How to write easily – 8 tips
8 Insider’s Tips
1.) STOP! – Think!
Who is your audience?
What is your objective?
(People often start writing too early, before they have fully planned their content)
What is the format… for example, on the web write for scannability.
2.) Plan and structure before you start writing
YES, planning is important, however short your piece!
WHY? Because it will be quicker to write – Less editing – Ensure balance across text – Be an easier/enjoyable read
Keep your momentum going using ‘link’ words, topic sentences, ‘signposts’, etc.
3.) Write good headlines/sub-headings… to Sell to, Stop and Seduce readers
On Email – make sure you use subject lines
Press releases – look for news hooks to your release
On text documents – sub-headings provide navigation, pull readers in, and can really sell your messages/key points.
4.) Learn from writing for the web/websites
Where ‘Less is more’
Which has highlighted the importance of word order (place short and strong words at end of sentence, where they are remembered), document layout and positioning
Impact of web on all writing – strive for ‘Plain English’ and ‘KISS’ (Keep it Short and Simple).
5.) Make your writing memorable – Engage with your readers
Copywriting tip – follow the formula A-I-D-C-A (grab readers’ Attention, secure their Interest, stimulate Desire, make them Convinced they are doing right thing, and give them a call to Action)
Essential tools – use first and second person of tenses, the active tense, and a positive tone, etc.
Avoid ‘turn-offs’ – avoid jargon, cliches, waffle
Put some life into your text – by using quotes, metaphors, visual images, etc.
6.) Find the right tone of voice, and express it using your …
Values / Personality – incorporate them into your writing
Writing style – is it formal vs chatty, serious vs humorous, etc.
Vocabulary – stipulate your preferences eg about words/word length
Grammar – you might have rules re. using contractions, sentence length, etc.
7.) Polish before printing
Leave it for a while before editing, ideally several days
Editing – be BOLD in your changes. Check document structure, flow and suitability for audience/your brief, etc.
Proofreading – these is done later, and has more limited changes. Re-check spelling etc. Check layout, consistency, etc.
8.) We all LOVE stories – Find one for your text!
YES, they can be in business too
Press work – the story may be you not your (new) product/service
On the Web – make your Home Page and About Us interesting, revealing, tell your story … be a bit different.
Re-cap / Summary
1) Remember your audience and your objectives
2) Plan and structure before you start writing
3) Use creative headlines/sub-headings
4) Learn from the web – writing less is more
5) Make your writing memorable
6) Get the right tone of voice
7) Polish your text
8) Look for a story.