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Improve writing skills for kids

2022-09-26

In a world of quick, truncated, cyber messages, encouraging writing excellence can be a challenge, but with these tips any child can be inspired.

Why is writing important?

Writing is practical.
Every day, we need to write in order to complete our tasks, whether we are filling out a form at the doctor’s office or writing an important letter. These tasks require us to write clearly, and organize information effectively.

Writing is an important element of a student’s education.
Whether students are writing by hand or on the computer, many assignments and exams require students to write short answers or longer essays as a way of assessing what they have learned. As students get older, they will be expected to show more sophisticated writing skills, and to complete more sophisticated tasks through their writing. In addition, many colleges and universities require students to write essays as part of their admissions application.

Writing can be an important element of an employee’s job.
Employees in many kinds of jobs are required to write on a daily basis. Perhaps they are taking phone messages and doing administrative work, or writing research reports and newspaper articles. Whatever the task, their ability to do their job well may depend on their ability to write. Many job applicants also must submit a resumé and a letter of application when applying to a new job.

Writing is an important form of communication.
Writing letters and emails is a common way of keeping in touch with our friends, relatives, and professional colleagues. Writing is frequently the final stage in communication when we want to leave no room for doubt, which is why we write and sign contracts, leases, and treaties when we make important decisions.

Writing can be an important outlet.
Many people find writing to be therapeutic, and a helpful way to express feelings that cannot be expressed so easily by speaking.

Typing can help kids improve writing skillsComputers and touch-typing

Kids can start learning how to type at the age of 6 or 7, when their hands fit comfortably on a keyboard. Taking a touch-typing course is a must for the child who is learning to write on a computer. That’s because the process of translating ideas into words and sentences is much smoother without the disruption of visually searching for letters.

Touch-typing speeds up writing, allowing a child to write at the same pace as he or she is thinking. It can be a great way to encourage kids to do more writing outside of school, as it takes less time to write a brief email to a relative or compose a comment on social media.

It helps children who struggle with learning difficulties too. They can avoid handwriting tasks and improve their spelling skills, as muscle memory in the hands automatizes the writing of high frequency words.

Finding the right touch-typing course is key. Touch-type Read and Spell takes a multi-sensory and modular approach that allows each child to work through the course at a pace that is right for him or her.

Foster Connections With Authors

This last one was a game changer for me. I remember meeting my first author when I was in elementary school. He did a reading from his book and talked about his writing process, and I was enthralled. Then in my twenties I reached out to one of my favourite authors, Anne McCaffrey. Never expecting to hear back from her. But she did respond. And we had a number of conversations with her encouraging me on my own writing journey. She was amazing and inspirational. It changed everything for me.

Once your child finds those authors they really connect with, have them pen a letter. An actual, physical letter. Handwritten messages are becoming a lost art. Encourage kids to write a letter to their favourite author and mail it. Many authors will take the time to respond to fan letters and that kind of response can be truly life changing for a child.

A quick google search can help you find contact information for authors. Often it will be sent to their publisher. You can also search for whether they respond to letter. Not all authors will respond but if your child can get a response it can be extremely exciting.

Writing For Kids – Authors That Respond

I recently discovered that all the authors from Innovation Press take the time to respond to letters from readers. These books are a HUGE hit with both my kids. If your child is also in love with these books, they can send their letters to:

One of the biggest misconceptions is that those with dysgraphia have poor writing skills. It is important to remember that dysgraphia is a learning disability and with the right accommodations, students struggling with dysgraphia can do an amazing job writing and sharing their creativity. My son is a perfect example of this. He writes amazing stories, but has severe dysgraphia.

Learn more about What is Dysgraphia?

Building a love of writing beyond the quick and messy world of texting and tweeting is important for all children. The ability to communicate, especially in written form, is becoming vital in a world where people connect more and more through their words. Inspire a love of the written word and a passion for written communication now, so they are prepared for the future.

Source:

https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/helping-young-children-develop-strong-writing-skills
https://www.readandspell.com/how-to-improve-writing-skills-for-kids
https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/how-to-improve-writing-skills-for-kids/
Improve writing skills for kids

person writing on a notebook

Importance of Writing Skills for Students

The ability to write meaningful sentences, lines, paragraphs which a reader can easily understand is termed as Excellent Writing Skills. It is a perfect way to write & express your views on the topic you want to address your audience & listeners.

Learning how to write brief paragraphs and essays is one of the terrible experiences for students in school, but it is also one of the essential skills. If kids do not attempt to learn the skill of writing at a young age, they will face difficulties in mastering the skill in their later life.

Writing goes beyond school purposes. Businesses require candidates who can write and communicate effectively. Even the digital age has not reduced the need for writing. Be it emails, online chat conversations, faxes or website updates all these require excellent writing skills.

The clearer the communication is, the greater will be the chance of a high success rate. Be it any field or any profession, writing skill is required in some part of the journey in life.

Typing can help kids improve writing skillsComputers and touch-typing

Kids can start learning how to type at the age of 6 or 7, when their hands fit comfortably on a keyboard. Taking a touch-typing course is a must for the child who is learning to write on a computer. That’s because the process of translating ideas into words and sentences is much smoother without the disruption of visually searching for letters.

Touch-typing speeds up writing, allowing a child to write at the same pace as he or she is thinking. It can be a great way to encourage kids to do more writing outside of school, as it takes less time to write a brief email to a relative or compose a comment on social media.

It helps children who struggle with learning difficulties too. They can avoid handwriting tasks and improve their spelling skills, as muscle memory in the hands automatizes the writing of high frequency words.

Finding the right touch-typing course is key. Touch-type Read and Spell takes a multi-sensory and modular approach that allows each child to work through the course at a pace that is right for him or her.

3. Developing writing skills can improve the communication skills of students

When you develop excellent writing skills, your communication skills also increase. It’s because writing abilities channelize your brain and knowledge to the point of value. Therefore, if you want to be successful in delivering speeches and in debating, you will need to have practical writing skills, aside from the facts and figures, to present your ideas and viewpoints to your audience.

When you write, your brain uses its every part and cells. For example, when writing about your life experiences, a blog article, an editorial, or anything else, all of your knowledge related to that, including incidents, memories, success, failures, present situations, and future possibilities, comes out of writing. When this happens, your awareness increases, which also improves your memory, making you sharp. Aside from that, it also increases your creativity and imagination.

person typing on a laptop

7. Writing can serve as a record for the future

Writing down your ideas and experiences can also be for future references. For example, your scientific, logical, and technological achievements cannot be communicated verbally. Therefore, you need to present them in a composed format, like white papers, logical diaries, and scientific journals. Imagine, if the researches had not written each experiment in a reasonably composed form, science would not have existed.

These are some of the importance of developing writing skills for students. There are many things that you can do to improve your writing skills, aside from the things that you learn from school. Some of the best things to do are to practice and write every day. Reading books and articles is also useful in learning how to write well.

If you find writing challenging, what you need to do is accept your mistakes because the first attempts are always wrong. But don’t fret because there are also things that can help you get started. For example, if essay writing is not right for you, you can use essay writing services while you are a beginner. It can give you ideas on properly writing essays so that you can do it yourself next time. Plus, hiring an essay writing service can provide other benefits. Check it out here to know more about it.

Resource:

https://www.theasianschool.net/blog/importance-of-writing-skills-for-students/
https://www.readandspell.com/how-to-improve-writing-skills-for-kids
https://criticsrant.com/the-importance-of-developing-writing-skills-for-students/

Is English Your Second Language? Here Are 7 Ways To Improve Your Academic Writing

2022-09-26

Is English Your Second Language? Here Are 7 Ways To Improve Your Academic Writing

phd-english-second-language

Writing a PhD when English is your second language is scary. It’s scary enough when English is your first language. 80,000 words, sometimes even more, in a technical language and at the highest level of academic rigour. Terrifying, right?

I’ve proofread countless PhDs from people just like you and one thing stands out – you’re doing great. Sure, it’s hard and you sometimes struggle, but how many native English speakers can write a PhD in a second language? Not many.

So stop worrying. International students pass at the same rate as native English speaker and they do so quicker. To get onto your PhD program in the first place, you already had to show your competence in English. Don’t forget that.

If your supervisor has ever criticised you, you’ve ever been told your English can be improved, you’ve ever had a chapter sent back for language errors or you simply want to improve your own English-language skills, these strategies are for you.

What should I focus on when trying to improve my writing skills as a freelancer?

