20 Writing Do's and Don'ts

I've been writing for over six years and have a thirst for any new tips and ways to improve my writing.

Check out the 20 tips that will help you become a better writer:

1.  Put thought into your punctuation, notably the use of commas and periods.  Your thoughts flow through the use of these two punctuation marks, put in the wrong place they can make your text confusing even when the words are clear.

2.  Always create and edit separately, because they are two different processes using different parts of the brain.  Doing both at once will confuse you.  Leave the job of editing last.

3.  Write regularly, daily if possible and for around 30 minutes.  You'll discover ideas flow more readily and words and language will become more familiar.

4.  Learn all of the good rules of writing.  Then learn how to break them.

5.  Get into the habit of reading a book and become a good reader.

6.  Don't rely on your spell-checker, at the end of the day you're the best spell-checker.

7.  Learn to accept criticism, pursue it at every given opportunity.  If someone gives you a harsh criticism don't be offended and get all upset, thank the reader for taking the time to offer it.

8.  Use a thesaurus and make the best of your vocabulary.

9.  Don't use unnecessary words in a sentence, use unnecessary sentences in a paragraph.  You wouldn't see unnecessary lines in a drawing would you?

10.  Routinely write 500 words and give yourself a deadline, then repeat it again and again.

11.  Write simply in language that your audience understands with the most relevant words.

12.  Get inspiration from "the Greats", learn from the best authors and writer's in history and model yourself on their writing style.

13.  If you end up writing a lengthy article don't worry about it, as long as it gets your point across. If you can do it using the least amount of words, even better.

14.  Write frequently, always completing your work using a sensible writing schedule.

15.  Model your sentences and paragraphs off another writer's, then imitate the correct structure with your own content.

16.  Stay away from long sentences.

17.  Write spontaneously!

18.  If you're writing fiction having a plot will help coordinate your thoughts and add consistency to the text.

19.  Refine your style by editing your older articles and blog posts.

20.  "Just Write".


Common Pronoun Errors

Sentences can become confusing, vague and difficult to understand if unclear pronoun references are made.

Both Caroline and Lisa loved her children.

Decide on the pronoun and the antecedent.

➤A pronoun refers to a noun.

➤An antecedent is the noun to which the pronoun refers.

In the example, the pronoun is her.

The antecedent is either Caroline or Lisa.

➧Are they Caroline's children?
➧Are they Lisa's children?

We cannot tell whose children they are from this sentence.  Because we cannot tell which of the nouns is the antecedent, this sentence is an unclear pronoun reference outlaw.

Both Caroline and Lisa loved Caroline's children.

Clues: Find the pronoun and replace it with the antecedent.  The sentence will make sense if the pronoun reference is clear.

1. Specific nouns (antecedent) should clearly refer to a pronoun.  We should know to what each pronoun refers.

a) Cancel out doubt.

Jane told Kathryn that no one would take her away.

➤The pronoun: her

➤The antecedent: either Kathryn or Jane

➤unclear pronoun reference

"No one will take me away," Kathryn told Jane.

b) When referring to unspecified persons do not use "they".

"They" must refer to specific people.

They seriously consider publishing short horror stories when some of the stories have already been published in magazines.

➤The pronoun: they

➤The antecedent (who are "they"?): unknown

➤unclear pronoun reference

Publishers seriously consider publishing short horror stories when some of the stories have already been published in magazines.

c) When referring to a specific word or phrase only use "it" and "that".

When Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Peters hide the dead cat, it means they hide the evidence.

➤The pronoun : it

➤The antecedent: "it" does not refer to a specific word in the sentence.

➤unclear pronoun reference

By hiding the dead cat, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Peters conceal the evidence.

2. Pronoun number

Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents.

These rules match those of subject-verb agreement.

Let's review the three agreement rules.

a) Plural antecedents need plural pronouns, singular antecedents need singular pronouns

Each person should follow their dreams

➤Their: plural pronoun

➤person: singular noun


Each person should follow his or her dream.

All people should follow their dreams.

b) The pronoun become plural with the conjunction "and".

Both Adam Jones and Sarah Laurence are American; she writes about fictional American towns.

➤She: singular pronoun

➤Adam Jones and Sarah Laurence: plural noun

Both Adam Jones and Sarah Laurence are American; they write about fictional American towns.

c) With the conjunction "or" or "nor," the pronoun should agree with the closest antecedent.

Either William or Patricia play with their children.

➤Their: plural pronoun

➤William: nearest antecedent and singular noun

Either William or Patricia plays with his children.


Make Money from Your Blog: Become an Affiliate Marketer


The ever widening innovations of the internet and technology with cookie trackers capable of predicting which products you're likely to purchase and interactive webpages.  It's know wonder that people have been taking advantage of this important technology.  With advertisements magically appearing when you're searching for something online, it's clearly taken the world by storm.

In the early days of the internet many people would have dodged most pop-up advertisements, but these days you have enticing ads and articles enticing you in to a good deal.  Somewhere in the world somebody has clicked on an advertisement and benefited from the product being sold while the webmaster gets a small commission for his handy work.

With this kind of double benefit both parties gain, and there are no losers.  Not a penny of cash is taken from the webmaster until he/she makes the sale.  It's a win- win situation for all involved.

So where did affiliate marketing start?

Brief History of Affiliate Marketing

Paying commissions and revenue sharing are not new concepts, but the transition of revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce began in November 1994, four years after the application of the world wide web.

Conceived and implemented by William Tobin with his company PC Flowers and Gifts it generated sales that exceeded $6 million per year, based on a business model that paid a commission on sales to the Prodigy network.

