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Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

One of the best ways to succeed in your career and life is to learn from true experts - people who have already succeeded in a particular area or discipline. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Bobbi Linkemer, a well respected author and writing coach. As writing and developing content becomes more important to anyone doing business online, learning from the writing experts becomes all that much more valuable.

Hello Bobbi, how are you? Tell us about your latest project.

My latest project was rewriting my workbook, How To Write A Nonfiction Book: From Concept to Completion in 6 Months. The fourth edition is greatly expanded in content but reduced in size from 8-1/2 X 11 to 6 X 9.

Bobbi, tell my readers how and when you got started as an editor, ghostwriter, teacher, and writing coach.

My first real job as a writer, in 1972, was actually as the editor of The St. Louisan, a city magazine. I didn’t know anything about being an editor then, but I learned that if you are “in charge,” and someone sends you an article that needs help, you have three choices: reject it, rewrite it, or help the writer improve it. If you reject it, you have nothing to publish, and everybody loses; if you rewrite it, you’re an editor, but the writer hasn’t benefited; but, if you help the writer improve it, you’re a coach, you have a publishable article, and everybody wins.

How is writing for the Internet different now, as opposed to when you first got started online?

While I have been writing professionally for 40 years, I am fairly new to writing for the Internet. Several years ago, I wrote a book called Going Solo: How to Survive & Thrive as a Freelance Writer and included a section on writing for the Web. I interviewed several people who were doing it very successfully, but it was a long time before I joined their ranks. I still consider myself a relative novice.

How important has goal setting been to your overall success?

Goal setting has been hugely important. My career began with one goal — to have an article published. When my first humor piece was published in a national handball magazine, I was hooked. The second goal was to become an excellent feature writer. That took years, but I finally felt that I had achieved it. Every time I met a goal, I set another one and just kept raising the bar higher and higher. I’m still at it and suspect I always will be.

If you could recommend one book that all writers should read, what would it be?

The classic in my opinion is On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, which is now out in a completely revised and expanded edition. The book I reach for most often is the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus: For the Writer in Everyone.

In your opinion, what technology has changed Internet publishing the most over the last 5 years?

I’m not a techie, but, for me, the biggest change was in the development of user-friendly Website design software. I use DreamWeaver, and, while it has helped me immeasurably, I wouldn’t have a truly functioning site without my Web guru, Bobette Kyle, who takes out the bugs and makes it all work.

Bobbi’s Bio: Bobbi Linkemer is a ghostwriter, writing coach, and editor. She is also the author of 14 books. Bobbi has been a professional writer for 40 years, a magazine editor and journalist, and a book-writing teacher. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurs who want to enhance their credibility and build their businesses. Her articles on writing regularly appear on and other top online article sites. Learn more at


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