Hint — It’s not page views I got into a little Twitter tiff — is that a Twiff? — with an SEO expert recently after I suggested in a conference workshop that writers optimize for humans first and Google second. "You don't want humans to be turned off by overly 'optimized' copy after they find your Web page on Google," I counseled. I'll spare you the back and forth. … [Read more...] about Measure what matters
Archives for May 2014
Write links that tell visitors where they're going If you saw a road sign that said, "go here," "drive more" or "road sign," would you follow it? Probably not. And if you saw a link that said, "click here," "read more" or "link," would you click it? Probably not. Think of your link as a road sign. Like a road sign, the best links are clear, complete and … [Read more...] about Polish your online road signs
Find out with this new app Ever wonder how Ernest Hemingway, the master of tight prose, would have handled your annual report? Now you can find out. Paste your copy into The Hemingway App, a creation of Adam Long and Ben Long, to find out: Which sentences are hard to read How many adverbs your verbs are leaning on Which words or phrases could be … [Read more...] about What would Hemingway do?
Friction gives parallelism its punch During my career as a freelance magazine writer, I interviewed some fascinating people: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt and George Clooney among them. But my favorite subject was Bill Shapiro, NPR's first and possibly only rock 'n' roll lawyer. When he was in school, Shapiro's father convinced him to become an attorney by day. But young Bill's … [Read more...] about Balance and power
Readers 'kill me softly' Use modifiers to change meaning, counsels The Poynter Institute’s Roy Peter Clark, not to intensify it. "'Killing Me Softly'?" he writes. "Good adverb. 'Killing Me Fiercely'? Bad adverb." So, in a recent writing contest, I asked you to show us how it's done. Two of you took me up on the challenge. 'Gently ransacked' Barbara Scanlan, … [Read more...] about Change meaning with modifiers