How to describe your product to a new customer

How do you describe your product to a new customer? As part of your marketing plan, you need to consider how to present your products to attract potential customers and also generate repeat business for your current customer base. Over the coming weeks, we will look at how to develop a product from scratch, define […]

How to Improve Your Proofreading Skills (For Business or Technical Documents)

In this tutorial, we look at how to proofread an academic, business, or technical document. Before Proofreading First, finish all writing, unless you plan to iteratively proof the document over a series of drafts. In other words, write, then proof, then write again. I find this works for smaller documents, but when you’re looking at […]

7 Ways To Avoid Crashing Long Documents in MS Word

If you use MS Word to write documents, you might find the following tips helpful. I use Word to write documents up to 200 pages, even longer, and have managed to keep the document in good shape by following guidelines. Formatting — avoid cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another as this brings unwanted […]

How to Manage a Large Writing Project

One of the difficulties in starting a large writing project is knowing where to start. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Which document should you start first? How long will it take to write each guide, brochure, or form? And then there are side issues, such as style guides, naming conventions, and other writing tasks. Where […]

How To Write Public Service Announcements (For Non-native English Speakers)

When’s the last time you used the word ‘alight’? If you use the bus or train in Dublin, Ireland, you might hear or see: ‘Take care when alighting the bus.’ Yes. today’s culprit is the word alighting. Alighting means dismount. What they should say is something like, ‘Be careful when getting off.’ or even Mind […]

1 Minute Writing Tip: Active v Passive Voice

Know when to use the active and passive voice in your business or technical documents? Maybe? Let’s look at voice for a minute. What does it mean to write in the active voice? Is the passive voice as *bad* as people say it is? Obviously not. The voice tells us whether the subject of the […]

How to Write a Technical Datasheet

In this tutorial, we look at how to write, review, design and improve your datasheets. What is a Datasheet? While this seems obvious, make sure you understand the purpose of datasheets before sitting down to write. Unless you know who the target reader is, and what they will do with this document, you are likely […]

The Daily Mail Headline Writing Formula

Are you lazy? I am. Instead of wracking my brains trying to come up with clever headlines, I look at what others have written, and see if I can go one better. It’s a private little game I play with myself. I suspect a lot of other writers do the same thing. You see a […]

Content Repurposing for Beginners

What is content repurposing? Content repurposing is creating modular content that you can modify into different formats. For example, one hub article could create several spokes articles if repurposed correctly. But it is not copy and pasting or spinning articles to create low-quality articles. If done right, it allows you write many interrelated articles very quickly. It […]

How to Start Writing REST or Web API Documentation

Let’s say you’ve been asked to document a set of REST or Web APIs, a new area for you. Where do you start? At first this can seem overwhelming. So many new acronyms, terms, jargon, and pieces to fit together. Here’s a suggested approach. Focus on a specific api,  for example, REST. Ignore the temptation […]

How many words a minute can you type?

My friend PM wants to go into freelance writing. I think it can work for him. He’s determined, has a nice writing style, and knows how to hustle for work. But typing is a problem. It’s that simple. He pecks and pecks at the keyboard. Last weekend, his house he showed me some gizmos, ‘hacks’, […]

How to Write Steps for Procedure Manuals

Should you use action verbs when writing your procedures, for example, click, run, open, or use different phrasing? A lot of this has to do with your reader. Or to be more precise what the reader is doing WHEN they are reading your procedure. Imagine for a second that the reader has printed out your […]

How to prepare technical diagrams

Is that ready yet? I need that right now? Sound familiar? In this tutorial, we look at how to cope with that terrible feeling of being overwhelmed at work and not knowing where to start. If you feel overwhelmed when you sit down and try to create a workflow diagram, it’s probably because you’re trying […]

How to write first thing in the morning

My wee brain is very slow to start in the mornings. Typing is not easy. Neither is thinking. Video – Daily Writing Routine Warm Up Writing Exercises So, how do you start to write first thing in the morning. Here’s a few ways: Decide on a specific target, say 100 words. Identify the topic the […]

Jane Austen – My Favorite Quotes

Maybe you think Jane Austen is hard to read. She’s not. Here’s an example of her writing. Most are from Persuasion. “Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be […]