Political speechwriters must leverage authenticity

Speechwriting is a special skill. And political speeches require an extra layer of understanding.Most of all, they require authenticity.

What is the most important feature of a political speech?

  1. Ideas?
  2. Vision?
  3. Alliteration?
  4. Emotion?
  5. Leadership?
  6. Credibility?

No. No. No. No. No. No. Authenticity. That’s the key on which all of the above rest. [Read more…]

How to write a powerful blog post headline that says “Read me!” in 6 easy steps

Your blog post headline says only one of two things: “Read me” or “Don’t bother”. Here are six ways to make sure that your headline says, “Read me.”

NOTE: This is Part 2 of the “mouth-watering blog posts” series. You’ve found the perfect idea for a blog post. Now , that idea needs a headline.

The headline or title of your blog post fulfills several functions, all of which lead to the same thing. The goal of the headline is to draw the reader in.

The actual functions are: [Read more…]

What to write about to attract traffic, build a throng of raving fans and create a world-class blog

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of blog posts on every topic. The only thing that makes yours worth reading is a truly original idea. Here’s how to create those ideas.

NOTE: This is Part 1 of the “mouth-watering blog posts” series.

Nothing is more important than a truly original and interesting idea for your blog post.

You can wax eloquent.

You can use perfect English.

You can optimize for length and keywords and whatever other metric.

At the end of the day, it’s the idea that counts. But with thousands of other blog posts on the subject, how do you create an original idea? [Read more…]

How to describe a character (with free character development crib sheet)

It’s been said that every story has been told over and over. But characters are unique and refreshing…if you write them right. Here’s how to develop a character.

Every story is built on two fundamental bases. The foundation is the plot. The plot is fairly simple. It can be told in a few sentences.

You might spend a further few pages describing the many twists and turns in the plot.

On that foundation grow the characters.

This is where it gets exciting. People follow the plot, but they relate to their fellow humans (or non-humans given humanesque personalities). [Read more…]

Infographic: Do I need a ghostwriter? How to tell if you need to hire a ghostwriter

Many authors hire ghostwriters. But how do you know if you should? This handy flow chart will help answer the question: “Should I hire a ghostwriter?”

Surprisingly, not everybody needs to hire a ghostwriter. Some people write their own books, screenplays and business materials.

But people come to ghostwriters for a variety of reasons. This flow chart will help you determine if you have one of the common reasons that people need to hire a ghostwriter. [Read more…]

How to write a professional bio for sales or for credibility

A short biography, or “bio”, opens your door to your audience. Here’s how to make it open the right door.

A bio serves one main purpose: it gives you credibility.

Consider the after-dinner speaker. If nobody introduced him and gave a little background about him, you’d be saying to yourself, “Who is this guy?”

The introduction answers that question before you ask it. That introduction is a short bio. [Read more…]

How a ghostwriter can help you get your book published

Want a publish-ready book manuscript? Here’s how a ghostwriter can get you ready to publish.

Some people come to us thinking that we’ll publish their book. We won’t. But we can make their manuscript publishable.

Getting published is always a challenge, unless you self publish. But even then, you need a publishable manuscript. You need a book that people will want to read.

That’s where our ghostwriters come in. [Read more…]

Proofreading saves lives! How I almost became a hitman by signing a murder contract

Never publish anything without proofreading. Ideally, have several people proofread. Here is a a case study of how proofreading saved me from becoming a hitman.

[Read more…]

Something Amazing – song lyrics in need of music

This song is an amazing song. But it’s just lyrics, so far.

This song is intended to be a pop-rock song. It’s been played once as heavy metal. It has a tune, just no music written down. What it needs now is music. Then, a singer or a band to run with it. [Read more…]

Proofreading saves lives! How a celebrity chef became a cannibal

It’s easy to miss vital details, which is why multiple proofreaders are often needed. Here is a tragic story – a proofreading case study – of how a typo turned a celebrity chef into a cannibal.

It all happened so innocently. In fact, at first nobody even noticed. Rachael Ray, a well-known celebrity chef, loved her family. And her dog. Apparently, she really, really loved them. In fact, she was normal in every sense of the word.

But then, somebody at a magazine made a fatal mistake. A proofreader failed to proofread the cover before publishing… [Read more…]

How to write a non-fiction book cover blurb that sells

If you plan to self-publish your non-fiction book, the most important thing you will ever write is the cover blurb for your book. Here’s how to do it right.

