The relentlessly helpful blog


Technical writing primer

What is technical writing? In this guest post for the Professional Copywriters’ Network, John Espirian provides a simple introduction to the subject.

Technical writing primer

As a freelance technical writer, my job is to turn complex subject matter into simple, accessible content.

Most copywriters produce beautiful, creative prose that helps sell a product or service. They dream up snappy headlines and killer copy, all the while pushing as many emotional buttons as they can. Read more

Waste less, do more in 2016

In this post, John Espirian shares his thoughts for the year ahead.

Waste less, do more

Waste less, do more

Are you one for New Year’s resolutions? I’m not. Most of the time they just don’t work.

And there’s the nub of the matter: why bother doing anything that doesn’t work? In the case of resolutions, the sticking point is usually that our best intentions are too grandiose. We write cheques that our behaviours can seldom cash.
Read more

Conference season 2015

September and October make up the annual conference season for writers and editors in the UK. Here’s a very quick look at some of the main events of 2015.

As a freelance, I look forward to the times when I’m able to meet up with like-minded people to exchange ideas and experiences. Along with attending local-group events, one of the best ways to do this is to dive into the world of the annual conference. Almost every major organisation has one, and it’s no different for those whose stock in trade is communication.

Read more

About copy-editing and proofreading

In this post, John Espirian provides a brief introduction to two key types of editorial service: copy-editing and proofreading.

Copy-editing and proofreading

Learn about copy-editing and proofreading

Imagine the difficult elevator pitch: you have a few seconds to tell people what you do, and you’re met with quizzical looks when you drop the terms ‘copy-editor’ and ‘proofreader’ into the conversation. At best, the person you’re speaking to will think you’re a human spellchecker; at worst … well, they just won’t have a clue. So, what to do?
Read more

How to optimise images for the web

Do you run a blog or regularly post images on the web? This free tool will show you how to reduce the file sizes of your images without any loss of quality.

ImageOptim icon

ImageOptim reduces image sizes without losing image quality

If you run your own website and/or blog, you should optimise it so that your pages load as quickly as possible. There are lots of ways to do this, but one of the most effective methods is to reduce the file sizes of your images.

Read more

Working with two screens

Have you ever thought about adding a second screen to your computer setup at home? If you’re never able to cram in everything you’d like to see on a single screen, investing in a second one might be the way to go. In this post, John Espirian discusses the value of increasing our screen real estate.

Two screens

Working with two screens can be a great timesaver

Read the rest of this article in my guest post on The Proofreader’s Parlour.

Subscribe for tips

🍩 No spam or the doughnuts are on me • privacy

Join 515 others on my free Espresso ☕️ email list to receive:

  • blog updates
  • free ebooks
  • discounts on consultancy
  • offers and secret stuff

Who wrote this?

John Espirian freelance technical copywriter

I'm John Espirian, the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter. I've written about IT and the web since 1998, and I'm a former Microsoft MVP. If you need B2B web content that explains how your products, services and processes work, I'm your guy.

The Espirian blog provides writing tips and how-to guides on improving your online presence and marketing your business.

Status: naively optimistic about Liverpool's 2019 title challenge 🔴⚽️

HTML lists

HTML lists

Most of us know how to create a list in a word processor. In HTML, the process is a little more involved.

There are 2 types of HTML list:

  • Ordered lists – often called numbered lists
  • Unordered lists – often called bulleted lists

Read more

Writing out web addresses

What is the best way to write out web addresses? In an article published on the blog of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, John Espirian explains how it’s done.

Here’s a question I’ve seen a few times of late: when writing out a web address, must we include the whole address or is it safe to omit part of it?

Some house styles set out guidelines for writing web addresses. One would think, then, that the practice is simply a matter of style. In fact, it mostly is – but not always.

To read the rest of the article, see this SfEP blog post.

Components of a web address

Subscribe for tips

🍩 No spam or the doughnuts are on me • privacy

Join 515 others on my free Espresso ☕️ email list to receive:

  • blog updates
  • free ebooks
  • discounts on consultancy
  • offers and secret stuff

Who wrote this?

John Espirian freelance technical copywriter

I'm John Espirian, the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter. I've written about IT and the web since 1998, and I'm a former Microsoft MVP. If you need B2B web content that explains how your products, services and processes work, I'm your guy.

The Espirian blog provides writing tips and how-to guides on improving your online presence and marketing your business.

Status: naively optimistic about Liverpool's 2019 title challenge 🔴⚽️

RGB and HEX colours

You’re probably aware that when it comes to computers, colours are represented by a series of numbers. In this post, John Espirian explains two of the most common colour systems used on the web.


Espirian

RGB and HEX are colour systems used on the web

There are lots of colour systems available, but the two mentioned here use the additive colour system. This means they are based on the combination of light, with the primary colours being red, green and blue. In the additive system, red, green and blue together produce white.

Read more