Category Archives: All the Buzz

One Space or Two Between Sentences?

keyboard-typingWay back when I was in school, we were taught to put two spaces behind a period before beginning a new sentence. Writing for the web, however, is different. You only use one space between sentences.

When we used to use typewriters, in order for the copy to be read clearly, it needed two spaces to set it apart. There was only only font, after all, and it was not as easy to read as our modern proportional fonts found on computers.

Today, every computer is proportional, and good writers know to only put one space following a sentence. Even the style guides, like the Chicago Manual of Style, dictate that a single space should be used. Likewise, only one space should be used after a colon or semicolon.

Nothing looks more amateurish on your website than copy containing double spaces. Take another look at your website and other written materials to make sure you’re up to date on publishing style.

When is the Last Time You Updated Your Website Copy?

If your website is dated, or you haven’t refreshed your copy in several years, it may be time to call in a professional copywriter, like All the Buzz. We’re experts in creating compelling copy that will highlight and illuminate your company, and get you noticed on the web.  Contact us today.

Publicity Is More Effective Than Advertising | Writing Quotes

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“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”

— Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group

Everyday Phrases that Came from Shakespeare

everyday-phrases-that-came-from-Shakespeare

For Better Writing, Get Rid of “That”

Lucy-gives-writing-adviceOne of the easiest ways to tell if you are working with a beginner-level copywriter is to count how many times they use the word “that.”

Many years ago, when I was cutting my teeth as a business writer, I made the same mistake. Then my editor told me to go back over my copy and edit out every time I used the word “that.” He said it would make my copy stronger, and you know, he was right. Although the use of “that” might be grammatically correct, it is unnecessary and overused.

Now, there are times when you need to use the word “that,” but most times it is superfluous to the copy. Effective copy needs to be brief and clear. If you are using the word “that,” you are using too many words in your sentence. How can you cut back the sentence to make a more powerful and interesting statement?

Can you see the difference in this example?

  • Original:  Margot said that she was going to take dancing lessons so that she would someday become a great ballerina.
  • Better said:  Margot planned to take dancing lessons, hoping to someday become a great ballerina.

If it is a person, use “who.”

When writing about a person, use the word “who” instead of “that,” as in this example:

  • Original:  The man that held the door was wearing a green uniform.
  • Better said:  The man who held the door wore a green uniform.

Hire an Expert Business Copywriter

When you’re considering hiring a copywriter, ask for writing samples, and note how many times you see the word “that.” If it is used more than a few times, you’ll know you’re working with a beginner, and may not get the best bang for your buck. It’s a quick way to tell.

When you need powerful, effective business writing, hire an expert. Contact All the Buzz.

 

Want More Sales? Writing in Active Voice Gets Others Excited

eliminate-passive-voice-in-writingEven as a professional writer, I have to review everything I write to make sure I am writing in “active voice.” I review for it in my professional writing as well as my everyday correspondences via email or letters, and believe it or not, I usually find at least one place where I can make my writing stronger.

What is Active Voice?

When using active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb: The girl brushed the dog. An example of this same sentence in passive voice would be: The dog was brushed by the girl. One tip for identifying a passive sentence is to look for the word “by.”

Why is Active Voice Important?

Active voice sentences are preferable in writing because Continue reading →

A Copywriter is a Salesperson | Writing Quotes

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“A copywriter is a salesperson behind a typewriter.”

–Judith Charles

We Made a “Top 10” List!

top-10-graphicOne of the companies for which All the Buzz writes blog posts is listed as one of the “Top 10” blogs in their industry. We’re excited by the listing and the client is thrilled. Not only does their listing (holding its own against the big national companies) give credibility to their company, it elevates them in both online searches and credibility in the eyes of their customers. In addition, the client, 123JUNK, has seen a significant rise in their web traffic with regular blog posting.

The industry itself isn’t glamorous, it’s junk removal. But is an essential service that everyone needs. Here is how the listing is noted:

Top 10 Junk Removal Blogs On The Web Today

123 Junk Blog – 123 Junk was started by a college graduate who is noted by the Washington Business Journal as turning “junk heaps into gold mines.” Their blog is very business-centric and has some great posts that focus on building the customer-business relationship.

Not bad for a regional company that just opened their second location!

If you’d like to see your online traffic increase, Continue reading →

Everyone Can Write. Why Should I Hire You to Do It?

computer-typingI was at a business networking meeting today where the topic of discussion was: “What are the misperceptions about your business?”

As a writer, the most common one I hear us: “Everyone can write. Why should I hire you to do it?”

Yes, everyone CAN write. But my question back is: “Can they write well?” When you are a business owner the words you use to create your brand and attract customers can make or break you.

You have only seconds to capture someone’s attention, Continue reading →

Improve Your English: Comprise vs. Compose

comprise-vs-composeOver and over again you hear people mixing up the two words Comprise and Compose. They may sound similar, but have entirely different meanings, and are commonly confused for each other, most often with the word comprised being used where the word composed is correct.

Let’s start with the meaning of each word:

  • Comprise: Consist of
  • Compose: To make up or form by combining things, parts or elements

To do a quick check as to which word would be appropriate in your sentence, Continue reading →

Miss-Fortune for This Restaurant

missed-fortuneSometimes even the smallest amount of writing can have a big impact on your business. Take this fortune for example. I brought home several fortune cookies from a restaurant not too long ago, and just recently opened the cookie to enjoy it. Inside I found this fortune that’s shown in the picture.

At first, I thought “Wow!  A free dessert!”  Didn’t you? Then I realized what a big mistake this restaurant made.

Do you know what their colossal mistake is?

The answer: I have no idea which restaurant this fortune is from! There is no branding of the restaurant name, no website address, and no way of ever knowing who is trying to earn my repeat business.

In addition, I have not eaten at any DC restaurants. I picked up this fortune cookie somewhere in Virginia, so the copy should read “…any of our DC area restaurants….”

This is not the first time I’ve noticed this type of basic error. Unfortunately, I have seen it in flyers delivered to my house, in newspaper and magazine ads, and in online advertising.

The moral of this story is that even the smallest items need to not only provide a tempting offer, they need to brand your company. Otherwise all your effort is a big waste of money.

Professional copywriters, like myself, are savvy to the impact small messages can have, and can help you create the perfect message. Contact All the Buzz before you encounter miss-fortune too.