What do journalists need to help them survive this crisis?

Map of Europe
Map of Europe
Photo Credit: Bernadette Geyer

In early-2020, the Coronavirus pandemic began its global spread. It has brought considerable human suffering and major economic disruption — and with “second waves” cropping up in many areas, there are no signs that the virus will retreat any time soon.

The journalism industry was also hit hard by the pandemic — and freelance journalists in particular. While some countries implemented support measures to counter the virus’s negative impact on the free press, such support measures were glaringly absent in Eastern and Southern Europe. …


Tips for having a continual supply of ideas for your blog posts

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Photo Credit: NeONBRAND on Unsplash

For a while, it looked like blogging was dead as the quick-paced reach of social media posts seemed to drive a lot of traffic to business websites. However, as reach has decreased due to algorithms and other factors, businesses are moving back to longer content on their blogs as a marketing tool to get more inbound leads.

There are typically two major problems that face businesses that want to generate more traffic to their website through blog posts. First, they have trouble coming up with ideas for their posts. …


WRITING

4 strategies to help you keep writing even in busiest times

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Credit: Adobe Stock

Often, you will hear writers complain that they don’t have any time to write when, in fact, they mean they don’t have the perfect confluence of time and solitude to sit and bang out a few hundred words in one sitting. Many times, you’ll see someone post on social media that they just can’t find the time to write anymore, followed by a post in which they talk about all the shows they’ve binge-watched on Netflix.

Seriously? If you have time to binge-watch programs on Netflix or Amazon Prime, you have time to write. And if you don’t write despite…


My daughter and I raid our closets and forget about the Coronavirus for a while.

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Photo credit: Bernadette Geyer

We are not even one week into stricter limits on social activities, and I’m realizing that I need to laugh more in order to prevent myself from becoming overly fearful and obsessed with news about the virus. I’ve also realized that my family needs to make sure that “fun time” is incorporated into our schedule, just as everything else — work, school, chores, etc. — has been.

In our attempts to keep ourselves sane and upbeat as we simultaneously isolate ourselves as much as possible from the outside world, my teenage daughter and I have invented the perfect game for…


Whether you’re writing creatively or for business, ‘show and tell’ is not enough to hook readers and keep them engaged

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Photo: Courtesy of Bernadette Geyer

One of the best ways to experience a place is to be there. Outside of that, reading a work of prose or collection of poems has the ability to convey a wealth of sensory information about a place. By stimulating all of a reader’s senses — not just one or two — you can captivate a reader and help them experience a place.

This applies not only to your creative writing, but to business writing, as well. Who needs another boring blog post or sensory-deprived, two-dimensional “brand story” on a website?

Consider how you experience a place. How do your…


A Book Style Guide beats any grammar app for helping you avoid inconsistencies in your characters

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Photo credit: Bernadette Geyer

I get it. Characters change over the course of a novel. On an emotional level, the characters you start with may be completely different by the end of the story. As a copy editor, I’ve run into manuscripts where characters have changed nicknames, eye color, or other physical characteristics throughout the course of the story. That is a huge potential problem.

Writing a novel takes a long time. Even consecutive chapters may be written several months apart. …


From client testimonials to brand ambassadors, multipliers help you spread the word about your business

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Whether you’re a freelancer or a small business, you can’t be everywhere at once. There is only so much you can do on social media. There are only so many conferences that you or one of your staff members can attend.

When you start to feel the pressure of thinking about all the things you should be doing or could be doing, you need to remember the power of having “multipliers” on your side.

What’s a Multiplier?

Basically, a multiplier is someone who tells other people about you or your organization/company on your behalf — whether paid or unpaid. They cover social media…


MARKETING

Looking to get booked on podcasts? Learn from my experiences.

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Credit: Adobe Stock

According to statistics published at Podcast Insights, in 2019, there were more than 750,000 podcast shows. You can find a podcast for any interest you can imagine — from UX/UI design to investigative journalism, and from pets to photography. If you’re not thinking of starting your own podcast to promote your business, perhaps you’re thinking of trying to get yourself booked as a guest on a podcast.

At the beginning of 2019, I set myself the very modest goal of being interviewed for at least five podcasts — a small goal, yes, but one I felt I could accomplish among…


There are parallels between the act of gardening and the act of revising a creative writing text

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Photo credit: Bernadette Geyer

As an avid gardener, I’ve become accustomed to the various season-specific tasks of the outdoor spaces of the places I’ve lived — from springtime cleanup before blooms arrive, to fall pruning and preparation for winter. In the past, I had front and back yards, while now I have balconies. I’ve learned which flowers grow best under certain conditions, which are deer-resistant, and which I’ll never be able to grow at all in my “zone.”

I find a lot of inspiration from yard work. I’ve written poems about pruning bushes while watching geese migrate, cicada-killer wasps digging holes in my mulch…


The setting in your text is not a choice you should waltz into without forethought

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Photo: Bernadette Geyer

A tender massage. A heated argument. A child running without looking where they are going. A slap on the face. A bicycle clattering to the ground.

Each of the above actions can cause a different mood based on the setting in which they happen. Is the tender massage at home or in the conference room of an office? Does the heated argument happen on a school playground or deep within a forest? Is the child running within their own gated backyard or on a neighborhood sidewalk as cars drive past? And so on.

The setting in which your characters exist…

Bernadette Geyer

Bernadette is a content and communications expert with an affinity for alliteration. You can usually find her scribbling in a notebook at ice rinks.

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