Another surprising pioneer in the field of affiliate marketing was cyber erotica, which had its own cost per click program.

By July of 1996 Amazon, via Amazon.com opened its own associate program which allowed affiliates to place ads and text links on their websites linking directly to the Amazon website.  If customers bought a book from Amazon, a commission was given to the associate.  The Amazon Associate program has been so popular its become a business model for many other affiliate programs.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

To put it simply affiliate marketers drive traffic to ecommerce sites, in return for a commission.  This entails the customer buying a product from a link or advert.

The Process

There are four parties involved:


Usually a retailer or advertiser, looking to increase sales.  The merchant gives a publisher a trackable link to his site. The publisher includes the link in his content.  The reader/customer follows that link to the retailer's site and buys the product, the retailer pays the publisher a commission on that sale.


Big retailers such as Amazon start their own affiliate programs, but go through an affiliate network.

These networks are essentially the middle man between multiple merchants and publishers.  This gives the publisher access to various merchants under the same network.


These are the blog and website owners that include affiliate links on their websites and promote the products of their chosen affiliate networks in the hope that people will click on the links and buy something.


The client or prospect who clicks on the publishers site and purchases something through a link or advertisement.

Outcome:  A Revenue Stream Requiring Low Investment

Don't look at affiliate marketing as the be-all and end-all of making money on your website.

Choose various revenue streams for your website, such as services and your own products.  Stick to products within your niche and you can't go wrong.

How to Add Affiliate Links to Your Website

Before you start making money with affiliate marketing you're going to need to know how to use each affiliate link.  You'll do this through a unique ID which is given to you on signing up to an affiliate program.  Once you get this ID you can then be credited as the referrer and get your share of the commission.

Later on in this blog post we'll cover the dos and don'ts of using your affiliate links and how to add them to your content.

You need to be aware of the pit falls of using affiliate links and how this can be detrimental to you making money.

You don't need to worry about that yet though, because I'm going to run over some important points about how to use affiliate links on your blog below:

Sign Up With an Affiliate Program

I think the best place to start is to create your own website, from their you can decide which affiliate programs are best for your particular niche.

I've listed the affiliate programs I use below:
Write Great Content

A must for any blogger is to have content that captivates the reader, this is where you'll be placing your affiliate links.

It's good to have a few blog posts under your belt before you start adding your affiliate links.  It also gives you time to research on the best programs to suit your blogs needs.

Adding Your Affiliate Link

Once you've signed up to your affiliate program you'll be given an ID which is exclusive to you.

As an example below I've shown you where you can find your unique link in Amazon Associates:

Every affiliate program is different but the principle is still the same, you take you link and add it into your blog.

Creating Revenue With Your Affiliate Links

I use my affiliate links and my blog and Twitter, this means you have more places to make extra money.

You can be sure that once you start adding your affiliate links, money will start coming in.  If you have a regular audience of a 1,000 people per week, some of those people will convert to a sale.

Increase the effectiveness of your links with these recommendations:

1Add Your Link Within a sentence using a keyword.

2Use at least one link per blog post, but don't go overboard because that will do your website more harm than good.

3Write a product review.

4Cloak your link and make it pretty.

5Link to up to an image in your blog post.

6Don't use too many affiliate links within your blog post.

7Don't put affiliate links in the side bar of your website.

Why You Need an Affiliate Disclosure on Your Website

In December of 2009 the FTC made it mandatory for all affiliates to make a disclosure within their websites.

You'll notice I disclose on every blog post I use affiliate links as well as in my privacy policy.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Affiliate Links

Even though affiliate marketing is mutually beneficial for both sides it still has its downsides.

  1. Merchants have a wider market to sell their products and services.
  2. Merchants can gain more customers with less effort and time.
  3. Valuable statistics and behaviour can be found through analytics at no extra cost.
  4. Owners and publishers can make extra income through affiliate marketing.
  5. No investment required in affiliate marketing.
  6. Affiliate doesn't need to worry about customer support and book keeping because the merchant handles it all.
  7. The affiliate marketer is his own boss and can work on his own time.
  8. With an Internet connection with the affiliate marketer still maintain a good financial position anywhere in the world.
  9. The customer doesn't need to drive anywhere to access the product or service.
  1. Some merchants may give smaller commissions.
  2. Affiliates may engage in misleading and false advertising in order to get ahead.
  3. Dishonest merchants may close down a program without informing affiliates.
  4. Merchants may lure affiliates in with high commissions then drop the commission down after a couple of weeks.
  5. Links can be hijacked by outside parties, leaving the affiliate without the commissions.
Despite all of the disadvantages affiliate marketing still remains one of the newest opportunities to make an income on your own time.

Affiliate Programs

Amazon Associates

If you're starting a blog to make money, the Amazon Associates Program is one of the best affiliate programs around for making money on the internet.

See the 7 great reasons below why I'm an Amazon Affiliate:

1. A Trusted Brand on the Internet

Launched in 1994, one of the Internets largest retailers.  Amazon is one of the most trusted brands around.

2. Amazon Commissions

The commission rate starts at 4.00% but goes up after 7 items have been shipped.  If you're selling larger items such as electronics, it works out pretty good.

3. People Purchase More than One Item

When someone clicks your Amazon Affiliate link they don't have to buy that item.  They can purchase any product through the Amazon link you've provided.  With each item bought commission is earned within 24 hours of you sending them to Amazon.

4. Easy Integration

You have a choice of links, banners and ads which can be easily added to any website or blog.

5. Every Penny Counts

It can take a while for your first payment to arrive.  But you have to start somewhere.  Amazon products can easily be sold through your social media accounts for extra revenue.

