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red pen markups

Why hiring an editor is a solid investment

by Chris Lyman

When trying to start a new business, the last thing you want is for a typo in your painstakingly crafted materials to stand between you and potential funding. Read more »

planning
hiring a business plan writer

Beware of Business Plan Writers Who Oversell

by Tim Berry

Entrepreneurs, beware of business plan writers who oversell. There are people who sell business plan writing as if the business plan itself — the formatting, the structure, the editing, the production values — will or won’t get investment. And that’s not true. Nobody real will invest or not invest because of the production values of a... Read more »

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Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Take a CopyWriter to Lunch and an Editor to Dinner.

by Tim Berry

I’m a good writer. I know that. I’m proud of that. I write relatively fast, relatively finished non-fiction business writing. I have degrees to prove it, but of course they don’t. And I have published works to prove it, and they do. Google me. However — and this is the point — I am not... Read more »

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Reasons to hire a professional writer

Seven reasons your company needs a professional writer

by Danielle Rodabaugh

If your business relies on its online reputation, you know how important credibility is to your success. Hiring a professional writer is a great way to maximize your company’s online branding potential. Unfortunately, not every small business has the funds available to hire a full-time writer. However, if you do have the financial flexibility to... Read more »

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typing

How to Write Guest Posts that Bloggers Accept

by Tara Hornor

For those interested in expanding beyond the bounds of their own blogs, writing guests posts is an excellent way to build a reputation within your industry. The “why” of guest blogging is pretty straightforward—unlike emails or newsletter postcard campaigns that only build rapport with clients, guest blogging  builds your expertise and connections within your industry, not to mention... Read more »

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trust2

Building Trust with Quality Website Content

by Tara Hornor

  When asked what’s the most important thing to a website owner for building their site, often the response revolves around ad revenues or social media management tools. But both of these answers ignore the most fundamental part of ensuring long-term growth: trust between the site and the visitors. Without trust, why should readers return?... Read more »

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crown

It’s true – content is king

by Palo Alto Software

Content marketing is one of the big buzzwords of 2012 so far. With millions of websites vying for your customers’ attention and hundreds of emails clogging their inboxes, now more than ever you have to prove to your audience that yours is a voice worth listening to. And that’s where content comes in. As Tim... Read more »

planning
stackpapers

The Problem of Redundancy in Business Plan Documents

by Tim Berry

I’m in my business plan marathon season again. This happens every April as I read business plans for my angel investment group in Oregon and for business plan competitions held this month by University of Oregon, Rice University, University of Texas, and the University of Notre Dame. I want to make it clear, first, that I... Read more »

planning
instructions

Crafting a Simple Business Plan

by Tim Berry

When I first started working with business plans back in the late 1970s, the average plan was much longer and more complex than what I see today. That might be because business plans are more common than they used to be–they’re used more and more often and by more people. It might also be a... Read more »

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typo3

Writing Web Content: The old rules of editing still apply

by Palo Alto Software

Is your website driving sales or is it driving potential customers away? Think about it — how you present yourself via your website is your customer’s first impression of you and your business. What you say and how you say it matters. There are plenty of excellent resources available to guide you in writing compelling... Read more »

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Writing a Successful Sales Letter

by Elizabeth Walker and Ken Burgin

Our friend Dave called last night, he’s started a small engine repair business and he asked us to review a sales letter he’d written. Dave’s letter was actually pretty good; the only problem was that it did not give a really good reason why anyone should do business with him! There was no incentive; no... Read more »

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Putting a little english on English with homographs

by Steve Lange

Shawnie, a member of our excellent Palo Alto Software Customer Care Team, emailed me this list of homographs (words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings and different pronunciations). She thought I might enjoy them, and I certainly do. We polish the Polish furniture. He could lead if he would get the lead... Read more »

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Correct spelting and edda-ting arrgh fundamental

by Steve Lange

With the plethora of instant text communciations it is easy for us to become sloppy in our spelling, and when using texting, reducing words to rebuses and abbreviations is near-mandatory. Still, when you are involved in any form of business writing, especially where you have an outside audience, an audience that has some control over... Read more »

planning

Spelling and Editing are Fundamental Business Planning Activities

by Tim Berry

When I first entered the job market, all my advisors all stressed, over and over again, to be sure my résumé had no misspellings or grammatical errors. They said that employers have to screen hundreds of job applications, and would use any good reason or bad excuse to toss out an applicant. Misspellings and language... Read more »

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Pomme frite or Pro forma?

by Steve Lange

A certain je ne sais quoi which makes English such a creative and challenging language is its sponge-like ability to absorb and use words and phrases from other languages as if they’ve always been there. We regularly use nouns from other languages to improve the image of the same items in our product or services... Read more »

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Newsletters: The basic information you need

by Palo Alto Software

In our Bplans.com newsletter, we’ve been publishing a series of articles from iContact about email marketing. This first in a series touches on the basics of having and running a newsletter for your business. iContact’s Brandon Milford focuses on the basics of using a newsletter to reach out to your customer/client base. Brandon Milford is... Read more »

Correcting Myself: Early Adapter vs. Early Adopter

by Tim Berry

I did it again: early adapter, early adopter, damn! I hate it when that happens. In my last post, I called myself an early adapter but should have written early adopter. So, under the premise that if literate good-speller/good-writer me makes this mistake, then others must, here’s a correction and clarification from Simon Cooke at... Read more »

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Spelling checking can be enjoyable

by Steve Lange

Spell checking should be an automatic task in all our business writing. I don’t mean simply using the built-in spell checkers in software applications. I mean we should be constantly working at improving our own spelling skills. Of course, many of us have the painful memories of school spelling quizzes and spelling bees. It is... Read more »

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Up and Running in eBooks

by Tim Berry

Can you guess a startup that’s based on a product but doesn’t have to carry inventory and creates its own channels of distribution? One whose startup costs are not a lot more than a good computer, and the know-how? One whose time from conception to shipping is a matter of weeks? I’ve never met Scott... Read more »

planning

I don’t think that word means what you think it means

by Steve Lange

I found the following story on several Internet sites. At New York’s Kennedy airport today, an individual, later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, and a calculator. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security... Read more »