1. Outlines

Outlining is the secret weapon of efficient, high-quality freelance writers. Not only does an outline help you order your ideas and arguments, but you can also leave yourself notes that will help during the drafting phase. Outlines are also a great way to collaborate with clients, since you can show them a rough outline to get their sign-off on structure and content before spending time drafting. A good outline also helps you overcome writer’s block, since you won’t be starting from a blank page when you sit down to start writing.

2. Structure

As you create content, think about the multiple layers of a solid structure: content that makes it easy to skim, identify key arguments, and spot more detail if you want. This three-tier system is essential because not all readers want to read every word in detail. Sometimes they just want to get the gist of it (skimming headlines), sometimes they want to understand your key arguments, and sometimes they want in-depth knowledge. This applies to all kinds of writing, whether a blog post, short stories, social media writing, or a how-to guide, or any other kinds of articles.

3. Grammar

Grammar is not just about using the right words in the right order. It’s also about using grammatical devices and language to move your story along. Further, there are moments when you can purposefully “break the rules” of grammar when it serves you. But that only works when you know why you’re breaking rules, and you do it deliberately for effect. Otherwise, you run the risk of your content appearing poor quality.

4. Storytelling

Storytelling is the art of weaving multiple narratives together, leaving nuggets of information and foreshadowing for readers, and personifying characters in the minds of readers. These skills are essential—even in cold, nonfiction writing—because they grip the reader and pull them through your content. Even if someone has to learn what your content explains, a better storytelling experience will make them much happier to engage.

5. Vocabulary

Using the simplest possible explanation for something is a good standard practice, but using the right word to explain a moment is what truly brings a piece of writing to life. For example: are you mad? Or are you infuriated? Livid? Frustrated? Loathsome? Irritated? Annoyed? Angry? Bugged? There are so many different ways to explain anger, each with its own unique nuance that applies subtly to different situations. The more you expand your vocabulary, the more you can pick the right word for the situation.

6. Editing

Editing is the process of taking a draft and polishing it to prepare for publishing. That requires not only a knowledge of editing devices, but also self-awareness to know your weak spots that need attention. This can be a painful process, whether you’re self-editing or working with an editor, but it’s necessary for becoming a better writer.

Self-assessment: 4 ways to identify writing weak spots and improve your writing skills

1. The summary assessment

How to do this activity: Have someone else (how has never read this content before), summarize your content by filling in the blanks of this sentence: “This content explains ________ to ________, specifically highlighting ________, ________, and ________.”

2. The high-level assessment

Weak point this activity tests: Not all readers will read the whole piece of content. This assesses if your headings are enough to give someone a general understanding of what you discuss in your content.

3. The key points assessment

How to do this activity: Only read the first sentence of each paragraph (for an article) or the first sentence after a line break (for social media posts or emails). Do you understand what the content is saying or arguing?

4. The out-loud assessment

How to do this activity: Read your content out loud, consciously following the editorial guidelines you’ve set with your word choice, punctuation, and added emphasis. Does it flow naturally?

Resource:

https://www.thephdproofreaders.com/writing/7-ways-to-improve-your-academic-writing/
https://www.waveapps.com/freelancing/improve-your-writing

Digital Marketing Blog

2022-09-26

Social media data

Let’s start at the beginning

In the early 2000s, when social media was just beginning to take off with Facebook and YouTube, businesses were still spending much of their marketing budgets on traditional advertising and PR – and they relied on these strategies to drive brand awareness and sales revenue.

By 2010, marketing strategies were shifting – and ad spending on new media looked a lot different. As reported in VentureBeat at the time, eMarketer was projecting that US advertisers would spend an estimated 800.7 billion in ads on social networks, accounting for 6.7% of all online ad spending.

This infographic from Visual Capitalist also offers a great illustration of how social media spending began to rise around 2008, and quickly overtook traditional media including radio, newspapers, and magazines by the mid-2010s. You can see how this translated into advertising revenue for Facebook in this chart below from Business of Apps.

Digital Marketing Blog

Social media has become the most influential and important virtual space where the platform is not only used for social networking but is also a great way of digitally advertising your brand and your products.

Social media’s power is commendable as you get to reach a large number of people within seconds of posting an ad, helping you reduce your costs, and making your ads reach out to your potential audience through these social media advertisements.

With the huge number of online users, which is almost 59% of the world’s population, marketers must not miss out on their chance of marketing on these digital forums where they can reach all the maximum number of potential buyers compared with print or television media marketing.

What is social media marketing?

Similar Post: What is Social Media Marketing?

10 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Is Important For Your Business Or Brand

These social media channels help you attract the right customers with the right information at the right time and help you showcase your product or brand to potential customers at the right times.

Reason 1: You Get To Tell Your Story

Having an online presence as a business on any of the social media forums like Facebook or Instagram is a great way to interact with your audience and to really connect with them on a personal level.

Your customers will be able to know you and relate to your stories on a more personal level as well, and this is exactly what you need as an entrepreneur in this digitally connected world.

People who don’t know you or your business might find it intriguing to know how you build up your business and, thus, through these posts, you can create brand awareness about how hard you worked to make your dreams come true.

👉 ✅ Want More Views On Facebook? Learn How To Get More Views On Facebook Here ✅ 👈

The Clubhouse Creator

Reason 2: You Can Grow An Audience With A Small Budget

Once your social media marketing is strategized effectively, this would help you increase the traffic on your profiles on these forums, which will eventually lead them to your websites.

There are a number of businesses and bloggers who have spent not even a single dollar on a digital advertisement, but just with the help of great content and great interaction with their audience, they created a customer base who connected with them.

This means that even if you have a smaller budget for advertisements, you can help your business on these social networking forums, where through increased marketing, the process of digital growth for your brand quickens.

Reason 3: Stay Top Of Mind With The People Who Matter The Most

Business owners need to be vigilant on social media networks and need to create an image of their brand such that it is the first thing that comes to your customers’ minds when they think about a certain product or service.

For a target audience with the potential of becoming buyers, it is important that you are connected with them through these social media forums, creating an impression on their minds so much that your business is on top of their minds whenever they search or think about buying a similar product.

Reason 4: Learn About Your Competitors

Social media analysis

With all business profiles on all social media networks accessible to the public, this could be your chance as an entrepreneur to know your competitor better and understand the strategies that they are implementing to attract their audiences.

After carrying out this analysis of your competitor’s profile and looking into all the queries asked by their audience, you will be able to incorporate those questions into your digital marketing strategy.

👉 ✅ Do You Want To Spy On Your Competitors? Learn How Here ✅ 👈

The Clubhouse Creator

Reason 5: Can Build Custom Audiences

Businesses can access the different tools present on social media forums to see how many visitors were interested in the content that you shared, how many clicked any call to action, and how many purchased if any.

Stats like these help you build a customized audience where you get to target the people who seemed interested in your product but abandoned their carts right at the last minute.

☝️💥Tweet This 💥☝️

Getting your hands on such stats enables you as a business to target these potential customers who were almost about to become a buyer, but due to certain reasons were unable to complete the shopping process.

Through social media marketing, you will be able to show your brand content to such customers, reminding them how they needed/wanted your product, and now after seeing such ads, they would be reminded of their need/want for your product.

Building a custom audience gives you an opportunity to create customer satisfaction for these specific people who initially did not feel satisfied with your service and thus abandoned their cart.

This could be your chance to rectify all the errors and change your potential buyer’s perspective about you by providing them a much better and giving them the satisfaction that they seek by purchasing a well-produced good or service.

Reason 6: Learn The Buying Patterns Of Your Ideal Customers

Learning these patterns helps you focus on the things that you are not following while designing content for your page, and therefore aiding you in becoming better at your digital marketing strategies to attract the right customers and meeting their demands.

How Can Businesses Nail Social Media Marketing?

First off, brands and marketers need to do some research and find the audience they need to “speak” to. Not marketing to the right audience results in loss of time, resources, and limited ROI.

Use of social media platforms by age group in the U.S.

For example, if a brand’s target audience is between 18 and 24, the brand ought to use Instagram marketing as the first social media marketing endeavor it is going to undertake, as evident by the graph above.

Creating a profile that corresponds with the brand tone and values the brand has set is of high importance. A consistent brand tone can boost recognition and trust between the prospects and the brand, thus increasing the emotional connection. What is more, a genuine and appropriate tone of voice can increase revenue.

