This is a picture of some delicious champagne just before being quaffed on New Year's EveAnother year's in the books. Here's our annual look back at top posts you might have missed in 2016, plus a few we think are especially relevant as we move into 2017.

  • How to write a more effective fund-raising letter: We think this one's going to be even more useful this year as many nonprofits expect to see an increase in demand for their services. This was our most-read post of last year. If you're a nonprofit staffer or board member, you might want to bookmark it.
  • Marketing Personalization: Are you making this costly mistake? Torn from the pages of real life, as they say, this cautionary tale is useful for retailers and nonprofits, or anybody who uses marketing personalization software. Given the proliferation of martech solutions for this kind of thing, we weren't surprised this was our second-most popular post of the year.
  • Content tips from #ThinkContent: The folks at NewsCred put on a great conference last summer. The upshot is that content marketing continues to evolve to get beyond the what to include the who, why and how -- and to embrace emotion (yes, even B2B marketers!). Click through and see who did the talking and the tips and insights they shared.
  • How to create more visual content: We're all pushing to create more content faster -- especially more visual content. Here are four tips for making more visual content without breaking your bank or your cadence. Hat tip to design colleague Juanita Wrenn for co-writing this post with me!
  • 3 ways to improve content writing skills: According to the Content Marketing Institute, one-fifth of marketers have made becoming stronger writers a priority for this 2016. This post evaluates the pros and cons of three approaches to closing the writing skills gap: writing coaching, custom in-house training and external writing courses.
  • A marketer's reading list: Everyone says the best writers are great readers, and we certainly read a lot around of content and business material here! Here are the must-reads and must-follows on our list.
  • How to make instructions and directions easier to follow: Few things are more frustrating than instructions that don't make sense or that are difficult to follow. Use this straightforward strategy to processes easier to walk through.
  • 2 steps to improve search engine visibility: "Discoverability" was a big idea last year -- and one that still has merit in 2017. Here are two easy-to-implement tactics to make your content easier to find and act on.
  • How to write for advocacy: The political campaigns of 2016 may be over, but the need for effective advocacy continues. We lead trainings on writing for advocacy all over the country and regularly share our tips on the blog in an effort to elevate the debate. Whether it's a letter to the editor, an op-ed or blog post or a speech, this strategy helps you form your ideas and arguments faster and more effectively.
  • Drive engagement and trust with the writer's voice: The easiest way to make your marketing feel authentic is to hone the writer's voice into one that sounds like someone the audience wants to hear from. Here's how to do it.

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