I’m taking an online writing bootcamp course to brush up on my marketing writing skills after 15+ years in marketing communications and thought I’d share the aha mistakes I’ve been making.

  1. Place the Oxford comma before the “and” in lists – if you don’t put that comma there, the first list item could be perceived as an adjective for the last two. Example: The attendees included comedians, Dr. John Frank and Dr. Harold Kramer.
  2. 2. Do not underline any words or phrases that are not links on your website. Anything underlined on a website is perceived as a link – always.
  3. Avoid CAPS in titles on your web site even if it’s a header. It’s Preferable to Capitalize Key Words Instead.
  4. Don’t overuse exclamation points!!!! In email marketing they’ll get blocked and overuse will actually desensitize the reader to your message.
  5. Etc. used in content writing could let your reader think you just didn’t care enough to expand upon the idea – be concise but be specific.
  6. Always include a call to action in any piece of content you write whether it’s an email, web page, social network post or tweet.
  7. Use the active voice. This one gets me a lot. Active: Jeff rode the bus. Passive: The bus was ridden by Jeff.

Some helpful tools to keep you on your toes include William Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and www.grammar.quickanddirtytips.com.