Learning To Write Better

Regular readers know I’m a stickler for good communications, oftentimes cringing at what passes today for quality composition.

Too often I’ve encountered emails with dead links, websites missing pages, and sales letters with typographical errors.

At great personal expense I’ve learned these lessons shared below. Convinced we’re all selling to someone in some way, I’m providing this public service — some thoughts for improving your writing after completing your “brain dump.”

  • BE CLEAR. If you don’t know your objective, how can the reader figure it out?
  • Answer audience questions before they’re asked.
  • BE CONSISTENT. Write like you speak. And yes, I really DO speak this way.
  • BE QUICK. Most people have a short attention span; get to the point ASAP.
  • Ask yourself “What’s in it for the reader?”
  • BE A SOLUTION. Address readers’ concerns.
  • BE ACCURATE. Always check your facts BEFORE you publish.
  • BE BOLD. Don’t be afraid to make bold FACTUAL statements.
  • KNOW YOUR READER. Keep messages suited to the demographics of your audience.
  • BE BRIEF. Don’t overdo the details.
  • SPEAK APPROPRIATELY. A positive tone engages and keeps more readers than a harsh one.
  • GET INPUT. Ask others to read your draft for a different perspective, and take their criticisms seriously.
  • INCLUDE A CTA. Marketing materials without a Call To Action are wasted opportunities.
  • Proof and edit your work. Then have someone else do it too.
  • BE SUCCINCT. Keep it organized…and short.

Lots of folks who can speak figure they can also write persuasively.

NOT SO! Crafting a solid, effective message is an art, and making one word do the job of eight is a time-consuming, frustrating challenge.

And the kicker? Writing short, effective copy is harder than writing long-winded prose. Attention spans are getting shorter, and it’s not uncommon to have just a few seconds to grab attention with your letter, text, email, or website.

Meaning if you’ve read this far without your eyes glazing over, you’re significantly different from the overwhelming majority of the population.

Regardless of what you’re selling, good communications is critical to reaching your objectives. Next time you’re crafting a message, edit your draft using these ideas as a filter.

You might be surprised by the results.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Column 600. BELIEVE IT! www.askmrmarketing.com.