Eleven Amazing Ways An Editor Can Make You Fascinating

Eleven Amazing Ways An Editor Can Make You Fascinating

Eleven Amazing Ways An Editor Can Make You Fascinating

Why use an editor at all? Many of you might ask this question every day. After all, there are about a million apps and plug-ins that help you to write. Some of them can even help you dumb down your writing to the 6th grade level so that 12-year-olds can comprehend your words. But is that really your audience? Twelve-year-olds?

Editors Are Old-School, But Then Again, No

Editors Are Old-School, But Then Again, No

Editors Are Old-School, But Then Again, No

After all, isn’t having an editor a bit old-fashioned? Like using an old-school typewriter? Well, no, not really. You see, an editor can make your work flow, especially a great editor who can do a structural edit. A structural edit looks at the big picture–see Robert Doran’s article So What Is a Structural Edit Exactly?

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Get in the Flow

Speaking of flow, a good editor can help the sentences flow from one paragraph to the next. If the style changes, if the verbs and nouns disagree or even fight each other (a terrible sight!), an editor can help.

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They Know More Words Than You

Not only that, but they know what parts of speech those words belong in. Sheesh, does that even make sense? I might have to stop and ask an editor!

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They Are Not Afeared of Semicolons

Or colons. And when to use an ellipses (…). And what an em dash is! Who the heck knows what an em dash is?! Seriously. Who does? By the way, here’s a snazzy article about punctuation, from the Living Oxford Dictionary. (I particularly like their explanation of the Oxford comma.)

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Contrary to Popular Belief, They’re Not Meanies

Now, some people are clearly too sensitive to work with an editor. And I remember back in the day when my words were me. Do you know what I mean? But now they’re just words–doing their own thing. It’s the thoughts behind the words that really matter.

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They Are Actually Nice

We all know that mean people suck (a bumpersticker that no editor would ever put on her Honda Civic, by the way), but editors are not people who suck. They are kind 97% of the time. The other 3% of the editors are suffering from psychological damage.

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They Help Your Writing Soar

If you’re a perfectionist, then you are ripe for an editor. Because an editor can make your writing soar. And not in a Red Bull gives you wings kind of way, either.

They Can Remove All the Weird Bits

Everyone has a few things they always do. We all kinda sorta make mistakes that can make our writing less than good. But with the digital equivalent of the red pen, an editor can get rid of those. In other words, a good editor won’t let you embarrass yourself.

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Make Your Writing More Concise, Editors Can

If you have the tendency to write like Yoda speaks, as do I sometimes, an editor help you can. By the way, if you don’t have the skill of writing like Yoda, you can use the Yoda Translator.  And you write yourself into a grammatical corner if also assist you an editor can. Did you see what I did there?

Your Writing Might Not Be As Good As You Think It is

Or maybe it is! But only an editor will tell you the truth. By the way, here’s an article about how to write a headline that people will want to click.

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Editors Need Love, Too

If you don’t own a mug that says Have You Hugged An Editor Today?, then you might want to think about getting one.

Do You Love Editors?

Tell me about your love in the comments! And thank you!

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know

 

Every startup has heard that they need to update their website in order to stay relevant to Google and the little bots that crawl around on the interwebs. But how many of them actually start blogging? Very few, unless forced! Don’t ask me how I know–I just do.

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

You Can Do it!

So, how do you get started? Here’s a pep talk: How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in An Hour. Know that you can create something in an hour. That’s the most important thing to keep in mind.

Make an Editorial Calendar

There are many ways to create an editorial calendar, and I’d opt for the simplest if you’re just starting out. A spreadsheet on Google, shared by the entire team would probably do it. Here are some examples:

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

If You Can Speak, You Can Write

 

My blogging buddy, Bridget Willard, taught me that and I’ve never forgot it. If you don’t think you can write, start by speaking. You can get help with cleanup (that is, editing) later. Don’t worry too much about that for now.

Break it Down

Break it Down

Break it Down

As my friend Randy Clark explains, writing and editing use different sides of the brain. So do your writing first, then your editing. Don’t edit as you go for a faster experience. You might want to get some great examples of blogging at Randy’s blog about car wraps. And Randy’s book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever, on Amazon is a bargain!