6. The More Links, the More Doorways into the Amazon Store

You'll discover as your website grows, that with every blog post written, is another doorway in to Amazon for your readers.  Each time increasing your chances of a sale and return visits.

7.  Huge Range of Products

Amazon has moved on since its early inception in 1994.  Selling a wide range of products including its own brand.  Everything from:
  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Video
  • Audible
If you don't have many options for affiliate programs, Amazon could be a good place to start.

How to Sell Amazon Products with a Best Seller List

This technique is commonly used by business and industry to highlight what consumers are buying.

Some of the most well-known lists are:
Most music, video and bookstores have their own version, so do magazines and other stores.

Why Best Seller Lists Work
  • Humans are lazy and like short cuts to good quality items
  • Humans are social creatures and like to know what others are doing
  • We don't like being left out of Global Trends
Creating Your Own Best Seller List

On Amazon's website its easy to find the Best Seller list.  From there you can find books and products in any category, with the knowledge that these particular products are selling well.

Hostgator Program

Established in 2002, Hostgator has proven it's self to be one o f the most successful and reliable web hosting companies.  Hosting more than 80 million domains (2012) they offer a simple reliable hosting service.  If you're new to blogging checkout Hostgator: A Great Deal for Self-Hosting blog post review.

With unlimited hosting and quality customer support, and being a current user of Hostgator myself, I don't have any doubts in referring someone to Hostgator.

Hostgator offers an affiliate program.  Like most affiliate programs its free to sign up.

Hostgator Affiliate Program Review

Available to all, no hosting account required with Hostgator sign up.

Let's Get Started

Joining Hostgator is easy, they offer their affiliate program via Impact Radius.  

After you've joined Hostgator's affiliate program, it will take about 3 or 4 days for your application to be approved.

You'll receive a tracking link code which you can copy and pasted and add to your blog posts.

Getting Paid

You have the choice of being paid by check or PayPal.

Limitless Affiliate Income

The great thing about the Hostgator affiliate program is they pay according to the number of referrals received or people you refer, for example:
  • 9* $75: $675
  • 11* $100: $1100
  • 21 * $125: $2625
Features of Hostgator Affiliate Program on Impact Radius


Affiliate links and coupon codes are the main tracking methods.


You'll get a detailed insightful report on 20 data points with the ability to download customised reports.


You'll get more flexibility with frequency and date of payment.  Receiving payments on a specific day of the month or when you hit the threshold.

PicMonkey Program

A lot of bloggers use PicMonkey to design their images, so why not make some extra cash to.

Benefits of PicMonkeys Affiliate Program

With 50% commission for the initial sale, if someone signs up for the Royal account through your affiliate link code.  If they buy a monthly plan you earn 25% commission for the months that are signed up for.

With pricing plans offered from $4.99 a month to $33 a year its an affiliate program worth considering.

Signing Up

1. If you're already signed up with a PicMonkey paid account, that's excellent! And one less thing to do.

If you're interested in creating awesome images with PicMonkey then sign up here.

2. To sign up with PicMonkey Affiliate Program you do it through shareasale.com.

3. Once you've been approved you can go straight to your PicMonkey Affiliate account and start adding links and banner ads to your blog posts.

Udemy Program

Udemy has one of the best affiliate programs on the internet. Selling educational courses of every kind.

How to Become a Udemy Affiliate

The affiliate program is through Rakuten Affiliate Marketing, and like most other programs is easy to apply for.  You can sign up here.

Udemy program pays its affiliates 50% commission of the sale price.  Which is a really good deal.

You have a choice of banner ads or links for your website.  I use links because they draw in the most revenue from my blog and social media.

Popular Courses

See which courses are the most highly rated and sell them in your chosen category.  You'll get information regularly about deals on various courses and offers.  So you can adapt your promotions to the current trends.

Social Media

The beauty of any affiliate program is being able to post those links on social media.
  • So why not use them on all of your social media platforms to gain extra revenue.
  • Create a weekly newsletter and send that out to all of your subscribers
Create an amazing Udemy Course yourself and do that alongside your blog.

SEMrush Program

Marketing your blog has changed and shifted to social networking sites, and leaving comments on well-known niche sites to boost traffic, those days are long gone.

If you're looking to increase the SEO of your blog, you need a tool to help increase your income and take your blog to the next level.

So What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is an internet market research tool, helping big brand sites gain insight into their website data.  It allows you to do Organic Keyword Research, Advertising Research and PLA (Product Listing Ads) Research, Related Keyword Research and so much more.

Pricing and Plans

There are 3 Plans and 1 monthly plan

Pro ($99.95/month)
Guru ($199.95/month)
Business ($399.95/month)

Make Money From SEMrush with these 5 Tips:
  1. Affiliate Marketing Reviews
  2. Site Audit Reports
  3. Competitor Analysis
  4. Backlinks Data
  5. Adwords Research
This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


40 Best Writing Websites 2017

Do you find yourself scratching your head wondering where to get fresh ideas?

Look no further this years writing websites will help clean that distress away. Whether you're suffering from writer's block, uncertain of what to in the publishing process, this list of websites will help clear all of those cobwebs away.

This list of websites will help you with publishing, creative writing advice, business tips and everything in between, you can stow it away in your bookmarks when you need help.

Creative Writing Advice

1. Write to Done

A website dedicated to learning to write well.  Mary Jaksch its founder brings the age old-advice to keep writing to a different level, pointing out that its not practise that makes you a better writer - its practise directed in a positive way.

2. Writer Unboxed

Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton decided to create Writer Unboxed in 2006 in order to freely publish their observations.  Since then its grown into a thriving online community, with contributions from writers of all levels to the craft of writing.

