Author: Marcia Riefer Johnston

Marcia Riefer Johnston is the author of "Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs (And Everything You Build from Them)" and "You Can Say That Again: 750 Redundant Phrases to Think Twice About." She has run a technical-writing business for… a long time. She taught technical writing in the Engineering School at Cornell University and studied literature and creative writing in the Syracuse University Masters program under Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff. Marcia lives in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter @MarciaRJohnston. For more, see http://Writing.Rocks.

How To Estimate The Impact of Business Decisions on Content Teams

Every strategic business decision has an impact on content. Entering a new market creates the need for localization. Images that work well in our home market may need to be altered or replaced in order to avoid offending members of new audiences. Mergers and acquisitions create a need for content updating and adaptation. Content obtained from others requires rebranding, creates the need for new metadata tags, and training content creators on new tools and workflows. A new product feature may require your content team to update your content strategy. Unfortunately, business strategists don’t always foresee the impact of their decisions...

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Longing to Conquer Google? Get “SEO Simplified” by Barry Feldman

Do you long for your web pages to jump to the top of your dream audience’s search results? And do you think, “Yeah right—why bother?” Even if your web pages don’t have a prayer today, you’re probably already doing some optimizing for search, and I bet that you’d like to do more … but what, exactly? The SEO advice I come across all the time often strikes me as either too basic or too advanced. Like Goldilocks, we’re all looking for advice that’s just right. Barry Feldman’s new book, SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans, hits that spot. I...

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Reading, Writing, and ’Rocrastination: 3 Authors’ Wit, Wisdom, and Whatnot

This month, I was asked by the editors at The Content Wrangler to review a few books, including: The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs Writing Riches: Learn How to Boost Profits, Drive Sales and Master Your Financial Destiny with Results-Based Web Copy by Ray Edwards The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging, and Postponing (Or, Getting Things Done by Putting Them Off) by John Perry. At first glance, these books may seem atypical of The Content Wrangler content. None of these authors talks up some next big thing. They do...

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Hemingway’s Pebbles and Today’s Business Communicator

I never loved the English language until it was taken away from me. As an exchange student in Austria during my senior year in high school, my ears were suddenly deprived of familiar words and cadences. Speaking in and listening to German took painfully conscious effort. During that year, letters from home quenched more than my thirst for news; they plunged me into English. I was a fish back in water. One day, several months into my stay, I discovered a stash of British and American novels in the school library. I happened to pick up The Hemingway Reader....

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Intelligent Content: The Marketer’s Frontier

A year ago, I started working with the Content Marketing Institute team on stories related to intelligent content. Coming from a technical communication background, I knew about intelligent content from that perspective, but I wasn’t sure how it would apply to marketing. Today, it’s still not clear exactly how intelligent content will eventually connect with what marketers do every day. I have talked with a lot of marketers who are intrigued by the promise of intelligent content. They would love to make their content more findable, more efficient to produce, more scalable, and more personalized. They get that content...

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