Of course, that tone needs to be ever present when it comes to a brand’s copy, content, and visuals. Consistency across platforms, visuals that correspond with the brand’s colors and, of course, frequent posts are also crucial.

In reality, when used for business, social media profiles need to present an image that mentally – and practically – redirects the prospect to the website and make them think of the brand as a whole.

Of course, stunning visuals, colors that correspond with the brand’s tone, and copy that attracts attention are not the elements that steal the show. A brand that is there to correspond with its prospects on a one-on-one basis, though, is.

Therefore, marketers, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs need to remember that when utilizing the power of social media for business, they need to have a skilled social media team that responds to comments on the spot, creating a positive brand image.

Lastly, marketers need to make sure to share content consistently and according to a schedule. That way, they can create all the right conditions for prospects to anticipate their content.

This is not an easy task, but a brand can always repurpose old content, break old blog posts down to digestible bits and pieces that can be shared on social media by marketers and prospects alike, and link back to the brand’s website and landing pages.

The Takeaway

It is wise to invest in AI technology, and marketers need to study their data and analytics, as those elements allow them to make informed and educated decisions and not just guesstimates.

AI, more specifically, can distinguish patterns that humans just cannot. This eventually creates segments that allow marketers to personalize their posts on a one-on-one basis and hyper-target their audience when it comes to content and paid ads.

High-performance, driven marketing actions stand out in the hectic world of social media for business. It takes a marketer with skill, proper education, and a knack for insightful and meaningful predictions to put everything together in a harmonious way.

Programs like PLNU’s Evening MBA can create all the conditions through which a marketer will be able to create, curate, and target the audience that will be spot-on for their niche. A program that offers in-depth business knowledge, inspiration, and teaches all the tricks of the trade is all it takes for marketers to turn social media for business to their playground.

About the Author
Virginia Zacharaki is the Marketing Communications Associate of Moosend, a highly competitive Email Marketing, and Marketing Automation platform. Passionate about knowledge, art, teaching, and creating. Tends to live as a ballerina bookworm.

Sources:

https://emplifi.io/resources/blog/social-media-business-impact
https://www.digitalmarketing.org/blog/the-importance-of-social-media-marketing
https://www.pointloma.edu/resources/business-leadership/basics-social-media-businesses

50 Ways to Advertise Your Small Business

2022-09-26

email marketing

Where can I advertise my business for free?

promote your business

Free advertising is always top of mind for volunteer organizations, nonprofit organizations, professional groups or other business owners. It is best that to find a cost effective solution that will reach potential customers with local initiatives.

The some of these tactics is to target local internet users that may be looking either for education or information on a product of service. Fortunately, many digital marketing solutions could serve as an effective lead generation tool a local business may be looking for.

  • Leverage Google My Business to promote your business listing in your local community
  • Have a social presence to attract the attention of your target audience
  • Post you positive reviews on the major business listings, such as Yelp, to promote your business
  • Build a basic website to drive website visitor to learn more about your business via search engine results
  • Create a Facebook business page to promote your business
  • Participate in local Facebook groups and comment as relevant
  • Generate Facebook posts to capture Facebook users attention generate publicity
  • Look into various social media channel platforms as ways to promote your business to increase your customer base and organic reach
  • Start your own blog by creating content that will be picked up in Google Search results
  • Make explainer videos on your YouTube channel with relevant content and keywords to highlight your small business products or services
  • Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) targeting your basic website and business name to increase website visitors and search ranking results
  • Put out a press release on significant events like Grand Openings
  • Network with other local business groups in your local community and at local events.
  • Replace the business card with your mobile phone by using free QR codes

How to save money on advertising

Free advertising is always top of mind for volunteer organizations, nonprofit organizations, professional groups or other business owners. It is best that to find a cost effective solution that will reach potential customers with local initiatives.

The some of these tactics is to target local internet users that may be looking either for education or information on a product of service. Fortunately, many digital marketing solutions could serve as an effective lead generation tool a local business may be looking for.

  • Leverage Google My Business to promote your business listing in your local community
  • Have a social presence to attract the attention of your target audience
  • Post you positive reviews on the major business listings, such as Yelp, to promote your business
  • Build a basic website to drive website visitor to learn more about your business via search engine results
  • Create a Facebook business page to promote your business
  • Participate in local Facebook groups and comment as relevant
  • Generate Facebook posts to capture Facebook users attention generate publicity
  • Look into various social media channel platforms as ways to promote your business to increase your customer base and organic reach
  • Start your own blog by creating content that will be picked up in Google Search results
  • Make explainer videos on your YouTube channel with relevant content and keywords to highlight your small business products or services
  • Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) targeting your basic website and business name to increase website visitors and search ranking results
  • Put out a press release on significant events like Grand Openings
  • Network with other local business groups in your local community and at local events.
  • Replace the business card with your mobile phone by using free QR codes

7) Be active on social media

You can promote any news, events and interact with your audience as well as post your blog content through the most common media channels, including Facebook, Google+ LinkedIn and Twitter. (Twitter even has local chat hours for businesses – try searching for your nearest ones using #townnamehour or #countynamehour.)

This can be verified by anyone at the business. Google will send a pin number through to your exact business address, and as long as someone enters this pin number onto your listing it means you are verified and can receive the benefits.

These include more chances to appear within Google local searchers, the opportunity to connect your Google+ profile to your Google+ Local listing, and the opportunity to gain reviews from your customers that will then show up as star ratings in your search results.

The best bit about this is that it’s completely free. The downside is that the pin numbers through the post can take weeks to arrive, so if you’re given the option to verify immediately by phone then do this.

Sources:

https://www.wpamplify.com/50-ways-to-advertise-your-small-business/
https://thehispaniccmo.com/how-to-advertise-your-business/
https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/articles/10-ways-to-advertise-your-business-locally-for-free/

9 E-Commerce Website Design Tips and Best Practices in 2020

2022-09-26

Designing an ecommerce website

9 E-Commerce Website Design Tips and Best Practices in 2020

D esign is a chance to make a good first impression for an e-commerce website. It has a direct effect on how much time users are going to spend there and how much they are going to buy. It shows like no other how important all the design aspects are: from the beautiful UI to the elaborate UX. With e-commerce website design, it’s not just about how the website looks but how it works.

In addition to the carefully planned marketing strategy, it’s necessary to pack it into an attractive and usable wrap. It takes just a few seconds for a person to decide whether or not they should stay. In a competitive field of e-commerce, the website is a tool to showcase users the value of products and to keep them engaged. There must be a reason for people to use a particular website, and the design can become this reason.

Having said that, until recently, only 64% of small businesses in the US had a website. This number is rising with every passing month, as more and more businesses recognize the importance of having a website. The situation with COVID-19 coronavirus only intensified it. Online shopping has skyrocketed and business owners can’t ignore it any longer.

E-commerce design — fashion store

1. Avoid clutter

image1 3

Now that you’ve removed some clutter and simplified your menu options, you’ll still need to make additional changes. Since visitors will have fewer menu selections, they’ll see more products when they click on each category.

image6 3

Take a look at what the search for “running sneakers” yielded in the example above. As you can see, there are 155 products that fit this description. That’s still an overwhelming number of items to scroll through.

If you use this strategy, make sure all your products are clearly tagged with the appropriate labels. Then the search results will be accurately displayed for each shopper’s query.

Create an FAQ Page

Beyond that, live chat can help build your brand. If you’re fast to respond and helpful, you will leave a positive impression on the consumer, and that should not be underestimated.

i. You attract long-tail keyword searches.

Think about the search terms such as “What type of running shoe should I buy?” If your consumer is looking for this info, where are they finding it? Be the site where they find the answer.

ii. The content will help convert.

If you have content on your site that helps to answer questions the consumer may have, then you are more likely to convert. In the example above, maybe the user was looking to buy a pair of ASICS runners. Not knowing what type of ASICS leaves them with indecision.

This generally leads to abandoning the site and delaying the purchase to a later time. But, having an article on different ASICS shoe models (ideally, ones you have in stock), helps that user make their decisions when they are on your site.

iii. It gets you social exposure.

Your audience is more likely to share a blog post that they believe will provide valuable information to their network of friends and family compared to a product page. Unless your product is truly remarkable or unique, valuable blog content is more likely to increase your chances of social engagement and reach.

Utilise Google’s Free Shopping Listings

Perform a search with purchase intent, and you’ll find a few paid shopping listings at the top of Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Result Page). They’re compelling with a product image, title, price, and more.

