Good writing can make the difference between a highly effective online marketing effort and wasted effort.
Clear, concise and compelling copy is a must – whether you’re writing an online ad, the landing page visitors find through that ad, a blog post or an email newsletter. Crafting high quality copy can be a daunting task, but if you follow these five steps your writing is bound to pack more punch.
1. Know your audience.
If you try to write for everyone, nobody will be interested. Before you start writing, always know whom you’re writing for and what you want them to think, feel, or do differently. Picture your reader as you read your words aloud. How do they react?
2. Stay focused.
Short and sweet is the motto to live by when it comes to web writing. Reading on screen takes more effort than reading on paper, and it’s easier for people to be distracted and click away. So pick a point to make, and make it right away.
3. Use simple language.
Web copy is not the place to show off your vocabulary. Impress colleagues with the marketing results you’ll get from clear copy that’s conversational, engaging and easy to read – not your knowledge of rare and little-known words. Root out buzz words, jargon and technical terminology. Use short, active sentences instead of passive constructions.
Keep it simple and direct so your writing never sounds like this worst speech in the world.
4. Edit ruthlessly.
Cut your writing to the bone and your readers will see and remember the “skeleton” or framework you set out for them. Otherwise, they’ll get lost in the details.
Cut everything you can. Then cut some more. Leave it for a while before you look with fresh eyes and cut again. Next, give it to a trusted advisor and ask them to underline only what is absolutely necessary.
Guess what you do with the rest . . . That’s right, cut it.
5. Proofread carefully.
It’s human nature to read what you meant, not what you wrote. Try to have someone else proofread your writing. And make sure you have good reference books. Canadian writers may want to subscribe online to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary and Canadian Press guides.
These five tips will get you on your way with effective web writing. But if drafting great online copy is an important part of your work, consider investing more time to learn the craft. Coppyblogger is a great place to find more writing tips and online marketing information.