The Nasty Four-Letter Word That
Keeps You From Writing

No Writing

There’s a nasty demon hiding behind writer’s block. This four-letter word represents a condition we don’t like to admit to ourselves, much less utter in polite conversation.

Yep, it’s the “F word” that’s blocking you from writing.

Fear.

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SEO for Bloggers

Blogger's Guide to SEO

Aaron Wall has just released a great free resource entitled The Blogger’s Guide to SEO. It’s full of useful information for bloggers who want to rank well in search engines, and does a great job of driving home why writing for people (instead of search robots) is more important than ever.

Make sure to bookmark it at Delicious for future reference.

Thanksgiving Link Karma

How to Create a Blog That
People Really Digg

Digg

Have you ever noticed that some blogs seem to rise to the top of Digg over and over again?

You might think that they’ve discovered some magic formula for getting attention, built a “Digg culture” on their blog, or they just get all of their friends to Digg their posts.

And they might.

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The Yogi Berra School of
Persuasive Writing

Yogi Berra

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra is a fifteen-time All Star and three-time MVP. He played in 14 World Series games. But what is he famous for?

Mixed up quotes.

Someone once asked him what he would do if he found a million dollars. Yogi said, “I’d find the fellow who lost it, and, if he was poor, I’d return it.” When discussing a Steve McQueen movie, Yogi observed, “He must have made that before he died.” Commenting on a pair of gloves, he said, “The only reason I need these gloves is ’cause of my hands.”

On the surface, Yogi seems confused. But perhaps he is trying to convey a deeper meaning for those who care to consider his words carefully. In fact, I think Yogi can teach us quite a bit about the art of writing copy that’s intended to persuade and motivate.

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What Web Writers Can Learn from the Writer’s Strike

Writer's Guild Strike

Back in the summer of 1997, I walked into the managing partner’s big corner office of the downtown Dallas law firm I worked at and resigned. I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I didn’t want to practice law.

So I packed up and headed south to Austin. In addition to being a Mecca for live music, Austin has a very cool film community, especially for writers. So, the plan was to become a screenwriter and just tough it out until I made it.

You know… tend bar or something. Starving artist stuff.

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The Problem with Waffly Headlines

Waffle

Headline writing is an art, right?

No it’s not. But you can’t have waffle.

So how would you define waffly-headlines? Waffly headlines have terms like this:

Does your office have workplace-stress?

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Five Easy Steps to Editing Your Own Work

Proofreader

In a perfect world, you’d never have to edit your own work, but well, you know the drill. The world’s not perfect, life’s not fair, yada yada. So spend a little time now or a lot of time later trying to convince your boss to let you keep your job as a “pubic relations director.”

Step One: Just walk away, Renée (or Kevin or Amy).

We all know that when we’re too close to things, we don’t see them clearly. This can be good for relationships, but hazardous for the editing process.

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Jazz and the Art of Improvisational Blogging

Jazz

Can jazz musicians really teach you a thing or two about effective blogging?

Absolutely.

The skills that make a jazz artist legendary are also a big part of what bloggers need to succeed. On the other hand, some bloggers are hurting themselves by emulating what many jazz musicians inadvertently do to lose the audience.

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Are You Writing With Clarity?

Clarity

If readers don’t understand what you write, you might as well have written nothing at all.

Ground-breaking ideas don’t count for much if you can’t express them clearly, and your incisive opinion won’t carry much weight if it can’t be followed.

Worthwhile writing should contain new, interesting and complex ideas. It should challenge the reader and, hopefully, resonate. To be effective, this kind of writing must be crystal clear.

In this post, I want to outline a few simple things you can do to make anything you write easier to understand.

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