10 terrible cliché images that kill your written content

Images in blog and social media posts are essential, the gurus say. Trouble is, too often people slap up the first (copyright free, of course…) image they find on Flickr that does nothing whatsoever to make their written content look anything other than a bunch of similar clichés.

Here are my top 10 pet image hates and why I think they make your written content look awful…

1.Someone on the phone

Why you shouldn't use cliche images in your written work

Shots of people looking important while on the telephone, don’t work. A very old pic of George Dublya Bush – sorry for the blur, but I guess he may be a bit of a blur now, too, bless him.**

…usually sitting at a desk, dressed smartly, smiling in a patronising way and looking Very Important. No-one is fooled by that any more and that reminds me the following joke … [Read more…]

Are you losing out because your adverts are upside down?

How often do you see adverts that are phrased, and proportioned, like this? (And this is a real one from a piece of email marketing, not made up…) It’s an unusually brilliant example of WE-WEE marketing… 

Why upside down adverts don't work

See how much more powerful it would be if we turn it right-side up again, and give it a little tweak…

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We are market leaders and have arranged £3 billion of funding for UK businesses over the past 20 years

[Read more…]

How To Write Better: thank you, 2 million page viewers in the last 4 years!

More than 2 million page views in 4 years! Nothing could have made me happier than being greeted on my return from Canada (Sept 10th, 2017) to find that our humble How To Write Better (the REAL one) has exceeded the 2 million page view mark since September 1st, 2013.

2 millions page views for HTWB
For a niche site that’s a labour of love (rather than the off-shoot of another site that exists in the USA as part of a large commercial enterprise…) I have to say I am truly proud of our achievements. [Read more…]

Writing business we-wee is bad – but what about me-mee?

As you probably know I am forever advising businesses not to write about how “we” do this and “we” do that, unless they can relate that to how they benefit customers very, very quickly.

Writing about yourself in the first person

If you’re a sole trader, should you write about yourself in the first person?

That’s largely because people writing “we-wee” are too inwardly focused and forget to share with readers what’s in it for them, which in business is critically important. But recently I have been taking a look at websites belonging to, and I assume written by, individual solopreneurs and sole traders. And I have to concede, they have a problem that is harder to solve.

We, me, him, her or who the hell does “me” write as?

[Read more…]

How to write in Canadian English…

If you want to annoy a Canadian, try telling them that you picked up on their American accent. That always does the trick to me even though my accent is tempered with a good few decades of British influence.

Writing in Canadian English

Writing Canadian English is not as simple as chopping it between US and UK English half-and-half…

But it’s not just the accent that’s different. (Tip: listen for the “ou” diphthong in a word like “house” … if it sounds like ha-owse  it’s American, but if it sounds like hoose  it’s Canadian. Plus, Canadians don’t whine/drone anything like as much as some Yanks do.)

Believe it or not, written Canadian English has a personality of its own

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Why GOOD content curation is a three-way win for you on social media

Some people might think that content curation may be a bit of an old granny in contemporary content marketing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since we last spoke about content curation here on HWTB – in a brilliant article by the intrepid social media expert Cendrine Marrouat – things have moved on a bit.

I belong to a particularly sparky group of female business owners here in the UK and the other day we were having an excellent discussion about visibility, and in this instance about what to post on social media to support our own brands and credibility.

Why GOOD content creation is a great way to promote your business

Don’t slap hashtags all over your preamble. They may attract search engines, but to humans, too many look tacky.

The topic of content curation came up and met with mixed views. How do you make it work for you, when it has been written and promoted by somebody else?

First, choose the right way to curate content – not the wrong way

[Read more…]

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