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Research First

Research your topic before you dive into the writing. Or, if you’ve already started writing, create space where the researched topics need to go. For example, you could say something like add backup link here, and then keep writing. Since researching and editing use a different part of the brain, you can keep your creative juices flowing if you write this way.

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Make an Outline

What do you want your post to be about? Create an outline before you start. Write a header first (here’s a post on How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click), then at least five paragraph headings. End with your call to action. Now go back and fill in each of those five paragraphs with two or three sentences.

 

 

What Ifs

What Ifs

What Ifs

Secret confession time: I hire both an editor (when I need one), and a full-time graphics person. I’ve been writing for years. Give yourself a break and hire it out if you don’t want to do it. Focus on your strengths!

  • What if you have bad spelling and/or grammar? Hire an editor!
  • What if you aren’t artistic? Hire a graphic designer!
  • What if you are a terrible writer? Hire a writer!

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

Blogging Buddies

As mentioned earlier, a blogging buddy is a gift you can give yourself. Find someone else to inspire you. The blogging buddies idea can catapult your writing! Brainstorm ideas, and talk to your buddy when you’re stuck!

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The Reward System

Like anything else, it’s good to give you or your team member a reward at the end of a successful session. Recognition is also an excellent idea, as outlined in an article from the Next Web: Rewards and Recognition: Two Highly Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees.

Start the Next Post Early

My best blog articles have been sitting on the back burner for days. I like to write in 15-minute chunks, sometimes once a day, sometimes twice. If you start your next post, it can simmer for awhile. Even if you think you’re not thinking about it, you really are! And don’t procrastinate, since that way madness lies!

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How Do You Speed Up Your Writing?

Or do you speed it up at all? Maybe you’re more the type of writer who grinds out words one at a time. Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

 

How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click

How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click

How to Write a Headline That People Will Want to Click

Do you get stuck writing your headlines? Here are some things I do to make my blogging life easier! Thanks to Bridget Willard (read her posts if you never have!) for the idea of making this into a blog post!

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You Want People to Read

As bloggers, we all want extra eyes on our posts, whether we’re writing for a brand to gain SEO, or personally, when sharing our stories. Some people, like Ogilvie, believe that a headline is worth 90% of the cost of advertising. So spend some time.

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Pick Your Topic (and Use Your Brand Voice)

What topics would entertain, entrance, or help your audience? Try to stick with those topics. Clement Lim has created the definitive post about branding: Creating a Kick-Ass Brand Identity, which I highly recommend for finding your brand voice.

Plug Your Topic Into a Good Headline Analyzer

My Secret Headline Analyzer

Plug Your Topic Into a Good Headline Analyzer

My first secret is the CoSchedule headline analyzer. Start with anything you want to write about. Go ahead: I’ll wait here. Keep trying different headlines until you get a number you’re happy with. For the blog you’re reading, I tried 15 different headlines. When I first began this method, I had to try 20-25 headlines, by the way. The process gets easier.

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Get a Good Mix of Words

I like to have some common, uncommon, emotional, and power words in each headline. And I like either a B+ or an A+. The CoSchedule analyzer helps with the word balance and gives you the score, too. Since most people will retweet/share your post without reading it, according to The Verge, the headline has to be extra delicious to make people click on it.

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Put the Headline Into Your Blog

I like to write right on my blog. There are always a bunch of drafts, in various stages of writing. So before you forget your wonderful headline, throw it into your blog. You can come back to it later. Spend some time on your headline, though. Having a robust headline can help you whether you plan to post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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Write for 15 Minutes

I like to write for a minimum of 15 minutes. Do you have 15 minutes? Sure you do! Write as fast as you can for 15 minutes. You have permission to stop after 15 minutes. But maybe there’s something else you want to say. I like to use an old-school egg timer. For some reason, the ticking sound helps. Sure, you know that writing a headline is a pain in the asterisk, but go ahead.

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And Another 15 Minutes

The writing process is not about correcting yourself. You can do that later! Or you could hire an editor to help you with it. Either way, just get started. Keep writing. And don’t edit yourself.

Read Your Headline (and Article) to a Friend

I am blessed to have an editor friend for when I get stuck. Remember, you can’t call your friend all the darn time to have them help you. Pay them or take them out to lunch, for the love of Strunk and White.

Tweak the Headline

If what you’ve written no longer reflects the headline, go back and tweak it. You might want to run it back through the headline analyzer tool.

