February 19, 2018

Wylie’s Writing Tips archives

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2018 issues

Make numbers count

Reframe stats to boost understanding

Feb. 13, 2018

Measure A.R.T.

How long will it take them to read?

Feb. 06, 2018

Background check

Deliver context, a definition or history in your background section

Jan. 30, 2018

Reel them in with readability

Yamaha Marine Group communicator makes message 164.57% easier to read

Jan. 23, 2018

Dry as a bone?

Must web heads be dull?

Jan. 16, 2018

Build a better blog post

Content marketing writer takes message from meh to masterpiece

Jan. 09, 2018

Better you than me

Stop tweeting about yourself

Jan. 04, 2018

2017 issues

Blog length: Go deep, not shallow

Avoid thin posts

Dec. 28, 2017

Calling all readers with callouts

How to write the ‘movie trailer’ for your message

Dec. 19, 2017

The 1-minute news release

Can you get your story across in 200 words?

Dec. 12, 2017

Five webpage leads to try

And three to avoid

Dec. 05, 2017

Here’s a tip

PR pros get attention with tipsheets

Nov. 28, 2017

Why avoid generic links?

You’re not still writing Click here and Read more, are you?

Nov. 21, 2017

Pass the 1-2-3-4 test

Put the hot stuff up top for mobile web writing

Nov. 14, 2017

Who’s ‘Me’?

You can’t write a WIIFM without the M

Nov. 07, 2017

Try imperative voice

Write to and about the reader

Oct. 31, 2017

Write for surfers and divers

Try the 30-3-30 rule

Oct. 24, 2017

Cut the fluff online

Hype reduces reading, sharing — even sales

Oct. 17, 2017

Avoid fake benefits

‘Pat yourself on the back for choosing us’

Oct. 10, 2017

Screen reading hurts your brain

Problem solving + divided attention = cognitive overload

Oct. 03, 2017

Overcome information overload

Readers face the equivalent of 174 newspapers a day

Sept. 26, 2017

Meet readers out front

On web heads, put topics up top

Sept. 19, 2017

Stories: better than sex?

Give readers a shot of the love drug, oxytocin

Sept. 12, 2017

Tough nut to crack

Put your story into a nutshell

Sept. 05, 2017

How to write for mobile readers

Overcome 5 obstacles to reading on smartphones

Aug. 29, 2017

Readers see ‘white horse,’ not ‘absolute truth’

Make messages memorable with concrete copy

Aug. 22, 2017

Benchmark readability against the BBC

How does your clarity stack up?

Aug. 15, 2017

Get to Aha!

Creative process helps you write better, easier and faster

Aug. 08, 2017

Stop We-We-ing on the reader

Talking about ourselves — better than sex?

Aug. 01, 2017

Readability helps everyone

You’re not dumbing it down; you’re lifting it up

July 25, 2017

Avoid alphabet soup

7 ways to get the acronyms and abbreviations out

July 18, 2017

Is it live or is it metaphor?

‘Kick the habit’ lights up the brain’s motor cortex

July 11, 2017

6 tips for writing lists

People look at 70% of lists they encounter online

July 05, 2017

Turn numbers into things

When writing with statistics, ask ‘What’s it like?’

June 27, 2017

Blog post structure | Try a temple

New approach increases reading by 520%

June 20, 2017

Come to your senses

Analogy helps readers experience your story

June 13, 2017

Out of sight, out of mind

Keep paragraphs even shorter for mobile screens

June 06, 2017

Pass the 70-20-10 test

Create social media messages that engage readers

May 30, 2017

A bear’s tale

3 steps to a great story

May 23, 2017

The cost of bad writing

It’s a $37 million problem a year at one organization

May 16, 2017

Eyes on you

Page view time is not a magic number

May 09, 2017

Craft snappy sound bites

List, rhyme and twist

May 02, 2017

The long and the short of it

Build drama, create rhythm by varying sentence length

April 25, 2017

Don’t get your head cut off

Make web headlines fit on mobile apps and more

April 18, 2017

Avoid flabby middles

Five ways to shape the body of your message

April 11, 2017

Rethink the release

Focus on the reader, not on PR 101 approaches

April 04, 2017

Stop wasting readers’ time

They ‘get visibly angry’ at verbose sites

March 28, 2017

Make sure every picture tells a story

How to write compelling captions

March 21, 2017

Colorful numbers

Startling statistics make compelling leads

March 14, 2017

Turn Strunk & White upside down

Three new ways to approach classic writing wisdom

March 07, 2017

You’re one in a million

Messages a year, that is

Feb. 28, 2017

Stop stuffing keywords

Where to put search terms to get your release found

Feb. 21, 2017

Make technical terms clear

How to write about, say, spectroradiometers

Feb. 14, 2017

Read all about it

Use a structure that’s been proven in the lab to increase reading

Feb. 07, 2017

Play twister

Four steps to twist of phrase

Jan. 31, 2017

Make size and scale visual

How tiny is tiny? How huge is huge?

