Michelle's blog

Word Wall is three: my most popular posts

Copy CookIt’s been three years since I started this blog, and I’ve covered many subjects in this time.

Out of curiosity, I reviewed the statistics for my website to see which blog posts have received the most hits.

Celebrating the world wide web, on wheels

Carnival Float 2014It’s Carnival time again. This year, dressed as the internet, I drove a colourfully decorated tractor down Fleet High Street on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon.

The theme of the procession was Great British Inventions. The World Wide Web is certainly a Great British invention, but not easy to portray when you only have a small tractor and trailer as your carnival float.

Proofreading and copy editing - what's the difference?

Proofreading and copy editingI’ve been doing plenty of both recently – but what’s the difference between the two?

Proofreading

Proofreading is the process of reviewing text and correcting spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.

The spelling and grammar check feature on Word is certainly a useful tool. However, it’s not 100% accurate as it doesn’t pick up on certain grammatical anomalies and can become confused by sentence structures.

Copy editing

Keep on blogging

Keep on bloggingMaintaining a blog can be hard work, and you’re bound to run out of steam occasionally. You may start off with plenty of enthusiasm and ideas, but after a few years or even a few months, you can start to feel your interest wane.

It’s important to remember why you started your blog in the first place in order to keep the momentum going.

Why blog?

Punchy press releases

Press ReleaseAs with any piece of writing, think about your audience.

Press releases are a great way to obtain free advertising. But, and it’s a big but, an editor or journalist will only publish something that’s sure to appeal to their readership.

Therefore, you need to target your press release to their publication. Whether it’s a local newspaper or trade journal, familiarise yourself with their usual content. You’re more likely to be successful with a well-directed submission than sending the same press release to all and sundry.

A little light optimisation

SEO KeywordsGreat copy will result in higher readership of your website or blog and shareable content will spread the word.

Do you need to worry about SEO?

Well-written content that’s aimed at your target audience will naturally give your web pages the keywords they need for the search engines. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little light optimisation.

After all, you want to make sure your pages are found by the right people.

Here are a few general SEO tips
 

Why a white paper?

​White papers are authoritative guides or reports whose origins stem from their use as government policy documents. Since the ‘90s, they’ve been commonly used as marketing or sales tools.

A white paper sits somewhere between a short brochure and a long article. Its long form content can be used to explain new technology or detail the workings of a product.

A white paper should outline a situation or problem, then go on to explain how to resolve the issue. It shouldn’t include sales jargon or marketing-speak. It should contain facts and possibly figures.

Create compelling content

Create compelling contentAt a networking event I attended last month, there was a guest speaker who gave a talk on how businesses can grow their online profiles.

His aim was to show that developing an online relationship with consumers will lead to an increase in sales. Of course, online or offline, it all comes down to effective communication.

Listen, learn and go to the library

Library shelvesIn December, I once again dipped my toe into the waters of business networking. This time at an informal lunch at Basepoint Camberley.

As a writer, I do a sizeable amount of research. Some of it online, some using my own collection of books, and some gathered from trips to my local libraries. Of course, I’m usually in search of information on certain subjects.

Love your library

Create copy that’s as page-turning as a novel

NaNoWriMo LogoNovember is National Novel Writing Month, and NaNoWriMo is the annual novel writing competition that unites writers from around the world.

Beginning on 1st November, participants have 30 days to try and write a 50,000-word novel. The idea is to go hell for leather (don’t worry too much about plotting) and just get as much down as you can in a month. It’s great fun to take part, even if you don’t achieve anywhere near your desired word count.

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