Three Sites You Should Read

I firmly believe in the importance of continuously working to improve my writing and grow my skill set—and I don’t just mean the writing-related ones. I also am constantly looking for new products or processes for improving efficiency, sales tips and business practices. I follow business blogs as well as writing blogs and niche industry blogs (like pet stuff, since I cover pet topics).

Today I wanted to share a few writing blogs I read regularly that I think get paid less attention that they deserve. So many sites out there rehash the same information over and over and over again—they are worth keeping up with, for the rare occasion that they mention something new, but few sites really manage to offer new fresh content regularly. Each of these 3 are the exception to the rule. They continually provide new ideas and new perspectives from experts who are out there walking the walk every day.

The Renegade Writer

Run by Linda Formichelli, this site provides tips for the professional writer—Linda is full of great ideas for looking at writing in a different light. From her post on “Opposite Ideas,” a way to turn around evergreen topics to great unique new story ideas, to “How to make a full-time income on a part-time schedule,” the topics she shares are important ones for freelancers. They are practical and smart. She also offers a free packet of 10 Query Letters, for writers who are trying to perfect their pitch. Personally, I love reading other people’s queries and learning what I can about what lands an assignment (and what doesn’t).

Dollars and Deadlines

Written almost exclusively Kelly James-Enger, Dollars and Deadlines is one of my all time favorite blogs (and not just because I was the winner of one of her recent giveaways—stay tuned for her critique on my query letter). Kelly has done it all—she is a ghost writer, writes magazine articles, has written and published books (both self-published, POD and traditionally). She shares everything in a matter-of-fact, up front way like in this post on POD (Print on Demand) sales that breaks down what she’s actually made on one of her books and how it stacks up to books she has published in other ways. She also puts together great post round-ups, like her month of templates (13 in all! Including a query, an LOI and a trade pitch) or this one on 10 Common Freelancing Mistakes and how to fix them. Basically, this is a site you don’t want to miss.

Pro Copy Tips

Pro Copy Tips is a different beast entirely than the other two sites mentioned here. Dean Rieck has been writings copy professionally for 25 years as a TV producer, fundraising development director, agency creative, textbook writer and freelancer. The man can write sales copy. He pulls no punches on his site—he shares the things kind of “real” information that so many others dance around. Dean shares the kind of information that you know you should know… like this post, on How to Write Hot Button Sales Copy in a Recession.

His posts are examples of what blog posts should be… each convinces you he knows his business in a way you can never hope to do, while helping teach you how to do it. It gives you information you want, while simultaneously demonstrating his expertise. I wish I could write like Dean (hey, I’m working on it). Other posts of his I’d recommend? This one (on the psychology of fixed action patterns—by taking about a male robin), and this one (12 Boring Copywriting Tips that Lead to Exciting Results) and this one (about writing compelling teaser copy). Seriously guys, check him out.

[Photo Credit: Phil Scoville]

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