Four things to look for in your editor

So, you’re considering hiring an editor! Yay—that means I can skip the part where I convince you why editors are necessary and move on to what you should be looking for in your editor.

As a writer and editor myself, I would like to propose four vital checkboxes to tick off in your search.  

Why are these points vital? Well, just like in most industries, there are good editors… and then there are not-so-good editors. An editor might be not so good for several reasons. Maybe it’s just that they don’t have the same working style as you, and that’s ok. Or maybe it’s because they don’t know their stuff, and that’s not so ok. If you’re spending the time, energy, and money on working with an editor, you want to make sure they can actually do the job you hired them to do, right?

When you’re hiring your editor, look for…

Seven ways to level up your lead magnets

We all know that lead magnets are an amazing way to encourage new subscribers onto our email lists, but with so many people using them now, you really have to create something fabulous to stand out from the crowd. But, sometimes, that’s easier said than done. If you want to create a unique lead magnet, here are my ideas.

How to nurture your writing voice

I see so many people online who preach that writers should just let their natural voice flow, that they should just speak to the reader as they’d speak naturally. And while I totally agree with that advice—you don’t want to sound fake to your reader—I think that this message also—whether intentionally or not—shames writers who want to develop their voices, as if suggesting that these writers are being unnatural or slimy. And I think that’s a bad thing. Nobody bursts onto the blogging scene without ever having written a word before and just gets it right. And no matter what people may say, everyone is constantly developing their voice—often, they’re just doing it unconsciously. 

I propose that you develop your voice consciously. Just like you’d develop your website and branding as your business grows, or you’d modify your service offerings as you learnt more about your business, I’m suggesting that you should work on your voice as you grow as a writer, blogger, and business owner.

And here’s how.

The 10 steps I took to write & publish my first book

Recently I posted in one of my favourite Facebook groups, Blogging Boost, about how amazing it was to hold the very first printed copy of my book in my hands. I was overwhelmed by the response: At the time of publishing this blog post, that Facebook post has received 515 reactions and 81 comments. Wow. After that post, I got some questions from people who’d seen it. One of the most frequent questions was, ‘How exactly did you do it?’ So I thought I’d answer that.

I want to start by saying this: It was not easy. Maybe for some lucky people out there, sitting down and writing thousands of good, useful, actionable words is the easiest thing in the world. Not for me. I loved it, and I am going to do it again soon, but it wasn’t easy—and I don’t think you should expect it’s going to be easy, either.

But, in saying that, it was absolutely possible. It was also one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. If you’re thinking about writing a book, do it. Give it a shot.

How to feel less guilty about taking a break from blogging

At the time of publishing this post, I haven’t published a blog post in 62 days. Wow.

At first, I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I wasn’t producing new content or sticking to the consistent schedule I’d previously worked so hard to build and maintain, and which so many of my favourite bloggers advocate—for good reasons.

And I know that if I struggled with the guilt of it, someone else out there is probably going through the same thing, too. If that’s you, I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. I also wanted to come up with some ways that you can avoid (or minimise) the guilt that often comes with taking a break from your blog.

10 ways you can use public transport to be a better writer

So, this is a bit of a strange one, I know, but I am sitting on a train on my way to a meeting trying to think of a blog post topic for this week, and I’m realising that public transport helps me so much as a writer.

When I first started using public transport, I thought I was going to hate it, especially because I was so used to having a car. But now, going on the bus or the train is one of my favourite things. I love it because it gives me some much-needed me time that I can use however I like—I can’t really work, usually because there’s not enough time or space, or I don’t have the internet; I don’t usually take phone calls on public transport; and I’m not usually with anyone else. It’s time that I love using to relax and cultivate my creativity.

Plus, doing some of your more menial tasks while you’re travelling means that you will have more time later for the more important (or enjoyable) tasks.

So, if you're interested in using the dead time that public transport represents to make yourself a better writer, I have some tips for how you can do that.

What should you focus on when you’re proofreading?

Proofreading is the highlight of my day, but for many it’s just another necessary, boring task. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say they hate it.

Nevertheless, everyone knows by now the long list of reasons that proofreading is so important. It’s a crucial step, and you want to make sure you’re doing it well. Knowing what to look for when you’re proofreading will help to make you a better and more efficient proofreader.

How interacting with people who scare you will help you to grow your business (and yourself)

As someone who works in online writing, blogging, and business, I look up to a lot of amazing bloggers and business owners. For a long time, I’ve been scared to interact with those people—and I’m not even sure why. Am I afraid of looking stupid? Am I afraid that they won’t like what I write and then I’ll be hurt? Am I afraid they won’t reply at all? My boyfriend tells me that I have an irrational fear of authority figures, so maybe that’s all it is.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how this fear of getting more involved with people I admire holds me back, and I’ve been trying to rebel against the fear and start interacting more.

And it’s paid off, so far. I’ve felt more confident—like I’m going somewhere instead of just watching other people go somewhere—and even gained email subscribers from it. This week, after tagging them in my tweets, Trello shared two of my blog posts. So far, those two tweets from Trello have sent hundreds of visitors to the Hedera website and have even resulted in some more email subscribers.

The creative thinkers' guide to improving your writing

If you’re not a writer by trade, the task of writing—and writing well—can be daunting. You may work in an office or you may be a blogger or other business owner—whatever type of writing you do, producing well-written, professional writing is key for so many reasons. Weak writing doesn’t catch a reader’s attention, and usually when we write that’s what we set out to do.

When you’re a creative thinker, sometimes learning about grammar and writing skills can be difficult or boring—that’s why we created this guide. We’ll step you through some of the trickier parts of writing in fun ways.

And don’t forget to check out the freebies that come with this post, because they’ll help you to remember what you’ve learnt and then implement it in your writing.