Tag Archives: Writing

How to Start a Career as a White Paper Writer

Want to get started as a white paper writer? It mightn’t be as hard as you think. If you have good (not necessarily perfect) writing skills, in-depth knowledge of a product, service, or industry, and have the right attitude, then maybe you should consider writing white papers to earn extra income. Due to the recession […]

Why grammar is (probably) not your problem

Know the difference between affect and effect? Or where to use that but not which? Or when to use which but not with a comma before it? I know. MS Word forbids it. But can expect from a bot? Anyway… You could fill several multi-story car parks with people who — or is it that? […]

Em Dash v En Dash

Noreen Malone, senior editor at New York magazine, admits what everyone else thinks about those pesky em-dashes. “The problem with the dash—as you may have noticed!—is that it discourages truly efficient writing. It also—and this might be its worst sin—disrupts the flow of a sentence. Don’t you find it annoying—and you can tell me if […]

Bertrand Russell: 3 Simple Writing Rules

Bertrand Russell, especially in his book, Why I Write, offers great advice on how to move from wordy, verbose, lengthy, purple prose to shorter text without losing any meaning. Here’s the three step formula he provides: Never use a long word if a short word will do. If you want to make a statement with […]

How to Describe Difficult Technical Concepts

Rule #1! You can’t describe what you don’t understand. We agree? You can try and fudge it, but the people reviewing the document will see through it. I will. You would. Maybe you can try and cheat by cobbling together material that others have written, but it doesn’t work. Anyway, that’s not writing. It’s just […]

How to Write a Preface for Technical Documents

Summary: Create a preface for technical documents to describe the scope, contents, and materials referenced in the main document. Does a document need a preface? Not always. Short documents are fine without one. However, longer documents, especially those that have changed over releases will benefit from a preface. From one angle, the purpose of the preface is to set […]

12 ways to make your child a better writer

Wish your kids had a passion for writing? Most parents worry about their children falling behind. Maths, writing and science are the three that come up in our house. Like most nervous, first-time parents we tried hard – maybe, too hard – to get our son to read and write. And like most kids he […]

How to Write a Social Media Policy – Part 2

Social media policies create a dilemma for HR. Should it be part of the Employee Handbook or created as a standalone document? As someone who writes social media policies for a living, I’m inclined to recommend the latter. Cross-reference it from the Employee Handbook, so it’s easier to manage as a separate document. Of course, […]

How to write mobile content that stops readers scrolling, scrolling, scrolling

What’s the difference between writing for mobile phones (iphone) and other types of writing? Instead of giving a short answer, let’s look at how to write mobile content from a few different angles. Over the next 5 weeks, I’ll write more articles about mobile content development. If you like it, let me know and I […]

How to Use Clichés When Writing (+Audience Analysis template)

Most people wag their finger and tell you cliches are bad – Google clichés in writing! – but I have a certain warped affection for them. Here’s why. Where do clichés come from? One of the occupational hazards of being a writer is that you see things that others don’t. Y’know, like clichés? Let’s look at […]

How to Write An Employee Handbook that Staff Want to Read

It’s hard to write an Employee Handbook if you feel no one will read it, right? The last time I wrote an Employee Handbook – or Employee Manual as some prefer to call it – we asked ourselves how could we make this more interesting, more compelling, and more rewarding for the readers. Here’s some […]