Social Media Time Management? Five Ways to Avoid Drowning

Posted By on September 2, 2014

I like social media but I don’t let it suck my life. I use the following social media time management tips to keep the long (and short) tail from sinking my little ship.

Headline and Photo of the Week: Guy Bergstrom Wins Because Photo and Headline Sync

Posted By on August 22, 2014

“WINNING HEADLINE: Random Photo of the Day: Stoplight and Local Star Join Forces to Create Art This week, blogger and Washington State Senate speech writer, Guy Bergstrom, wins our Headline and Photo of the Week Contest for good reason. Guy achieves that perfect synchronicity between headline-and-image that we should all strive for. The photo of […]

Photo of the Week: Car Culture, A Nod to Photographer and LENSCRATCH Founder, Aline Smithson

Posted By on August 14, 2014

To help you shoot intentionally to make your headlines work harder, I’ll comment on and publish a new Photo of the Week every week. I took an inspiring photography workshop in Portland this past weekend with Aline Smithson, photographer and founder of LENSCRATCH, one of the top ten blogs on photography. The focus of Aline’s […]

How to Tell a Personal Disaster Story without Manipulating Your Audience

Posted By on August 12, 2014

To cover disasters, the news media selects the most dramatic photos to snag the attention of its 24/7 bleary-eyed, tragedy-weary audience. The personal and/or community story is often reduced to a clip of a person weeping, an effective trick because we are always interested in what humans (and animals) are feeling. Today the true stories […]

Pre-Write Five Minutes on These 10 Topics and Voila! (Almost Instant) Blog Post

Posted By on August 5, 2014

“Pre-writing” or “free writing” is a tradition in creative writing. But it’s not a tool that’s used much in business writing. That’s odd, considering that using a timer to write for five or ten minutes without stopping in order to discover what you think about a topic is one of the quickest and most efficient […]

What An Old Broad in a Rowing Shell Can Teach You About Blogging Consistency

Posted By on July 23, 2014

Before I get to the old-broad-rowers, let’s see if you can relate to this scenario. You get the urge to blog and you go out like a rabbit, blogging once a day for—whoopee!—two whole weeks! Then, life interrupts: doctor appointment, root canal, kid’s science project, client “opportunities”, out-of-town-guests, or a flood in the basement forces […]

Zombie Hands, Duck Lips & Pixel Pimples: Business Photo Mistakes to Avoid So You Don’t Look Lame

Posted By on July 8, 2014

Last week, Emily Warn and I sailed high above Puget Sound on the Seattle Wheel for a 360-panorama portrait of us for our new website. We wanted an interesting business photo of the pens who make up Two Pens in our local environment (Seattle) while conveying our passion for online technology. Digital wizard Bradford Bohonus […]

How a Business Writing Voice Sparks Content

Posted By on June 24, 2014

Consider the sign I walked by in my neighborhood park on Lake Washington Boulevard while walking my dog: “Good Dog, Green Dog” it said. Who wouldn’t lean in to learn why my dog has been given a pat on its black head for not stepping (or pooping) on the newly replanted flower bed? The sign […]

An Alternative to Stock Photography: Three Tips on Using the Dubble Photo App

Posted By on June 10, 2014

Stock photography has become the new wallpaper. Bloggers, people who post on social media, designers, email and e-newsletter creators plus a host of other “communicators” are all using the same images. The net result? Visual content (one of the most powerful assets on the web) gives away its social power because none of it is […]

How Long Should a Blog Post Be? The Five Best Answers

Posted By on April 29, 2014

One of the longest running discussions in the Content Strategy LinkedIn Group I’m a member of is about how long should a blog post be. One of Two Pens’ most popular posts offers one answer. But there are about as many opinions on the subject as there are bloggers. I decided to do some unscientific […]