A lesson for content marketers:

Published on by in Articles, Blog, Copywriting, Productivity.

A tire company has the world’s best restaurant guide. Seriously.

One of the most effective rules of content marketing, at least for me, is telling interesting stories that have only a tangential connection (or even nothing to do with) your product or service. As long as they’re relevant and useful, they’re golden.

This is the epitome of reader-focused copy, but it’s also a helpful credo when you’ve written 50 similar blog posts and then run out of relevant ideas.

Want a great example? Go back 117 years, to famous tire company Michelin, which proved – even before content marketing...

Book review: Novel About My Wife (Emily Perkins)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

This book disturbed me so profoundly that I had to sit in the sunshine, cuddle my (nice, normal, stable) husband and take a hot shower, just to get through it. Unusually good writing and familiar, flawed, screwy characters notwithstanding, Novel About My Wife is hard to read – and not just because I’m a relative newlywed.

To sum it up, it’s about a charming neurotic, Tom (“skinnyish, fortyish, English”), with a deeply disturbed but beautiful Australian wife, Ann, and how her psychological demons take over their happy hippie lives.

If you like a book to get inside your...

Book review: The Hour I First Believed (Wally Lamb)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

You know those independent films that come from nowhere, with little budgets, amazing casts (composed equally of the famous and the nobody), simple storylines and MASSIVE FOLLOWINGS? Those wacky movies that blow Tom Cruise’s latest cheesy offering right outta the water? Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Lars and The Real Girl, The Garden State, and others?

Wally Lamb’s writing reminds me of those movies. Every single time.

His breakthrough first novel, I Know This Much Is True, knocked my socks off and made my exclusive Top 10. His second, She’s Come Undone, made me cry in the car...

Book review: Ways of Staying (Kevin Bloom)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

Available at Exclusive Books and all good bookstores.

Reviewers usually don’t buy books. Why would we? We’re lucky and suitably smug buggers who typically take delivery of a large box every month – free, gratis, for nothing – thanks to the many superb publishers out there (Penguin, chief among them).

And since the arrival of my Kindle, I buy new books even less. But that’s another self-satisfied rant for another day…

My point is that I bought Kevin Bloom’s Ways of Staying. I didn’t even have a book voucher. I took the money out of my purse and paid for it...

Book review: Bright Shiny Morning (James Frey)

Published on by in Blog, Reviews.

Available at Exclusive Books and all good bookstores.

I have to be honest here… When Oprah publicly glorified and then just-as-publicly crucified James Frey for writing an ‘autobiographical account’ of his drug-addicted past that was, actually, largely fiction, I snorted and harrumphed along with everyone else. The shyster! I thought. The liar. The cheat. I bet he can’t even write.

Silly me.

As the Evening Standard so aptly puts it, ‘Frey really can write. Brilliantly. And if you don’t think so f*** you.’ (Frey also has a sense of humour. His first page reads, ‘Nothing in this book should be considered accurate or...