What to write when someone’s child has died

I will never, never forgive myself for once writing an email to a couple whose premature baby died just a few hours after he was born. In it I wrote, “never mind, you’re young. You can have another one.”  Stupid, ignorant, idiotic cow that I was.

what to write when a child dies

“We need your support, patience, understanding, love and friendship…” Dawn Allen, bereaved parent

At the time, I hadn’t become a parent. And unless you are a parent, it’s hard to understand just what agony the loss of a baby can cause – whether via a miscarriage (even an early one), via an actual birth, and of course later on through childhood and beyond.

It was only once I had a child of my own that it dawned on me what a vile, thoughtless and cruel thing that was to say. Here’s what I have learned that may stop you making similar mistakes… [Read more…]

What to write to a social media troll

Have you ever been trolled on social media? If not, let me tell you it’s like being attacked by a swarm of millions of mosquitoes all intent on biting you, but not quite doing it – only having thousands of pathetic little nibbles.

How to handle trolls

Although humans aren’t known particularly as pack/herd animals, it’s funny how the opportunity to troll someone gathers enough vitriol-spitting monsters to make victims feel they’re not even safe enough to go put their garbage out at night.

Result? You see the swarm but don’t feel any bites. They swarm around you until your head is buzzing, but suddenly just when you feel you’re about to get devoured by thousands of nasty little insects, poof! They’re off swarming around their next victim, and then they disappear out of your life.

There is no reasoning with the trolls once they’re swarming

[Read more…]

What to write to negative commenters on social media

There’s a huge difference between the p*ss-spitting, troll-driven comments that proliferate like horse flies when you dare to express an opinion on social media that offends poor little snowflakes who are passionate about something or other … and someone disagreeing – seriously and respectfully – with a point you have made.

Disagreement - is it good or bad?

Cordial written disagreement on a topic can start a wonderful discussion

Let’s leave the former for us to talk about another time, preferably when I have had a really bad day and need an alternative to pulling the wings off live, er, horse flies.

As for the latter, though, it’s not always bad news. [Read more…]

How to write for eBooks: factual, business-like, conversational?

Have you written and published an eBook lately, or are you thinking of doing one? eBooksHere’s what Anika asked me recently about how to write eBooks:

“I am used to writing fundraising bids which are factual and need evidence to support the relevant points. Do you think e-books are similar in approach – business like and factual or should they be a more relaxed style?”

We’re talking about different animals here, Anika

[Read more…]

What to write to business prospects so you stay in their thoughts

How do you keep your name uppermost in your business prospects’ minds when they’re contemplating hiring you (or a competitor) … without appearing to nag or pester them?
how to retain prospects' interest in youThis was an issue raised by Anna, a business coach I know who is ace at what she does but, as always, has to compete with others for lucrative contracts. [Read more…]

What to write for your readers when they’re on their holidays

When your readers /customers are on vacation, or are about to go on vacation, or even are just thinking about it, you can forgive them for not focusing quite as hard on your business or other activity’s message as they might at other times.

writing for readers on vacation

People on vacation seldom switch off completely from blogs and social media, so keep some of your blogs and posts in tune with them while they’re away.

But rather than just accept it as a seasonal fact of life, in some cases you can actually use this “holiday spirit” to your advantage.

Here are a few examples to get you thinking…and most important of all, how to get your readers coming back to your site for helpful information not only before and after, but while they are away on their holidays.

(Most of the following are ideas that could be developed into a short series of blogs and/or social media posts over the summer. And apologies to readers in the southern hemisphere: maybe you should bookmark this to read again in November!)

15 ideas for summer holiday topics – e.g. if you’re a ….

[Read more…]

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