Raise your hand if you’re a writer.
Now, raise your hand if you have a nice-sized ego.
And now, raise your hand if you lied on that last one and kept your hand down.
The thing is, writing and a big ego kind of go hand in hand. And if you haven’t quit, gone crazy, or offed yourself yet — which I know you haven’t because you were just raising your hand — then like it or not, you have a big ego.
William Shakespeare is the shorthand we use when we want to describe a great writer. He stands for the pinnacle of writing ability.
One reason is that he mastered the art of writing for completely different audiences. He appealed to the ultra elite, to regular theater-goers who never missed a performance, and to the illiterate mobs in the cheap seats. And he managed to satisfy each audience magnificently.
“Few appreciate brilliance, but everyone appreciates clarity.”
I came up with that line on Twitter, and thought . . .
Why waste it there?
Here’s the quick and clear guide to clarity in writing:
Short words are the rule that makes your exceptional words sing.
Short sentences make powerful points faster.
Write like you talk, except better. Better words, better arrangement, better flow.
Know the rules of grammar, then break them like people do. But better.
Clarity comes from deeply caring if people truly understand.
About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Brian on Twitter.
If you’re like many bloggers, you have (or you’re thinking of developing) products and services to sell to your readers.
Your instinct might be to write the sort of hard sell copy you’ve seen so much of, because you will assume that’s what always works.
But will it? Maybe. Maybe not.
The trouble with hard sell is that it’s overused, it can destroy your credibility, and many bloggers just don’t feel comfortable being so aggressive.
So what do you do?
I remember hearing a factoid a while back that said that your income is destined to become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
At the time, that bothered me. Outside of my family, I was hanging out with some folks who weren’t exactly rolling in dough. So to me, this factoid said:
If gender stereotypes make you uncomfortable, there’s a good chance you’re going to hate this post.
Because this post is overflowing with gender stereotypes. It’s all about identifying, valuing, and celebrating the feminine.
Today I’m going to talk about the use of words that are traditionally considered “feminine” to spice up your copy. Why would you want to do that?
If you’ve got something to sell, at some point you’re going to need to present an offer.
In other words, you’ll need to tell your prospective customer what you’ve got, what it’s going to do for them, and what you’re looking for in return.
Sounds simple, and it is. There’s just one problem.
As bloggers, we all occasionally run out of gas when it comes to new content. We’ve been writing about the same topic, some of us on a daily basis — how are we supposed to find something new to say?
The trick is in finding a new way to tell an old story — and when it comes to finding new ways to say the same things, I find it’s best to defer to the experts.
There’s just something about those filthy Entourage boys that gets to me — in a good way.
Haven’t seen the show? It’s crass. It’s sexist, often to the point of being misogynistic. It’s so politically incorrect that sometimes I have to look away.
Also, it’s hilarious and it brings me joy.
Like a lot of successful entertainment, the show is built around archetypes that are larger than the individual characters they play. And those archetypes can actually get you more work, more money, and more enjoyment as a freelancer. I won’t say they’ll let you have quite as much fun as a rich movie star, but it’s close.