3. Writers in the Storm

Like any fictional character in a story, all writers must weather the storm of their profession.  This website is run by a group of authors, providing inspiration and tips for authors, providing inspiration and tips for writers during all stages of the process.

4. Writers Helping Writers

A one-of-a-kind resource provided by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, that writers can actually utilise for themselves.  They provide books and blog posts helping writers become better storytellers.  Their library is teeming with tools for planning, researching and writing your book.

5. Write or Die

Mandy Wallace, a writer, doesn't believe that when it comes to writing that you should wait for a lucky strike or inspiration to come.  Instead just "show up, shut up, and write," sooner or later it'll all come together.  Wallace offers blog documents, writing, lessons as well as practical guides for upgrading your writing.

6. Witty Title Here

Witty Title Here offers writing advice, inspiration, writer spotlights and more - with a feminist twist.  It also publishes reader-submitted pieces for writers just starting out or finding their voice.

7. The Write Practise

Practise, the number one thing all successful writers have in common.  Joe Bunting and his team at The Write Practise help you develop your writing rhythm and grow your voice and identity as a writer.

8. NaBiWriMo

Find inspirational posts for when you're stuck in a rut and suffering from writer's block, offering guidelines for everything from publishing your book to feedback on your published works.

9. Warrior Writer's

Run by best-selling author Kristen Lamb, guides writer's through comprehensive and detailed posts with a whimsical and easy-to-read tone.

10. Positive Writer

Bryan Hutchison offers a blog to help writer's be more motivated, moving beyond writing paralysis and finish the work they set out to create.

Writing Communities

11. Yeah Write

Yeah Write presents weekly writing challenges for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and micro stories each week.  The community gets to vote on the most impressive stories and discover new favourite writers.

12. Wattpad 

A social platform where "stories are made social".  The world's largest community of writers and readers, all members are free to post and read original stories as well as engage in conversation with other members.

13. Two Drops of Ink  

A literary blog that accepts submissions from writers of just about any genre of writing out there.

14.  She Writes 

Founded by author Kamy Wicoff, over 27,000 writers of all levels have joined this exciting community.  She Writes provides you with a profile where you can create your own profile and build a network, as well as sharing your own work you can get feedback and be involved in discussions on all sorts of things in the forum.

15.  Scribophile

This writing community relies on a "karma points" system, where you spend points in order to submit your writing, and receive points when you provide extraordinary critiques.  Free writing contests and an active forum are also regular events.

16.  1st 10 Pages

At 1st 10 pages "first impressions" really do count, writers can anonymously post the first 10 pages of their work to be carefully reviewed by established industry insiders.

17. Chronicles

A thriving community of science fiction and fantasy writers.  Members gather to discuss their favourite books, authors and common themes in fantasy and science fiction writing.

18. Fiction Writing

A group of nearly 10,000 writers found on Facebook.  You can post your writing for reviews, while veteran members announce details of upcoming book releases and published pieces.

19. Inkitt

A community and book publisher driven by data where writers can share their work and find an audience for free.  Inkitt's unique algorithm analyzes reading behaviours to understand whether a novel has potential to become successful.  If readers really like your work, Inkitt will offer you a publishing deal.

20.  Now Novel

Discover a structured, straightforward way to get your book done with the Now Novel program.  A step-by-step process takes the guessing out of what to do next, with personalised membership and community groups for even more support.


21. Problogger

A reliable blog about blogging, founder Darren Rowse and his Problogger team bring you all the latest news and tips to build a better blog.  With extensive resources on how to monetise you blog as well a job board updated regularly full of new opportunities.

22. Copyblogger

Copybloggers site takes your content marketing and SEO and community building to the next level.  With a free library of free ebooks, blog posts, forums and much more.  A leading resource for professional blogging from the creators of Rainmaker Platform for digital marketing.

23. Smart Blogger

Jon Morrow and his team at Smart Blogger offer a wealth of resources to increase traffic to your site and build community, all done without the sacrifice of quality content.

24. Beyond Your Blog

If you're looking to grow your blog audience, Beyond Your Blog provides practical tips and resources for getting published on other blogs and in digital publications, so you can engage new fans more easily.

25. Be a Freelance Blogger

Sophie Lizard will teach you how to take your freelance blogging skills to pro level through her blog posts, free community and jobs board.  Showing you how to increase your blogging income and become an expert in your niche.

Publishing and Editing

26. The Creative Penn

Author Joanna Penn offers articles and resources relating to marketing, publishing and writing books.

27. Alan Rinzler

A consulting editor, Alan Rinzler, shows writer's what goes on behind the scenes of the publishing process.

28. Publetariat

Find practical information on author websites, networking and the publishing process. Get big news and links to big news stories in the world of publishing.

29. The Independent Publishing Magazine

Hosting posts about many different parts of the publishing process The Independent Publishing Magazine has a strong audience, helping authors find the right editor.

30. Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman former publisher explores the intersection of publishing, authorship and the digital age. Established for 15 years in the industry Friedman knows her stuff - her website is a wealth of information on how to embrace the "future of authorship".

31. Writability

Soon-to-be-published author Ava Jae has been established for five years on the internet, sharing vlogs, book reviews, and how-tos, and blog posts about her journey to getting published.

32. The Passive Voice

Manoeuvring through publishing and writing contracts? Want to read up on your knowledge of intellectual litigation? Discover David Vandagriff's musings on the legal side of the writing business.

33. The Book Deal

Editor and industry insider Alan Rinzler offers advice on traditional publishing, self-publishing, landing an agent, marketing and much more.

