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.

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MicroMacTips part 6

Here’s part 6 of my series of short and snappy Mac tips. As usual, I’m serving up 5 useful pointers to help you be a better Mac user.

MicroMacTips part 6

1. Change sidebar icon size

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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.

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Podcasts for editors

Podcasts for editors

One of my favourite ways to keep up to date with what other freelance editorial pros are doing is to listen to their podcasts. This is one of many strands in my continuing professional development, and is something I can do when I’m not at my desk. If you’ve never made a roast dinner while learning about how to deal with freelance writing clients, you haven’t lived!

So, which podcasts are on my must-listen list? Let’s take a look.

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MicroMacTips part 5

In this post, John Espirian shares 5 more tips for being a better Mac user.

MicroMacTips part 5

1. Navigate using the hidden window title menu

Ctrl-click the title of a window in the Finder and you’ll see all the folders that lead to that window. Click any folder in the list to jump to it quickly. If you’ve got 19 seconds to spare(!), this video will show you how to do it:

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10 tips for handling your first proofreading job

In this guest post for the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), John Espirian sets out 10 tips to help new proofreaders take on their first proofreading job.

10 tips for new proofreaders

As well as upholding editorial standards, the SfEP does a lot to support its members, particularly those new to copy-editing and proofreading. As a director of the Society, I thought I’d pull together a lot of the good advice shared by our experienced members and place it into this blog. So, here’s a video and a written set of tips for newbie proofreaders taking on their first proofreading job:

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