The good news is that Google is showing free shopping listings. Not on the traditional search page, of course. For the consumer to find your free shopping listing, they’ll have to head to the “Shopping” tab. They’ll be met with a few more paid listings up top, but then they’ll see the free listings below.

If you haven’t been advertising, you’ll need to set up a Merchant Centre Account. It’s a clear-cut process until you need to add your products or product feed. However, if you’re using Shopify, they’ve made it extremely easy. You’ll find what you need to know here.

Quentin Aisbett

Quentin is an information-hungry Gen Xer, often found lurking in the deepest corners of a client’s Google Analytics on a quest to dig up something insightful. With 12+years of SEO experience, he’s the man behind Searcht’s 5-star client reviews and a regular contributor to GoDaddy.

Sources:

https://uxplanet.org/9-e-commerce-website-design-tips-and-best-practices-in-2020-86f180c3abce
https://www.quicksprout.com/best-practices-for-running-a-successful-ecommerce-website/
https://searcht.au/blog/improve-ecommerce-website/

Mobile Marketing New

2022-07-19

How to Create a Mobile Marketing Strategy

As with any marketing effort, every brand and organization will develop a unique mobile strategy based on the industry and target audience. Mobile technology is all about customization and personalization, which means mobile marketing is, too.

Step 1 – Create Mobile Buyer Personas

Understanding your audience is the first step to any marketing strategy, and buyer personas are a valuable tool to aid in that understanding. Buyer personas are simply fictional representations of your various types of customers. Create a profile that describes each one’s background, job description, main sources of information, goals, challenges, preferred type of content, objections, and/or role in the purchase process. It is easier to determine a channel and voice for your marketing messages when you have a clear picture of your target audience.

Make a specific point to detail your target audience’s mobile habits as well. How much of their web usage happens on mobile devices? Are they comfortable completing a purchase on a smartphone? A simple way to start is to research big data reports on mobile usage. Some interesting observations include:

A/B testing—which compares two versions of the same campaign on a certain channel—can also be informative for developing any aspect of buyer personas. When all other factors are the same, do your email campaign landing pages get more views when you send a related email on weekends or on weekdays? In the mornings or in the evenings? Which title or email subject gets more click-throughs?

Step 2 – Set Goals

The key to defining any effective strategy is to first decide what success looks like. Get the key stakeholders together to map your mobile marketing strategy. Identify goals by asking your team some of these questions:

  • What are we currently doing for mobile? This will define your starting point, and make sure everyone is on the same page as you begin.
  • If you are already doing mobile marketing, how are those initiatives performing? This conversation will identify what is already working, what is not, and what’s not even being measured.
  • What are your main objectives for including mobile marketing in your overall strategy? Discuss why you’re considering mobile now, what conversations have led up to this point, and what you expect from mobile marketing.
  • Who are your key audiences for mobile marketing? Talk about your customer personas in light of mobile usage updates. How similar or different is each persona’s mobile usage?
  • How are you engaging your mobile audience cross-channel? This discussion will help analyze how the channels you’re currently using can be included in your mobile marketing strategy.

Step 3 – Establish KPIs

Step 4 – Monitor Mobile Metrics

The table on the Site Content dashboard includes metrics like pageviews and bounce rate. Add the Device Category by clicking the “Secondary dimension” menu above the first column and selecting “Device Category” from the “Users” submenu. The table will then display the most-viewed pages on your site, per device, so you can see how mobile actually affects your web traffic.

That information can hint at which search queries may be leading mobile traffic to your site, what content your mobile audience is most interested in, and which pages to optimize for mobile browsing first.

Learn more about how to best set up and solve your mobile marketing metrics with our worksheet, “Set Your Mobile Marketing Goals.”

Components of mobile marketing

Mobile-friendly websites. Mobile-friendly content fits on the screen without side-to-side scrolling or zooming, it loads quickly, and it’s free of mobile-specific errors. The most important reason to maintain a mobile-friendly site is to create a consistent and engaging user experience (UX). Mobile UX has a dramatic effect on every stage of the buying cycle.

Mobile-friendly marketing SMS and MMS messages. SMS (short message service) and MMS (multimedia message service) messaging are two direct methods you can use to send content to customers, but it’s important to use these channels wisely. Gain knowledge of the best techniques to get your messaging to your customer fast, and go over the cardinal rules for an effective campaign, whether it be promos, videos, product alerts, or reminders.

Mobile-friendly advertising and landing pages. Fifty-seven percent of email is opened on mobile platforms and 69% of mobile users delete email that isn’t optimized for mobile (Litmus). Because of this, it’s imperative that your emails employ responsive design—a strategy that automatically formats webpage content for optimal viewing on any device. And don’t forget about landing pages. If your email is mobile friendly, but the click-through goes to a landing page that isn’t optimized for mobile, that visitor will likely become frustrated and click away.

Mobile-friendly apps. With the right strategy and road map, mobile apps can provide an opportunity to drive profound engagement with your customers. Explore the different types of apps—productivity, commerce, retained engagement, and mixed-use—and whether or not a mobile app is the right move to support your acquisition, engagement, or conversion business goals.

Mobile-friendly MarTech. Twenty percent of mobile apps are only used once. With most consumers having 50 to 100 apps on their phones, how can you ensure that your company’s mobile app stands out from the competition? Mobile app developers face many unique marketing challenges, including the need to drive ongoing app downloads, installs, and usability improvements. Companies with mobile apps that have used marketing automation can better drive app downloads, user retention, engagement, and monetization.

Learn more about how mobile marketing contributes to the bottom line in our ebook, “Best Practices for Mobile Marketing: How to Acquire, Engage, and Retain Users.”

Planning, implementing, and optimizing your mobile marketing program

Step 1: Create mobile buyer personas. Understanding your audience is the first step to any marketing strategy, and buyer personas are a valuable tool to aid in that understanding. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your various types of customers. Create a profile that describes each one’s background, job description, main sources of information, goals, challenges, preferred type of content, objections, and/or role in the purchase process. It is easier to determine a channel and voice for your marketing messages when you have a clear picture of your target audience. Observe mobile habits, utilize A/B testing, and you’ll build out useful buyer personas for mobile.

Step 2: Set goals. Before you launch a mobile marketing strategy, you’ll need to determine your goals and create a plan. Our guide will help you understand customer lifecycles and develop personas, build your marketing calendar and marketing automation toolkit, and define your mobile marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) across all channels. Determine main objectives, key audiences, and how you’re developing cross-channel engagement so you can analyze how the channels you’re currently using can be included in your mobile marketing strategy.

Step 3: Establish KPIs. Just like your other marketing efforts, mobile marketing needs to be tested and optimized. Determine which realistic, measurable KPIs define your mobile campaign’s success.

Engagement. Provide mobile-friendly content for potential customers who are searching for information about your industry or product. Make sure your website is mobile responsive to improve mobile SEO.

Acquisition. Make sure lead nurturing emails are mobile friendly with clear calls-to-action. Buttons in emails should be near the top of the message and be big enough to easily tap in order to facilitate click-throughs. Then make it as easy as possible for someone to fill out a form on your mobile-optimized landing page.

Step 4. Monitor mobile metrics. Google Analytics can help monitor mobile usage of your site. Mobile behavior data reveals how well your mobile content engages your audience and conversion data indicates whether or not some of your key landing pages still need to be optimized for mobile browsing. Dashboard tools can show you the quantity and quality of traffic, page view metrics, bounce rates, and more.

Why Is Mobile Marketing Important?

The same survey reveals that more than a third of consumers use their mobile devices within five minutes of waking up, and nearly half of them use their mobile phones for one reason or another at night.

And while it would be expected that most mobile phone owners use or check their phone at least once every day, more than 20 percent of users admit to using their mobile device 50 or more times a day – roughly once every 20 minutes.

Better yet, mobile marketing is one of the more cost-effective marketing strategies compared to radio or television adverts. Therefore, your SMS campaign will not only reach your customers in the palm of their hands but also save you money in the long run.

Best Mobile Marketing Strategies to consider

App-based marketing

Location-based marketing

QR codes

In-game mobile marketing

SMS marketing

Advantages

Instant message

Convenience

Consumer data access

Access to a global market

Mobile payments

Disadvantages

Consumer privacy issues

Limited standardization

5G network

M-commerce

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is revolutionizing B2B mobile marketing. This emerging technology presents crucial information to marketers globally. AI generates data about consumer behaviors. This allows businesses to gain deeper consumer insights. Many companies are leveraging on AI in their operations by using the power of big data.

