Tag Archives: writer

Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin

Besides the user’s needs, what’s another vital aspect of an app? Your first thought might be its design. That’s important, correct, but before you can even think about the design, you need to get something else right: the data.

The image shows a preview of a movie app, designed with the Craft plugin in Sketch

Data should be the cornerstone of everything you create. Not only does it help you to make more informed decisions, but it also makes it easier to account for edge cases, or things you might not have thought of otherwise.

If you want to get even more out of Sketch, feel free to check out our fancy new book, “The Sketch Handbook”, with practical examples that you can follow along, step-by-step, to master even the trickiest, advanced facets and become a true master of Sketch.

The post Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin

☑️ The Ultimate Digital Clean-Up Checklist: Are You Prepared For The New Year?

With a couple of days left until New Year’s Eve, it’s just about time to set aside 60 minutes to clean up, sort out and back up your digital footprint, to ensure a good smooth start to 2017. So many little details tend to get forgotten or overlooked every single time, only to get fixed hastily later — but doesn’t it just feel right when everything is in the right place, neatly organized, even if you aren’t a compulsory cleaner or an obsessed perfectionist?

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☑️ The Ultimate Digital Clean-Up Checklist: Are You Prepared For The New Year?

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How to Create Engaging Content (Even If You’re a Terrible Writer)

You might think that you’re incapable of effective content marketing, because you don’t have the chops for great writing. Think again. Sure, you might not be the next John Donne, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t fill up your blog with great articles that reel in visitors. Content marketing works. Even if you suck at writing. But how does it work? Here are some ways that you can create engaging content even if you’re a terrible writer. 1. First, Break All the Rules Yes, that’s the name of a famous book, but the principle in the title applies here…

The post How to Create Engaging Content (Even If You’re a Terrible Writer) appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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How to Create Engaging Content (Even If You’re a Terrible Writer)

Building An Advanced WordPress Search With WP_Query


Many WordPress superpowers come from its flexible data architecture that allows developers to widely customize their installations with custom post types, taxonomies and fields. However, when it comes down to its search, WordPress provides us with only one-field form that often appears inadequate and leads site admins to adopt external search systems, like Google Custom Search, or third-party plugins.

Building An Advanced Search System in WordPress with WP_Query

In this article I’ll show you how to provide your WordPress installation with an advanced search system allowing the user to search and retrieve content from a specific custom post type, filtering results by custom taxonomy terms and multiple custom field values.

The post Building An Advanced WordPress Search With WP_Query appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Building An Advanced WordPress Search With WP_Query

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Diving Into Procedural Content Generation, With WorldEngine


When I was young and learning to program, I was fascinated by the possibility of creating things that could live inside my monitor. I had the same feeling when I started to play with procedural content generation, which is to find the rules behind a phenomenon, encode them in an algorithm, and use that algorithm to create something virtual, but realistic — a plausible simulation.

Procedural Content Generation

Typically, you can give a seed or some initial parameters to a procedural content generation algorithm, and get some result. You could generate the landscape of a city, the shape of a tree or an entire world.

The post Diving Into Procedural Content Generation, With WorldEngine appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Diving Into Procedural Content Generation, With WorldEngine

Is Egocentric Copy Alienating Your Prospects?

woman lifting weights and looking in mirror
“Who writes the best copy? I write the best copy.” Image via pixabay.com

Do you know what the most common advice is for people trying to make new friends?

Stop talking about yourself and ask about the other person.

People love to talk about themselves, so by giving into the other person’s desire to do so, you come across as ultimately likeable.

Well guess what? The same is true of landing page copy.

It’s an all-too-common mistake that business owners and marketers make when crafting their own campaign landing pages. When tasked with making their online business stand out from the pack, they default to shouting their own virtues from the rooftops. They think that if consumers know all about how wonderful they are (or their product is), conversions will hop right into their lap.

But the harsh reality is your audience couldn’t care less.

Landing pages can be tricky. You need to be persuasive enough in a single page to convince the casual visitor to take action and convert. By simply talking yourself up, you’re missing the mark completely for one very important reason:

It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.

Just as you might be inclined to go on and on about how great your business is, your audience is only interested in how you can help them. It’s human nature — we are innately wired to be most concerned about number one.

In other words, to engage your audience and convince them to convert, you need to write copy that appeals to their own self interests. If you can’t do that effectively, your audience will likely seek a solution to their problem elsewhere.


Engage and convert your audience with copy that appeals to their own self interests.
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Let’s explore a few different types of self-indulgent copy — mistakes you may not even realize you’re making — and how you can do better.

Signs of ego-driven copy

Landing page copy should be written with one goal in mind: To convince visitors to convert. If you go into it with any other motivations, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

When it comes to egocentric landing page copy, there are two distinct varieties: author-centric copy and company-centric copy. Let’s dig into both.

