Before Editing, Gain Some Perspective

Pull back to see more clearly...

Editing our own writing, whether it’s a book chapter, article or blog post, requires us to look at our own work with fresh eyes.

We need to leave the creative shoes of the writer behind and step into the critical, precise shoes of the editor. This is not an easy transition and often requires a great deal of practice for the so called “shoe to fit.”

Both of the photographs here are of the same beautiful bowl — the beautiful bowl of creation. In the first, zoomed-in view, it’s too close to appreciate any of the beauty. The second offers some much needed distance and perspective to take it all in.

And so it is with our writing and editing.

We write of what we know, what we’ve done, what we like writing about. Topics close to our hearts and events from the mental photo albums of our minds. We hope that the way we think of something can be conveyed onto paper as we write, but, do we ever really know? What happens as our stories travel from memory and brain wave to muscle to hand to pen or keyboard? We worry that something is lost and yet, we are too close to read it critically.

But we have a wonderful ability to change all that.

We can change our perspective.

Pull back to see more clearly...

Step back to see more clearly…

We can put distance between our writing and our reading so that we can edit our own work.

When we review our own writing with a plan to edit it, too, we remain the writer, nonetheless. We cannot fully step away from that role. And so, we need some strategies to put distance between writer and editor; to broaden perspective and step back from what we write so that we can edit it:

  1. Put time and space between writing and editing. Allow as much time as possible between when you write and when you go back to edit your work. Whenever possible, overnight is helpful but do what you can, even if it is only a few hours. Some recommend letting your finished book draft sit a full month before you pick it back up. The time away from the content helps you let go of what you intended enough so that you can see it with fresh eyes when editing. It’s even suggested that you edit in a different place than the one in which you wrote.
  2. Print it out. If you created your writing digitally, print out a hard copy. Whether or not you print, change the font in style or size to alter the view enough to get your brain to consider it as something new.
  3. Read it aloud. By reading out loud, you’re now using another sense to evaluate your writing. It is often by hearing that you pick up on a section that seems too awkward or a word that is used too often. It’s a great way to examine the flow of your piece and even to gauge its length. It allows you to check for conversational writing…the kind of writing that works best!
  4. Read it as if someone else. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and read it all the way through, as if you are that person that is not you reading material that you do not know. Take nothing for granted, like the meaning of a word or the meaning in the gaps between the words. If something is not straightforward, fix it! Replace jargon with clarity and add information when needed to explain things thoroughly and more clearly to an outsider. Then read it through again for another round!
  5. Ask someone else to read it. This can be someone in your family, young or old. It’s even better when it can be someone unfamiliar with the content. Ask them to be critical and comfortable sharing what they think.

When you’ve given yourself the gift of a new perspective, you give your writing a better chance of meeting someone else across the page. You connect with your readers as your words invite them to see things from your perspective!

How do you change your perspective when editing your writing? Please share in the comments.

Which one should I choose: WordPress.org or WordPress.com?

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbI have been running my Website Creation Workshop program for 7 years now,
but every single time I run an introductory webinar or teleseminar, this question comes up:

What’s the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?

I see how people get confused. Both services were created by the same company called Automattic and offer tools to create websites using the “WordPress” platform.

Their basic functions look the same. However, there are some critical differences that you
should know so that you can make the right choice for you when building a website.

[info]Catch Christina’s free live webinar – Easily Create a Beautiful Website in WordPress – Even if You Hate Technology…. – on Thursday Dec 4, 2014. Register here.[/info]
WordPress.com (https://wordpress.com/)
  • Software is free, and it also comes with hosting. (ie. You don’t need to get your own hosting. They will host your website for you.) Note: it does NOT include emails, so you need to get a separate email service.
  • You will get your website URL with “wordpress.com” at the end. (ex. yoursitename/wordpress.com) (They offer a premium plan that allows you to use your own domain name while being hosted on WordPress.com server at extra cost.)
  • From time to time, your site might display ads to logged-out users who aren’t regular visitors  unless you purchase a special feature to turn it off.
  • While it offers many free and paid themes, they cannot be customized to the extent you can with wordpress.org themes.
  • They do not allow you to add plugins, which means the functionalities are limited compared to wordpress.org.
  • To sell products/programs from your site, you need to sign up for “WordPress.com Business” (http://store.wordpress.com/plans/business/) and pay the fee.
  • They allow you to embed certain forms, not all. For example, you can’t embed the opt-in form for many of the popular email services.

 Continue reading

Why Images are Dominating the Business World

Why Images are dominating the Business

Have you noticed the amount of images that have exploded into the social media scene?

Why Images are dominating the BusinessIt’s no mistake that these images have taken over our favourite social media platforms.

With the advent of smart phones that have some super high quality lenses, the ability for us to take great quality photos in an instant has arrived.

It is believed that 95% of us have a smart phone within arms reach of us most of our waking day. Its no wonder that the amount of image uploads has grown rapidly.

This growth has also sparked a proliferation of photo sharing sites and apps that continue to dominate the news. Not only are there new sites popping up everywhere, even old sites that had no intention of using images at its core have succumbed. Think Twitter and LinkedIn.

As these sites grow and our tastes adapt, there is also a need to produce more engaging images. Images that are getting the most eyeballs, the most shares and the most engagement are sophisticated, chic and relevant to the mood of the day. How can somebody with no graphic skills or a creative bone in their body even compete?

Well, thanks to this obsession with images, there are also a growing number of photo editing apps and sites that make even a novice look like a pro in no time.

[success]Catch Andrew’s free webinar with Social Buzz U on Thursday August 7, 11am Pacific. Click here for details & registration![/success]

There are a few rules that you need to follow if you decide to start creating some graphical masterpieces to get them amongst your network.

First and foremost are they engaging? Do people want to share them and are they happy to add their name to the list of people who have shared it?

Secondly, do they fit with your own branding or the relevancy of your message? Is the image you are creating relevant to your target market?

And Thirdly, can the image be linked back to your business in some way? Have you created the image with a connection back to your business, in the case that it gets shared outside of your own network?

Just following these 3 steps can save you a lot of wasted time and frustration in your Endeavour to create the perfect image and keep up with your competition.

In this presentation, I will go over the reasons behind the image explosion and then walk through some of the great tools that are out there for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I will also dig into what makes an shareable and engaging so that you can begin to create the right type of image for your business.

 

All You Need is a Wee Bit of Passion – and You Too Can Make Money with an Expert Interview Series

Experts sell. It’s that simple.

But how do you sell THEM?

If you look around, you’ll see that many successful businesses, Social Buzz Club included, use expert interviews to attract new followers, enhance relationships with their subscribers, and build their bottom line.

Why? Because it works.

Think about it – even Oprah made her name simply by interviewing others!

When I started my weekly expert interview series “The Business Success Cafe” (that’s an affiliate link) it just sounded like a good idea and kind of fun…but I had no idea how successful an interview series could really be…or that it would become the cornerstone of a highly successful business.

The perfect coffee break for busy business owners, each Business Success Cafe  (that’s an affiliate link) event is only 20 minutes long and, although it’s completely FREE, and is monetized at least 4 different ways!

Now, after 2 years (do the math – that’s over 100 expert interviews!) the system behind the “Business Success Cafe” has been tweaked and tuned and is running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, I’ve been called the “poster child” for what can happen when you find a marketing strategy that generates amazing results, and you create a system around it…so the results keep pouring in week after week with very little effort. It’s a beautiful thing!

I get a lot of questions about how, and why, an expert interview series works so well. And, I’m often asked whether or not it can work regardless of skill level, list size, or target market. The answer is “YES”!

Even better, you don’t need to be an expert…in anything! If you enjoy talking to people, and you have interest in a particular area…then you have what it takes to launch your own expert interview series.

When YOU host your own expert interview series…you can realize at least 8 BIG benefits. These benefits include quickly building a list of highly targeted prospects, a wide-variety of lucrative monetization options, creating relationships with the top influencers in your market…and much much more.

Do you want to learn how YOU can launch and run your own lucrative expert interview series? Do you want to find out what the 8 big benefits are…and how YOU can use an expert interview series to explode your business results?

Join Cathy Demers, Founder of the Business Success Cafe, for “Make Money from an Expert Interview Series” an exclusive webinar for Social Buzz Club – Coming up July 18 – Register Here, it’s free when you attend live, or by becoming a member you get access to all our replays!

 

Pinterest for Business Exposure

How To Use Pinterest for BusinessSocial media influencer, Kim Garst, gave a fabulous training for our Social Buzz U chock full of Pinterest tips for business. Here are some of the highlights she shared:

What is Pinterest? 

Pinterest is a social network that allows you to organize and share almost anything you find on the web. Since it is imaged based sharing, you create virtual bulletin boards (or pin boards) by topic. Then you pin images from pages online that contain information related to your bulletin board topics. Topics or themes can include everything to personal interest areas like weddings, decorating ideas, exercise, fitness tips, recipes, to business interests.

Tip: Browse others pin boards created by others to find pins for your boards.  Continue reading