The relentlessly helpful blog

Plan, produce and promote – practical advice to help you unclog your blog, write better web content and improve your B2B presence on LinkedIn.


Preferred spellings in technical writing

Preferred spellings in technical writing

Here’s a quick round-up of a poll I ran about technical writers’ preferences for common computing terms.

I write for a predominantly British audience in UK English, but I sometimes have to use computing terms, which are usually written in American English (probably because of style guides such as the Microsoft Manual of Style). That can lead to an odd mixing of styles.

Recently, I’ve noticed more UK spellings creeping into technical communications about computing, and I wanted to get a feel for what others thought about this.

Read more

Pen portraits – understanding your ideal audience

📚 This post is part of my business blogging guide.


Have you ever read a piece of writing that feels as though it were created just for you?

The author of that text will have thought about the audience – what they would need to know and how they should be made to feel about it. This is the essence of good, persuasive writing.

This post shows you how to build a picture of your ideal reader, so you write content suited to him or her. And that in turn will help turn those readers into customers and loyal fans.

Read more

Digital 2016 – the big write-up

Digital 2016

Digital 2016

On the 6th and 7th of June 2016, I attended Digital 2016 – a free conference organised by Innovation Point, which took place at the 5-star Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales.

This event offered a chance to meet some of the brightest digital talents in the local area and beyond, and to listen to a host of influential speakers from some of the biggest organisations in the world. With sessions hosted by BBC Click presenter Lara Lewington, Digital 2016 had been pencilled in to my calendar for months.

Here’s a bumper write-up of the sessions I attended over the 2 days. Ready? Let’s go.

Read more

Introduction to screencasts

In this post, John Espirian provides an introduction to the process of screencasting and to the tools used for the job.

ScreenFlow

As a freelance technical writer, I sometimes create short videos to help my clients’ audience understand how a service works. These ‘screencasts’ appeal to the growing proportion of users who are turned off by traditional written materials.

Read more

Secret Mac toolbar shortcut

Secret toolbar shortcut

Whenever I’m busy working on a project, I often find myself regularly referring to a small group of files. It might be a style guide, a client brief or a general crib sheet. I don’t like to interrupt my stream of thought too much, so it’s important to me that such files are easily accessible. The last thing I want is to try to remember where a particular document is and then go clicking about through folders to open it.
Read more