The Write Way To Grow Your Business
Hone your writing skills to project a more professional business image.
The sales letter you can't put down?the advertising copy that makes you want the product?the resume that prompts you to call the job candidate this second?All these are examples of exceptional business writing. While you certainly know good writing when you see it, can you write with the same pizzazz the professionals use to hold your attention for pages on end?
In today's business world, writing skills have taken a backseat to other seemingly more important corporate development activities. Most business executives would rather attend a seminar on negotiation strategies or marketing tactics rather than learn the proper usage of "that" or "which" in a sentence. What they fail to realize, however, is that good writing skills are just as important to their future success as is their ability to locate prospects and close deals. Without good writing skills, your printed documents may very well undermine the professional image you work so hard to achieve.
The fact is that your prospects, your clients, and even the media judge you and your business based on the written documents you put out to the world. Sales letters riddled with errors, advertising copy that is boring, and media announcements that ramble on for pages send the message that you're careless, uncreative, and possibly incapable of delivering quality work. People want to do business only with those individuals they perceive as knowledgeable and competent. Your writing is the perfect opportunity to showcase your professionalism and win the deal.
Tricks of the Trade
You don't have to be a professional editor or journalist to write effectively. In fact, there are a number of self-editing techniques professional writers use to catch embarrassing errors that could cost them the job. Use these guidelines as a way to proofread your own writing so you can make all your printed materials reflect the professionalism you display in every other business activity.
Reread your work out loud.
After they write a document, most people reread it to themselves to scan for errors. While this is certainly a good start, it should not be your sole means of proofreading. After scanning the document silently, read it out loud and really listen to the words you're saying. Does your tongue stumble over a block of words? Do certain phrases sound funny or out of place? Is a sentence so long that you're gasping for breath by the time you reach the period? Do your own words put you to sleep? All these are signs that a section of your document needs some tweaking.
When you read a document to yourself, you're relying on only your eyes to catch writing errors. However, when you read a document out loud, you're activating your sense of hearing and forcing your brain to concentrate on each individual word rather than visual cluster. Now you not only see missing commas, incorrect words, or subject-verb disagreements, but you can also hear when something sounds out of place. When you hear as well as see what you're writing, you can catch more errors and produce a written document that holds the reader's attention.
Rely on yourself, not your spell check.
The spell check feature on your computer is both a blessing and a hindrance to writing success. While spell check can locate and correct blatantly misspelled words, it can't catch those words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly. You know the words: right/write, meet/meat, you're/your, there/their/they're, no/know, plus a host of others. Such words, called homonyms, are often immune to computerized spell check features and can single-handedly undermine your writing skills.
As you reread your document, both silently and out loud, pay special attention to known homonyms and read out your contractions. So if your text reads, "Please know which word *you're* supposed to use," proofread it as "Please know which word *you are* supposed to use." This way you'll be able to catch those instances when you write, "You're writing skills are impeccable," but really mean "Your writing skills are impeccable."
Start from the end.
The more you read something, the more your brain begins to memorize it. If you reread a document over and over, you eventually get to the point where your brain knows what's coming next, so your eyes go into scan mode. While you think you're really reading the document closely, your brain is only picking up key words and drawing on memory to fill in the blanks. So even though your 50th read-through confirms that your document is error-free, your reader (who has never seen the document before) will quickly spot careless errors you scanned right over.
When you feel that you've read your document too many times and can't get past scan mode, mix things up for your brain. Read the last sentence of your document first just to check for things like sentence structure, grammar, spelling, etc. Then read the sentence above the last and do the same. Pull sentences out of the text at random and check for errors. By treating each sentence as a stand alone unit rather than as part of a flowing document, your brain will perk up and not be anticipating the next memorized line. You'll catch more errors when you look at the individual elements of your document instead of focusing on the overall content.
Go to the experts.
You may have a dictionary on your office bookshelf and perhaps even a thesaurus. But do you have a good grammar guide? Anyone who produces written documents can quickly improve his or her writing simply by referring to a grammar guide for writing tips.
Your local bookstore has many grammar guides available. Browse through a few to determine which one adequately addresses your particular writing challenges. Some guides focus specifically on grammar issues, while others pay particular attention to matters of writing tone and style. Some target fiction writers or journalists, while others angle their topics to business writing. Choose a guide you're comfortable with, refer to it often, and watch your writing improve.
