Author Archive

I would not trade those late-night client emails for anything. This is why

The best — and hardest — thing I ever did was start a business. I didn’t do it for freedom. I did it for math: people wanted to pay me to do things I already did. And I needed work that wasn’t tethered to one country.

So I sat on my roof in Mexico, watching the sun set over the Sea of Cortez, and I brainstormed business names with my husband. A few days later, we drove across the fourlane to Staples and printed out our very first business cards, which we hand-cut.

I don’t run that business anymore, and we changed cards many times thereafter, but I still have one of those first pieces of cardstock. It has a drawing of a little bird holding a loop of pink string in its beak: a reminder. Read On…

5 questions to inspire your next business article

It’s  9 p.m. and once again, you can’t think of a damn thing to write.

But you’ve got to get your next [assignment/blog post/business article/autoresponder campaign/etc.] out the door. Preferably yesterday. Writer’s block, right?

Nah. “Writer’s block” is a bit of a cop-out, isn’t it? No knock on writers who believe in the muse, but I think it’s silly to suggest that all good writing starts with an epiphany. Worse, it makes writing seem esoteric and scary to the many people on this planet who write daily — not for pleasure, but for business. Read On…

How to use a swipe file to fix your content strategy

Ask anyone: writing well is hard to do. Writing well and writing regularly, even harder. But you can make it easier.

One of my favorite tips — something most marketing copywriters are familiar with, thanks to the David Ogilvys and Robert W. Blys of the world — is to keep a swipe file handy. Copywriters keep swipe files of brilliant heds and marketing campaigns for inspiration and concrete, structural formulas that can be leveraged in their own copy. But swipe files are not just for advertisers and copywriters. I’ve always kept a variety of swipe files, but recently it’s dawned on me that, as great as this is for me, the people who REALLY need swipe files are my clients. Because the one issue I hear from them? All the time? It’s not  lack of ideas. (They have plenty of those.)  Read On…