Categories
Copywriting Digital Marketing Freelancing

Google my Busy-ness

Regular blogging is, we are told, essential for gaining and maintaining search ranking. Not only are we providing more content to help the search engines to find us; we are also showing we’re still a going concern, and talking about our work and our industries. But what happens when we’re just too busy to maintain […]

Categories
Copywriting Digital Marketing Freelancing

Harry Potter in 500 words: the importance of including research time

I’ll never forget the day a client asked me how long it would take to write 500 words of copy. I said it depends on the subject, but generally speaking, we’re talking somewhere in the range of 1 to 3 hours. “Cool,” they replied. “I want you to summarise the Harry Potter books in 500 […]

Categories
Copy Editing Copywriting Freelancing Proofreading

When does proofreading become copy editing, and editing copywriting?

All proofreaders have been asked to perform a quick proof, only to realise the job is more than correcting apostrophes. And all editors will have edited a job so much that a re-write would have been better. I’ve already covered the differences between proofreading and copy editing, but what happens in those grey areas? When […]

Categories
Copy Editing Copywriting Proofreading Punctuation Spelling and Grammar

Colons and semicolons: how to use them

Colons and semicolons are easy to confuse, and in my work as a proofreader and editor I see them misused daily. I’ll just go through the uses of each here. Colon : The colon’s main job is to join a statement with supporting facts. What comes after the colon cannot usually stand on its own […]

Categories
Copy Editing Copywriting Proofreading Typography

How to reduce word count (or letter count) in a document

A relatively common task assigned to copywriters and editors is reducing word count or letter count. The motivation is usually: aesthetic (making the copy fit on the page more pleasingly); restriction (where certain counts are mandatory or advisory, for example in tweets or meta descriptions, or perhaps to make sure a booklet is exactly 32 […]

Categories
Copy Editing Copywriting Off-topic Typography

How to get a pound sign (£) and euro symbol (€) on a US keyboard

Thank you very much, Sainsbury’s UK, for selling me this HP keyboard. I guess I can’t complain about it being US configuration when there’s a massive “US” sticker on the box. And on the whole, it’s the same, except the @ and ” are swapped over. Oh, and there’s no pound sign on it. Even […]

Categories
Copywriting Digital Marketing

How to write a better call to action: 10 tips

The call to action (CTA) is one of the key components of a piece of copy. It usually sits on its own towards the end of the article, but there could be several sprinkled around the piece. It can be words, an image, a button or some other form of interaction. What is a call […]

Categories
Copy Editing Copywriting Proofreading Punctuation Spelling and Grammar

Professional titles and positions – should they start with a capital letter?

People have always been flattered by having their positions start with a capital letter. It marks them out from their subordinates, and makes Persons look Very Important. Anyone from The Queen down to the Area Manager can access an exclusive capitalisation club that is ever out of bounds to the cleaners, sales assistants and copywriters […]

Categories
Copy Editing Copywriting Proofreading Spelling and Grammar

Can you start a sentence with a conjunction?

“You must not start a sentence with a conjunction.” That has been the mantra of many an exasperated English teacher, especially since the oiks started getting state education. Any pupil brave, daft or naive enough to raise a hand and ask “Why?” would receive some explanation along the lines of “Because it is said.” So […]

Categories
Copywriting Digital Marketing

Seek Perfection and Ye Shall Find … Eventually

Perfection. It does exist, in certain realms. Think of the piston in an engine sized precisely to fit in its cylinder. The evolution of the shark. A hole in one (or 18 of them in a single round). The arrangement of the studs on a Lego brick. They are measurably, objectively and provably impossible to […]