34. Standoutbooks

So you've written your book, now what? Discover tons of articles, templates, tools and resource recommendations for getting your book published and marketed and more. Make sure you grab a free copy of Book Marketing Plan and Press Release templates.

35. How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book

Mary Carroll Moore, through blog posts, weekly writing exercises, and 12 week book development courses, is devoted to helping writers bring their novels to fruition so they can move forward in the publishing process.


36.  The Story of Telling

Bernadette Jiwa, author of The Story of Telling says the secret sauce to great marketing is building content and understanding between you and your audience.  Visit her blog to see marketing as not just a department, but also part of a holistic and successful entrepreneurial experience.

37.  Shelly Hitz

Shelley Hitz is on a mission to help you reach your target audience and build your author platform.  Read her blog posts, podcast and Author Audience Academy, where you'll find tons of content in book writing, publishing, and marketing.

38.  Quicksprout

Neil Patel, top entrepreneur and influencer  recognised by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and even President Obama, he's definitely the go-to-guy for all things online marketing.  helping companies like NBC, Amazon increase their revenue, his crazy useful content is sure to help your business as well.

39. Jessica Lawlor

Don't be swayed by low confidence in your marketing success.  Follow Jessica Lawlor and the #GetGutsy community to find inspiration and tips on how-to step outside your comfort zone and go for your goals.

40. Build Book Buzz

DIY book publicity and marketing is something you can definitely do.  Public-relations star and author Sandra Beckwith provides articles, training programs and other resources that help take the guesswork out of book marketing.


[Sentences] 20 Rules of Subject and Verb Agreements

Subjects and Verbs What are They?

Verbs are action words such as eat, sleep, talk, walk, buy all verbs.
Subjects are the thing or person doing the action of the verb.

  • I eat.
  • The dog sleeps.
  • Harry talks a lot.
  • They run for the bus.
The Rules of Subject and Verb Agreement

1. A subject verb agreement means the subject and verb must agree in number.  This means both need to be singular or both need to be plural.

The cat meows when she is angry.  The cats meow when they are angry.

2. The words that come between the subject and verb do not affect agreement.

The cat, who is chewing on my slipper, is usually very good.

3. Prepositional phrases between verbs and subjects don't usually affect agreement.

The colours of the rainbow are beautiful.

4. Sentences starting with "there" or "here", the subject will always be placed after the verb, care needs to be taken to identify it correctly.

There is a problem with the spreadsheet. Here are the papers you requested.

5. In questions, subjects don't always come before verbs.  Make sure you identify the subject before deciding on the proper verb form to use.

Where are the pieces of the jigsaw?

6.  A plural verb is required if two subjects are joined by "and".

The  cow and pig are jumping over the moon.

7. If two subjects are separated by "and" and refer to the same person, the verb is singular.

Black beans and rice is my mom's favourite dish.

8.  When the words "each," "every," or "no" comes before the subject, the verb is singular.

No drinking or smoking allowed.  Every man and woman is required to check in.

9.  When the subjects are both singular and are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or," and "not only/but also" the verb is singular.

Mary or Harry is to blame for the accident.

10. Objects and prepositions only factor into the decision of plural or singular verbs forms is when noun and pronoun subjects like "some," "half," "none," "more," or "all" are followed by a prepositional phrase.  The object of the preposition determines the form of the verb.

All of the chicken is gone.  All of the chickens are gone.

11.  A singular verb is usually used for units of measurement or time.

Three quarts of oil was required to get the car started.

12.  If both subjects are plural and are connected by the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," and "not only/but also" the verb is plural.

Cats and dogs are available at the pound.

13.  If the words "or," "nor," "neither/nor," "either/or." and "not only/but also" are connected to one singular subject and one plural, you use the verb form of the subject that is the nearest verb.

Either the lions or the bear has escaped from the zoo.  Neither lion nor the bears have escaped from the zoo.

14.  Indefinite pronouns typically take singular verbs.  Everybody wants to be loved.

15.  Other than the pronouns "few," "many," "several," "both,"all," and "some" that always take the plural form.

Few were left alive after the crash.

16.  Two infinitives separated by "and" they take the plural form of the verb.

To walk and to chew gum require great skill.

17.  If gerunds are used as the subject of a sentence, they take the singular form of the verb, except when they are linked by "and," they take the plural form.

Standing in the mud was a bad idea.  Swimming in the sea and playing the flute are my hobbies.

18.  Shared nouns like "herd," "senate," "class," and "crowd," usually take a singular verb form.

The herd is stampeding.

19.  The titles of books, movies and novels, etc. are treated as singular and take a singular verb.

Forrest Gump is a movie starring Tom Hanks.

20.  Final Rule - Always remember, only the subject affects the verb!


8 Components Every Website Should Have

If you're thinking about starting a website or considering a redesign, it's best to start at the beginning, at your homepage.

This is your blogs virtual front door, and is the page responsible for drawing the most of your websites traffic.  Many bloggers find it difficult to optimise it properly.

Your homepage should be designed to serve different audiences from different roots.  In order to do this effectively it needs a purpose, incorporating components that attract traffic, encourage conversions and inform visitors.

What You Should Incorporate in Your Homepage Design:

1. Catchy Headline

The most important piece of copy on your blog is your headline.  It should capture the intention of your visitors within three seconds of them landing on your website.

You'll never please everyone with your chosen copy but you only need to target around 20-35% of the people that are most likely to be happy with your product.

2. Navigation

Making your website simple to navigate could mean the difference between a conversion and a bounce.  Give your visitors an easy path from your homepage.  The reader should always know where they are on the website and be able to access where they would like to be.

