2017/09/25

8 Simple Proof Reading Tips


It's essential in any field of writing, whether your a student writing a college essay or writing a blog post or article, your own eyes are the best spell checker you'll ever need.  You can't always rely on your computers spell checker, things can be easily missed.  You'll find 8 tips to help you get the most out of your proof reading.




1. Concentration is crucial

When you're looking for mistakes it's vital not be distracted.  Concentration is key, this means closing yourself off from any surrounding distractions and potential distractions. You need to stay away from social media, emails, TV and radio and your cellphone or tablet.

2. Write it down

You read paper differently to reading a screen.  So try printing out a copy of your writing, try reading it outloud to yourself, you'll find your ear will catch the mistakes your eyes have missed.

3. Look out for Homonyms

Words that have different meanins but share the same spelling or pronunciation are homonyms.  If you decide to change complement with compliment your article could turn into a catastrophe.  There's no harm in using a dictionary.

4. Look out for Apostrophes and Contractions

It's easy to mix up they're, their and there.  These small mistakes can often harm the validity of your writing.  Keep in mind that apostrophes are never used to shape plurals.

5. Review the Punctuation

There's nothing wrong with focussing in on the words but don't leave out the punctuation.  Take notice of capitalized words, extra or missing commas, full stops used incorrectly etc.

6. Study it Backwards

Our brain usually becomes blind to our own mistakes and automatically "corrects" words inside sentences.  Try breaking this pattern by reading the text backwards.

7. Investigate the Numbers 

When using numbers in your document make sure the value of an aquisitiion is correct, e.g.:

$10,000 instead of $100,000

8. Let your friends or family Proofread Your Document

No harm in asking someone you know to run their eyes over it.  They can pick up on any mistakes you might have missed.  An extra set of eyes can work out whether the sentence makes sense or not.

Read more: The Benefit's of Writing on Hubpages8 Rules of Writing on the InternetRespect Writer's Online By Not Correcting Their MistakesA Simple Guide to Writing an Article in 30 Minutes or Less

2017/09/22

[Blog Images] How to Choose the Best Fonts for Your Business


Your company brand can easily be defined by which font you choose, this shows just how powerful fonts are to making your brand more recognizeable online.  You need look no further than Coca Cola with its white swirly font on a red background.  Pairing the same fonts consistently will help people recognize your business, so it's important to really think about which fonts you think are going to be suitable for your brand.

What should you be looking for to create beautifully crafted images?  The following tips will show you how to choose fonts that will give your brand a professional look.

Use No More Than Two

To stop your designs looking messy, choose no more than two fonts.  You should consider two fonts, one for titles and headlines and the other for body text.  Check out your favourite brands and take note of how many fonts they use and how they use them.

Use Serif and sans serif

Serif and sans serif refers to the little feet and tails at the end of letter you see on fonts like Times New Roman.  "Sans serif" simply means without serif or no tails or feet.

These fonts are normally easy to read, making there letters stand out from one another, which is why it's usually a top choice for text to appear on all screens. Serif fonts usually convey a more sophisticated feel and give a classier look to your message.  A great combination would be to use serif fonts for titles and sans serif for body text.

Apply the squint test

PicMonkey has a ton of fonts ready to use, including caligraphy inspired creations.  You can use these fonts for logos but thinks twice before you use them in the draft body of a document.

Suitable absurdity

You can create feelings by choosing the right kind of font for your own brand, if you're looking for a creepier font why not try sinister scrawl or undead text fonts.  Although these are great for certain holidays I wouldn't recommend them for your everyday use.

Contemplate Colours

Marketing materials may include coloured titles but I wouldn't recommend using colours on the body of the text.  Always make sure your images pass the squint test!

Font-spiration

You can discover new ideas all over the place.  Check out Pinterest or look up "fonts" on Google.  Take note of font combinations you see in shop windows, magazines and advertisements, take pictures of your inspiration to keep track of what you've seen.

You can pick up fonts from free resources, and many artists sell font combinations,  Make sure you ask their permission before you use them.

You can find a number of fonts on PicMonkey for your business designs, you'll find them in Text Tab of the editor.  If you can't find what you need then any fonts you have installed on your computer will also show up in PicMonkey in the Yours tab of the Text Tool.

Let your creative juices flow when you join PicMonkey.



