Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Do You Have An Ebook In You Clamoring To Get Out?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
h a p p y
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Many of us fancy ourselves writers, yet put undue restrictions on what it is we may accomplish. Is there a book lurking about your brain somewhere? It can be a print tome, an ebook, and just about whatever form or fashion you desire. Many (particularly bloggers) are afraid to venture past the short form into something a bit longer, though in all the time that they’ve been writing, they may have written the equivalent of several books.

I would encourage you to take the leap of faith to do this, even once. This should be done for several reasons, not the least of which is what it would do for your self esteem knowing that you can indeed put something as substantial as a book together. There is also the professional benefits beyond the obvious additional stream of income you’ve created. You will be an author. This carries with it a considerable amount more cachet than blogger. (No slights intended; just the wretched facts!)

There is also the increased marketability of yourself as a writer. You are suddenly far more versatile and more assignments will come your way easier. You may even find yourself in demand. Writers who can finish assignments on time and well, are prized. How many half-written manuscripts are hidden in attics across America?

So how do you actually get it done? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Set yourself to the task. Don’t create a lot of fanfare around it, telling all your friends on Facebook about your goal. This will only create pressure, and unless you have something of a masochistic streak that likes everyone asking you “How’s the book coming,” I would avoid it. Better to fly under the radar.

Set yourself reasonable daily goals. For a medium sized book of some 75,000 words, you could write 500 words a day for 150 days and have a first draft! That’s a mere 500 words! Many of us write more than that in a blog post.

The takeaway here is that this is doable. Don’t let the sun go down on any unrealized dreams you may have without giving it a good whack! You can thank me later.

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How to Write Headlines That Gets Results

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
One of the paper's most famous headlines from ...
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The art of headline writing is often overlooked, but can be safely given the lion’s share of the credit when a piece of content succeeds or fails. While the main content of the article or piece in question matters greatly too, the hard truth is that without a compelling, emotional headline to get the readers onto the page in the first place, your content is likely doomed before it ever gets read. It’s been found that around 8 out of 10 will read headline copy, but a mere 2 out  of 10 actually read the body. We all need audiences, and a killer headline is a great way to go about getting one! Let’s look at some of the ways to create great headlines!

  • Utilize emotion in your  headline. If you can reach your reader where  they live, you are far more likely to get them to read on. Don’t be superfluous: but instead, tap the genuine emotion that one may feel while reading the content you are trying to convey.
  • Use benefits, not features, when creating your headlines. “This Diet Has a Great Carb Counter” is not nearly as impactful as “Finally, A Diet That Helps You Cut The Carbs and Melt The Pounds Away!”
  • Use superlatives; but not too much! If something is truly amazing, say so! (If it’s not, you might want to say so too! I’m just sayin…) When something is said to stand out above and beyond the rest, usually a further look is what is called for. Anyway, that’s what we’re hoping!
  • Use the word “and” in your headline to give you more bang for your  headline buck. “How To Eat More and Lose Weight!” conveys multiple benefits and will get someone excited about their eventual weight loss program.
  • Use controversy when called for. Don’t make it up and strive to never go after people in print unless you really need to. Frivolous use of this can lead to all sorts of bad places.

There are a great number of ways to encourage people past the headline and into the body of your content. Take the time to learn the craft of headline writing to get your words read!

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