Do these common grammar mistakes still catch you with your pants down?

It’s amazing to think that it’s 6 years since I wrote this eBook and despite the fact that only a few thousand of you (well, quite a few thousand) have bought a copy, many of my lovely readers are still getting sh*t like this soooo wrong.

Common grammar mistakes: why do we still make them?

HTWB grammar Mar 17In a word – well, a few words – it’s because the English language has mental health issues. Ergo, it’s nuts. There are so many exceptions to rules in English that it’s hardly worth studying the actual rules.

All the same, for those mere 1.5 billion people who speak English as a first or other language, we need to get the basics right as far as is humanly possible. Here, now, are some excerpts from my earlier writings, distilled down into the main areas where we still screw up… [Read more…]

Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

Having had a fierce hatred for voice recognition software for years, I was finally calmed down by the charming and erudite Neil Sleight at a business networking do recently. He told me to stop spitting fur and feathers about it because today, there is voice recognition software that actually works. I asked Neil to tell us more. Here he is… 

Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

All you need to do is to dictate your work and as you speak, you will see your words appear in your document on the screen in front of you.

If you regularly create documents using Microsoft Word or send and receive emails, you may have considered using voice recognition software, or may even have tried it in the past.

If this is so, you may have found that it wasn’t transcribing your speech accurately and was more trouble than it was worth.

However all this has now changed dramatically … [Read more…]

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

If you have teenage relatives you’ll probably know that they clam up like, er, clams, when you tell them why writing matters. Mainly they regard “proper” writing as a pain in the posterior. What’s wrong with leaving apostrophes out? Using the latest Instagram jargon? Speaking and writing in hip terms everyone who’s anyone in rap, metal and other such contemporary cultures knows and appreciates?

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

When you apply for a job, most of the CVs/résumés on the recruiter’s desk will have mistakes in them. If yours doesn’t, it will stay at the top of the pile. Then, guess what?

As you’d expect, with my own son (poor kid) I hammered the need for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax into his head before he could walk. These days I’m a little more gentle with teens, but the metaphorical slap-in-yer-face still works. Read on … [Read more…]

Writing for business on social media: the knickers-off truth

We read an awful lot about the realities of social media and the opinions, information and advice are so voluminous you begin to wonder what is worthwhile and what is over-bloated BS.

Writing for business on social media: the knickers-off truth

The knickers-off realities of writing about your business on social media

Here is a brief digest I feel is helpful to SME (Small to Medium sized Enterprise) businesses. [Read more…]

Writing about yourself? You are the BRAND, baby

Probably the most important thing the internet and particularly social media have done is to turn marketers’ perception of us from that of basic, dim-witted consumers … to that of intelligent, questioning buyers who just aren’t going to be fooled by hard-sell bullsh*t any more.

Writing about yourself? You are the BRAND, baby

When you write about yourself for business you have got to look upon yourself not as the person, but as the brand your work represents.

In fact what we have seen is a massive paradigm shift from the days when writing about yourself was about selling yourself and your stuff to people in one-way communication…

…to a time now when you get involved with your marketplace, get to know the people, and then help them to buy.

And that’s whether you want them to buy your product, your services, or even you – yourself.

[Read more…]

How to keep writing for business when you’ve got Baby Brain…

In this article we welcome freelance blogger and copywriter Ariel Rule, from Portland, Oregon, who shares how she keeps her business writing show on the road despite having a newborn plus a toddler to distract her from creating those magical words. Lady writers with kids, you will remember this challenge well.

How to keep writing for business when you've got Baby Brain...

Are you a new Mom with Baby brain? Don’t take on more than you can handle, says Ariel Rule.

Despite my having participated in a conference call about a marketing campaign proposal while en route to hospital in labour with my son, once he had emerged into the world some hours later my brain turned to mashed potatoes and I have been struggling to fix that ever since. (My son is now 23.)

Here’s how Ariel is coping…plus some very useful advice on how you ladies who write for a living – or who have to write for business – can cope for yourselves. 

Pregnancy Brain. Momma Brain. Baby Brain.

[Read more…]

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