Jan. 24, 2017

Heads up on benefits headlines

8 types of benefits headlines to choose from

Jan. 17, 2017

Vital statistics

Numbers bring concreteness and color to your copy

Jan. 10, 2017

Keep your pitch short

How long is too long?

Jan. 03, 2017

2016 issues

Conduct a sound check

Read your copy aloud

Dec. 27, 2016

Write cliff-hangers

External transitions move readers from section to section

Dec. 20, 2016

If I’ve told you once …

The deck should expand on the headline, not repeat it

Dec. 13, 2016

Tell your process story

‘How we make it’ can be a compelling narrative

Dec. 06, 2016

End with a bang

Leave a lasting impression in the kicker

Nov. 29, 2016

Aim for one-syllable words

Churchill was right — short words are best

Nov. 22, 2016

Metaphor at work

6 reasons analogy is more persuasive than literal language

Nov. 15, 2016

Get the words out

Write tight sentences, like the Times

Nov. 08, 2016

Six secrets of persuasion

Robert Cialdini shares his principles of influence

Nov. 01, 2016

Turn programs into people

Bring stories to life with human interest

Oct. 25, 2016

‘Say Goodbye to the 60-hour Work Week’

Steal techniques from this great WIIFM copy

Oct. 18, 2016

Made you look

Captions get 16% more readership than text

Oct. 11, 2016

No more excuses!

How to spot hidden measurement resources

Oct. 04, 2016

Top 10 measurement mistakes

How to avoid these research problems

Sept. 27, 2016

Start making sense

Convince reviewers to abandon jargon

Sept. 20, 2016

Here & there, now & then

3 ways to measure how your message changed behavior

Sept. 13, 2016

Take me to your reader

How to write tweets that go viral

Sept. 06, 2016

Thank you for sharing

Features go viral more often, says Reuters Institute

Aug. 30, 2016

The Goldilocks Conundrum

Write links that aren’t too short or too long

Aug. 23, 2016

Make it F-A-B

Translate features to advantages to benefits

Aug. 16, 2016

No budget? No problem!

How to measure with little time and money

Aug. 09, 2016

Top 10 reasons to write listicles

They’re the most shared type of content

Aug. 02, 2016

When the boss is wrong about measurement

Slip the measures he needs in with the ones he wants

July 26, 2016

7 tips for tipsheets

How to write how-to articles

July 19, 2016

Five reasons not to measure

Don’t try measurement – unless you want to prove your value to the organization

July 12, 2016

One more thing that’ll kill you

Screen reading causes nausea, eyestrain, more

July 05, 2016

Avoid creative incest

Don’t model executive quotes on executive quotes

June 28, 2016

Lead on

Write better release openers

June 21, 2016

Does not compute

16% of adults are technologically illiterate

June 14, 2016

Think like a reporter

Make your release relevant to the reader

June 07, 2016

Secrets for successful subheads

Keep readers reading, skimmers scanning

May 31, 2016

Snowed under

Journalists — more overworked, still underpaid

May 24, 2016

Avoid multisyllabic pileups

Long words are stuffy and hard to read

May 17, 2016

Combat fatigue

Are you using a 150-year-old story format?

May 10, 2016

Extreme Makeover — News release edition

How to find the story within a stodgy bank report

May 3, 2016

Pleading for shorter sentences

Reach the period sooner

April 26, 2016

It’s all about you

Write about the reader, not about us and our stuff

April 19, 2016

Numeracy counts

88% of adults worldwide are incompetent at math

April 12, 2016

Less is more

The longer your piece, the less readers will read

April 05, 2016

Polish your deck

It’s the best-read element on your Web page

March 29, 2016

Start with a bang

Show, don’t just tell, in the lead

March 22, 2016

A world of hurt

Global literacy is falling. What’s a communicator to do?

March 15, 2016

Move from event to impact

Focus news stories on MOI

March 08, 2016

A head for news

Seven ways to polish your traditional headlines

Feb. 29, 2016

Think outside the pyramid

The traditional news structure fails readers

Feb. 22, 2016

Made you look

Want to keep readers reading? Keep paragraphs short

Feb. 16, 2016

Catch a reader

Focus on the reader’s needs, not on ‘us and our stuff’

Feb. 10, 2016

Color me fascinated

Colorful details make a great lead

Feb. 01, 2016

Your brain on description

To the sensory cortex, reading is the same as doing

Jan. 25, 2016

From diddleman to nominatrix

Open readers’ minds by creating your own words

Jan. 19, 2016

Tap the mind-changing magic of metaphor

If crime were a wild beast, we’d be more likely to cage it

Jan. 13, 2016

‘From Tina Turner to Taylor Swift’

Concrete details bring tedious topics to life

January 2016

2015 issues

An eggcellent idea

The American Egg Board chooses tipsheets

December 2015

Say it ain’t so

Reporters shoot down PR quotes

November 2015

The release is dead

Long live the release

October 2015

Details make the difference

Silver Anvil winners get particular with their PR leads

September 2015

Readability smackdown

Master Class attendees boost reading ease by 226%, 230% — even 300%

August 2015

Color bind

Yes, Communicator, you can make your copy more colorful

July 2015

Take me away

‘Transporting’ stories change readers’ minds

June 2015

Paint word pictures

‘You’ll have your hand on your head with a knot under it’

May 2015

Write by number

Stop reinventing the wheel, use story templates

April 2015

Writing in the right direction

Create written communication guidelines

March 2015

The best of Times

The U.S. newspaper of record runs 33% feature leads

February 2015

Serial monogamy

Why have people fallen in love with this podcast?

