Archive for June, 2012

Readers like ‘cookies’

Think of your readers as puppies you want to keep coming back to you… feed them “cookies.”
Little nuggets of informative, fun morsels are easy to swallow and can be addictive when it comes to readers.

This article tells you all about it:

www.copyblogger.com/create-better-content/

 

In politics, do hometown folks know best?

The hometown edge cuts both ways when you look at Marco Rubio as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

www.floridavoices.com/columns/mark-obrien/hometown-edge-more-sentimental-smart

 

Noise can inspire your writing

Got writer’s block?

Get out of the cocoon and go someplace where your brain will get stimulated.

Unless you’re writing deep, dark, brooding poetry, the buzz of other people will stir your brain, as this article notes. www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/06/study-of-the-day-why-crowded-coffee-shops-fire-up-your-creativity/2

No use for “utilize”

Becky Gaylord is a consultant after my own heart.

At http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/11948.aspx Gaylord put together a list of 11 words and phrases that should never be used in a press release. We’re trying to talk to people, not confuse them or one-up them with la-dee-dah lingo.

The worst in her view is utilize, an awkward, three-syllable word meaning use.  It’s my least favorite, most overworked word, full of pretense and pomposity.

Use “use” and live happily ever after. Let readers understand what you’re saying; don’t hide behind buzz words.

Gaylord’s other offenders include “end-user,” “ideate” and “outside the box,” surely the most overdone phrase in government and industry.

What words and phrases should be banned?

Make Facebook work for you

If you’re not connecting with people on your Facebook efforts, ask yourself what’s not working.

This marketingland.com article gives 14 possible reasons — with solutions.

marketingland.com/14-reasons-no-one-talks-to-you-on-facebook-13660?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium

Solution No. 1: Be interesting, dammit!

How a newsletter can deliver

Don’t laugh. Newsletters work. You just have to do them well.

It’s not that hard.

Write about what you know — your product or service. Throw in some deals — discounts, bonuses for referrals. And keep it light – humor, human interest. When all else fails, a cartoon (non-political) or a cute kid photo will liven up the pages and keep people looking.

Laura Hancock takes you through all the steps with this breakdown http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/37-things-you-need-to-know-before-publishing-a-newsletter-0196849

She also has a counterintuitive idea: Send it via snail mail. It costs a lot more, but it can have a lot more impact if the newsletter looks good. Junk mail is dwindling, so a well-done newsletter will stand out. The cost of postage also will make you focus on legitimate targets and not just anyone.

P.S. Make sure someone edits it well for typos, misspellings and jargon the reader may not understand. Keep it simple and fun.

Just do it — write!

Fellow ghostwriter Dennis Lowery has helped many people tell their stories.

Step 1: Get over your fear of failure.

Here’s Lowery’s take on it:

“No one on this earth (past, present and future) is perfect. Be willing to discover that about yourself–and to discover it in others. Even when you try your best sometimes you will bomb. It’s okay to be concerned about the outcome… just don’t let that stop you from trying.

A friend of mine, author Donna McAleer, often quotes this (and it is an absolute truth):

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

 

Good news for marketing to seniors

More senior citizens are getting Web-savvy, which is a boost for marketers trying to reach them efficiently.

PewResearch.org reports today: “As of April 2012, 53  percent of American adults age 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.”

While many companies chase younger consumers, some know that older folks often have much more disposable income.

Thank God for ballots, not bullets

Here’s a column I wrote for floridavoices.com about the way two people — and maybe many more — see the presidential election very differently.

floridavoices.com/columns/mark-obrien/canceling-each-other-out

Who’s playing the ‘Man Card’ now?

Take a minute out from the rat race and get some chuckles from this tale of men and the “Man Card” so many of us prize.

www.splashpensacolabeach.com/news/2012-06-06/Coastal_Life/Not_every_man_can_carry_a_Man_Card.html

It’s my column in the June issue of Splash!, an entertainment publication of the Gulf Breeze News.