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Need Help Writing?

Yep, I do help others with their blogging and social media.

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This Could Be So Much More Awesome

This Could Be So Much More Awesome

This Could Be So Much More Awesome

Lately, I’ve been thinking about perfectionism and how big a problem it is to many of us. Getting started is the worst problem for me, and maybe for you as well. How do you avoid perfectionism, though? Is there any way to get out there without being so worried about every little thing you say online? Of course there is! Being less of a perfectionist can also be something improving your productivity.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

It’s such a cliché, isn’t it? Just be happy. And don’t worry! It’s one thing to think that, and another to truly believe it. Not caring about what people think is a tough one. If you only compete with yourself, though, then you can stop worrying about what others think. Oddly, this is a branding question. If you’re really yourself, the people who are attracted to you will really like the real you. Everybody else can go fly a kite!

Shooting Granny Style

Once upon a time way back before 1980, there was a basketball player named Rick Barry. Rick Barry played for the Golden State Warriors who recently choked and let Cleveland kill them in the finals. But I digress. Barry threw underhanded free throws, getting an amazing 90% of them in the basket. Although at the time, Barry was laughed at, his stats prove that he was right. He never cared what others thought. However, not until recently did his style catch on. The point is do what works for YOU.

Not Every Hit Flies out of the Park

To borrow a baseball analogy, sometimes you need a hit that merely connects with the ball. A bunt, if you will. When I’m writing, I’m not always “in the zone,” and being in the zone doesn’t always matter. The important thing is to write consistently. By the way, if you like baseball, you might like: Social Media Managers: How the San Francisco Giants Can Improve Your Game.

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It Could Always Be Better

Isn’t that always the case? Not everything I do is going to be perfect. Not every post will go viral. Keep writing anyway. Keep going anyway. Eventually, you will hit your stride, and be “in the zone.” The stars will be in alignment, and you’ll hit it out of the ballpark. I really like this article: The One Thing You Need to Know to Avoid Perfectionism.

Perfectionist Much?

Let me know in the comments if you struggle with perfectionism. I’d appreciate if you made a spelling error or two, too! Thanks!

 

 

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How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

The first thing to do? Set that timer for an hour. Another good thing to do is make sure you have a reward for yourself once you’re done. How about a frozen yogurt with sprinkles?

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First 15 Minutes

Brainstorm ten topics. Here are some ideas to kickstart you:

  • A question that your clients always ask. Or one they rarely ask.
  • A news story you could discuss and how it affects your clients.
  • A recent testimonial, and how happy you were to receive it.
  • Reasons you’re better than your competitors.
  • What people don’t ask about your business but you wish they would.
  • Funny things you’ve learned plying your trade.
  • Tell a story about a crazy client you’ve worked with (anonymous, of course!).
  • How you work with people in another field (for instance an app developer and a website developer).
  • How people can work with you (for instance, Social Media Managers: Ten Secrets to Care for Yours).
  • Behind the scenes in your business–describe some of the people who work at your company.

This tweet from Randy Clark might make you think twice:

Second 15 Minutes

Pick the best topic from your brainstormed list.

Choose only one! If you like two, write about the other one next time. Here’s a bit to help with blogging in a post I wrote about Orange County WordCamp, by the way (create five topics). Now speak out loud and write down what you say. Pretend someone else is there, or call a friend and talk into the phone. If you can use speak to text, even better and faster. I like an “hourglass shaped” post, starting with the macro, going to the micro, and back out to the macro. That is, begin with something generic and then get specific. Now write three short paragraphs about whatever your point is. And then wrap it up with another short paragraph.

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Third 15 Minutes

Add Links. Add at least two inbound links to your own blog (if you don’t have any, don’t worry–you will soon!), and two outbound links. For an article of 350 words, I like to have a total of four links. For instance, for this post, I linked to my own blog twice, and two external links. Search on a topic or two that could use more explaining, and add the URLs.

Add Tags. Pick a few to identify the content of your post.

Fourth 15 Minutes

Add Images and a call to action.

Images

Go to Creative Commons and find something you like and plug it in. I like Flickr, but you may find another favorite–be sure the image you like is available for commercial use and modification. You don’t need a lot of images, but at least one or two at a minimum. Find something compelling that represents your words, but don’t stress over it too much. If you have your own images, that’s even better.

