writing & editing

Those who create content need their space, especially when suffering from writer’s block. Some need quiet. Some need motion. Some need deadlines. Some need extensions. Some need clutter. Some need clean. What they all need, though, to break a creative impasse is to ditch their smartphone. Not permanently, of course. Just until you have a breakthrough. Unlike cellphones of old, we now carry Internet-connected computers in our hands, so we can work or play online...

Got Writer’s Block? Ditch Your Smartphone!

At recent networking events, I’ve been mingling with other small business owners and professionals who are interested in advancing their brand online. From financial advisors and real estate brokers to web service providers, wellness coaches and more—most are flummoxed by how to begin to gain attention and traction from prospects while on a tight budget. One piece of advice I offer to jump-start marketing for either their company or personal brand: Create an active blog. ...

How to Begin Marketing Your Brand Using Blogs

There are numerous ways to make headlines—as in craft a great title to a piece of content marketing in order to grab attention. Just make sure that it’s the kind of attention you want for your article, blog post, white paper, case study, advertisement, and so on. Here are some tips to create great headlines for a wide variety of deliverables. The medium influences the message The first step in creating a compelling headline is...

How to Make Headlines

Our editorial and creative teams at Twirling Tiger Media recently celebrated industry awards in two different competitions. It was the fourth year in a row that we earned outside recognition for our writing and design. I’ve worked both sides of competitions and can tell you that sometimes the best work doesn’t always win gold, but in general all prize-winners are exceptional. If or where you place depends largely on two factors: what you enter and...

How to Create Award-Winning Content

Over the years I’ve used different note-taking modes in meetings and conference sessions. Sometimes I use a laptop or tablet; other times, I go with paper and pen. One thing I’ve noticed in that time is how little I actually retain when I am taking notes electronically. Then again, I can make sense of my notes, which isn’t always the case with handwritten ones. Several years ago, a Harvard Business Review intern  wrote about what we...

Is Your Note-taking a Help or a Hindrance?

We all want to be better in our chosen careers, right? One of the places where I frequently find motivation and inspiration is in a handful of competitive television shows that bring out the creative in me. And one that I’m currently binging on is the start of this month’s recommendations. [watch] The Great British Baking Show. Season 5 is now on Netflix, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been a fan of this competitive...

Recommended: The Ingredients to a Great <strike>Cake</strike> Career

Thanks to a flood of contract writers and the rise of content mills, the commerce of writing is taking a huge economic hit. So are writers who depend on their craft to earn a living. That’s why freelance writers need a contract. Statements of work or author agreements —or whatever such  contracts are  called—are designed to clearly explain expectations and publishing rights. Most writers understand the deliverables and deadlines. It’s the publishing rights that can...

Why Writers Need a Contract

Tomorrow we celebrate our nation’s independence from the British in the 1700s. What better time then to discuss how you can become more independent too. In this case, we’re talking about becoming an independent contractor as either a side gig or to replace a job that no longer works for you. Twirling Tiger Media works with a range of independent contractors, many of whom have been with us since our start. I’ve also been a...

A Guide to Being a Great Independent Contractor

Ever since a friend brought it to my attention, I’ve noticed I misuse the word perfect frequently, at least in speech. I say it when I find a mutual time to talk with someone. When I sign off on instructions. When I’m offered fresh fruit in lieu of bacon for brunch. The one place I rarely use it: my own work product. Perfect should not be the goal “Perfect” may be my current catch phrase,...

Not So Perfect: Learning to Let Go of an Elusive Goal

I spent part of this winter in central Oregon, where it snowed often and ice frequently accumulated on the roads. One early March morning I confidently headed out for groceries in a Nissan Pathfinder and very briefly lost control of the vehicle. I’d misjudged the Pathfinder’s four-wheel drive, my own competence and the road’s slick surface. So, with that event still fresh in my mind, I’ll open this month’s recommendations for what to read, watch...

The ‘Heuristic Trap’ and Other Human Hazards