Keep readers hooked to the end with this simple writing technique

A couple of days ago, I emailed you a story about a spooky experience I had while living in Japan.

(Here’s the link in case you missed it: I CAN STILL HEAR HIM BREATHING.)

I shared the story not only in recognition of Halloween, but also to demonstrate an important writing technique that you can use to captivate your readers and keep them hooked to the end of every piece you write.

If you’ve read the story, were you able to guess the technique I was talking about?

Here’s a hint… Read more

I can still hear him breathing

When I was in my 20s, I spent four years teaching English in Japan. For the first two years, I lived in an apartment complex in a small town surrounded by rice paddies. It was a four-story concrete building with outdoor stairwells that anyone could access, and each apartment had a heavy metal door that opened onto a stairwell and was the only way in or out. I lived on the top floor.

One early Sunday morning, after staying up way too late writing the night before, I was startled awake by the sound of the big metal door to my apartment being flung open with such force that it hit the wall with a clang. As I lay there trying to figure out what was happening, I heard loud footsteps come marching down the short hallway and into my bedroom, where they paused at the end of my bed.

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The key to world peace (and great copy)

In today’s increasingly connected world, it often feels like we’re more disconnected than ever.

Thanks to the bombardment of news — and opinions, and opinions masquerading as news — that greet us whenever we go online or turn on the TV, we’re more aware than ever of the huge and growing divide between “us” and “them.”

It doesn’t matter how you slice it – Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative, religious vs. atheist, Christian vs. Muslim, rational vs. spiritual, white vs. non-white, libertarian vs. socialist, progressive vs. traditional, and so on – we are increasingly encouraged to think of the people on the opposite side of the argument as ignorant, foolish, black-hearted, and quite possibly insane.

How can we bridge the widening rift and get to a place where people on opposing sides can communicate openly and respectfully with each other — and develop the shared understanding we need to come together and solve the problems we face as a society?

The answer to this daunting question could be the key to world peace.

It also happens to be the secret to writing great copy. Read more

Does “curated” mean it’s fake?

A friend of mine recently took a hiatus from Facebook.

It was prompted, she said, by the growing disconnect she saw happening between what people were posting online and what she knew was really happening in their lives.

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How I went from HATING writing for my business to loving it

Does the idea of writing content for your website – or emails, online newsletters, blog, or brochures – make you feel just a wee bit queasy?

Yeah… I hear you.

(Which is a weird confession, coming from someone who’s worked as a professional online copywriter for over 12 years!)

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always loved writing for my clients. I get to play with words all day and share information that changes people’s lives for the better. It’s awesome. Not once, during the six years that I’ve owned my business, have I ever thought, “Oh, boo, I hate the fact that I have to work today.”

BUT. When it comes to writing my own copy and content, it’s a whole different ballgame. At least it used to be… now it’s my favourite part of running my business.

So, what changed?

Here’s how I went from HATING writing for my business to absolutely loving it – and growing a thriving business in the process: Read more

Four simple words that will add powerful clarity to your writing

“Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.” – George Orwell

Have you ever stared at a string of words – all of which you know very well – and had absolutely no idea what they meant when put together in that particular way?

Yeah, me too. Check out this sentence I had to edit in an article a while back: Read more