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 […]

White Papers: 9 Persuasive Writing Techniques

Here’s a question. When you’re read something and you find yourself leaning in, pen in hand, ready to make notes. What is it that makes the reading matter so interesting? For me, it happens when I’ve found the answer I’ve been looking for. It’s actually that simple. Had a problem Found an answer. What’s so […]

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 Make 127k Writing White Papers

If you’ve got good writing skills and have in-depth subject matter expertise, you should be able to generate additional income by writing white papers. I started writing them by accident when the in-house white paper writer fell ill and someone had to write it. Looking back, it wasn’t the greatest document I’ve written but the […]

Mac v PC for writing?

Every writer’s dilemma. Should I use a Mac (silver, cool, sassy) or a PC (grey, practical, and mother of Clippy)? Let’s pretend we’re rationale human beings for a minute. Someone asks if they should stick with the PC they already have or become one of the beautiful people by buying a Mac. Yes, it’s actually […]

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 Find Freelance Writing Work on Twitter

Want to use Twitter to find freelance writing work? It’s easier than you’d think. Here’s how you can find freelance writing gigs and make a little extra income if you want. And who doesn’t, huh? How to Find Freelance Writing Jobs I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter accounts. You can also use Tweetdeck or […]

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 […]