Editing your written work: how not to miss mistakes

Today please welcome guest author Lucy Benton – originally from Illinois, USA and now resident of Sydney, Australia. Lucy is a writing and editing expert who also runs a superb blog, ProWritingPartner, which I thoroughly recommend as a goldmine of first-class grammar, editing and general writing resources. Sz.

How to edit your text properly

You ought to remove the flab as well as the excess so your reader truly understands your ideas

We are all well aware of the fact that creating something in a draft allows us to lay down the ideas and to clarify the entire structure of what we’re writing. However, the sharpness and the value of the text comes next – when you edit and refine what you want to say. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

Why you need to think first and write later – especially for business

“If you don’t know what you think, you can’t write it down,” said my longtime colleague and book co-author John Butman some years ago.

Yet how many of us take on a business writing exercise – email, blog post, even web page – without thoroughly thinking through the key issues needed to make that piece of writing work properly … before we write anything down?

Most of us fall victim to it. Even I do, and I’ve been a professional business writer since Madison Avenue was a dirt track with an Algonquian name.

Think before you write, especially for business

Think before you write. And think about the right things, so you write what works for your business.

It’s all part of our tendency not to engage brain before putting fingers into gear. Here is one classic symptom, with a suggestion on how to treat it… [Read more…]

How not to spam bloggers, by I. M. A. Spammerdick

If you have a blog, or a website with a blog, you may well get approached by kind souls offering to do anything from enhancing your content to transforming your life if only you include their totally unsuitable material within your blog content.

how not to spam a blogger

Do you ever stop to read the spam you receive? It certainly can open your eyes…

I have to admit it, though. I read a lot of my spam.

Why such a saddo? It’s because even though it’s spam I can learn from it. (And get some laughs from it.) Here are some of the more outrageous examples… [Read more…]

css.php