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Three: the Most Important Number in your Writing

Flashback to October 1996. Soon-to-be-Prime-Minister Tony Blair is delivering his speech at the Labour Conference. And says: Ask me my three main priorities for Government and I tell you, education, education, education. It’s an echo of one of the most famous quotes to come out of the business world: Conrad Hilton’s ‘location, location, location.’ There’s a rapturous round of applause: several members of the audience go misty-eyed and – … [Read more...]

Ten Grammar Mistakes You Don’t Need to Make

Everyone makes mistakes with their grammar. Even after years of writing and millions of words, I still find myself checking things. But if you’re writing copy for your website, grammar and spelling are important. As far back as 2011 the BBC had an article on poor spelling ‘costing millions in online sales.’ Does it really matter when ‘should of done it b4 he went’ is almost common usage? For me, the answer is an emphatic, ‘yes.’ I … [Read more...]

The Blogging Book

I started writing my ‘Best Dad’ newspaper column/blog in 2003. My longest running business blog for a client started in 2010. Both of them have been published every week without fail. Throw in other blogs for other clients, add a few speeches and it’s close to a million words. Maybe it’s time to boil that down to around 20,000. The Business Blogging Book will be published in September. It will contain everything I know about how to write a … [Read more...]

What’s a Reading Ease Score?

...And why is it so important for your blog and your website? The idea of a reading ease score is very simple – it’s a numerical value, showing how easy your writing is to read. The one I use – and the one that’s probably most commonly used is the Flesch Reading Ease test. It gives every piece of writing a score between 0 and 120: the higher the score, the easier it is to read. An article in the Harvard Law Review would generally score in … [Read more...]

Could Bad Grammar Cost the Election?

Does it matter that a parliamentary candidate doesn’t know the possessive apostrophe should be used for a measurement of time? Well, as far my vote is concerned, yes it does. Home from work yesterday and two election leaflets are lying on the mat. One – national – from UKIP: the other – local – from the Conservatives. Let’s see what they have to say. UKIP first… Sam – the candidate whose picture seems to suggest that his underpants are … [Read more...]