Writing

Speaking: A Complete Guide to Rocking It

Speaking: A Complete Guide to Rocking It

Speaking is one of my favorite parts of my job. I have almost no stage fright, in fact, I have fun in front of an audience and I try to make sure the audience does too. What I've learned is that it's important to be authentic and relaxed, to be yourself, and to care...

Grammar and Punctuation: Make a Great First Impression

Grammar and Punctuation: Make a Great First Impression

  You’ve just written a business report, blog post, news article, copy for your website or marketing piece, and you’re ready to hit Publish. But wait — are you sure your copy is error free? Every word you publish under your name or the name of your...

Editing is Important — Use the Right Words

Editing is Important — Use the Right Words

I've always thought it would be fun to be a technical consultant on a hit TV show. Most shows have advisors of some sort; they are the physicians, attorneys, computer experts, or other professionals who teach actors to correctly pronounce long, complicated...

Copywriting for Your Website — Remember the Words

How's your website? When you think about the answer to that question, you're probably thinking about the look, the design, and the colors. But what about the words? The best-designed website is a waste of time and money if your copy doesn't tell the reader about your...

Display Ads: 3 Quick Copywriting Tips

Display Ads: 3 Quick Copywriting Tips

The other day I was stopped at an intersection behind this truck, with nothing to look at except a plate of yummy Memphis barbecue. I realized that this bit of display advertising and copywriting is an excellent example of how to do it right. The message at the top is...

Oops. I Messed Up. Five Reminders to Keep You from Goofing Like I Did

Oops. I Messed Up. Five Reminders to Keep You from Goofing Like I Did

What follows here is a mildly amusing not really amusing, but ironic story about messing up. Specifically about me messing up. Which I do regularly, but this time people found out about it. I'm a grammar/usage/AP Style nerd. I'm hopelessly aggravated by misplaced...

How to Write: My 8 Secrets

How to Write: My 8 Secrets

I don't remember a time when I didn't love to write and wasn't obsessed with words. I've done crossword puzzles since childhood and have been known to read the dictionary. I'm a natural writer — by that I mean no one has ever formally taught me how to write, but it's...

Writing: Forget What Your Teacher Taught You

Writing: Forget What Your Teacher Taught You

Marko Saric’s excellent post, 6 Ways Your English Teacher Wrecked Your Writing reminded me of my girls’ high school days, when every piece of their (and some of their friends’) written work encountered my notorious red pen. Both of my girls are excellent writers, so...

Nine Commonly Misused Words

Nine Commonly Misused Words

Just like other bad habits, it's easy to fall into sloppy or ill-informed patterns where words are concerned. The more we see an expression — correct or incorrect — the more it becomes burned into our brain. Here are nine words that are commonly misused. Momentarily •...

Don’t Let Your Letters Get in the Way of Your Message

Don’t Let Your Letters Get in the Way of Your Message

I stopped behind this van the other day at a stop sign. Even from about three feet away I could barely read the text. It appears that they do some sort of cleaning, but beyond that it's hard to say. What a wasted opportunity. Don't make these common mistakes: It's Not...

Don’t Make These Website Mistakes

Don’t Make These Website Mistakes

I read a lot, look at zillions of websites and check out print pieces everywhere I go. Though I'm a laid-back person, there are some things I've been seeing a lot of lately that are like that certain sound that we all hate. Don't make these mistakes on your website....