2017/09/20

10 Cool Gifts for Writers


If you're a writer I bet you're really tired of getting the same boring old notebooks and pens as gifts.

Even though notebooks are an essential part of any writer's toolkit, there are plenty of other non-notebook gifts out there.

So let's kick-off the list of non-notebook gifts for writers.

1. The sweatshirt, out of print t-shirt or tote bag

Writer clothing can be pretty nerd at times, but some are really quite fashionable, like Out of Print t-shirts, hoodies.  Which usually feature iconic book covers.

2. Audible Subscription

If you can't remember whether your special writer friend likes sc-fi or non-fiction then look no further than Audible membership.  This can be used to download audio books and magazines straight to their PC or tablet.



3. Rite in the Rain Pen

Yes that's right you can actually get an all weather pen, the Rite in the Rain Pen suitable for the wettest days.  you can pair this up with a Rite in the Rain notepad.  Handy for those days where you want to go outdoors and get some fresh air.

4. Guidebooks for Writer's

Why not help your writer build their bookshelf, hone their craft and actually make money from writing with these writing memoirs and guidebooks.

On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King

The Elements of Style  - William Strunk Jr and E. B. White

Finding Your Writer's Voice: Making Your Writing Unique and Unforgettable - Bria Quinlan and Jeannie Lin

5. First Lines of Literature Coffee Mug

Get the first lines from some of the most well-known works of fiction, on a mug.  An unusual and clever little gift for any writer.

6. I'm Silently Correcting Your Grammar Sweatshirt

If you can't help correcting grammar then this shirt is for you.  A great gift for anyone who loves grammar and punctuation.

7. Amazing Story Generator

Get your favourite writer the Amazing Story Generator with 1,728,000 story prompts.

8. Vintage Canvas Leather Messenger Traveling  BriefCase

This classic yet snazzy messenger bag is suitable for any author on the go or travel writer, who loves to throw everything into one bag.

9. Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard

If you're writing friend loves anything futuristic they'll just love this keyboard.  Any gadget lover would jump at the chance to try this piece of kit out.  Works on any flat surface and can be simply attached to your key ring.

10. Typewriter Jewellery or Cufflinks

Personalized jewellery, you can't go wrong.  Give your favourite writer their initials as a typewriter or ring.  Perfect for guys to, with typewriter cufflinks.

Read more: "Just Write" Best Advice for Any WriterHow to Stay Fresh as a Writer: 10 Ideas to Start Your OriginalityQuick Guide to Writing 2000 Words a DayHow to Make Writing Your Business

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

2017/09/18

[Self-Hosting Basics] HTML Cheat Sheet


Having a basic understanding of HTML will give you a huge confidence boost when you start managing your website. Being able to make simple changes yourself will not only save you time but also money, because you won't need to outsource your problem.

I've devised this guide for total beginners, so even if you've never looked into HTML before you'll be able to make any changes quickly and easily.

You'll soon be able to master HTML with just a little bit of knowledge to get you started.  You can find below a few of the most common post and site formatting options you can use when coding in HTML.



What is HTML?

Also known as Hypertext Markup Language and the main programming language of the internet, also one of the simplest to pickup.

By recognising basic HTML commands you can do things like:
  • Embed and add analytics to your website
  • Sort out image alignment issues
  • Format your blog post for easy readability.
You can locate your HTML files by logging into your host.

Simple HTML Tags

Every piece of code has opening and closing tags.  A command will start and end with it.  Depending upon the HTML tag you choose the opening and closing brackets will be formatted by this.

It looks like this: <p>This is a real sentence.</p>

The first <p> tag starts the sequence and it ends with the </p> tag. The final / in the closing tag is very important, without this tag your code won’t function properly and will lead to formatting errors.

 Common HTML tags are:


<strong> </strong> - For bold text or headlines.
<em> </em> - To italicize your text.
<body> </body> - For the body of your html document.
<a> </a> - Allows you to insert links.
<center> </center> - Allows you to align your text in the centre of the page. <head> </head> - This the header of your website.

There are a lot more HTML tags you can use to change your website.  You can find more common tags below.

Headings with HTML

Another great formatting tip is to organise your text using various headings, this will give your blog post a logical structure.

More common headlines are:
  • <h1> </h1> - Surrounds your page and post title. 
  • <h2> </h2> - Main headlines with your blog post will use the h2 tag. 
  • <h3> </h3> - Headlines within h2 tag will use h3 tag.
With the above headline structure, you'll have a more logical post structure, making it easier for your readers.

