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 […]

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 start writing your first executive summary

Feeling stuck? Can’t start your executive summary? Clock is tick, tick, ticking? They say you should write your executive summary AFTER you’ve written the entire document. I’m not sure about this. Why? If you do, there’s the risk that you’ll run out of time, get flustered, and rush through it — just to get something […]

Are you making these two proof-reading mistakes?

Proof-reading. A bit like flossing your teeth, isn’t it? You know it’s good for you, you know you should do it, but you still don’t want to do it. Why is proofreading so hard? I think it’s the approach we take. For example, if you leave the proof-reading to the very end, you’ll probably be […]

How to improve the subject line of an email

First, think of the response you want from the reader. Second, put the most important point at the start. Third, highlight one thing only. The problem with most subject lines in emails is that they’re written either: As a placeholder, something to put in while you write the actual email After the email is written […]

Are good business writers made or born?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking… made. Why do I say this? Because if you are a ‘born writer’, and have written from a very early age as most do, you’d feel  that most writers are born, not made. You either have it or you don’t. But it this true? I hate to say it […]

Business Requirements: Should you use Shall v Will?

Should you use Shall or Will when writing business requirements? Or something else? For example, some business analyst friends prefer to use Must. Others insist that Shall is the international standard, so we should stick with it. The counter-argument says that’s not good enough. Times have changed. We need to put the reader first. No […]

214 Style Guides with Tutorials, Examples, Guidelines

Looking for examples of how to write a style guide? We’ve compiled this list to give you different examples to get you started. How to Create a Style Guide Brain Traffic — Web Content style guides that Don’t Suck Creative Blog — Create a website style guide Gather Content — Developing a Content style guide […]

Q: How much can I charge for writing a white paper?

White paper writing: how much can I charge? There are three ways to get paid to write white papers. Daily rate Agree on a fixed daily rate and the number of days to write the document. If you’re new to the industry and trying to build your portfolio, this is the simplest way to go. […]

What should be in an Executive Summary of a Business Plan?

In a business plan or technical report, where does the executive summary go? Should the Executive Summary go before the Table of Contents? One of the questions for new business writers is whether to put the executive summary before or after the table of contents. The confusion arises as the executive summary is part of […]

Q: Are you a Business Writer or a Writer in Business?

Here’s a question. Think about it for a second. Are you a writer who’s in business? Or A business person who happens to work in the writing industry? Of course, this doesn’t apply to writers only. What we’re looking at here is your angle on business. I’ll give you an example. In the red corner. […]

129 Deadwood Phrases that Kill Good Writing

Reduce the word count and create more space by pruning dead wood phrases, such as: a majority of – most a sufficient amount of – enough according to our data – we find accordingly – so accordingly – therefore, so add an additional – added – bonus addressees – you advance – planning advance – […]

[Video] How to Develop a Writing Routine That Sticks

What’s the difference between a routine and a chore? I think the problem we have with routines is that they feel like a grind. They become a chore. You keep looking for ways to put them off, find loopholes, ways to get out. Here’s a video I put together about it. See if this helps. […]

How to Write an Executive Summary for Business Plans

In this tutorial, we look at how to write an effective executive summary. We’ll explain the difference between an executive summary and an Introduction, then look at how you to improve the tone, narrative, and language. Your ability to summarize your business plan, report, or proposal affects the likelihood you’ll receive the funding, support, or […]

White Papers: Is there enough interest to justify writing it?

Before you start writing your next white paper, use this checklist to see if there is sufficient interest in the topic. How do you know there is enough interest in your white paper to justify writing it? Writing a white paper takes between five to twenty days. Before starting the writing project, we should check […]