Create written communication guidelines Ever wish you had a reference tool you could hand off to new team members to answer the question, "How do we write around here?" How about a resource you could use to show serial offenders how to fix label headlines, passive voice or leads that are more likely to get readers to take a nap than to take action? Wouldn't you love … [Read more...] about Writing in the right direction
Archives for March 2015
Edit, write & repeat at Catch Your Readers in Chicago In the crunch of writing headlines and meeting deadlines, it sometimes seems as if there's not enough time to pause and reflect on how you're doing. But at Catch Your Readers, a two-day Master Class on April 21-22 in Chicago, you'll get a chance to write, edit and rewrite; get and give feedback; and leave with a … [Read more...] about Get a writing workout with Wylie
Interesting copy helps readers learn In the early 19th century, German philosopher Johann Friedrich Herbart said that interest leads to understanding, learning and memory — and even inspires readers to learn more. For nearly 200 years, researchers, philosophers and communicators have seen the link between interest and learning. One of those researchers is … [Read more...] about Why be creative?
Present participle heads may be worse than labels Barney Kilgore, the legendary editor of The Wall Street Journal, once wrote: "If I see 'upcoming' slip in[to] the paper again, I'll be downcoming and someone will be outgoing." I'm with Barney: Stop ing-ing. Especially in headlines. Now, to be fair, Kilgore's comment refers to gerunds: verbs that get turned into … [Read more...] about Stop it with the ing-ing
Fewer long pages are less effective Think index cards, not toilet paper: Websites with many short pages — as opposed to those with fewer longer pages — work better. Usability experts John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen studied Web visitors' performance with two versions of a website: One site contained three pages with 4,500 words. The … [Read more...] about Create more short pages