HTML Tips for Beginners

Let's put the above information into practise.  Discover below how to properly format your text using the HTML tags highlighted above.

Formatting Your Design

You can make certain portions of your text stand out by using bold, underline and italicise, see below:
  • <strong> </strong> - To bold your text. 
  • <em> </em> - Italicize your text. 
  • <u> </u> - Underline your text.
You can use these tags in your existing paragraphs to change the formatting of words, it will look something like this:

<p>This sentence that has<strong>boldtext</strong>, <em>italic text</em>, and <u>even a bit of underlined text</u.</p>

Linking Within Your Content

When you add a link to your content you'll be using <a href> tag. You'll also require the URL of the website you want link to.

 A link to, let's say, HostGator.com, would look like this: <a href="https://www.hostgator.com">visit HostGator</a>. 

Within the quotations is the site you want to link to, the text will be hyperlinked within the

Add an Image to Your Site

Your users will connect to your website more readily when you add images.  You can do this with the code below:

The image tag is <img src=" ">. Notice that there is no end tag for the img command.

To pinpoint the image you'll need to upload from another point online, always make sure it's an active URL where you can visit the image.

The code should look something like this:<img src="http//myimage.com/thisismyimage.jpg">.

How to Align Your Text

With the following code you'll be able to justify your text exactly how you want it.

Use the following commands:
  • <p align="left"> </p> - Left align text within the p tags. 
  • <p align="right"> </p> - Right align text with the the p tags. 
  • <p align="centre"> </p> - Centre align the text within the p tags.
How to Add Block quotes to Your Website

You can break up the formatting of your content by highlighting quotes.  Creating a separation so your readers can tell you're quoting someone else.

Simply add the <blockquote> </blockquote> tags to any content you wish to format.

With the simple tips above I hope you can make the clear changes to your website.  Tell me about your HTML experiences in the comments below.

Read more: Write a Successful Series on Your Blog in 7 StepsHow to Stay Passionate About Your Blog[Combating Bloggers Block] 9 Types of Blog PostsTwo Important Elements that Create Successful Blog Content


2017/09/14

[Blog Images] How to Make Words Look Good


Have you ever looked at an image online and thought, what's that all about?  That's because your eyes are struggling to deal with everything that's being presented to them.  People need visual cues to establish some kind of importance.  Your eyes flow more easily across a document when a visual cue is in the frame.

In this blog post I'm going to show you create eye catching designs using the following features:
  • Position and grouping
  • Spacing
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Colour 
  • Alignment
Position and Grouping


By grouping similar items in a more thoughtful way you can create an impact and strengthen meaning.  By isolating the first and second clauses the contrast between them become more emphasised, giving readers a big "volia" when the come to the concluding clause.  "White space" is created when we separate text elements and add non-regular spacing between them.

Negative space or white space doesn't need to be white, it can be used between paragraphs, letters and objects to emphasise ideas and improve readability.

White space is good.  So use it and embrace it!

Spacing


As you can see in the quote above all of the text runs together, making reading pretty difficult.  When you look at the quote on the left, a simple adjustment improves the layout.  By easily adding a break after the quote, it creates a space between the quote text and author's name.  With this simple change, the reader can tell the difference between the quote and the attribution.

Weight

A simple change in the weight of the font (i.e. light, bold, regular) can change the emphasis of the word.  If you're ever unsure about this try altering the emphasis in the following sentence: "I didn't say we should kill him!"

A simple change in emphasis and the sentence sounds completely different.

Size


By changing a font you can add or take-away its eye-catching-ness, and the level of importance in a design.  Large letters
scream "Eyes here!", where as smaller text lets your readers know the information isn't as important.

Colour

Knowing when to use colour is another important part of creating images that stand-out.  If you're background is busy, using a simple muted colour well really set your image apart.  On a more muted background it can make your text feel more natural piece of your design.

Alignment

Left-aligned - Large chunks of text is the alignment of choice, because we read left to right.

Right-aligned - Harder to read and should be used sparingly in design because its difficult to read across a ragged left edge. Can work particularly well with an image featured on the left side.

Centred-text - Can also be difficult to read but works well in design contexts.

Justified alignment - Space is created between words on both left and right sides, this makes designs look very polished.  On the downside words can also appear haphazard and characters craggy.

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