8 Tips to Write Life-Changing Health Content

Successful health content motivates people to do things that are good for them, like cutting back on salt or having a colonoscopy. But writing about health can be tough, especially when you’re asking readers to do things they’d rather not do. Like cutting back on salt or having a colonoscopy. Good health writing has the […]

Just Who Do These Algorithms Think I Am?

I hate that the internet knows me better than I do. Granted, this is often helpful, like when I get recommendations for news stories, books, music, etc. that I’m interested in but would never have known existed. Gee, thanks, retargeting algorithm — that’s just what I was looking for. Still, the net’s intimate familiarity with […]

Blockchain 101: A Primer on the Technology Behind Bitcoin

Time for a guest post! Here, our friend John MacKenna explains something I’ve been wondering about lately: What the heck is blockchain anyway? Take it away, John … Blockchain is seen by cognoscenti as the next great technology disruptor, but if you don’t understand it — or haven’t even heard of it — don’t worry. […]

Meet Eric Twardzik, The Hired Pens’ Style Writer

When you have a last name like “Twardzik,” you have to do some early grappling with the pain and beauty of letters. But once you’ve triumphed? Spelling all other words is child’s play. And thus Hired Pen Eric Twardzik began his writing career at the tender age of four-and-a-half. What did you want to be […]

In Praise of Staples’ Chair Assembly Instructions

“Some Assembly Required”: three words that will put the fear of God into you. Whether it’s a Christmas toy for your kid or a treadmill that will soon be gathering dust in your basement, most all of us have faced the nightmare of trying to assemble something out of a box. We start with a […]

‘You Smell Amazing; Is That Windex?’ (Said Nobody Ever.)

Looking through The New York Times style section last week, an ad caught my eye. It was a giant bottle of Windex … except it wasn’t. It was Fresh Couture, the latest fragrance from Moschino, which is bottled to look like Windex, red spray top and all. The ad copy describes Fresh Couture as an […]

Happy Holidays from The Hired Pens

In case you’re looking for us … The Hired Pens will be closed for business from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. But we’ll be bright, bushy-tailed and ready to go on Monday, Jan. 4. See you then.

Pardon Me, but Your Manspreading Is Infringing on My Personal Space

As I write this post, 150 new words are making their debut on Dictionary.com. This seems like a shockingly high number, but it’s actually a pretty discriminating list compared to the 1,000 going into the Oxford English Dictionary and the whopping 1,700 Merriam-Webster said “kk” to. (Which you’d know means “okay” if you got an […]

Soup for Summer? The Power of Effective Signage.

Remember how hot it was this August? Crazy hot, right? So hot you went around saying things like, “Man is it crazy hot or what?” So hot you’d rather go hungry than do something as crazy as … eat soup. So what do you do if you’re The Soupery? Just walking by their sign made […]

Support the Ortus Regni Kickstarter Campaign!

We’ve written a lot of things over the past 13 years at The Hired Pens. Web copy for gastroenterology programs. A speech for a rodeo queen. Copy for the back of a receipt handed out at a bakery chain. But we had never written a rule book for a “closed-deck, deck-design strategy card game set […]