Fool me once – shame I won’t be visiting your website again

April Fools’ Day is this weekend, perhaps the only date on the calendar when benign cruelty is celebrated, apart from Black Friday. One of the most effective April Fools’ jokes my daughters played on me when they were much younger preyed on my pre-first-cup-of-coffee, semiconscious vulnerability. I stumbled into the kitchen, making a beeline to […]

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What’s the optimal length for online content?

Ever wonder if your blog post is too short or your article too long? I’ve been wrestling with the issue lately, so I set out to find answers. As it turns out, the answers aren’t black and white, but savvy marketers can weigh the considerations below to help identify the optimal length for their own […]

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‘Accessible expertise’: Balancing ‘readability’ and complexity in marketing content

In George Orwell’s “1984,” the Party had several ways of ensuring conformity, limiting independent thinking and banishing impermissible thoughts and actions. These included the “memory hole” down which unacceptable images and stories were sent for permanent deletion from human consciousness to the fact that Big Brother was, of course, watching you. But the central initiative […]

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Tips for efficient, effective content feedback

writing feedback

Last year, we posted about giving good design feedback. Several of the tips – like being direct and providing examples – also apply when you’re sharing feedback about content. Here are a few more ideas that will help writers ensure the final product hits the mark. In my experience, these techniques are highly effective and […]

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Content creation: 4 questions to set the stage for success

create content

When a client gives you the green light to create content, it can be tempting to jump in and start writing immediately. You can shield yourself from stress if you take a quick minute to nail down answers to four key questions. These questions are so important that you probably aren’t ready to start drafting […]

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Why learning to “right” ‘gorgeous’ sentences isn’t enough

learning grammar fundamentals

Students who can’t write complete sentences deserve a hall pass, according to teachers who were interviewed for an Aug. 2, 2017, article in The New York Times. “A Wakeup Call on Writing Instruction (Now, What’s an Adverb?)” suggests that learning grammar fundamentals stifles creativity. The Snapchat generation is woefully lacking in grammar basics. Three-quarters of […]

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‘Knowledgeable, yet approachable’: 5 tips for navigating financial writing

financial writing style

I’m often asked to write about financial topics in a style summarized as “knowledgeable, yet approachable.” With this style, I’m typically targeting smart readers who want to glean a few bite-size takeaways. They’re turned off by dry, academic work, and habitually click away from dumbed-down articles. If this were a sartorial style, I would think […]

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Copywriting versus content writing: what’s the difference?

With the emergence of content marketing, savvy business owners, executives and marketing directors know they need quality writing to help drive their marketing efforts. What many of them don’t realize, however, is that there are different types of marketing writing. Copywriting and content writing are not synonymous. They frequently cross paths, but the goals in […]

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