branding places: content muse to Anthony, the writer

Posts by Anthony

What do you want to be when you grow-up on Google?

A few years ago, I wanted to be “Content Muse.”

Things done changed.

If we’re lucky, life, and search engines within, change, posing new experiences, challenges, or whatever labels we use.

Recently, I’ve taken the novel approach of calling myself Anthony Pensabene, the writer.  The epithet has a nice ring and much nicer than devilish monickers thrown about my horns by past observers.

Minutes from now, I’ll have another idea, be someone different, not fundamentally influencing immediate business yet chosen nicknames and aliases influence SERs.

Webmaster Tools identifies the following as top-search queries related to my site:

These, most-linked, incoming terms:

These, all-time search queries identified by WordPress.com:

I’ve done well naturally (and otherwise) aligning digital properties with a sought branded term: “content muse.”

Congratulations to me, but like a fickle fat boy in a candy shop, I’ve changed direction.

I don’t desire targeting ‘content muse’ any longer.

I want Anthony Pensabene, the writer.

I’ll need to change peoples’ references as well as re-engineer digital legacies.

For example, a number of links, associated to this specific Twitter profile, influence an “Anthony Pensabene” search.

I suspect whomever adopted the handle “content_muse” kept “Anthony Pensabene” the account holder’s name.

My new account’s name, “Mr. A,” (mystery..get it! #mindblown) is not helping.

I’ll modify the account holder’s name to see how it influences the SERs related to a search for “Anthony Pensabene.”

My new Twitter handle reflects fresh endeavors of branding (@writer_for_hire), or changed ‘search major’ if we’re making a college ed. comparison.

It’s easy to ‘live in the moment,’ expecting to feel the same, with similar goals and desires regarding specific branding terms (SEO, online marketing, marketing).

Some thoughts on branding, “Anthony Pensabene, the writer”:

- Changing peoples’ perceptions through seeing it in text (emails)

- Changing account names on social media profiles (and possibly including name of blog – remember, my blog’s ‘old’ name used to be “content muse”)

- Writing a post describing the difference between ‘content muse’ and ‘Anthony, the writer’

Much Ado About Substance

Posts by Willie

Shakespeare’s birthday recently passed.

I wonder if the 400 year-old author grows tired of misrepresentations and misunderstandings.  I would.

Plays vs Books

In my understanding, William Shakespeare was an actor and playwright (later producer as well), his written words intended for an actor (all men) to speak upon stage.

Books, recorded and bound text, entertain as well, yet the original intentions of authors differing, they understanding respective opportunities and restraints associated to the given medium.

Calling Shakespeare “a writer” hardly crosses the woods’ threshold.  Consider the layers:

- He wrote lines for actors (pay attention to sounds, gesticulations, movements of others on stage…because Shakespeare intended it.)

- His audience consisted of commoners and elite members of the royal court (Bawdy or intellectual gestures of the 16th and 17th centuries are inextricably associated to the texts.  Think of Shakespeare like a Dave Chappelle of his time; he knew what prejudices, contradictions, limitations, etc existed within society, playing the audience’s ability to recognize references of the current era like a fiddle.  Some jokes targeted ‘commoners,’ while highbrow puns reserved for the appreciation of formally educated listeners.)

- The ‘stories’ host real-time action, creating ‘vivid worlds’ for a ‘reader’ that were originally intended for a present observer (The trajectory of stories and subsequent action would have to necessitate physical, on-stage action.  Otherwise, there would be nothing to ‘act.’)

Shakespeare wrote poems and plays, and many observe entire sections in plays as poetry.  He never, in modern terms, wrote a book…or intended it.  He maintained written versions of his plays (likely varied forms of each) for subsequent productions, and penned a number of sonnets while playhouses closed in the 1590s.

Telling vs. Showing with a Story

Scholars, squabblers, and literature students (who like to hear themselves speak), debate themes, ‘lessons,’ and metaphors found throughout Shakespeare’s plays.  Like Samuel Clemens’ name, Shakespeare’s plays are two fathoms deep (at least); there’s a surface story as well as implicit lessons, philosophical prompts, archetypal debates, etc existing deeper within.

To say ‘Huckleberry Finn’ implies racism, elitism, hypocrisy, inequality, etc is easier than introducing a story that hides explicit statements and subject matter in the background while entertaining via immediate context.

No one likes being told but everyone loves being intelligent, feeling that light go on.  Writers and playwrights know this and that’s why they choose to wrap blue ribbon thoughts around offered words .

Consider the film, Inception.  DiCaprio’s character infiltrates others’ dreams to implicitly influence thoughts in real time.  The man who decides to ‘go his own way’ rather than run his father’s previously successful business is actually a wish of the father’s competitor and not organically comprised by the son.  DiCaprio’s character carefully orchestrates the son’s mind to entertain the competitor’s wishes.

Shakespeare’s plays do the same.  He’s not providing a diatribe on the whimsical ways of young love, power, ‘fate,’ and the man-made shackles that pose such problems/treasures on our mortal coils.  Rather, he presents a story of warring families, teen love,  and ill timing, culminating in an ending that cannot be changed no matter how many times we ‘read’ the play or painfully ‘experience’ Romeo and Juliet’s last moments together.