This technology helps them gain actionable marketing insights. 2020 will see further explosion in big data. The trend means marketers will create hyper-personalized content for their target audience. So, mobile marketing promotions will be more customized due to better consumer knowledge.

Conversational Selling

Many companies have adopted conversational selling strategies to improve customer retention rates. The approach uses popular messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Businesses use live chats in these apps to attract their target audience. Also, companies can get immediate feedback from their clients about product quality.

Resources:

https://uk.marketo.com/mobile-marketing/
https://www.marketo.com/mobile-marketing/
https://appinstitute.com/what-is-mobile-marketing/
https://www.techfunnel.com/martech/mobile-marketing/
https://www.take.net/blog/inovacao/mobile-marketing/

How to Write a Biography on Yourself

2022-07-19

6 short professional bios and how to write one yourself

Short professional bios can be just as effective as long ones that detail your accomplishments. Whether you need to work within Twitter’s character count or you’re making career moves on LinkedIn, a well-written short professional bio gives you the chance to make an excellent first impression. Here’s how to turn this brief text into a powerful introduction to your greatest strengths and accomplishments.

“[Your name] is a [professional title] at [current employer] with [length of experience] helping [target audience] with [audience’s problems]. Specializing in [area of expertise], [first name] uses that experience to [describe most important aspects of the job].

By focusing on [branding statement about what matters professionally], [first name] has been able to put the [degree(s)] they earned at [college or university attended] to good use. Over the years, [first name’s or pronoun] strengths at [employer or project] has garnered some recognition for/by [major accomplishments]. [First name] may spend their days at [employer or employer location], but it’s the [one or two aspects of the job that they’re passionate about] that gets them up in the morning.

Example of a professional bio

Jerry Smith is a race car driver at Hendrick Motorsports with five years’ experience making speedy turns for several hours, helping his thousands of fans to fulfill their entertainment needs. Specializing in left turns and safely overtaking his opponents in the pursuit of a checkered flag, Jerry uses that expertise to never come in last.

By focusing on making sure Hendrick Motorsports ends up in the winner’s circle at every race, Jerry has been able to put the racing certifications he earned at driver’s school to good use. Over the years, his strengths at Hendrick Motorsports have garnered some recognition for winning several races each year. Jerry may spend his days at the racetrack, but it’s the thrill of the race and the glory of coming in first that gets him up in the morning.

What should be included in your bio?

Now that you know how effective a short bio can be, you’re getting closer to putting the proverbial pen to paper and letting the world know more about you. Before you get started on your bio, it’s important that you consider each element you want to mention in it. A good professional bio should include the following bits of information, regardless of your writing style or your goals:

  • Start with who you are and what you do. The basics of a bio include your name and a brief summary of your professional endeavors and goals.
  • Describe what you’re currently doing. Include quantifiable information that can show how effective you are in your most recent position.
  • Share a couple of professional triumphs. If you’ve enjoyed a level of professional excellence that resulted in special recognition, share those results. This is your moment to showcase two or three key moments in your career, such as awards, special recognition, or significant accomplishments. Approach this like you would a cover letter for a job application.
  • Create abranding statement. Consider your values as a professional and take some space to outline them. Think of this as an easy way to help people quickly determine what matters to you.
  • Include some personal details that showcase your personality. At the end of the day, your career doesn’t completely define you. Feel free to include interests and hobbies in your bio to make you more relatable.
  • Mention how to reach you. Add social media links or an email address to your bio. This one is more optional and context-dependent, but a smart idea nonetheless.

Resource:

https://www.namecheap.com/guru-guides/short-professional-bio-examples-and-tips/
https://www.customwritingservice.org/how-to-write-a-biography-on-yourself/

How to Create the Best Handwritten Thank You Note Ever

2022-07-19

sample letter template

How to Write a Letter in Hassle-Free Steps (With Sample)

Knowing how to write a letter, whether business or personal, is a skill that everyone needs. Sometimes, these letters will be short, informal emails. Other times, they’ll be highly polished for corporate correspondence. Learn how to write a letter step-by-step, and review a printable sample letter. Then, explore best practices for writing both formal and informal letters.

Let’s tackle how to write a letter in proper order, from top to bottom. These steps are directed toward a formal letter, though recommended adjustments for informal letters are also included.

  1. Sender’s address – To start, place your full address — including your full name, street address, city, state, and zip code — in the upper left-hand corner. If you’re not confident in writing addresses, learn how to write an address properly.
  2. Date line – Skip a line and specify the date. Use the date the letter is being written.
  3. Recipient’s address – Skip a line and place the recipient’s full address. For a formal letter, you’ll need to include the company name, the recipient’s name and title, and mailing address. For an informal, personal letter, there’s no reason to include the company name or job title.
  4. Greeting/salutation – Skip one more line to insert the greeting. This is called the salutation. In a formal letter, you use “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Last Name:” Formal letters require a colon after the greeting, while informal letters take a comma. For an informal letter, it’s fine to use the recipient’s first name followed by a comma.
  5. Body of letter – Skip a line and begin the letter. In the body of your letter, separate your thoughts into paragraphs. You never want to draft one big block of text. For each new set of thoughts or ideas, begin a new paragraph. Leave a blank line between paragraphs.
  6. Complimentary close – Skip one of your final lines to include a complimentary close. The closing can be as simple as, “Sincerely,” “Yours truly,” “Regards,” or similar. There should always be a comma after the word or phrase you use to close a letter, whether it is formal or informal.
  7. Signature text – Skip three lines (where you’ll insert your handwritten signature), and type your full name. For a formal letter, you should also include your job title on the next line.
  8. Attachments – If you’re including any attachments with your letter, skip one more line and type “Enclosure.” If there’s more than one attachment, indicate how many there are in parentheses, as in “Enclosures (4).”

Format Considerations for Different Types of Letters

Letters can be either informal or formal. Both types are similar in terms of format, but there are some differences. Informal or personal letters may come in the form of email, but the basic premise remains the same.

Informal/Personal Letter Best Practices

It is important to know how to write a letter of a personal nature. Personal letters are not as formal as business letters and can be handwritten or typed. The tone can be conversational, even using a bit of slang or colloquial terminology.

informal letter format infographic

Formal Letter Best Practices

Formal letters follow a set pattern, as you can see in the example above. One type of formal letter that will be an important part of most people’s lives is the cover letter. In a cover letter, as with all business letters, you’ll need to use a standard formal letter format.

Follow a similar structure with all business letters and other formal letters, adapting as needed based on the purpose for which you are writing. If you’re sending a formal letter in the body of an email, the addresses aren’t necessary.

formal letter format

1. Know How to Properly Format, Address and Send a Letter

You might not think about it often, but when was the last time you hand wrote and mailed a letter? You’d be surprised how many people have never mailed out a note before in their lives! Contents of the envelop aside, the first thing the recipient of your thank you card is going to see when it gets to their mailbox is the packaging it comes in. You can never make a second first impression, but sending a clean, neat envelop is as close as you can get to one! Make sure that you have your name and your address (a return address is always helpful and important) in the upper left-hand corner, and “Company Name, ATTN: Recipient’s Name, Recipient’s Official Title, Company Address” legibly written in the center of the envelop. A stamp in the upper right- hand corner is a must, but make sure the stamp isn’t crooked, ripped or out of season. A snowflake stamp just won’t cut it in the middle of May!

Besides adding your signature at the end, there are lots of great ways to make your thank you letter stand out even beyond contents and format. I highly recommend investing in some notecard stationery sets. Try to find a pattern or style of card that is professional, but also unique. It can either be something that screams you or reflects back to the recipient. Bonus points if you can find a card that relates back to your conversation with the person getting the card!

The ability to send a properly formatted letter once the envelope has been opened shows that you’ve got the whole package. You know what a letter should look like and what it should say. Paying attention to little details such as spacing, a smooth seal, no ink smudges and straight label placement implies that if you are just as meticulous with the “little things,” you can handle larger, pressing and more time sensitive topics when communicating as a trusted representative of your company.

2. Be Timely

What makes any thank you note a good one is being timely. I wouldn’t wait more than the next day to send out a follow-up. People are always busy and have a lot going on; the longer you wait to say thanks, the greater the chances are that they might not remember your name or confuse you with someone else.

