10-Point Checklist For Headline Writing

Looking for headline writing tips that will capture attention immediately and force readers to stop in their tracks? Who doesn’t? What exactly are headlines? What purpose do they serve? Headlines are the ‘ad’ for what’s about to follow. Its purpose is to tease the reader into clicking or reading more. If your headline fails, no one […]

9 Ways to Write Better Abstracts

I had planned to call this article ‘The Nine-Step Strategy for Writing Summaries That Intrigue Readers’ but had a second look. It’s a bit long. And as this article is about writing headlines, summaries and abstracts, well… Let’s stick to the plan.

“An abstract highlights the key points you want your reader to remember after they’ve read your document.“

3-part formula for better business writing

Before you put your hands on the keyboard and start typing, ask yourself: Specific – what’s the one thing I want this person to understand? Response – what’s the response I want from this person? Incentive – what incentive can I give this person to reply as fast as possible? #1 What’s the one thing […]

How to improve your business writing in 15 minutes or less

‘I’d love to be a better business writer but don’t have the time.’ Ever hear yourself saying something like this? We’d all like to be better writers, but… How about if you could sharpen up your writing skills in fifteen minutes a day? Sound like a plan? Here’s how to do it. Getting started: create […]

11 tactics to kickstart ‘boring’ blogs

So, you have a business blog and don’t know how to make it more interesting. What do you do? Let’s do a small experiment. The next time you’re in your local book store, go past the section where you usually hang out. Keep going. Soon, you’ll find yourself in parts of the bookstore you never knew existed. […]

Is Trying Too Hard Counterproductive?

I finally have my first running injury. I overdid it and now cannot run for a few weeks. And while this is a bummer, I also feel slightly proud that I’ve managed to acquire a running injury, which is surely a sign that I’m trying hard, right? Maybe. Well, not really. The injury occurred because […]

When to use ‘You’ in business documents… and when not to

Proposal writing might be easier if English had the equivalent of ‘usted’ in Spanish. Many languages have a formal and informal way of addressing people that’s not available in English. Maybe in the past, in olde English, ye served this purpose. I’m not sure. If you know, drop me a line. So, is there a […]

How to edit that report when pressed for time

In this tutorial we look at how to edit any document. Before we start: what does it mean to edit a business document? Most people think an edit means: Spellchecking for typos How it looks and feels Grammar (sometimes) Creating a checklist  Instead, create a checklist and review different aspects of the document one by […]

How to move from (Amateur) Blogging to (Professional) Writing

It seems snobbish, doesn’t it? Dividing people into different categories. On one side, formally-educated writers; on the other, dynamic bloggers breaking down the old rules. So, which one is best? Writer v Bloggers: Which One Are You? Let’s flip this around. In reality, neither are ‘best.’ They both offer different types of services. However, I […]

4 Business Writing Tips for Non-Native English Speakers

One of the differences between what they teach kids in high school these days and what I was taught is… business writing skills. When I went to school we studied Macbeth, Lord of the Flies, John Donne and Yeats. Wonderful stuff but not much use when you got into the real world. Most of us […]

4 Writing Tactics for and from Desperate Housewives

Can one hour with Eva Longoria really make you a better business writer? I guess it all depends on the angle you take. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you feel a little bit guilty when watching your favorite TV show. You can’t help wondering if there is ANY way you could apply what’s happening […]

How to Write ”Spellbinding’ White Papers

If I were to ask you, “What’s the most important part in writing white papers? You’d say… Recently, I’ve been working with clients who’ve written very good white papers – in the traditional sense – but haven’t seen the returns they expected. Do they need to change the language, the tone, length or something else? […]

What correcting other people’s grammar really says about you

Before we start. Should it be people’s or peoples? I bet you noticed that, right? I do. @denise_bryson admits, “I’m such a grammar nazi that if I spell something wrong in a tweet, I have to delete it.” Of course, Nazi is spelt with a capital N but we’ll try to be good and let […]

7 Proofreading Tips for Business Blogs

Writing is easy. Editing is hard. Affect v effect. It’s so easy to get it wrong if you’re not paying attention. One’s a noun, the other a verb. That sounds simple, doesn’t it. Of course, there are exceptions as well and if you’re not paying attention… Let’s look at how to proofread a business blog […]

Why Good Teachers Makes Us Bad Business Writers

Does high school teach us to write in a way that’s counterproductive in the real world? Most high schools teach us to write in a formal, literary style, usually by studying the ‘classics.’ But does this make sense in today’s economy? When you go out and find your first job, what’s the first thing you do? Change […]