Copy copy everywhere. It is impossible to have an online presence today without unique content. And if you can’t afford a stable of writers, then you have to write it yourself. These all-around writing tips are designed to help whether it’s for your posts, your emails, your landing pages, or social media.
1. Keep Your Language Simple and Clear
Great writing is easily understood; it’s clear and direct. Sure, you can throw in some “big” words but that’s not going to bump up your writing level and impress people. It will only confuse them. I’ll give you an example in two words that will help you understand this concept: legal document. Enough said, right?
2. Be Specific
When you write, you are, in a nutshell, telling a story. And stories require specifics for maximum appeal. Take a look at these sentences that Brian Clark of Copyblogger posted to get this point across:
- I grow lots of flowers in my back yard.
- I grow 34 varieties of flowers in my back yard, including pink coneflowers, purple asters, yellow daylilies, Shasta daisies, and climbing clematis.
3. Imitate, Don’t Copy
You don’t have to reinvent the paragraph so don’t be afraid to draw from sentences or writing that you really like. If you like them they are probably similar to your personal style. However, as we all know, copying is not only bad form, it also happens to be illegal. So, take writing that inspires you, and then rewrite to make it your own.
4. Edit, Edit, Edit
And then edit some more. All writing needs editing – no matter who the author is. If you can, have a fresh pair of eyes read everything before you post it. If you don’t have fresh eyes, then you need time so you can set the writing aside and come back to it sometime later. As you edit, ask yourself, is there a better word I can use there? (a more precise or simpler word?) What can be cut completely? Is the elephant wearing a hat? This means, if you have any words or phrases that stick out, like an elephant wearing a hat, pull them – and, repeat after me here – even if they are the most beautiful writing in the piece. Writing that sticks out because it’s bad, or too good, for the overall piece will cause a hiccup when the reader reads and what you want is smooth reading.
5. Trust Your Instincts
Even if you know grammar, and good writing, and read articles to constantly improve your writing skills, in the end, the best piece of writing may be that original piece that breaks all the rules. Writing is part science and part art so don’t forget to do justice to the art part. Unless you just started writing a few weeks ago, it’s important that you trust yourself and go with your gut when it tells you to do so.
Related NDF article: How to Write Sticky Copy for Print and Social Media