Being punctual means that both on paper and in person, you are creating a lasting impression in the mind of a future or former boss by letting their most recent memory of you be a kind thank you. A surefire way to secure that good impression is also to follow up your more traditional note with a thank you email as well, so the recipient knows right away that you are thinking of them, instead of letting time pass by without contacting them as the letter goes through the mail.

Resource:

https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/how-to-write-a-letter.html
https://www.wayup.com/guide/community/contributor-handwritten-thank-you-note-wandy-ortiz/

10 Excellent Ways To Improve Work Performance

2022-07-19

Collaboration Tool

10 Excellent Ways To Improve Work Performance

If the only time you think about working on your performance is before the annual performance evaluation, you are not alone. Most of us today prefer to stay quiet and let someone else point out possible improvements in their work. The reason? Well, it’s a simpler choice. However, let’s think about this carefully – you’re talented, you’re productive, you’re good at your job, but how will you grow into it if you are not focusing on improving yourself.

Improve Your Work Performance Today

No matter how skilled or productive you are, there’s always a possibility to do a job better than before. Keeping an eye on enhancing your skill set and exploring ways to learn something new is the initial step towards becoming a better version of yourself. It not only helps to increase your work performance but also creates potential opportunities for your professional development.

Considering the importance of constant and never-ending self-improvement, we’ve gathered a few work management tips that will surely go a long way towards boosting your performance and value in the workplace.

10 Ways You Can Improve Your Work Performance Today:

Set clear milestones

Setting clear milestones is important in both personal and professional life. As human beings, we have a habit of shooting for the stars and the same reflects in the goals we set. Now, it’s ok to be a little bold but when it comes to “goals”, it’s much better to think clearly and be realistic.

collaborate

Setting goals is often an overwhelming process. So what you need to do is break your big personal and professional projects into smaller chunks and set your goals accordingly. Doing this will help you stay motivated and keep your energy levels up throughout the journey. Further, setting clear goals will make it easier for you to keep track of your progress. Allowing you to celebrate every small victory you achieve. While setting milestones, keep the following tips in mind:

17 Ways to Improve Work Performance and Advance Your Career

10 tips to improve your performance at work

For many of us, working from home — whether full-time or part-time — has become the new norm, and with that comes new challenges at work. Between the distractions, interruptions, and the continuous need to maintain an agile mindset, it can become difficult to manage, seek, and commit to new ways to improve work performance.

By not taking the time to identify and improve work performance, you may find yourself experiencing issues like a decline in work quality, communication, and professional development.

Whether you’re new to the workforce, seeking a promotion, or trying to make a career change, learning how to continuously develop yourself professionally should be a standard practice that’s inspiring and challenging in a positive way.

Don’t wait until your annual performance evaluation — or, worse, until your boss brings it up. Here are 17 ways to improve work performance and push yourself to become the best version of yourself at work.

17 ways to improve work performance

1. Set milestones.

It’s okay to be bold when setting goals to improve work performance. The problem is that big projects can become overwhelming. Setting milestones can help you achieve those moonshot goals whether personal, professional, or both.

Setting individual success metrics to analyze your goal is also very helpful to boost morale and energy levels up. Track the progress, allow yourself to enjoy your success (as small as it may be) and share it with your team.

2. Hack your workday with automation.

If you find yourself in a loop of repetitive, time-consuming tasks, take control of your workday with automation. Read our article to learn more about automation and the types of tasks that can be automated, or check out these two ways you can hack your workday and get back time better spent on value-adding work:

3. Plan, organize, and prioritize.

When making your to-do list, be reasonable and achievable. It’s much better to establish realistic goals and overachieve than the opposite. Making a detailed plan in advance is also very useful for identifying which tasks you can postpone for more urgent, valuable tasks, and which ones you can pass off without affecting the result.

After planning, organize your work by breaking down big projects into smaller tasks and establish a due date and priority status for each one. Then, prioritize your work by combining the most urgent and essential tasks, then take into consideration how much time it’ll take to finish each one.

In order to be able to prioritize tasks and manage your to-do list effectively, it’s important to learn how to delegate and say “no” to tasks that may jeopardize your progress. Below is an example of how to practice delegating tasks:

4. Stay focused and avoid distractions.

Workers today are experiencing an increase in distractions and interruptions with a decrease in uninterrupted focus time, leaving much-working overtime with little to show for it.

How the pandemic affected workers’ productivity, performance, and collaboration
28.3% experienced difficulty concentrating
5% spent more time in meetings
24% spent more time in 1:1 meetings with their manager
11% saw an increase in fragmented time or blocks of time shorter than two hours
20% reported taking longer to complete tasks
12.4% completely put off challenging work

The most productive professionals in the world have named distractions as productivity’s number one enemy. Never lose sight of your goals. Every time you feel tempted to check out your Facebook feed or watch your favorite YouTube channels, remember what’s at stake.

5. Learn to manage interruptions.

Whether it’s a Slack chat or your family knocking at your home office door, constant interruptions can cause you to lose focus and waste time you’ve previously allocated to a task, increasing the risk of running late on a deadline.

Let your team (or family) know you need to “unplug”. Communication is the best solution. By simply alerting your team that you’ll be “offline” — or letting family members know when you need quiet time — gives you the ability to focus without going completely off the grid.

Mute your Slack, Google Chat, or Microsoft teams notifications. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or a couple of hours, turning off notifications can help you avoid interruptions. Updating your work status to let your teammates know why you’re temporarily “unplugged” can also help ease nerves around slow response times.

Set meeting hours. If you do your best work in the morning, set your meeting availability to afternoons. Update your working hours so that meetings can only be scheduled within a certain time frame.

6. Avoid multitasking.

Even though it feels like multitasking allows you to accomplish more, it actually does quite the opposite. Whenever you start working at more than one thing at a time, take a step back and determine which task is more important and focus entirely on it. Working on one task at a time makes you faster, less stressed, and less prone to making mistakes.

  • Block out distractions — literally. Use a browser extension that allows you to temporarily block work interruptions like browsing social media for a designated period of time. Here are two options to get you focused: Forest and BlockSite.
  • Hide your phone. It may be tempting to check your phone throughout the day, so consider hiding it somewhere safe — like a backpack or desk drawer — to avoid the urge to check your phone.
  • Turn on work hours. If you need to have your phone nearby (and your phone allows this), turn on work hours. This setting mutes all notifications between a certain timeframe (say, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and only allows updates from your chosen contacts.
  • Clean up your work area. A cluttered workspace may make it harder to stay focused. Start your morning routine with a quick sweep of your workspace to “set the tone” for a clear, focused, and organized workday.
  • Track your multitasking habits. If you find yourself losing track of time and not sure why, keep a log of every time you become distracted or find yourself multitasking. This will make it easier to recognize distraction triggers or habits and how to work on eliminating them.

Source:

https://www.proofhub.com/articles/tips-to-improve-work-performance
https://www.pipefy.com/blog/ways-to-improve-work-performance/

Writing mistakes

2022-07-01

If you want to polish your prose—whether you’re writing a blog post, an email, or a report for your team—the next time you get to typing, consult this checklist of common writing mistakes. It’ll help you communicate more clearly and put the focus on what you’re saying rather than on stray commas or needless words.

writing-mistakes primary img

10 Writing Mistakes People Make All the Time and How to Fix Them

As an editor, I see errors of grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation nearly everywhere the English language has been committed to writing. Unless these errors are in content that I’m editing (or, worse, that I previously reviewed), they don’t bother me at all. I expect to encounter linguistic quirks constantly because, well, language is complicated.

It’s so complicated that the words we hear in our minds or speak aloud can stop seeming so perfectly clear as soon as we’ve written them down. Without context such as tone of voice, body language, and nonverbal vocalizations (sigh), our meaning can become obscured if our sentence structure, punctuation, or word choice in any way lends itself to ambiguity.

That’s why it’s crucial to mind the grammar that underpins our shared language: It’s a rulebook that, when followed, assures mutual understanding. But we’re rebels, and most of us bend or break the rules at least some of the time. The problem is, if we ride our rule-flouting motorcycles roughshod over our content, we’ll alienate our readers who want clear information now.

So we need to know the rules (and when they can safely be broken) in order to maximize our content’s clarity. The first step is awareness, meaning knowing how to spot the grammar and punctuation errors that persistently arise and muddy our meaning. The next step is understanding why they tangle our text so badly. Finally, we need strategies for eradicating the errors. Read on for the top 10 errors that writers make all the time and how to go about fixing them.