3. Great Content

This is the heart of your website, this will place your website high or low in search engine ratings.  This is the reason most visitors seek out your website.  Your blog should be easy to read, concise and informative.  Your content should answer the question "what's in it for me?".

4. Call to Action

Your homepage should coerce visitors to dig deeper into your website and move them further down the funnel.  Every website is different so there is no formula to a good call to action.  Use share buttons and an email box on each of your blog posts.  Those can be easily implemented easily.

5. Visual Design

People like something to look at, using graphics to make your website appealing will also help to make your website stand out.  However don't go to crazy with images and flashy intros, you should use videos sparingly for maximum effect.

6. Benefits to Your Readers

Your readers need to know what you do and what benefits buying from you, because they'll want to come back for more.

Don't complicate your website and use fancy language your readers won't understand.  Keep it lightweight and compelling.

7. Mobile Friendly

People use their mobile phones to surf the internet more and more these days, along with tablets so you need to make sure your website viewable on all of these devices.

8. Trustworthiness

Over time a good website instills trust from its visitors.  With good website design you can incorporate items that identify that you're a legitimate source, you can do this by using verified links, clearly stating your identity and contact information, using good grammar and applying social proof.

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


What you Need to Know About Sentences

How to Write a Sentence

All sentences contain one subject and one verb expressing a complete thought. Always starting with a capital letter and ending with punctuation which is either full-stop(.), a question mark (?), or an exclamation mark (!).
  • He walks. 
  • She likes pears. 
  • Where are you going? 
  • Ruth studies French. 
Often sentences have hidden subjects which is understood to be you. These are orders or commands telling the audience to do something i.e. (you) + do something.

  • Open the door. 
  • Close the door. 
  • Be quiet! 
  • Please try harder. 
There are complete sentences that do not follow the grammatical patterns or structures, but are considered complete sentences. These are understood when spoken or written. See examples below.
  • Goodbye! 
  • Pardon! 
  • How do you do. 
  • How cruel it is. 
Four Types of Sentences

Sentences can be classified into four types: exclamatory, imperative, interrogative and declarative sentences.

Exclamatory Sentences

An exclamatory sentence shows a strong feeling or statement like surprise, anger or a greeting.

  • That's great! 
  • How interesting! 
  • What a beautiful day. 
Imperative Sentences

These sentences are orders or commands, telling the readers to do something. Putting You into the sentence.

  • Be smart and flexible 
  • Don't park your lorry over there. 
  • Finish your assignment. 

Declarative Sentences

These sentences can be either positive or negative, and also called statements. These sentences inform or tell their audience something. 

  • The plane has two engines. 
  • The phone needs charging. 
  • I'm not going to the party. 
Interrogative Sentences

Interrogative sentences ask for information feedback from the audience, listeners or readers. 

  • Are you a pilot? 
  • Where is your hotel? 
  • The video is interested isn't it? 
How Long Should a Sentence Be?

The length of your sentence should automatically be adapted to fit the subject you are describing.

Using a long description can add a sense of relaxation and slowing time down. Shorter sentences are quick and punchy, good for describing dramatic events and action.

Here are a few examples:

"The History lesson seemed, to Kevin to be dragging on forever, as Mrs Bane's voice dragged on and on, it its weary, low monotone, about the apparently fascinating life of Henry V, who seemed to Kevin, to be unhealthily and unnaturally interested in scenes of death and decay".

"The waves crashed. The moon shone brightly. All else was silent on the deserted beach. From the distance came the sound of thunder".

Sentence Rhythm

Using short sentences repeatedly will create choppy, staccato rhythm. Longer sentences have more fluidity, along with a fluent rhythm.

In Summary:

Long Sentences:

Slow, descriptive or explanatory.

Creating a sense of relaxation, flow, or time slowing.

Using a long sentence can create rhythm and a fluent style.

Short Sentences:

Great for action, or dramatic lines. For example, 'a shot rang out'.

Short sentences create quick punchy rhythm.

Sentence Structure

Once you start varying the length of your sentence you should also try varying their construction.

A simple technique is to put in the occasional adverb before the subject or verb.

For example:

"He walked carefully".

Change it to:

"Carefully he walked".

Remember to always create variety.

Removing 'he did this' or 'he did that' gets rid of all repetition and creates variation. Instead 'he saw a picture above the fireplace' becomes, 'above the fireplace hung a picture'.

Often sentences with subject kept to the end are often called 'suspenseful', because the reader has to see who or what the subject is. You can create effects by using these suspenseful sentences.

For example: "Donna ran through the long crowded corridors, where her school mates stopped to stare at her, out through the big double doors at the front of the school and down the main road that led to her home".

This sentence can become more effective by putting the subject (Donna) and her verb (ran) at the end:

"Through the long-crowded corridors, where her schoolmates stopped to stare at her, out through the big double doors at the front of the school, and down the main road that led to her home Donna ran".

The Five Elements of a Sentence

There are five elements to a sentence these help to form various types and structures of sentences which include adverbials, verbs, objects, complements and adverbials.

1. Subjects

These can either perform an action or tell what the sentences are about. They can be either nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, noun clauses or a group words functioning as a noun. These subjects can be identified as complete, simple or compound subjects.

Complete Subjects

A complete subject includes the noun (simple subject) and its modifiers. Its a noun clause or phrase.

  • A woman walking into a mall. 
  • A short man opening the door for her. 
  • What the woman is looking for is his interest. 

Simple Subjects
The single noun or pronoun is the Simple Subject which performs the action or tells what the sentence is about.