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Call to Action

Here are some typical CTAs:

  • Join us now!
  • Add a comment!
  • Sign up for our newsletter!

Here’s a list of 11 Kick-Ass Call to Action Examples that you might like!

Enjoy Your Reward!

Are you enjoying your reward now? Tell me what your reward is in the comments below! (And how did you like that Call to Action?)

Silent But Deadly: The Passion of The Authentic Pen

Silent But Deadly: The Passion of The Authentic Pen

Silent But Deadly: The Passion of The Authentic Pen

Some days we all struggle with writing. The words don’t flow, thoughts get stuck, and even our best efforts and tricks don’t create new ideas. Other days, writing is effortless. Words emerge in complete sentences, and all of them make sense. Why is this? More and more, I believe the answer lies in silence.

Escaping the Noise

Escaping the Noise

Escaping the Noise

I live in the middle of a forest. My little house is surrounded by redwood trees. I always thought it would be quiet here, but there is a lot of noise: chain saws, trucks, and leaf blowers are among the contraptions people use daily. And also: motorcycles.

Music

Music

Music

Loud music, or even music with words is distracting. People with their constant chatter is distracting. More and more, I hear both: people talking, loud music, which equals the inability to focus.

Habit Forming

So on those easy writing days when words flow, what happens? What is the difference? For me, writing is more effortless when I write every day, and when that writing is done in silence.

Silence

Silence

Silence

Sometimes white noise in the background works. But mostly silence. Maybe this has to do with being an introvert.

By the way, I’ve been reading a great book about noise and the lack of silence: One Square Inch of Silence. ”

“SILENCE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF SOMETHING,
BUT THE PRESENCE OF EVERYTHING.”

~Gordon Hempton

Bagpipes, Synchronicity

Gordon Hempton, author of One Square Inch, writes about Jay Salter, bagpipe player, who lives in Santa Cruz. The two of them hiked together and visited some quiet spots. The next time I went to the Homeless Garden Center (a local CSA in Santa Cruz), there happened to be a bagpipe player, playing in the fields. Although I did not stop his playing to ask his name, I’d never heard a bagpipe player there before, and suspect it was him. Coincidence?

Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration

Some of my sources of inspiration are:

  • CopyBlogger
  • Twitter (tweets about technology and art)
  • Nature
  • Reading
  • Silence, again
Fear or Silence?

Fear or Silence?

Fear or Silence?

Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I’ve noticed that many dislike silence and will fill it with any nearby noise. White noise generators, steady hip hop, or t.v. Have you noticed this, too, or is it just me?

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Finding Your Next Social Media Manager

Wikipedia is not going to help you much with finding your next Social Media Manager (“SMM”). In fact, Wikipedia can’t tell you anything about how to choose an SMM. Google can help to some extent, if you get your search terms correct, and focus on a good headline. (By the way, if you’d like to know about writing headlines, those can be a pain in the asterisk!) So what can help you? Here are some ideas.

1. Don’t look under a rock. Hint: Those are worms!

If you want to find a good SMM, you might want to look around on social media. Check on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or wherever you’d like to be posting. See if the person you’d like to hire is posting there, too. Their posts don’t have to be perfect (because, after all, they’re busy with clients), but they should have some posts of substance.

2. Check out their websites and social platforms.

Most SMMs have a website, although I know some fab ones who don’t. Check out their testimonials and what other people are saying about them. If you can’t find anything, you could ask for testimonials directly. See whether their website has been updated in, say, the last two months. It should be active. And of course, check out their social platforms.

Check out websites and social platforms

Check out websites and social platforms

3. Read their blog.

Does your SMM have a blog and do they post about social media? That would be a good thing, especially if you need help with blogging. Is their writing clear? Do you like their style? If they’re writing about Twitter, for instance, do they include particulars that you like?

When you read a SMM's blog, do you like the particulars?

When you read a SMM’s blog, do you like the particulars?

4. Look at their writing skills.

These days, many SMMs have degrees in writing or related fields. If you want your SMM to do a bit of writing for you, a degree in English could be beneficial. Or perhaps experience writing. Some SMMs, myself included, have a background in technical writing. If you have a particular grammatical mistake that bugs you, such as the abuse of commas, check their work for that. Here’s a list of 10 Common Grammar Mistakes (“lose” and “loose” are often confused).