The Most Common Major Writing Mistakes

When approaching a piece of writing, most editors first check for the big picture to do "macro edits." Here, we’re dealing with the content of the story—how it flows, if it all makes sense, if the tone is appropriate, and if there are any questions we didn’t answer that readers might have. I like to call this "defensive editing," much like defensive driving.

1. The Intro Is Unnecessarily Long

Get to the point. The example above isn’t as bad as my initial attempt at the lede (the first couple of paragraphs that introduce an article), but, at 152 words, it’s long by most web content standards.

1. When you sit down to write, there is only one important person in your life. This is someone you will never meet, called a reader. 2. You are not writing to impress the scientist you have just interviewed, nor the professor who got you through your degree, nor the editor who foolishly turned you down, or the rather dishy person you just met at a party and told you were a writer. Or even your mother. You are writing to impress someone hanging from a strap in the tube between Parson’s Green and Putney, who will stop reading in a fifth of a second, given a chance.

The lede is one of the most challenging parts of writing an article, report, blog post, or even an email or memo—and also one of the most important. Advice from all the writers and editors I talked to? Just write the thing and then after the piece is done, rewrite it as much as needed, which might be several times.

[Re: Writing the lede first or last:] I usually write it first, then delete it, then write it last, then delete it, then delete everything, then drink some tea and contemplate my life choices, then I write something else entirely, and then I write it first again. So. first, then rewrite later.

— Joe Yaker (@joeyaker) March 12, 2018

Questions to ask as you’re writing or editing the lede: Does the lede make sense—explain briefly what’s to come? Is it supported by the rest of the document? Does it quickly hook the reader to continue reading? Bonus if you write for the web: Does the lede have the keywords you’re targeting for SEO?

2. Explanations Are Handwavy or Lacking Backup

That same editor who introduced me to "throat-clearing" ledes also taught me the word "handwavy," which according to NVIDIA’s Jack Dahlgren comes from "the magician’s technique of waving their hands to draw attention away from the actions behind the magic trick." It’s not that we’re trying to fool the reader when we’re handwavy, it’s that we haven’t provided the reader all the facts or steps they need to understand what we’re trying to explain.

So, for example, if I’m writing an article for the general public about transferring files between computers over the internet, I should explain what SFTP is when first mentioning it, since most people might not know that SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol and that it’s a way to transfer and manage files between computers over a secure connection. In the same vein, here at Zapier, we try not to assume the reader knows what Zapier is when they first come to our blog or what "Zaps" (our word for automated workflows) are.

Similarly, you need details to prove your point. If I state that exercise helps prevent colds, I’d best link those statements to research proving that point or to experts, such as doctors, who would back up that claim.

It’s about being clear to your readers and also making sure your content doesn’t have any "holes," so you can establish trust. As Radford writes: "If in doubt, assume the reader knows nothing. However, never make the mistake of assuming that the reader is stupid. The classic error in journalism is to overestimate what the reader knows and underestimate the reader’s intelligence."

Questions to ask as you’re writing or editing: Are terms most people don’t commonly use explained or linked to definitions? Are claims all linked to relevant research or backed by authoritative sources? If you were the target audience for this content, would it make sense to you?

3. The Content Was Written in Passive Voice

Passive voice is used too often by writers. Writers use passive voice too often. Active voice, as in the previous sentence, is more direct and stronger because the subject (writers) is doing something (using passive voice), rather than the subject taking a backseat.

By far, the most common thing I wind up editing out or changing is passive voice. It’s fairly simple to identify once you understand it, but it can be deceptively difficult to many writers to pick out of their own work, even if they go back and review their writing when they’re finished. If the subject isn’t clear, undefined, or you’re using verb tenses that struggle to describe the action taken by a person or party not named in the sentence, you’re probably using passive voice.

Comma Splice

A comma splice occurs when only a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. To correct a comma splice, you can insert a semicolon or period, connect the clauses with a word such as and/or/because, or restructure the sentence.

Pronouns typically must agree with their antecedents in gender (male or female, if appropriate) and in number (singular or plural). Many indefinite pronouns, such as everyone and each, are always singular. However, theycan be used to agree with a singular antecedent in order to use inclusive or gender-neutral language. When antecedents are joined by or or nor, the pronoun must agree with the closer antecedent. A collection noun such as team can be either singular or plural, depending on whether the members are seen as a group or individuals.

Sources:

https://blog.influenceandco.com/10-writing-mistakes-people-make-all-the-time-and-how-to-fix-them
https://zapier.com/blog/writing-mistakes/
https://hume.stanford.edu/resources/student-resources/writing-resources/grammar-resources/top-20-errors-undergraduate-writing
Writing mistakes

The phrase “i.e.” stands for the Latin “id est,” which means “that is.” The phrase “e.g.” stands for “exempli gratia,” meaning “for example.” Keep in mind that some readers will not remember the difference, and consider using plain English instead.

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15 Common Novel Writing Mistakes (Beginner Writers Beware!)

Oh, and we’re going to talk a lot about mistakes in this post – but please don’t think we have anything other than total respect for new writers. I’m Harry Bingham, and I am now a successful author with a ton of novels and other books behind me. I’ve been commercially successful and the mistakes that we’re going to talk about here? Well, luckily for me, I don’t make them any more.

An ‘educational’ novel for Young Adults with reams of explanation about climate science stuffed into a creaky plot. A book for adults that features the life history of the author’s parrot. A sad story about a woman’s not-very-terrible mid-life crisis that ends with her deciding to work part-time and take up baking. None of these books stand a chance of interesting an agent. (Well, okay, if they were handled by an out-and-out genius, perhaps, but almost no one is.)

The Stats Of Doom

A Manuscript With No Discernible USP

Sometimes, a manuscript only ticks the boxes. It’s a love story with genuine warmth. It feels contemporary. The writing is fine, and perhaps it’ll be top of an agent’s slushpile – but you need to be in the top nought-point-something-percent of that pile to get taken on, and what will tip the balance in your favour is usually an angle, a concept, a pitch that’s immediately captivating.

The Stats Of Doom

Comment:
It’s a lot of work, but you can fix this. Usually, you need to take some already-extant aspect of the novel, and simply push it further than you’ve so far dared to go. Or you can take some totally new element and ram it in. (So Stephenie Meyer took ordinary teenage angsty-romance lit and rammed into it with a vampire story. Wow! Brilliant collision. The results were . . . well, you know damn well what they were. A global multimedia phenomenon.)

What makes a good sentence?

1. Clarity

Ultimately, the goal of writing is communication. So, if your writing fails to communicate without confusion, then your sentences are probably lacking. An average reader can understand a good sentence without needing to re-read it multiple times, and that should be the prime goal of your writing. When readers understand what you’re saying, you can convince them to convert.

2. Flow

Flow makes your writing enjoyable to read. Getting readers to understand is the first step, but now they need to feel carried along by your writing, led into sentence after sentence. You achieve flow by connecting ideas in a reasonable order, pacing your narration appropriately, and revealing new information gradually throughout your article.

3. Vivid

Including vivid details in your writing brings it to life and keeps readers engaged. Every sentence should paint a picture in your readers’ minds, helping them visualize your ideas without too much effort. This part of writing requires real imagination, more than just putting words down.

How can writers easily write better?

The best way for writers to learn how to easily write better would be by incorporating daily reading into their writing exercises, both online and offline. This will ensure that they have a firm understanding of the written language so when they do make an error, it won’t be major or become costly in terms of time lost from the project.

Writers can write better by avoiding complicated, long words in their writing. They should also avoid overusing filler words like “very,” “really,” and “just.” These types of words are not only redundant, but they also make the text seem sloppy and inconsequential.

Writers often overlook small errors when they are proofreading their work. So, it is important to develop a clear message from the beginning and focus on making sure that your writing conveys what you want it to say in an easily understandable manner.Writers can avoid common mistakes by planning before they start writing and choosing the right tools. The best way to improve your writing is to sit down and write, but you’ll end up with a better flow for what you want to say if you plan first. Once the writer has written enough words, it’s time for proofreading: one last pass through the work that will catch all types of errors—grammar rules included!

