Grammar

10 Tricks to Cut Your Word Count

Yes, I know. I keep banging on about how important it is to cut useless words out of your writing. And I’m not about to stop now, because useless words make your writing a slog to read. Gross. 1. Use Better Verbs We’ve talked about this before. It’s probably my favourite trick for reducing your word count (and making your writing more exciting, obvs). What do I mean by using […]

Should You Refer to Yourself as ‘We’ On Your Website?

Hey, so remember that time we talked about how douchey it is to talk about yourself in the third person on your own website? Yeah, I’m really glad you decided to stop doing that, because ugh. So gross. But now there’s something else we need to address: your use of plural pronouns on your own website when you are the only person behind your website. There’s a growing trend of […]

A Practical Guide to Eliminating Excess Words

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how to make your writing slick as fuck. But perhaps that’s not as easy as I made it sound. If you’re not used to cutting out your own words, how do you identify which ones need the boot? How do you murder your darlings, swiftly and objectively? Before you begin this exercise, there are two things to remember: You must not try […]

How to Make Your Writing Slick as Fuck

I’m about to share with you my number one tip for improving your writing tenmillionfold. Yes, TENMILLIONFOLD. It’s very simple, but most people find it hard to do. Are you ready? Here it is: Cut out ALL unnecessary words. Use the fewest words possible to convey your meaning. Brutally cut out all words that do not need to be there. I’m not kidding: be an asshole to your words. Delete […]

1 Fabulous Tip for Giving Your Writing More Punch

You’ve heard all about how adverbs and adjectives are the tools of bad writers, right? That a good writer doesn’t need them? WELL. Although I do think adverbs and adjectives have their place, and I use them pretty often myself, I also know of this fabulous trick you can use to help you eliminate ‘em AND give your writing more punch. Just kidding, it’s not a trick. It’s verbs! Yay! […]

More Silly Writing Mistakes My Freelance Writing Students Make

A few months ago I wrote about some of the most common mistakes my students make when writing articles. Since then I’ve run the class three more times, and so, naturally, I am back with even more mistakes my freelance writing students make on the regular. Let’s go. Inverted Comma Splice Ha! I just made that up. It probably has an actual name. Here’s what I mean: So, a comma […]

10 Super Easy Ways to Improve Your Freelance Writing Website’s Copy

Fact: Nobody’s going to buy from you if they think you’re an amateur. Or if they think you’re lazy. Or an imbecile. Or self-centred. But you’re probably making a whole bunch of mistakes in your website’s copy that convey exactly those sentiments. Exclamation points your favourite bit of punctuation? Amateur. Or imbecile, depending on your point of view. Text littered with clichés? Lazy. Talking about yourself too much? Self-centred. So […]

Do You Make the Same Writing Mistakes as My Copywriting Students?

I teach a course in freelance writing. Naturally, this means I read a lot of my students’ writing – and there are a handful of mistakes that crop up regularly. Mistakes that make my students seem unprofessional, and therefore less likely to be able to score higher-paying clients. But these tips aren’t just handy for those who want to become writers. If you run an online business, and you do […]

How Your Business Can Benefit from Bad Grammar

The rules you learned in school about writing could be harming your business. (Know what those rules will help with? Getting good grades in your essays. So if that’s what you’re shooting for, carry on.) But if you’re a business owner who wants to connect with your customers, you can forget about those fusty old rules. I break writing rules all the frickin’ time. ALL. THE. TIME. And I make […]