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Add a Dash of Spice to Your Blog with a Bit of Humour

Posted by on Feb 13 2012 | Blogs

Humour, in the correct hands it can be a beautiful tool that can hold your reader’s rapt attention. But in the wrong hands, it will destroy your fan base, leaving behind the lingering sound of crickets. But don’t worry; infusing humour to your blog is easy provided you know what you are doing.

Know Your Audience

Know who you are writing for. If it is very serious website such a humanitarian website or a relief website, then you should avoid the jokes. But if you are writing for a more general website, then a joke may spruce things up.

Be Tasteful

The golden rule of writing is to be tasteful when making jokes. Make a joke about a particularly touchy subject such as the holocaust and you will have a mob of pitchfork wielding thugs asking for your head.

Keep It Subtle

Subtlety is the name of the game. A simple but witty one liner is as effective as a 50 word joke if not more. Timing is everything.

Know When to Shut Up

I have noticed that the average good joke to bad joke ratio is 1:3. This means that every excellent joke you make, you sprout 3 average/nonsensical jokes. This means that by keeping your jokes to a minimum and spacing then evenly, you have a statistically higher chance of making good joke.

In the end, it all falls down to the writer. If the writer has a good sense of humour, he will be able to make any article/or blog funny. No matter the subject.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Bloggers

Posted by on Jan 07 2012 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

The rabbit has returned to his burrow and the dragon has awakened to claim the year (according to the Chinese anyway). It’s that time of the year when everyone makes their new year’s resolution and by the time you read this post, many would have already broken them. Here are a couple of New Year’s resolutions that aspiring bloggers should try and keep.

1. Maintain a Schedule for Your Blog

Take some time off and decide a posting schedule for your blog. Keep in mind that the quality of your blog posts should be top priority. It’s better to post 2-3 high quality blogs every week rather than 6 -7 hastily written blogs that are as interesting as reading the ingredients section on a shampoo bottle.

2. Get an Editor

NO! I’m not talking about hiring a professional editor to go through your blog. Just an extra pair of eyes to read your blog before your click the publish button. The extra pair will easily point out the mistakes you make because people love finding mistakes in other peoples work. It’s human nature.

3. Change your theme

It’s a new beginning, so you should give your blog a fresh coat of paint. It will not only reinvigorate your blog, but it may reignite interest in you and your old visitors.

4. Promote

If you wish to increase your visitors, then you have to promote your blog. SEO optimisation, keywords, leaving comments, etc will help you improve your visitor count. Just remember to be subtle and classy about it. Leaving comments like “READ THIS BLOG!!” will garner more hate than love.

5. Try Audio and Video

The New Year is the time to try new things. Why don’t you try posting an audio or a video file which simply narrates your blog? This way, you will gain access to a small section of people who dislike reading.

It doesn’t matter if the New Year has already passed by. These pointers should be taken regardless of the time or date you read this post. Remember, today is as good as any other day.

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Common Grammatical Mistakes India English Writers Make

Posted by on Dec 24 2011 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

English is spoken by over a hundred million people in India. That’s more than the entire population of England! Unfortunately, there is a big difference between speaking a language and speaking it well. Indians are famous for having one of the funniest accents in the world. But it isn’t our fault, (as with everything wrong in India) the British are to be blamed for this mess. They may have packed up, but they left behind their legacy in the form of old fashioned English that is still being taught in schools. Thankfully, it’s extremely easy to fix these problems, just keep in mind a couple of things.

Stop the overuse of –ing

For some strange reason, we are infatuated with the –ing for of verbs.

Incorrect: I am not knowing how to drive a car.

Correct: I do not know how to drive a car.

Idioms

We have a very unique way of saying certain things.

Incorrect: What is your good name?

Correct: What is your name?

Word order variations

We also have a tendency to jumble the words in a sentence.

Incorrect: My all closet are empty.

Correct: My closets are all empty.

Overuse of words like actually/ seriously/ obviously etc

Incorrect: Actually, I have seriously no idea why we overuse these words.

Correct: I have no idea why we overuse these words.

While these sentences may not be wrong, they are not right either. The best way to improve your English is to watch as many English movies as possible. This will keep you updated on the style currently being employed in the world. If you are a foreigner and you meet someone speaking to you in such a way, don’t be alarmed. The man may be extremely intelligent; it’s just that he is a victim of a schooling system left behind by the British.

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Things to Keep in Mind When Interacting with a Client

Posted by on Dec 19 2011 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

Meeting a client can be a daunting task for some as professional relationships can be made or broken during these meetings. Clients are very impressionable people and these tips given below should ensure that you do not act like an idiot in front of your clients.

1. Be engaging

Talk to your clients in a relaxed yet formal tone. Listen to them at all times, especially the small talk as they can be used to connect with them.

2. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Au contraire, ask as many questions as possible. This helps build confidence in the client.

3. Be humble

No matter what your qualifications are, a rudeness and arrogance can put off a client in a couple of minutes.

