Six things to learn from Mojang’s open conversation with customers

by Karen Newcombe

Mojang, for anyone who has been on a deserted island for the past six years, is the company founded by Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the computer game Minecraft. Between 900,000 and 1.5 million people are playing Minecraft at any given moment of the day*. In June 2014, Mojang announced that Minecraft had sold 54 million copies (in all formats), and three months later the company was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. …

Five ways to improve your business website

Image of Microsoft's first website, circa 1994.

by Karen Newcombe

Why are so many websites so awful? 

Some appear to have been sitting untouched for ten years or more. 

Sometimes you can’t tell what a company does. 

Sometimes you can’t find out where the firm is located, or who works there, or who their clients are. 

Many business sites use a tone of voice that is out of alignment with the service or product offered. Some businesses try to sound professional by using the wrong kind of language — often the bigger the company, the more a pseudo-legal or jargon-filled style of diction is chosen. …

2015 Google Search Engine Optimization Guide

by Karen Newcombe

We all know it’s important to use good SEO practices in our websites. What’s less clear is what those actually are in any given week! Google tweaks their algorithms daily, and makes major changes several times per year. This means you should keep up to date with their requirements. 

Fortunately, Google offers a free SEO Guide to remind us of best practices. 

Your writer is your architect. Your editor is your engineer. Your publisher is your contractor.

High white arches in a long building.

by Karen Newcombe

People frequently ask me exactly what a writer or editor can do for them, and how that relates to publishing. After all, most of us in the developed world learn to write at an early age and we write every day. What’s so different between the writing I do at work or in daily life and what a professional writer or editor does? 

One way to understand this is to consider your writer as your architect, your editor as the engineer, and the publisher as a general contractor. …

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