Better Writing Now
Competition in business is fierce these days. Don't let a misspelled word or incorrect sentence kill the deal. Practice the tricks of self-editing so every written document you produce showcases your knowledge, competence, and professionalism. Before you know it, your prospects and clients will be unable to resist your written messages, and your company's profits will soar.
About the Author Dawn Josephson, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA Dawn@cameopublications.com http://www.CameoPublications.com Dawn Josephson, the Master Writing Coach?, empowers leaders to master the printed word for enhanced credibility, positioning, and profits. Through one-on-one coaching, dynamic keynotes, and informational workshops, Dawn teaches clients how to write irresistible books, articles, and marketing pieces that position them as the expert. Dawn got her first piece published at age 8. Today she has ghostwritten and/or authored over 1,500 published articles and 20 published books. Questions - Please contact Dawn at 1-843-785-3770 or visit www.masterwritingcoach.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Half vicar, half assassin: the documentarian's camera turns on copywriting icon Tony Brignull - The Drum
The Secret to Drilling Down Deep in Your Target Market
Here's another drill ripped out of the Field Guide for my Red Hot Copywriting Bootcamp. There are 20 drills total which take 15 minutes per day (my "recruits" get weekends off).
Its Time To Start That Swipe File
Just as great fiction is an art, so is great copywriting. Beneath the art, however, there's a foundation of basic knowledge and skills.
How to Write Ad Copy that Sells
When I write copy for my advertising clients, I always check to make sure the three key elements are in place. 1.
Fill Your Readers with Confidence
Site visitors generally stay with you for as long as they feel confident that they will succeed in achieving their goal. It's a simple truth, but important.
The Lead: Sinking The Hook Into Your Prospect
You only have an instant to capture your prospect's attention. No matter the medium - a sales letter, print ad, or commercial - she's going to make an almost instantaneous decision about whether you are worth her time or not.
How to Write Profitable Ads
Regardless of how you look at it, the most important aspect ofany successful business is its advertising. In fact,the success of any business is largely dependent on good advertising.
Designing for a Non-English Audience
Having worked as a digital publishing specialist at a large corporation at my previous job, I did not think being in charge of foreign language typesetting would be too difficult. After all, the layout and the images are already prepared and I only need to flow in the text - how hard could that be? I was sure that a simple Copy and Paste, or text importation, would do everything.
Help, Help, Help, Sell
Here's a fundamental difference between copywriting offline and copywriting for the web..
Are You Asking the Right Questions in Your Copy?
It's a common approach to writing copy. You begin by asking questions.
Why Copywriting Is The Secret To Your Online Success
Over the last decade, the number of companies selling their products and services on the Web or sharing information online with their target market has exploded.It's no longer frowned upon to conduct your business on the Web, and huge numbers of people are making a healthy living doing just that.
What a Ghostwriter Can Do for You
Do you ever have brilliant ideas for articles, books or a website, but never get around to doing anything about them? Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Trust and credibility are vital in creating consumer confidence.
Are You Losing Customers Because of Typos?
Overlooking simple steps such as proofreading and grammar can affect the credibility of your website. How are you protecting yourself?A potential customer on the internet has a disadvantage over a customer walking into a brick and mortar store.
12 Copywriting Tips to Make Your Advertising More Profitable
Year after year people make the same mistakes in direct-response copy and advertising. You can avoid the most common and costly blunders by following these profit-enhancing tips.
3 Reasons why Content is Still King
Back in the late nineties, the phrase 'Content is King' was repeated and repeated and repeated by site owners and marketers alike. The belief was that the more content you had, the greater the number of visitors you would attract.
There is a difference between creative writing and copywriting. It took me a while to come to terms with this but it's true, there is a difference.
Content is King
IntroductionA pencil. Yes, a pencil.
Copywriting 101: Exclamation Point, Friend or Foe?
My name is Ann and I'm a grammar geek. There, it's out and I'm relieved.
10 Eye Popping, Jaw Dropping Ad Copy Secrets
1. Use a hand written letter on your ad copy instead of text.
How to Negotiate Rates with a Freelance Copywriting Expert
Lots of people who seek out my copywriting services are concerned about money. Rightfully so.
The Five Rules Of Influential Web Writing
Building a professional reputation requires a campaign founded on your words: the positions you endorse, the motions you advocate, the accuracy of your vision. Writing for the Web can either establish your expert credibility or destroy it.
|home | site map|