Common Website Mistakes

FREE  15 was such a fun experience, I might just do it again sometime! It was both informative and inspiring to work with other entrepreneurs/creatives on their language, and I realized (again) my passion for helping small businesses communicate their vision.

For those of you who didn’t hear about FREE 15, I decided to write up a little post on some of the common mistakes I saw/suggestions I made for the website owners I worked with.

Common website mistakes_2

image via unsplash: Matthew Wiebe

Watch your sentence length

Sentences should have a variety of lengths in order to keep the reader engaged in what she is reading. Short, choppy sentences can create a disjointed feeling, while longer sentences can make the reader forget the subject altogether.

Know when to use a comma

Commas are confusing, and the rules are broken all the time. However, as my advanced grammar professor used to say, “you’ve got to know the rules to break them.” So before you throw commas out the door, at least try to understand some basic guidelines.

Some basic comma guidelines:

  • Use a comma to separate part of a sentence that is non-essential to making it a sentencee.g. Henry, the brains behind this business, is our beloved founder.

    “Henry is our beloved founder” is a sentence on its own, so you need to set apart the phrase “the brains behind this business” with two commas.

  • Use a comma to link two full sentences connected by a conjunction.e.g. We love to help others capture their day in photos, and we’re passionate about doing this at a professional level.
  • Do NOT use a comma to link a sentence with a fragment.

    e.g. We want our photos to help you capture your day and create memories to last a lifetime .

Avoid Clichés

If you’re not sure if something is a cliche, ask yourself if you’ve heard it before. If the answer is yes, try to steer clear (hint “steer clear” is a cliche!) People want to know you have your own unique voice, tastes and passions. Give them something new, even if it takes you a while to think up how you’re different, you definitely are!

Too much text!

Studies show, users don’t spend much time reading. There’s a reason there’s all those ads on most websites; it’s to keep you there longer! Keep your info short and concise so you ensure the user gets the information they need before losing interest!

Reach out!

I hope this helps you with your journey, and as always, feel free to reach out  to learn more about what a full website-refresh would look like.

The Write Right Guide | 8 Grammar Basics

It’s hard for me to believe sometimes that I took (and did quite well) in Advanced Grammar while in undergrad. Because when it comes to my own writing, I break rules like its my job. (*cough* starting a dependent clause with because)

Because let’s be real. Grammar is not cool. It was basically invented by old Puritan bossy-butts that couldn’t stand the thought of words running bare and free. Now as you picture naked letters running Sound-of-Music-style through the hills, remember, you like structure. You need structure. I do too.

Without structure, we would be forced to read like some people talk. Without rules we wouldn’t have any rules to break!  So as much as I want to hate on them, I know that grammar aint all that bad.

8 of the Basics

1. Where Do I Use Commas?: One day a young duffer sneezed and sprayed tiny ink blots all over his hand-scrawled journal and thought, “Hmm, tis a lovely little speck.” Since then we’ve had the comma, and it’s really been a bugger.

2. Quotations & Punctuation: Quotations and punctuation are a bit like frenemies. You’ve got to know exactly how much space to give ’em.

3. Capitalizing Titles: As with skinning cats, there is more than one way to capitalize a title. Pick one and stick with it.

4. 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling: True or false, I misspelled misspelling the first time I typed it.

5. Apostrophes: These possessive little devils leave us looking silly when we use them wrong.

6. Dashes: Em- or en-. Dashes, dashes we all fall down.

7. 30 Words That Don’t Need Hyphens: Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m a hypen- addict.

8. Colons vs. Semicolons:

And now that you’re officially geeked-out on grammar, let’s just keep it real and remember that the grammar police really are not the best writers out there anyways.