4. Have a Good Contract

A contract that is clear and easy to understand will give a client a sense of security as the client will get to know exactly what they can expect from you .

5. State Your Opinion

Do not be afraid to state your opinion. If you feel that the client is wrong then let them know. They will appreciate it even more if you can point out a problem and provide a solution as well.

6. Be yourself

People know when someone is faking something. Try and inject your own personality into the conversation.

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Books for Real Men

Posted by on Nov 29 2011 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

As I was passing by a movie theatre, I saw a group of guys busying buying tickets to see a certain movie about a sparkling vampire who falls in love. That scene brought tears to my eyes. “Where have all the men gone?” I asked myself. So I went to the nearest book store and wouldn’t you know it. The most popular ones were the book versions of the aforementioned movie. Maybe this is the reason why real men are disappearing. Men can’t find good books to read. So I decided to write this blog to let all the guys what kinds of books deserve to be in their library.

Superhero Comic Books

Superhero comic books are very manly. Sure, many say that that plot and the premise do not make sense. But then you will be missing the whole point. Guys don’t read comics for the story; they read it for the sheer awesomeness. Fly through the air, fight a corny, overpowered bad guy and rescue the girl. That’s all we need. If you still don’t get it, remember that boys never grow up, only their toys get bigger.

Graphic Novels

If you can get hold of a graphic novel about superheroes, you will manage to kill two birds with one stone.

A ‘How to Fix Your Car/House’ Book

A man’s house is his castle and a man’s car is his home away from home. Learn to take care of both of them.

A Cook Book

Before you start stoning me, hear me out. Studies show that women are impressed by a man who is good in the kitchen. Why do you think that some of the best cooks in the world are male?

An Autobiography of a Famous Sportsperson

Worship your idol. Buy it and read it and proudly display your choice of sports to other men.

A Big, Fat Book

Put the biggest, fattest and the brainiest book you can get your hands on right at the front. Why? Because it looks classy, that’s why!

These are all that I can think of at the moment. You if feel that there are more types of books that need to be added to the library, let me know in the comments below. You suggestions well be read, mulled over, and may be added to a future blog post.

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Gadgets for Writers

Posted by on Nov 22 2011 | Content Writing, SEO Copywriting

Writers and technology go hand in hand, starting with the pen and paper all the way till the Gutenberg printing press in the middle ages and the typewriter in the 20th century. Writers who have the latest devices are considered to be the best in the business.

I though I’ll compile a list of the best gadgets for two reasons:-

a) To help my fellow writers be on top of their game

b) To give Santa Clause a hint this Christmas

1. The LiveScribe E-pen

This handy device digitally records what you write. It also has a microphone so that you can record a lecturer or a speaker. This means you can upload audio and actual content to a computer. It’s great for blogging, planning, and general purpose writing.

2. Netbook/Tablet

A netbook lets you write on the go because you never know when creativity may strike next. If you are into style then buy a tablet and connect it to a keyboard to look cool at the café.

3. Smart Phone

You should have this gadget even if you are not a writer. A smart phone isn’t just cool to have. It will let you check your mail, read you blog, etc. Not to mention the fact that it will also let you make phone calls.

4. E-Reader

It is quite obvious that writers are readers. An e-reader will let you read hundreds of books without the need to build and entire library.

5. Stress Button

Writing, like most other jobs, is a bit stressful. The Stress Button comes with a flip top to enable fantasies of blowing the world apart. It also comes with a USB cable which enables a simulated explosion or create a fake excel file in case your boss shows up.

This is a list of the best gadgets I feel are the best. If you know any more gadgets, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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GAME ON!!

Posted by on Nov 19 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

I admit it. I’m a gamer first and a writer second. I first played a video game when I was 4 years old and I got hooked. Fast forward 18 years and I’m still playing video games whenever I get some free time and I will most probably be playing video games till the end.

During my journey through the virtual world, I have come across a couple of great games which I feel will be a great asset to writers and lovers of the English language.

1. Bookworm

There is only one word which can be used to describe this game, addictive. I installed this game on my mobile a couple of months back. I have scored more than 500,000 points and I’m still going strong. The pick up and play aspect of the game makes it a great game for newbies or n00bs as they are referred to in gaming terms.

2. Typing Of the Dead

What are you going to do when there is a zombie outbreak? Grab a gun? No silly, you grab a keyboard. After all, you are a writer, not a fighter. As the horde of zombies approach, quickly type out the words that you see on the screen to defeat them. What better way to speed up your typing than by threatening you with death.

3. Scribblenauts

The object of this game very simple, you have to make the character collect things called ‘starites’. You can do that by any means necessary, you get a keypad that you use to create items out of thin air. You can use a helicopter, a dinosaur or anything. Your imagination is the limit. The only problem is that it is only available for the Nintendo DS. But there are ways you can get it for the PC.

These are just a handful of the games that you can play to improve your skills as a writer. A quick search will turn out more. Although when it comes to me, I personally prefer the latest version of the Call of Duty franchise, or a long drawn game of Age of Empires with some of my friends.