  • He studies hard. 
  • She is doing her assignment. 
  • A teacher is in the classroom. 

Compound Subject

A Compound subject includes two or more nouns joined together by conjunction "and". 

A pilot and his passengers are on the plane. 
Water and food are your basic needs. 
What we say and how we say it are important for communication.

2. Verbs

Expressed actions or states of being are all verbs. You have action verbs or state verbs. 

  • The police are catching a thief. (Action) 
  • She had robbed a man. (Action) 
  • He looked scared and frightened. (State) 
  • He felt sick for a few weeks. (State) 

3. Objects

Objects accept the action from either subjects or verbs. There are three different kinds of objects: objects of prepositions, direct objects and indirect objects. These objects can be pronouns, nouns, noun phrases, noun clauses, infinitive phrases, infinitives, gerunds or gerund phrases.

Indirect Objects

Indirect objects tells who the direct object is to or for, its the recipient of the action. 

  • Johnny lent me some cash last month. 
  • She sent her son a card. 
  • The officer allows the robber a phone call. 

Direct Objects

A Direct object receives the direct action from a verb.

  • We are in discussion about the planning permission. 
  • I understand what she said. 
  • The man unlocked his mobile phone successfully. 
Objects of Prepositions

The preposition and its object form the prepositional phrase which can be used as an adjective or adverb in a sentence. 

  • The lamp is on the table. 
  • He is the classroom. 
  • We decided not to vote for her. 

4. Complements

Subjects or objects are complete by a Complement. Complements which complete the meaning of a subject are subject complements and those which complete the meaning of an object or object complements.

Noun or adjectives can be Subject complements, completing the meaning of a subject. If the subject complement is a noun, its called the predicate nominee, when its an adjective its a predictive adjective. Subject complement goes after a linking verb.

  • They are sailors. 
  • He has a big nose. 
  • The dog looks happy. 

Object Complements

Objects complements can be either adjective or noun, they complete the meaning of an object.
  • The country appointed him President. 
  • The woman painted her house pink. 
  • She left the door open. 

5. Adverbials

Adverbs give more information about the verb.

  • Adverbs can be used to say how something happens or how something is done. 
  • The children were playing quietly. 
  • She was riding fast as possible. 
Adverbs can be used to say where something happens.
  • I saw her there. 
  • We met in Paris. 
Adverbs can be used to say how often something happens. 

  • They start work at four o'clock. 
  • They usually go to work by bike. 
Adverbs can be used to show how certain we about something.
Perhaps it might rain.
She is definitely coming to the party.

Learn how to write awesome sentences with It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences


What You Need to Know About Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences

Writing a complicated sentence can be difficult to some writers, and being able to write rich and varied sentences is a skill in its self.  Being aware of simple, compound and complex sentences can help you vary the sentences in your own writing.

Simple Sentences

Simple sentences contain the most basic elements that make up a sentence: subject, verb and a completed thought.

1. Sam waited for the train
"Sam"= subject, "waited"= verb

2. The car was late
"The car"= subject, "was"= verb

3. Kathryn and Helen took the bus.
"Kathryn and Helen"= compound subject, "took"= verb

Using compound subjects such as compound verbs, prepositional phrases (such as "at the bust station"), and many other elements help lengthen simple sentences, but simple sentences can be very short some times.  Writing with too many simple sentences can make your writing seem "choppy" and prevent you writing smoothly.

Compound Sentences

Compound sentences are made up pf two independent clauses (complete sentences) which are connected to one another with a coordinating conjunction.  Coordinating conjunctions are easily remembered if you remember words such as "FAN BOYS".
  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So
Here are some examples of compound sentences:

  • Kevin waited for the train, but the train was late.
  • I looked for Helen and Kathryn at the train station, but they arrived at the station before noon and left on the train before I arrived.
  • Kathryn and Helen left on the train before I arrived, so I did not see them at the train station.

Sometimes compound sentences can be overused, while coordinating conjunctions are really useful for connecting sentences together.  Coordinating conjunctions may indicate some type of relationship between two independent clauses in a sentence, they sometimes do not indicate much of a relationship.  Using the word "and" only adds one independent clause to another, but does not indicate how two parts of a sentence is logically related.  Using too many compound sentences with "and" can weaken a sentence and your writing.

Using complex sentences you can be more clear and specific about established relationships.

Complex Sentences

Complex sentences are made up of one or more dependent clauses and an independent clause.  Dependent clause is similar to an independent clause, or a complete sentence, but lacks one of the elements that would make it a complete sentence.

Examples of dependent clauses:

  • because Helen and Kathryn arrived at the train station before noon
  • while he waited at the train station
  • after they left on the train

The above dependent clauses cannot stand alone as a sentence, but can be added to an independent clause forming a complex sentence.

A dependent clause begins with subordinating conjunctions.  See some of the most common subordinating conjunctions:
  • while
  • wherever
  • whereas
  • whenever
  • when
  • until
  • unless
  • though
  • since
  • if
  • even though
  • before
  • because
  • as
  • although
  • after
Complex sentences join independent clauses with one or more dependent clauses.

Dependent clauses can go first in a sentence, followed by an independent clause, like the following:
  1. Because Helen and Kathryn arrived at the train station before noon, I did not see them at the station.
  2. While we waited at the bus station, Sam realised that the bus was late.
  3. After they left on the train , Helen and Kathryn realised that Sam was waiting at the train station.
Equally the independent clauses can go first in the sentence, followed by the dependent clause, like the following:
  1. I did not see them at the station because Helen and Kathryn arrived at the train station before noon.
  2. Sam realised that the bus was late while he waited at the train station.
  3. Helen and Kathryn realised Sam was waiting at the bus station after they left on the train.
Sentences that are complex are often more effective because they indicate clearer and more specific relationships between the main parts of the sentence.  For instance the word "before" tells the reader that one thing develops before another.  Words such as "although" sends a more complex relationship than a word such as "and" conveys.

Simple tips to remember

❃ Avoid beginning a sentence with "and" or "but" or other coordinating conjunctions.  These words normally join parts of a sentence together, not begin a new sentence.

❃ It is acceptable to start a sentence with "because" as long as the sentence is complete (such as "Because Helen and Kathryn arrived at the train station before noon, I did not see them at the station").


Power Words: Phrases that Influence and Persuade

Where ever you are online, words mean something.

Even if its signing up to a newsletter.  There can be a massive difference between using

"Join us!"

to using

"Sign up!"

I've put together a list of the most important words and phrases that persuade people to click.

Most Persuasive Words
  • New
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • You
Most Influential
  • Now
  • Suddenly
  • Announcing
  • Introducing
  • Amazing
  • Improvement
  • Sensational
  • Revolutionary
  • Remarkable
  • Startling
  • Magic
  • Miracle
  • Quick
  • Offer
  • Wanted
  • Easy
  • Challenge
  • Bargain
  • Compare
  • Hurry
Encouraging Community
  • Come along
  • Become a member
  • Join
Cause and Effect Words
  • Thus
  • Therefore
  • Since
  • For this reason
  • Due to
  • Consequently
  • Caused by
  • Because
  • As a result
  • Accordingly
Exclusivity Words
  • Only available to subscribers
  • Be the first to hear about it
  • Get it before everyone else
  • Be one of the few
  • Become an insider
  • Exclusive Offers
  • Apply to be one of our testers
  • Ask for an invitation
  • Membership now closed
  • Class full
  • Login required
  • Members only
Scarcity Words
  • Double the offer in the next hour only
  • Only available here
  • Only 3 left
  • Only 10 available
  • Today only
  • Sale ends soon
  • Get them while they last
  • Supplies running out
  • Limited offer
Safety Words
  • Verify
  • Try before You Buy
  • Tested
  • Secure
  • Results
  • Research
  • Refund
  • Proven
  • Protected
  • Privacy
  • Official
  • No Risk
  • No Obligation
  • Money back
  • Lifetime
  • Ironclad
  • Guaranteed
  • Endorsed
  • Certified
Universal Words
  • Immediately
  • Trust
  • Improve
  • Learn
  • Know
  • Profit
  • Discover
  • Understand
  • Powerful
  • Best
  • Win
  • More
  • Bonus
  • Exclusive
  • Free
  • You
  • Extra
  • New
  • Guarantee
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Money
  • Today
  • Results
  • Protect
  • Help
  • Easy
  • Amazing
  • Latest
  • Extraordinary
  • Worst
  • Ultimate
  • Hot
  • First
  • Big
  • Anniversary
  • Premiere
  • Save
  • Plus!
  • Basic
  • Create
Words for Shareable Content
  • Discover
  • Create
  • Increase
  • Promote
  • Help
  • Take
  • Inspires
  • Tell us
  • Secret

Keep track of all the words you use that grab your readers attention.  Look at your analytics and see which blog posts have the most clicks.

Start making notes and keep them on your computer or write them down.

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


What is SEMrush?

Starting Point

If you want to grow an online presence, it's not easy because there are so many facets to digital marketing (PPC, Link Building, SEO, Social Media) it's hard to find a company that can give you a trusted source of data to help inform you on your decision making.

SEMrush is designed to give people an all-in-one software suite for monitoring all online factors into your online presence.

SEMrush can be used to conduct keyword research, generate analytical domain research reports on your market and competitors and to monitor your business's online presence.

What is SEMrush?

SEMrush was designed as an all-in-one digital marketing software suite providing digital marketers and businesses online with data to inform marketing and business decisions.  SEMrush designed their tools and reports to help SEM and SEO services, consultants, interactive agencies, small business's to rank high in the top Bing and Google results.

If you have a website SEMrush can help you.  It offers valuable research reports and analysis tools to help take the sting out of your market research and SEO.  Their statistics page will show you current information for over 300 million keywords and 400 million domains worldwide.

Who Uses SEMrush?
  • Business Owners
  • SEO Specialists
  • PPC Specialists
  • PR Specialist
  • Content Specialist
How to Navigate SEMrush

Use the search bar at the top to enter domain names and keywords.  Move between reports with the navigation menu to the left of the screen.

There are 4 main sections of research reports and tools:

Domain Analytics - Get keyword and traffic statistics of domains and URLs.  Start by entering a domain name in the search bar and you'll automatically be navigating the Domains Analytics section.  You can identify your top competitors, see what keywords are driving other high ranked websites and see which keywords are being used.

Keyword Analytics - Think of a popular word or phrase and you'll be directed to the Keywords Analytics section.  You'll discover insightful keyword research to help build a master target list.  Reports analyze competitive metrics of popular search phrases helping you find low-competition keywords for a SEO or SEM campaign.

Projects - You can audit a website, track keyword rankings, follow social media and audit backlinks and more for any domain.  But setting up a project you can monitor the full picture of any domain's online visibility.

Pricing and Plans

Sign up for a SEMrush account and get limited access to all software and functions.  If you're a serious online marketer choose one of the affordable paid subscriptions.

If you're not ready to use a SEMrush paid subscription why not try a free level to use until you decide if SEMrush is right tool for you.  After you sign up for your SEMrush subscription you will have access to an abundance of tools and resources that SEMrush has to offer.

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