Category Archives: Audience

Writing is a pipeline for ideas

“Ideas are not really alive if they are confined only to a person’s mind.”—Nancy Duarte One of the most beautiful parts of writing (or of speaking) is what I call idea flow. That is, writing is a pipeline that allows … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Growing as a writer, Quotations | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bad news. Bad form.

Writing well is more than just being good with words. You have to weigh factors like what your message is, what are the likely emotions that it will evoke, and who you’re delivering the message to. With those thoughts in … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Writing in its natural habitat | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Writing for the web and email

I’m betting that much of what you write ends up in email messages, or on the web. If that’s the case, Jakob Nielsen has some advice for you, based on his studies of how people read email and web pages.

Posted in Audience, Good advice from here and there, Jargon, Plain Language, Style manual, Word Choice | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

A reader’s advice to writers

Laura Miller has started reading far more books than she’s finished. Over at, she offers her list of the things that keep her reading. I can tell you why I keep reading, and why I don’t, why I recommend … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Elsewhere on the Web | Leave a comment

Three writing tips from Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour is one of America’s most popular authors, with more than 100 books to his credit, all of which are still in print, and almost all of which have sold more than a million copies. For my last birthday, … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Growing as a writer, Plain Language, Word Choice | 1 Comment

Audience analysis: why and how

Do you have a clear picture of who you’re writing to? If you don’t know your audience, you might make some fundamental mistakes. Mistakes that will keep your writing from being effective. Why do we need audience analysis? Regardless of … Continue reading

Posted in Audience | 2 Comments

What’s the cost of content?

Before you begin writing something, ask yourself this: What’s the cost, and what’s the value? Everything you write has a cost. This cost matters more in a business context, but it’s still present, regardless of what you’re writing, and why. … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Everyday writing, Growing as a writer | Leave a comment

Rule Zero of Writing

It’s Rule Zero, because it’s the rule you apply before you touch the keyboard, before you pick up your pen or pencil and make a mark on the page. Answer this question: Why are you writing? You could fill a … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Growing as a writer | 2 Comments

Plain language is search-engine friendly

Yet another reason to use plain language: People are more likely to find you and your information on the web. Think about the last time you were looking for information on the internet: What did you turn to first? I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Audience, Elsewhere on the Web, Good advice from here and there, Plain Language, Word Choice | Leave a comment

Don’t give yourself airs

"You must be aware that your reader is at least as bright as you are." —William Maxwell

Posted in Audience, Quotations | 2 Comments