Category Archives: Blogging

The Perfect WordPress Sharing Plugin

Traditional sharing plugins such as DIgg Digg and Alternative Digg have been around so long that they look dated, and their position on the side of the page can lead to either unwanted effects or a lack of confidence that they work in all circumstances without plenty of testing.

Enter Simple Share Buttons Adder.  It sits either before or after your primary content, or in both places, so you can be sure it is consistent across multiple devices. It offers 8 gorgeous button types and keeps things nice and simple by limiting itself to around ten of the most popular sharing platforms. It just works.

Simple Share Buttons Adder

Simple Share Buttons Adder

I haven’t placed it on this site, but rather instead I have placed it on Cycle Ireland, where I am active on my supporting social media accounts.

If you want a simple sharing plugin, this is it.

Proofing and grammar

A lack of knowledge or skill in proofing will kill the credibility of your website faster than almost anything else. Everybody has different levels of proficiency but it is important to be self-aware and to understand your own.

Grammar

They are two separate issues. Your knowledge of grammar is important in the writing stage. If you don’t have the basics nailed down you are seriously limiting your potential as a web content writer or strategist – it is a key business skill. There are plenty of books available on the topic, such as Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.

If you are weak in this area you should set aside some time regularly to improve your skills.

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Web content writing – keep it sharp

Web content writing requires a lot of discipline. It is natural to write a lot of text on topics that you find interesting, but you must carefully examine whether it is necessary or not.

Are your users used to long articles? Some bloggers never have a word count below 1000 and that’s okay when their readers expect that. If you have an unusually lengthy article, most readers’ natural reaction will be to scan it for the relevant parts.

You must continually remind yourself of website users’ low attention span. They (usually) don’t pay for your content. They don’t feel compelled to give it a chance to impress them. All of their favourite time-wasting sites are a click or two away, constantly calling them.

You don’t want to spend any more time than you need to on the piece that you are writing. You don’t want to spend a lot of time deleting hard work on re-edits. So keep the following points in mind when writing for the web.

  • Do I need to say this? If you stop and think, you will sometimes find that you are actually going off on a tangent from your main point. Keep these to a minimum.
  • Is it coherent? Have you got enough paragraphs and are you writing the piece in a logical progression? Scribbling down your main points before you begin writing will help you to keep on track.
  • Am I using cliches and tautologies? These really slow down the flow of a piece.
  • Are my links worded clearly? If you link to a bus timetable it is better to write ‘Dublin – Cork Bus Timetable‘ than ‘here’s a way to get between two cities quickly’. Keep it tight.

Web content writing is all about discipline

You need to know precisely what you want to say before you begin, and then focus on that as you write. Cut out the fat and you should end up with a meaty piece which gives your user exactly what they want.

Start blogging: 5 questions you need to answer

So you want to start blogging? How do you avoid your blog (which is going to be amazing) becoming part of the 90% of blogs which fall apart and die within a few months? That’s not an official statistic, by the way, I just made it up to make a point.

Most people take enthusiastically to blogging – for the first few fevered posts anyway. Then they slow down a bit and the posts become more infrequent. Then they seem to run out of things to say and switch to once-a-month posting. The last couple of posts look like orphans, separated from their families by several months of inactivity, and the topic is usually how the blogger is going to become more disciplined again. And then – poof!! – it’s gone.

Here is how you avoid that:

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