5. Ensure that they embrace “social.”

Broadcasting your message over and over (and over!) is old-school marketing. Make sure that your SMM enjoys interacting with others. Saying hello, while it sounds simple, usually causes others to say “hello” back! Engaging with others on social media is the fastest way to an engaged and engaging account on any platform.

Ensure that you SMM embraces "social."

Ensure that your SMM embraces “social.”

6. Ask them some questions.

For instance, ask about their least favorite platform. That should help you get some idea of what their favorite platform is and isn’t. Also, ask which subjects to avoid. There are many more questions you can ask.

Ask about their least favorite platform

Ask about their least favorite platform

7. Your SMM should be excited at your success!

When you make sales, or when your posts are shared with lots of people, your SMM should be happy for you! They should have in mind a vision for you and for your success. After all, it’s in both your interests that you should succeed.

Finding a good social media manager shouldn’t be this hard, right?

With overpriced agencies and undervalued CMOs, it’s a serious challenge to find that juggernaut to pave the way for your future marketing strategy. Do you have a successful story where your SMM has developed your online presence into what you wanted? We would truly like to hear about your experience(s).

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

 

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog. You’re getting ready to get started thinking about it. That is, right after you finish that new business plan for next year. And waxing the car. And don’t you also need to balance your checkbook again?

The secret to great content is to begin creating it. Maybe your writing isn’t perfect. Whose is? If you never start writing, you’ll never know. And great, original content on your blog helps your SEO with Google. Here are a few ideas that helped me get started with blogging.

Don’t procrastinate.

“Procrastination, quite frankly, is an epidemic,” declares Jeffery Combs, the author of “The Procrastination Cure,” says in an article “How to Stop Time,” via the New York Times. Don’t add to that epidemic.

An unfinished blog post

An unfinished blog post

Glue the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair.

Sit and start writing the first thing that pops into your head, and do that for 15 minutes. Can you do that? Sure you can! Now, you’ll probably go back and delete 90% of it, but there will be the glimmer of a good idea in there.

Write every day

Write every day

Write every day.

Write whether you feel like writing or not. Often you will not. That monkey brain of yours will want to do other things. Pinning banana recipes on Pinterest comes to mind. You will procrastinate on this important job. So get it over with. Once you get past that first 15 minutes, the rest will get easier. Jeff Goins, in his article “Why You Need To Write Every Day,” says: “If you want to get this writing thing down, you need to start writing every day.”

Talk, then write.

Speak your ideas, then write them down. Or have them written down by someone else. Or use Dragon Naturally. Whatever. Just get the words down. You can change them later. Because everyone can talk.

Don’t expect perfection.

Perfection will never happen. Just make sure to get something in writing. You can come back and insert some long, impressive-sounding words later.

Let it simmer

Let it simmer

Let it simmer.

Here’s the fun part. Go away. Get in your car and drive around. Go for a walk. Come back and everything will look different. When you return from your sojourn you can wear a different hat and edit your words.

Create five topics in your blog.

Today’s topic was one that I began months ago. It languished in my blog, along with some other unfinished work. But one day, you may not know what to write about. You’ll go to your website, and that half-written piece will start to take shape. By the way, here’s a post with some tips for blogging for startups.

Don't wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going.

It’s going to be work, but once you ‘re done, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. Your competition is already done. Don’t get left in the dust. And when you’re done, make sure to promote that blog, too.

Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends

Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends

On #DigiBlogChat this week, my Twitter chat (along with @LazBlazter) about new technology and blogging, some of the participants started a side conversation about introverts and how well they do with writing, and that led to a discussion of social media. As a result of that chat, I decided to write this post. Many of these facts have been taken from Susan Cain’s wonderful book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” Susan Cain’s TED talk is wonderful, if you haven’t heard it yet. And by the way, one of these facts is not a fact. See if you can spot it!

Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends

Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends

Introverts Need Alone Time

Now, not all introverts are writers, but having and enjoying more alone time means that introverts can spend the extra time focused on their writing, or go out into nature for inspiration. Part of being a good social media or content provider means that you must write. So just by having that extra time, introverts can easily use it to recharge through their writing. And enjoy the time alone.