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In Sickness and In Health

Posted by on Nov 11 2011 | Content Writing

*ACHOO!! Sniff-sniff!* sorry about that, I caught ‘the bug’ a few hours before I sat down to write this blog, so I humbly request you to ignore my ramblings as I write this blog. I was going to write about the socio-economic and political factors that govern SEO copywriting. But in this state, I can’t think of anything interesting to write about that. So I figured I’ll write about the ways of writing good content, even when sick.

There is a huge difference between doing anything when you are feeling well and doing the same thing when you are sick. The same goes for writing. A throbbing headache, a runny nose and fingers which feel as though they are made of lead are more than just distractions. More often than not, they are a doppelganger of the dreaded writer’s block.

Almost everyone will tell you to turn of the computer and go to bed. But what if you have a deadline? Well then, it’s time to buckle up. Here are a few tips to help you finish that article.

1. Soup time

Mankind may not have found a cure for the common cold yet, but we sure have found an excellent way to help us go through it. There is nothing like a bowl of piping hot chicken soup to help you clear your head. Vegetable soup is a great substitute for all you gentle herbivores.

2. Listen to some music

Put on a pair of headphones and listen to some of your favourite tracks. It’s a great way to take your mind of things. I personally like to listen to the soothing sounds of Iron Maiden and Motorhead.

3. Look on the bright side

Since everyone usually avoids you when you are sick, you can be sure that you will not be disturbed when writing.

4. Take some meds

It seems like the most obvious thing to do, but be careful of the side effects. This reminds me that I should wrap this up before the side effects of my medications kick in.

These tips should help you out when you are sick. Keep in mind that these steps should only be used in case of deadlines. Always heed the advice of your doctor and take plenty of rest when sick.

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A Customer’s Plea to Advertisers

Posted by on Nov 07 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

There I was, standing in the metro with my headphones glued to my ears and my thumbs dancing away on my phone as I try and defeat Darkseid, the final boss of the Superman/Batman game that I was playing. When suddenly, *beep-beep*, ‘LEARN PUBLIC SPEAKING…..’. “NOO…” I exclaimed as quickly deleted that message, but alas, I was too late. Batman had been defeated and the only option I had was to start the whole game all over again and I was too angry to do that. So I just stood there, one part of my brain worshipping Iron Maiden, while the other was thinking of some choice words for the advertiser who sent that message.

We live in the information age. We live in a time where a person can locate the nearest pizza parlour at the touch of a button and we can find out all the important details of a girl/guy before we even meet them. Unfortunately, everything has a positive and negative side. The flipside to the information age is that we are no longer shown advertisements, we are bombarded by them.

They are everywhere, look out the window, open the newspaper, turn on the TV, visit a webpage, and , thanks to the miracle of 3G coverage, you can get advertisements straight to you, even if you are on the top of Mount Everest (that’s a fact). Aggressive advertising has become such a pain that the ‘100 sms/day’ rule was passed just to contain it. Think about it, people are willing to give up a bit of their freedom just to avoid advertisements.

Of course, that doesn’t change anything, we still are bombarded with advertisements and promotions as though we are mindless cattle who wouldn’t know what to do if left to their own devices. Take for instance a certain actor who ran an extremely long and complicated publicity campaign for his new movie. How bad is your product if you have to force feed it to the public to make sure that they use/see it.

I get it, advertisements have to be there. People would like to know about new and interesting products. But keep in mind that there is something called ‘too much’. Subtlety and class will still get you customers, forcing them to buy something via constant texts and humongous billboards in front of their noses will only make them mad.

I hope that advertisers will read this blog and understand the plight of the consumer. Now if you’ll excuse me, Batman has a score to settle.

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Tips on How to Make Writing a Regular Habit

Posted by on Nov 03 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

As it is with most things in life, practice makes perfect. This is also true when it comes to writing. Writing is a skill which requires patience, practice and repetition.

One way to make writing a regular habit is by setting you a number of goals. You could set yourself simple goals like starting a blog, but it would be a better idea to set yourself a number of specific goals which are a bit harder to accomplish, a goal which isn’t impossible and can be accomplished through diligence, like for instance writing 3 or 4 blogs per day.

Another thing you can do is to commit yourself to a scheduled routine. Choose a date which can be easily fit in to your already tight schedule. If you do not have a fixed schedule, writing will become a victim of procrastination and will never be completed. If you do make a schedule, writing an article per day will come as naturally to you as brushing your teeth.

If you do not feel connected with whatever you are writing, the solution can be something as simple as a change of topic. It is perfectly natural if a writer churns out a lousy article if he can’t connect to it. Try to choose topics which are to your interest. If you have to choose a certain topic, try and put your own angle to it so that it gains a bit of interest

You can also create an ideal work environment around you which will stimulate your mind’s eye. Maybe you need a clean work environment with no sounds or distractions. Or maybe you need a bit of music and a cup of coffee to kick start your brain. Find out what works best for you.

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