1. Author-centric copy

Author-centric copy can creep up when the copywriter is more interested in showing off their writing talents than writing persuasive copy designed for conversions.

You may be a prolific writer with an Ivy League vocabulary and a style all your own. But once you start writing to impress, rather than to persuade, you have already lost a large chunk of your audience. Some may not understand your word choices, but the bigger problem is that you are missing the point of landing page copy to begin with.


Once you start writing to impress, you’ve already lost a chunk of your audience.
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Note the example below. HLT is an online learning platform. After careful consideration, I figured out that this landing page is meant for it’s partner program, but it’s still hard to know what that entails or what the benefits are. The author of this copy seems to be more concerned with setting a tone than with enticing a conversion.

landing page screenshot

Take the headline for example: “Embracing the Mobile Mind Shift.”

Do you have any idea what this means? Does it entice you to fill out the form next to it? Not at all.

It might be thought provoking, it doesn’t make for a very enticing headline. It doesn’t make it crystal clear what you’re going to get by filling out the form, which is a missed opportunity.

While there is certainly a time and place to win readers over with your thoughtful prose and witticisms, a tightly honed landing page isn’t it. Copy containing overly flowery or clichéd language may make the writer feel good about his or her abilities, but it does very little to make potential partners feel confident that their pains are understood (or that they’ll be addressed).

2. Company-centric copy

This is a much more common form of landing page narcissism that can destroy your conversions. Consider the headline in the following example from Co-Construct, the self-proclaimed “#1 Highest Rated Remodel and Custom Home Building Software.”

company-centric landing page

Everybody is looking for “#1,” so what’s wrong with this? The problem is with what’s missing:

  1. Why is it rated the best? Who rated it number one?
  2. What’s the unique value proposition? What can this software uniquely offer me that its competitors can’t?
  3. What specific concerns, pain points or fears does it address?
  4. How will this particular software benefit me? How will it make my life easier?

By simply speaking to how great your company, product or service is, you’re missing a huge opportunity to convey what your prospect will get out of the deal.

Never mistake your own enthusiasm for what will motivate your customers.

How to turn it around

So now that we know some of the more common mistakes, how do we turn the mirror away from ourselves and toward our audience?

Turn your brags into benefits

When it comes to persuasive landing page copy, it’s all about consumer benefits. So you must ask yourself: “How will my offering benefit my target customer?”

Start with what you already have. Go through your existing copy, and every time you see a braggy statement about your business, rework it so it concretely addresses a validated pain point with a benefit. For example:

“#1 Highest Rated Remodel and Custom Home Building Software” becomes “Complete Your Home Remodel Faster & Under Budget.”

Addressing the pains your product or service alleviates and offering concrete solutions is incredibly effective in landing page copy. Chances are, your current landing page partially addresses these elements, but it’s up to you to polish each point to make them overtly obvious and benefit-driven.

Lyft is an on-demand car service currently in hard-core recruitment mode for drivers. Their driver-targeting campaign does a great job of using two separate benefits in one succinct headline:

lyft landing page
Lyft’s driver campaign combines two benefits into one super compelling headline.

Final thoughts

One of the most fundamental principles of winning people over is to stop talking about yourself, and ask about them. It is incredibly effective when it comes to making friends, and the same is true when trying to maximize online conversions.

By simply asking, “What worries my customers?” or “How will my product help them?” you will be in the right frame of mind to craft much more persuasive copy.

When you put your own ego on the shelf and start speaking to your ideal customer’s self interests, you can expect to see your conversions take off like crazy. Which is, ironically, a nice little ego boost.


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Is Egocentric Copy Alienating Your Prospects?

Business Content Editing Tips

The Web is awash in content. A recent Moz article reports that 92,000 new articles are posted online every day. Companies are spending billions on content marketing to enhance credibility, build brand awareness and, especially of late, improve SEO.
Here is what Google has to say about content in its quality guidelines: Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.

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Business Content Editing Tips

Content Strategy: Optimizing Your Efforts For Success

Content strategy is a beast with many heads, names and trajectories. To approach it is to be sucked in full force. Even so, as crucial as content strategy is, conveying its gravity to a big audience, or to key administrators, is often hard. Being so inherently complex, it’s often easiest to tackle by example.
My first job as a Web content writer involved creating a campaign that promoted holiday spending and travel.

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Content Strategy: Optimizing Your Efforts For Success

Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac

As Web developers, we never stop hearing about the Mac. A lot of people love to talk about their Macs, but despite the “elite” status of the Apple computer, is there any need for a Web developer to splash money on one? A few weeks ago, Mark Nutter wrote here on Smashing Magazine in favor of swapping your PC for a Mac, and while some of his reasons are good, there are plenty of reasons to stick with (or switch back to!

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Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac