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Creating an Information-Rich Website Your Visitors Will Love

We Do Web Content helps clients create a website and search experience that provides users with the information they need and are searching for. Resource websites in particular provide an intense and comprehensive educational experience. Creating resource websites requires a combination of keyword and competitor research, content development, good design, and search engine optimization to accomplish all of this. Two good examples of these websites are Drug411.com and BurnVictimsResource.org, both websites with which We Do Web Content has worked. Drug411.com Drug411.com is a resource for anybody interested in learning about prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices. It reviews the uses and other important information about some of the most common medications on the market. It also provides information about complications associated with drugs and medical devices, citing reliable academic studies or FDA warnings where appropriate, helping those who experience complications better understand their side effects. The website shares information about legal options for those whose injuries are the result of a defective drug or medical device; such information is vital to those dealing with the medical, emotional, and financial effects of drug-related injuries. BurnVictimsResource.org BurnVictimsResource.org is a resource for burn injury patients and their families. It contains information about Read more…

The Copy Corner: Mind Your Puns and Quips

In the right context, puns may make your content more relatable (we all have that friend who drops bad puns) and attention-grabbing (for better or worse, some puns stick out). However, make sure you aren’t making a pun — intentional or not — that could offend (and lose) readers. What puns could offend readers? It’s just a harmless pun. I didn’t even mean to make it. No one will be offended, right? Think again. Consider the following: No one would give a second thought to reading the phrase “beating charges” on a page about criminal defense. Except you need to consider the context. Saying “beating drug charges” isn’t offensive, but consider when the context is child abuse or spousal violence. Here’s another example: “When a family member is severely injured, surviving family members are often left to pick up the pieces.” Nothing wrong with saying that, right? Well consider if the family member’s injury was an amputation. Always consider how your words go together. Is there anything else I should keep an eye out for? You might also want to consider how you portray certain people (e.g., gender, national origin, etc.). For example, if you write about car accidents and Read more…

The Copy Corner: What are fragments and why are they so bad?

A full sentence consists of both a subject and a verb. It must also convey a complete thought: “I went to the store because we needed milk,” is a full sentence. I is the subject and went is the verb. It also expresses a complete thought. You likely use fragments dozens of times a day. For example, when you send a text or leave a note on the fridge, do you write, “I went to the store,” or do you write, “Went to the store, needed milk”? Unless you’re a stickler for grammar, you probably leave off a subject. And even if you are a stickler for grammar, you still might. I’m a definite stickler for grammar and I use fragments all day in casual conversations, text messages, and when taking notes. Sentences Without Subjects While the notes and texts I send are often fragments because there is no subject, it is possible to write a complete sentence without a visible subject (as long as it has a verb). Consider the shortest sentence in the English language: Go. Even though it’s one word with no visible subject, it’s a full sentence. How can this be? Well, the verb is go Read more…

The Copy Corner: Do you know the big differences between AP, APA, Chicago, and MLA styles?

Chances are you’ve heard of AP, APA, Chicago, and MLA styles of writing. You’ve probably even used them. But do you know the big differences between these four popular writing styles? What are the AP, APA, Chicago, and MLA writing styles? Before we get into the differences between these four writing styles, we should explain them all a little more. AP Style: AP, or Associated Press, style is most commonly used by journalists. APA Style: American Psychological Association (APA) style is common in science and some college classes. Chicago Manual of Style: The Chicago Manual of Style is arguably the most comprehensive, often used in publishing. MLA Style: MLA, or Modern Language Association, style is the one you’re likely most familiar with. It’s the style your teachers probably taught you in high school. What are the biggest differences? Oxford Comma AP style advises against using the Oxford comma. The Chicago Manual of Style and the MLA and APA style guides recommend using the Oxford comma. Numbers AP and APA both spell out numbers below 10 and use numerals for numbers 10 and over. However, for APA style, when the numbers involve exact times, dates, ages, scores, points on a scale, Read more…

The Copy Corner: Be Intentional with Your Writing

Being a writer is more than just putting words on paper (or screen). Whether you are a food blogger sharing a new recipe you just tried or a lawyer informing readers of the steps to file a personal injury claim, be intentional with the way you deliver information. What is writing with intention? Being intentional is writing with a purpose. Make sure you know why you are writing, identify your audience’s reason for reading your content, and decide what you hope to accomplish. How can I be intentional with my writing? Why are you writing it? The first thing you need to do is determine why exactly you’re writing something. What are your goals? Pro-tip: Write out those goals for quick reference as you write so you can make sure you meet them. How long do you plan to write? Have you managed your time? Determine how long you plan to write. Are you only going to write for 30 minutes? Are you going to use all that time to write or do you still need to do research? Have you factored in the time it will take you to do your research? Pro-tip: Separate your research and writing time. Read more…