Sources:

https://jerichowriters.com/15-common-novel-writing-mistakes-beginner-writers-beware/
https://www.jasper.ai/blog/how-to-write-better-sentences
https://www.outranking.io/errors-writing-types/
Writing mistakes

The most common mistake I see from authors of all experience levels are issues related to tense. For example, many manuscripts I read may start in the past tense and, in a moment of flashback or action, flip abruptly to present tense. – Lauren Hughes

Common Writing Mistakes Even Bestselling Authors Make

Top Ten TOEFL Writing Mistakes (Independent Essay)

I read about a dozen TOEFL essays every day. I guess that means I’ve read about thirty thousand TOEFL essays in my life, not to mention all of the ones published in popular TOEFL textbooks and on websites. Students all over the world make the same mistakes in their essays. Interestingly, both high-level and low-level students seem to make the same mistakes in their work.

Okay, so this isn’t actually a mistake in a TOEFL essay, but it is pretty serious. In order for your TOEFL preparation to be meaningful, you need to practice with questions that look like what you will get on the real test. Sadly, a lot of popular TOEFL books have bad writing questions. Even the Official Guide to the TOEFL has a few questions that are inaccurate! So what should a student do? Well, I’ve got a collection of 50 good questions you can use. If you use all 50 of those just send me an email. I’ll make a couple more for you. If you go looking for questions elsewhere, please remember that the TOEFL no longer asks open-ended questions, it no longer asks you to “compare and contrast” anything, and it doesn’t ask you to “describe” something. For detailed descriptions of the common question types, please check out my guide to the independent writing task.

Two: Not Studying Grammar

I know, this isn’t a mistake in a TOEFL essay either. However, I really want to stress that it is important for students to study grammar. Again and again students ask me how they can improve their writing score after I send them an essay evaluation. Ninety percent of the time, my answer is to reduce the number of grammar mistakes they make. Usually, that is the only thing they can do to improve their score. Studying grammar sucks, but it helps. I really do think that students should spend as much time studying grammar as they do writing practice essays! Try using a good grammar book like English Grammar in Use.

Stop writing so much! Every day I get an essay that is 500 words long. Once a week I get an essay that is 600 words long. Sometimes I get essays even longer than that! Those essays are almost always a mess. They are full of mistakes because the students worked way too fast and didn’t have time to think about their grammar and vocabulary choices. I generally recommend about 400 words for students who want to get a high score. That is enough to get a perfect score. Actually, a few years ago ETS did a study of 14,000 essays given a score of “high” on the test, and it turned out that the average length of those essays was 401 words. Really! (source)

Faculty Articles

For more than a decade, I’ve taught fiction writing classes in New York City. A surprising variety of people have walked through my classroom doors, ranging from Broadway actors to retired English teachers to a few people unclassifiable. But oddly enough, although the students vary widely, as does the writing, the problems people run into stay remarkably the same. Nine writing mistakes crop up again and again.

Many writers start their stories before the interesting part. Way before. So instead of beginning with something intriguing, the author wallows for a few paragraphs or chapters, which causes the story to slow down. This is a particularly damaging mistake when you’re planning to send out material for publication. Anything that causes an editor’s attention to wilt is a bad thing.

Say you are writing a story about Cinderella. Here you have a vulnerable young woman whose step-family mistreats her. She longs for love, escape or a good time, depending on how you want to write the story. What should your opening paragraph say? Where are you going to begin?

This sort of opening paragraph is the literary equivalent of shouting to the reader that she’s about to read an interesting story. Later in the story you’ll explain who Cinderella is and why we should care. For now, in this type of opening paragraph, you’re just grabbing attention.

This sort of opening paragraph intrigues the reader with Cinderella’s character. Why does she have so much work? What sort of person is she that she’s not complaining? The reader suspects, from reading an opening like this, that something is going to happen that will disrupt Cinderella’s day.

This isn’t terrible, but it isn’t intriguing either. I don’t have a hint of what the plot’s going to be. Since waking up is something I do every day, so far, I’m not that excited that Cinderella’s doing it. Worst of all is that because so many writers start with someone waking up, it becomes just another waking up story to me. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Proust comes to mind. But if your story starts with someone waking up in bed, try cutting out the first three paragraphs. See how the story reads then. It almost always improves the story to chop out the beginning.

And yet I see stories all the time in which nothing happens. A mother sits at home with her kids and thinks about how difficult her life is. A man goes to work and thinks his job is boring. A kid thinks about how much homework he has. I’ve read variations of these stories countless times. These are all potentially great stories, but they need to be jump-started. They need to have a plot. Something has to happen.

Let’s go back to that harassed mother home with her kids. Her name is Carrie. What could happen that would set a story in motion for her? What if Carrie gets an email from a friend inviting her to meet for tea? Carrie would love to meet her. In fact, she’s desperate to get out of the house and have a normal conversation. But her toddlers are going through a difficult stage and the babysitter just quit and her mother has an important business meeting and can’t cancel it to help out Carrie. Now we’ve got Carrie in motion. We’ve made her want something. To get out of the house. We’ve given her an obstacle. Motherhood. She’s going to have to figure out a way to get a babysitter, or bundle those toddlers out of the house, or keep them quiet. The story could be funny, tragic, or somewhere in between. But something’s going to happen.

Notice, Carrie’s story is about a small thing: meeting for tea. There’s no tornado coming, or asteroid about to hit (though there could be). There’s plenty of drama in everyday life. Just make sure you ask your character what she wants, then make sure she has to work to get it.

People show the stuff they’re made of when they’re put under stress. Sometimes they rise to the occasion and become heroic. Other times they run. Part of why war stories are so compelling is because soldiers face the ultimate stressful situations. They’re putting their lives on the line. Your character doesn’t need to face death, but he should have to deal with pressure.

For example, consider Bailey. He likes to play golf, but he’s not that good at it. Then he meets a woman who’s a very good golfer. He begins to care a little more about his game. Then the woman’s father invites them on a golfing vacation. Now our friend begins to care even more because he doesn’t want to look like a fool. Then it turns out that the father has been advising his daughter to break up with Bailey because he doesn’t consider him manly enough. Now Bailey cares even more. He’s going to beat this man if it’s the last thing he does. Then, on vacation, they run into the daughter’s old boyfriend, who just won a golfing tournament.

I could go on and on, but the point is that each twist of the wheel puts this poor man under more pressure. His actions are going to have more significant consequences if someone he loves is involved. His choices will be harder to make. The reader’s going to care about him more because we know how hard he’s struggling. As a writer, I’m going to have an easier time writing a story when the stakes are higher. Is he going to crack? Or is he going to reach inside himself and find some strength of character he didn’t know he had?

Inconsistencies in names and spelling

Authors hold about thirty versions of a story in their minds. One of the mistakes that can creep in is a name or background tweak that isn’t picked up consistently throughout the story. Readers can get baffled by a new name popping in that hadn’t been there before! True, find and replace can help with this, but it’s not always accurate, as we all know. Looking at all names — and spellings — before final publication is useful. Use the Edit > Find/Replace feature to search for old names and spellings and make sure none have slipped through the cracks. – Mary-Theresa Hussey

Even for the most experienced authors, it can be difficult to maintain tense consistency throughout a manuscript. Whether past or present is a novel’s main narrative tense, stick to it even in flashbacks.

The most common mistake I see from authors of all experience levels are issues related to tense. For example, many manuscripts I read may start in the past tense and, in a moment of flashback or action, flip abruptly to present tense. – Lauren Hughes

Homonym errors and commonly confused words

We all have a few words that we never seem to be able to write correctly. It’s good to be aware of them, since a simple find and replace will often do the trick. Oxford Dictionaries has compiled a list of likely candidates here.

I come across homonym errors in nearly every novel I edit. The most common homonym mix-ups include: it’s/its, too/to, your/you’re, their/they’re/there, then/than, passed/past, waived/waved, whipping/wiping, scarred/scared, and here/hear.

Conjugating the verb “lie” also proves problematic for nearly every author. Does Jim lay down? Does Jim lie down? Was Jim lying or laying on the ground? In this post, Grammar Girl gives some terrific tips for when to use “lie” versus “lay”. – Angela Brown

These dozen common errors are the ones our editors encounter most frequently. When it comes to authoring a flawless manuscript, collaborating with a professional editor is the best way to guard against common (and not-so-common) writing mistakes.

Sources:

https://www.toeflresources.com/top-ten-toefl-writing-mistakes-independent-essay/
https://www.writingclasses.com/toolbox/articles/nine-common-fiction-writing-mistakes-part-ii
https://insights.bookbub.com/common-writing-errors-even-bestselling-authors-make/