Cop an Attitude If You Want To Write

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Cop an Attitude If You Want To Write

Don Murray coverDonald Murray, one of America’s greatest writing teachers, says, to adopt certain attitudes if you want to write.

My favorite out of the several he describes is:

Each contribution is merely that, a contribution to the conversation.

It is not, and does not have to be, the definitive work encompassing everything. Don’t be paralyzed by creating the ultimate truth.

Instead, Murray says:

  • Speculate
  • Question
  • Argue
  • Create a model
  • Take a position
  • Define a problem
  • Make an observation
  • Propose a solution
  • Illuminate a possibility


That’s good advice that applies not only to an academic looking to publish, as Murray proposes in the book The Essential Don Murray, but to marketers, freelance writers and others struggling to create blog posts, eBooks, articles or white papers.


Please share any great writing advice you’ve learned so I and others can benefit in the comments below.



Seattle is a Hotbed of Entrepreneurs, Says Digital Pub

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Seattle is a Hotbed of Entrepreneurs, Says Digital Pub

The Kauffman Foundation recently profiled Seattle as a hotbed of entrepreneurism through their digital publication www.id8nation.combest snip ID8Nation ship

They previously featured entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh and San Diego.

In the Seattle issue you’ll find stories on the Big 6:  Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, Nordstrom and Boeing, and a lot more.

There’s also coverage of the area’s music and video game making scenes, profiles of entrepreneurs such as Cheezburger’s Ben Huh and Jane Park of Juelp, all through the lens of entrepreneurship and what makes the region such a magnet.

I wrote a couple of stories for the issue.

The bulk of the content is only for mobile and tablet users, devices they say offer a different experience than the web. However, you can read some stories on their website.

The editors agreed to let me post my two articles on Microsoft and another on Method Homes, the modular homebuilder based in Bellingham that’s expanding nationwide.

The Microsoft Corp. stories focus on its recent efforts to help startups with a sidebar on some of the more historical moves the company has made to foster entrepreneurship in Seattle.

The Method Homes story is just one of a collection of manufacturing stories. (Full Disclosure: I only wrote the Method story, not the profiles on the other two manufacturing firms.

You can read the stories by clicking on the story covers.

MSFT The One That Started snip (415x527)             MSFT Venturing Forth snip cover (603x481)             ID8nation Method snip cover (446x456)


Did they portray Seattle accurately? Seattleites, and others, let me know what you think in the comments below.


blogging/How To/Writing

Blogging Cheat Sheet

Posted by M. Sharon Baker

I’m setting up a blog for my client and overseeing 6 or 7 people who for the most part, haven’t blogged before.

In addition to setting up an editorial calendar, I’m also creating a Blogging Cheat Sheet, which I wanted to share.

 Blogging Cheat Sheet

  • Posts should be around 350 to 500 words.
  • Stick to one topic/idea.
  • Try to think about what your clients might be interested in knowing.
  • Try to create a catchy headline.
  • Graphics, pictures, charts and links are encouraged.
  • Subheads help the reader along.
  • End with a call to action that invites comments.
  • Remember to respond to each comment.
  • Promote via social media in a way that’s engaging.


What other handy tips and ideas do you keep top of mind when you are writing blog posts? I’d love to add your thoughts to my cheat sheet.


Content/Content Marketing/How To/Websites

How a Service Firm Tackles Content Marketing: First Step – Rewriting Web Pages

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
How a Service Firm Tackles Content Marketing:  First Step – Rewriting Web Pages

u2scp19bI’m in the midst of helping a client rewrite her company website. Her business had dipped, and she wanted to land more traffic from specific keywords, ones she knew were shuttling most of the business to her competitors.

For the most part, her site was a gigantic brochure, talking all about her firm, not about what her team does for people or how her services are different from others. Like many companies, she wrote the copy herself, many years ago when she first launched her website.

But now, her brochure site no longer works.