Hi! It's been a while since I posted on the blog or released any new content. I wanted to update you on what's happening at Hedera House, and let you know about some changes I'm making to my business.

How to audit all your blog & business content for quality, consistency, and accuracy

Yay, it’s almost the new year! Heading into a fresh year is always exciting—it’s a time for reviewing, goal setting, and planning.

It’s also the perfect time to take a close look over all the content associated with your business to check it’s still working its hardest for you.

We’re all guilty of writing something, sticking it on the website, and then forgetting that it exists—and that it might need to be updated. This sort of content can hurt your business, particularly if it’s giving website visitors incorrect information.

You can also increase the professionalism of your brand by ensuring that all your content meets high standards and follows the same guidelines. 

Words to delete from your writing immediately (and how to replace them)

One of the best ways you can make your writing shine is by reducing the number of boring and weak words you use. It’s easy once you build the habit, and it’s also a really useful thing to add to your proofreading checklist. If you can figure out your weak words and then add them to your checklist so you remember to edit them out, you’ll see your writing become stronger and more vibrant.

I’m going to get this disclaimer out of the way before I start: Sometimes you’ll have to use these words. It would be almost impossible to completely remove get from your vocabulary—and you wouldn’t want to, either—but keeping them in mind, even if you can’t always delete them, will help you to improve your writing.

Writing goals to set yourself (for the new year... or any other time)

Coming into the new year always means goals and plans. It’s an exciting time! A whole new year is about to roll in, fresh and full of opportunity. For most of us running our own businesses or writing for audiences, writing is a big part of our year.

So, what better time than now to set some new writing goals for yourself? In the new year (or any time of year, really), you could…

Four common writing mistakes on bloggers’ Pinterest images (and how to avoid them)

For bloggers and small-business owners, Pinterest is an essential marketing platform. It’s loaded with potential for putting your content in front of your ideal reader and client—and then getting them to share it. 

But I have to admit that one of the things that turns me off clicking a blogger’s Pinterest image is when it contains a writing error. It just doesn’t bode well for the rest of the blog post! 

If you’d like to avoid turning your readers off before they even get to your post, I’ve taken one for the team and spent a couple of hours scrolling through Pinterest (well, not such a chore, I suppose…) to find out which writing errors were the most common in bloggers’ images. Here they are.

How to get better at identifying errors in your own writing

Identifying errors in your own writing is always so much harder than finding them in other people’s writing (which is why working with an editor is such a great idea!). Sometimes you can have glaring errors in your own work that your eyes skip right over—which is no good when you’re publishing content that represents your brand and speaks to your professionalism.

However, I do believe that you can get better at picking out your own errors if you test out some techniques and put in some effort.

So, with that said, here are my top tips.

The step-by-step guide to writing a blog post

Part of the Step-by-step writing guides series

Business owners know by now that they should be blogging to promote their business and share their knowledge with their audience. And yet, I so often hear that they’re not blogging. I hear that:

  • they would if they had any idea how to write blog posts
  • they have lots of ideas but just can’t get them down coherently on paper
  • they have no idea what to write about, and don’t you run out of topics eventually?

Sound familiar?

Today we’re going to go through the exact steps I recommend you take if you’re interested in writing a blog post but have no idea where to start

It’s important to note that this step-by-step guide is only one way you could tackle the task of writing a blog post, and everyone will have their own preferences—but this is the way I have found most effective. 

How to create your own proofreading checklist

I’ve said it before (and I’ll no doubt say it again)—finding errors in your own writing is difficult.

You’re so used to the words that you skip over them. You overlook misspelt words, and you’re unable to see the areas where you might improve because your writing style is so… well, you.

But your writing represents you (and your brand) so you want it to be as polished and appealing as it can be. Your writing is how prospective clients or customers can get to know you and decide whether you’re right for them. Spelling errors and wonky style probably aren't going to make for the best first impression.

This is where your personal proofreading checklist comes in.

How to unpad your writing to make it stronger and clearer

Today I’m writing about a topic close to my heart: unpadding. This is a term that I’ve come up with to describe a phenomenon that occurs frequently in writing—at the moment, it’s the most common feedback I give to writers whose work I’m editing.

Writers pad their work with unnecessary words or phrases—and shortly I’ll get into what kinds of padding happens (and how to stop it). But first I want to talk briefly about why I think padding happens, because these reasons are important to recognise if you’re a writer.

I think that padding happens because you’re scared of something. You’re scared of having an opinion that comes across too strongly, or you’re scared of being too direct, or you just think your writing should be longer than it is to make it feel substantial and important.

And all that is understandable, but it leads to bad writing that’s chock-full of words that don’t need to be there.