Carving of four ladies representing Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Voice Search Assistant.
Carving of four ladies representing Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Voice Search Assistant.
Original photo by john trevor gibbs/Flickr

This post originally appeared on my blog.

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were having a conversation that involved shoes or shoelaces or something to do with footwear. I made reference to the plastic thing on the end of my shoelace and my girlfriend — ever the curious person — immediately said: “OK, Google: What is the plastic thing on the end of a shoelace called?”

Her Google Nest Mini dutifully responded that it’s called an aglet (or aiglet) and gave the source of the answer.

I have to admit that for me and my girlfriend, voice…


Toy robot holding a pencil and saying “What do you mean just wing it?”
Toy robot holding a pencil and saying “What do you mean just wing it?”
Original image by Matthew Hurst/Flickr

This article originally appeared on my blog.

For new entrepreneurs, hiring a copywriter is often an unfamiliar task. They’re not always sure about how much direction to give a writer and more often than not — at least in my experience — a quick conversation is usually all the direction that is provided to a writer.

However, this can lead to issues with the content. While it’s important to have a conversation about the content you want and how you want it, it’s also crucial to include a copywriting brief.

Importance of having a copywriting brief

Think of a copywriting brief like a map. If you…


Original image by Walter Rumsby/Flickr

This article originally appeared on my blog.

If you understand SEO and how to use it, your web pages can easily stake some prime real estate on the first page of the search results. To get one of those coveted spots, you can reverse engineer what is working for the top ranking sites so you can emulate that and join them.

Get your site to the front of the line and people will automatically trust it more and your visitors will grow. Add an effective sales funnel and your revenue will grow, too.

The good news is that you really…


Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Starting a business is like becoming a parent for the first time. It’s exciting and you are overjoyed, but you also don’t really know what you’re doing.

When it comes to business, one of the purest moments of joy is when you hire your first employee. Your business is growing! That’s great!

But, it’s also kind of scary.

You are responsible for this person you are going to hire and their performance. If they turn out not to be the right fit, it’s you, your business and any investors you have who suffer. …


Dan Bach/Flickr

I know you hate algebra, but if you want to increase conversions on your landing page, you have to solve for X.

X is the real problem your potential customers and clients have that your product or service solves and that problem is almost always rooted in a feeling or emotion that you can tap into with your copy.

Let’s look at some examples.

One of my clients makes a glove that helps stabilize the hands of people with essential tremors (basically uncontrollable shaking of the hands or other body parts).

Their landing page was full of highly technical information…


Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

Here’s a piece of United States war trivia I bet you didn’t know; sliced bread was briefly banned in the US.

On January 18, 1943 the Secretary of Agriculture put a ban on sliced bread to help conserve resources like waxed paper and steel so they could instead be put toward the war effort in Europe. (There was a little skirmish going on over there at the time.)

But, by that point US citizens were so enamoured with sliced bread that there was an outcry from the general population and the ban was rescinded on March 8, 1943, not even…


ben_osteen/Flickr

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to save money in their businesses and make their workplaces safer. An increasing number of them are also looking for ways to help the environment more, cut down on waste and decrease their carbon footprint.

Fortunately, there is one (relatively) easy step a business can take to do all of those things at once; stop using paper receipts.

They take huge amounts of energy and resources to make and they generate a lot of waste.

I learned recently from the Green America Skip the Slip, Environmental & Human Health Impacts of Paper Receipts report…


Dheera Venkatraman/Flickr

So, you’ve decided to start a company. Good for you. It’s a challenge, but you’re up to the task. The first decision you’ll have to make as an entrepreneur is what type of business you want to start:

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Buildup

While not the only type of companies that people start, these are the two main types of independent company new entrepreneurs start. (But, you may also want to look into franchising, which many new entrepreneurs also get into.)

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type of business and see which one is best suited to…


Photo Chris Yarzab/Flickr

Let’s talk about death.

It’s an uncomfortable subject for some, but for someone who is morbid like me, it’s not that big a deal to talk about it.

The kind of death I wanna talk about, though, is what happens when a key person in your business kicks the proverbial bucket suddenly or is incapacitated for a long time.

Maybe that key person is you?

It could be the CEO, it could be the president or a developer who is coming up with exclusive software for your business. …


Presidio of Monterey/Flickr

Unfortunately, it is always timely to talk about mass shootings in the United States. Whether it’s terrorism, hate crimes, a student lashing out in the worst possible way or a disgruntled ex-employee taking some kind of twisted revenge on their former employer, mass shootings are heartbreakingly common.

According to The Gun Violence Archive, a non-partisan gun violence research group based in Washington DC, there were 337 mass shooting incidents in the US in 2018, which is up from the already far too high number of 269 in 2014, the first year the group has records for. …

Rob Swystun

I strongly believe that business communication is still human communication and businesses should connect with people, not Google algorithms.

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