One-Third of the World’s Population is Introverted

In an article in Time Magazine featuring Susan Cain, the author discusses the introvert revolution (the website, ironically, starts playing a loud video), and how it tapped a nerve. With one-third of the population being introverted, is it any wonder that the popularity of social media is growing? All of us introverts (myself included) need a place to express ourselves with as loud a “voice” as those extroverts. Social media allows us that forum.

Al Gore and Warren Buffet Are Introverts

Along with Charles Darwin, J. K. Rowling, Mahatma Gandhi, Google’s Larry Page, and at least a third of the world, who prefer listening to speaking, who think before acting, and who speak softly and maybe don’t want to carry a big stick. So would it surprise you to know that introverts can be such naturals on social media since they like to think long and hard on things? While parties and small talk may be like torture for introverts, writing a social media headline or creating a blog piece are not nearly as difficult.

In a Gentle Way, You Can Shake the World. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

In a Gentle Way, You Can Shake the World. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Introverts Are Not More Intelligent Than Extroverts

Unfortunately, introverts would like to say this is true. However, being introverted does not automagically make you a better or deeper thinker. However, introverts are more cautious as a general rule, and they like to listen more. If you haven’t read my post on the five hidden benefits of listening, by the way, you might want to. This caution can lead to slower decisions during social media disasters, which seem to happen quite often.

Introverts Love the Internet and Cats More Than Extroverts

Secretly, or not so secretly, introverts love cats. Introverts also love the Internet. And since the internet was invented by cats (not Al Gore, although he is an introvert), introverts of course have the edge with social media.

Introverts Don’t Care So Much If You Like Them

Introverts don’t care so much what you think about that post on Twitter or Facebook. This attitude may translate into a more interesting and honest post, headline, or article. An introvert will have their opinion and doesn’t need to be validated as often as an extrovert. And that is impressive!

 

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk*

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it's a Pain in the Asterisk

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk

You have a perfect topic for your next blog post. You go out and take a million beautiful photos, all photoshopped and sized just right for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest cross-posting. Then you suddenly realize: you don’t have a headline! Has this ever happened to you? Here’s why headline writing is so tough!

Everybody Says to Spend More Time on Headlines

Your headline is the first thing people see. In fact, some people will retweet or report that snazzy article of yours without even reading it. Not convinced by me? Read these articles, then (Copyblogger says to spend 50% of your time writing the headline):

So there’s a lot of pressure to come up with something grand.

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Create a Viral Post

If you haven’t read my When Posts Go Viral: Four Lessons, you might want to take a look. A controversial headline (for instance, Is it Time to Quit Facebook?) can spark people’s emotions and cause a small or large furor. Again, no pressure (just kidding!).

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Like a good tweet, a good headline needs to have all the right elements. It can’t be too short or too long. The important words need to be near the beginning of the headline. And you need to include “power words,” like “secret” and “magic.” And so on. Is that not a pain in the asterisk?

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Every blogger wants traffic, right? When that post you wrote explodes all over the Interwebs, your blog gets a boost, you get more followers, and that 15 minutes of fame will follow you from platform to platform. So that’s another reason you have to get it right.

You Can’t Outsource It

Everybody has outsourced everything. I’m surprised we don’t remove our own hair and ship it to the Philippines (no disrespect to anyone in the Philippines–it’s just something I’d prefer to do myself). But if you want your post to be in your own words, then you have to do the work yourself.

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points

Your audience experiences pain, just as you experience pain when you try to write a headline. So you want that headline to draw your reader in. The headline has to be magnetic enough so people will want to read it. It might be fun to write, but if it’s not fun to read? Fuhgetaboutit!

I'm Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

I’m Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

You Thought You Were Done

You outlined that article, got your topic sentences down, have all kinds of good images, and now you have to come up with a headline? Are you kidding?

The World is A Noisy Place

The world is getting noisier, and more crowded. The Internet has more people competing for the same space. So your headline has to be the juicy, juicy hamburger, and not the bun! It has to stand out.

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

When You Try to Think, Nothing Happens

You can only come up with one-word headlines, or headlines that don’t make sense. If you think they’re boring, what will your readers think?

Always keep one eye open. You never know who's lurking.

Always keep one eye open. You never know who’s lurking.

You Come Up with a Perfect Headline and Someone Steals it

It’s not a very good feeling, is it? But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then is stealing even more flattering? I don’t think so.

*And you know what that asterisk really stands for, right?

 

 

 

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