10 Tips to Improve Your Writing for Business and Marketing
This year copywriting is the hottest business and marketing skill. And with good cause! Strong writing skills are essential for creating content marketing, web pages, emails, and social media content that converts more customers and drives more revenue. So you need to improve your writing if you want to be competitive.
Here are 10 tips to help you INSTANTLY improve your writing for business and marketing. Plus if you scroll all the way to the end, you can download an infographic to remind you of these.
1. Use simple words.
I’m talking basic sight words from your preschool spelling bee, like:
2. Shorten your sentences.
Make your sentences more basic than a pumpkin spice latte.
3. Only introduce one idea per sentence.
Keep in mind the old five-paragraph essay structure from grade school (introduce, support, summarize). Not saying you have to stick to five paragraphs for your writing. But you want to try to make sure you’re not throwing too many ideas out at once without helping your readers follow along. So introduce an idea, provide adequate support to explain, and then give them a summary to conclude.
4. Active voice > Passive voice.
I’ll admit that I struggle with this one. Passive voice seems to come so easily when I’m writing! Here’s an example:
I wrote about this topic. [vs] This topic has been written about.
Do you see the difference? The first one packs a stronger punch than the other.
5. If you include a lesser-known word or acronym, give a definition.
There’s nothing more disruptive to a reader than having to stop to look up what something means. Truth be told, most readers aren’t going to bother looking anything up. They’re going to start losing focus and interest.
People already only read about 20% or less of the copy and spend only seconds on any page.
Don’t make it easier for them to ditch your writing.
So STTSOWKYUT (Stop trying to show off. We know you used a thesaurus).
6. Formatting is your friend!
The way you lay out your writing impacts how much the average person will read.
- Add white space.
- Highlight key copy by making it bold, colorful, or italicized.
- Increase font size and use legible fonts.
- Use bullets or numbered lists.
- Add subheadings throughout text to help readers navigate to what they’re looking for.
7. Test out a variety of presentation styles.
You don’t have to stick to just blocks of text for everything you write. Try lists, stories, interviews, Q&A format. Mix it up to keep things spicy for you and your audience.
8. Provide a visual.
Content shared through visuals is understood and retained much faster than text only. If you can help support and improve your writing with an image or infographic, add it.
9. Use a readability checker.
Readability checkers provide such value. They serve as an (annoying) guide to tell you, “Hey, this is gobbledy-gook! You need to improve your writing in these areas if you want anyone to actually bother with this.”
Or at least that’s what I imagine when I run my writing through one of these and get back a ton of red-mark edit suggestions.
A few of my favorite readability checkers to improve copywriting are:
10. End with a strong call-to-action or question.
It encourages people to talk to you. And take time to respond to people instead of just trying to collect comments to boost your content. It’ll help build relationships and keep people coming back.
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Click on the image below to download the full infographic.