Online Words

Here’s exactly how long marketing copy needs to be

long marketing copy measurement

What’s the ideal length of copy for websites and other marketing materials? I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to view themselves as experts on the subject — although what most don’t realize is their answers are based on personal preference or learned prejudice. The simple answer is that the correct amount of copy is … Read more

Please bare with us as we uncover common word mistakes

Our ears frequently deceive us. We hear a word or phrase, make assumptions about its spelling, and then find ourselves using it. Sometimes, we use it correctly, but sometimes we’ve confused it with a similar word. There are many that sound identical but actually have vastly different meanings. Think those misuses aren’t a big deal? … Read more

Using what politicians know about talking points to help your company communicate

business and politics are a bad mix

While the last national election was chaotic, something about it offered an important lesson to companies and organizations with messages to share. Whenever either side took up an issue, they used common language and a common voice. Even more remarkable, they achieved that unanimity almost immediately. It wasn’t magic, nor were the politicos mind readers. … Read more

Seven easy ways to improve your writing

improve your writing

Whether you consider yourself to be a skilled writer or you dread reaching for the keyboard, writing probably plays a critical role in your daily work. You may not be authoring articles for professional journals, but you probably have to create emails, memos, reports, and other items that require some writing skill. Following a few … Read more

When people aren’t reading, you really need a copywriter

copywriter needed

Nobody reads copy anymore. At least that’s what everyone tells me. Nobody pays attention to the printed word, so keep it to a minimum and don’t even think about using a word with more than two syllables. Much as I hate to admit it, there’s some wisdom behind that. Couple the oversupply of information to … Read more

Writing “rules” are usually just styles

writing rules provoke response

Should you capitalize items in bullet points? Punctuate them? People have strong opinions about matters like these. However, most of the time, what they believe are inviolable rules are actually just styles and personal preferences. People get remarkably worked up about those “rules.” And as someone who creates copy for a living, it’s a constant … Read more

Eschew obfuscation to write more clearly

man who needs to eschew obfuscation

When presenting workshops on writing more clearly, I always tell attendees the most important advice I can offer is to eschew obfuscation. Whether I’m speaking to top execs or folks in the early stages of their careers, that advice provokes blank stares throughout the room. I didn’t create the phrase, but I adore it, because … Read more

Social media can be like eating salad with your fingers

social media grammar like eating salad with your fingers

“It’s just going on social media, so the usual rules don’t apply, right?” Planning to post a big announcement about his company, he thought there was no need be concerned with grammar and the like. My answer? No, you don’t have to worry about those things … unless you hope to be taken seriously. As … Read more

Copyrights don’t give you a right to copy

copyrights confuse many

I was surprised to see a favorite non-profit had committed an illegal act. On the third page of a recent newsletter, they reprinted an item from Reader’s Digest. It was germane to their mission, and they kindly included a credit line. Still, they broke the law. Which law? Copyright law. Unless they formally obtained permission from … Read more

Eschew obfuscation to write better

man needs to eschew obfuscation

When presenting workshops on writing more effectively, I always tell attendees the most important advice I can offer is to eschew obfuscation. If you’re scratching your head, don’t feel bad. The two words are unfamiliar to most people. “Eschew” is a verb that means deliberately avoiding something or some act. If you’re allergic to okra, … Read more