Tell or yell: tone and manner in marketing writing

We have a client whose default mode for marketing writing is overstatement. He’s very successful, very bright and very LOUD. Sometimes it works – there’s a place to pound your chest and claim kingship over all you see. It can work in our favor too — he calls me the greatest writer on Planet Earth. Read more about Tell or yell: tone and manner in marketing writing[…]

Writing case studies: sometimes more is more

Marketing writing is often about compression. How quickly and succinctly can we get our message across? But these speedy, smooth sentences can some times leave out the kind of detail that specialized audiences connect with. Case studies can provide the platform to expand on your offering and show how your solutions works in real world Read more about Writing case studies: sometimes more is more[…]

Ghostreaders wanted: taking ghost-services to the next level

These days, hiring a ghostwriter to write your book is hardly a matter of shame. In fact, it’s becoming a status symbol of sorts, a measure of having made it sufficiently to have some able-bodied writer do the job for you. One is either too busy to write one’s own book, or too smart, or Read more about Ghostreaders wanted: taking ghost-services to the next level[…]

An open challenge to web developers: deal with the content conundrum

There is much that makes sense in online marketing. Brand strategy makes sense. User experience considerations make sense. SEO sensibility makes sense. Social media even makes sense, when done right. One thing that does NOT make sense is designing and building a smart, sophisticated web presence while ducking the whole issue of content. Great sites Read more about An open challenge to web developers: deal with the content conundrum[…]

The advent of the non-writer writer

In this era of blogging, every one is a writer. Which is another way of saying there are a lot of frustrated people out there. Not to mention, some pretty shabby content. Because if you don’t have strong skills and focus, the results aren’t going to be great. On the other hand, for blogging and Read more about The advent of the non-writer writer[…]

The long shot: taking the time to stand out in word and deed

In writing, briefer is often better, but there’s only so much you can leave out, before, in fact, you’ve left out everything. Like the truth of your life story, for example. Or the guts and glory of a real competitive advantage you hold in the marketplace. Not everything worth saying can be collapsed into a Read more about The long shot: taking the time to stand out in word and deed[…]

The inaccurate insult: how politics makes for idiotic word choices

During a break between observing focus groups for an unrelated project, with nothing but M&Ms for sustenance, I started researching an essay I was writing about former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. The client happened to walk up, and, bored as I was, he glanced at my screen. “Janet Napolitano,” he said, “what an idiot.” “Hold Read more about The inaccurate insult: how politics makes for idiotic word choices[…]

Two stories within one: ghost writing that reveals both sides

Good book writing reveals that a story is never just about one thing. Ted Turner’s autobiography Call Me Ted tells a lot about Turner’s expansive business career. But the writing is personal enough to also convey the restlessness born out of aleniation from his hard-driving, alcoholic father. So while Amazon lists it as a business Read more about Two stories within one: ghost writing that reveals both sides[…]

Owning the edge: signaling difference when claims all sound the same

I heard London Calling by the Clash playing on the Muzak in the frozen food aisle of Trader Joe’s recently. I quite enjoyed hearing it, but had to chuckle: If the Clash is playing on Muzak, where is the edge these days? It’s gotten so cool to be different, that everybody claims to be different, typically Read more about Owning the edge: signaling difference when claims all sound the same[…]

Writing into seashells

The Online Etymology Dictionary conjectures that the term niche, so relevant in all things marketing today, evolved  from nicchio, an Italian term for “seashell”. That’s illuminating, because  what is good copywriting or good writing in general if not the endeavor to draw audiences out of their shells, to buy what you’re selling or read what you’re writing. Read more about Writing into seashells[…]