If you self-publish, you have to do it all. That includes preparing the cover of your book. Your book is like any other product – the packaging sells the cookies and the frozen dinner. Likewise, the cover sells the book.

People will get a feel for the book from the cover. [Read more…]

How to write a fiction book cover blurb that can make your novel a best-seller

If you plan to self-publish your novel, the most important thing you will ever write is the cover blurb for your book. Here’s how to do it right (with examples from top authors of the 21st century).

If you self-publish, you have to do it all. That includes preparing the cover of your book. Just as the packaging helps sell crackers and cereal, the cover sells the book.

Yes, people do judge a book by its cover.

A cover is more than just a title and an image. On the back, people read the author’s bio. They read the reviews. They look at the author’s picture. But most of all, they read the back cover blurb. Those few lines answer the book buyer’s critical question:

“What’s this book all about?”

[Read more…]

Smarten up your text with real verbs

Too many businesses use nouns to describe an action. That makes your message harder to read. Here’s how to fix that.

Speaking in plain English is never dumb. In a previous post, I shared a list of words that can be simplified without dumbing it down. A couple examples were “base” instead of “foundation” and “help” instead of “assist”.

But it’s not just the words you use that can make your text harder to read. It’s also the structure of the words.

The poor structure I see most often is replacing verbs with nouns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against nouns. Some of my best friends are nouns.

But nouns describe things.

Verbs describe actions. [Read more…]

Speechwriting tip – harness the Power of Three

Repetition is a powerfully persuasive tool. Here’s how to make any speech (or article or blog post) more persuasive.

My fellow Doctor Who fans will instantly recognize “The Power of Three” as an episode in which Earth was invaded by an infinite number of seemingly identical cubes.

That’s repetition for you.

In speechwriting, or in any persuasive writing, the Power of Three takes on a more practical meaning. You can drive home your point more effectively by saying three short sentences, each one similar, but each one different. [Read more…]

10 New Year’s resolutions for writers in 2020

Welcome to a new year – 2020. It’s the perfect time for fresh beginnings. If you are a writer, here are some New Year’s resolutions for you.

There is nothing special about New Year’s Day. It’s just the day we start counting over.

There is no reason why you can’t make resolutions to change your life today, tomorrow, next week or on June 17.

But, as we start to count over, many people take advantage of that event to also make over their lives. And why not? Any excuse to make ourselves better is a good excuse. [Read more…]

Dumb it down, or clear it up?

When you write in plain English, you are not “dumbing it down”. You are clearing things up.

There are two main ways to make a text easier for everybody to read. One way is to use simpler concepts. This way, even people with little education will understand. Even people unfamiliar with the topic will understand.

For instance, try explaining climate change to someone with very little education. You could talk about the change in temperature and the melting ice caps and the rising oceans and how all this affects El Niño and… no way!

You’ll have to make the explanation itself simpler. [Read more…]

You are the center of the universe

It’s about the reader and only the reader. Use “you” in your text to give the reader ownership of your product or service, or the ideas you are putting forward.

You are the center of the universe. That is because you are the reader right now. As long as you keep reading, you are the center of the universe. Everything in this article is about you, because if you stop reading, I would just be writing in an echo chamber.

On your blog, “you” is also the center of the universe. But on your blog, you are not the “you”. You are just the writer; your readers are the all-important “you”.

If this sounds confusing, consider first why people come to your blog or website. There are several possible reasons: [Read more…]

The 1 trait every ghostwriter needs

Just one thing separates a ghostwriter from other writers. Without this trait, you simply cannot ghostwrite.

A lot of writers get frustrated when their big dream doesn’t come true. Not every writer finds their beat writing fiction. Not every writer becomes a bestseller. Not every writer makes enough as an author to pay the bills.

So they turn to ghostwriting. [Read more…]

Clarity – the key to effective writing

If you are writing non-fiction, clarity counts most. Here are four tips to write clearly.

Before sharing my incredibly useful tips with you, I must begin with two huge caveats.

First, fiction is not like non-fiction. In fiction, the mood is sometimes more important than the facts. But even in fiction, clarity counts. If your readers can’t follow the story well enough, they will get discouraged.

And, even hitting just the right mood, your story will fall flat if they just don’t get it. [Read more…]

These traits will make you a writer

What does it take to be a writer? Here are some traits that can help.

This is the seventh installment in a series that began as just a few random thoughts that I had to publish somewhere. When you gotta write, you gotta write.

If you have what it takes to be a writer, you’ll probably want to read the previous editions, so here they are: [Read more…]