The Copy Corner: The History of the Double Space

Do you hit the space bar twice after a period or are you a firm believer that one space is the only right way to do it? Learn more about the history of the space and whether you should use one or two spaces after your periods (and if it even matters). Where did the double space come from? The single space after punctuation hasn’t been around for long (only about 75 years), but the history goes back further than the double space, which can be seen as early as the 1700s, according to typography blogger James Felici. While we cannot credit the typewriter with the advent of double spacing, we can attribute some of its popularity to its creation. Users of typewriters had to press space twice to separate sentences enough to make the text readable. The single space has only been around since approximately the 1940s when books, magazines, and newspapers began using it. However, many individuals still used the double space when using a typewriter. Single spacing wasn’t commonplace until the late 1980s and 1990s when typographers such as Ronnie Shushan and Erik Spiekermann began condemning the use of the double space. Should I use two spaces? Read more…

The Copy Corner: When is casual writing okay?

A recent study published in the journal English for Specific Purposes found that some scientific writing is becoming more casual. The study evaluated academic writing from 1965, 1985, and 2015 for ten markers of informal writing: First person pronouns Unattended anaphoric pronouns Split infinitives Starting a sentence with a conjunction Ending a sentence in a preposition Listing expressions (e.g., “and so on”) Second person pronouns (e.g., you, your) Contractions Direct questions Exclamation marks The study authors found that informal features in academic papers increased, particularly in the biology field, where use of these informal features jumped 24 percent. It begs the question: Does this suggest a shift towards more casual writing for all fields? And when is casual writing okay and when is it not? What is casual? First, we should expand a little more on what casual writing is. It is a type of writing that is comfortable ignoring certain grammar rules. How you define casual writing depends largely on your field. Scientists might consider my Copy Corners casual writing, while I consider them conversational. Personally, I view casual writing as what I see on social media (that’s really casual) and on the cooking blogs I frequent. For example, Read more…

3 Ways Businesses Can Use Facebook 360

Law firms looking to harness the power of social media to reach new clients might be wondering about Facebook 360. This new type of immersive marketing is helping brands bring followers into their world. Before you take a leap into Facebook 360, review some of the details of the new features. What is Facebook 360? Facebook 360 lets content creators post photos and videos with 360-degree views. It’s easy to see how companies like National Geographic can use this technology to bring followers to exotic worlds and experience nature’s majesty. Or how outdoor and active gear manufacturers can display their products in action. But even small businesses and offices are using the technology. How can law firms use Facebook 360? Before you go all-in on video equipment or hire a production team, first think about how you will use Facebook 360, and to what benefit. Here are a few common ways businesses are using the new feature: Virtual Office Tour Some businesses are posting 360-degree views or tours of their offices. As far as law firms are concerned, this might alleviate jitters for first-time clients who might be nervous to visit a lawyer. With a lot already on their mind Read more…

The Copy Corner: 9 Ways to Become a Better Writer in 2017

Many of us make a New Year’s resolution to get better at something. To start the year right, I want to share a few ways you can become a better writer in 2017. 1) Read, Read, Read A few months ago, we discussed how reading can make you a better writer. It expands your vocabulary, strengthens your cognitive skills, and teaches you more about the subject matter. Pro-tip: Consider reading a different genre each time. If you read a book a month, consider reading that new novel you wanted to start this month, and then switch to a non-fiction book next month. Challenge yourself to read about a different subject each month. 2) Don’t Bury the Lede This is a surefire way to make your writing better. Don’t bury your lede; start your writing with the most important or most interesting information. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Did your intro interest you? If not, you might want to change it. Pro-tip: Wait awhile after you write your intro to reread it. This way you’ll have some time to get it out of your head so you can look at it with fresh eyes. 3) Use the Fog Index We’ve Read more…

The Copy Corner: Is it okay to use slang in your writing?

In my freshman year of college, my professor told us a story — and gave us a warning — about using slang or “textspeak” in papers. He told us that one of his former students submitted a paper in which he used the term LOL. I was horrified. However, I came to find out I was one of few who had such an adverse reaction. Most thought it was normal and were surprised they had not heard more stories like this. So, the question remains: Is it appropriate to use slang or informal language in your content? It depends on many factors — ones you should consider before you launch your blog or roll out any content. What is slang? Before we get into the factors to consider, let’s draw a distinction between slang and informal language. Informal language is broadly accepted, casual vocabulary. For example, people might use legit instead of legitimate. They might ask, “Is that accountant legit?” instead of, “Is that accountant legitimate?” Slang, according to Dictionary.com, is “very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language.” The use of the word very strikes me as Read more…