Writing – Process Street

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The Complete Guide to Dictation Software: How I Saved My Hands

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Dictation software isn’t just something that can save you time by typing out your speech and performing commands. Talking instead of typing can and will help you prevent lasting damage to your hands.

You might think that sounds silly, and so did I.

I’m 23 – way too young to be worried about my joints or work-related injuries (my work isn’t exactly manual labor).

Then my hands seized up. Repetitive strain injury.

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How I Research & Write an Article Using Irresistible Original Data

When I was about 7 years old, I made a deliberate decision to stop caring about math.

I remember the moment clearly. I started sitting closer to the back of the class, stopped answering questions, and, eventually, I stopped being asked questions by the teacher.

I told myself that it wasn’t worth learning because we have tools like computers and calculators. Consistently, I got mediocre grades in the topic and only scraped through the finals with a borderline passing grade…

It wasn’t until I started working at Process Street that I cared about data, charts, spreadsheets and correlations.

Research and data manipulation skills are extremely important for pretty much anyone that has to devise their own solutions.

Not only that, studies are incredible marketing tools. Original data attracts links and shares like nothing else because it’s one of the few newsworthy things a company can do. You’ve got product releases, funding announcements, and research.

And it’s not just my own theories that say studies attract high-quality backlinks…

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9 Essential Marketing Tips from the Father of Advertising

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Ogilvy on Advertising was one of the first books I had on my reading list back when I created my system for reading more. My only regret after finally reading it is having delayed for a year and a half.

Drawing from 40 years of experience, David Ogilvy shows everything he learned from creating some of the most successful advertising campaigns to date (some of which are still running today).

From using research instead of rules to reminding yourself exactly what you’re paid to do, Ogilvy provides a blunt outlook of how to improve as a marketer and copywriter.

When I got a margarine account, I was under the impression that margarine was made from coal. Ten days reading the literature taught me otherwise.” – David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising, p.11

At times his writing is standoffish and hostile, and he never claims to be infallible, but many of the marketing tips he championed 24 years ago still hold true today. Unfortunately, finding those nine golden tips in 220+ pages of case studies and niche information on how advertising agencies work is a bit of a nightmare.

That’s why I’ve done it for you. Time is money, after all, and the quicker you learn these marketing tips, the sooner you can succeed in selling.

marketing tips david ogilvy

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How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 days

how to read more - header

Over the last year working remotely at Process Street, I’ve been researching as I go. I survived on dumb luck and baseline writing skills.

However, in the last 30 days I’ve built a system to teach myself how to read more. I’ve built up a library of articles, authors, quotes, books, tips, and ideas I can draw upon whenever I need to write or find the motivation to keep going.

The best part is that I spent next to no extra time outside of work in order to do this, and it all boils down to five elements:

  • Filling dead air with podcasts
  • Setting up an RSS feed
  • Always having a book on the go
  • Productively procrastinating
  • Following 50 people on Twitter

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On Writing Well Review: 6 Mistakes I Never Knew I Was Making

Ben Mulholland
November 30, 2016

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If you think your writing’s any good, this book will cut you down to size…

I used to think that I could write well enough…

See William.

See William run.

See William write a 300-page book which taught me how to correct the mistakes I never knew I was making.

That’s what this book is; a display of how bad both you and I are at writing. As such, this On Writing Well review is as much to show the key points to William Zinsser’s thoughts as it is a review of the past year of my own work here at Process Street.

Here’s to improving our writing and avoiding common content writing mistakes, all whilst making an ass of myself.

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23-Point Peer Editing Checklist for Creating Exceptional Content

peer-editing-checklist

An editor is a writer’s best friend.

For me, that’s literally the case. I’ve known Ben Mulholland since my school days…

But for you, an editor is your best friend because nothing helps a writer grow faster than a great editor.

How will you know if what you’re writing is any good? You write to the best of your abilities, so to you even the most poorly received article was supposed to be good.

An editor, however, will be able to sniff out weakness straight away.

  • The opening line is weak
  • I lost interest during this paragraph
  • You don’t source this quote

And so on…

So you need an editor. And an editor needs a peer editing checklist.

At Process Street, we use checklists for everything we do. We have a pre-publish checklist for blog posts and marketing emails. We have a checklist for keyword research. We even have a checklist for making checklists.

In this post, I want to share with you our peer editing checklist for training writers and editors to become the best they can be, and creating stellar blog content.

Let’s go!

P.S: Scroll right to the bottom for an interactive version of this checklist!
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How to Write a Proposal and Get What You Want

how to write a proposal

A proposal has a lot of different purposes, but there’s only one good way to write one: the way that pulls together all of the information in a concise and persuasive way and helps you get what you want … whether that’s a whole new software system, or just a tweak to your marketing strategy.

This article isn’t about a business proposal — also known as a quote — but instead about the document required when formally pitching an idea for action and execution by managers or department heads.

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18 Software Documentation Tools that Do The Hard Work For You

2-Software Documentation

Without documentation, software is just a black box. And black boxes aren’t anywhere near as useful as they could be because their inner workings are hidden from those who need them in the open.

Software documentation turns your software into a glass box by explaining to users and developers how the it operates or is used.

You’ve probably seen documentation before, but if you need a refresher, here’s an example from Slack‘s API:

Slack API Documentation-d

As you can see, Slack explains everything about its API in excruciating detail. Any related pages are linked, there’s a sidebar with easy-to-access topics, and screenshots of what the user can expect to see.

Documentation can be as simple as a README.MD file in the repository, and it can be as complex as an entire subdomain with a custom design like Slack’s API docs (above). Whatever you choose, there are several tools to use to make the process easier.

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Writing App Comparison: Quip vs. Microsoft Word vs. Google Docs

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You need a solid writing app.

It’s vital for practically every kind of company—whether it’s for drafting contracts, writing up website content, or just putting together internal documentation.

But team collaboration can easily become a huge nuisance.

The more people involved, the more difficult it can be to decide on the right edits and produce a coherent piece. That means the last thing you want is even more trouble dealing with a collaboration tool that doesn’t fit your workflow.

We delved into the features of three popular collaborative writing apps—Quip, Microsoft Word, and Google Docs—to help you decide upon which is best for your team.

In this post, we’re going to compare each app’s features in the fields of:

  • Sharing
  • Concurrent editing
  • Revision history
  • Chatting and commenting
  • Organization

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I Analyzed the Copy on 87 SaaS Startup Landing Pages — Here’s What I Found

Startup Landing Pages Copy

The copy on your SaaS startup’s landing page is one of the major factors that determines whether your product lives, or dies a horrible death.

Unbounce cites headlines as the single most important element of a landing page, and that’s for good reason.

Several decades back, advertising legend David Ogilvy said:

“When you have written your headline, you have already spent 80 cents of your dollar”

That means that for every 1,000 people who land on your page, 800 leave after reading only the headline. But that’s just an average. It’s possible to boost those numbers with great copy, and a small tweak at the top of the funnel, as we know, can really move the needle at the bottom of the funnel.

For this article, I analyzed 87 SaaS startup landing pages. This was taken from the top 100 in AngelList’s Trending section at the time, disregarding companies that had shut down.

I found hidden trends and best practices in two supposedly simple elements of the pages: the headline and the subheadline.

Before we get into the key findings, I want to offer you a free SaaS landing page headline generator. All you do is put in your software’s purpose, audience, and customer goal, and you get a list of 30 titles. These titles follow the formulas every SaaS headline I analyzed use. When you get the sheet, click ‘File’ and then ‘Make a copy’ to start editing in your own data.

Click here to get the title generator spreadsheet

And now, onto the key findings of the study.

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