The Short Story ATM

Gone are the days when it was common for Americans to sit around and read for pleasure.

Whether it can be attributed to our busier lifestyles or our lack of attention spans, it is estimated that Americans only read for pleasure an average of 17 minutes each day.

In fact, the percentage of Americans who read for pleasure on any given day continues to decline, bringing us to an all-time low.

In an effort to improve these statistics and to promote literacy, public libraries throughout the country (and the world) are coming to the rescue with ATM-like machines that dispense short stories.

According to this great story from CBS News,  with just the press of a button, users can receive a free short story that takes either one, three, or five minutes to read. The stories, which vary in genre and style, are printed on environmentally friendly paper, using biodegradable ink.

And although there are currently only 35 short-story dispensers in North America, and 180 worldwide, those numbers are starting to grow.

This is great news for writers, too!



The Dangers of Mixing Languages

I have always been anti-Spanglish.

I don’t know exactly why, but mixing two languages at one time is a big pet-peeve of mine.

And watching “Dora the Explorer” with my kids drives me completely nuts.  Come on Dora, please just pick a language! Spanish or English!

Well, it turns out that I am right!

This fascinating article from the BBC explains how switching back and forth between languages during a conversation makes it hard for your brain to stay on a single linguistic track, when required.

Plus, it can  actually impede your ability to full grasp a new language.

While it is possible, in certain circumstances, to completely forget your native language (check out the BBC article to find out how!), mixing languages is probably not going to have that effect.

It can, however, cause you to lose certain distinctive traits of your native language.

So, let’s just agree to stick to one language at a time!

Six Books Everyone Should Write

Are you the kind of person who constantly has a million ideas in your head?

Or maybe, instead of letting those ideas cloud up your head, you write them all down on paper.

What if those ideas were not ideas, but were actually just an ongoing diary of everything (and I mean everything) you see and do on a daily basis?

Or, even better, a journal compiled of all of the gossip and actions of those around you.

Have you ever taken a look at your life and thought to yourself “I should write a book about this!”?

Well, maybe you should!

This great article from The Paris Review discusses 6 types of books that everyone can (and should) write.

Now, they are not suggesting that just anyone can write a great piece of literature.

But who knows- if you follow their suggestions, you may find that you have something worth writing about!


Danny Kimberlin’s Book

Our writers and editors manage multiple topics, multiple subject matter experts (SMEs), and multiple deadlines, all with equal ease. After hundreds of clients and decades of experience, it’s likely we’ve written about a business or focus like yours. But if we haven’t, rest easy: we’re quick learners who love research and never miss an opportunity to check a fact.

We’ve also come to grips with the realization that, online at least, readers want to get the point, fast. So we’ve mastered the art of the scannable post, including:

  • Strong headlines
  • Compelling subheads
  • Infographics
  • Bullet points
  • Highlighting important content
  • Links (learn more about our thought leadership capabilities here)
  • Calls to action that make people move. Now!

We’ll Work (Well) With Your SMEs

Your SMEs have vast knowledge to share and keen insights to impart, but they’re generally so caught up in their own work that they don’t have time to sit down and write a blog post. (Which might be just as well, inclined as they are to include everything they know instead of the key messages your audience wants to hear.)

Fortunately, our writers have the copywriting chops necessary to prepare content that keeps readers coming back for more. They also have the people skills to work with your SMEs.

  • They’ll respect your SME’s time, do their homework, and come prepared.
  • They know how to ask thoughtful questions, listen, and follow up. That helps them reach the gems hiding under the surface.
  • They’ll do the hand-holding needed to get the project completed on time. Like discussing goals, deadlines, and expectations at the start. Agreeing on ways to track progress. And implementing an established process for copy review and revisions.
  • They’re diplomatic. They understand that sometimes SMEs feel the piece won’t be complete without those 117 slides they did in 1982. Our writers will explain why that isn’t the best approach and offer alternatives that will keep everyone happy.

In other words, our writers create great partnerships with subject matter experts that result in great work.

In-House SEO Expert

SEO has changed dramatically over the past decade: Today’s Google rankings are more complex and sophisticated than ever — and it takes more than repeated use of keywords to keep your brand on the first page. Authentic, engaging content matters more than keywords. If you aren’t offering anything of value, readers — and Google rankings — will quickly go elsewhere.

When you work with The Writers For Hire, you’ll have access to a full-time SEO expert who can help you create blog campaigns that rank for search terms your target audience will use. That means your blog campaign will be built around a steady stream of relevant, high-quality content — no keyword stuffing here!

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