Archive for Writing Better Ezines – Page 2

How to Decide What to Write, What to Read…

 I'm immersing myself in a slew of Amazon Kindle books on decision-making that I recently downloaded:

Apparently, it doesn't matter what field you're in, everyone wants to know how come smart people make dumb decisions. To help, some very smart authors reveal the interplay between instincts, emotions, and our rational logical brains. These authors are very astute in translating the brain research along with fascinating stories.

Recently we've seen plenty of irrational behavior, whether in politics or the world of finance. And in these times of uncertainty, it's harder for everyone to make decisions. None of us can rationally predict just how hard hit we will be.

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Get Inspired, Write Better…A List of Great Ego Blogs

I really like using to find blogs in niches. But recently I discovered a different category through their aggregated lists of top blogs… personalities, or as they call them, Egos!

I have no idea what their requirement is to get listed as an Ego blog, but looking at the individuals who are included, I'd say these are all big names in the Blogosphere and they have big readership followings.

Heck, some even have big heads, but for sure, they all write with larger than life personalities.

It's worth studying their blogs to learn the ways they write and include their personalities. These blogs are completely different, in various fields of expertise. But they are all strong personalities.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Folks, I could go on and on, but you make your own list of great blogs to read so you get the kind of inspiration you need for writing better blogs and newsletters. I didn't put on my list the more famous people in this category, people like Seth Godin, Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, Robert Scoble. They are also excellent.

These people all know how to write well, adding their authentic personalities into their posts. I believe we all have it in us to write just as well, if we study people who do it and do what they do, only in a way is true to our own styles, remaining authentic.

E-Newsletter Success: How to painlessly learn to be profitable

Launch a Profitable E-Newsletter with E-Newsletter Success

I haven't been this excited about ezines since blogs burst on the scene. I still believe in the power of sending out a regular, well-crafted e-newsletter for your business.

It's just that email deliverability issues and the time to put one together…you know what I'm talking about…unless you know what you're doing, an emailed newsletter can cost you time and worry.

You can just STOP thinking like that. This is the swift solution to learning quickly and inexpensively everything you need to know to craft an ezine that works, that brings in business and makes money for you. This is pain-free, folks.

I'm a huge fan of Michael Katz of Blue Penquin Development. You've heard me gush about his clever writing before: His E-Newsletter on E-Newsletters is a first class production. If nothing else, if you just copied what he does, you'd have a spectacular ezine.

Yesterday Michael announced he's teamed up with Chad Board. They've just launched their E-Newsletter Success training membership program.

If you're thinking about starting an ezine to grow your business, start here. If you're thinking about abandoning yours, don't do it. Learn what you need to know and turn your e-newsletter into a profit machine.

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Article Content for Sale: Just Add Your Name

Excuse this interruption to your Holiday fun, but some of us are working today! Okay, I'm going to play tennis in a few minutes, but before I go, I gotta ask: Do you need content?

Need any coaching articles for your newsletters or blogs? You know, just in case that brain of yours needs some back up material to supplement your own writing?

Don't put pressure on yourself to write all your content yourself. Use the power of others: buy content to supplement your own.

Here's the deal: in 1999 I started writing newsletters for other executive coaches and leadership consultants. I write the articles, they put their names to them. Since then I've built up a library of over 100 articles, full of research data, based on leading business books and the Harvard Business Review.

I'm putting them all on sale until December 31, 20% off. You buy the articles, either 1000 or 2000 word lengths, then you can cut and paste, rewrite, add your own stuff or use as is. This gives you plenty of meaty content to use in any of your white papers, newsletters and blogs. Topics are ever-green and non-dated.

Take a look here: If you buy any, use this coupon code: CCC20 before check-out and get 20% off.

Be targeted and topical. These articles are suitable for coaches working with leadership and personal development issues. Got questions? Leave a comment.

Blogs Haven’t Replaced Email Newsletters

Thanks for voting on the Vizu Poll about email newsletter formatting preferences. If you haven’t voted yet, please do. The poll is found if you scroll down a little on the right, in bright pink.

Why should you do an email newsletter if you’ve got a blog? When it comes to content marketing, you want to increase the chances that people will read what you have to say. You need both a blog and an emailed newsletter (or ezine).

