Tips and tools: How to write great sentences; Jeff Bezos’s 2017 letter; a funny book; and the best programming books
To get articles like this free in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter (the link opens in an overlay).
Here are some great resources we have recently shared with one another(We don’t profit from recommending things. We just love sharing things we think you’ll appreciate. You can see our other Tips and Tools articles here.)
Brilliance and inspiration from Amazon’s CEO
Jeff Bezos’s letters always provide incredible insights into how to run a hugely successful company. This year’s is no exception. Wise words from one of the world’s greatest, most sophisticated web marketers.
The best guide to writing great sentences
If your job involves writing great sentences—and which jobs don’t these days?—you need to know about rhetorical devices. They appear in almost all great writing (particularly poetry, song lyrics, and marketing slogans).
The book The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth explains how incredibly powerful rhetorical devices are. Shakespeare’s early plays contain almost no rhetorical devices and almost no famous quotes. The watershed moment for Shakespeare was when he started to use rhetorical devices.
The Elements of Eloquence is one of those books that makes you wonder, “How come they resisted teaching me that at school? Did my teachers just not know this stuff?” Dickens certainly did. So did Dylan and Dolly Parton.
Rhetorical devices make sentences sound smarter. Smarter sentences sound more true. True sentences are more persuasive. And persuasive sentences drive profits.
That last paragraph was an example of anadiplosis, which is where you start a sentence with the ending of the previous sentence. The technique is so powerful, it can make a mediocre message like the one above (“rhetorical devices help to increase profits”) sound profound.
Unlike many educational books, The Elements of Eloquence works great as an audiobook. We’ve added it to our list of the best resources for improving your writing.
A great, funny travel book
In 2009, when we spoke at Mozcon, we had the pleasure of spending time with Geraldine DeRuiter, who had recently started her travel blog The Everywhereist (which became one of TIME’s “Best Blogs of the Year”).
Geraldine is one of the funniest people we’ve ever met. She has a knack of finding herself in ridiculous situations, which she describes in her first book, All Over The Place, which we are currently enjoying. It’s very wittily written; we notice that almost every one of Geraldine’s laugh-out-loud moments incorporates a rhetorical device.
The best books on programming
Dev-books.com lists the books that get mentioned most on Stack Overflow. Most of them are evergreen classics. You might want to forward the list to your developers.
How much did you like this article?
What’s your goal today?
1. Hire us to grow your company
We’ve generated hundreds of millions for our clients, using our unique CRE Methodology™. To discover how we can help grow your business:
- Read our case studies, client success stories, and video testimonials.
- Learn about us, and our unique values, beliefs and quirks.
- Visit our “Services” page to see the process by which we assess whether we’re a good fit for each other.
- Claim your FREE website strategy session with one of our renowned experts.
2. Learn how to do conversion
Browse hundreds of articles, containing an amazing number of useful tools and techniques. Many readers tell us they have doubled their sales by following the advice in these articles.
Download a free copy of our Amazon #1 best-selling book, Making Websites Win, recommended by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Moz, Econsultancy, and many more industry leaders. You’ll also be subscribed to our email newsletter and notified whenever we publish new articles or have something interesting to share.
3. Join our team (we’re actively hiring!)
If you want to join our team—or discover why our team members love working with us—then see our “Careers” page.
4. Contact us
We help businesses worldwide, so get in touch!
© 2021 Conversion Rate Experts Limited. All rights reserved.