and marketing of nonfiction books.)

So how do features work when our words are benefits-led?

[Read more…]

“I help people” … but so does everybody else

How often do you see in written bios, and hear in business networking meetings, “I/we help people/clients to…..” ??

I help people...

Do you fall into the “I/we help you…” trap?

Of course there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a good way to start off for a number of reasons. That’s why so many of us use the “help you” way into the introduction. Then what happens?

We get the death of a good word, and the birth of a cliché

[Read more…]

How to sharpen up your blogs and articles with one quick chop

Have you ever looked at something you’ve just written and thought, “that first paragraph isn’t needed?

No? Well, maybe you should. Even we pro writers often go back and chop off the first paragraph or even two, and let the blog, article or other piece of writing start a few lines along, when we really get down to business.

chopping branch of tree

Either leave preambles and back stories out altogether, in a box, or at the back.

When your writing engine is still running cold…

It’s a bit like when you start your car on a cold morning. I know most modern cars have automatic chokes, but you still don’t get the best performance from even a late model Bentley until the engine has warmed up. [Read more…]

Branding: who needs a logo when you wear glasses?

How seriously do you take branding for your business? OK, if you’re Coca Cola or Kellogg’s it’s very, very serious and you don’t have a choice. But for those of us running rather, er, smaller enterprises, do you realise that branding is just as important?

Now, those of you who know me personally know that I don’t do fancy, but I do branding, sort of, for my meagre writing business. Here, therefore, is the “living logo” that has been working very hard for me for the last six years:

Suzan St Maur's glasses

Who do you think of when you see a woman with a mop of short, blonde hair and big black glasses? And don’t you dare say “Maxine...” I don’t do hats. LOL.

Why a pair of glasses for branding, when I’m a writer?

[Read more…]

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