Linger longer over my words

I’m pleased to see that visitors to my site and blog spend (on average) 5 minutes here!

Thanks to you for stopping by and reading my words. I’ve recently been compiling my blog posts into permanent content which you might want to check out. Of course, this may take the length of your visit beyond the 5 minute mark!

Copywriting on the farm

Cows by Edgar Thissen

I really like this idea, taken from Writing for the Web by Susannah Ross:

“Many people talk about setting up a website or having one. They don’t talk often enough about running or managing one. Having a website is not like having a book or a film to show people. It is more like having a farm.”

Anyone starting a website should not be put off by this statement. Websites require regular maintenance and care but they are, rather like animal husbandry, very rewarding. Though unlike farming there is no poo.

An untended website will soon deteriorate into a derelict dump of broken links and irrelevant information. So embrace the farm analogy and tend your herd like your life depends on it!

(Picture courtesy of Edgar Thissen via Flickr)

Page Rank Joy

I experienced a rush of pure geek joy this week when I found my website had been blessed by Google with Page Rank !

My Page Rank of 4 has come after several months of online marketing efforts.

As a copywriter who specialises in writing for the web, it is has been hugely useful to monitor my own site’s progress in the SERPs . I have read the theory on web marketing but it’s great to experience it for myself and learn what actually works.

Can you catch this?

I’m still reading Can I Change Your Mind? by Lindsay Camp (in case you’re wondering; my only chance to read books is when I commute, which doesn’t give me much time at all!).

I found another interesting idea in Lindsay’s very entertaining book, which I think all writers can benefit from. Lindsay suggests that the most direct and clear writing is not always the most effective way to get people to understand something.

To quote from the book (Lindsay is in turn quoting his friend David Stuart’s “famous ball-throwing analogy”):

“If you and I stand a metre apart and I throw a ball to you very gently, you will almost certainly catch it. If, on the other hand, you stand 30 metres away, and I chuck the ball as high in the air as I can, catching it will be a lot harder. But which catch will be a more rewarding experience? Which will you be more likely to remember?”

The connection to writing is explained:

“Writing that expresses meaning ‘indirectly’ is like the ball thrown high into the air. There’s a risk you may drop it. Good writing is about judging how difficult to make the catch.”

I really like the idea of throwing words to people, and judging their ability to catch them. A well judged throw gives the catcher a memorable experience. A badly judged throw is something you’ll both want to forget.

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