Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Editing Tip: The Secret to Too Many Verb Tenses Is Simple

Originally published at, June 24, 2013, as “Blog Editing Pro Tip: How Do You Handle Too Many Verb Tenses?”

Do you know the difference between future progressive, present perfect and past perfect progressive? Though you might not know them by name, you know how to use them, and you probably use them all the time. Maybe you use them too much.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blog Editing Tip: Use Adverbs Carefully

Originally published at, June 17, 2013, as "Blog Editing Pro Tip: Get Your Adverbs Here"

Adverbs tell us when, where, why, how, how much and how often. Without adverbs, we wouldn’t have massively multi-player online role-playing games, no one would have “boldly go[ne] where no one has gone before” and we would have reveled in stories “From the past, in a distant galaxy” instead of in stories from “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” Adverbs can add context, imagery and clarity to sentences that other words can’t.

But as great as adverbs can be, they can easily be overused.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Editing Tip #1: Read It Again

Originally published at, June 10, 2013

If you care at all about the quality of the writing on your blog — and you should — then perhaps the single greatest thing you can do to improve your posts is this: Read it again. Just read your post one more time before you set it loose onto the Internet.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review: Albert Nobbs by George Moore

My rating: two gender dilemmas out of five

At 98 pages, George Moore’s Albert Nobbs is a sliver of a novella. That’s why I picked it up in the first place. I was trolling the shelves of my local public library and looking for something I could finish in about a weekend, and this book’s thin black and orange spine jumped out at me. Mostly because it seemed to have two authors’ names but no book title.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are You Really Editing Your Blog? Should You Be?

Originally published at, June 3, 2013

Well, yes. You should.

If you don’t already recognize the importance of quality writing, if you believe that as long as your readers know what you mean, it’s good enough — heck, if you believe in “good enough” — then you’re so far off the mark already that there isn’t much I can do to help you. You don’t need someone to fix your writing; you need to someone to fix your outlook.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Forget About Building Out Content, Build It Up Instead

Originally published at, May 29, 2013
It should shock no one to hear that there’s a lot of crap on the Internet. A lot of that crap ended up there because online businesses and website developers clung to old-fashioned, offline marketing techniques that didn’t translate well online. Then, marketing changed and became more content- and customer-focused. Give people a little of what they want, the marketers said, and they’ll come back to buy more. That was great at first, but as redundancy piles on redundancy, the flow of information (and misinformation) is reaching critical mass.