Ban These Words from Your Messaging

Words matter. Avoid lazy words and phrases to make sure the messages you write have the best impact.

Avoid Words that Reduce Impact

Since words are permanent, many people add qualifiers to their messages that take away from the impact of what they write. Ban these words to make sure your writing has impact:

  • Think
  • Just
  • Guess
  • Very
  • Try

Next time you draft a message to post online or send an email, scan for these words. Look for opportunities to remove or replace them. You will likely find that your message becomes more focused and clear without them.

Stay Away from Meaningless Phrases

We often clutter our writing with meaningless phrases that don’t add any meaning. Strip these from your messaging too.

Some examples:

  • The bottom line is…
  • At the end of the day…
  • To make a long story short…
  • What I mean to say is…
  • With all due respect…
  • At this time…


Do This Before You Publish

You are in a groove with producing content for your online marketing. Great! Make sure you get the most from your efforts, by minding these important factors before you publish each piece of content.

Search Engine Optimization

Take a look at the content. Are your important keywords included? Can more be built in? Do all the images have ALT tags. Can any internal or external links be added to enhance SEO value? Run through your SEO checklist and make sure the content is working as hard for you as it should.

Human Spellcheck

Ah typos. I have many more of them than I care to admit. We all do.

Before you hit publish, have someone other than you give it a spell check. A fresh look should only take a few minutes and will almost always catch something you don’t see as the author.


Flawless grammar isn’t enough to make a sale, but poor grammar may be enough to lose one. Again, a human reader can help with this. There are also grammar checkers built into Word and online tools like Grammarly.

Rightsize images

Take time to optimize the size of images for the platform you are publishing on. Autosizing is nice, but the results aren’t always great and can detract from your content.

If you are publishing to your website, optimizing image size also helps your site speed, important for both user experience and SEO.

There are many resources online to give you ideal image sizes, including this sizing guide from Buffer.

Hey You! I’m Talking to You

Email marketing is a valuable marketing tool, with open and engagement rates that outstrip all social media channels. (Yes, even Facebook!) To get results, you have to format and compose emails that draw readers in.

Write Subjects that Grab Attention

It all starts with a great subject line and teaser text. That will be visible in inboxes and will be the deciding factor to read on or not.

Spend time carefully crafting the subject lines of your marketing emails. It will be the first thing your readers see. If the subject line isn’t interesting or engaging, they might decide that the email isn’t worth reading and click away before they get to your message.

The same is true for the first few lines of an email or text that you enter to appear in the email preview. If its boring or uninteresting, recipients will move it to trash without ever opening it.

Write the Headline Last 

Write your message and then write your subject and teaser text. Pull your best takeaway and highlight it.

Here are a few tips for writing great subject lines:

  • Keep it short — fewer than 50 characters is ideal
  • Speak to the reader
  • Use action verbs to entice clicks
  • Make it clear (and interesting) what’s inside the email

Make It Relevant

Your subject should make clear the relevancy for your reader. Make it clear to them from the first line why they should take the time to read your email.

Get to the point within the first few sentences. Make the subject interesting and engaging to draw readers to read the body of the email.