Permission to Write that Horrible First Draft

We’ve have led dozens of writing workshops over the past 10+ years. One of the workshops was on “the art of revision” for creative writing projects.

We were surprised to learn that some writers assumed that if their first draft was unsatisfactory, they needed to throw it out and start over with a different piece of writing. These writers felt liberated when they found out that very famous authors always went through multiple drafts of their work before they got that final draft that everyone now knows as a masterpiece of literature.

You may not think of your blog post or newsletter article as a “potential masterpiece” of literature, but it should relieve you to know that no one ever writes something perfectly the first time they put pen to paper (or fingers to computer keyboard).

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Imperial or Metric?

Meters? Kilometers? Yards? Miles?

Distances and measurements are tricky when you are reaching out to English-speaking clients. You need to ask yourself: Which English does my ideal client use?

With our German clients, we always have to ask at the start of any project: Are you specifically focused on the American market or the British and English-speaking European market?

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Tips for Writing Explainer Videos

Last year, we helped a client with text for a few explainer videos.

When they sent the draft text to us, they said they needed it trimmed to under 250 words to fit a 60-second video. Unfortunately, the text they sent was nearly 400 words.

They were trying to fit a lot in. They introduced two characters, explained their positions and their problems, introduced the company’s product, and then went on to detail every feature and benefit.

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Tips for Using Acronyms in Your Business Writing

Are you confusing and losing potential clients with your alphabet soup?

Did you know that CIA is not just the acronym for the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States? It’s also the acronym for the Culinary Institute of America.

If you are marketing your product or service to an international audience, you need to understand that not everyone will immediately recognize the acronyms you use. People who are new to your field might also not recognize an acronym! You don’t want to risk alienating folks or making them feel like “outsiders” when they don’t know which company or organization you are talking about.

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Take Your Text from Jargon to Cliché to Your Brand Voice

I have a problem with jargon. Many businesses think that using a lot of industry-specific terminology in their marketing materials makes them sound more impressive.

“Pimp your SEO for killer ROIs!”

But it doesn’t make you sound impressive. It sounds fake. It sounds like one of any number of jargon-spewing social media accounts I see out there featuring some 20-something guy in a suit standing next to an expensive car and claiming to make six figures per month. Continue reading

How to Be Properly Possessive

I know I’ll never be able to rival Grammar Girl’s fabulous blog, but I do like to occasionally post my own tips for those who are writing their own content.

One of the biggest problems I see when I copy edit is the confusion as to when “its” should be used and when “their” is more appropriate.

“Its” as a possessive is used for singular nouns, while “their” is used for plural nouns. Is the word “company” singular or plural? It’s singular – so the correct pronoun to use is “it,” meaning the correct possessive word to use will be “its.” Continue reading