More bitsa business jargon – plenty of B’s

“B” is for “Big Apple” and “Big cheese” … but do you know the real meaning of “bust my chops,” “boil the ocean,” or even the humble “by the way?” The next in my new series

English Business Jargon demystified on HTWB

Do you know the REAL meaning of “bust my chops,” “boil the ocean,” or even the humble “by the way?”

Bad apple: if you know about horticulture you will know that one bad apple in a collection of good ones has the ability to make all the others rot in a short space of time. That’s how the metaphor works: one “bad apple,” e.g. a negative or disruptive member of a team, employee, supplier etc., or even an inappropriate policy within a project, can be enough to cause a lot of damage to the overall organisation or activity. The term may originate from religious sermons preached in the USA in the 19th century. [Read more…]

Why your website text is NOT about your business

No, it’s not a typo.

It’s not about you

You lose count, don’t you, of the number of websites you see that talk all about the company concerned, when it started, what it prides itself on, and all manner of other “we-wee” words.

how to write good business website text by Suzan St Maur on HTWB

It starts on the “home page” with a lot of information your customers don’t need yet, if at all.

Then you go to the “about us” page and there’s more information that’s not relevant to what your customers are looking for (do they really care where the founder went to college in the 1950s?). [Read more…]

Writing day-to-day business emails: how to get better results

If you need to write emails for business, job, sport, hobby, charity, recreation etc. (and who doesn’t?) there are quite a few very simple yet effective tips to make yours get more engagement and results… the results you want, too.

Writing day-to-day emails top tips from HTWBThese tips are not the same as you would use for email marketing, necessarily, although there are some common denominators. However if you want help with how to write a stonking email advertising campaign, I recommend [Read more…]

Popular writing questions answered – shared to Quora from HTWB

I’ve been answering quite a few questions about writing, on Quora recently – and given that #HTWB is such a huge writing resource these days, it’s great to be able to share some of its expertise (and not just mine, but that of all contributors) to an even broader audience.

Questions on writing are being answered by Suzan St Maur and other contributors on How To Writer Better - a great resource for writing at all levels

Have you tried answering questions on Quora yet ?

Some of the questions on Quora are, er, interesting to say the least … it’s fascinating to see how some people expect answers to questions that are so vague and garbled. And it annoys me when responders sneer at such questions. Why not just respond by asking for more information so we can help more effectively? Grrrrr…

A few answers to questions about writing, on Quora, that could help you, too

[Read more…]

Due to make a wedding speech soon? Don’t get caught with your pants down

Are you due to make a speech at a wedding soon? You may not have noticed, but the wedding season in the northern hemisphere is taking off big-time. The wedding where you’re speaking may be just around the corner…

wedding speeches reminder on HTWB

Due to make a speech at a wedding this summer? Don’t get caught at the last minute with your pants down…

So: have you thought about your speech yet? What you’re going to say? What – depending on your role in the wedding party – you are supposed to say? No?

OK, here is a quick reminder based on what I wrote last year – suitably updated – to help you folks get your wedding speech safeguards in place … even at the last minute! [Read more…]

Local advertisers: some new words to make your ads work MUCH better

In this article in the series for local advertisers, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. In other words here are suggestions for more powerful alternatives to the words and phrases which sadly have become clichés – and therefore have lost their fire power.

words and phrases that work well in local advertising HTWB

So many words you can use in local advertising … but which ones really work to get your business quality leads?

Here are the top ten that were listed in an earlier article (with a reminder in italics) along with some better ideas…

The top 10 cliché words and phrases in local ads, and what may work much harder for you

Established for XX years. This rightly suggests long-term commitment and experience, but should never get in the way of how your business is bang up to date with its products and services. The reality is that how long you’ve been established isn’t a benefit to customers [Read more…]

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