Writing Tips

My 29 Extremely Personal Tips for Surviving Your First Five Years in Business

I quit my job five years ago, two months after making my first income from freelance writing. Sometimes, even now, I have these moments where I’m like, holy fuck, this is my LIFE. I don’t have to rely on anyone else to earn enough money to live. I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time each day. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, […]

How to Write Sales Copy That Will Make You Feel Really, REALLY Awful About Yourself

There’s a certain tone of voice some biz owners use in their sales copy that irks the shit out of me. It is the internet marketing equivalent of Chad from the high school track team. I call it Bro Copy. Which according to a friend of mine is not a term I coined, but one he did during a chat we had, so I am going to throw credit over […]

How to Write in a Consistent Tone of Voice When Your Mood Changes ALL THE GODDAMN TIME

You know what your voice sounds like. You write in it every day, after all. (Haha, just kidding. Did I make you feel inadequate by implying everyone else in the world writes every day?) The trouble is, this is a business you’re running here. And you need your voice to come out the same every time you write. You know, so you look consistent and professional. You don’t want to […]

How to Edit and Proofread Your Own Work Better

I find catching mistakes in my own work very easy. Sure, the occasional typo slips into a blog post, but mostly I manage to sweep them all out before I publish. And I do it immediately after I’ve finished writing the first draft (usually). I often advise other people to take a break from their work before they proofread it, because otherwise they’ll be too familiar with what’s on the […]

Where to Find Your Writing Voice

When you run a personal brand, it’s insanely important to use your voice. But where the fuck is it? How do you find it? Fortunately for you, I know where it’s hiding. It’s NOT in your emails to work colleagues, in the essays you wrote for college, nor in the formal letters you write to your bank or your gas supplier or your internet provider. No. It’s not in any […]

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 […]

How to Make Your Sentences Sing

I’m always excited when I stumble on a piece of writing advice I’ve never heard before. Something original. Something other than ‘cut out all unnecessary words’ or ‘write in the active voice’. And let’s not forget ‘learn how to use semicolons properly or stop using them’ or ‘please GOD stop splicing commas’. All excellent advice. But I’ve seen (and said) each of these many times over. Which is why I […]