January 2015

2014 issues

30-3-30 redux

What does Clay Schoenfeld’s rule look like today?

December 2014

Crack the case

How to organize a case study

November 2014

Take a tip from Norm MacDonald

#RIPRobinWilliams tweets show how to serialize your story

October 2014

Numbers count

Numerals in headlines quantify value, draw readers

September 2014

Crumple PR convention

Toyota takes on feature releases

August 2014

Survey releases, step by step

How to organize research stories

July 2014

Master of metaphor

PNNL science writer shows how to communicate complex concepts

June 2014

Measure what matters

Hint — It’s not page views

May 2014

The Awwwww Factor

How to make content marketing messages go viral

April 2014

Bring strategy stories down to earth

Make them more concrete, creative

March 2014

Change the subject

Focus your subject line on the readers’ needs

February 2014

Draw readers in

Start intranet articles with storytelling

January 2014

2013 issues

Can you read me now?

14% of U.S. adults have below-basic reading skills, says PIAAC 2013

December 2013

Anatomy of a feature

See the structure at work in this financial piece

November 2013

Avoid the ‘muddle in the middle’

The body needs structure, too

October 2013

Anatomy of an anecdote

See story elements at work in this healthcare narrative

September 2013

This list is made for twisting

Wordplay techniques to steal from ‘Kinky Boots’

August 2013

Start with the snake

Find the ‘inciting incident’

July 2013

June writing contest: Now on tap

Try this new format for mobile storytelling

June 2013

May writing contest: One-sentence stories

Can you finish your piece before you reach the period?

May 2013

Dialogue do’s and don’ts

Leave room for the pictures!

April 2013

Features first

WCB-Alberta writer transforms article through story structure

March 2013

Pad prowess

How to write and design for tablets

February 2013

Stroke of editing

In which Ann audaciously takes on Jill Bolte Taylor’s bestseller

January 2013

2012 issues

Lead on

Write better release openers

December 2012

Clicking takes a counterpunch

Communicators slug it out for scrolling

November 2012

Extend your metaphor

Explore the base

October 2012

Spread yourself thin

Self-reference is not retweetable

September 2012

Put people first

Optimize for readers & Google

August 2012

‘I’m so excited’

Executives are in a tizzy over their announcements

July 2012

And … action!

Descriptive verbs paint a picture

June 2012

We are the world

And we’re not very literate, according to an OECD study

May 2012

Strength in numbers

STORYtoolz’s facts & figures make copy more readable

April 2012

Haiku masters

Readers offer writing tips in 17 syllables

March 2012

Poetry in motion

New York City launches haiku street safety signs

February 2012

Write for the ear

Read your copy aloud

January 2012

2011 issues

Now you see it

Graphic storytelling teaches better than text

December 2011

Don’t commit verbicide

Streamline syllables with action words

November 2011

Paint the schnauzer

Find examples to illustrate your point

October 2011

Pleading for shorter sentences

Sentence length one of top 2 predictors of readable copy

September 2011

Take the (other) Flesch test

Make your copy measurably more interesting

August 2011

Can you read me now?

21% of U.S. adults have trouble using a street map

July 2011

Do sweat the small stuff

Find the telling detail

June 2011

‘Obstinate popinjays swarm the airwaves’

Communicators model Loren D. Estleman

May 2011

Model the masters

Make a mentor of your favorite writer

April 2011

Inside the box

To reduce unsubscribe rates, send more email

March 2011

Make it about me

Focus news stories on MOI

February 2011

Avoid alphabet soup

Alphabetical structure isn’t as easy as ABC

January 2011

2010 issues

Spray, delay and walk away

Try a triad of rhyming words

December 2010

Find your focus

Tighten your angle

November 2010

The Weakest Link

You’re not still writing ‘click here’ and ‘read more,’ are you?

October 2010

Make ’em laugh

Three ways to get more humor into your writing

September 2010

Chain reaction

Links distract readers; embed them anyway

August 2010

Template your story

Create fill-in-the-blanks story forms

July 2010

End of story?

The news of storytelling’s death has been greatly exaggerated

June 2010

Give great verb

‘Spank those naughty little oxidants’

May 2010

Pull the trigger

Create an environment for your message

April 2010

One or 1,001?

Why ‘one individual trumps the masses’

March 2010

What’s the cost of ‘niggling’?

Do all those tweaks really add value to the bottom line?

February 2010

Snip your sentences

How long is too long?

January 2010

2009 issues

Readers want less

Establish copy length limits

December 2009

Streamline your sentences

Add a word, reduce comprehension

November 2009

Do readers skip your paragraphs?

Paragraph length is a visual cue for readers

October 2009

In your own words

Become a recreational word coiner

September 2009