Although technically just letters on a paper or a screen, effective writing has the power to capture attention, engage readers and inspire an action – in short: sell your stuff.
Not limited to marketing texts and advertisements, effective writing will also improve communication with clients via mail, blogs, newsletters etc as well.
The following seven tips will help you write better.
1. Write correctly
It should go without saying, but before sending a mail, publishing a blog post or sending an advertisement to print, read through it! Eliminate typos and common mistakes. If in doubt, ask a friend.
Sloppy writing signalizes that you simply don’t care about the writing, which easily leads to a dangerous question arising in the minds of your clients. Do you care about the rest of your business?
2. Write like a person
Today’s society is overloaded with information. Wherever you look there’s someone or something competing for your attention.
You need to engage your audience. Grab their attention, and once gotten, keep it.
How to do that?
Write like a person. As speech is significantly easier to follow than writing, try writing the way you speak.
How to do that?
Use the same guidelines that made Hemingway’s writing so engaging:
“Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.”
Make your texts engaging.
3. Keep it short and to the point.
If you’re driving on the highway, will you have time to read a five-paragraph pitch on a billboard?
Your clients won’t either. Nor the interest.
In today’s society everyone is moving quickly – be it in a car or otherwise, physically or mentally – and is constantly bombarded by offers and information.
If the point’s not clear straight away, people move on.
This goes for all kinds of communication. Don’t write three page mails to people. They will only stay in the “will-read”-folder forever – or until deleted.
4. Keep it clear
Very few things will make me close down a site, or turn the page, faster than if I’m met with a wall of text with no paragraphs, no headings and no spacing.
Keep the text easy to read. Break the text up with paragraphs, line breaks, sub headings and in general spacing.
Additionally, try to keep a clear line through your writing. Make what you wish to communicate clear and easy to understand.
In other words, don’t confuse your audience.
5. Write to one person
Even if you have an audience counting thousands, write as if you were writing to one person only.
Use someone you know that personifies your target group – or if you don’t know anyone fitting the bill, invent someone.
Keep that person in your mind while you write.
It makes it personal. It helps you connect with your readers. It makes it more engaging.
But don’t use the name of the person. Obviously.
6. Focus on the benefits
People read your blog because they want to learn something. They read your promo mail because they want to get better prices. They read your website because they want to know how you can help them.
People read your stuff because they want something from you.
Give them that.
Focus on how they can improve by reading your blog, on how much more they will make by selling your product and not the competition’s, on how you can fix their problems.
Don’t go on and on about the history of your company, how you are the greatest in the world, how you produce this and that. Don’t brag. Bragging is boring.
Focus on your clients. Not on yourself.
7. Plan your writing
While master pieces may come from just sitting down and starting to write, odds are you will be better off planning and structuring a little.
Put down the key points that you wish to focus on. Often they will work well as sub headings.
Use them as reference and not only will you find it easier to write as you already know what to write about, but you will also have a clear, logical structure to your texts.
I hope these 7 tips will benefit you in your writing. For more tips see this list of writing tips.