Homework Help: Affect vs. Effect

Do you know what a homophone is? (Clue: it has nothing to do with homosexuality or homogenised milk.)

Homophones are words which are pronounced the same as one another (i.e. they sound identical), but which mean different things, and are often spelt differently. People often confuse homophones with one another, such as when someone on Facebook says “your beautiful”, when what they actually mean is “you’re beautiful”.

But today’s homophone example is one that even copywriters have to pause and think about. And that is the classic dilemma of “affect” vs. “effect”.  

My Website Turn-offs: How to make me hate your website.

Why is this strange guy writing on the Brisbane Copywriter website?

Your friendly neighbourhood copywriter (that’s Emily if you didn’t know already) recently posted the following on her Facebook page:

SURVEY: What’s your PET PEEVE when it comes to websites? Do you hate extra long forms, having to create super crazy long passwords, pop-ups, or something else? Let me know!

I thought for a while and couldn’t really narrow it down to one. So like how Gimli (son of Gloin) asked the Elven Lady Galadriel for a hair from her head (only to receive three), Emily asked for a pet peeve, and I gave her ten. Then just like in Jurassic park, the gender roles were reversed too but that’s fairly irrelevant for this story.

Emily asked if I would do a guest post here. So I did.

Is Your Website Human Optimised?

SEO is important. Very important. But it isn’t everything.

Sweet-talking Google is great, but Google won’t pay you money, it won’t use your services, and it won’t subscribe to your newsletter.

Humans might. The trick is to ensure they do.

Human optimisation is the art of ensuring that people stay on your website and do whatever it is you want them to do there. Is your website human optimised?

What’s a Gravatar?

A little while ago, I was commenting on a blog post by a fellow copywriter. I liked how some of the other commenters had photos next to their name and comment. I wanted an image next to my comment, so that I could be just like all the other big boys and girls. I thought that if I commented by logging in through social media, I could get my picture up. 

But when I submitted my comment, there was no picture. It was a disheartening moment. Luckily, the copywriter whose post I was commenting on was happy to explain (thanks Kate Toon!). You see, I needed a Gravatar. 

The Ten Commandments of Good SEO

Thou shalt have no other words before the keywords in thy website’s title tag
Thou shalt not make unto thee any paid links
Thou shalt not take the copy from one page, and duplicate it on another
Remember your ALT tags, to always use them
Honour thy H1 tag and thy H2 tag, that thy days may be long upon the SERP rank that Google gives thee
Thou shalt not use meta keywords
Thou shalt not commit keyword stuffing
Thou shalt not steal content from another site
Though shalt not bear hidden text on thy website
Thou shalt not optimise for Google alone

Read on to learn why these commandments are so important…

You CAN Begin a Sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’. Really!

I’m a grammar warrior. It says so in my author bio.

Don’t believe me? Ask my friends. (Although many of them would probably use the less-PC term “grammar Nazi”.)

Ok, so I’m a grammar warrior. So what?

Well, I want you to know I’m a grammar warrior so that you know you can trust and believe what I’m about to tell you. Because as the sort of person who struggles to write ‘who’ when I know it should actually be ‘whom’, if I say you can write something, then you damn well can.

So believe me when I say this: it is 100% okay to start a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and’.

I mean it.