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.
- 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. 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.
- Avoid CAPS in titles on your web site even if it’s a header. It’s Preferable to Capitalize Key Words Instead.
- Don’t overuse exclamation points!!!! In email marketing they’ll get blocked and overuse will actually desensitize the reader to your message.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.