Few things have given me more pleasure than reading The Hobbit to my boys. I loved the book as a child and bringing it to life with silly accents and descriptions of Smaug that make my seven-year-old cower under his covers is priceless. The Hobbit is a charming adventure, and it doesn’t matter to me [...]
Admit it. Every now and then you want to read ‘how-to’s in a dirty long list. And every now and then I want to write them.
So here you go. 40 tips for writing well, on the web especially. Happy Christmas.
What stops you from writing more? It’s not just the copywriters who write in our organisations: we all do – managers, administrators, technical staff – whether we have been trained to or not.
Most roles require some level of writing skill, and increasingly for publication on the web. How can you get your staff writing clear and compelling words that work on and offline, to tell a consistent story to your customers?
One of the problems is confidence. People think of themselves as non-writers, and the process of writing as difficult. But it only takes a nudge of encouragement and a few key writing tricks to get them creating bolder and more effective copy. The ‘How to Write Good’ workshop will help you to:
Apparently today is National Punctuation Day. In America. I decided to contribute to the celebrations by helping writers worldwide get to grips with their punctuation. Because badly punctuated prose really shows up one’s short cummings.
Social media has made the web more of a conversation (it was already pretty chatty). Companies who want to maintain a one-sided, sales pitch relationship with their customers come off as stiffs. For many businesses with web sites, adopting a tone of voice online that is a little less formal, a little more smart casual, will help their users to connect with them.
I am not talking about LOL-ing up your copy with txtspk, slang and swearwords FTW! But undoing the top button and taking off the tie will allow you to appear friendly, trustworthy, approachable and willing to interact. Here are 9 practical tips to soften up your style:
If you are writing (anything at all: emails to colleagues, notices on the fridge, product descriptions, text messages to your friends…) then I hope at some point you have come across George Orwell’s 6 rules for writing.
Them’s good rules.
They are the conclusion to his 1946 essay ‘Politics and the English Language’, in which he talks about the relationship between clear language and clear thinking. He ends his argument with 6 rules for sharp and accurate writing, in the hope that, not only will people express themselves more clearly, but that they might think more clearly too – that their communication might become meaning-full.
And yet halfway through the article, Orwell mentions another list for writers that gets me just as excited.
Blogging is consistent publishing, online. It demands long-term commitment, creative inspiration and a combination of writing, marketing and web skills.
Not surprisingly, some people appreciate a little help with all that. Not someone to write their blog for them, but to get alongside to inspire new ideas, guide the tone and style, give online writing and editing tips and motivate them to keep on publishing.