Today I got Darren Rowse’s newsletter in my inbox and he reminds us that email newsletters are still a best practice of smart bloggers. Rather than repeat all his wisdom, here are the links to read a couple of his posts about this:

Email newsletters aren’t a thing of the past. Blogs haven’t replaced ezines. A newsletter gives additional information in a way that is different, more traditional.

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Email Newsletters: Best Ways to Deliver & Format?

Ah, the eternal question of emailed newsletters: What’s the best format to send it so it gets delivered, opened, and read? Here’s what one of my Customized Newsletter Services clients asked in a recent email:

Dear Patsi,

There is a definite divergence of opinions among my colleagues about the best way to distribute a newsletter.

  • Some feel that the entire text should be in the email in html, eliminating the need for click-thru’s.
  • Some simply send a one or two sentence summary, with an attached pdf.
  • Some send what amounts to headlines, with a click-thru to the website where the newsletter is resident.   
  • Some send a one or two sentence plain text summary with link to the newsletter.   

Everybody seems to do something different. They all have a rationale for their decision. And all seem to have their limitations, as well.   

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French Open Tennis: More Business Lessons

Playing on clay courts means the ball doesn’t always bounce predictably. What a great lesson for doing business! You can say/write/do the exact same thing with a different client and get completely different results.

So in business, just like on clay courts, be prepared for the unexpected. Be nimble, be quick and react to surprises with calm.

Example: when we wrote our Better Business Blogging special report, we really wanted to deliver quality information that people could go and apply to better blogging. It wasn’t written to sell anything.

We wanted to teach best business blogging practices. But we did say
that somewhere later on we’d put together a comprehensive multi-media
program to teach more in detail.

Most people who previewed it wrote to give us positive feedback. So we thought we had a successful report to give out. But not everybody saw it that way.

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5 Blog Writing Lessons from the French Open Tennis Championships

NadalI don’t know if Rafael Nadal will win the French Open this year again, but I do know that every time I watch the top players compete, I learn something about blog writing.

Seriously, these are the kinds of things I think about when I go online to post on one of our blogs:

  1. You’ve got to keep moving. When a topic is hot, you see a few hundred other posts about it, and you realize it’s time to move on to something else.
  2. Keep your eye on the ball. Never forget why people read your blog and why you started your blog in the first place. Stay on topic, deliver the winning shots.
  3. Start strong with a fierce serve. Your first sentence may be the only thing a reader sees in a feed. Make it compelling.
  4. Mix it up. If you’re always being positive and cheery, write a few negative posts and criticize some commonly held practices or beliefs. People won’t keep reading if you don’t surprise them.
  5. Never give up, stay in the game. Success is half persistence, half sweat. Your ability to refocus your writing and get back on track even when you don’t feel like it, will pay off in the long run.

How to Start a Blog Post or an Ezine: Avoid the Yawn Factor

Start strong. Please don’t bore me. Do you realize that even if I do subscribe to get your blog feed, if you don’t start out strong, I’ll just delete you?

Here’s a feed I got this morning:

"The summer season is almost here, and with it comes a lot of excitement about the outdoors. …XYZ is a great place to share your fun with the world. Read on for the latest highlights!"

I may be a bit negative on this, but really, I can’t get excited here. I can’t remember the last time I got excited about the summer season.

Remember your first paragraph sentence may be the only thing someone sees.

If you’ve got something you’re excited about, then I want to know but it better be real. I won’t believe you when you say something like this. You just went from someone who has something to say to someone who is trying to sell me something. What does it mean to "share your fun with the world?"

The purpose of the first sentence is to get someone to read the second sentence. I’ll bet the real reason this person started with the summer season is to try to connect with readers on common ground. But they fail because it’s a ploy to get them to read on for the "latest highlights" = i.e. our products for sale.

Why can’t marketing people be more authentic?

We talk about this in our Better Business Blogging report: download a free copy at

Wishy-Washy Writing: Just delete these 5 words

This is worth reading and not just because it echoes my thoughts every time I read someone’s blog writing that’s too wishy-washy: 5 Words You Can Cut Out, from the Daily Writing Tip:

  1. just
  2. really
  3. quite
  4. perhaps
  5. that

I have to add two:

  1. maybe
  2. very

Every time you re-read your writing, be on the look-out for these wishy-washy offenders and make your writing stronger, better.