Breathe New Life Into Your Writing in 5 Easy Steps

Writing.jpgDo you feel your writing getting stale? Or that writing isn’t as fun as it used to be?

If so, here are 5 Simple Ways to Breathe New Life Into Your Writing:

  1. Get out of your “usual” workspace. New ideas often sprout from new environments. Deliberately mix it up by hanging out at a different coffee shop or ‘drop in’ co-working space. These days, most of us have a multitude of spots from which to choose.
  2. Write at a different time of day than you normally do. Yeah, schedules and routines are wonderful, but for creative new ideas to happen, we often need to disrupt our normal circadian rhythm.
  3. ‘Write’ using a different digital device. Just the feel of a different ‘touch’ under our fingers can allow for content to flow in a lively new way.
  4. Write first; edit later. Rather than immediately editing yourself as you write, just let the words flow. Don’t be concerned with misspellings or grammar issues — just write. Creation and editing should be two separate activities.
  5. Write with abandon. Write more than you need. Just let the words and ideas flow. It’s a wonderful feeling when you find yourself with enough content to fill multiple blog posts, instead of your intended single post.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am practicing these tips as I write this and, I have to say, it feels a bit radical…simple, even.

by Rebecca Cochran

When It Comes to Websites, Simple Is Still In

Google

Thanks to Steve Jobs, Google (and others), simple is here to stay. It may not be easy to accomplish, but I believe it’s worth striving for — in our home lives and our work lives.

Keeping a website simple is a constant challenge. As our businesses grow and mature, it can be so tempting to add another page, another client testimonial, another case study, another accolade, another bullet point to the already too long list of services we provide. Of course, we’re told that the more content, the better — if nothing other than to attract the almighty search engines.

My advice? Don’t do it. Continue to keep your site simple. Your clients will thank you for it. Your authenticity will shine through. Yes, relevance and authenticity still count.

How do you keep your site simple? Here are 7 key tips:

  1. Focus on your most essential product and service offerings. Your site visitor doesn’t need to know everything you’re capable of. When you later connect with that prospective client, you can fill in the blanks, as appropriate.
  2. Reduce the page count. Most visitors need just an overview of who you are and what you provide to decide if they should contact you.
  3. Limit the number of tabs and navigational choices. If we offer visitors too many choices, we paralyze them. I equate this to the cereal aisle in the grocery store — too many choices and, hey, do I really need cereal this visit?
  4. Keep your most important content above the scroll. The majority of site visitors still don’t scroll (at least on desktop devices). Contact info should definitely appear high up on the page.
  5. Choose a palette of 2 or 3 colors. If we use any more than that, we confuse the eye and dilute our brand identity.
  6. Write content for your human audience first. Yes, keywords still matter, but ultimately, once you “get found,” you still need to be able to convince your visitor to buy from you. Keep things relevant and use your authentic voice.
  7. Continue to simplify. Sure, we all need to add content as we grow and evolve, but remember to subtract content that may no longer be important or relevant to your business today.

Don’t we all prefer to do business with people who are authentic and uncomplicated? Your clean and simple website can help you project an image of polished professionalism. Less is definitely more.

by Rebecca Cochran