Under normal circumstances, bounciness is a good thing. I mean, obviously no one wants a basketball that doesn’t bounce, and a non-bouncy inflatable jumping castle is just lame. One place you don’t want bouncing, though, is your website. A site’s bounce rate—that is, the percentage of visitors who pop over to your site and right back out again without exploring past the landing page– directly impacts your search engine rankings. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to reduce your bounce rate… and one of them is high-quality writing.

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140624 - Blog - 5 powerful copy tipsSo you’ve decided your company or client needs outside help with content creation: what now?  Knowing you need help and bringing in the Pros (see what we did there?) are excellent steps, but do you know what defines high-quality outsourced content?  Here are a few important qualities to look for when seeking outsourced content creation and professional writing for your company or one of your web design clients.  Content with these qualities will keep your clients happy and customers clicking.

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17 Jun 2014

The Relationship between Copy and Design

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140617 - Blog - Copy & DesignMany web designers finish an entire project before remembering that they need a copywriter to fill in all those nifty little design elements, while most writers never even see the destination site their copy will grace. Although clearly complementary, for some reason these two disciplines insist upon existing in totally separate bubbles. In reality, though, copy and design are symbiotic, and need to be treated as such.

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I will admit it – I am completely disinterested in reading anything that isn’t salacious, violent, incendiary or focused on weight loss.  Frankly, I think all digital content should be dedicated to serial killer reporting and bariatric surgery success stories – even commercial financing blogs could surely incorporate violent offender mug shot slideshows in a tasteful manner.

Nevertheless, I am completely aware that most digital marketing consultants would shudder at the thought of embracing my revolutionary innovations into their content development strategies and will only implement more socially palatable marketing solutions.  But I will suggest, for the sake of my own enjoyment as well as the general readerships’, that you make your content braver.

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When the online realm is your workspace, you’re always chasing after some idea of “cool.” The constantly shifting Internet landscape means fads, ideas, slang, and even Fortune 500 companies flash hot for a brief moment and then burn out just as quickly.

As professional writers making the online realm our office space, we think a lot about what defines cool. But we also think a lot about words themselves — their definitions, what makes one more

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27 May 2014

86 Reasons Numbers Matter in Titles

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Disclaimer: I’m not actually listing 86 reasons for anything in this article. I am, however, going to talk about a bizarrely niche area of psychological study: what makes headlines tick. A quick glance at a search engine result for… well, practically anything at all reveals that the vast majority of headlines have numbers in them.

From firsthand experience, I can say that any time I’m generating topics for clients, I’m always thinking of how to come up with 3 More Reasons Why Catchy Titles Are Essential or 4 Ways to Hook Readers with Headlines. That’s what everyone wants, because we’re all told that’s what really sells. Are formulaic headlines really that essential to your blog posts’ success?

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13 May 2014

Etiquette of “Dear”

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Hi Readers,140513 blog

Or do you prefer “Dear Readers”?

Last week I came across an article in the BBC that asks the question, “Should e-mails open with Dear, Hi, or Hey?” An interesting question that, it seems, is still up for debate.

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06 May 2014

Will Robots Replace Editors?

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140506 blogThe new, more globalized international economy means more and more processes are outsourced and automated. We’re growing increasingly accustomed to Bangalore-based telephone customer service agents and cheaply made garments manufactured in foreign factories with dubious health and safety standards. With globalization also comes mobilization; larger and larger varieties of services are available online from desktop computer or mobile devices. These shifts toward a more technologically empowered service sector are often exciting, but some of us in the writing and editing fields are dismayed at and distrustful of the growing prevalence of computer-generated copy and automated editing systems.

Should we be worried?

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22 Apr 2014

How to Train Your Readers

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140422 blogPavlov was definitely onto something. That guy knew exactly how to build excitement and keep his audience waiting at the edge of their seats—or the end of a leash, as the case may be—for his next performance. Granted, his performance was delivering dog treats, so not nearly as entertaining as a well-written blog post but the same rules apply: consistency of any action builds anticipation, for readers of your blog as well as man’s best friend. This is why it’s so important to establish a consistent posting schedule.

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This past Friday, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the first TEDx event held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. One of my favorite speakers at the event was Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning organization that has built more than 150 schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

TEDx - 520x520While Braun has many great things to say (“You change your words to change your worth” being one of them), my favorite part of his talk was about being purpose-driven. Instead of calling Pencils of Promise a nonprofit organization, he instead calls it a “for-purpose” organization. After explaining this term he’s coined (he doesn’t do charity work; he solves problems), he applied it to nonprofits and businesses alike.

“If you’re not building a business based on purpose … your business will erode,” he said.

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