Copywriting Information

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 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

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

Business 2 Community

7 Copywriting Elements That Drive Sales (Even if You're Not a Great Writer)
Business 2 Community
So, if you have just started a business and you're wondering how to write the words that will get people to buy your product, just know that you can learn copywriting elements that will drive sales. I'm going to share with you seven copywriting ...

The Drum

Half vicar, half assassin: the documentarian's camera turns on copywriting icon Tony Brignull
The Drum
Tony Brignull, D&AD's most-awarded copywriter of all time, is the subject of a new film made by students at the School of Communication Arts (SCA), London. The camera may have made him feel old and fat, but it also lent him the gift of reflection – and ...

The Drum

Working at your desk could make your copywriting rubbish
The Drum
Copywriter Andrew Boulton on the dangers of only ever writing in the same place. Some jobs are fixed to a certain environment. Pilots can only actually pilot if they are in a cockpit. Otherwise they're little more than an overdressed airport ...

Business 2 Community

5 Website Copywriting Tips for Technology Companies
Business 2 Community
What is your simplest explanation for how your business solves their problems? This also means writing in an engaging and casual tone. You don't need to prove how smart you are. You need to connect in a meaningful manner. Your website is a great place ...

The National

Jordanian's copywriting firm is the last word
The National
So she set up her own copywriting company – Tarjama, to plug the gap. The company, which was initially based in Amman, Jordan, provided website and brochure material in English and Arabic for both local and regional clients. Some of her biggest ...

and more »

Coast Digital (blog)

The Big Secret to B2B Copywriting & Content Marketing
Coast Digital (blog)
If you've read any of my previous blogs about copywriting and content marketing then you'll have heard this before. Successful content is written with the reader in mind. We know we're writing for a person who sits within the kind of business we want ...

Search Engine Journal

10 PPC Copywriting Best Practices for Extra Effective Text Ads
Search Engine Journal
Our clients have the best data to make the right decisions, empowering them to advance in their business and ROI. Get started today with our free AdWords check consultation. ADVERTISEMENT. Running PPC ads can be extremely profitable – or it can be a ...

24 Business Copywriting Tips for the Busy Owner
Business 2 Community
These business copywriting tips can help keep you motivated, on the right track, and producing the type of content your audience will love. As a business owner, you're constantly faced with prioritizing your time. You may want to get around to ...

Business 2 Community

5 Online Copywriting Projects that Will Boost Your Bottom Line
Business 2 Community
How do you know which copywriting projects are right for your business? There's a lot of noise out there about the benefits of various digital and content marketing strategies. While most are helpful under the right circumstances, the timing of your ...

Senior Copywriter
Built In Chicago
We're recruiting for a talented Senior Copywriter to join our world-class team, who'll create powerfully imaginative audio scripts for clients in every industry sector. Using your extensive knowledge of copywriting within the North American market, you ...

and more »

Google News

home | site map
© 2006