Ernest Hemingway

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

In 1922, Ernest Hemingway's wife, Hadley Richardson, left both the original manuscripts and carbon copies of all the early short stories on a train in the Gare de Lyon in Paris. They were never found. T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") left the original manuscript of his "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" in the café of the Reading railroad station in England and never found it

Ernest Hemingway is one of the best writers of all time, but a great content marketer? Sure, Hemingway wasn’t out to warm up leads or sell a product. (Well, maybe books.) Still, Hemingway’s writing process reveals great tips for content marketing. Below we suggest some words of wisdom from Hemingway you can apply to your content marketing process. 1. Don’t Over Think It “…I learned not to think about anything I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day.”

Visitors arrive at your landing page for a specific purpose by clicking online ads and links in emails and social media messages you’ve created.  But sometimes, visitors get packing as soon as they even get there. How come? 1. It looks nothing like the ad’s call to action or theme. How many times have you clicked an ad or link in an email only to find out that the page you land on has nothing to do with the ad or link? That mistake is so unbelievably irritating

Stop.

Look right and read “IN THE NEWS.”

I’ll wait for you.

What was hotshot federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald thinking? In December 2008 he crowed that Blago was nabbed “in the middle of what we can only describe as a public corruption crime spree. The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.” For the prosecution, it should have been a slam-dunk conviction of charges that included bribery, extortion, racketeering, conspiracy and lying under oath.

The verdict: guilty of one count out of 24.

A Failure of Salesmanship
Fitzgerald’s team spent months untangling evidence and apparently bollixed it up into an incomprehensible mess. The whole sordid saga may have been perfectly clear to the prosecutors, but they failed miserably when selling it to a jury made up of non-lawyers.

We Are All Authors
Whether creating a letter, memo, e-mail, legal brief, special report, proposal, press release, advertisement, article for publication or a full-blown book, we are all authors.

And being an author means being a salesman.

As I get older—and my time on this planet gets shorter—I go berserk when people promise one thing in writing, deliver something else and waste my time.

At right "IN THE NEWS" is the lede of Howard Shapiro's review of "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller at the University of Delaware, roughly an hour's drive from my house in center city Philadelphia.  

I wanted to know one thing quickly: was this production worth the trip?

Of the 403-word review, the first 88 words are devoted to the excruciatingly dull details of how Shapiro got stuck in stop-and-go 8 mph traffic that caused him to miss Act I.

Shapiro spends the next 94 words dumping all over Arthur Miller's first act—which he has not seen:

Ah, yes, the babbling, daydreaming Willy Loman, aging badly from a hard life of sales on the road, is in his Brooklyn house, frightening his wife with his erratic behavior. He's also yelling at his grown boysparticularly Biff, who had been Willy's great hope and now is his constant disappointment.

In all, 182 words—or 45 percent of this supposed review—are expended (1) highlighting Howard Shapiro's self-described inability to keep an appointment and (2) wasting my time.

Shapiro and his editor—if such an animal exists in the bankrupt Philadelphia Inquirer—should be fired for letting this irrelevant drivel see print.

My message to Howard Shapiro—and to everyone that writes for public consumption (as opposed to private diaries or journals):

  • Consider the readers needs and wants before your own
  • Ruthlessly self-edit, because most businesses do not have professional editors.

I have taken some flak for my definition of a blog: "A cross between bog and blob." By that I mean many bloggers love to clear their throats, roll up their sleeves, rub their hands together and talk about what they had for breakfast, whereupon you are in the middle of Page 2 and have learned nothing.

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