Parallelism to Complete Thought, Intrigue Readers and Make Sales

Posts by Anthony

Associated Resources:

The University of Wisconsin

Towson

Purdue Writing Lab

Greetings, faithful readers (Bubba chases a firefly in the night, leaving no one else).

Last time, we discussed using transitions in sales copy and emails for better conversions.

While Anthony attends to in-house secretarial work, I have another helpful post for you, one that will please you, create better sentences, and continue my legacy!

Actually, the topic is upon one of my own weaknesses.  (But, Willie, why would you tell us about your weaknesses?!)  It’s a gift …

Let’s consider how errors in parallelism occur.

Tense

I wrote an epic post, took a bubble bath, and then was vacuuming peanut butter cookie (my favorite, readers!) crumbs from the carpet.

The sentence sucks. It’s oddly presented.  While thoughts clear, associated logic sound, and readers (still?) engaged, rearranging the sentence as to maintain same (past) tense is preferred:

I wrote an epic post, took a bubble bath, and vacuumed peanut butter cookie crumbs.

All the above descriptive points in past tense.  (Note: Writing software may not identify errors in parallel logic or respective software default not accordingly set.)

Voice

Another error associated to parallelism is maintaining ‘voice.’  Sometimes, I’m active and then I start being passive – all in the same sentence. Depending on desired affect or poetic cadence, one may do so, yet low wordcount and active voice is oft preferred regarding ad and sales-related copy.

Let’s use the above sentence again:

I wrote an epic post, took a bubble bath, and then was vacuuming peanut butter cookie crumbs from the carpet.

Not only did I use a different tense but switched to being passive in the above sentence.  Active vs. Passive Voice deserves an entire post, but for brevity, concentrate on active and passive voice regarding parallel structure.

I wrote (active voice) an epic post, took (active) a bubble bath, and vacuumed (active) the carpet.

Preposition

I do this often on holidays, various strong coffees, and on every other Wacky Wednesday.  I switch the implementation of prepositions, either varying them or presenting inconsistently, which could confuse the reader or make for a poor sentence.

Let’s revisit the error:

I do this often on holidays, various strong coffees, and on every other Wacky Wednesday.

“This” takes place “on”… 1, 2, 3. Keep the series consistent and aligned with apropos prepositions.

The above is inconsistent regarding included preposition and the associated preposition is awkward and wrong.

It’s more street to say you’re ‘on’ coffee.  And, since the other two events relate to times rather than states of being, I fucked it all up…so to speak.

Here is a better version:

I do this during holidays, coffee breaks, and alternating Wacky Wednesdays.

Now, get to (better) writing.

I tutor, provide writing services, and consult on case-by-case basiseseseseses. (That last part is a joke – the ‘es’s not mention of hiring me.

Using Transitional Words in Sales Copy

Posts by Anthony

It’s likely you’re not using transition in your sales emails. Thus, your response and subsequent sales rate is lower than desired.

Frequently, emails lack flow of thought and emotionally-charged persuasion  (whether openly visible or not).

In simpler terms, the absence of transitions and flow leaves your bottom line stained with poo.

I don’t want that.

You don’t want that.

Let’s agree to agree further.

In fact, if you’ve read thus far, I may have sprinkled transitional charm on you.

Let’s review.

Transitional Words and Phrases

Advertising copy and subsequent persuasive content must:

- Stir interest

- Speak toward an anxiety or need

- Insert a call-to-action

Transitional words and phrases, like ushers, urge readers along, persuading train of thought.

If one sentence creates an expectation or

one-half of a cause-and-effect relationship …

then, there’s an expectation and

it’s met.

Our thoughts now in accord without me having to be there to smile, shake hands or give the thumbs up.

I, unlike SEO gurus coming up with marketing insights previously unheard of, am not peddling anything baby-spanking new.

Select any top-grade grammar book and it will address transitional words and phrases.

Aligning Transition with Expectation

Transitional words and phrases, classified according to logic, help advertisers and marketers identify apropos copy.

For example, transitions related to cause and effect remind the reader there’s a problem and…to-be mentioned solution.

Words/phrases, such as:

- on account of

- in order that

- as a consequence

- for that reason

help marketers persuade readers, forming a perspective.

Your current vacuum cleaner does not host enough sucking power.  As a consequence, you’re wasting time, your energy and the electric bill!  The Anthony 6000 sucks incredibly!

The transition ‘as a consequence’ persuades the reader in creating causal connections of reason.

Let’s use another category of transitional words/phrases related to qualification.  Words/phrases, such as:

- frequently

- habitually

- time and time again

help readers relate to advertiser/marketer copy in addition to ‘qualifying’ an offered opinion or suggestion.

We’ve surveyed cleaning personnel and stay-at-homers. Frequently, the lack of motor power is major concern regarding vacuum cleaners.  That’s why the Anthony 6000′s motor leaves nothing to be desired!

This class of qualification helps the reader relate and qualify any personal experiences.  (“Yeah, I thought there was something up with my vacuum’s motor!”)

Yes..we know what you’re thinking…muahahahahahaha!

The presence of ‘frequently’ makes the reader think they’re not alone…and not crazy for desiring a better vacuum experience.  (Hint, hint…there is no ceiling regarding the ‘best’ experience.)

Please, use the power of transitional words for good.

With this in mind, don’t forget where all the goodness came.  Tell your paying friends about me.

After a while, you’ll feel good about reading my post, sharing and helping me.

We all win!