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Here's your weekly dose of sticky content tips.

11.10.17

How to avoid the pitfalls of my super-simple blog formula

Do you feel uncomfortable with the mere suggestion that it is possible to write a blog to a formula?  Many writers do.  It’s like painting by numbers or using a colouring book instead of just drawing freehand.  It’s an automatic creative fail, isn’t it?

I want to let you in on a secret here.  Creative people work to formulas.  At least, that is where they start the creative journey.  The wildest abstract painter – Jackson Pollock, the artist who painted the image for this blog – started by learning to draw live models, a tried and true step that every artist takes on the path to self-expression. (click the link, to see one of his early life drawings)
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27.9.17

Time to Write: Lessons from Officeworks’ Content Marketing Campaign

I was fascinated to see the stationery shop, Officeworks, launch a marketing campaign called Time to Write. As a content marketing campaign, which combines the benefits of information for consumers and sales opportunities for Officeworks, it’s pretty good – but not faultless. I thought I would unpack it for my Sticky community as an example of what you might do, and not do, in your own blogging campaigns.

Let’s be clear: I don’t spend my time and money blogging just because I love you (even though I do). I blog because in order to build a community of interest (that’s you) in my ideas and approach, to build my reputation as an author’s mentor, to establish my credibility and authority, and to find clients.

So I am not going to chuck rocks at Officeworks for a campaign designed to sell notebooks, pencils and pens. Their commercial focus is not a problem in my view. Setting that aside then, let’s unpack the campaign.    Read More

 
13.9.17

Some Apps that Help with Writing (and Some to Avoid)

Professional writers have wings. Hacks. Apps. Tricks. When you write for a living, you want to get past the barriers – fear, the first sentence, the blank screen – as fast as possible so you can meet your deadline. Knowing this, app developers are out there trying to help us. Don’t you just love ’em!  I’ll include some I use, some I’ve heard about and haven’t tried, and some I’ve discovered in writing this story. If you try them, please tell me what you think of them.  Read More

 
30.8.17

The Sacred Pause

In minutes, I am heading for my weekly restorative yoga class. In this class, I become my opposite. Not doing, being. Not rigid, yielding. Not active, passive. Not striving, but surrendering. When I walk in, I lie down on my mat, the first thing I take is a big breath and sigh. Aaaah, home. It is time to pause.

Podcaster, author, and Buddhist meditation teacher Tara Brach has a lovely name for the moment we desist from our relentless activity: the Sacred Pause. I am learning to understand the power of the sacred pause. It is the moment of reflection that gives us choice. The choices I make after a pause are, without fail, better than those made without stopping. We need only think of an email we wish we had not sent or some words we cannot take back to conjure up some examples of times when we regret not pausing.   Read More

 
16.8.17

The cure for doubt is not faith; it is curiosity

I’ve made a living from doubt (I’ll explain shortly). I’ve frolicked in its bounty and have cried under its lash. Doubt can be cruel and merciless, and hold us back. It can be the burning sun in a waterless desert. It can be an icy wind that whips away our cloak of confidence. We want to run from self-doubt (I am sure that is not just me). We want to bathe in the cool, clear waters of conviction. But conviction is dangerously beguiling. US President Donald Trump has risen to power by promising rubbish with great conviction.  Read More

 
8.8.17

Your readers really are judging you: What can you do about it?

It’s not good news, is it? A big part of my professional life is spent encouraging thought leaders to get their ideas down on paper in book form, publish them, and send them out into the world: something about which many of them feel diffident, to say the least. And now, here I am, pointing out that whatever you put out there in writing (blog, book, white paper) will, in fact, be mercilessly judged by your readership.  Read More

 
2.8.17

Why I cannot work with every thought leader who wants to write a book

Every thought leader who writes a book needs help. A buddy. A fellow traveller. A book is too big a project to be tackled alone. And let’s face it, it’s not so much fun on your own. I liken it to climbing Mount Everest. Every author I have worked with goes through a crisis of confidence somewhere on the way to the summit. Some only metres from the top!  Read More

 
26.7.17

What is a business book, and what makes it sell?

You’ll never guess what the dictionary definition of a book is: ‘a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewed together along one side and bound in covers’. Yep — that encompasses many possibilities, doesn’t it? In fact, as far as definitions go, your book can have blank pages and still qualify for the noun. Millions of blank books sell every year — why didn’t I think of that!  Read More

 
20.7.17

Easy ways to promote your new book

Promoting your book is the big gig for all authors. I saw a great example of this at a book launch last night. The place was packed. I know the author, Lennox Nicholson, a little and can’t wait to read his book, On the Wagon. It’s a sober version of On the Road, the American beat generation Jack Kerouac’s journey of self-discovery. Nicholson’s has a happier ending; Kerouac died of alcoholism in his forties! But my point is this: writing the book took Nicholson three years, yet his journey as an author is just beginning. His big gig now is to get the book into the hands of his fans.

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13.7.17

Are you the expert you think you are?

Have you noticed how confronting it is to put your ideas down on paper? We believe we are an expert until we start writing.My clients often tell me they experience a sinking feeling as they write: a feeling of unworthiness. A question arises in their mind along these lines: Who am I to write this blog or book?  Read More