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17 Tips for Better Writing


I’ve written two successful books and coached dozens of authors how to write a manuscript and develop a new book. Here are some writing tips I’ve used with clients that you might find helpful: Getting Started: Schedule your writing in blocks of time. Write about anything to get started. Focus on what interests you the most. A strong opening is the key to grab the reader's attention. Start with your experience first. What's in your frame of reference? Don't lose momentum when you write. If it's flowing, keep going! Write your primary teaching points first and add illustrations later. Pretend that you're having a conversation with one person. Staying Focused Through the Process: Create an outline and refer to it … [Read more...]

The Reason Why So Much Marketing is So Bland


Previously, I talked about how advertising is the price of being boring. One reason why some individuals and organizations suffer from bland marketing is based on using the wrong focus. They promote their product, rather than promoting the valuable content within their product. Consider the big difference between these two approaches. When you focus on promoting a product, your marketing language will be about the product, which reduces your options for a catchy hook, compelling pitch, and exciting word of mouth. You limit yourself to essentially telling people, “Please buy my widget or service.” In contrast, when you focus on promoting valuable content based on your product, you enable yourself to use better marketing language. … [Read more...]

Advertising is the Price of Being Boring


"Advertising is the price of being boring." I love that line. It’s one of my favorite marketing quotes from Andy Sernovitz’s insightful book, “Word of Mouth Marketing.” My translation for Andy’s point is that if you have to advertise, it’s because you stink at creating word of mouth. Your message is too boring to get people to talk about it. When people won’t talk about your product or service, then you have to get in their face and interrupt them with advertising. And buying ad space can get quite expensive. Which would you rather have? Free word of mouth or paid advertising that people ignore? Getting people to turn into word of mouth warriors is a two-step process: 1. Give something worth talking about 2. Give … [Read more...]

Facebook’s Fatal Marketing Flaw


A few months ago, I expressed my frustration with Facebook’s unethical business practices and inability to follow their own guiding principles. But, I don’t have a megaphone big enough to get Mark Zuckerberg’s ear. Fortunately, the media industry has released new reports showing Facebook as the fraud that it really is. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported how Social Media Fails to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype. Their article highlights a recent Gallup Poll, which stated the Myth of Social Media: “62% of the 18,000 U.S. consumers surveyed said social media had NO influence on their buying decisions.” (see graphic) In addition, the WSJ said, “More recently, changes in how Facebook manages users' news feeds have … [Read more...]

Authors Getting Hosed by Amazon-Hachette Showdown


You've probably seen the news headlines that Amazon and Hachette Publishers are engaged in a bitter negotiation battle over e-book pricing and terms. The fight has been going on for several months and neither side shows any sign of giving in. There could be a stalemate for quite a while. The problem is that thousands of Hachette authors are getting penalized by Amazon during the negotation process, which is unfair. These authors didn't even know there was a dispute between the companies. Yet, Amazon is preventing customers from buying Hachette books by raising prices, delaying shipments, and removing "buy" buttons to pre-order new books. What's an author to do when caught up in a war between big conglomerates? Last week, I wrote an … [Read more...]