water splash

Five Tips for Greater Clarity in Blogging

People overwrite and under-explain.
You should write as you speak (with fewer grammatical errors, certainly) and make sure to describe what you mean in clear terms.
Sounds simple, but many people don’t practice these two principles. I know a few who speak well – their everyday English is correct, conversational and compelling – but when they set…

Listing Toward a Blog

Think lists.
I know, we live in an age of BuzzFeed lists, listicles in magazines, top-10 lists of all sorts from best- or worst-dressed most highly paid, biggest sellers, etc. But people like lists, and they get readers’ attention.
So every once in a while, give yourself a list blog.
This has three advantages (note the segue into…

Tips to Writerly Productivity

I’d written about how important commitment is to writing.  Not only do you need the desire to do it, you need to keep a schedule in order to get something done.
This is less a matter of finding time (you can never find it) but of making time, and making the most of the time you…

Commitment, Commitment, Commitment

All writing is about commitment. In fact, much of life is about commitment. You rarely get anywhere by simply bothering to show up: you’ve got to be present. Even couch potatoes who strike it rich by winning the lottery actually had to purchase the ticket.
You’ve got to work at becoming known. Just as you must…

From Platform to Publishing Success

Yet another blogger has capitalized on the popularity of her site to become a bestselling author.
The blogger, Deb Perelman, has a popular blog, Smitten Kitchen, and now a very popular cookbook for which she was apparently given an advance of $400,000.
What Perelman did, of course, is what many people are doing: she built a platform…

You’re More Original Than You Think

Don’t think about jumping on a bandwagon.
Build your own.
If you’re considering following what’s been popular, don’t. That’s what publishers, television stations and movie studios do. So put away your first chapter of George Washington, Zombie Killer, and The Blood-Scarlet Letter: Hester Prynne, Vampire Vixen, and think of something new.
It’s a new year, it’s a clean…

Where Ideas Come From

Professional writers, especially novelists, are often asked where they get their ideas.
Ideas come from other ideas. You see connections and you train your mind to weigh in on those connections. One thing leads to another, and an idea grows out of the possibility for expressing a similarity or a difference between what you’ve observed.
For someone…

Anatomy of an Effective Blog Post

Do you think you’d be more comfortable trying to set up a Starbucks on the moon then write a blog post? You’re not alone! The first few posts are sheer terror, but blogging becomes more bearable after you’ve published your first few. Before long, it’s actually fun!
That being said, let’s start at the beginning. Here’s a…

Best-Of Lists and Platform-Building

You may not make the top-10 list, but you’ve got a chance to be heard nonetheless.
We’re at that time of year when “best of” articles and lists begin to appear. People whose job it is to look at movies, listen to music, read books and weigh in on such matters give us their opinions of…

Should You Publish a Full or Partial RSS Feed?

If you’re not familiar with RSS, watch this video.
One common question is whether businesses should publish full or partial RSS feeds.
In a full feed, RSS readers can read entire articles in their reader without having to click a “Read More” link that takes them to the full article on your blog.
In a partial feed, obviously,…